I Love Lisa Carver
As a generation (X), what we know for sure is how to be sarcastic and irreverent. Parenthood is bigger than that. It inspires thankfulness, humility, rage, unfixable guilt over what we may be doing to our children, unfixable sorrow over what we now understand for sure was done to us when we were their age, wonder and a quiet sense of sacredness. These emotions are so foreign to us, it took me twelve years (that's how old my eldest is) to even realize that's what was happening. Figuring out how to translate these new feelings and outlooks into literature, and still keep it amusing and intriguing and true, will probably take me another twelve. In the meantime, how pathetic to try to use the tools of yesterday (irony, dirty words, random reference to sex and gross things) to try to tell the story of this new kind of relationship and life we find ourselves in.
Neal obviously thinks he's so wild because he talks about shit-storms. But every parent of every child in the world, as well as dog-owners and workers in various segments of the service industry, have experienced shit flung at inconvenient moments, eaten, or worse. Babble blogger Steve Almond suffers the Alternadad malaise: "Look at me, I used to write about sex, yet I have a kid!" Dude, you're forty. Of course you have a kid. It's not ironic to have children. Yes, yes, I am a near-forty punk-rock sex writer writing about my kids, too. But my editor makes me (and Steve)! This is a parenting magazine! No one made Neal write that book.
I know a woman who gave her son the middle name "Chainsaw" because she was a major Tobe Hooper fan -- she loved it because it was "edgy." What the fuck? A baby isn't "edgy." I suspect that this kind of hipster parent unconsciously tries so hard to make their kids "cool" because when the kid is ready to rebel, the only rebellion will be to be super "square" and then the parent will have the smug satisfaction of always being the "coolest" one, like when Cronos swallowed his sons.