This week, I try to help an upset father find it within himself to confront his son with the “tough love” he desperately needs.
I’m looking for your recommendations on how best to guide my son. He’s 28, has never held a steady job and still lives at home. He has always been good at drawing, is handy with computers and was an excellent student up through his senior year of high school. Some bad lifestyle choices and a toxic relationship with a drug-addled girl got the best of him. He tried his hand a few times with some art courses at the local JC but never finished anything, nor gave it much of an effort. He curses me every time I bring up the idea of coming to work for me. I think it’s time to “push” him a bit harder towards school and a career. I figured computer animation might be a good field for him, so any help you can give me on setting out a path for him would be appreciated.
Richard in Laguna Beach
Dear Richard in Laguna Beach:
As I’m sure you’re aware, your son is a shiftless sponge, typical of a generation of self-absorbed losers destined to drain parents, friends and ultimately this once great nation of everything of value not nailed down or already mortgaged to pay Nanna’s hospital bills. But I’m sure he’d be great at computer animation, because as we all know from following mainstream media like USA Today, computer animation is a breeze, any kid with an iPad and a Red Bull juice box can do it. Take the awesome drawings of AssBlaster Man your son did in 8th grade, mix them with some 3D software you found near the cash register at CVS and voila, Cars 4!
Yes, it’s true: recruiters at companies like Pixar, DreamWorks and Imageworks are always looking to hire lazy, talentless drug using fuck-ups like your son. In fact, California labor laws enacted in 2009 dealing specifically with workplace diversity require 25% of all new full time entertainment industry hires to be ambitionless eunuchs balls-deep in abusive relationships with trailer park meth addicts. To qualify for this program under current law, your son must have no work history within the last five years, no less than one drug or alcohol related arrest, at least 500 Facebook friends and more than 2,500 pirated DJ Tiesto mixes on his iPod.
If he does qualify, studios are not allowed to request that your son submit a resume, portfolio, show reel or any other demonstrable proof of actual talent. California’s Talentless Person Protection Act (“CTPPA”) considers any request that a job seeker show aptitude or skill when seeking a job critical to the production of multi-million dollar films, Television programming or video games to be prejudicial to fair recruitment practices. So, recruiters aren’t allowed to ask if an applicant has previously been convicted of a drug felony, or when and where they got those tattoos on their knuckles. Your son need only show up for an interview with a clean Slayer T-Shirt, a new generation iPad purchased by a parent, and some snazzy new ear buds and he will be golden.
Richard, or, may I call you Dick, no offense, but obviously, you’re a gutless enabler for allowing your son to party non-stop the last decade, spending your hard earned money on dope, Astroglide and crack whores while you drowned your guilty sorrows in Lexapro and Steely Dan CDs. How rewarding it must be to shuffle off to work each day, tasting the bitter tears of responsibility, while your son hangs out, snorting crank and boning some pale, multi-pierced Fontana trailer-park skank. I’d love a gig like that! When can I move in? I’ll kick his ass to the curb and you can support me instead. I’ll even do my own laundry and buy my own beer.
You claim he’s good at drawing? In other words, he’s got a sharpie and a dozen sketchbooks filled with doodles of gangbanging vampires, werewolves and robot transvestites? He’s great with computers? Meaning, he can play Call of Duty, spark a doob and finger Elvira all with one hand? His real aptitude lies in playing you like for the sucker you are. Take comfort though – he’s not a virgin so at least he’s saving you some McCourt-sized attorneys fees down the road by diddling some Goth zombie girl rather than getting caught hiding out in bowling alley bathrooms with a hidden web cam and his dick stuck inside a Lego Imperial Walker. You’ve done at least something right as a father. Cheer up.
Trust me, he can’t draw, he knows nothing about computers and his best days were the second semester of 4th grade. That cute picture of him on the wall of your study is actually the wrapper that came with the frame your wife bought at Target. Face it – your son is the proverbial turd in the punchbowl. Let’s be honest here, you should be steering your son towards a wood chipper, not a career in computer animation. Just because he’s the fruit of your loins doesn’t mean he’s deserving of anything else from you except a Raylen Givens sneer and the heel of your boot. Now do us all a favor and winnow out the herd. Then I can move in.