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Chad Love: Tools and Pocketknives

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January 28, 2009

Chad Love: Tools and Pocketknives

By Chad Love

As well-read, worldly and sophisticated as I obviously am, I've never been a big fan of Esquire magazine. Mostly because - like most of the genre -  it's little more than a monthly instruction manual on how to be a well-coiffed nice-smelling, perfectly-accessorized, smartly-dressed narcissistic tool.

And the writing isn't doing the magazine any favors, either. This example  (a big hat tip to Steve Bodio for the find) is simply the most gawdawful piece of magazine journalism I've ever attempted to read. So imagine my surprise when a friend sent me a link to a new Esquire blog called the Daily Endorsement. I wasn't surprised by the blog's title, which is supremely fitting for a demographic that doesn't do too well thinking for itself, but rather the blog's inaugural "endorsement" which reads:
 
As for this, the first Daily Endorsement, I was going to suggest "keeping it brief." But no one likes a cop-out. So try this: Esquire endorses carrying a pocketknife.

You've probably got one — and it's probably been languishing in a drawer for years. Tonight, pull it out. Give it some work. A little steel wool to brighten up the brass. A few minutes on the sharpening stone to bring back the edge. Instead of a paperweight, now you have a tool again. Pocket it. Go to work with it. Use the hell out of it. You'll find plenty of reasons to. You'll come to enjoy the feel of its heft in your hand. And you'll also, if you're like me, come to enjoy the small act of defiance it represents. American paranoia has reached new depths lately: In the name of security, we have come to fear tennis shoes and water bottles. Carrying a knife is damn near treasonous in this atmosphere. It used to just mean you were a grownup.

I guess those tubes of Calvin Klein facial moisturizer are getting harder and harder to break into using just your salon-manicured hands...

I know that instead of bashing Esquire I should be saluting them for at least trying, but what does it say about the state of manhood in this nation when one of the leading men's magazines thinks it's being edgy and rebellious for telling its readers they should carry a...pocketknife?  It tells me that maybe we need to redefine what a "men's magazine" really is. So if your pocketknife has been "languishing in a drawer for years" then maybe you need to stop drinking at Weenie Hut Jr.'s, cancel your Esquire subscription and start reading magazines that don't get their inspiration from Cosmo.

Comments (53)

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from jjas wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad,

You can tell you have kid(s). The "Weenie hut" reference from Spongebob gave you away. BTW, I enjoy watching Spongebob myself (with my kids of course).

BTW, I've never read an issue of Esquire magazine (and thanks to your telling opinion of it, I probably won't).

I think I'd get more out of spongebob.

Jim

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from peter wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

what the hell is esquire
well i defenoitly hate it i guess

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from MLH wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

A small act of defiance? We have become a bunch of weenies.

A pocketknife a sign of being a grownup? Isn't it more a sign of sensibility. Every Cub, Brownie, Boy and Girl Scout had one. Be prepared.

Thanks to the Esquire article, I wonder how many guys will forget they have it on them when they walk through security at an airport or court house. NY Times will report a sudden and dramatic increase in confiscated weapons signaling a rise in potential terrorist threats.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Who will protect the well-coiffed SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guys)from injuring themselves when they all start carrying pocketknives?

Maybe we should just encourage these guys to have pocketknives monogrammed onto their wallets, so they can be all edgey and dangerous without carrying anything that's, well, edgey or dangerous.

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Bingo, Jim. Spongebob is my little yellow buddy, although I have more in common with Squidward...mainly his delusions of adequacy and his penchant for spectacular failure...

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from jack wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

My 8-year old grandson received his first 10-function pocket knife this past week at Cub Scouts. If I have anything to do with it, he will never read Esquire nor apply moisturizer to anything other than a woman.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I see that magazine in the mail at work (USPS) and wonder what kind of "man" reads that sh!t. Mike, do you think SNAG's ever date NAG's members (national assn of gals)?

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

You know the funniest part of this...even if the readers of that blog do have a pocketknife laying around, $100 says none of them have steel wool or a sharpening stone...let alone the knowledge to actually use said sharpening stone.

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Opinion here seems unanimous. What a bunch of girls at Esquire, right? Well, before y'all revel further in your proud and utter ignorance, go read this: http://www.esquire.com/features/things-that-carried-him?click=main_sr

It's one of, oh, thousands of classic pieces of writing in Esquire. All apparently unknown to you gentlemen. I know, reading is hard. Jesus.

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from mdmnm wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Pocketknife has been "languishing in a drawer for years"- another telling assumption in the article is that you'd only have one (1?) pocketknife.

The really sad thing is, Esquire tried to put out a "Sportsman" edition in the early 90's with things like an article by Jimmy Buffett about shooting quail (he bought his own place in Georgia to do so) and other hunting and fishing articles. For that matter, I have a Jim Harrison collection "The Raw and the Cooked" that consists of essays from when he wrote their food column, which you can bet addressed game. Once upon a time, "The Snows of Kilimonjaro" was originally published in Esquire!

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Nope, not unknown, bowhunter. I'm a lifelong consumer of long-form journalism and you're right - there's been an absolute ton of great writing in Esquire over the years. But the key word there - the one you used yourself - is classic, as in not current, gone, lost to the warm fuzzies of yesteryear.

I stopped reading Esquire when the cologne samples started overpowering my ability to breathe as I flipped through the pages and I started seeing more and more Maxim-inspired lad-mag pap and feature stories that read like they were written by third-year English majors who couldn't decide if their primary literary influence was William S. Burroughs, Tom Wolfe or Hunter S. Thompson so they decided to just do a mash-up of all three and the end result usually has the literary cadence of Esperanto.

The story you linked to may be a fine story, but if I have to wade through the absolute, sheer and overwhelming excrement of stories like the one I linked to, then it weakens the point you're making, doesn't it?

Go on, just try to read that story. I dare you. And if you like it, then I guess we have wildly divergent ideas on what constitutes good writing and we'll just agree to disagree.

As for the rest of it, I stand by what I wrote. If the male readers of Esquire require an official endorsement to carry a pocketknife, then by any definition that matters, they're weenies...

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

And yes, speaking of bad writing that second paragraph of mine is one helluva run-on sentence...

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

One last point, and then I'll shut up. Most of the really great Esquire stories I've read, I've read in anthologies.

I'm just saying...

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

"But the key word there - the one you used yourself - is classic, as in not current, gone, lost to the warm fuzzies of yesteryear...."

The story I linked was published about 6 months. And you can avoid all the "excrement" by just printing it out and reading it on paper. And oh, I read it. It's an astounding story. Sadly, your crushing judgment is obviously based on not so much recent experience.

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from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Isn't Esquire that New York City magazine that all the Homo's read? They probably don't carry a knife in their pocket because it might mess up their strut.

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

OK, just so we're clear, Bowhunter. You read the story I linked to, the one about the heart atack treatment, the one full of little gems like this:

"The work is hard, and she stays at the lab some nights past midnight, but she's making inroads long as small intestines."

And you liked it? Thought it was astounding?

OK then, we're obviously miles apart and there's no further use arguing the point...

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from JTC wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

As usual, a post that's interesting, well-written, and gets a very good point across.

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

No Chad, I haven't read the story you're complaining about, the one you're basing your entire opinion of the magazine on. I have no doubt you're right. Lord knows, nobody gets it right every time out. Not even F&S. Not even you.

The story I was referring to as having read is the one I linked to, which was published only six months ago; you know, the one that you won't have a look at because it would upset your whole thesis.

I'll leave now. Y'all don't seem comfortable with people who disagree.

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from horseman308 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I strongly suggest that y'all listen to Brad Paisley's song "I'm Still a Guy" from the Fifth Gear album. I won't repeat the whole thing, because every line is fantastic, but the last phrase is perfect:

"With all of these men lining up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized.
I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair,
Thank God I'm still a guy.

My eyebrows ain't plucked, and there's a gun in my truck,
Yes, thank God, I'm still a guy."

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from Steven9253 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

ok i was staying out of this but it seems a little ridiculous. First everyone is entitled to read what they please and if you don't care for it then thats your opinion. second I think that stooping down a calling esquire a "homo" magazine,Walt Smith, is not needed and shows your intelligence. Finally I personally do not read esquire nor do I care to but i respect everyones opinion and like hearing all the different sides of the story, but we are all grown ups and should act as such.

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from bigbryce86 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

It truley is sad when a magizine for "men" has to tell guys to carry a pocket knife. Esquire is made for white color people who would neve in a thousand years think of gettin their hands dirty. The Brad Pasiley song is amazing and so true. Were the type of guys that will get dirty and build things with our hands. The men Esquire caters to would hire people to do the things we love to do, or go to a salon to get a whatever it is women get.

Its sad that our world has come to this, but it's what it's become.

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from dwaynez wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I enjoyed the article, but the comments from everyone made this topic that much more interesting. Stong opinions all the way around

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from Bill Fischer wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad, the feminization of the American Male is well documented. Started when men had to go somewhere else to work and women stated raising the kids mostly by themselves. Increased dramatically in the 60's and 70's with the Feminist Movement, and now we have a "men's magazine" telling these mommas boys to carry a pocket knife. Read a book called "Raising a Modern Day Knight" or "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge or "Men's Fraternity" by Robert Lewis.
Personally I wear a Leatherman Wave everyday. It comes in very handy. Cheers

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from silsbyj wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I think I will start my own magazine....one that will chastize men who dont carry a weapon or multi-tool of some sort. "Death to the Metrosexual" sounds like a good name. "Shoot, chew, spit, fart, grunt and carry a big stick" will be the motto.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad -

After seeing you chastized I figured in fairness I had to explore the "endorsement" in greater detail, by clicking on their link to "The Art of Manliness." The fashionable mokes at Esquire have, between the bunch of them, managed to come up with reasons for carrying a pocketknife -- like opening a box, or cutting string.

