“The Man’s Man, if he serves fruit at all, prepares wedges, squares, and rectangles. He accomplishes this with a knife.” –Mike Rowe
Mike Rowe was the runner-up to Jon Stewart for the Daily Show anchor position when Craig Kilborne left. It is hard to imagine how the “info-tainment” landscape of the 2000’s through today would have been different if he had landed that role. No one knows how he would have filled that chair, but it would certainly have been different.
There would not have been a Dirty Jobs or Somebody’s got to do it. Deadliest catch would have been quite different without his stamp on the vocals and direction of production. So I am glad that things panned out how they did, because Mike has grown into a sort of “workingman’s Yoda” or some other sage-like persona.
By now, there have been countless fiskings (is that a word?) of Brian Lombardi’s NYT piece: “27 Ways to be a Modern Man“. That list/essay is a pretty fantastical piece of beta-male propaganda. There are a few items of merit, however these can simply fall under the header of being a considerate person to your spouse and others in your life – hardly a “modern” value.
I prefer the term “Renaissance Man”, which Websters defines as one who is “
The above quote is in response to Lombardi’s point #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?”
Personally, I use a melon-baller from time to time, because I feel it is an efficient tool for the task. That being said, I think that a renaissance man is comfortable with all manner of tools, the ability to use a knife to make efficient and accurate cuts is among these.
Some of Mikes responses are both funny and classy:
NYT: The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.
MR: A Man’s Man picks wildflowers on the side of the road, wraps them with a bootlace, and presents them with an original, hand-written poem.
Point for Mr. Rowe. Smooth. Very smooth.
Lombardi’s discomfort with tools extends to guns, something that has already been trashed thoroughly in the comment section at TTAG.
“25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.”
Mike has an answer to this one as well, one that most TTAK readers will agree with:
” A Man’s Man owns at least one firearm. He knows how to use it, clean it, and store it properly. He understands it’s importance, and sees it for what it is – a tool that can protect him and his family.” – MR
You can read his step-by-step fisking of the NYT piece at the official Mike Rowe Facebook Page. It is pretty awesome.
Mike Rowe also has a personal charity, Mike Rowe Works, which seeks to encourage people to train in trades to fill good paying and available jobs. Worth checking out.