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A Treatise on the Mustache

vintage mustache victorian gentleman late 1800s suit

Editor’s note: This impassioned (and fun to read!) article on the virtues of mustache-manship comes from Abdul R. Chaballout. Enjoy.

For those of us who have forgotten life in the United States before the 1980’s, the sudden appearance of Brad Pitt and Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, parading with freshly blossomed mustaches may seem random and unorthodox. Having spent the past year in the Middle East, where this particular expression of facial hair is very much a conventional display, I began to question whether we as Americans have forgotten an important element of human nature that many cultures globally have preserved. It was only after I embraced life with a mustache myself that I have come to transcend my initial prejudices on the matter.

I have found in this current age, men generally fall into two camps: those who tote and understand the mustache, and those who do not tote and do not understand the “hirsute appendage of the upper lip.” The latter community perceives the mustache to be an arcane ornament, a male accessory that is often displeasing to the common eye. This is a group that also believes in the clean-shaven status quo of modernity, subsequently casting the mustache into the dark abyss of the past. The former community, however, can naturally delineate the je ne sais quoi importance of the mustache, which has everything to do with manhood, and nothing to do with fashion. This is a group that fully apprehends the dying state of masculinity and seeks to rekindle the art of manliness through a reawakening of the mustache. At the core of this movement lays the belief that within every mustache lies ancient tradition, virtuous character, and resonant fellowship.

On Male Tradition

Every strand of hair found above a man’s lips serves as a tribute to the pantheon of mustache holders throughout history, an ode to the testosterone that has driven every strand of every male’s facial hair since the first man roamed Planet Earth. Historically speaking, the first record of man’s extravagant display of his mustache goes back to a painting of a Scythian horseman from 300 BC. Fast forward to the current age, where societies by and large have maintained their bond to the mustache, as evident in Egyptian society today, where a man’s honor is measured by the size of his mustache. Truth be told, an Egyptian clan elder was stripped of his honor in recent years when an unfortunate scuffle led to his kidnapping  and the subsequent humiliation of seeing his mustache shaved, packaged, and sent home.

It is only in recent times that the mustache has become a ubiquitous trademark of villains, pimps, and scalawags. One can easily find himself perplexed at how such a bona fide expression of man can so suddenly find itself disparaged. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact source of this evolution, one must remember we live in a time where manhood itself has become a trivial matter. As such, it is up to the vigilant and the wise to bring the youth of today back to the straight path.

On Male Character

prince hussein pacha egypt mustache early 1900s

Prince Hussein Pacha of Egypt… and his mustache.

The outward display of any mustache ostensibly indicates the presence of attributes that have most effectively driven the survival of the male race: virility and masculinity. Biologically speaking, release of testosterone in the development of all males drives the development of secondary sex characteristics, physical features that eventually sustain the holy blessing of procreation. One can appropriately compare the mustache to the feathers of a male peacock. Those peacocks that can flaunt the most impressive feathers are most likely to produce robust offspring. Similarly, those men with the fullest and cleanest mustaches are most likely to share their lives with women of the highest caliber.

Upstanding character in males holds honor as its nucleus. Only with strong honor can other positive attributes such as integrity, loyalty, and sincerity surface to the exterior of any man. That said, many societies hinge the honor of their males on the mustaches on their face. In Syrian society today, men build trust by swearing by their mustache and even go as far as offering their mustache as ransom in the event their integrity is compromised. And old Arab proverb once professed “every mustache has its scissors,” an indication that behind every mustache is a respectable male deserving of the utmost respect.

On Male Fellowship

Unlike women, who bond primarily through face to face discussions, males bond best through shared activities, namely through those performed side by side. Two men embarking on the road to friendship do so with a mutual appreciation of one another’s machismo. Such activities include logging, hunting, war, etc. At a more primordial stage however, the process begins with the most fundamental element of human bonding: similarity. When two men meet, bonding prospects are significantly enhanced when both tote a well groomed mustache. The reason for this goes back to the ancestral nature of this patch of hair, as it integrates both tradition and character, which provides an invariably solid foundation any two men can find relevant.

The proverbial mustache is not only a male prerogative, but a bastion of the male presence. Pushing for its elimination from the zeitgeist of any era carries no meaning but a denial of the source of manhood itself. Toting the mustache with the right intentions is a God-given right that even the English recognized when they declared: “a man without a mustache is like a cup of tea without sugar.”