Now, I don't know about the other readers of your blog, but I am sure that you were on the right track in the sarcasm that you dispensed. After all, who requires instruction on the range of uses to which a pocketknife might be put?

Reading further, I see that the advice given is to seek a fashionable pocketknife with a history. So after all, "The Art of Manliness" advice isn't about utility, it's about looking utilitarian in a fashionable way. Chalk up another point in your favor, Chad.

A long time ago, when I was about a late teenager, a book came out entitled "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche." My reaction to the "Art of Manliness" is the same as my reaction to that book: real men eat what they damned well want and they would not consult some chi-chi magazine's self-help manual in order to demonstrate that they've still got their equipment.

I'm just saying.

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from Blackfin32 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Last year I was briefly in the magazine biz on an internship, and on the recommendation of a colleague I started an Esquire subscription. By and large, the magazine is frivolous and I won't be renewing. But that said, most magazines are frivolous and bowhunter2 is right that even newer Esquire issues sometimes contain excellent reporting and writing. I not long ago read one piece about a man who injected himself and worked out with steroids for a period of time, chronicling every effect, physical and mental, good and bad. The writing was strong indeed.
But minus articles like that, nearly every word of Esquire is designed to be clever, and sometimes cute. F&S, thank God, is not dying to be cute. Where there is humor it's drier than not (cheers to Petzal), and let's hope it stays that way. For that matter, even GQ is better than Esquire these days.
I think we should consider, while on the subject of magazines, that editors take the blame when anything goes wrong and authors take the credit when things turn out right. Which is as it should be, no doubt. Esquire is the perfect case in point: Some talented people write for it, so we get to read good stories now and then; but a hell of a lot bad stories and columns and tidbits also get through, and that's the fault of the editors. On the other hand, when you do find a magazine in which all of the writing and content is pretty damn good, congratulate the editors. A good editor can save an awful piece of writing, and one who can't shouldn't be in the business.

P.S. Any job openings at F&S these days?

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from .88Mag wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Soy milk. What does that have to do with the Feminization of the American Male? Well, I heard my mother-in-law say one day that, "Since I started having a glass of soy milk a day, I found that I don't need to take my menopause pills." Come to find out, there is a significant amount of naturally occurring estrogen in soy milk.
Have another soy latte pretty boy!

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad,

So, to be fair to bowhunter, I tried to broaden my perspective to see what other gems of guy wisdom Esquire might dispense. It turns out your sarcasm was, if anything, understated. If you want some really serious laughs, follow their link to their "Art of Manliness." You'll find out a range of suggested uses for a pocketknife. These geniuses of testosterone have discovered that a knife can be used for:

"1. Opening a box.
2. Cutting rope, tags, and string.
3. Cutting an apple."

Good thing the world doesn't lack for brilliant people to tell the modern metrosexual that a knife can be used to slice fruit. ;)

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

What's with echo chamber you got going here, Chad? You have to know y'all are trafficking in the dumbest stereotypes. Beating your chests, protesting just a little too loud, grunting to each other about what he-men you are because you carry a Leatherman. Congratulations. Yeah, there are examples of every kind of cultural stupidity reported in this thread, but it's not the way most men live, no matter what y'all say. People are more complex than that. Just because you're not ignorant doesn't mean you're weak or soft. You can appreciate good writing without being feminized. You can live in a city, and go hunting, too. Even with a bow.

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Wow, get sick for a day and the conversation just leaves you behind...

Bowhunter2, one thing this blog is not is an echo chamber, nor would I want it to be.

Honestly, the biggest pleasure I derive from doing this isn't seeing my writing published in F&S (although as a full-time writer whose rather unconventional childhood was profoundly influenced by reading F&S it's certainly satisfying), rather it's getting the opportunity to have just this kind of conversation with guys just like you.

The same posters you deride for "right on, damn straight, harumph harumph..." are the same ones who will in all likelihood be calling me the dumbest SOB on the face of the planet on my next post, or the one after. Stick around and you'll see...

And I like it like that. Blogs with a constant chorus of affirmation are pretty dull affairs.

And please, the one thing I don't traffic in is the anti-intellectual typecast Bubba hunter stereotype, because there's simply no such thing.

As a fer-cryin'-out-loud example, I just wrote a post where I gushed about wanting to fish with Peter Matthiessen. How pretentious is that?

And you want to know what the coolest thing about that post was for me? To discover that a bunch of other guys out there were Butthole Surfers fans, too.

Now if that doesn't go against the typical one-dimensional mainstream redneck hunter stereotype then I don't know what does, and the fact you felt compelled to voice a differing opinion on this blog post is a perfect example of what a diverse bunch we really are.

So if you think it's an echo chamber then instead of leaving why don't you stick around and yell a little louder next time?

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from Gman wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I don't know, Chad. I'm thinking the "writer" behind that particular piece of text is closing in on her career high point - describing a colonoscopy with the dramatic tension of the river voyage of the African Queen.

"It's a polyp, Mr. Allnut! Grab the gunwales!"

The NY slick mag biz is really beyond my comprehension. I stick to the trades.

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from Jack Ryan wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

You can thank the paranoid PC public school system for the femenizing of today's male. The penalty for carrying any thing sharp to school is so stiff they have any kid concerned about their grades terrified they may accidently carry something to school that will destroy 12 years of effort.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Horseman308

LMAO!

I was about to post the same thing you did as a was reading down the page. Let all those pussies go get their manicure, pedicure, and spray-on tans.

All you Metro's keep going to Dave matthews Band concerts and buying Barry Manilow CD's. You too can be at one with the rest of the queens of the planet.

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Good post Chad, truly.
Thanks for the sentiment. I will stick around. Have read F&S for a good while, never felt compelled to post til now, as the Greek chorus was just getting on my nerves. My point: Do I own knives, pocket knives, hatchets, machetes, and yes, a Leatherman? Yes. Many. Does that make me and my way of life superior to some guy who doesn't? Of course not. What a stupid proposition.

And this may come as a shock to you, but there are a lot of stupid things in every magazine. That's all I've been trying to say: Because an admittedly asinine piece of advice from Esquire stuck in your craw, you hauled off and decided the whole enterprise sucked, and was something less than manly. I called you out on that, because I think you're wrong. In my view, what you did was like deciding you don't like a 4-course meal because the garnish wasn't to your liking. I go to that magazine for the longer-form writing, and ignore the frivolous advice stuff (just my taste), just as I ignore parts of F&S.

And here's the last I'll say. In your last post, you wrote:

"And please, the one thing I don't traffic in is the anti-intellectual typecast Bubba hunter stereotype, because there's simply no such thing..."

I certainly didn't accuse you of doing that. What I was saying is that you and your boys traffic in all the dumb stereotypes about guys who aren't like you. You know, the guys who give or need knife advice. Just because they might not know what you know or have the experiences that you have doesn't mean that you're somehow more of a man than they are. And if you need to go around making that claim to make yourself feel good, it just makes you look silly instead.

Y'all have a fine weekend.

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from Elmer Fudd wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

No longer a good link I think but check out the "women we love" section

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from Sb Wacker wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad
Obviously I'll restrain myself from blowing smoke up you or bowhunter2 arses and confine myself to the comment i was originally going to make

Copies of Esquire magazine are much like pocket knives, you find all the best ones, second or third hand at yard sales.

SBW

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Hello, All . . .

I am in complete agreement with those bloggers who have expressed their disgust and revulsion with the feminization of men in America. It IS digusting and revolting. I'm half surprised there haven't yet been laws passed in this country requiring men to wear collars around their necks (with leashes attached) and signs around their necks exclaiming, "I APOLOGIZE FOR BEING BORN WITH TWO BIG BRASS ONES. PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THEM." And for those of us who, alas, are bald (or "hair-challenged," to be more [pathetically] politically correct in this sad day and age), I'm surprised we involuntarily hairless ones are not yet under rule of law to wear large signs on our chests that state, "HISTORICAL NOTICE: HAIR, LIKE BALLS, IS RARE AND RECEDING. PROTECT AND PRESERVE WHAT'S LEFT, PLEASE. DO NOT REMOVE."

When I was a little boy, every year at Christmas my father would give me a Swiss Army pocketknife to replace the one I had broken, damaged or lost in the previous year. Every other year or so my stepfather would give me a Buck pocketknife for my birthday. Between the two of them, as well as from my careful own penny-saving and negotiating down at the local and friendly Field & Fuel, I always had and always carried a pocketknife everywhere I went as a young boy and young man, including at school. It was no different than wearing a pair of socks, or shoes, or a belt, or a hat and a jacket when the weather was cold. I never once thought twice about it.

During hunting season, at least half the boys in my high school had shotguns or rifles in the trunks of their cars sitting out in the parking lot. We never once thought twice about it.

During my high school and college years, I and every respectable male friend of mine, and every respectable boy or young man in my school, ALWAYS opened and held doors open for girls, ladies and old folks of either sex. No lady or girl EVER carried a heavy package anywhere, or ever changed a tire when broken down on the side of the road, or was ever left stranded at night, and personal feelings and whether a boy liked or disliked a girl or a lady under such circumstances were completely irrelevant.

