The New York Times’ 27 Ways to Be a Modern Man: A Rebuttal

Last week, the New York Times published “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man” by some guy named Brian Lombardi. It’s painful to read — pretentious, irrelevant, and plain stupid.

I want to believe that it is actually a satire of the typical New York Times reader — the beta male, crybaby, hipster douche. Sadly, that appears not to be the case.

Having co-authored the definitive guide on manliness, I found Lombardi’s list so misguided and irritating that I felt compelled to write a a point-by-point response:

1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.

What kind of idiot asks his sister-in-law instead of looking in the closet? A modern man doesn’t know if Manolos or Louboutins run big or small, and he doesn’t care. He lets his wife buy her own shoes.

2. The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.

“Be like a duck. Stay calm on the surface but paddle like hell underneath.” Amirite?

Thanks for the fortune cookie wisdom you picked up from a meme you saw on some soccer mom’s Pinterest board.

3. The modern man is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.

The modern man doesn’t eat popcorn at the movies; it’s disgusting. But he also knows how to eat discreetly.

4. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.

That depends on who cooked it and what cut of meat it is — a modern man knows that a filet doesn’t have fat on it. If I want a 10oz rib eye, sometimes I’ll order the 14oz steak, eat the best 10 ounces, and bring the rest home for my dog.

5. The modern man won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.

I can let this one slide.

6. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.

“Sorry honey, no more phone for you.” I prefer trusting the competence of my wife and teaching my kids the importance of responsibility.

7. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.

Not only does the modern man not use the word “cola”, he never buys them. Dr. Pepper is for rednecks and Mountain Dew is for people who get paid by the hour. Carbonated soft drinks are disgusting. A modern man drinks Pellegrino (or equivalent) for his soda fix.

8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.

Who cares? The modern man doesn’t spend time thinking about things like this, but he probably knows that a “chopper” is a motorcycle.

9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.

That’s certainly true with respect to having children, but last time I checked, I couldn’t pick the sex of my kids, unless I was willing to take my wife to a South Korean fertility clinic. And a modern man doesn’t do that.

10. The modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.

What kind of idiot puts wet dishes away? The modern man knows how to empty a dishwasher and probably only ever sees a dish rack when he visits his grandmother’s house.

11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.

The modern man doesn’t care about what people do on Twitter.

12. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.

Hell no. The modern man prefers liquid body wash. If he runs out, he uses shampoo or his wife’s lavender body wash.

13. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.

90s hip-hop is the crutch of the 30something white male who still wears cargo shorts, gives bro hugs, and overuses the word “dude”. The modern man likes all kinds of music, including hip-hop, but he doesn’t feel the need to make a big deal about it.

14. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.

Why isn’t a grocery store a place for phones? We use them in bars, cars, and at dinner tables, but we can’t multitask in Whole Foods? That’s idiotic. The modern man remembers his grocery list, or sometimes, he looks at his phone — probably the list his wife texted him.

15. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.

The modern man definitely does not wear Kenneth Cole oxfords. He doesn’t wear hard bottom shoes around the house. And he doesn’t stomp around like some petulant child.

16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.

Ok. It’s sort of obvious, but I’ll accept it, even though the author of this list doesn’t sound like much of a fighter.

17. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?

The modern man probably has to Google what a “melon baller” is. Then he concludes that he doesn’t want his fruit looking like it came off an all-you-can-eat Vegas buffet.

18. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.

The modern man has a drawer full of shoehorns that came with his shoes. Because a modern man buys expensive shoes, and he takes care of them.

19. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.

A modern man buys fresh flowers (orchids) for himself, and surprises his wife with something more thoughtful.

20. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down or vulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.

Or he gets drunk and watches his favorite melancholic movie (Magnolia).

21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.

A modern man never thinks about scolding someone for sneezing. He does however understand the importance of teaching kids (boys and girls) the importance of manners. He also doesn’t coddle his daughter just because of her gender.

22. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.

The modern man is not Tony Soprano. The modern man has already read the news on his iPhone by the time he sits down for breakfast, which he spends enjoying the company of his kids.

23. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).

The modern man hasn’t said the word “Blu-ray” in at least five years.

24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.

A modern man doesn’t let his phone run flat.

25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.

The modern man might have a gun or he might not, but he still knows how to use one. And he certainly doesn’t impose his moral views regarding guns on others. Since I’m the one sleeping next to the door protecting my wife, I sleep better knowing there’s a Glock 19 nearby.

26. The modern man cries. He cries often.

Crying is fine, but I’m not sure about “often.” The modern man is not a crybaby.

27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.

The modern man doesn’t refer to a song as “his jam”, nor does he ever “put on a clinic.”

John LeFevre is the creator of @GSElevator on Twitter, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Straight To Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals