When your partner’s the same gender as you, one thing you’re gifted is a blank slate. Cleaning the gutters, ironing, taking the car for a service, buying sheets—it’s all up for grabs. And that’s what Alex sees.
There were no easy answers, he was saying, which is the same as saying there are no answers at all. And even though I wasn’t asking him, the answer I got was to empathise with the bullies. Forgive them all, they know not what they do.
As much as we shape cartoons in our image, they shape our concepts of ourselves. This is why animated television is such prime territory for understanding our relationship to the concept of fatherhood.
There’s a new generation of fathers out there. We speak with one as though he’s a proxy for all the others.
“For me at the moment, even though I do a million different jobs, the thing that I want to be is just a great dad. I look no further than my own father for inspiration, for being there.”