Correcting the New York Times’s Absurd Vision of the Modern Man


Yesterday, the New York Times published a list of “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man.” The Times’s attempt to reach out to metropolitan pseudo-intellectuals too highbrow for cat memes and Saved by the Bell gifs is so absurd as to warrant a point-by-point rebuttal. What follows, then, is the original list, corrected to reflect the defining characteristics of a real modern man.

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.

False. Under no circumstances does the modern man ever attempt to buy his wife or girlfriend shoes. Ever. The modern man would be better off lighting a hundred-dollar bill on fire and stamping it to ashes in the street. Never in recorded human history has a man successfully bought his lady a pair of shoes. It’s a proven scientific fact. Give her the money and back away slowly.

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.

The modern man does not have confidence. He has only bourbon.

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.

False. The modern man doesn’t go to movie theaters anymore, because 3D is a shameless gimmick and most multiplex chains won’t allow him to pre-book seats.

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.

The real modern man does not refer to his steak as a “fillet.”

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.

Thanks to Uber, the modern man hasn’t had to actually search for a parking spot in over a year.

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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.

This would require an effort to divorce his family’s attention from said electronic devices, and the modern man knows that’s a pointless waste of time. Good night.

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.

The real modern man owns a soda stream, which he never uses because work.

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

The modern man not only does not believe in “proper names for things,” he will emphatically replace the “er” suffix with an “ah” given any opportunity. “Choppah” not “chopper.”

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

Like why Miley Cyrus is smearing cake all over her face, or who this mysterious Felicia person she keeps saying goodbye to is! When she asks for a bow and arrow like the one Katniss Everdeen has, the modern man doesn’t argue. He happily obliges her and reaches for the bourbon.

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

The modern man does not do dishes. He does wonder what those colorful gel-tab packets taste like every time he throws them into the dishwasher. Every. Time.

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

Not only has the modern man pinned a tweet, he has created an anonymous Twitter account strictly for the purpose of harassing Houston Texans defensive end J. J. Watt.

Not only has the modern man pinned a tweet, he has created an anonymous Twitter account strictly for the purpose of harassing Houston Texans defensive end J. J. Watt.

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

The modern man doesn’t throw out old bars of soap. They’ll come in handy when his kids or wife walk in while he’s having his daily shower sob, the only moment of solace in his entire horrific week: He can quickly grab one and say he simply got some in his eyes.

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

The real modern man knows no matter how hard he tries he will never be black enough to actually listen to Wu-Tang and laughs at any white guy who tries.

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.

This would require having immediate access to pen and paper at all times. Next.

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

The modern man respects wood too much to stomp on it with any shoes.

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.

The modern man does not go to bed. He sits in his chair all night with a loaded gun, guarding the front door to his den like a boss.


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 does not use a mellon baller as anything other than a cereal spoon.

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

Not if the modern man has a sand wedge readily available.

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

The modern man recognizes that a new puppy will accomplish infinitely more than flowers in either case.

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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.

And that emotional shield presents itself in the form of the very considerate teammate on Battlefield who plays the role of medic even though he really, really hates it.

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

The modern man hopes the sneezing fit lasts long enough for him to upload a Vine of its happening without having to make any edits.

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

Any man seen doing this is either in witness protection or over the age of 75. His neighbors should consider moving.

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

Not all of them. The real modern man believes Manhunter is overrated crap and won’t be bullied into believing otherwise, not even by his friends, who say they liked it before Silence of the Lambs only to sound cool. He also believes, correctly, that Miami Vice is a better movie than Heat.

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

Wrong. A real modern man makes sure his wife or girlfriend never leaves the house without a Jackery external battery pack in her purse for backup. You can buy one on Amazon for $20 and you will thank me eternally.


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

See Number 16.

26. The modern man cries. He cries often.

See Number 12.

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 knows he can’t dance, and refuses to attend any event with a DJ instead of a live band, on principle.*

*Unless there’s bourbon — then, all bets are off.

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