“Here’s what I learnt when I did a bit of re­search into Fa­ther’s Day”

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - Joe co-hosts Stu­dio 10, 8.30am week­days, on Net­work Ten and is Ed­i­tor-at-large for News.com.au.

Ihave al­ways been a tad wary about Fa­ther’s Day, just as I am about Mother’s Day, Valen­tine’s Day and any other oc­ca­sion that looks sus­pi­ciously like it was in­vented by West­field.

Ba­si­cally my po­si­tion is that un­less Je­sus was born or died, then it’s not a real hol­i­day. y. This is not be­cause I am par­tic­u­larly arly re­li­gious, but be­cause I am a bit of a tight-arse.

Yes, I know w that on Fa­ther’s Day it’s sup­posed osed to be me get­ting all the e presents, but the truth is there’s ’s no such thing as a free lunch, h, let alone a free break­fast st in bed.

Sure, I might ght be lucky enough to get t a three-pack of sports socks s in Septem­ber, but the fol­low­ing wing May I then have to o buy my wife a Ther­momix. x. And that’s just not good busi­ness.

So I thought ht I would do a bit of re­search rch into what Fa­ther’s Day ac­tu­ally was and how it all l be­gan. And by “re­search”, I of course mean look­ing it up on Wikipedia.

As it turns out, Fa­ther’s Day is an ex­tremely remely old and ven­er­ated tra­di­tion di­tion dat­ing back to the Mid­dle Ages, when Europe was strongly Chris­tian, the e West wasn’t afraid to take on Is­lam and the av­er­age life ex­pectancy xpectancy was about 35. In other words, what Fraser An­ning refers to as the good old days. Back then it was cel­e­brated in March, as the feast day of St Joseph, who was widely ven­er­ated in Catholic Europe as the world’s great­est step­dad. In­deed, for any­one who has watched the highly in­for­ma­tive parenting paren doc­u­men­tary Daddy’s Home, it is worth not­ing that Joseph would hav have been the Will Fer­rell char­ac­ter an and God would have been Mark Wahlberg. Wah That’s when it oc­curred to t me: the whole tra­di­tional fam fam­ily unit of Judeo-chris­tian West Western civil­i­sa­tion is in fact bas based on a com­plete fur­phy. If th the Holy Fam­ily were around tod to­day, they wouldn’t be wear­ing match­ing m sweaters on a Hall­mar Hall­mark card, they’d be on the Maury Maur show with the wiry Jewis Jewish host hold­ing a DNA te test declar­ing: “Yo “You are not the fath fa­ther!” I have to say that as a very Jewi Jewish-look­ing Catholic w who works in morn­ing tele­vi­sion, I am ex­tre ex­tremely com­fort­abl com­fort­able with that. The tr truth is that no fam­ily i is per­fect, even the one that’s suppo sup­posed to be the most perf per­fect of all. And gosh, isn’t it a bit of a re­lief? In an age when count­less id­i­otic In­sta­gram in­flu­encers and mo­ronic mummy blog­gers tell us how right on they are and all the things we’re do­ing wrong, I find it a lit­tle bit re­fresh­ing that the so­ci­ety we live in ba­si­cally comes from a Mid­dle-eastern work­ing­class car­pen­ter say­ing to his wife: “Sorry, honey, did you say you were preg­nant?”

Be­cause that’s the nice thing about Joseph. He must have been con­fused – he must have got suss, but he stuck around. He raised the boy as his own, all the while know­ing that any day Mark Wahlberg would prob­a­bly reap­pear out of nowhere with some crack­pot idea of what he should do with his life. (And boy, didn’t that turn out well…)

The Chris­tians of me­dieval times called Joseph nu­tri­tor Do­mini – the “nour­isher of the Lord”.

So this Fa­ther’s Day, let’s re­mem­ber who the real dads are. The ones who pack the lunches and patch up the sores. The ones who read books and wres­tle mon­sters. The ones who are there.

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