Pricing Praise

Naturally, I read quite a few other “dad blogs.”

I have about 15 of them in my RSS Feed Reader.  But lately there’s been something bothering me about the majority of them and, at the risk of alienating my padre peers of the pen, I’m going to talk about it for a moment.  And in doing so, probably torpedo any chance of becoming a full-time blogger myself.

It really bugs me that every one of these guys is for sale.


I say this because nearly every post that shows up on the “big name” dad blogs out there is sponsored by someone.

Wyndham Rewards offers free hotel stays.
MasterCard provides free tickets to sporting events.
Macmillan Publishing gives them free kids’ books.
Target pimps them out for back-to-school stuff.
Kia lends them free SUVs to use for road trips.
Carnival gives away week-long family cruises.
The list goes on and on.

Look, I get it.  Companies are offering complimentary products and fathers are simply taking them up on it.  So the dads get to do what they love doing (blogging), and concurrently take care of their family.  Who gets hurt?

[[This image removed due to copyright.]]

You know…for kids!  

To be entirely honest, I don’t have a good answer for you.  I guess no one?

But something about it just doesn’t sit well with me.  It feels like they’re commoditizing fatherhood.  And in doing so, they turn their kids into unwitting little puppets for online corporate theater.

I mean, after receiving a complimentary week’s stay in the Denver Hilton, are you really going to mention the rude guy at the front desk?

angryhoteldesk“Yeah?  I’ll tell you where you can put your goddamn pillow mints…”

No, he’ll become part of a glowing review of their staff’s efficiency and hustle.

Pool closed? 


Hilton shows their remarkable attention to the safety and health of their guests.

Lingering scent of stale ganja smoke in your room?

potheadhotelTwitter user “PHatNuGZ420” here just checked out this morning.

They’ll praise the hotel’s “local authenticity.

Now bloggers handwave all of this by including a canned disclaimer at the bottom of each page where they admit to being “compensated” for their review of whatever product they’re using their kids to shill.   “But!” they all quip, “the opinions stated are entirely my own!

The thing they don’t mention is that by “own” they mean those opinions have already been purchased, and they’re owned by someone else.

Okay, I think that’s enough self-righteousness for one Friday.

I’ll see you guys on Monday.


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