Teaching Notes for Daddy Issues:
Use in the classroom to discuss: system interfaces; schematics; dispassionate and impersonal authority; fatherhood; childhood; family dynamics; patriarchy; slapstick explorations of masculinity; Oedipal desires; animal personae; characters who are unrealistic/surreal yet believable/knowable; characters who make critical discoveries; characters in uncanny environments; (sur)realism; personal apocalypses; contemporary dystopias; political critique; atomic fragmentations; genre play and formation; humor; imagination; vivid worlds viewed through a very strange lens.
Pairs well with The Storm That Bears Your Name, Of Flesh and Fur, Mother Tongues.
Daddy Issues by Alex McElroy
There are oil slicks in a patrilineal line—spaces in which paternal securities and filial affections lurch and loosen. So how does a daddy make do? In Alex McElroy’s collection Daddy Issues, daddies mourn their children; daddies absent themselves from their children; daddies take the shapes of celebrities to steal away the disguised wives of their children. Sometimes, daddies burn in a barn. Through an accumulation of gears, string, and brute pectoral muscle, McElroy brings these daddies back to life that we may see them as they are, in all their splendor and flop.