As the crisis of American masculinity enters its sixth decade, we’ve gotten pretty good at identifying the ways patriarchy prevents men and women alike from reaching their full potential. But we haven’t been quite as diligent in keeping track of the ways it can empower men and women alike to reach their full potential, at least in the narrow but important field of being completely mortified when their fathers sing along to Prince’s “When Doves Cry” while driving them to school. Check out the off-the-charts dad energy in this video from actor Jerry O’Connell:
O’Connell’s sensitive and moving portrait of embattled fatherhood is a timely reminder that the qualities of masculinity we decry for turning the planet into an abattoir—aggression, arrogance, off-key singing—are the exact same qualities that allow fathers to force their children to listen to high-volume renditions of Prince songs even when, as one of O’Connell’s daughters desperately points out near the end of the video, they are close to the high school. On the other hand, those are also the qualities that turned the world into an abattoir, so perhaps the lesson here is not that we should reassess masculinity yet again, but instead that we should provide everyone more opportunities to sing along with Prince when other people would prefer that they did not. To help build this brave new world, here is the music video for “Gett Off” for you to sing along with during your next drive to school, workday, or family member’s funeral:
This is what it feels like when doves cry!
Here are Jerry O’Connell’s complete comments on the subject of whether or not Prince’s 1984 single “When Doves Cry” is real music that his children should listen to:
Me and—how can you just leave me standing—this is real music!—alone in a world that’s so—THIS IS REAL MUSIC, LISTEN!—Maybe I’m just too demanding—LISTEN TO IT!—Maybe I’m just like my father, too bald. Maybe I’m just like my mother—guys, stop it!—she’s never satis—she’s never satisfied .