Forced fun on prescribed days of the week or year have always irritated me. I generally look at ritualistic behavior curiously, wondering how these actions came about and why so many are so willing to jump in and participate, in essence being told what to do and when by unknown parties with unknown agendas. Today, a day singled out to acknowledge the male parent, is no exception. As one might expect, the forces behind the establishment of this mandatory day of celebration had something to gain from it: money.
Trade groups who make items seemingly suited for men, like tobacco and neckties, formed an alliance to persuade our representatives in the hallowed halls of Congress to formally create a day for them to sell their wares. To the credit of the American people, they resisted this obvious attempt at pilfering them of their hard earned cash for quite some time. But the influence of the greenback is not to be denied, and ultimately a Congresswoman found the magic elixir of political spin that would take money from the pockets of the proletariat and place it in the hands of the oligarchy.
Eventually, everyone jumps on the bandwagon and school children are forced to make things for their dads, businesses of all types frantically promote the day for weeks to get hapless moms to purchase power tools and that ultimate waste of resources; the greeting card. As the phenomenon spreads, people feel compelled to wish happy tidings and congratulatory messages to all fathers, not just their own. Phones will ring across the country as people feel pressure to contact their dear old dad and thank them, regardless of whether they achieved anything worthy of praise in their parental responsibilities.
I often wonder what those men who weren’t particularly adept at parenting feel on this day. After all, being a parent is no easy task and there are no rule books or prescriptions for success. Many are thrust into parenthood by following our programming to copulate and reproduce, and many a life has been dramatically altered by what may have been a lust-filled evening of carnal instinct. Those dads likely face this day with trepidation and spend it guiltily reminiscing on their failures. Nonetheless, there is money to be made and I’m confident that our Corporate Overlords would gladly have mandatory celebrations on every day of the calendar year if they had their way. How else can one explain National Cupcake Day?