Manvotional: Thomas Carlyle’s Advice to Young Men

Thomas Carlyle drawing engraving mid-1800s

Back in 1852, a young man wrote Scottish writer, historian, and educator Thomas Carlyle asking for suggestions on books to read. A small Scottish provincial newspaper published Carlyle’s response.  In his response, Carlyle advises the young man to stay away from fluff, study history, and read about ideas he’s curious about. Moreover, Carlyle encourages the young man to not let failures and mistakes get him down, but to keep striving after any goal he may have set. Finally, Carlyle counsels the young man that learning does not come solely from reading books. A man must actually get out and live life if he wishes to obtain a complete education. Great advice 147 years ago; great advice today.

Dear Sir,—Some time ago your letter was delivered me; I take literally the first free half-hour I have had since to write you a word of answer.

It would give me true satisfaction could any advice of mine contribute to forward you in your honourable course of self-improvement, but a long experience has taught me that advice can profit but little—that there is a good reason why advice is so seldom followed; this reason, namely, that it is / so seldom, and can almost never be rightly given. No man knows the state of another; it is always to some more or less imaginary man that the wisest and most honest adviser is speaking.

As to the books which you—whom I know so little of— should read, there is hardly any thing definite that can be said. For one thing, you may be strenuously advised to keep reading. Any good book, any book that is wiser than yourself, will teach you something—a great many things indirectly and directly, if your mind be open to learn. This old counsel of Johnson’s is also good, and universally applicable—”Read the book you do honestly feel a wish and curiosity to read.” The very wish and curiosity indicates that you, then and there, are the person likely to get good of it.  “Our wishes are presentiments of our capabilities;” that is a noble saying, of deep encouragement to all true men, applicable to our wishes and efforts in regard to reading as to other things.

Among all the objects that look wonderful and beautiful to you, follow with fresh hope the one which looks wonderfullest, beautifullest. You will gradually find, by various trials (which trials see that you make honest, manful ones, not silly, short, fitful ones), what is for you the wonderfullest, beautifullest—what is your true element and province, and be able to profit by that. True desire, the monition of nature, is much to be attended to. But here, also, you are to discriminate carefully between true desire and false. The medical men tell us we should eat what we truly have an appetite for; but what we only falsely have an appetite for, we should resolutely avoid. It is very true: and flimsy desultory readers, who fly from foolish book to foolish book, and get good of none, and mischief of all—are not these as foolish, unhealthy eaters, who mistake their superficial false desire after spiceries and confectioneries for their real appetite, of which even they are not destitute, though it lies far deeper, far quieter, after solid nutritive food? With these illustrations, I will recommend Johnson’s advice to you.

Another thing, and only one other, I will say. All books are properly the record of the history of past men—what thoughts past men had in them—what actions past men did; the summary of all books whatsoever lies there. It is on this ground that the class of books specifically named History can be safely recommended as the basis of all study of books, the preliminary to all right and full understanding of any thing we can expect to find in books. Past history, and especially the past history of one’s own native country, every body may be advised to begin with that. Let him study that faithfully; innumerable inquiries will branch out from it; he has a broad beaten highway, from which all the country is more or less visible; there traveling, let him choose where he will dwell.

Neither let mistakes and wrong directions—of which every man, in his studies and elsewhere, falls into many—discourage you. There is precious instruction to be got by finding that we are wrong. Let a man try faithfully, manfully, to be right, he will grow daily more and more right. It is, at bottom, the condition on which all men have to cultivate themselves. Our very walking is an incessant falling—a falling and a catching of ourselves before we come actually to the pavement!—it is emblematic of all things a man does.

In conclusion, I will remind you that it is not books alone, or by books chiefly, that a man becomes in all points a man. Study to do faithfully whatsoever thing in your actual situation, there and now, you find either expressly or tacitly laid to your charge; that is your post; stand in it like a true soldier. Silently devour the many chagrins of it, as all human situations have many; and see you aim not to quit it without doing all that it, at least, required of you. A man perfects himself by work much more than by reading. They are a growing kind of men that can wisely combine the two things—wisely, valiantly, can do what is laid to their hand in their present sphere, and prepare themselves withtal for doing other wider things, if such lie before them.

With many good wishes and encouragements, I remain, yours sincerely,

Thomas Carlyle

How to Unclog a Toilet Like a Plumber

Norman Rockwell plumbers painting print 1951

It’s every man’s worst fear. You’re at someone’s house, you  finish doing your business and flush the toilet, but instead of going down, the water comes up along with whatever you just deposited in the bowl. Would you be paralyzed with panic in that moment? Or do you know what to do?

