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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Only YOU can prevent "Lumbersexual" from Ruining Society

I wrote this not too long ago in the hope of it getting picked up by some men's magazine or something. It's so rare these days that I'm not writing for Mountain Life (which I still love) that the only time I write for myself, I make an event out of it. Pen and paper instead of screen and QWERTY; writing, not typing.

I am proud of this piece, and it'd be a damn shame if it didn't see the light of day.  Let me know what you think in the comments, because this has further implications than stroking my own ego. We stand at the precipice of a treacherous new age. Read on for more.

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How the Term “Lumbersexual” could Spell the End of Society As We Know It



I’m starting this article with a disclaimer: I’m not a fashion guy. I’m generally a jeans and button up kind of guy, throwing caution to the wind and wearing a T-shirt a couple times a week. I’m aware that “men’s fashion” is a thing, a thing I’m able to observe from the outside and decide whether of not I wish to partake in the event. More often than not, I find it ridiculous, so I tend to steer clear.

For example, remember when the Fashion Powers-That-Be (I assume a trio of giant floating heads) tried to make us, the purchasing public, believe that men’s leggings – “meggings,” for Christ’s sake – were the next big thing? That was the last time I entered the ring of the industry, arms swinging, with an opinion – specifically, that the Men’s Fashion world could calmly fuck itself.

A grand lot of difference that made, because they changed tack and started selling us “skinny jeans”, or leggings made of denim.

Now, I also take pride in what I call “Manly Pursuits” – not hobbies per se but a set of skills that a man should be able to do. These “manly pursuits" include things like building a stable fire, woodwork, fishing, and of course, telling a good story (in my case, through writing). Even simple things like fixing something instead of buying a new one, or – worse – paying someone else to fix it. If your toilet needs a $5 replacement part, and you hire somebody that charges you $100 for ‘parts and labour’, you suddenly have an expensive toilet, a lighter wallet, and I feel it’s fair to say that you’re a sucker. I’m not saying women can’t and shouldn't follow manly pursuits. It’s actually kind of a turn on when a woman knows how to fix her own toilet. It’s just that men should be able to.  The last 50 years have devolved into a feminization of society (and I say that with full respect to women – I consider myself a feminist).

All I’m saying is that you could get a 27 year old from today, and a 27 year old from the 1950s, I have a feeling the former would be licking his wounds and the latter would be stitching his own up.

Where these two topics collide, sadly, is represented by a word I shudder to even write – lumbersexual.  A quick Google Image Search will reveal hundreds of men that all put a little too much time into making their photo shoot look casual. It makes me want to knock their teeth out with the blunt end of those axes.

I’m sorry. No.  Any man can grow a beard and wear plaid, but give any random man an axe and see who can give you back a pile of firewood. We’ve become a generation of boys without bedtimes, staying up playing video games and not honing our outdoor skills. 

And don’t give me that “faster reflexes” argument. Faster reflexes don’t mean anything when you’re starving in the wilderness – and even if you CAN catch a fish straight out of the water, or a rabbit on the fly, do you know how to prepare it? (I don’t either, but that’s why I’m learning.) Today’s man is ill equipped to deal with real world tasks beyond his taxes. The fashion world, frankly, has no God-damn right on this Earth to tell a man how to dressed, and a real man doesn’t give a shit and goes back to wrestling bears (truly the Manliest of pursuits).

Before you ask: yes, I have flannel shirts. Real flannel. It’s ripped, but still warm. My jeans are boot cut, because have you ever actually worn skinny jeans? It’s like being swallowed by an anaconda from the feet up. Jeans should absorb grease, blood, ink, and mud.  And yes, I have a beard. I live in a ski town. It keeps my face warm, and it’s cheaper than a scarf. 

Sometimes, on really great winter days, I keep snow in it.


Maybe I’ll shave it off soon. Who the fuck cares? It’s my face, and hair grows back.  The old saying says that the clothes maketh the man, but we’re entering into dangerous territory where the clothes are all that maketh the man.