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Starbuck MacIntyre's Guide to 21st Century Man

Starbuck MacIntyre’s Guide to 21st Century Man


Sean Cummings

Chapter 1 - What is a man?

Here’s a test.

Open your local newspaper and read a guy’s obiturary. Then read

another - and another after that. Know what you’ll find? Well,

it will probably look a lot like this:

Bloggins - James (Jimmy) 1955-2006

It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of James

(Jimmy) Bloggins on November 2, 2006 at the age of fifty-two

What is a man?
Starbuck MacIntyre's Guide to 21st Century Man

years. James worked as a journeyman welder through most of his

career. He was a very hard worker who raised his profession as a

welder to an art form. He was employed in high-rise construction

and worked on eight skyscrapers during the boom in the 1970’s.

Even when he was laid off during hard times, he recognized his

responsibility to his family and worked three jobs to make ends

meet. James was an avid hunter and fisherman and won three small

mouth bass derbys. He also wrote a fishing column for his

community newspaper and was an active volunteer with the

scouting movement. His proudest achievement was being a finalist

in the National Small Mouth Bass Fishing Championships in 2001,

coming in second place. He is survived by his wife Helen, his

daughters Karen and Lindsay.

This is an amalgam of about five different obituaries from

my local paper and frankly, it reads like the job history

section of a resume. There’s nothing about who this guy was,

what he meant to his family and what his life was about:

assuming you actually give a rat’s ass if the guy liked deep and

meaningful things like art and literature. I decided to start

this chapter with an obituary because, as the good guy’s in that

groovy 70’s rock band “Trooper” used to sing: “were here for a

good time, not a long time.” If you read Mr. Bloggins obiturary,

you have to ask yourself: did this guy have a good time?

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Starbuck MacIntyre's Guide to 21st Century Man

Beats me. Isn’t an obituary is something more than a notice

to family and friends that you slap in the classifieds?

Shouldn’t it act as a testament to your time on this planet?

You’d think so, right? Well... think again. Here’s a woman’s


Bloggette - Dorothy Margaret 1954-2006

Dorothy Margaret Bloggette passed away at the Blogginsville

Hospital on Thursday, November 9, 2006. She is survived by her

husband of thirty-four years, Richard Alexander “Al” Bloggette;

sons, Donald and Douglas, daughter Myrna Rose, all of

Blogginsville and son Wally of Bloggenstown. She also leaves

behind six grandchildren, Willie, Elyse Talia, Treveor, Anthony

and Stephanie. Dorothy was born in Blogginsville and graduated

from Western High School and Blogginsville College. She was a

long-term employee of A T & B, Target and Huburt Oilfield

Supply. Dorothy was a volunteer for Blogginsville Breast Cancer

and Screen Test Society and the Salvation Army. She was a good

friend to so many over the years. A Private Family Graveside

Service will be held followed by a celebration of Dorothy’s Life

on Monday, November 13, 2006 starting at 5:00 p.m. In lieu of

flowers, a memorial donation may be made in Dorothy’s name

directly to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Can you spot the differences?

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Starbuck MacIntyre's Guide to 21st Century Man

We know that James was married and had kids, but that’s

about it. It’s a given that Dorothy would be missed. She’s got a

jillion grand kids and you get the sense that she meant

something to her family and friends. Hell, she even gets a

celebration of her life! Poor old James get’s buried and his

wife get’s a widow’s pension!

Now this isn’t the fault of women, it’s the fault of men.

The whole point of this book isn’t about blaming women, but

rather, to decode the reasons why after fifty years of post

modern feminism, dudes have become a fart in the breeze. You can

smell us, and sometimes what you smell is rotten.

Not that we’re rotten mind you, far from it. A lot of guys

subscribe to the “define your life through your work” ethos and

it can be argued that men are far less complex that women.

