Archive for the ‘Professions’ Category

#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.

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#45 Being an Astronaut

March 21, 2009

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

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

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.

#40 Baling Hay

December 17, 2008

Since the dawn of Man, there have been Men doing hard labor. Among these Men, there have been Men that were a cut above the rest—Men so chock-filled with testosterone, they make Sean Connery blush. These are your hay-balers. It takes a special kind of man to bale hay, the type of man who rises with the sun, and is only forced into quitting once the sun gives up, after a mere 26 hours. 2316340495_80316789f9_o

Well equipped with his family’s most cherished heirloom, Ole Jasper (their trusty pitchfork), this man attacks the field like TO to antidepressants; and, should some filthy tree-huggers threaten his constituency, Ole Jasper quickly evolves into an extension of the 2nd Amendment, storming the castle, town hall, etc, to quickly put down some radical new movement.

The Hay-Baler’s backbone lies not with in his back, but in his forearms. It takes massive muscles to be able to make shucking a 80 pound pile of compost into the back of a truck look like throwing dice.

The Mantivity score for hay-baling is 3.2. While the hay-baler earns big bonus points for spitting, physical fitness, owning multiple dogs, wearing overalls and flannel, and not being able to locate Yugoslavia on a map, he loses points for above average vocabulary size, knowledge of anything outside of the borders of his state (should be in the Midwest) and the usage of any sort of hay-baling machine/robot.

#37 Being an Auto Mechanic

September 24, 2008

It is normal in today’s day and age for the owner of an automobile to know relatively little about his machine. Carburetor? Who needs one. Fuel-injection valve? Sounds useless. This is a bad sign for society, and for our national security. Fortunately, there is a brave class of Men who still have great respect for the internal combustion engine and the wonderful things it does. These Men are called are auto mechanics.

There are several characteristics necessary if one is to be an auto mechanic. The first is grease – on the hands, smudged across the face, ingrained in the hair. The fact is that being a mechanic is a dirty job, and any kind of effort to avoid or deny this fact negates Mantivity status. The second characteristic is a vocabulary far wider than the average person – including words like gudgeon pin, gasket, and torque. The final characteristic is a complete and utter nonchalance in the face of all circumstances, as unexpected or as infuriating as they may be. Nonchalance is always Manly, but when a forty year old lady screams at you that there is no way it should cost over 1000 dollars to replace the transmission on her Volvo station wagon, it takes something extra not to lower yourself to violence.

The Manitivity score for being an auto-mechanic is a 3.3. The important thing to note about this score is that it applies to a very specific definition of “auto-mechanic” – that is: a person who, regardless of circumstance, would not decline an offer to assist his neigbor with car related issues, and in pursuit of said assistance, would not fail to say “Let’s see what we got here,” as he pops the hood of his neighbor’s vehicle. Note that this does not necessarily mean he is a professional mechanic, merely that he could be, if he were not employed in some other fasion.

#33 Playing the Drums

July 17, 2008

Music is confusing to Men. Sometimes, it makes them feel “emotions,” an experience which can be upsetting and infuriating for a Man who just wants to watch the game. Other music makes them want to sing and dance, which can be embarrassing and unManly. One source of music, however, has always made logical sense in the mind of Men: the drums.

The fact is, playing the drums is much closer to getting in a bar fight than it is to singing or blowing on a flute. It takes focus, power, and some deeply buried source of anger (messed up childhood, addiction to cocaine, the inability to find a favorite wrench, etc). Man’s natural reaction to anger is to pound on things – doing this with rhythm is just taking it one step further.

The Manliness of drumming can be traced back to the days when wars were decided by who was more pissed off. Leaders of Men found that drums were capable of whipping certain Men into a frenzy that transformed them into unstoppable forces on the battle field. The Men that had this reaction to the drums died less often than the Men who felt nothing when drums were played. Natural selection did the rest.

The Mantivity score for playing the drums is 2.8. Generally, a drummer’s appearance does not matter, he should just avoid looking like a douche bag (ie, if you are a beginner, or just untalented – don’t take your shirt off when you play, that looks stupid). Bonus points can be earned if your drumming causes fights or if you are using atypical apparatus, like a trash can or a set of human skulls.