Girls on the cross-country team or track & field team or swimming team might be teased (and fiercely so) by the boys on their teams, but no male from any other competiting team or school would ever be permitted to do so without a fight, not in a million years.

No girl or lady ever walked to her car or anywhere else at night without a protective male escort.

Men were called "Sir." Ladies were called "Ma'am."

None of us thought twice about any of these things. All capable boys and men had their duties, and to violate or ignore them would have been dishonorable.

When I was in the service, and in complete disregard of my rank as an officer, if there was a door or a hatch or an entranceway, I would always open it first and gesture for any woman near me to go through before I did. The lady's rank, whether she was a private or a general, was irrelevant. I did at times felt mildly conflicted by various customs and rules and regulations, but I could always feel the infinitely greater weight of my father's and my stepfather's and my grandfather's eyes looking down upon me. My end decision in such circumstances was always an easy one.

One sunny day while walking up the steps into my graduate school, a bevy of beautiful and sophisticated ladies--themselves fellow students--were sunning themselves and chatting on the stairway. I had only glimpsed this particular alpha pack of gorgeous femininity at a distance in the past, and personally knew none of them. As I approached I said, in a pleasant and conversant tone, "Good morning, ladies. Have a nice day."

The response I received was not within the framework of any past experiences I had had in my entire life: The leader of the female alpha pack suddenly stood at attention, her back as stiff as an iron bar. She pointed at me with an outraged and shaking index finger. I stopped in my tracks, bewildered. The alpha snapped at me (and this is an exact quote burned into my memory), "How dare you call us ladies!!??!!"

Back in those days I was, alas, far more vulnerable to a quick temper than I am now. And unfortunately my tolerance for b*llsh*t throughout all my adult years has always been poor to non-existent.

And so before I could stop myself, even as I desperately attempted to rein in, stop and retrieve the words that were already flying at mach speed out of my mouth, I snapped, "Well, would you prefer I call you 'bitches' instead?"

Things went downhill from there.

Within ten minutes there were at least a hundred men and women on the steps of my school. Things got very heated. The alpha pack was joined by a few other fellow male-haters, however my side had been joined by every male student I knew (some of whom were military vets like me), and, to our joy, by quite a few of our lady student friends, none of whom hesitated to launch into the male-haters (beautiful or not) and tell them they were out of line and were full of sh*t.

The language back and forth between the warring parties had ventured toward the far end of the alphabet--G-rated to PG-13, than R-rated, and now into deeply into XXX-rated--when the Dean of the school, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, appeared out of nowhere and quickly marched out to the top of the school steps. He bellowed, "What the hell is going on here?" There was instant silence. Then the Dean pointed at the bevy of man-haters, apparently with whom he had had some previous past unpleasant experiences, and said, "Are you witches causing trouble again? That's enough of that sh*t!"

The Dean closely approached the alpha of man-hater wolfpack and said something quiet to her that none of us outside the wolfpack could hear. Whatever it was, it was very effective. The alpha and her fellow man-haters instantly grew pale and attempted (probably falsely) to appear contrite. The Dean snapped at her, "Are you crystal clear about this?" The alpha--and her fellow wolfpack of man-haters--nodded. The Dean scowled at them. Then he turned to the angry crowd (which included me) on the steps and bellowed, "This is over. Right now. Everybody get to class or get the hell out of here. That's an order!" And instantly everyone scattered.

Leadership. Balls. Courage. Decisiveness. Chivalry. Gallantry. An intolerance of bullsh*t. We've got to get it back, guys, because we've been losing it for about the last fifty years. This has nothing to do, of course, with preventing or stopping women from achieving their dreams--as long as their dreams aren't about emasculating us--and doing whatever they wish in their lives. (I have a 14-year old daughter and I want her to achieve whatever great things she is capable of.) But it does have everything to do with whether there are any men left in this country, and whether there will be any in the years and decades ahead.

What does it say about our country if there aren't any, or if there are too few?

The Few. The Proud.

Let's make sure there's Plenty.

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from Sharkfin wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Wow, what a sand storm. I too remember in high school most of us carried a pocket knife. During hunting season the rifles and shotguns weren't just in truck. I remember seeing them hanging on racks in the back window of pickup trucks. I now carry and have for as long as I can remember some variety of knife in my pocket. Right now I carry one of those little Gerbers with a replacable razor blade most of the time because it is very compact and always very sharp thanks to the pack of replacement blades I keep in my truck. I also have a pocket knife or 50 collecting dust in multiple drawers all over my house. If I, for some reason forget my knife I feel lost as soon as I realize it's not in my pocket, whether I need it or not. It's not something I advertise but everybody that knows me know that if they need a knife I've got one. I even keep an extra in my truck, desk and saddle bag. Does that make me more of a man than others? Nope, not by itself, but I do feel that my attitude and personallity does, sometimes. But that's just me.

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from stumpthumper wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

The pocket knife thing is silly for sure, but Chad I think you're being a little hard on Esquire. At least they have the courage to actually run long stories--seems like the only magazine around that will publish a story over 6000 words. And I also have to agree with bowhunter2--the Things that Carried Them is BY FAR the best piece of magazine journalism in all of 2008. Read and try not to cry, I dare you. I think F&S does a terrrific job honoring our soldiers, but this esquire story was stupendous. Finally, isn't C.J. Chivers, one of F&S best writers also a regular writer for Esquire? I think he wrote a killer piece on a school masacre in Russia for Esquire a couple of years ago.

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from jcarlin wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

My pocketknife for years now has been my Ka-bar Warthog Folder. Other than the fact that I tend to drop it in my desk drawer when in the office it is generally on my person until I put it on my nightstand with my glasses when I go to sleep. Until God favors me with longer sturdier finger nails or truly vicious teeth (and a stomach that's willing to allow me to gut deer and bite into the tops of motor oil bottles) I don't see that changing. I'd also like to point out that in the year after 9-11 I very politely handed over 4 folders and small multi-tools at unlikely locations for a search. Since then I don't beleive any place beyond airports and government buildings that I've been into since have taken any interest.

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from jcarlin wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

One more thing, on Mother's day I make a quiche for my wife. It's an omelette on a pie crust. Who on earth could complain about such a brilliant form of breakfast?

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Actually Stumpthumper, I think C.J. Chivers is the Moscow bureau chief (or a reporter anyway) for the NYT.

And yes, he's a great writer. You make a good point there. But every time I start thinking "well, maybe I should have made more of a distinction between the long-form stuff and willfully mindless garbage" then I go back, flip through the website and the bile starts rising.

The fact is, there's an awful lot of Joel Stein-like "aren't I a clever wordsmith" garbage and not so much a lot of Chivers-quality writing.

Esquire, like Playboy, has always perpetuated that snappy sophisticated urbane image, and as a reader I can accept and handle a certain amount of that.

I'm not deriding it. It's like Playboy: sift through all the how-to-drink-a-martini-while-being-fellated garbage and there used to be some really great writing in there. It's a punchline (I read it for the articles) but it's true.

Same thing with Esquire. But I long ago dropped my scrip to Playboy and stopped reading Esquire on a semi-regular basis (so I guess I should correct my original assertion that I've NEVER been a fan, because I did used to read it quite a bit) because I thought both magazines kept drifting more (way more) into the image part of their formula at the expense of the substance.

Eventually I got to the point where I couldn't tell much difference between those magazines and the ones (like Maxim) that celebrate and court the vain, the shallow and the mindless.

It's the kind of writing and subject matter that appeals to the modern American twit, an advertiser's wet dream so devoid of any real substance or individual thought that he prefers to take his fashion, behavioral and personality cues from something as ludicrous as Esquire's "endorsement" blog.

But in all fairness to Esquire, that's just a symptom of the deeper problem/question of what constitutes the modern male identity, which in turn goes back to the original point I was trying to make: what does it say about the state of being male in this country that a mainstream men's publication is endorsing the pocket knife as an act of manly sedition?

And on that I have to stick to my original assertion that if it's come to that, then maybe those guys should start exploring some alternate sources besides Esquire for their ideas on manhood. Fathers, mebbe?

And for its part maybe Esquire should forget about being in the definition-of-manliness business and stick to what it used to be really good at, which is journalism.

I'm sure others disagree, but it's been an enjoyable discussion nonetheless...

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

It's been a fine discussion, Chad. Thanks for hosting it. One quick point on your previous post: When it comes to magazines, I do think we should distinguish between the physical magazine and the website, should we not? It seems (present magazine website excluded) that most websites tend to favor the BS over the more substantial stuff. But the magazine itself is the flagship. Anyway, adios. Have a fine weekend.

Oh, and here's that incredible Esquire story by CJ Chivers that stumpthumper was referring to, all 18,000 words of it. A Google search says that it won the National Magazine Award a couple years ago:

www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0606BESLAN_140?click=main_sr

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from Steven9253 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

After reading the post by TW I wanted to bring a little youth to the subject. First I was raised to say yes mam and no sir to anyone and everyone reagrdless of age. I still do this and open doors for not just women but people! actually many times driving from Nashville to Tampa old men have aloud commented that maybe todays youth hasnt gone to sh!$ for doing simple things I was raised on. On the subject of guns and pocket knives in school or in vehicles, times have changed. If you have either on your person or in your vehicle and it is known you dont only get suspended but arrested. I graduated in 04 and the crazy amount of simple things viewed as crimes were astounding. That was until I looked back on things and see how much people really are out control and touch with reality. we had people stab one another with the cross on their necklace and just a general lack of respect for each other. I am newly married and my wife and I plan on having children and they will be raised the same way i was. with discipline and consequences for you actions( also the same way i train my animal, no this does not mean beating). The problems with the youth today is not only their fault but that lack of guidance and discipline from parents. I emplore you to make sure you take your kids or grandkids in the woods and teach them not just to hunt but truly enjoy and cherish this amazing gift that God has truly blessed us with. I am now stepping off my soap box

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Hello, All . . .