Here’s another test ladies - ask your guy the following


1) Are you happy with your life? (Now as soon as you ask

this, he’s gonna think he did something to piss you off and that

it’s a trick question. Follow the question up with: “no I’m not

mad, no you’re not in shit, no, I’m not pregnant... when you

hear a loud ”whew!“, then go to the next question)

2) What’s the most important thing in your life? (He might

try to blow smoke up your ass by saying “well you, of course”,

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so head him off at the pass by saying, “I mean, besides me.”)

3) What does your life mean? (Okay... I goddamned guarantee

you that he probably won’t answer this question because he won’t

know what to say. If he’s quick on his feet, he might answer

your question with another question like, “are you absolutely

certain you’re not pregnant?” If this happens, don’t get angry

with him because he doesn’t know any better.)

You might want to ask these questions when he’s doing

something like repairing the leaky faucet or doing the taxes.

Why? Because guys have been genetically designed to avoid direct

conversation wherever possible- it makes us nervous. If you ask

him while he’s doing something, the very act of holding a wrench

in his hand will help him process what you’re asking in hope of

offering an honest answer.

So, now that I’ve offered a little insight, here comes the

big question: what is a man?

The dictionary says that a man is “an adult male person, as

distinguished from a boy or woman” and the sign on the bathroom

at the tavern tells me that I get to stand up when I pee.

Outside of that, I’m not entirely sure what a man is supposed to

be by definition. What kind of man are you?

a) Strong and silent?

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Starbuck MacIntyre's Guide to 21st Century Man

b) Dumb as a post?

c) Sperm vassal?

d) Future child support payor?

I asked my the question to my friend Dave and he punched me

in the face. I asked again and he said, “oh shit - you’re

serious aren’t you?” I asked a third time and he told me to stop

being gay. What did I learn from that exchange? Well for

starters, I shouldn’t converse on deep topics unless Dave is

hammered. I also learned that he didn’t want to answer because

he probably didn’t know - that’s why he told me to stop being


Not that I am gay - I’m not. However, in the male lexicon,

“being gay” is a euphemism for “if we start talking the way

women talk, I might become gay so I’m gonna punch you for

bringing up the topic.”

I guess I had it coming. Anyway, I can’t answer the

question because I think it means something different for every

guy out there. While it may have a personal meaning, it doesn’t

stop most men from shaping their lives in concert with our

western take on masculinity: go to work and earn as much as you


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Starbuck MacIntyre's Guide to 21st Century Man

Here are some fast facts for you:

a) Men don’t live as long as women

b) Men generally see their worth as a human being in how much

money they earn and how many groovy things they can collect over

the years.

c) Men love their kids and want to be intimately involved in

primary child care, but are scared to death of usurping their

spouse’s authority - I mean, hey; who needs that hassle, right?

d) Beer tastes bad - we only drink it because we’d look gay

sipping champagne with our pals at the pub during the NBA


Here are some fast survival strategies for any guy who is

married or living common-law:

• Do housework - you get special sex for that, even if she

bitches about how poorly you wash the dishes.

• Defer to mom on all things relating to your kids - if you

don’t, she’ll feel like she’s under attack and will divorce


• Never cry in front of a woman - it freaks them out and they

lose respect for you.

• Do what she wants because chances are you don’t know what

you want to do and even if you did know, do what she wants

anyway. It promotes domestic peace - or detente.

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• Smile and nod your head if you’re not listening to her -

give the appearance of listening so that she can feel heard.

• Make her breakfast in bed on the weekends. Even if it

tastes like shit, she’ll be impressed as heck and she’ll

eat every scrap of food on the plate.

• Never EVER talk about ex-girlfriend’s or ex-wives. Women

have some kinda competition gene in their DNA and they get

their backs up when you do this.

• Never let her “be the man” during sex. If you do, then

she’ll want to try her hand at home repair and Jesus, who

wants that?

• Make up songs in your head for when you’re shoe shopping

with her. It will help the time pass by quicker and she’ll

think you’re doing “together stuff”.

Okay, I’ll end this chapter now. I still don’t know what a

man is supposed to be, maybe I will by the end of the boo

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What is a man?