For some reason, the lot has fallen to men to deal with clogged toilets. I guess in a time when we’re no longer needed to ride out in defense of the tribe, our toughness is marshaled to do battle in the bathroom. Many men, however, charge in brandishing their plunger but lacking a game plan on how to attack the clog. To help us learn how to effectively unclog a toilet, I called up Rod from Roto-Rooter and got the scoop. Here’s his advice.

Stop the toilet bowl from filling up. If it looks like the water might overflow out of the toilet, Rod suggests taking the lid off the tank as quickly as possible and closing the toilet flapper. The flapper releases water from the tank and into the bowl. It looks like, well, a flapper. If you’re worried that your flush has a good chance of turning into a flood, take off the top before you pull the trigger. Then you can keep one hand close to the flapper while the other hands pushes the flusher. The minute it appears the water is rising, you’re ready to stop the deluge.

toilet flapper unclogging the toilet tips

Toilet flapper

Get the right plunger. Once disaster has been averted, it’s time to unsheathe your plunger. To effectively use a plunger, you need a good seal between it and the toilet bowl. Funnel-cup plungers are the best plungers for this. They’re the ones with a flange, or added piece, extending off the bottom of the rubber cup.

funnel toilet plunger unclogging tips

Funnel-cup plunger

Warm up your plunger. Stiff, hard plungers don’t work as well as soft and pliant ones. Run your plunger under some hot water before you use it. This will soften up the rubber, which will help you get a better seal on the toilet bowl.

Plunge correctly. Stick the plunger in the bowl and use it to form a solid seal over the exit hole. Rod said that most people only focus on the downward push when plunging. But the pullback is just as important. Give a few good up and down strokes with the plunger and flush the toilet. If the water clears from the toilet, then you’ve successfully unclogged it. If the toilet starts overflowing again, just close the flapper to stop water from entering the bowl. Repeat the plunge and flush sequence until your clog is gone.

Secret Plumber Trick: Add hot water and dishwasher detergent. Add a few cups of hot water to the toilet bowl before you start plunging. After you pour the hot water in, let it sit for a few minutes. To put it mildly, the heat helps break the, um, stuff up. This will make unclogging the toilet with the plunger much, much easier. The heat from the hot water can sometimes break up the clog without plunging, so this could be a good tactic to use if you a clog a toilet at a friends house and you don’t want to face the embarrassment of asking for a plunger.

Also, try adding some dishwasher detergent to the mix. The soap can help break the clog up, as well.

(Hat tip Ryan and Jim in the comments.)

For harder clogs, use an auger. If the plunger doesn’t work, Rod says it’s time to bust out the auger. An auger is a cable-like device that you snake through the toilet hole to help loosen up a clog. You can find augers at most hardware stores.

toilet auger to unclog toilet

Auger

To use an auger, you simply snake the cable down the hole. Start turning the crank on the end you’re holding until it stops. This means you’ve reached your clog. The auger will either break up the clog or hook on to it. If it feels like you’ve hooked the clog, pull it out. Discard any waste on the end of the auger. Give the toilet a few good plunges to clear up any left over blockage. Flush. Shazam! Cleared toilet.

When to call the plumber. There are times when your own efforts just aren’t enough. How do you know when it’s time to call in the professionals to battle your clog? Rod says that if you see water backing up in the sinks or showers whenever you flush, it’s time to bring in a plumber. Water backing up in odd locations when you flush means you have a clogged main line. A plunger and auger won’t get the job done.

Avoiding clogged toilets. Rod’s parting advice was to avoid clogs in the first place. First, teach children that the toilet is not a Jacuzzi or water ride for their GI Joes. Rod says that the majority of his work with clogged toilets involves toys and other items that kids have flushed down the toilet.

Rod also says it’s important to ensure the jets around the toilet bowl’s edge are nice and clean. Stopped up jets will prevent the toilet from flushing at full power which in turn prevents you from clearing out the toilet and its contents. Weekly toilet cleaning with a brush will prevent build-up. If you haven’t cleaned the toilet in a while, you’ll probably have mega buildup. Rod suggests using an Allen wrench or screwdriver to clear out the junk.

Finally, take it easy on the paper. You don’t need an entire roll to wipe your bum.

So You Want My Job: Professional Wrestler

King Dabada professional wrestler entertainer

Once again we return to our So You Want My Job series, in which we interview men who are employed in desirable jobs and ask them about the reality of their work and for advice on how men can live their dream.

