Author Archive

#47 Farming

October 11, 2011

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.


#44 Being President of the United States

February 16, 2009

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.

A Malfunction (unManly)

January 22, 2009

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.

Profiles in Manliness: Joe the Plumber

January 4, 2009

“Profiles in Manliness” is a special feature in which we celebrate some of the Manliest members of society.

During a major election year, public discourse becomes centered on national politics. It’s up to public leaders and candidates to speak directly to the American people about the major issues affecting Mankind, hopefully in moments like this.

However, every election season, someone emerges that surprises the nation, speaking to the problems and dreams of many Americans. This year, one Man rose to that challenge:  Joseph Wurzelbacher, commonly referred to as “Joe the Plumber”.800px-samuel_joseph_wurzelbacher

Joe captivated a nation when he publicly confronted Barack Obama about his slight increase in marginal tax rates for small business owners making 250,000 a year or more. Regular Americans, making nowhere near 250,000 a year, looked past his pathetically misguided support for the Ohio State Buckeyes and heralded Joe the Plumber a Man of the people (Manly). Its more Manly to stick to your guns and state over and over again that higher tax rates are simply unAmerican, especially when the other explanation uses erroneous and left-wing devices like data and evidence.

Joe was also a Man because his profession. Joe was a plumber, but even more Manly, he wasn’t actually a plumber. This is a rich tradition in Manliness—acting without instructions or formal training to complete Manly tasks, whether its plumbing, fixing your car, or killing every terrorist on your plane and saving your family.

Joe became an American icon in one media moment—a Carhartt wearing, untrained professional plumber with dogs. Despite Joe being a raging idiot in many ways, he was undoubtedly, a Man. For that, Joe the Plumber, we salute you.

Welcome, Mark Twain.

December 17, 2008

Mantivities officially welcomes a new Man to the staff, Mark Twain. A great American hero, Twain will add a new style, new grace, and more posts to the Mantivities institution. We hope you enjoy his work. We do.

Thanks to our readers.

Boone & Achilles


#36 Tailgating

September 5, 2008

Ceremonies are important parts of a Man’s life. Sometimes, Men need to prepare for these ceremonies by drinking beer, grilling meat, and shouting indiscernible things at people wearing what is deemed the “wrong” color. In modern times, this series of events has developed a name—Tailgating. However, Men everywhere know that this timeless tradition dates back to the time of Crogmanon Man, who would prepare for bi-weekly Wooly Mammoth hunts by stabbing himself with hot iron spearheads and throwing rocks at the inferior Neanderthals. Direct evidence of this evolution can be found at college campuses during rivalry week.

Tailgates allow a Man to drink, eat unhealthy (Manly) foods, and act like a general idiot alongside his companions. Most of the time, tailgates occur as a lead-up to important sporting events, especially football. This is appropriate and society accepts it as such. However, if shielded from society’s scorn, Men would tailgate before 3rd grade soccer games, high school graduation ceremonies, and funerals.

It is important to adhere to a strict code of conduct during these tailgates. The host of the tailgate should provide food and beverage to the guests, who can be old friends or passer-bys that happen to be wearing the right color for the upcoming ceremony. (In the case of a funeral tail-gate, indiscernible shouting should occur in the general direction of those wearing white or pink. Beers should be distributed to those in black.) Above all else, it is important that the tailgate not forget its ultimate objective:  preparation for the ceremony occuring after the tailgate—tailgates lacking purpose lose tailgate status. But hanging around for no reason, grilling, and drinking is a Mantivity all on it’s own.

A well-thought out tailgate, with sufficient food and beverage, and the appropriate level of intensity and enthusiasm for the upcoming ceremony receives a Mantivity score of 3.7. Bonus points are earned if this is who shows up at your tailgate.

#34 Obtaining Scars

July 25, 2008

Over the course of a Man’s life, he does a lot of things that leave marks on his skin. These marks can be burns, bruises, and most important of them, scars, which last the longest and therefore provide the most time for a Man to discuss the Mantivity that undoubtedly left the mark. The two tenets of obtaining scars are the Manliness of the activity that led to its obtainment and how the Man discusses the scar.

There are many different types of scars, each from a different cause. A common scar is one resulting from a surgery. Typically, this is not Manly, though there are some qualifications to that, like if the surgery is performed without anesthesia, with a buck knife in the wild, or if the surgery is performed 20 feet from live combat. Scars obtained over the course of a fight are typically more Manly than surgerical scars, and can be among the most Manly, depending on the reason for the fight, the location, and the outcome. If the fight occurred over something like a poorly reserved seat, then the scar is automatically pathetic. But if the fight occurred over the greatness of America or spilled Pabst, then any scars obtained from the battle are legitimate. Almost all Mantivities above a 4.0 score leave scars on the Man completing them, and this is appropriate. If you climb Mt. Everest and walk away unscathed, then you were most likely carried to the top (unManly).

Just as important as the Mantivity which caused the scar, is the way the Man handles scar-discussion in various contexts. As with all Mantivities, nonchalance is of the utmost importance. Regardless of what happened, the event which caused the scar, as painful as it might have been, inflicted minor discomfort and nothing more (for example, if you got a massive burn saving a baby from a fire, you don’t even remember the pain, you just wanted to get the child out of there). A Man should never bring up his own scar. This is simply bad form and ends any opportunity for legitimate nonchalance during the discussion, thus eliminating a major component of the Mantivity.

Obtaining scars is a Mantivity with a larger range, but most scars, if they are the result of a Manly source and the discussion is executed correctly, fall between 1.5 and 4.0. The general rule is that the score cannot be higher than the score of the Mantivity which resulted in the scar itself, though there is an exception. If the scar is intense but caused by an unManly moment or activity, like tripping, cleaning, accidentally hitting your head, or cutting yourself while slicing strawberries, then it is wise for a Man to recall something he did that could have caused the scar, but didn’t, like the story of the wild boar he wrestled in the African Savannah.

