#49 Handshakes

January 9, 2012 by

It has been theorized that Men are descended from apelike creatures, and that through a process called evolution Men emerged as a distinct species.  Darwin postulated that the most badass members of any species would survive, thereby passing on their genes.  He called this idea survival of the fittest.  It was ground breaking when he came out with it, circa 1963. While natural selection fails to explain a majority of Manly traits–such as the desire to drink alcohol, an innate understanding of internal combustion engines, an inability to cry outside of situations dealing with football, or a need for a loyal dog–we accept the theory because the premise (the Men who most ably spread their seed win in the end) makes Manly sense.  It also explains the source of a time-honored Mantivity: handshakes.

Handshakes are remnants of a time when Men could not communicate verbally, and thus were forced to use hand signals to say every day things like “I’m hungry!” (stomach rub) “I’m full!” (stomach pat) and “I’m going to kill you!” (throat slice).  A hand shake was a way for one man to say to another man “Hello, I am your friend, or at least I am not your enemy.  I have not come to steal your mate or your food.” In today’s world, handshakes are totally unnecessary, as we could communicate those things in any number of ways that do not require physical contact.

Yet handshakes have developed to be more than just a greeting.  A handshake communicates a lot about a Man.  For example, a Man who grasps your hand too tightly probably lacks self confidence.  However, a Man whose grip is weak and buttery probably lacks resolve.  A man who shakes your hands while holding your elbow is probably a slimy politician.

In recent years, new forms of hand shakes have emerged.  There is the “high five,” reserved for frat boys, computer programmers, and sports fans.  There is the Manshake, which we obviously favor.  Perhaps most versatile of all is the fist bump, which can be used in any number of settings including when seeing an old friend, after getting married, or while in the process of killing Osama Bin Laden.

Handshakes are a simple yet integral part of being a Man.  While they do not garner a high Mantivity score (1.7), it is important for every Man to have developed a good technique of the basic handshake, and to have a firm understanding of the other varieties of handshakes, as the handshake is a basic element of life as a Man.


#48 Wearing Armor

October 27, 2011 by

In the typical week of an average man, he will come face to face with a Mastadon, rescue a baby from a burning building, and overcome a terrorist attempt to hijack his presidential airplane.  In general, a Man will not be intimidated or fazed by the peril in which he finds himself on a daily basis, and will be glad that he does not spend his days knitting or ironing underwear.  Nonetheless, being cool headed as he is, a Man recognizes that there is a certain danger that comes with the territory, and thus he will take measures to ensure that if all does not go according to plan, he will live to see another day.  Wearing armor is one of the top five ways to do this, and maybe top three depending on where you stand on cryonics.

Armor comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Its most basic form is a tunic that fits over the torso, made out of a sturdy material such as iron or Kevlar.  From there it can be targeted to protect a Man from certain risks.  Some types of Armor, for example, are designed to protect a Man from gunfire.  Others are more helpful against barbarians.  There is even a type of armor, made out of latex, that protects a Man from perhaps the greatest threat of all.

Since there is so much variation in armor and its uses, there is no single score for wearing armor.  In fact, armor is generally a value added Mantivity.  If, for example, you are Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions,and loyal servant to the true emperor, and happen to be in the midst of getting your vengeance, wearing armor boosts your score from 4.6 to 4.8.  If you are quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, and you are wearing armor so that you will be able to walk after inevitably getting sacked nine times in a game, your score goes from a 3.3 to a 3.6 [Ed. Note: playing professional football, even for the Browns, is a solid Mantivity].

There are some important exemptions and exceptions to this Mantivity.  For starters, no, “Under Armour” does not count as armor and should not be worn except, well, under armor (looking at you, douche bag).  Secondly, it is sometimes a Mantivity not to wear armor when it would otherwise be expected.  Rugby players, for example, score bonus Mantivity points because they don’t wear armor.*  In general however, sporting something like this, even in a casual setting, is the way to go.