Today’s interview is quite a departure from our usual fare! King Dabada is a veteran professional wrestler who has worked around the world including the US, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Japan. These days he wrestles for Fog City Wrestling, San Francisco’s premier wrestling organization. Fog City Wrestling is wrestling 2.0 for the online masses.

1. Tell us a little about yourself (Where are you from? How old are you? Describe your job and how long you’ve been at it, etc).

Well, I was born in Stockton, CA and raised all my life in San Francisco. Hung out in Sunnydale all my life; went to school at Jefferson and got kicked out; went to Balboa and got kicked out of there, and so on and so on! I’ve been wrestling for just under 10 years. It’s been pretty good to me so far; I can’t complain. And don’t ask me how old I am!

2. Why did you want to become a pro wrestler?

I saw my uncle Reno Tuufuli wrestling on television one day, and from then on I was hooked. I started to go to the Cow Palace and watch him and Rocky Johnson and Jimmy Snuka work. It was nothing I’d ever seen before; it just amazed me. I couldn’t wait to be a wrestler. I was so excited about it. I miss those days watching my uncles work and messing around with the wrestlers and some of the old timers in the locker room. Those memories I will never forget. We used to sneak in the back door of the Cow Palace and watch the whole show. Those were the days. The security would say, “Hey who are you?” and I would say, “I’m with the wrestlers.” The wrestlers would come out and say, “Yeah he’s good, that’s Reno’s nephew.” I would have the biggest smile on my face, and I would look at the security guard and say, “I told you I was with the wrestlers dummy!”

3. If a man wishes to become a pro wrestler, how should he prepare? Are there schools that teach people how to wrestle?

To me it’s either you do it or you don’t. There are good schools out there, but you just have to be careful which school you go to. Some will rip you off! You have to really look into it and do your homework on the school and the trainers. Nowadays they’ve got kids training kids, and that’s just plain stupid! I really frown on that because we got a lot of that all over the states. I would rather listen to a guy that worked for the WWE and never got a push ((When a wrestler gains popularity with wins and positive exposure. A push can be a sudden win over a major superstar, or becoming involved in a high profile angle)) then to listen to a young kid giving me advice on how to wrestle in a ring. It just doesn’t make sense. I didn’t have that problem because my cousin, former WWE star Yokozuna, trained me.

4. How do you break into the business and start getting jobs?

You have to promote yourself and push yourself. If you want to get to the top plain and simple, you have to have tools of the trade! If this is what you want to do with your life, then you better  prepare for the good times and the bad times.

King Dabada professional wrestler in wrestling match

5. How do you move up to bigger and better leagues?

You have to do your homework, study your profession, and learn the in ring story. Promoters will look for how much you know. The better you are the bigger the payday and the league. I watch a lot of the old school wrestling now because you don’t see that anymore. To me those are the guys that made the sport what it is today.

6. How do wrestlers choose and develop the character that they portray inside of the ring?

For me it just came naturally. Watching action movies is good because you got bad guys and good guys. You can take a character from a movie and mold it to fit your personality. Also, reading comic books or watching Star Trek, animated Japanese cartoons, or some old school comedy movies can inspire you. And you can get ideas just from hanging out with family and friends as well; now those guys are some good characters! You can take a little from anything and put it in the ring and see what kind of reaction you get from the crowd.

7. What is the work/family/life balance like?

Right now it’s good. I have no complaints from my wife and the kids, so I’m good for now; I am a happy man!

8. What is the best part of your job?

Giving the people what they want and more. Also making sure the other wrestler doesn’t get hurt because I know he is trying to support his family, too.

9. What is the worst part of your job?

  1. When wrestlers get hurt for doing high risk moves, knowing full well they don’t have to, in order to get over with the crowd! I think that’s plain stupid!
  2. Getting hit with a chair ten times and the guy is still standing or when you do a devastating move and your opponent is down and then he fixes his knee pad or pulls up his shorts!
  3. When you get promoters that think they know about the business but never did a bump ((When the wrestler hits the mat)) in their life. It cracks me up with the story lines they come up with because they don’t make any sense at all.

10. What is the biggest misconception people have about your job?

I hate it when people ask me, “Is it real or fake? My answer is that there’s only one way to find out, and that is to jump in the ring and find out yourself, and then you’ll know the answer!

 

Dealing with Male Depression

depression1

Source: Life

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from S.M. Leahy. Mr. Leahy is a student studying at Columbia University. He is originally from Virginia.

