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April 10, 2012

Beta Dad's Brave Response To Single Dad Laughing's "A Teen's Brave Response"

We've thrown a few jabs at Dan of Single Dad Laughing, the Thomas Kinkade of dadbloggers. But frankly we were a bit stunned when we read his magnum opus "A Teen's Brave Response To 'I'm Christian Unless You're Gay'". What? You say you've never heard of Single Dad Laughing or this post? Dan wonders if perhaps you don't have the Internet, or electricity, or running water. 

Over at his blog, Andy delivers a measured response to the phenomenon that is Dan. Readers may know that he and Dan go way back, and that Andy's not a fan of his work. Andy asks if it matters that "A Teen's Brave Response" might be a work of fiction (and yes, there are plenty of good reasons to suspect that it is, starting with the fact that Dan has faked stuff in his "true" posts before - something that Dan admits to in Andy's post). 

In thinking about whether or not Dan's post is a lie, I thought about some of the posts I've read lately, written by bloggers I like and admire. Warren's stories from Afghanistan. Seth's coming out of the closet. Schmutzie's breathtaking tale of how she came to terms with her identity. These are stories that have real power, because when a writer digs deep for the truth about him or herself, there's always an element of risk. Did Dan pull a fast one on us? Only Dan knows, and I suspect that he'll never tell. Does it matter that Dan or someone else else may have made up that teen's "brave response"? It does and it doesn't. There's a line from the movie Excalibur - also featured in a Metallica song - that comes to mind: "When a man lies, he murders some part of the world." Those who trivialize real struggle to score a few comments or pageviews are beneath contempt. But you know what? Ultimately, they'll be forgotten, relegated to the James Frey status that they've earned. The real stories will stay with us.


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