*The rule of thumb for not wearing armor is that, if the only reason you would wear armor to do a given activity is to prevent pain, and not to protect your life, then not wearing armor is a Mantivity.

#47 Farming

October 11, 2011 by

Scholars maintain that a turning point in human civilization was the moment we began to farm. It ended a brutal and time-consuming nomadic lifestyle, opened up a new source of nutrition and generated a new concept in everyday life: free-time.

This free-time fostered the arts, written history, useful inventions, and most importantly, spectator sports.

Farming has evolved over the thousands of years to become what is now a series of profoundly Manly tasks, especially for farmers in the United States of America (who by default, earn bonus points).

A typical day in the life of an American farmer: After going to sleep at around 11pm the night before, the farmer is awake at 430am. After putting on something created and sold by Carhartt, he heads out to begin his early morning chores, especially if he has dairy cows. If he has sons (he does), they join him. No talking is allowed, or desired for that matter.

Taking care of the cows is followed up a hearty breakfast, one that would typically cause a heart attack for anyone less Manly. After breakfast, the farmer puts in several hours of labor before sunrise, at which point a comment is made about what a pussy the sun is. The rest of the day is spent typically using large, combustible engine based motor vehicles, whether it is an F-250 or a John Deere tractor. Large amounts of things are moved to places they need to be. Neighbors (within ~50 miles) may come by to discuss important matters, such as the local deer population, and complete other tasks, such as borrowing massive power tools to fix fences or other badass and important shit. This is encouraged. The day ends with another visit to the cows, the local paper, another hearty meal, tobacco, whiskey, and perhaps a barely audible baseball game on the radio.

Farming is a high grade Mantivity. It demands extreme work ethic, lots of time outdoors, Manly clothing, and knowledge gleaned only by listening to and spending time with your father. Farming earns a 3.6-4.0 Mantivity score range. It is the backbone of civilization as we know it, much like Men.

#46 Not Understanding the Internet

October 9, 2011 by

Men are wise. This has been well established time and time again. However, not all humans are Men – in fact, not even all males are Men (although some females are Men). Therefore, things have been invented to help the non-Men of the world to survive without Manly wisdom. “The internet” is one of these things.

The general idea of “the internet” is that a bunch of people can talk to each other and send each other letters and movies and objects through their TVs, when they aren’t being used to watch the game or replays of the game on ESPN classic. It is also useful for Men who enjoy looking a nudy pictures, which, to be clear, is not a Mantivity (it should go without explaining why).

Despite the almost self-evident uselessness of such a device, Men are occasionally forced to talk about “the internet” or say things about “the internet.” Men who run for president, for example, must pretend to like “the internet” to garner votes from the non-Man voting block. Older Men, who have spread their seed and become Grandfathers (Mantivity), have to enter “the internet” in order to correspond with their descendants.

A Man who knows absolutely nothing about “the internet” earns a 3.3 Manitvity score, however, if a Man is forced to discuss or use “the internet,” he can maintain a decent score by not being very knowledgeable. Do not learn the proper use for terms such as “twitter,” “google,” and “social networking.” DO NOT USE EMOTICONS. Always talk about “the internet” as if it is imaginary and/or impossible. Do not refer to “favorite websites,” or “podcasts” or “search engines.” And most definitely, do not talk about “your blog” if for some reason you have a blog.

And if you do have a blog – make sure to update it infrequently. Perhaps once every two years would be appropriate.

#45 Being an Astronaut

March 21, 2009 by

Men like setting and achieving goals. Winning the tour de france seven times with one testicle is an example of a goal a Man might set. More difficult than that, however, is overcoming that age old foe of bi-peds: gravity. Let’s face it, gravity’s a bitch. Without gravity Man would be free to jump to the top of buildings for lunch, fly to Saudi Arabia for free, and skydive from the ground into a plane. Some Men get so pissed off thinking about the opportunities gravity has taken from them, that they decide to do something about it. They become Astronauts.