A man will have faults.  An overweight man can look at himself and take the steps needed to shed pounds.  A man with poor eyesight can wear glasses or contact lenses. How often, though, does a man look inside himself for ways to improve? A man’s emotional and mental health are just as valuable as his physical, yet the former receives much less attention. One of the most common mental illnesses in men is depression. 10 % of men will suffer a major depressive episode during their lifetime.

Great men in history who suffered from depression are numerous: Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, and Buzz Aldrin to name a few. Buzz Aldrin overcame his depression and alcoholism, eventually becoming Chair of the National Mental Health Association. Churchill took up painting to keep what he called the “black dog” at bay. The treatment Hemingway sought for his depression only served to deepen it. The ECT shock treatments stole from him valuable memories and hindered his writing ability, precipitating his  suicide with a gruesome shotgun blast to the forehead.

What makes mental illness, such as depression, so difficult to deal with in men is the perceived shame that comes with admitting it.  The World Health Organization states that fewer than 25% of male sufferers worldwide will seek treatment “[because of] social stigmas associated with mental disorders including depression.”   A man may put his pride before all else, no matter what the cost. I know this, and I know how high the price can rise.

Origins  of Depression

I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder when I was seventeen years old, but I believe I had been suffering for years prior.  Since childhood I had bouts of extreme sadness.  I would sit in the blue-grey light of our family’s kitchen as the sun slipped below the horizon and feel paralyzed, head to foot, by some terrible aloneness. I would recover from each bout within a few days, but I could feel the sadness stalking me.  I’d fall into it even when I had something in my life to be elated about. I became confused and frustrated because of the incongruity, and the depressive episode would deepen. I had no idea where it all came from.

Depression’s origins vary from man to man. Sometimes traumatic events such as sudden death or illness triggers depression. Early social interaction and a man’s childhood also play a major role.  If a man felt neglected or unloved by his parents, or ostracized by other children, depression is more likely to become a constant companion. Eventually, however, depression boils down to a question of biochemistry. Although we all have sad episodes in our life, even some lasting for weeks or months, men who suffer from depression have some sort of imbalance in their brain chemistry that causes pain and suffering for no reason and without warning. While looking to the past to find the root of a man’s depression can be beneficial, a focus on positive and active treatment now and in the future is most essential.

Dealing with it: The Monster and The Man

Everything was enemy to me. I used denial as a defense mechanism, a way to preserve my ego and pride.  I would not admit to myself that I was weak and needed help.  This is how I built my monsters.

I started to self medicate. Towards the end of high school and the first semester of college, I used alcohol heavily at the worst times.  I would seek it out on the weekends and drink alone in the corners of house parties and in the back seat of parked cars. This was not a social activity. I smoked cigarettes in the same secretive way. When I had happy and together moments in life, I abstained from drinking and smoking – to this day, I don’t enjoy either. When I was in the valleys – when I hurt – alcohol and cigarette tobacco always arrived.

The emotional abuse I saddled on those around me remains the worse product of my depression. I allowed depression to burden not only me, but two girlfriends, my family, and my closest friends. One girl could not deal with it and ended up leaving me.  The other stuck around longer, and I abused her emotions without knowing it. I was terrifyingly cold and unfeeling, even as she broke down into tears and begged me to say anything.  I made her feel responsible for anything that went wrong in my life.  I left her more than once without warning, but would soon come back  and manipulate her damaged emotions to get back together. All of it was a way for me to artificially build myself back up. I was trying to destroy my depression, but I ended up harming the most vulnerable people in my life. Cowardice and dishonesty dictated my thinking.

What underlies all these abuses is a fundamental disgust and anger with one’s self.  I manipulated the emotions of everyone around me to bring them down to my level and feel better about my station in life.  Admitting my weakness terrified me so much that I went out and tore away.

The booze and cigarettes, I think, show a self-destructive streak common to all those who suffer with depression.  Although the exact motives for self-destructive thoughts vary, they usually revolve around the ideas that a man cannot deal with such a great burden or, as in my case, that a man is not worth it, that he does not deserve to live because of such weakness.

I was honest on the worst day of my life. It was December 12, 2007. That day, I received my acceptance letter to Columbia University, an Ivy League school in New York City. The second I opened it and saw “Congratulations!” I placed it on my mother’s desk, walked into my room, and slowly lowered myself, face down, to the cream carpet after turning out all the lights. I was motionless for hours, half naked, praying for life to seep out of me. I never cried. I was far beyond the point of emotional release.  When my mother opened the bedroom door, I looked up and said, “There’s something wrong with me.”

