Bringing up a badass baby, part 1

11 Jun

We named her after Nina Simone. The Nina Simone of “Sinnerman.” The Nina Simone of “Mississippi Goddamn.” The red lights, white lines, smoke-filled lungs of forgotten night clubs in the French Gothic quarter Nina Simone.

My wife and I argue about everything, but we agreed on her name from the start. Beth wants her to be a dancer. Beth’s grandmother wants her to be a singer. My mother wants her to be happy.

And I want her to be a writer.

Simone is 19 months old. Some parents worry about their children’s college scores, professional prospects or first boyfriends. I simply want her to be cool. Not run of the mill cool, no. Top shelf, black label cool. Apocalyptically cool. Incinerate your neural synapses cool. Norman Mailer in the 1960s cool.

I have questions. I don’t know if this will work. At sixteen, will Simone care that Philip K. Dick is cool and Brian Aldiss most certainly is not? Will it matter if she can recognize a Truffaut film from a Godard? And, will all of this exposure to the good stuff simply result in an over-read nerd?

It’s time to get started.

This is a blog of the movies, books, music and comics that I hope to expose her to, why, and in what order. From the British New Wave to the Brothers Grimm, this is a staging area for how to create an interesting adult.  Reviews, lists, stories and hearty doses of me and my own neuroses—this is what you can expect to find here.

Of course, this isn’t really a blog about my daughter, although she’ll make appearances. It’s really about the (pop) culture that matters.

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