Steven9253 touched upon in his comment a subject I suspect every good parent wonders and worries about: whether his or her kid is polite and respectful to others, whether his or her kid sets a good example of behavior for other kids to reflect upon and incorporate into their own, and whether his or her kid possesses honor and courage and integrity and gallantry and will always the do the right thing--whatever the "right thing" is--not just when times and choices are easy, but particularly when times and choices are not.

I have a 14-year old daughter who is brilliant and beautiful and headstrong. We squabble, but she is a good kid and is a good person. She gets straight As and is somewhat of a rock star at her school because of her popularity, her leadership qualities, and probably, yes, in part because of her looks.

My daughter is color-, size-, and shape-blind when it comes to her choice of friends. She picks her friends--and keeps them--because of their fine qualities as young people. (I like every one of her friends, including even--gasp--the many boys who are her friends.)

My daughter has a girlfriend and fellow classmate at school who I'll refer to as SBT. SBT is bright, sweet-natured, loyal, a very nice girl with long brunette hair and a very pretty face.

But SBT is also about forty pounds overweight. Understandably, she is sensitive and bothered about her size. She fights a constant war to lose weight that she may never win. My daughter is size-blind to SB's weight and shape, and of course never teases SB or makes comments to her about it. The thought would never cross her mind.

One day about two years ago my daughter and SBT were having lunch at school when a boy in their class approached the table where SBT and my daughter were sitting. The boy, who was considerably taller, heavier and stronger than my daughter, led a group of other boys. The boy attempted to flirt with my daughter, who politely ignored him. Then the boy made impermissibly mean, cruel and hateful comments to SBT about her weight, about her size. SBT attempted to defend herself, but the boy was too much of a punk and a bully for her and within a minute she was crushed and crying while my daughter attempted to comfort her.

Emboldened by the apparent success of his sadism, the boy made further impermissibly mean, cruel and hateful comments to SBT about her weight and about her looks and about how no boy would ever want to date her because she was too fat. According to several witnesses I later interviewed, my daughter jumped to her feet and approached the sadistic boy and bluntly told him--or ordered him--to apologize immediately to SBT for what he had said to her. The boy, now faced with an angry girl in his face who was six inches shorter and twenty pounds lighter than he was, and who couldn't dream of being decent instead of being a bully and punk in front of his fellow punk friends, made further filthy, cruel, mean and sadistic comments.

And while doing so my daughter hit him. She punched him right where I had always told her to hit a boy--or a man--when faced with a situation where she had no choice but to defend herself or be a victim or be dead. One hard punch and the boy was down. My daughter told him not to move. He started to get up. She punched him again, this time with better aim. MOA marksmanship. The boy stayed down. Of course, the cafeteria instantly broke into silenced chaos while teachers and visiting parents quickly moved in.

Despite her school's zero tolerance for violence of any kind, despite the fact that my daughter clearly took down a bully using violence to do so, and despite the fact that probably thirty or forty people saw the entire fracas from beginning to end, not one parent or teacher or the administration or the principals did anything at all negative in any way toward my daughter. In fact, she got a lot of pats on the back that day, and for a week or two to follow, including from me. The sadistic bully was suspended.

I am very proud of my daughter for what she did. I am not so proud that no boy at her school stood up to the bully and did the proper thing to protect and defend both my daughter and SBT from the bully and his sadism and cruelty and misconduct.

All this goes back to the theme of my original blog entry above, and which Steven9253 touched upon in his blog: we, as good men, and as good fathers, have got to put courage and gallantry and leadership and decisiveness and balls and chivalry back into our own daily lives and conduct. We must reclaim these things, not in stupid foolish ways that get people hurt or worse, but in ways that save lives, build futures, promote character, and foster and grow these same qualities in our children.

I am very proud of what my daughter did that day at her school, but--and call me old-fashioned here as you may wish--I'll always feel that some good boy in her class, right there in that cafeteria near her table, should have stepped right up and unhesitatingly done her difficult job for her.

T.W. Davidson
Tyler, TX

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

That was a good story Mr. Davidson. I'm pleasantly surprised that the school chose wisely in that situation. Unfortunately in my locale the school would have suspended both students and possibly allowed criminal assault charges to be brought against your daughter.
I see two apparent themes in this blog. One is how men in certain and particular circumstances usually due to demography have become unisexed (remember the clothing line) in their thinking whereby the line between men and women' thought processes becomes grey with respect to the topic or subject in discussion. Examples would be firearms, fishing, hunting, other weapons, and yes, diet.
The second theme appears to be the apparent discovery by the aforementioned individuals that a pocketknife is actually a functional tool that can be handy for particular tasks.
I don't really know how to respond to the first theme because I am not entirely sure how some men arrive at that nexus. It it the trickle down evolution from the sixties, Dr. Spock, the women's movements; I could place resonsibility on any of those factors. Again I think that demographics has a large role. I opine that one is apt to find more males of the Esquire persuasion in the denser urban areas or large cities; good examples of which would be NYC or San Francisco. As one looks at smaller cities, especially cities in the south or midwest, nearer to rural areas, males tend to think more like males and the line between the male and female thought process is more clearly defined.
These are the places where males carry pocket knives and don't think twice about it. It isn't a discussion or a thesis subject at the local college. My personal experience is that if I leave home without one of my pocket knives, I feel as if I had forgotten the car keys. The biggest problem I face carrying a pocket knife is remembering that I am carrying it when I visit a public school or certain government institutions. That single act of forgetfulness may cause me to face criminal charges. So, I must ask myself is it a good thing that the folks at Esquire have realized that a pocketknife is indeed a useful tool and not a dangerous weapon. I have to admit I think it is although I don't require the blessings of Esquire to feel comforted about the knife in my pocket.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

To John R . . .

Thank you for your comment. And thank you for your analysis of this overall blog and related thoughts. Excellent.

T.W. Davidson

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from Bella wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

I often carry both multi tool and pocket knife, as if only men would do such a thing. Of course I'm of old swamp yankee stock and I'll admit my butch tendancies. Whats so wrong with being in the middle? Anybody who observes human beings can only come to the conclusion that gender is a continuum with every possible variation explored in living people. There is less difference betwixt men and women than most people allow themselves to admit. However the extremes of gender seem to get the most credit despite the rise of the unisex. Perhaps this is because it is simpler to regard gender as a binary function, on or off, male or female, black or white. Simpler but unfortunately reality doesn't express itself that way. Infinate variation is the rule, gender comes in every graduation between male and female. Intersex individuals are becoming more common as the long term effects of endocrine disrupting agricultural chemicals in the groundwater change the genome. You may not know that effeminate metrosexual you meet in the 7-11 or that person whose gender you can't quite figure out that you saw in the thrallmart, but they are both human beings deserving of respect. You can choose to have a tattoo, or put a ring in your whatever, but persons with intersex conditions, gender dysphoria and other conditions did not choose to be the way they are, those choices were made before they were born, often by men in suits quite unaware of just what they were accomplishing in pursuit of a profit for their shareholders in boardrooms far from the fields where people labored unaware they were poisoning future generations. That effeminate creature in the 7-11 you scorn is suffering the consequences of other mens sins, you only lower yourself if you abuse that person because of your own false perceptions.

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from tygardner wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

any grown man thats feels "bad" when carrying a pocket knife is a bit sad...i carry one around in my back pocket everywhere i go (except school)

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from MNhunter23 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I really feel that the ban of knives in school has cut down on the number of people that will carry them in the future. There are just so many places these days that do not allow you to have a knife on you. I often leave my knife at home, because I know the chances are good that throughout the course of the day I might end up in one of those such places.

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

I've had the same pocket knife in my pocket for the last 30 years. For heavier cutting tasks there is always a small sheath knife on my belt. They are some of my everyday "don't leave home without it" gear.

We just had another Esquire reading easterner die in our Wyoming wilderness. He thought that a cell phone was all the emergency gear he needed when he left the ski run. No knife, no lighter. Now no more life.

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from darksoldierscadamia wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

ok.... i am probably going to disappear into the ether for this.... but i will say it at risk of being labeled a conspiracy hut.... keep in mind i am only 24 so i wasnt alive during the rising of the conspiracy theorist.

america. as much as i love my country, is going soft... and has been since lincoln. and probably before that.
the people in charge are breeding a more docile nation. we are given gadgets and gizmos to play with. new ones every year are popping up. new drugs to make the sadness go away, to take the anger away, to make the energy overflow from too many video games and too many hormaone laden cheese burgers go away. this makes me sick. i see around me a society who gets their daily instruction from a friggen magazine, or a twitter message. there are no more humans left.. they all died out with the hippy movement. they all died out with mccarthy, they died with patton, and sherman, and ben lily and theodore roosevelt... they died with fathers that raise their children, they died with mothers that care what their daughters wore to school and social functions. they died with people that went to worship ... to worship and not to assuage the expectations of the community. again. this saddens me.

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from darksoldierscadamia wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

oh... and as for carying a knife.... when i am out in the bush, i carry three sheath knives. a jungle master machette, a handmade saw blade knife( my first saw back) and a skinner/utility knife. i also have a ridge runner pocket knife on my survival necklace. sometimes i like to go lite so i carry just my old case knife my grandpa gave me. this is generally everyday.