Honesty and integrity are fundamental parts of manhood. Admitting weakness takes a tremendous amount of effort. It also is the most important step to correcting the flaws in a man’s life. I realized I could not deal with depression on my own and allowed myself to grow more comfortable with the idea of professional help. I started seeing a psychologist, who I will call “Lloyd.” Lloyd was a soft spoken Southerner who talked with me instead of treating me. I was skeptical and guarded when we first met, and I asked him why I should trust him, a stranger I’d never met. His response was simple, “There’s no good reason.” It was the perfect answer. Lloyd let me talk in a way I never had before. He asked simple but difficult questions and let me unravel myself. There were points when he was candid and told me that he didn’t have a good answer for whatever issue we were working through. He showed me life was uncertain but worth it, too.  Eventually, we developed a system for dealing with my depression:

  • Carefully monitor my moods. I started keeping a journal after talking with Lloyd. I update it every day.
  • When I begin to see my mood swing down, I mentally prepare myself for a depressive episode and take preemptive steps to deal with it. It’s like the first signs of a cold or the flu – I realize there is no avoiding it, yet there are ways to make it easier.
  • Understand that my depression will be more or less present for my entire life. Simple acceptance can be the deciding victory.

Opening up to Lloyd was critical. Without talking about depression, and letting myself share the burden, I would be in much worse shape now. I would not be writing this article. For any man who feels he may be suffering from depression, a depressive episode, or is just in a low cycle of life, seeking counsel in someone close is the simplest and often most potent medication. A professional is not necessary for everyone; use your close friends or family members; they will judge you less than you think. But I would caution against relying on a girlfriend or wife as partners’ moods in a romantic relationship tend to feed off of one another, and you may end up inadvertently sucking them into your depression.  A little distance between yourself and that trusted other person is healthy.

Another method that I use to deal with depression is physical exercise. Vigorous exercise releases chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, that can elevate mood instantly. Studies have shown that exercise is just as effective as medication in treating depression. I stick to my routine every day and  never skip it, even when I am in a low phase.

Do not let depression hijack your life. Keep busy physically and mentally to hold depression at bay. It can be tempting to think that a step back from the stress of life will do a man good. However, when a day loses purpose, when nothing fills the hours, depression is happy to steal them away. Depression will lure you away from the good in life before it strikes.

Lloyd and I  talked about prescription drugs briefly, and we quickly decided against it.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a trend in America that revolves around quickly and haphazardly prescribing potent drugs. To that end, overprescription and abuse are higher than they should be. Antidepressant use in this country has doubled over the last decade; 1 in 10 Americans are now takings meds! Medication for mental illness is extremely powerful and should only be used by men who absolutely cannot function without it

Lessons

I do not revel in my depression. I do not use it as an excuse nor do I exalt it to others or myself. I understand it is a destructive force. That being said, I have learned things while in deep depressive episodes that have allowed me to grow as a young man. The introspection and reflection that came with depression has led to my life evolving.  Because I know how dark things can get, I am more thankful and more aware of the happiness in my life – I appreciate my friends and family much, much more.  Finally, I believe I may never have started writing were it not for Lloyd recommending starting a journal.  Now, I plan to make writing my life’s work.

Yet I wish I could have found these answers in other ways.  There is something here a man should learn to do: Whatever the situation, no matter how dark, move through the awful and find the goodness.

Have you dealt with depression?  What have you done to overcome it or get a handle on it? Let us know in the comments.

The Best of Art of Manliness: August 2009

I can’t believe summer is almost over. It went by fast. Thankfully, for the first time in 21 years I won’t be going back to school this fall. It feels sort of weird. Anyway, August was a great month at the Art of Manliness. Lots of great comments in the posts and lots of manly activity in the Community. Thanks again for all your help in making the Art of Manliness a success.

Here are the top 5 most popular posts in August:

13 (More) of the Worst Products For Men

Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Being Decisive

How to Apologize Like a Man

Old School Workout: Daily Exercises for Young Men from 1883

The Community

The blog isn’t the only part of the Art of Manliness site. If you’d like to connect with other men who are interested in rediscovering the lost art of manliness, make sure to join the Community. We have over 4,200 registered members from all over the world. In the Community, you can share manly pics, write a blog post about a manly skill, or take part in one of the hundreds of discussions going on.

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The 30 Days E-book

If you missed our 30 Days to a Better Man program back in June, you can download it in a nicely formatted PDF eBook for only $5. The book is over 90 pages long and crammed with tips and motivation to help you become a better man in just a month. Click here to download it.

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