The NYTimes has favored us with a piece by one Brian Lombardi of De Freaking Kalb Illinois, on “27 Ways to be a Modern Man“.
And I must have missed the vote when all of us guys voted for Mr. Lombardi to write up the spec sheet, and for that I apologize – but I will reserve my right to confirm or veto as appropriate.
And it is oh, so appropriate:
Being a modern man today is no different than it was a century ago. It’s all about adhering to principle. Sure, fashion, technology and architecture change over time, as do standards of etiquette, not to mention ways of carrying oneself in the public sphere. But the modern man will take the bits from the past that strike him as relevant and blend them with the stuff of today.
Although the “principles” Mr. Lombardi “adheres” to seem to be more about “being a modern NYTimes / MPR fan” than being a man.
1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.
It’s both harmless, good marriage tactics…and kinda trite, doncha think?
2. The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.
Yes, but John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart taught us this 80 years ago.
3. The modern man is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.
That’s a good one.
4. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.
Again – 50% “well duh” and 50% trite and cloying. I suppose it’s a little more couture than having a “princple” about bacon, though.
5. The modern man won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.
I can get behind this one.
Better still? The Modern Man doesn’t ever combat-park in a crowded parking lot.
6. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.
Spouse? Again, just good marital tactics.
Kids? Baloney. Kids gotta learn some things by themselves.
7. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.
Dr. Pepper is a cola?
And no. Just…no.
8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.
Seems like an odd litmus test, don’t you think?
9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.
Presumably Mr. Lombardi and his Times-reading friends are the first men ever to have daughters.
10. The modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.
I’m not a betting man – but I’d wager real money that when people beat Mr. Lombardi up in high school, the teachers figured it was justifiable.
11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.
No, Mr. Lombardi; the mondern man doesn’t know what “pinning” a tweet is.
12. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.
A quick reminder: this is being printed in the New York Times. The Newspaper of Record. All the news that’s “fit to print”.
Acres and acres of gatekeepers.
13. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.
I’m looking for the bourbon now.
14. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.
This modern man would buy a copy of the NYTimes on paper, and jot down his grocery list over Mr. Lombardi’s
15. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.
No man, modern or not, gives a rat’s ass about the brand of any shoes that doesn’t have steel reinforcement in the toes.
16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.
“Get away?” To where? Does the modern man’s bedroom have a back door?
And in view of Mr. Lombardi’s #25, we can presume that the Modern Woman is pretty much dead meat if an “intruder” comes through the door.
17. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?
Nothing about knowing how to navigate. How to make a plant grow. How to fix a flat or change his own oil.
18. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.
The modern real man has no shoes that need more than one hand to put on.
19. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.
In other words – the modern man has common sense?
Well, perhaps. Mr. Lombardi, on the other hand…
20. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down or vulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.
While there might be a place and time for being the little spoon, it’s got nothing to do with being any kind of a man.
21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.
One wonders what prompted Mr. Lombardi to discover this timeless, vital truth. Also, what is an apple doughnut?
22. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.
What the hell is this “newspaper” he’s yapping about?
23. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).
24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.
Words to live by.
25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.
Because the Modern Man is, apparently, expendable.
26. The modern man cries. He cries often.
No. Men do not cry.
That is all.
27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.
So according to the NYTimes, the “modern man” is is a slave to marketing, technically hapless, literally helpless.
I’m proud to be a Paleomale.
PS: A much better response, from Stephen Miller in NRO. All of them great – especially #27:
The modern man knows he can’t dance, and refuses to attend any event with a DJ instead of a live band, on principle
I can’t believe I missed that.
Next week: the real rules for proud paleo men.