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from dasmith wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

The pocket knife should be viewed as necessary as a wallet. As a child I even recieved a small single blade pocket knife with white (fax) pearl grips from my great Grandmother to carry to Sunday school. Even the Supervisor on the NCIS TV show tells his "troops" to carry a knife. As my father always said, "A sharp knife is a mandatory necessity."

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from Karljthiessen wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

Hate to say it, but I think the Esquire article is a step in the right direction. Sadly, a lot of men (myself included) don't NEED a pocket knife because they work in an office. Suggesting we carry a knife is reminding us to get in touch with our instincts and get some dirt under our fingernails. Of course, I've been carrying a small knife everyday, even though I only use it once a week, if that. But, everytime I use it to open a package, it reminds me that I'd rather be cleaning a trout. Hopefully, by incouraging men to carry a knife, they find more interest in getting outside. Yes, we've lost our masculinity and maybe carrying a knife will get us closer to what we used to be.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Who will protect the well-coiffed SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guys)from injuring themselves when they all start carrying pocketknives?

Maybe we should just encourage these guys to have pocketknives monogrammed onto their wallets, so they can be all edgey and dangerous without carrying anything that's, well, edgey or dangerous.

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from jack wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

My 8-year old grandson received his first 10-function pocket knife this past week at Cub Scouts. If I have anything to do with it, he will never read Esquire nor apply moisturizer to anything other than a woman.

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from horseman308 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I strongly suggest that y'all listen to Brad Paisley's song "I'm Still a Guy" from the Fifth Gear album. I won't repeat the whole thing, because every line is fantastic, but the last phrase is perfect:

"With all of these men lining up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized.
I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair,
Thank God I'm still a guy.

My eyebrows ain't plucked, and there's a gun in my truck,
Yes, thank God, I'm still a guy."

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Hello, All . . .

I am in complete agreement with those bloggers who have expressed their disgust and revulsion with the feminization of men in America. It IS digusting and revolting. I'm half surprised there haven't yet been laws passed in this country requiring men to wear collars around their necks (with leashes attached) and signs around their necks exclaiming, "I APOLOGIZE FOR BEING BORN WITH TWO BIG BRASS ONES. PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THEM." And for those of us who, alas, are bald (or "hair-challenged," to be more [pathetically] politically correct in this sad day and age), I'm surprised we involuntarily hairless ones are not yet under rule of law to wear large signs on our chests that state, "HISTORICAL NOTICE: HAIR, LIKE BALLS, IS RARE AND RECEDING. PROTECT AND PRESERVE WHAT'S LEFT, PLEASE. DO NOT REMOVE."

When I was a little boy, every year at Christmas my father would give me a Swiss Army pocketknife to replace the one I had broken, damaged or lost in the previous year. Every other year or so my stepfather would give me a Buck pocketknife for my birthday. Between the two of them, as well as from my careful own penny-saving and negotiating down at the local and friendly Field & Fuel, I always had and always carried a pocketknife everywhere I went as a young boy and young man, including at school. It was no different than wearing a pair of socks, or shoes, or a belt, or a hat and a jacket when the weather was cold. I never once thought twice about it.

During hunting season, at least half the boys in my high school had shotguns or rifles in the trunks of their cars sitting out in the parking lot. We never once thought twice about it.

During my high school and college years, I and every respectable male friend of mine, and every respectable boy or young man in my school, ALWAYS opened and held doors open for girls, ladies and old folks of either sex. No lady or girl EVER carried a heavy package anywhere, or ever changed a tire when broken down on the side of the road, or was ever left stranded at night, and personal feelings and whether a boy liked or disliked a girl or a lady under such circumstances were completely irrelevant.

Girls on the cross-country team or track & field team or swimming team might be teased (and fiercely so) by the boys on their teams, but no male from any other competiting team or school would ever be permitted to do so without a fight, not in a million years.

No girl or lady ever walked to her car or anywhere else at night without a protective male escort.

Men were called "Sir." Ladies were called "Ma'am."

None of us thought twice about any of these things. All capable boys and men had their duties, and to violate or ignore them would have been dishonorable.

When I was in the service, and in complete disregard of my rank as an officer, if there was a door or a hatch or an entranceway, I would always open it first and gesture for any woman near me to go through before I did. The lady's rank, whether she was a private or a general, was irrelevant. I did at times felt mildly conflicted by various customs and rules and regulations, but I could always feel the infinitely greater weight of my father's and my stepfather's and my grandfather's eyes looking down upon me. My end decision in such circumstances was always an easy one.

One sunny day while walking up the steps into my graduate school, a bevy of beautiful and sophisticated ladies--themselves fellow students--were sunning themselves and chatting on the stairway. I had only glimpsed this particular alpha pack of gorgeous femininity at a distance in the past, and personally knew none of them. As I approached I said, in a pleasant and conversant tone, "Good morning, ladies. Have a nice day."

The response I received was not within the framework of any past experiences I had had in my entire life: The leader of the female alpha pack suddenly stood at attention, her back as stiff as an iron bar. She pointed at me with an outraged and shaking index finger. I stopped in my tracks, bewildered. The alpha snapped at me (and this is an exact quote burned into my memory), "How dare you call us ladies!!??!!"

Back in those days I was, alas, far more vulnerable to a quick temper than I am now. And unfortunately my tolerance for b*llsh*t throughout all my adult years has always been poor to non-existent.

And so before I could stop myself, even as I desperately attempted to rein in, stop and retrieve the words that were already flying at mach speed out of my mouth, I snapped, "Well, would you prefer I call you 'bitches' instead?"

Things went downhill from there.

Within ten minutes there were at least a hundred men and women on the steps of my school. Things got very heated. The alpha pack was joined by a few other fellow male-haters, however my side had been joined by every male student I knew (some of whom were military vets like me), and, to our joy, by quite a few of our lady student friends, none of whom hesitated to launch into the male-haters (beautiful or not) and tell them they were out of line and were full of sh*t.

The language back and forth between the warring parties had ventured toward the far end of the alphabet--G-rated to PG-13, than R-rated, and now into deeply into XXX-rated--when the Dean of the school, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, appeared out of nowhere and quickly marched out to the top of the school steps. He bellowed, "What the hell is going on here?" There was instant silence. Then the Dean pointed at the bevy of man-haters, apparently with whom he had had some previous past unpleasant experiences, and said, "Are you witches causing trouble again? That's enough of that sh*t!"

The Dean closely approached the alpha of man-hater wolfpack and said something quiet to her that none of us outside the wolfpack could hear. Whatever it was, it was very effective. The alpha and her fellow man-haters instantly grew pale and attempted (probably falsely) to appear contrite. The Dean snapped at her, "Are you crystal clear about this?" The alpha--and her fellow wolfpack of man-haters--nodded. The Dean scowled at them. Then he turned to the angry crowd (which included me) on the steps and bellowed, "This is over. Right now. Everybody get to class or get the hell out of here. That's an order!" And instantly everyone scattered.

Leadership. Balls. Courage. Decisiveness. Chivalry. Gallantry. An intolerance of bullsh*t. We've got to get it back, guys, because we've been losing it for about the last fifty years. This has nothing to do, of course, with preventing or stopping women from achieving their dreams--as long as their dreams aren't about emasculating us--and doing whatever they wish in their lives. (I have a 14-year old daughter and I want her to achieve whatever great things she is capable of.) But it does have everything to do with whether there are any men left in this country, and whether there will be any in the years and decades ahead.

What does it say about our country if there aren't any, or if there are too few?

The Few. The Proud.

Let's make sure there's Plenty.

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Nope, not unknown, bowhunter. I'm a lifelong consumer of long-form journalism and you're right - there's been an absolute ton of great writing in Esquire over the years. But the key word there - the one you used yourself - is classic, as in not current, gone, lost to the warm fuzzies of yesteryear.

I stopped reading Esquire when the cologne samples started overpowering my ability to breathe as I flipped through the pages and I started seeing more and more Maxim-inspired lad-mag pap and feature stories that read like they were written by third-year English majors who couldn't decide if their primary literary influence was William S. Burroughs, Tom Wolfe or Hunter S. Thompson so they decided to just do a mash-up of all three and the end result usually has the literary cadence of Esperanto.

The story you linked to may be a fine story, but if I have to wade through the absolute, sheer and overwhelming excrement of stories like the one I linked to, then it weakens the point you're making, doesn't it?

Go on, just try to read that story. I dare you. And if you like it, then I guess we have wildly divergent ideas on what constitutes good writing and we'll just agree to disagree.

As for the rest of it, I stand by what I wrote. If the male readers of Esquire require an official endorsement to carry a pocketknife, then by any definition that matters, they're weenies...

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

OK, just so we're clear, Bowhunter. You read the story I linked to, the one about the heart atack treatment, the one full of little gems like this:

"The work is hard, and she stays at the lab some nights past midnight, but she's making inroads long as small intestines."

And you liked it? Thought it was astounding?

OK then, we're obviously miles apart and there's no further use arguing the point...

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from silsbyj wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I think I will start my own magazine....one that will chastize men who dont carry a weapon or multi-tool of some sort. "Death to the Metrosexual" sounds like a good name. "Shoot, chew, spit, fart, grunt and carry a big stick" will be the motto.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad -

After seeing you chastized I figured in fairness I had to explore the "endorsement" in greater detail, by clicking on their link to "The Art of Manliness." The fashionable mokes at Esquire have, between the bunch of them, managed to come up with reasons for carrying a pocketknife -- like opening a box, or cutting string.

