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What is a modern man?

October 6, 2015

Recently, the New York Times ran an article where a male columnist made 27 declarations about what constituted a “modern man”. Now obviously many of these assertions were made with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but many of them also contained the germs of truth of what modern liberals believe to be the hallmarks of the modern man.

Here is my take on the 27 examples of what they think makes a modern 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.

The modern man knows his wife’s shoe size (how hard is it to remember a single number?), but he has no idea which brands run large or small. Keep the receipt whatever you buy for her, because inevitably she’ll return/exchange at least 50% of it.

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.

Pretty much true. Showing confidence inspires others to also have confidence, even if things are going badly. Nobody needs a ninny running around telling you the sky is falling, even if it is. Ok, the sky is falling… let’s deal with it!

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.

False. The modern man eats his popcorn any damn time he wants to, ruckus or not.

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.

False. The modern man does with his steak whatever he wants to do with his steak and if that includes cutting the fat off, then bully for him.

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.

True. The modern man could use the exercise anyways that comes from parking further away from the store!

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.

False. While sometimes the modern man will plug in a device that’s not his that he sees lying around withering away on its last electronic breath, he doesn’t make it a habit to correct the laziness of other people, because that will only lead to more laziness from them in the future. You want your device charged when you wake up? Plug it in yerself, bub!

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.

False. The modern man is a good host and takes his own ego out of the equation when he has guests. He accommodates his guests’ tastes by buying whatever sodas they prefer, but also tempts them to take it up a notch with a perfectly-made mixed drink of the harder variety!

8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example “helicopter”, not “chopper”, like some gauche simpleton.

False, because otherwise the modern man would never be able to scream in his best Ahhhnold voice: “Get to the chopper!!!”

9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.

True, but the modern man learns from his children no matter what sex they are.

10. The modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.

Of course this is true. What kind of savage puts wet dishes into a cabinet? A barbarian, that’s who!

11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.

True, although this isn’t exactly something one needs to roar from the mountain tops while pounding one’s chest, eh?

12. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.

Whatever brand of soap the modern man uses, he uses it until it the remnants of the bar disappears under the nubs of his fingers. Anything else is wanton waste and dilettante behavior.

13. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.

The modern man listens to music he enjoys, not the music that supposedly makes him look like he’s still “with it” or cool. He’s not. Our culture worships youth and the expiration date for his tastes has long ago passed. Live with it and move on.

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.

The modern man uses whatever tool is necessary to get the job done in the quickest and most efficient way possible. If that’s a grocery list in a phone, then so be it. If that’s carving the grocery list into a 2×4 with a Bowie knife, then so be it as well.

15. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.

Women and children stomp their feet when they get angry, not men, whatever shoes they’re wearing. As for choice of flooring, the modern man chooses according to his taste and his economic means. If that results in hardwood floors, then good on you, mate! If it’s Formica instead, then that’s fine too. As long as it’s not dirt, you’re ahead of the game.

16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closest 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.

The modern man doesn’t let the intruder breach the perimeter. And if one somehow does, the modern man shoots him dead.

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?

The modern man, again, has whatever tools are needed to get the job done in the quickest, most efficient way possible. If that means a melon baller is required, then so be it. If it’s a dull, plastic spoon, then so be that as well.

18. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.

If the modern man wants a shoehorn, he gets one. He doesn’t mope about ruminating on it like a woman. The modern man has better uses for his time.

19. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.

False. Most flower and jewelry purchases are to expunge the collective guilt of all the various sins we have committed against our wives/girlfriends, especially if you have one or more of each! 🙂

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.

False. This reminds me of the movie “Office Space”, when Peter asks his redneck, construction worker neighbor whether anyone at his work ever utters the phrase: “You’ve got a case of the Mondays”. The neighbor looks at him dead straight and then calmly intones, “Nah, man. I believe you’d get your ass kicked for saying something like that”. Exactly.

21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.

Well yeah, good job on not being an asshole for yelling at your child for an involuntary and uncontrollable SNEEZE! Geez!

22. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.

False. Do you also wind up your Model T before you go for a drive? There’s something called the Internet that is just chock-ful of news you can use, much more than can be contained in your little paper. Use it.

23. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).

False. However, the greatest shootout in the history of movies is contained in his movie, Heat. Horrible movie ruined by Ashley Judd’s whining and the downer ending, but that shootout after the bank robbery… delectable!

24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.

Somewhat true, although not having a fully-charged phone before you go out into the wilds shows a lack of preparation and planning.

25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.

Then that particular modern man, and his family, will be dead if the mask of civilization slips even a bit, which it ALWAYS does at some point. To blithely pretend that our current extremely ordered and protected world will continue ad infintium is the height of stupidity. It is the thinking of a gerbil, not a man.

26. The modern man cries. He cries often.

Perhaps the NYT’s modern man needs some meds! Men should cry only when someone whom they care about dies. It is also permissible during screenings of the movie “Atonement”, which is the height of tragic film-making.

27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the DJ plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.

False. The modern man, if he wants to actually reproduce, learns the basics of dancing and is uniformly competent in whatever is considered as the basic level of skill for current dance moves. Beyond that is pure peacockery or pursuing dance as an athletic pursuit (only the latter is permitted).

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