Does the World Need a Dadzine?

Ever noticed the seemingly endless – and often mind-numbing – number of magazines dedicated to mothers? Well, there's a new entry into the relatively unexplored "dad-zine" field:

Kindling Quarterly is an exploration of fatherhood. Through essays, interviews, editorials, art, and photography we highlight creatie individuals whose work and lives are inseparable from their role as a parent. There is no shortage of familiar portrayals of dads in media yet we aim to present a thoughtful dialogue about fatherhood that is missing from our cultural landscape. Men who are active caregivers are not a novelty and we do not depict them as such. While the subjects of our stories are fathers, each issue appeals to anyone interested in art, creativity, and community. Kindling Quarterly playfully assesses and celebrates a multitude of experiences that form contemporary fatherhood.

It's a mistake to judge a magazine by its cover before you even see the cover, but this sounds like it will appeal to roughly .5% of the fathers in America. Another mistake is to engage in gross generalizations, but what's life if nothing but a series of mistakes interrupted by occassional success? So here are some general descriptions of dads that would argue against the vast majority having any interest in a magazine focused on "art, creativity and community":

  • Approximately 99% of dads don't read anything they aren't paid to read. In other words most of them feel that reading is something only a fool would do outside of work requirements.
  • There's a reason those portrayals of dads in the media are so familiar – they're largely accurate and approximately 99% of dads will gladly own up to that fact.
  • If "art" does not include scantily clad women of some variety then 99% of dads would agree it's not really art. (Anyone familiar with what happens to men when their personal lives are assaulted by fatherhood would surely understand this phenomenon).
  • Most dads love their kids, but the last thing they want to do is think about what it means to be a dad. Their wives (or baby-mamas) force them to engage in those "meaning of fatherhood and marriage" discussions ad nauseum so why would they spend their precious free time reading about it?

Hopefully the folks at Kindling will find enough dads who don't fit the mold described above to make their venture a success, but based on the description above there's reason to be concerned for its viability. It appears they're aiming for an elite crowd, which of course precludes this dad from being a suitable target, so perhaps these points are moot. Hopefully so and here's hoping that the folks at Kindling enjoy great success.

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