I am a new father. My daughter is just under 14 months old. Being a Dad is an amazing and rewarding and bizarre experience, especially since I have not accepted the fact that I myself am 36 (I still believe I am 17 but much, much cooler than I actually was at 17).

Good book

So when I saw this book called Alternadad by Mr. Pollack, it spoke to me. I picked it up, read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I know that Neal worked here in Philly for a while (which he chronicles in the book), although I am not sure which paper he worked for (it might have been the City Paper), but that was about all I knew of the man. He seemed down-to-earth enough to me.


Anywho, I keep seeing  these little articles and comments on the web and in print that paint him in a negative light and I am not sure why. Usually stories of dickiness and douchiocity rise to the top like antagonistic cream, but such tales about Mssr. Pollack I have not heard. Here’s the most recent from Gawker which takes a benign story about Neal’s son Elijah tasting cheese and turns it into a screed on how much of an asshole this kid will grow up to be.

I don’t get it.

If someone has any info on why they be hatin’ on Pollack, please let me know!

  1. Everyone does *not* hate Neal. Those gawker posts were written out of sheer laziness – the editors have a certain quota they have to make each day and Neal being a prolific writer and somewhat of a polarizing figure, makes an easy target. The editors who continue to bash Neal (and now his son) are the ones who don’t know him. And, to be fair, what they write is not meant to be taken seriously and they’re very quick to label anyone a “douche”. Neal is a popular guy who has been really supportive to a lot of writers – these snot nosed bloggers just haven’t been around long enough to know that, and sometimes they’re late for yoga and need a quick post that will get lots of comments. Full disclosure: I’m friendly with everyone involved, but I will call snot-nosed when snot-nosed is appropriate. And this last post yesterday was just over the line – it wasn’t even funny. There was nothing there to make fun of. Chalk it up to laziness though, not malice, even if it seems that way.

  2. Glad to hear that. I don’t know the man, but I grew to like him and his family based on his book. Thanks for the info Lindsay.

  3. igelje

    I fail to see how exploiting your kid to further your career isn’t a douche move. If you read Neal’s blog, I don’t really understand how you’d come to the conclusion that he is down to earth.

  4. First, “to exploit” is not always a negative term. It means both “make productive use of” and “to make use of meanly or unfairly for one’s own advantage.” He is making productive use of his son’s affect on his life, but he is not doing it in a mean or unfair way for his own advantage that is a detriment to his son. I see it as writing what he knows. Neal was greatly influenced and affected by the birth of his son and he wanted to write about it. I see nothing wrong with that both as a reader and a Father. If anything he is exploiting himself, because everything is from his POV. I have not read his blog so I cannot comment there. As I said in my post, I did read his book. Maybe “down-to-earth” was incorrect. Simple and practical he is not (he did start and tour with a rock band a few weeks after his son was born). How about straightforward, humorous and honest?

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