In advance of his new book coming out, writer Neal Pollack has dutifully turned his website into an ersatz parenting blog, complete with updates on his son Elijah's potty training. The poo hit the fans around November, and it wasn't/hasn't been easy. [Let me say, as a completely uninformed Gentile, that maybe you shouldn't be surprised if someone named Elijah doesn't take to his specially reserved seat in just a few months? I mean, how long have the rest of us been waiting?]
Anyway, Alternadad is Pollack's memoir of being a hipster dad, and without reading much more than the excerpt in today's NYT Magazine [which is pretty funny, unless you're Dan Zane], the book seems like a perfect storm of masochism for its author: His published parenting accounts so far--about being at wit's end when his kid gets expelled from pre-school for biting, for example--have brought him tons of criticism and grief. To flog his book, he's had to accept the media-friendly and self-respect-sapping mantle of "hipster dad," a phrase that a pre-kid Pollack would surely have mocked to no end. AND, to top it all off, he's putting out a memoir just as the whole genre has been tainted by the James Frey "but, but everybody does it, maybe I just did it a little bit more" lying scandal. [Pollack's acidic posts on scandal and the live Frey flaying on Oprah are pretty damn funny.] Sounds like a recipe for disaster, which, if he plays it right, could make for a great book launch.
Neal Pollack starts on potty training, and just keeps on going. [nealpollack.com]
"Preschool of Rock," an excerpt from Alternadad about rock music class [nytmag]
[Am I an ass to point out that while Amazon gives 2000 as the "original release date" for the VH1 CD of kidsong covers he mentions, For The Kids, its label and VH1 both give the release date as November 2002, by which point, hipsters--and their attempts to cling onto their hipsterdom--were already as common as the avian flu? Yes, I think I am. I want nothing but success and happiness for Pollack, his family and his book, and I look forward to reviewing it.]