Thursday, September 5, 2013

Zine Review: Cheer the Eff Up #5

Cheer the Eff Up #5
56 pages  / digest / $3 or best offer :-) 
PO Box 633
Chicago IL 60690

Fathering has become a conundrum in our culture. Or maybe it always has been. Some of us were raised by emotionally distant, and often indifferent, fathers (if we had a father at all). As boys we never got what we needed for masculine connection, guidance and love. A great number of men in this culture have just given up on being mature, caring, active role models for children – too distracted by careers, addictions, or their own feelings of inadequacy and abandonment.

The premise of Cheer the Eff Up is Jonas writing to his child in the future – in hopes that he can reveal truths and perspectives to his child, like a time capsule snapshot of “this is how it is was / is now”. So many children don’t have a clue or understand their parent’s journeys. Many children (my adultlings for example, all in their 30s) don’t seem to want to understand their parents. Yet this is how we grow as human beings – by embracing our parents for who they are, not by ignoring them, denying them, or living with some fantasy we have of them as tyrants or saints. There is always more to our parents than what we think.

You could zero in on any one of the chapters in Cheer the Eff Up and relate to what Jonas is talking about. I’ve never been to a punk show, for example, but I’ve been to concerts and events where I’ve been the oldest person in the room by a decade or more, and eyed with suspicion and curiosity. I’ve struggled with my identity and found myself at a loss to describe myself. I’ve often wondered what I can say to my children and grandchildren to help them understand where they came from, who their father is inside, and the hopes I have for them finding their own paths.

Cheer the Eff Up is potent and powerful. Thank you, Jonas. 

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