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Despite the recent success of action flick “The Expendables,” some say movies featuring the alpha male are a dying breed:

“After all, the top five films at the box office so far this year have been “Alice in Wonderland,” “Toy Story 3,” “Shrek Forever After,” “Twilight Saga Eclipse” and “Inception”– not exactly representations of the ultra-masculine man.  Fifteen years ago the number one film was “Independence Day,” five years before that it was “Terminator 2,” and some five years before that it was the action-packed “Top Gun.”

In place of the alpha male, movies are featuring more geeky men, sensitive dudes, and man-boys. But not everyone is happy with the change:

“And according to dating/relationships expert and author of “The Chase,” Samantha Brett, Hollywood’s ever-growing representation of girls going after “geeky” guys may demonstrate that Tinseltown is indeed out-of-touch with reality.

“Innately, women feel most safe, protected, secure, sexy and at their peak when they are with a man who makes them feel feminine and like a woman,” she added. “It’s in our DNA!”

Read the whole article here: ‘Alpha-Male’ Role in Hollywood Is a Dying Trend, Experts Say (@Fox)

Hat tip: Bean

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Sometimes you’re just in the mood for some random facts.

For example did you know that there are 107 boy babies born for every 100 girls babies? But boys are 25% more likely to die in infancy.

Or that while men currently represent around 50% of the U.S. workforce, they account for 94% of all on-the-job fatalities?

Or that men are four times more likely than women to be murdered? And that worldwide the average life expectancy for a woman is four years longer than for a man?

The grim reaper really needs to lay off us.

For more random facts (and they’re actually not all depressing, I promise), check out 32 Random Facts about Men. (@Random Facts)

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In a speech given at West Point last year, William Deresiewicz explores today’s crisis of leadership, the true meaning of leadership, and the necessity of solitude in acquiring it. Deresiewicz argues that today’s young people have learned only how to jump through hoops, how to conform to the checklist of what’s expected of them. But “true leadership means being able to think for yourself and act on your convictions.” A person acquires these skills through solitude, which includes introspection, concentration on focused work, sustained reading, and friendship (he explains this seeming contradiction). Deresiewicz posits that our tech-saturated lives lead to too much multitasking, when we really need to spend time working through our questions and doubts and formulating our own ideas away from the cacophony of voices we’re surrounded with.

A vital, insightful and important piece!

Read the whole speech at the American Scholar.

Hat tip to Joel Walden for this link.

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A Happy Fourth of July to those of you in the United States of America.

Marcus Brotherton, who has does much research and written several books about the Band of Brothers of WWII, and who has written before for AoM as well as doing our very first podcast with us, has written a modern day Declaration of Independence, inspired by the men of Easy Company:

A Declaration of Independence

I declare independence.

It’s not an independence rooted in irresponsibility, cowardly power, or maliciousness toward others.

I don’t want to burn the flag, overturn police cars at demonstrations, or smash windows at protests.

I don’t insist on doing whatever I want whenever I want.

Yet I declare independence.

It’s an independence from tyranny, an independence of self-determination, an independence to make something of my life.

It’s an independence that defines itself by reaching beyond myself to live an extraordinary life.

I am independent to be a leader in my commitments, to provide security for my family, to be noble in my career and community, and to be engaged on a global front.

It’s an independence to make deliberate decisions for right actions.

I declare independence.

My name goes here: _________________________________________________

Inspired by the men of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, the original Band of Brothers

A Company of Heroes—

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Originally published on June 30, 2009.

Read How to Build Sturdy Basement Shelves

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We had a couple of great giveaways running the last few weeks. With each giveaway, we randomly drew a name from all the entries as the winner.

The prize for the West Coast Shaving giveaway was a Merkur safety razor, badger hair brush, and Taylor of Old Bond Street shaving cream. The winner of that contest was:

Mike Duminiak from Pennsylvania

Up for grabs in the Mountain and Sackett giveaway was one handsome, handmade tie. The winner of that contest was:

Matthew Jones from New York

Everyone who entered the Mountain and Sackett giveaway should have received an email with a discount code for 20% off a M&S order which is good until Father’s Day.

If you didn’t win, no worries. We have more great giveaways coming up. So stay tuned!

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Originally published on June 2, 2009.

Read The Essential Man’s Library: 50 Fictional Adventure Books Edition

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Over at A Gentleman’s Journal, Ryan Lee made an awesome, evocative list of the things he loves about being a man. Here are some of my favorites:

  • A good, long, close shave. Shaving cream, with the grain. Shaving cream, against the grain. Cold water, aftershave.
  • My old Central Football shorts
  • Scars on my hands. Each one a story.
  • The smell of a locker room. Stale sweat and cologne. Weird I know, but it’s nostalgic.
  • The ‘PING’ of an aluminum bat
  • The sight of a beautiful woman. And contrary to popular belief, it is possible to admire a woman’s beauty without thinking of sex.
  • Work boots
  • Peeling an apple with a pocket knife
  • The smell of an old barbershop. Barbicide, hair tonic, the faint smell of old smoke
  • Emptying my pockets when I get home
  • Waking up in the woods, to the still hot embers of last night’s fire
  • My Grandfather’s comb. I still use it.

Be sure to check out the whole list over at the Gentleman’s Journal.

What do you love about being a man?

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