Now, I don't know about the other readers of your blog, but I am sure that you were on the right track in the sarcasm that you dispensed. After all, who requires instruction on the range of uses to which a pocketknife might be put?

Reading further, I see that the advice given is to seek a fashionable pocketknife with a history. So after all, "The Art of Manliness" advice isn't about utility, it's about looking utilitarian in a fashionable way. Chalk up another point in your favor, Chad.

A long time ago, when I was about a late teenager, a book came out entitled "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche." My reaction to the "Art of Manliness" is the same as my reaction to that book: real men eat what they damned well want and they would not consult some chi-chi magazine's self-help manual in order to demonstrate that they've still got their equipment.

I'm just saying.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Hello, All . . .

Steven9253 touched upon in his comment a subject I suspect every good parent wonders and worries about: whether his or her kid is polite and respectful to others, whether his or her kid sets a good example of behavior for other kids to reflect upon and incorporate into their own, and whether his or her kid possesses honor and courage and integrity and gallantry and will always the do the right thing--whatever the "right thing" is--not just when times and choices are easy, but particularly when times and choices are not.

I have a 14-year old daughter who is brilliant and beautiful and headstrong. We squabble, but she is a good kid and is a good person. She gets straight As and is somewhat of a rock star at her school because of her popularity, her leadership qualities, and probably, yes, in part because of her looks.

My daughter is color-, size-, and shape-blind when it comes to her choice of friends. She picks her friends--and keeps them--because of their fine qualities as young people. (I like every one of her friends, including even--gasp--the many boys who are her friends.)

My daughter has a girlfriend and fellow classmate at school who I'll refer to as SBT. SBT is bright, sweet-natured, loyal, a very nice girl with long brunette hair and a very pretty face.

But SBT is also about forty pounds overweight. Understandably, she is sensitive and bothered about her size. She fights a constant war to lose weight that she may never win. My daughter is size-blind to SB's weight and shape, and of course never teases SB or makes comments to her about it. The thought would never cross her mind.

One day about two years ago my daughter and SBT were having lunch at school when a boy in their class approached the table where SBT and my daughter were sitting. The boy, who was considerably taller, heavier and stronger than my daughter, led a group of other boys. The boy attempted to flirt with my daughter, who politely ignored him. Then the boy made impermissibly mean, cruel and hateful comments to SBT about her weight, about her size. SBT attempted to defend herself, but the boy was too much of a punk and a bully for her and within a minute she was crushed and crying while my daughter attempted to comfort her.

Emboldened by the apparent success of his sadism, the boy made further impermissibly mean, cruel and hateful comments to SBT about her weight and about her looks and about how no boy would ever want to date her because she was too fat. According to several witnesses I later interviewed, my daughter jumped to her feet and approached the sadistic boy and bluntly told him--or ordered him--to apologize immediately to SBT for what he had said to her. The boy, now faced with an angry girl in his face who was six inches shorter and twenty pounds lighter than he was, and who couldn't dream of being decent instead of being a bully and punk in front of his fellow punk friends, made further filthy, cruel, mean and sadistic comments.

And while doing so my daughter hit him. She punched him right where I had always told her to hit a boy--or a man--when faced with a situation where she had no choice but to defend herself or be a victim or be dead. One hard punch and the boy was down. My daughter told him not to move. He started to get up. She punched him again, this time with better aim. MOA marksmanship. The boy stayed down. Of course, the cafeteria instantly broke into silenced chaos while teachers and visiting parents quickly moved in.

Despite her school's zero tolerance for violence of any kind, despite the fact that my daughter clearly took down a bully using violence to do so, and despite the fact that probably thirty or forty people saw the entire fracas from beginning to end, not one parent or teacher or the administration or the principals did anything at all negative in any way toward my daughter. In fact, she got a lot of pats on the back that day, and for a week or two to follow, including from me. The sadistic bully was suspended.

I am very proud of my daughter for what she did. I am not so proud that no boy at her school stood up to the bully and did the proper thing to protect and defend both my daughter and SBT from the bully and his sadism and cruelty and misconduct.

All this goes back to the theme of my original blog entry above, and which Steven9253 touched upon in his blog: we, as good men, and as good fathers, have got to put courage and gallantry and leadership and decisiveness and balls and chivalry back into our own daily lives and conduct. We must reclaim these things, not in stupid foolish ways that get people hurt or worse, but in ways that save lives, build futures, promote character, and foster and grow these same qualities in our children.

I am very proud of what my daughter did that day at her school, but--and call me old-fashioned here as you may wish--I'll always feel that some good boy in her class, right there in that cafeteria near her table, should have stepped right up and unhesitatingly done her difficult job for her.

T.W. Davidson
Tyler, TX

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from jjas wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad,

You can tell you have kid(s). The "Weenie hut" reference from Spongebob gave you away. BTW, I enjoy watching Spongebob myself (with my kids of course).

BTW, I've never read an issue of Esquire magazine (and thanks to your telling opinion of it, I probably won't).

I think I'd get more out of spongebob.

Jim

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from MLH wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

A small act of defiance? We have become a bunch of weenies.

A pocketknife a sign of being a grownup? Isn't it more a sign of sensibility. Every Cub, Brownie, Boy and Girl Scout had one. Be prepared.

Thanks to the Esquire article, I wonder how many guys will forget they have it on them when they walk through security at an airport or court house. NY Times will report a sudden and dramatic increase in confiscated weapons signaling a rise in potential terrorist threats.

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from Del in KS wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I see that magazine in the mail at work (USPS) and wonder what kind of "man" reads that sh!t. Mike, do you think SNAG's ever date NAG's members (national assn of gals)?

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from mdmnm wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Pocketknife has been "languishing in a drawer for years"- another telling assumption in the article is that you'd only have one (1?) pocketknife.

The really sad thing is, Esquire tried to put out a "Sportsman" edition in the early 90's with things like an article by Jimmy Buffett about shooting quail (he bought his own place in Georgia to do so) and other hunting and fishing articles. For that matter, I have a Jim Harrison collection "The Raw and the Cooked" that consists of essays from when he wrote their food column, which you can bet addressed game. Once upon a time, "The Snows of Kilimonjaro" was originally published in Esquire!

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from Bill Fischer wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad, the feminization of the American Male is well documented. Started when men had to go somewhere else to work and women stated raising the kids mostly by themselves. Increased dramatically in the 60's and 70's with the Feminist Movement, and now we have a "men's magazine" telling these mommas boys to carry a pocket knife. Read a book called "Raising a Modern Day Knight" or "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge or "Men's Fraternity" by Robert Lewis.
Personally I wear a Leatherman Wave everyday. It comes in very handy. Cheers

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from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad,

So, to be fair to bowhunter, I tried to broaden my perspective to see what other gems of guy wisdom Esquire might dispense. It turns out your sarcasm was, if anything, understated. If you want some really serious laughs, follow their link to their "Art of Manliness." You'll find out a range of suggested uses for a pocketknife. These geniuses of testosterone have discovered that a knife can be used for:

"1. Opening a box.
2. Cutting rope, tags, and string.
3. Cutting an apple."

Good thing the world doesn't lack for brilliant people to tell the modern metrosexual that a knife can be used to slice fruit. ;)

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from Sb Wacker wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Chad
Obviously I'll restrain myself from blowing smoke up you or bowhunter2 arses and confine myself to the comment i was originally going to make

Copies of Esquire magazine are much like pocket knives, you find all the best ones, second or third hand at yard sales.

SBW

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from stumpthumper wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

The pocket knife thing is silly for sure, but Chad I think you're being a little hard on Esquire. At least they have the courage to actually run long stories--seems like the only magazine around that will publish a story over 6000 words. And I also have to agree with bowhunter2--the Things that Carried Them is BY FAR the best piece of magazine journalism in all of 2008. Read and try not to cry, I dare you. I think F&S does a terrrific job honoring our soldiers, but this esquire story was stupendous. Finally, isn't C.J. Chivers, one of F&S best writers also a regular writer for Esquire? I think he wrote a killer piece on a school masacre in Russia for Esquire a couple of years ago.

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Actually Stumpthumper, I think C.J. Chivers is the Moscow bureau chief (or a reporter anyway) for the NYT.

And yes, he's a great writer. You make a good point there. But every time I start thinking "well, maybe I should have made more of a distinction between the long-form stuff and willfully mindless garbage" then I go back, flip through the website and the bile starts rising.

The fact is, there's an awful lot of Joel Stein-like "aren't I a clever wordsmith" garbage and not so much a lot of Chivers-quality writing.

Esquire, like Playboy, has always perpetuated that snappy sophisticated urbane image, and as a reader I can accept and handle a certain amount of that.

I'm not deriding it. It's like Playboy: sift through all the how-to-drink-a-martini-while-being-fellated garbage and there used to be some really great writing in there. It's a punchline (I read it for the articles) but it's true.

Same thing with Esquire. But I long ago dropped my scrip to Playboy and stopped reading Esquire on a semi-regular basis (so I guess I should correct my original assertion that I've NEVER been a fan, because I did used to read it quite a bit) because I thought both magazines kept drifting more (way more) into the image part of their formula at the expense of the substance.

Eventually I got to the point where I couldn't tell much difference between those magazines and the ones (like Maxim) that celebrate and court the vain, the shallow and the mindless.