#30 Driving a Semi

June 6, 2008

On the highway, semi trucks are big, usually slow, and always driven by Men. When the semi truck was first invented in the mid 20th century, a Man saw it and said “I need to drive that right now.” That is just how it works with semi trucks and Men. (it also explains why tonka trucks are the most widely sold Man-in-training toy in the history of the world.

The thing about a semi truck that makes driving one so Manly is that it is literally unstoppable, figuratively. If we take a look at Newton’s law of momentum, p=mv, where p is momentum, m is mass, and v is velocity, we can see that semi trucks, with a mass of 1 billion megapounds, are very momentous objects when in motion. This is what subconsciously draws a Man to them.

Being a semi truck driver tends itself to a very Manly lifestyle. While truckers enjoy a lot of solitude (Manly in and of itself) they also get to do on a daily basis such things as hang out at truck stops, flick off prius drivers, wear cut off flannel shirts, and chew tabacco. Obviously, this is a Manly lifestyle.

The Mantivity score for Driving a Semi is 3.5. You can earn bonus points by having a name like “Hank,” and for hauling especially Manly objects, like Pabst or recently logged trees. Also, if you are a real semi truck driver, and you see someone else who obviously doesn’t drive trucks wearing a “trucker” hat, punch him in the face, so the hat falls off.

#22 Speaking Over the Intercom

April 22, 2008

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is your captain speaking.” Almost all of us have experienced this moment; the moment a Man, using one of the most explosive substances on the planet, flies a 34 ton piece of aluminum, 35,000 feet above the ground, and tells us about it with an icy cool. Few Men get the opportunity to come over an intercom system, but when that chance arrives, they should know they are in good company.

Manly uses of an intercom system include a pilot on commercial airlines, a stadium announcer at a sporting event, and inspiring speeches right before the largest aerial battle in the history of Mankind. The proper etiquette for intercom use is paramount, as improper use can result in the disintegration of the Mantivity status associated with this activity. Men should have a natural non-chalance and confidence in their voice that both relaxes those in its range yet inspires them to believe. Men shall not use the intercom with seriously varying levels of vocal inflection, nor shall they be anything but short and to the point; talking to much over the intercom detracts from the overall Mantivity rating.

A man comes over an intercom and says “the local time is 3:52 in the afternoon, temperature is 42 degrees; we hope you enjoy your stay in Chicago”, or “eight yards gained on the play, first down”. If the Man adheres to proper etiquette then the Mantivity rating for speaking over the intercom is 3.2. Men should be wary of saying unManly things when using an intercom, they become exponentially more public and thus, even more unManly. Do not, under any circumstances, sing Sir Mix-a-lot over the intercom, for this is childish and rude.

#20 Being a Father

April 11, 2008

A great deal of Men feel compelled to further the code of Manliness by bringing a child into the world. We suggest a Man-in-training for the first born. We do not in anyway believe that raising a daughter is any less rewarding or less Manly. However, by having the Man-in-training first, over 50% of the father’s duties are assumed by the Man-in-Training at the age of sixteen. Some of those passed on duties include: lawn mowing, undertaking elementary Man-projects, and threatening violence towards the boyfriends of younger females in the family.

Fatherhood requires patience, dedication, and the ability to teach and pass on family customs of Manliness. These traditions vary, but they range from dress-code to grilling techniques, from how to pee standing up to when and how to get into a fight. While things like instruction on the best way to tie a knot are important, teaching is only half the battle. The direct role the father plays in his child’s life is equally paramount.

With daughters, fathers should encourage the pursuit of whatever the girl has an interest in, be it sports, art, music, scholastic pursuits, or interior design. With Men-in-training, fathers should accept their son’s choices, but particularly celebrate the pursuit of athletics, especially with Manly sports (ie football, hockey, etc).

An effective way to do this is by being the coach of the Man-in-training’s 5th grade team. There is almost no limit to how seriously the father can take his position as coach, including demanding that his son refer to him as coach during the season regardless of circumstances. If the Man is not the coach, he must be a loyal and knowledgeable fan, perhaps unofficially assuming the position of assistant coach for games. Note: Using the “coach” technique to encourage sports for a daughter is equally effective.

Quality fathering scores a 3.4 on the Mantivity rating system. The score is dependent upon the caliber of the child at the age of 18, the capacity of the child to father when their time comes, and how whole-heartedly the child believes his dad was a Jedi Knight earlier in life.