27 Ways to Be a Modern Man, A Burlesque

male figures in primary colors

[If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of running your eyeballs over Brian Lombardi’s “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man” in the New York Times, be sure to check it out. There is a ton of spoofing going on around the World Wide Web, natch. Dig Gothamist‘s “N+O Ways To Be A Post Modern Man.” Slate asks the question burning through all our minds, “Did the men of earlier eras scold their daughters for sneezing?” The National Review reminds us that “The modern man does not have confidence. He has only bourbon.” We have to go ahead and disagree with Unapologetically American though, “If the shoes came with a shoehorn, it is acceptable to keep one, but not to buy one.” We are entirely pro purchasing shoehorns, especially gorgeous shoehorns like these. Enjoy J.D.’s take, below. —Ed.]

“Modern Man”

Being a modern man is tricky, because “modern” means different things when applied to art or furniture, and “man” is a moving target considering outdated gender stereotypes and the zeitgeist of ongoing gender fluidity. But if you’re alive now you’re “modern,” and if you identify as a “man” then you are one. Remember, fashion never goes out of style, black is the new black, and think twice before doing anything your mommy or daddy would have smacked you for.

  1. When the modern man buys shoes for his partner, he has him/her try them on to make sure they’re comfortable and actually look as good on him/her as he/she thought they would when seen through the shop window.
  2. The modern man is like anyone else—confidence and insecurity wax and wane like fazes of the moon. He plays it cool or admits to vulnerability depending on his company.
  3. The modern man is considerate. To a fault. So if it’s the considerate thing to do, he’ll raise some fucking ruckus.
  4. The modern man might not eat steak if he’s a vegetarian. If he does eat steak, he eats it however the hell he feels like.
  5. The modern man drives if necessary but knows it’s pretty bad for the environment. “Parking” is a euphemism for making out with his boyfriend—it reminds Paul of high school.
  6. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he turns off all unnecessary electric devices. Because the environment.
  7. The modern man doesn’t drink much sodapop, because he wants to keep his waistline in check. If you’re a guest at his house, have a whiskey.
  8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “chopper” if he sees Zed’s ride in Pulp Fiction, “helicopter” if a guy is doing a dick trick at a club, and “hackwork” when he reads some bad writing.
  9. Having a daughter makes the modern man very, very proud. But he’s not a braggart about it.
  10. The modern man knows how to do dishes but, again, doesn’t make a big thing about it. Most ten year-olds can do the dishes.
  11. The modern man Tweets, Facebooks, or whatever depending on the demands of his occupation and his social circle. He learned how to text when dating depended on it, and you gotta do what you gotta do.
  12. The modern man bathes regularly. Which he’s been doing for so long he doesn’t really think about it.
  13. The modern man has his favorite bands, but is down to hear what you’re into.
  14. The modern man has a fondness for analog things like pen and paper, but man—having a computer in your pocket does make some things easier. You NEVER have to ask for directions.
  15. The modern man takes care of his hardwood floors, if he has any. He doesn’t think he owns anything by Kenneth Cole—maybe something cheap from back when Filene’s was still open?
  16. If he has a wife and children, the modern man lives in a reasonably safe neighborhood and makes sure his home is secure. He’s not a punk kid anymore, can’t be taking unnecessary risks.
  17. What’s a melon baller? Sounds like a really uncomfortable sexual position.
  18. If he owns formal leather shoes, the modern man owns a fucking shoehorn.
  19. The modern man buys fresh flowers because they liven up the room.
  20. The modern man likes to snuggle, sometimes. If his partner wants to, he will whether or not he’s in the mood.
  21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter unless she’s done something wrong, and then he tries to forgive her quickly. He wants to keep her “off the pole.”
  22. The modern man doesn’t walk out of his house half-naked like some gauche suburbanite. He drives to the corner and buys a newspaper, so he can get a cup of coffee.
  23. The modern man has seen some of Michael Mann’s films, all of Quentin Tarantino’s, and doesn’t like admitting that he may have seen some Michael Bay. Mostly, he’s all about Amazon Prime and Netflix.
  24. The modern man keeps a spare battery charger in his desk or his glove compartment, just in case. He doesn’t want to be out of touch with his family, and doesn’t want to be “that guy” asking for a phone charger at a bar.
  25. The modern man may have use for a gun, like hunting to feed his family or weekend target practice to blow off steam. He’s liberal about gun law reform, but knows not everyone with a gun is a fucking savage.
  26. The modern man cries when there’s a death in the family, a seriously bad breakup, extreme physical pain, or a dog dies in a movie. He doesn’t cry about sports events or mustard on a Kenneth Cole shirt because—come on, people. There are atrocities in Syria.
  27. The modern man is a capable enough dancer at weddings, etc., but he’s a little out of practice because of his busy work and social life, which prevents him from being showy about it. He doesn’t say “my jam,” because he’s not into retro slang.



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