Last week, the august New York Times published an oddly Buzzfeedian piece titled “27 Ways To Be A Modern Man.” The piece ran with a straight face, in the Men’s Style section under the “Self Help” tag, despite its content…not…making any sense? Among the 27 ways were plainly contradictory aphorisms, such as commanding the Modern Man to be both a stoic block of wood and sniffling shudder of sensitivity. There were odd brand plugs for Dr. Pepper and Irish Spring as well as a bizarre exhortation to own all of director Michael Mann’s film on Blu Ray.
The internet had no idea what to make of it. The Daily Caller, hearty dollop of cant-infused sour crème fraîche, worried about the STATE OF MASCULINITY. The National Review (of all places) had a pretty great call and response takedown. The San Fransico Chronicle took it a step further with their own regional, super on the nose, “27 Ways To Be A Modern San Francisco Man.” (Sample: 11. Crying isn’t taboo for the modern S.F. man: He’ll gush infinite public tears when he finds out the guy he wrote off at the incubator got more startup funding than he did.)
So was the Modern Man piece a cynically incomprehensible ploy for clicks? A misguided assessment of contemporary culture? A peg for a million blog posts? Can’t it be all three?! Here in the ALTTAB Dome, we tend to see it more in the misguided, but earnest, cultural assessment light. But we think it was only misguided because it tiptoed around a number of truths about the Modern Man, truths that only we at ALTTAB have the guts to publish. What follows is a correct list: 27 Ways To Be The Modern Man’s Modern Man:
- The Modern Man listens to music as a means to communicate his social status. He doesn’t care if he likes it; he cares if people overhearing him listening perceive him to be cool. He accomplishes this by publicly playing mid-90s gangsta rap or any rock band that is more than 20 year old’s “early stuff.”
- If the Modern Man attends a party where he knows no one and he engages the host in a less than perfect introduction handshake, he will quietly leave the party, change clothes, part his hair on the other side of his head, and try again.
- The Modern Man still buys movies on Blu Ray and says he does this because he is very discerning about picture and audio quaility. He nevers states the real reason: he cancelled his Netflix subscription after a female friend commented on the number of 2000s-era National Lampoon movies in his watch history.
- The Modern Man tried to read that “The Case for Reparations” story everyone was talking about last summer, but it was just soooo long.
- The Modern Man visits The Chive for the chairities.
- If the Modern Man attends a wedding, he will make sure to tell the groom that at least one of the bridesmaids is hot because hot girls like to hang out together and this is a good way to compliment the bride’s looks without coming off like a creep.
- If the Modern Man is invited to a same sex wedding, he will happily attend because it looks super good to be someone who happliy attends same sex weddings.
- The Modern Man is sticking with Grey’s Anatomy because he watched the first season in 2005 with his ex and in the back of his mind he still holds out hope that she’ll get back in touch someday.
- The Modern Man can do ten pushups.
- The Modern Man owns an acoustic guitar and knows the chords to one song by heart.
- The Modern Man feels the observation that the color green you’re seeing could be different from the color green he’s seeing is profound and he doesn’t understand why so many people mock that idea.
- The Modern Man has one picture he took with his phone that just turned out so much better than every other picture he’s ever taken. Whenever he looks at it, he thinks about buying a DSLR.
- The Modern Man will always offer an apology wave when cutting off someone on the highway.
- The Modern Man feels a strong response to the movie Fight Club, though at this point in his life he is not sure whether he feels more resonance with Brad Pitt or Edward Norton. He hates this and hasn’t rewatched the movie since the feeling first popped up several years ago, in marked contrast to the weekends in his early 20s when it used to always be on in the pre-party background.
- The Modern Man cannot support gun control regulations because he really likes the connotations of the phrase “Castle Docrtine.”
- The Modern Man owns a high end $70 laser level stud finder.
- The Modern Man does not understand the point of leather soled dress shoes.
- The Modern Man likes the sound of “I’ll have an IPA,” but he prefers the taste of Carona and he orders a Guiness.
- Does the Modern Man stop and help when someone asks him for directions? What do you think? The Modern Man already puts so much pressure on himself to find his own way, he has no time for someone already lost.
- The Modern Man stays current with the latest smartphone technology but he refuses waste his time to learn to use it for more than making phone calls and sending texts and playing Candy Crush.
- If the Modern Man has moved around the country, he will cheer for the local football team. But he will only get a tattoo of his hometown football team.
- The Modern Man’s shower has a hinged glass door. He has moved beyond shower curtains and sliding glass doors and other immature things.
- When moving amid a crowd, the Modern Man will simply say “‘scuse” and press his way through.
- The Modern Man owns at least one moisture wicking, Dri-Tech, high performance TuffProKombat Level 4 athletic shirt.
- The Modern Man talks to his stock broker at least once a week so he can stay up on all the latest information about his market performance.
- The Modern Man cries. He cries often.
- On occation, the Modern Man will order something other than a burger at a restaurant. He always regrets it.