“The classic parent attitude with a kid is like, ‘I brought you into this world, I gave you life.’ . . . I just think completely opposite, my kids gave me life."
-Flea of the Red Hot Chili PeppersSome say that we are destined to become like our parents when we become parents ourselves. This is a scary for many people, even those who have great parents that they love. The things we hate about our parents are the things we don’t like about ourselves and in becoming a parent we are forced to face these insecurities.
Thankfully for kids all over the world, people can fight that destiny and become better than their parents when they step into that role. The film The Other F Word takes a look at punk rock musicians dealing with fatherhood.
At first this film simply seems like a comical look at seeing guys with tattoos deal with doing ordinary things like helping their daughters pick out clothes for the day. What is revealed however is that this is a group of men defying destiny to become great dads.
Punk is a genre of music that takes the rebellious themes of rock music and amplifies them with anger, hatred and an uncomfortable rawness. A lot of these emotions come out of the fact that these musicians had absent, abusive or emotionally distant fathers. This bitterness and anger led to their music but also their choices as fathers.
Art Alexakis of Everclear is featured playing “Father of Mine,” in this film as he tells the story of the relationship he had with his father.
This song tells the story of his father, leaving Art and his mother at a young age. Art fills out this story in the film talking about sexual abuse he suffered as a kid and the feelings of never being sane or safe which he sings about in the song.
You can hear anger in this song but there’s more than that. There’s a sadness and a determination as he sings towards the end, “With a child of my own . . . I swear I’m not going to let her know all the pain I have known. “ It’s seems somehow tragic but also triumphant as Art unpacks his feelings but then turns this frustration and hate into love.
The most powerful thing about "Father Of Mine," and The Other F Word is that shows us that no matter what we are born into, we are not destined to repeat the sins of our fathers. It's not easy but its possible. Abandoned children can become great parents, outcasts can contribute to our society by raising great children and anger can become love.