#32 Giving Directions

July 8, 2008

Since before dinosaurs roamed the earth, Men have survived using a sense of direction that is encoded in their genetic make-up. Blindfolded, spun around 30 times, and then dropped from an airplane into a thick forest, a Man will always know which direction is North, regardless of his accuracy. Today, Men use their geographic mastery of world to help all who ask, using hand gestures and nonchalance.

It is important to begin with the proper technique for giving directions; this, of course, is dependent upon the scenario. If a Man is giving directions to a woman, then he must provide lots of information, perhaps even write down some of the highlights. For example, if he is assisting a woman, an effective set of directions might be: “Drive 4 blocks up this street (a crisp yet understated full hand point is paramount), get on to Interstate 80 Northbound until you get to Kenosha, then hop on 275 Westbound and you’ll get to Oshkosh about 40 miles down the road, I believe the exit is 157B”. However, for a Man, a simple version will suffice, “Hop on I-80 and then take 275 and then you’re there”. This provides the least amount of information while still conveying the point. Men should be capable of delivering both sets of directions.

Though all Men will get lost in an area unfamiliar to them at some point in their lives, Men also understand that because of time commitments, women, and children, it is sometimes necessary to ask another Man for directions, though most Men would instead prefer to break out their compass and find their way using nature. A common myth is that Men refuse to ask for directions out of pride. This is false, it is simply a part of the Male system to find your way without assistance. When a Man asks for directions, the provider should perceive the geographic assistance they give simply as a refresher for the Man who simply is unable to find his destination the natural way.

Any Man should have a vague sense of where things are at all times, and in unfamiliar surroundings it is expected that he has at least read a map (future post) before reaching uncharted territory. Also remember: even if a Man has no idea where he is, if he is asked for directions, he should act like he knows the area like the back of his hand – it does not matter if he directs confused tourists into a dangerous part of town. An effective and succinct set of directions, including at least one local highway, for a fellow Man scores 2.9 Mantivity score. Bonus points can be earned if you are providing geographic assistance to a Man who has a Manly duty to complete or if you can fit in at least one spit and grunt in during the process.

Profiles in Manliness: Steve Irwin

June 14, 2008

“Profiles in Manliness” is a special feature in which we celebrate some of the Manliest members of society.

For his honeymoon, Steve Irwin took his wife crocodile hunting. On his sixth birthday, he was given a 12-foot scrub python. Steve’s name is Steve. In this profile in Manliness, we celebrate a Man whose life was tragically shortened but set a bar to help guide all Men.

IrwinSteve Irwin was born in Australia to parents who ran a reptile park. Steve grew up feeding the lizards, playing tag with the crocodiles, and practicing his wrestling abilities with giant komodo dragons. Eventually, Steve took over the park, dabbled in filming nature series, and soon became world-renowned for his ridiculous outfit, the phrase “Crikey!”, and his fearless assaults upon alligators and crocodiles across planet earth. It is extraordinarily Manly to wrestle an alligator while explaining the most effective techniques for defeating the ferocious animal to your loyal viewers. The explanation-during-execution standard applies to other Manly things, exhibited clearly by the television program “This Old House”.

Steve spent a lot of his time and money working to save the environment. As discussed earlier, sometimes it is a Man’s duty to burn fossil fuels and cut natural things down. Its not inherently Manly to destroy the environment, nor is it inherently Manly to protect it. Steve just happened to be really into wrestling ferocious things and if Men wiped out all these animals, Steve would be without a hobby. As such, Steve’s conservation efforts were guided by self-interest and not by a weakness for cute rabbits or something.

Unfortunately, Steve was lost doing what he loved. Steve was swimming off the Great Barrier Reef during filming for a likely awesome series on wrestling things that would kill the unManly, and as he approached a stingray, the animal sent its barbed tail directly through his heart. Even though Steve pulled the barb out his heart (Manly), it was too late and the world lost a fearless Man. Steve Irwin, we salute you.

#29 Drinking out of the Carton

June 2, 2008

Often, Men get thirsty. After exerting energy for an extended period of time, a Man needs to find something to quench the dryness in his throat and to prevent dehydration. Water is typically the most suitable liquid to accomplish these things. It has no flavor, its refreshing, and can be poured all over a Man’s head if the heat requires it. The vessel in which the liquid is stored in is important. Anything like this is utterly inappropriate. Liquid containers such as wrought iron chalices, cans made by union dudes, or gloriously frosty mugs are superior. But perhaps the Manliest way to quench a Man’s thirst is by drinking straight out of the carton.

Carton here can refer a milk-style carton or even a plastic gallon jug. The gallon jug is a Man-favorite, as it is used widely as a container for various liquids, including water, and it can be refilled with other Manly beverages. When a Man does get thirsty, he needs to re-hydrate quickly. Often, there is no time to find a smaller container to hold a Man’s beverage and he needs to drink straight out of the carton. This is typically disgusting to women, which is almost always bonus Mantivity points.

The Mantivity score for quenching thirst this way is 2.8. A Man can most easily earn bonus points by spilling all over his shirt and the floor or ground beneath him. If disgusted women are present, the score increases if any type of scolding is completely ignored. Points are subtracted if the Man fails to grunt or make noise announcing his satisfaction. It is also recommended, if at all possible, to make drinking out of the carton part of your Sunday or Saturday morning routine. There is no better way to kick off a day of lawn mowing and installing things than to roll out of bed and take a long deep swig straight from the carton.