Introducing Kindling Quarterly, the magazine of boutique SWPL fatherhood. Excerpt from the NYT account:
The magazine seems to seek young, urban creative types, both as subjects and as readers. It is bound like a book and opens with an essay by Mr. Perez about his “desire to explicate the creative project that is fatherhood.”
There’s a fashion spread featuring Christopher Cole, a co-owner of Brooklyn Fabrication, which designs and builds store displays for the fashion industry. He is photographed wearing a Coos Curry cardigan (retail price: $420) and carrying a chocolate brown Lotuff leather tote ($750).
If all this might seem rather precious, Mr. Perez and Mr. Heffner have heard that before.
“We actually said at our first meeting that if we make this pretty, somebody’s going to accuse us of being hipster dads,” said Mr. Heffner, 32, whose long beard and thick black glasses, and his borough, might make the accusation seem accurate.
“This whole hipster thing seems like an empty demarcation,” said Mr. Perez, also 32.
Most of the fathers in Kindling Quarterly’s first issue live or have lived in Brooklyn. They grow their own food, describe cooking as “an immediately satisfying creative project,” and use the word “source” as a verb.
I know. I know. The apotheosis of twee. The jokes write themselves. And yet:
Yet beneath the stereotypes, Kindling may be an expression of a new type of fatherhood. Many younger men seem ready to set aside not only traditional roles while avoiding becoming the hapless, and often helpless, stay-at-home fathers lampooned by Michael Keaton in the 1983 film “Mr. Mom.”
“There’s a strong community of engaged dads that are no longer bashful or embarrassed by taking on domestic roles,” said Robert Duffer, editor of the dads and families section of the Good Men Project, a Web site. “Times have changed.”
I think this is a good thing, a very good thing. I very much like the way the culture has changed to allow for, and even to compel, fathers to be more involved in the lives of their children and to have a more direct role in the running of the household. When there are fathers in the household, that is.
Seriously, as silly as the Kindling aesthetic seems to be, in a time in which so many children are growing up without fathers in their lives, you don’t want to discourage anybody who is promoting the opposite. Go, SWPL Daddy, go!
Besides, though Your Working Boy sits in his armchair thousands of miles from Portland and Williamsburg both, wearing a moth-eaten sweater he bought at Banana Republic 12 years ago instead of a Coos Curry cardigan, he must agree that cooking really is an immediately satisfying creative project. So there.