Besides the whole gravity thing, one of the main reasons Men become astronauts is that they get to wear super-hero like jumpsuits and they get to navigate spacecraft that Han Solo would have envied. Basically, this makes them 21st century cowboys, and cowboys rule. Man.

On top of all that, Astronauts are widely accepted as American heroes. Neil Armstrong, is the prime example of an astronaut turned luminary, but there are others as well. Take for example, Bruce Willis, who on June 1st, 1998 saved the world from impending destruction at the hands of an asteroid, and then went on to have a successful career making movies in Hollywood.

The Mantivity score for being an Astronaut is 4.1. This is assuming that you aren’t a space monkey and that you aren’t Russian. In either of those cases, your failure is so complete that you are disqualified from Manliness for life. Oh yeah, bonus points for usage of Manly astronaut phrases such as “Houston we have lift off,” “One small step for Man, one giant leap for Mankind” and “Beam me up Scotty.”

#44 Being President of the United States

February 16, 2009 by

Some Men lead.

Over the course of human history, there are moments of crisis and opportunity—in these moments, whether its the Battle for Troy or the Great Depression, the Man that often arises to lead us from the abyss to the mountaintop is the President of the United States.

While not every President has been a great Man, in fact some have really sucked, all have undoubtedly been a Man. In what other job are you required to have been born in the United States (Manly), maintain a posse of the best trained armed guards in the history of the world, and have a secret service code names like  “Renegade,” “Rawhide,” or “Timberwolf”? The most important duties of the President are epic speeches during a time of war, owning a dog, and once your plane is hijacked by ultra-nationalist terrorists, saving your family and killing all the terrorists.

Being elected President in America requires gravitas (Manly), the ability to comfortably drink beer with Frank (Man) in Indiana, and a love for fried food in Iowa (Manly). The most powerful Man in the world is often successful based on his ability to seem normal and un-elitist. America is the mostly Manly country in the history of the Universe, thus leading this great nation is a serious Mantivity.

In the end, being President of the United States of America earns a score of 3.2, regardless of what you accomplish during your time in office. Bonus points can be earned by winning a war, having sexual relations with that woman, and vetoing bills for Manly reasons, like the Speaker of the House said you wouldn’t dare.

Happy President’s Day.

#43 Snow Maintenance

January 23, 2009 by

Men are at war. We’re a conflict oriented being. Whether we’re waging battles against fascists, body odor, or Weight Watchers; we thrive on a good conflict. Fight the good fight, we say; but there are some battles that no matter how hard we fight, keep coming back. These battles are fought against our age-old, ever-persistent, Al Gore befriended enemy: the Elements. Whether it’s noble Americans fighting hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, lackluster wimps in France fighting a generous Mediterranean climate, or Bear Grylls eating raw eggs and drinking his own urine to survive, Men are consistently on the offensive.

Yet in the scope of these battles, there lies one front that showcases the toughest of all Men: the American Midwest. In these majestic states, Men are in a constant state of warfare with all the various elements—side-sweeping rain, wild wind, comfortable summertime breezes, and devastating blizzards. It is in this last category where an age old Mantivity lies.

Snow is like Communism. It touches and effects everyone in a community, it can cause car accidents and death, and it spends most of its time in USSR. Furthermore, when it comes rolling into the town, it’s up to the blue blooded men of the community to end it.

In the winter months, Men are called to face the “White Bear” at all hours, but probably at a time when the women in their lives demand it. Tackling this demon with only their shovels, machines, and less than helpful little brothers, these brave young Men develop skills that will take them to the big stage: owning a truck with a snow plow on the front.

While completely unnecessary, obtrusive, and obnoxious in all other seasons, and a sure shot of one’s economic status, the truck with snow plow attached is the epitome of Manhood in snow maintenance. These valiant Men attack the public streets of their community, or simply make the streets, any where they want to go.

The Mantivity rating for Snow maintenance is a 3.1.  The score is determined, in part, because of the low requirements necessary to own a truck with snow plow (namely, the ability to forgo the acquirement of a degree from an accredited four-year institution). Bonus points can be earned if you help strangers get their car out of the snow. This obviously never happens for Men because we own heinously large trucks with four wheel drive.

