Gearing up for Fathers Day

June is a month of Sundays. Today in the New York Times it’s the Sunday of Love, with 24 alternative cover photos of couples (of all sorts — mine had two Latino men) kissing, plus photo vignettes of love around the city on Saturday May 19th (the day of the royal wedding in London). Next Sunday is, once again, Triple Play Day: Fathers Day, Commencement Day at Stanford, and World Music Day, all rolled into one (last year’s occasion was also insanely, record-breakingly hot — marking the onset of the chronic dyspnea that has dogged me ever since). And then two Sundays from today: the San Francisco Pride parade. Things to post for all of these occasions. Today, a look forward to Fathers Day, prompted by an ad from the Levenger company.

Fathers Day is an Amercan holiday celebrating middle-class white masculinity, in two stereotypes: one upper-middle class (typified by a character I’ll call George, nickname Zapper from boyhood summer camp, product of prep school and Ivy League, successful businessman, ardent golfer, favors single malt Scotches and luxury cars, fan of elaborate gadgets, especially huge wildly expensive aggressively masculine watches that function happily underwater, provide a stopwatch, and track the time in three widely separated zones) and one lower-middle class (typified by a character I’ll call Spike, construction worker, ardent NFL and Nascar fan, drinks Bud Light and grills burgers, into snack foods and power tools, treasures his La-Z-Boy recliner, loves to fix cars and argue sports stats).

Levenger is aimed at George. The ad, in two pieces:

(#1)

(#2)

About the company, from Wikipedia:

(#3) Inside a Levenger store

Levenger is a specialty retail company established in 1987 in the Boston suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts. Products include leather bags and briefbags, folios and other products to hold tablets and other personal electronics, fine writing instruments, and an extensive line of note-taking products, in particular its Circa disc-binding notebooks. Levenger also has a publishing imprint, Levenger Press, which publishes a small line of specialty books.

Two postings on this blog:

on 6/15/14, “Fathers Day Five”: #1 a Rhymes With Orange strip, with absurd Fathers Day Whitman’s chocolates

on 6/18/17, “Three days in one”, on the concurrence of Fathers Day, Commencement Day at Stanford, and World Music Day, here about the first of these:

Fathers Day is at root a commercial and sentimental holiday, officially devoted to a celebration of fathers and fatherhood, but equally devoted to a celebration of conventional, in fact stereotyped, modern American masculinity — gently mocked in this Bob Eckstein cartoon [(#1), which shows Spike stuff:] A commercial holiday parade, with giant floating balloons. For Fathers Day, a huge manly sandwich, a recliner chair for Dad, and power tools.

[Classic Fathers Day gifts:] tools, hardware, and equipment (e.g., lawn mowers, esp. riding mowers), grilling equipment, barware, electronics, cameras, watches, wallets (of the duofold, bifold, or two-fold  variety, not like women’s wallets), gadgets (Swiss Army knives, etc.), men’s clothing (esp. ties and underwear), grooming items, men’s fragrances, sports gear, golf stuff, hunting and fishing stuff, sports fan items, car items, bike and motorcycle items, beer, whisk(e)y, steaks

A mixture of George and Spike, plus a bit of metrosexual Robert.

Actual fatherhood scarcely comes into it.

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