Tag Archives: liberal

listen to music.

15 Sep

On my way to work, I usually listen to news on the radio.  It’s a quick way for me to get the basics of the world on my 15 minute commute. Remember, Grown Men know the news.  However, my news station of choice has been raking me over the coals of guilt and shame this week during their twice a year pledge drive (though I’m starting to suspect it’s MUCH more often than that).  Some well meaning woman whom I’m totally sure is wearing a dog-hair cardigan and sensible khakis is softly berating me with statements like, “We provide quality news and entertainment to you year round – all we’re asking is for you to provide for us once a year. Is that too much to ask?”  Oh geez, I get it, I get it, I’ll give you my 20 bucks — just bring back your soothing and gentle presentation of the economic meltdown and multiple wars!

So, I’ve done what any good NPR listener would do this time of year and plugged in the iPod.  And yesterday, I found myself doing something very un-Morning Edition.  Instead of quietly driving, considering, and reflecting — I sang.  Oh heck yeah, I sang!  It was ugly and comical to those who caught a glimpse of me in the rear-view mirror but man, it felt great.  And the reason it felt great was because music is important and something that Grown Men tend to enjoy less and less of as they become older and more “mature.”

The truth is, music is primal.  We know this by looking at babies.  For example, take your average little fella who’s just learning how to stand.  I guarantee you that a majority of the time, when you turn on Single Ladies or some other classic but terrible dance song, that chap is going to start bouncing.  Then, if the song is particularly, wonderfully, bad (Telephone by Lady Gaga), he’s going to start smiling, clapping, and having a heck of a time.  Does he know the complexities of the lyrics (“Just a second, it’s my favorite song they gonna play. And I cannot text you with a drink in my hand, eh?”)?  No, he has no idea what’s being said.  Does he enjoy the bold vocal arrangements and unique instrumentation found in modern… whatever. No.  All he knows is that this noise makes him feel good and he’s gotta dance his Pampers off.

Grown Men, you’ve got to put down the talk radio and listen to music more often.  Because music, even crappy music that you’re embarrassed to tell people you like (Madonna: The  Immaculate Collection) is one of the great forms of enjoyment we get in this life.  And, in our adult lives, we need as many outlets for pure, non goal oriented, relatively pointless happiness that we can find. The problem is, we get old (or at least, we think we get old) and those purely enjoyable activities get replaced with kinda fun, but sorta purposeful, but “it’s not that bad”, but “a little boring” acts — like email and catching up on the Tivo. 

Listening to music is one of the disciplines of our lives that must be practiced to keep us grounded, creative, peaceful, and well-rounded men.   Taking five minutes to lean back in a comfortable chair with The Beatles is probably more helpful than one more email, one more episode of Entourage, or another call returned.  Even if it’s a crappy artist that only you like (Creed), the fact that you enjoy it and can create space to partake in it is critical for your overall balance.

You’re a Grown Man, listen to music.

One more thing, please don’t assail me in the comments because I listen to NPR. Their political agenda is unimportant to me and they don’t yell, which is key at 8am.

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. V

15 Jul

Good Thursday, Grown Men.  Let’s do this thang…

Dear Grown Man,

I work in one of those “cool” places where people come into work wearing T-Shirts, including the two owners. I wear casual button downs most of the time, so at least I’m making some headway.

What about shoes, though? [I cut out some stuff] Sneakers in the work place are for teenagers working at a fast food joint…it doesn’t matter how nice they are. So what should I be wearing?!

Thanks,
Ben

Benjamin,

We have two things to talk about.  First, you need to have a good old fashion uprising in your office. It is ridiculous that a man with your fashion forward mind should consider, even for a moment, working for those goons. Today’s the day, Benny Boy. Walk right in there, inform them that there’s no room for Ed Hardy in a Brooks Brothers world and demand their jobs. When they refuse, make sure they notice the pitchfork and torches that you and the other button-down-boys are holding and give them an ultimatum – either they dress like freaking adults, or they shall be brained.

Second, the fact that you’ve even considered what shoes to wear gives me a great amount of hope for you.  Allow me to honor your inquiry with some well-organized bullet points regarding shoe selection:

No kidding, I owned these exact shoes.

-You may not ever wear sneakers to work UNLESS your company is having some sort of outdoor activity that forces you all to walk in a 5k on a Saturday morning in matching t-shirts.  Even “teenagers working at a fast food joint” should have the work ethic to wear standard issue black restaurant shoes instead of flashy British Knights (or whatever the kids are wearing now).

-As you so astutely pointed out, your suit shoes shouldn’t be your 9-5 shoes.  You really need to own shoes that are only worn with your suit(s).  They should remain well polished and kept in the box until very special occasions.

-Your 9-5 shoes need to be somewhere on the spectrum between your Indie-boss kicks and the suit shoes.  I would avoid patent (shiny) leather and overly trendy colored shoes.  Brown or black, tasteful, and timeless are always good guidelines.  However, I respect a Grown Man’s decision to have a unique style, so if you must show some flair, do it in a way that doesn’t elicit memories of juice boxes and recess.

Ben, I hope this helps and thanks for giving a crap about how you appear at work.  Prepare for the uprising my friend – the revolution is now.

My Adidas,
GM

Why do men not give their girlfriends compliments after the first 3 months? My friends and I can get compliments from other men all day long, but the one she wants them from doesn’t give them.

-Christine

Christine,

Men DO give their girlfriends compliments after the first three months, years, and decades.  The “men” you are speaking of are hunter/gatherers who give compliments to lure women and get their fill of emotional and/or physical affirmation.  When these men finish the chase, they simply begin the process of discarding the carcass and moving on.  I assure you, the man you speak of is giving compliments to some woman – just not “your friend.”

Your friend,
GM

Until next week, keep asking those great questions!


know the news.

31 Mar

I’m always amazed when I bring up a general news story with a buddy and he has no clue what I’m talking about. It’s important that you have a cursory overview of the latest happenings on your planet from some source other than Stewart/Colbert, SNL, or, gasp, Rush. Hear me on this, I’m not talking about a page 4 story on the minutia of global politics. I’m talking about the basics:

“President signs [whatever] into law”
“Country A is talking smack about Country B”
“A Cure for [whatever] is found!”

Here is what doesn’t count towards your news quota:

“[Famous person] is dead.”
“Your team won!”
Any teaser during [insert cop or reality show] that prompts you to watch local news…
“Is your house killing you? Find out at 11.”
“You probably have cancer! Find out at 11.”

Here are some good places to get your news:
Newser It’s a great news aggregator that displays top headlines throughout the day and allows you to turn off the Paris Hilton type nonsense.

-RSS Feeds – Subscribe to some of your favorite news sites via an RSS reader. My favorite is Google Reader. There are a zillion of them out there. I’m not going to teach you how to use a computer.

TIME Magazine – I’d suggest getting the physical copy and not the online version. It’s better. Now, people may get pissy about the lefty politics of this reference. Quit it. The point is, TIME delivers a great, quick, overview to your mailbox every week. Yes, it’s a little liberal, but watch 5 minutes of FOX News for every one magazine you receive and you’ll be “Fair and Balanced”.

-The newspaper

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