It's the kind of writing and subject matter that appeals to the modern American twit, an advertiser's wet dream so devoid of any real substance or individual thought that he prefers to take his fashion, behavioral and personality cues from something as ludicrous as Esquire's "endorsement" blog.

But in all fairness to Esquire, that's just a symptom of the deeper problem/question of what constitutes the modern male identity, which in turn goes back to the original point I was trying to make: what does it say about the state of being male in this country that a mainstream men's publication is endorsing the pocket knife as an act of manly sedition?

And on that I have to stick to my original assertion that if it's come to that, then maybe those guys should start exploring some alternate sources besides Esquire for their ideas on manhood. Fathers, mebbe?

And for its part maybe Esquire should forget about being in the definition-of-manliness business and stick to what it used to be really good at, which is journalism.

I'm sure others disagree, but it's been an enjoyable discussion nonetheless...

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from Steven9253 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

After reading the post by TW I wanted to bring a little youth to the subject. First I was raised to say yes mam and no sir to anyone and everyone reagrdless of age. I still do this and open doors for not just women but people! actually many times driving from Nashville to Tampa old men have aloud commented that maybe todays youth hasnt gone to sh!$ for doing simple things I was raised on. On the subject of guns and pocket knives in school or in vehicles, times have changed. If you have either on your person or in your vehicle and it is known you dont only get suspended but arrested. I graduated in 04 and the crazy amount of simple things viewed as crimes were astounding. That was until I looked back on things and see how much people really are out control and touch with reality. we had people stab one another with the cross on their necklace and just a general lack of respect for each other. I am newly married and my wife and I plan on having children and they will be raised the same way i was. with discipline and consequences for you actions( also the same way i train my animal, no this does not mean beating). The problems with the youth today is not only their fault but that lack of guidance and discipline from parents. I emplore you to make sure you take your kids or grandkids in the woods and teach them not just to hunt but truly enjoy and cherish this amazing gift that God has truly blessed us with. I am now stepping off my soap box

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

That was a good story Mr. Davidson. I'm pleasantly surprised that the school chose wisely in that situation. Unfortunately in my locale the school would have suspended both students and possibly allowed criminal assault charges to be brought against your daughter.
I see two apparent themes in this blog. One is how men in certain and particular circumstances usually due to demography have become unisexed (remember the clothing line) in their thinking whereby the line between men and women' thought processes becomes grey with respect to the topic or subject in discussion. Examples would be firearms, fishing, hunting, other weapons, and yes, diet.
The second theme appears to be the apparent discovery by the aforementioned individuals that a pocketknife is actually a functional tool that can be handy for particular tasks.
I don't really know how to respond to the first theme because I am not entirely sure how some men arrive at that nexus. It it the trickle down evolution from the sixties, Dr. Spock, the women's movements; I could place resonsibility on any of those factors. Again I think that demographics has a large role. I opine that one is apt to find more males of the Esquire persuasion in the denser urban areas or large cities; good examples of which would be NYC or San Francisco. As one looks at smaller cities, especially cities in the south or midwest, nearer to rural areas, males tend to think more like males and the line between the male and female thought process is more clearly defined.
These are the places where males carry pocket knives and don't think twice about it. It isn't a discussion or a thesis subject at the local college. My personal experience is that if I leave home without one of my pocket knives, I feel as if I had forgotten the car keys. The biggest problem I face carrying a pocket knife is remembering that I am carrying it when I visit a public school or certain government institutions. That single act of forgetfulness may cause me to face criminal charges. So, I must ask myself is it a good thing that the folks at Esquire have realized that a pocketknife is indeed a useful tool and not a dangerous weapon. I have to admit I think it is although I don't require the blessings of Esquire to feel comforted about the knife in my pocket.

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from peter wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

what the hell is esquire
well i defenoitly hate it i guess

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Bingo, Jim. Spongebob is my little yellow buddy, although I have more in common with Squidward...mainly his delusions of adequacy and his penchant for spectacular failure...

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Opinion here seems unanimous. What a bunch of girls at Esquire, right? Well, before y'all revel further in your proud and utter ignorance, go read this: http://www.esquire.com/features/things-that-carried-him?click=main_sr

It's one of, oh, thousands of classic pieces of writing in Esquire. All apparently unknown to you gentlemen. I know, reading is hard. Jesus.

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

And yes, speaking of bad writing that second paragraph of mine is one helluva run-on sentence...

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

One last point, and then I'll shut up. Most of the really great Esquire stories I've read, I've read in anthologies.

I'm just saying...

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from JTC wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

As usual, a post that's interesting, well-written, and gets a very good point across.

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from Steven9253 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

ok i was staying out of this but it seems a little ridiculous. First everyone is entitled to read what they please and if you don't care for it then thats your opinion. second I think that stooping down a calling esquire a "homo" magazine,Walt Smith, is not needed and shows your intelligence. Finally I personally do not read esquire nor do I care to but i respect everyones opinion and like hearing all the different sides of the story, but we are all grown ups and should act as such.

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from bigbryce86 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

It truley is sad when a magizine for "men" has to tell guys to carry a pocket knife. Esquire is made for white color people who would neve in a thousand years think of gettin their hands dirty. The Brad Pasiley song is amazing and so true. Were the type of guys that will get dirty and build things with our hands. The men Esquire caters to would hire people to do the things we love to do, or go to a salon to get a whatever it is women get.

Its sad that our world has come to this, but it's what it's become.

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from dwaynez wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I enjoyed the article, but the comments from everyone made this topic that much more interesting. Stong opinions all the way around

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from Blackfin32 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Last year I was briefly in the magazine biz on an internship, and on the recommendation of a colleague I started an Esquire subscription. By and large, the magazine is frivolous and I won't be renewing. But that said, most magazines are frivolous and bowhunter2 is right that even newer Esquire issues sometimes contain excellent reporting and writing. I not long ago read one piece about a man who injected himself and worked out with steroids for a period of time, chronicling every effect, physical and mental, good and bad. The writing was strong indeed.
But minus articles like that, nearly every word of Esquire is designed to be clever, and sometimes cute. F&S, thank God, is not dying to be cute. Where there is humor it's drier than not (cheers to Petzal), and let's hope it stays that way. For that matter, even GQ is better than Esquire these days.
I think we should consider, while on the subject of magazines, that editors take the blame when anything goes wrong and authors take the credit when things turn out right. Which is as it should be, no doubt. Esquire is the perfect case in point: Some talented people write for it, so we get to read good stories now and then; but a hell of a lot bad stories and columns and tidbits also get through, and that's the fault of the editors. On the other hand, when you do find a magazine in which all of the writing and content is pretty damn good, congratulate the editors. A good editor can save an awful piece of writing, and one who can't shouldn't be in the business.

P.S. Any job openings at F&S these days?

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from .88Mag wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Soy milk. What does that have to do with the Feminization of the American Male? Well, I heard my mother-in-law say one day that, "Since I started having a glass of soy milk a day, I found that I don't need to take my menopause pills." Come to find out, there is a significant amount of naturally occurring estrogen in soy milk.
Have another soy latte pretty boy!

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from chadlove wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Wow, get sick for a day and the conversation just leaves you behind...

Bowhunter2, one thing this blog is not is an echo chamber, nor would I want it to be.

Honestly, the biggest pleasure I derive from doing this isn't seeing my writing published in F&S (although as a full-time writer whose rather unconventional childhood was profoundly influenced by reading F&S it's certainly satisfying), rather it's getting the opportunity to have just this kind of conversation with guys just like you.

The same posters you deride for "right on, damn straight, harumph harumph..." are the same ones who will in all likelihood be calling me the dumbest SOB on the face of the planet on my next post, or the one after. Stick around and you'll see...

And I like it like that. Blogs with a constant chorus of affirmation are pretty dull affairs.

And please, the one thing I don't traffic in is the anti-intellectual typecast Bubba hunter stereotype, because there's simply no such thing.

As a fer-cryin'-out-loud example, I just wrote a post where I gushed about wanting to fish with Peter Matthiessen. How pretentious is that?

And you want to know what the coolest thing about that post was for me? To discover that a bunch of other guys out there were Butthole Surfers fans, too.

Now if that doesn't go against the typical one-dimensional mainstream redneck hunter stereotype then I don't know what does, and the fact you felt compelled to voice a differing opinion on this blog post is a perfect example of what a diverse bunch we really are.

So if you think it's an echo chamber then instead of leaving why don't you stick around and yell a little louder next time?

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from Gman wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I don't know, Chad. I'm thinking the "writer" behind that particular piece of text is closing in on her career high point - describing a colonoscopy with the dramatic tension of the river voyage of the African Queen.

"It's a polyp, Mr. Allnut! Grab the gunwales!"

The NY slick mag biz is really beyond my comprehension. I stick to the trades.

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from Jack Ryan wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

You can thank the paranoid PC public school system for the femenizing of today's male. The penalty for carrying any thing sharp to school is so stiff they have any kid concerned about their grades terrified they may accidently carry something to school that will destroy 12 years of effort.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Horseman308

LMAO!

I was about to post the same thing you did as a was reading down the page. Let all those pussies go get their manicure, pedicure, and spray-on tans.

All you Metro's keep going to Dave matthews Band concerts and buying Barry Manilow CD's. You too can be at one with the rest of the queens of the planet.

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Good post Chad, truly.
Thanks for the sentiment. I will stick around. Have read F&S for a good while, never felt compelled to post til now, as the Greek chorus was just getting on my nerves. My point: Do I own knives, pocket knives, hatchets, machetes, and yes, a Leatherman? Yes. Many. Does that make me and my way of life superior to some guy who doesn't? Of course not. What a stupid proposition.

And this may come as a shock to you, but there are a lot of stupid things in every magazine. That's all I've been trying to say: Because an admittedly asinine piece of advice from Esquire stuck in your craw, you hauled off and decided the whole enterprise sucked, and was something less than manly. I called you out on that, because I think you're wrong. In my view, what you did was like deciding you don't like a 4-course meal because the garnish wasn't to your liking. I go to that magazine for the longer-form writing, and ignore the frivolous advice stuff (just my taste), just as I ignore parts of F&S.

And here's the last I'll say. In your last post, you wrote:

"And please, the one thing I don't traffic in is the anti-intellectual typecast Bubba hunter stereotype, because there's simply no such thing..."

I certainly didn't accuse you of doing that. What I was saying is that you and your boys traffic in all the dumb stereotypes about guys who aren't like you. You know, the guys who give or need knife advice. Just because they might not know what you know or have the experiences that you have doesn't mean that you're somehow more of a man than they are. And if you need to go around making that claim to make yourself feel good, it just makes you look silly instead.

Y'all have a fine weekend.

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from Elmer Fudd wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

No longer a good link I think but check out the "women we love" section

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from Sharkfin wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Wow, what a sand storm. I too remember in high school most of us carried a pocket knife. During hunting season the rifles and shotguns weren't just in truck. I remember seeing them hanging on racks in the back window of pickup trucks. I now carry and have for as long as I can remember some variety of knife in my pocket. Right now I carry one of those little Gerbers with a replacable razor blade most of the time because it is very compact and always very sharp thanks to the pack of replacement blades I keep in my truck. I also have a pocket knife or 50 collecting dust in multiple drawers all over my house. If I, for some reason forget my knife I feel lost as soon as I realize it's not in my pocket, whether I need it or not. It's not something I advertise but everybody that knows me know that if they need a knife I've got one. I even keep an extra in my truck, desk and saddle bag. Does that make me more of a man than others? Nope, not by itself, but I do feel that my attitude and personallity does, sometimes. But that's just me.

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from jcarlin wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

My pocketknife for years now has been my Ka-bar Warthog Folder. Other than the fact that I tend to drop it in my desk drawer when in the office it is generally on my person until I put it on my nightstand with my glasses when I go to sleep. Until God favors me with longer sturdier finger nails or truly vicious teeth (and a stomach that's willing to allow me to gut deer and bite into the tops of motor oil bottles) I don't see that changing. I'd also like to point out that in the year after 9-11 I very politely handed over 4 folders and small multi-tools at unlikely locations for a search. Since then I don't beleive any place beyond airports and government buildings that I've been into since have taken any interest.

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from jcarlin wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

One more thing, on Mother's day I make a quiche for my wife. It's an omelette on a pie crust. Who on earth could complain about such a brilliant form of breakfast?

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

It's been a fine discussion, Chad. Thanks for hosting it. One quick point on your previous post: When it comes to magazines, I do think we should distinguish between the physical magazine and the website, should we not? It seems (present magazine website excluded) that most websites tend to favor the BS over the more substantial stuff. But the magazine itself is the flagship. Anyway, adios. Have a fine weekend.

Oh, and here's that incredible Esquire story by CJ Chivers that stumpthumper was referring to, all 18,000 words of it. A Google search says that it won the National Magazine Award a couple years ago:

www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0606BESLAN_140?click=main_sr

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

To John R . . .

Thank you for your comment. And thank you for your analysis of this overall blog and related thoughts. Excellent.

T.W. Davidson

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from Bella wrote 5 years 7 weeks ago

I often carry both multi tool and pocket knife, as if only men would do such a thing. Of course I'm of old swamp yankee stock and I'll admit my butch tendancies. Whats so wrong with being in the middle? Anybody who observes human beings can only come to the conclusion that gender is a continuum with every possible variation explored in living people. There is less difference betwixt men and women than most people allow themselves to admit. However the extremes of gender seem to get the most credit despite the rise of the unisex. Perhaps this is because it is simpler to regard gender as a binary function, on or off, male or female, black or white. Simpler but unfortunately reality doesn't express itself that way. Infinate variation is the rule, gender comes in every graduation between male and female. Intersex individuals are becoming more common as the long term effects of endocrine disrupting agricultural chemicals in the groundwater change the genome. You may not know that effeminate metrosexual you meet in the 7-11 or that person whose gender you can't quite figure out that you saw in the thrallmart, but they are both human beings deserving of respect. You can choose to have a tattoo, or put a ring in your whatever, but persons with intersex conditions, gender dysphoria and other conditions did not choose to be the way they are, those choices were made before they were born, often by men in suits quite unaware of just what they were accomplishing in pursuit of a profit for their shareholders in boardrooms far from the fields where people labored unaware they were poisoning future generations. That effeminate creature in the 7-11 you scorn is suffering the consequences of other mens sins, you only lower yourself if you abuse that person because of your own false perceptions.

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from tygardner wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

any grown man thats feels "bad" when carrying a pocket knife is a bit sad...i carry one around in my back pocket everywhere i go (except school)

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from MNhunter23 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I really feel that the ban of knives in school has cut down on the number of people that will carry them in the future. There are just so many places these days that do not allow you to have a knife on you. I often leave my knife at home, because I know the chances are good that throughout the course of the day I might end up in one of those such places.

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

You know the funniest part of this...even if the readers of that blog do have a pocketknife laying around, $100 says none of them have steel wool or a sharpening stone...let alone the knowledge to actually use said sharpening stone.

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from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

Isn't Esquire that New York City magazine that all the Homo's read? They probably don't carry a knife in their pocket because it might mess up their strut.

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

No Chad, I haven't read the story you're complaining about, the one you're basing your entire opinion of the magazine on. I have no doubt you're right. Lord knows, nobody gets it right every time out. Not even F&S. Not even you.

The story I was referring to as having read is the one I linked to, which was published only six months ago; you know, the one that you won't have a look at because it would upset your whole thesis.

I'll leave now. Y'all don't seem comfortable with people who disagree.

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

I've had the same pocket knife in my pocket for the last 30 years. For heavier cutting tasks there is always a small sheath knife on my belt. They are some of my everyday "don't leave home without it" gear.

We just had another Esquire reading easterner die in our Wyoming wilderness. He thought that a cell phone was all the emergency gear he needed when he left the ski run. No knife, no lighter. Now no more life.

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from darksoldierscadamia wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

ok.... i am probably going to disappear into the ether for this.... but i will say it at risk of being labeled a conspiracy hut.... keep in mind i am only 24 so i wasnt alive during the rising of the conspiracy theorist.

america. as much as i love my country, is going soft... and has been since lincoln. and probably before that.
the people in charge are breeding a more docile nation. we are given gadgets and gizmos to play with. new ones every year are popping up. new drugs to make the sadness go away, to take the anger away, to make the energy overflow from too many video games and too many hormaone laden cheese burgers go away. this makes me sick. i see around me a society who gets their daily instruction from a friggen magazine, or a twitter message. there are no more humans left.. they all died out with the hippy movement. they all died out with mccarthy, they died with patton, and sherman, and ben lily and theodore roosevelt... they died with fathers that raise their children, they died with mothers that care what their daughters wore to school and social functions. they died with people that went to worship ... to worship and not to assuage the expectations of the community. again. this saddens me.

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from darksoldierscadamia wrote 3 years 34 weeks ago

oh... and as for carying a knife.... when i am out in the bush, i carry three sheath knives. a jungle master machette, a handmade saw blade knife( my first saw back) and a skinner/utility knife. i also have a ridge runner pocket knife on my survival necklace. sometimes i like to go lite so i carry just my old case knife my grandpa gave me. this is generally everyday.

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from dasmith wrote 3 years 29 weeks ago

The pocket knife should be viewed as necessary as a wallet. As a child I even recieved a small single blade pocket knife with white (fax) pearl grips from my great Grandmother to carry to Sunday school. Even the Supervisor on the NCIS TV show tells his "troops" to carry a knife. As my father always said, "A sharp knife is a mandatory necessity."

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from Karljthiessen wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

Hate to say it, but I think the Esquire article is a step in the right direction. Sadly, a lot of men (myself included) don't NEED a pocket knife because they work in an office. Suggesting we carry a knife is reminding us to get in touch with our instincts and get some dirt under our fingernails. Of course, I've been carrying a small knife everyday, even though I only use it once a week, if that. But, everytime I use it to open a package, it reminds me that I'd rather be cleaning a trout. Hopefully, by incouraging men to carry a knife, they find more interest in getting outside. Yes, we've lost our masculinity and maybe carrying a knife will get us closer to what we used to be.

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

"But the key word there - the one you used yourself - is classic, as in not current, gone, lost to the warm fuzzies of yesteryear...."

The story I linked was published about 6 months. And you can avoid all the "excrement" by just printing it out and reading it on paper. And oh, I read it. It's an astounding story. Sadly, your crushing judgment is obviously based on not so much recent experience.

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from bowhunter2 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

What's with echo chamber you got going here, Chad? You have to know y'all are trafficking in the dumbest stereotypes. Beating your chests, protesting just a little too loud, grunting to each other about what he-men you are because you carry a Leatherman. Congratulations. Yeah, there are examples of every kind of cultural stupidity reported in this thread, but it's not the way most men live, no matter what y'all say. People are more complex than that. Just because you're not ignorant doesn't mean you're weak or soft. You can appreciate good writing without being feminized. You can live in a city, and go hunting, too. Even with a bow.

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