I’ve been thinking a lot about just what makes a man: everyone has a different idea. The folks at The Art of Manliness use Teddy Roosevelt as a starting point, and if you’re going to go for the übermanly, that’s probably a good starting point. (Roosevelt was the victim of an assassination attempt while on his way to a speech; the bullet lodged in his ribcage but he insisted on giving the speech before going to the hospital. I don’t think even Hunter S. Thompson could top that.)
The design is old-timey and not-slick, the front page features a Barber Shop Locator, and patrons are encouraged to perform “DIY marriage counseling” and write actual paper letters. Using stationery. And I presume a fountain pen. Not to mention that they feature one of the few tributes to General George S. Patton that, while done primarily using the motivational-poster même the kids find so hot right now, uses actual photos of General George S. Patton and not actor George C. Scott playing Patton in a movie.
But what caught my eye was their recent series, 30 Days to a Better Man. From defining your core values to inspecting your undercarriage in a Lance Armstrong-approved manner to entrusting Sweeney Todd with your whisker removal, you should definitely feel more manly (if not more up-to-date) by Day 30. Not many wrong notes in the batch, although I expect that the emphasis on letter-writing might get a tad uncomfortable for most wisecracking sitcom babies (myself included), and not just because computer keyboards have shot our handwriting to hell.
They choose boxing over Krav Maga, Frederick Douglass over Donald Trump, and a stiff shot of scotch over a Jäger Bomb – the very definition of “keeping it real.” Give it a shot.