A Malfunction (unManly)

January 22, 2009 by

Those of you who subscribe to our RSS feed (Manly), I want to apologize. For reasons passing all understanding, a post from someone else’s blog popped up on ours. I let WordPress know and hopefully that kind of thing never happens again.

Again, we apologize and thanks for reading.

#42 Leading a Charge

January 10, 2009 by

War is gruesome and horrible. I do not condone war. In fact, I didn’t really even want to fight for Agamemnon, but 13th century AD Greece was really boring, so I did it anyways. My point is this: sometimes war is necessary. Sometimes good Men must gather in order to fight for honor and glory, and to stop genocide. When this happens, Men must rally together, even when things appear truly bleak. Say, for example, you are outnumbered 10 to 1, and your fellow patriots begin to retreat for fear of their lives. This is when a Man must lead a charge.

The proper technique for leading a charge is as follows: if you do not have a flag, hold your weapon, be it a sword, a rifle, or a hand grenade, one arms-length above your head. Begin shouting as you would if a bunch of pac-10 referees lost the game for you. Run directly at your enemies, preferably passing a bunch of retreating companions as you do. If you do have a flag, you must wave it in a figure 8 above your head, shouting either “America,” “Freedom,” or “Victory,” before following the previously described procedure.

The Mantivity score for leading a charge is 3.9. You can gain bonus points for charging uphill, charging in the midst of a fearsome snow storm, or charging into a hopelessly large army in the hopes that you can leap over the ranks to decapitate their king. We are also legally required to warn you that this Mantivity results in death nine times out of ten.

#41 Domesticating Animals

January 5, 2009 by

In the grand hierarchy of this world, there’s no question who sits at top: Men. Rational, maneuverable, passionate, nomadic, hungry—Men possess all the qualities that have placed them, and keep them, at the top. Men know life at the top can be dangerous; especially when the 2nd Place-ers are conniving for our demise, spending every waking moment eating each other and being filmed for documentaries—no, not women, rather the animal kingdom. That’s why Men have engaged in the age old Mantivity: the domestication of animals.

From the days of Homer, when Men were making horses their collective bitch, to the days of Medieval Europe when the nobility used foxes to hunt woodland critters, to the era of messenger pigeons in the 20th century; Men have been hard at work keeping those underlings in their place. img022

Yet it hasn’t been all fun and games for Men, sometimes we let the animals have some fun out of the graciousness of our being, see: Shamu the Whale. Sometimes Men find that they need to exert their power more frequently, that they need to have that constant reminder of their supremacy. In cases like these, Men will sometimes take on a pet for their home.

Ask any self respecting man on the street, and the animal they have is a dog. Why, you ask? Simple. Dogs are in the same family as Wolves, and Wolves are the most bad ass beings ever. Wolves are so bad ass, some men have even tried to be raised by them, just to get some pointers on life. Men tried domesticating wolves once, but found their constant howling at night and spontaneous blood-thirstiness slightly annoying. So we went for dogs, or as some have misnomered, “Man’s Best Friend.” Let me tell you something, dogs are our best friends because we let them be. And because they help us pick up chicks, sometimes.

Domesticating a dog can also be a good sign of one’s Manliness. Want to get a good feel for a fellow Man? Ask him what type of animal he has. German Shepherd? Awesome, beer me. Lhasa Ipso? Check your surroundings. A Cat? Run.

The Mantivity score for domesticating animals is a solid 3.4.   All Men possess the basic qualities to rule over animals: determination, brawn, bipedalism, opposable thumbs, etc… Yet some Men ignore their God-Given abilities, and live a life devoid of the good pleasures in this world, like buying a turtle, naming it “Woman,” and then partaking in expressions such as: “Get over here, Woman.” and “Eat up, Woman.” and the infamous, “Why are you so slow today, Woman?”