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"The Other F Word": Doc Gives Confusing, Amusing Lessons on Fatherhood 

Wednesday, Nov 16 2011

Flea almost cries. Twice. There's your four-word summation of The Other F Word, a half-poignant, half-absurd documentary on punk-rocker dads that thrills to the sight of, say, Rancid's Lars Frederiksen, who looks like a tattoo parlor and a Claire's fell on him simultaneously, sauntering over to a playground with his young son as every other parent and kid in a two-mile radius flees in terror. Fathers from Black Flag, Blink-182, Total Chaos, the Adolescents, and so forth strike similar poses. Electrifying conclusion: "Being there for your kids is the punkest thing of all." This is not an inherently ridiculous premise. Punks apparently have uniformly awful childhoods, and the plight of Everclear's Art Alexakis, who has written legitimately moving songs (seriously) about trying to give his own kids the peace and stability denied to him, has genuine weight. Alas, way too much of F Word is devoted to holding Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg's hand as he (very slowly) realizes that perhaps he should stay at home to watch American Idol with his three daughters. True, most of these dudes seem like reasonable, warm-hearted people exuding the same air of bewildered semi-competence as all parents, really, but that's boring. So you start rooting for the outliers: half-deranged NOFX frontman Fat Mike, for example, or the BMX pro who deposits his baby in a crib with all the delicacy of a gorilla throwing a frozen turkey down an elevator shaft.

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Rob Harvilla

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