The Art of the First Date

Morning gents, Max here! A new post on The Classy Libertarian by yours truly just went up this morning. Please be sure to read it, share it, do whatever you need to do. Keep an eye out for a new article here on Saturday!

It seems that in today’s society of modern feminism and social justice, the art of dating is dying. I suppose feminists and social justice warriors are not entirely to blame for this. We’re essentially in a golden age of dating sites and hookup apps right now, with Tinder, Grindr, and so on, there seems to be much more emphasis in casual hookups as opposed to actually developing a genuine connection or relationship with that certain lady you find attractive.

This can be extremely dangerous for both sides of the “relationship.” There’s the obvious danger of unwanted pregnancy and STD’s, but it can also damage your future relationships. Since people are not developing actual human connections outside of those of the physical nature, it can leave you incredibly unprepared for when someone you like does try to make a deeper connection. In order to fix the problems we have with…

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A Real Man Makes People Laugh

Evening gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So today, we have yet another article inspired by a video from Prager University. In this video, entitled Love Needs Laughs, the famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff talks about how the biggest sign of happiness in any relationship is shared laughter. It’s a wonderful and rather heartwarming video that I highly recommend you check out. And with Smirnoff’s words in mind, I thought I would give you a few reasons why being able to make people laugh is such an important trait for any gentleman to have. So without any further delay, let’s check out the list!

1. It Helps People Stay Positive

There’s a reason one of the highest-rated TV shows of all time is Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s South Park. While a lot of naysayers see it as just lowbrow, immature humor, the show, and more specifically Stone and Parker, have proven to be extremely clever and effective social satirists and commentators. And nowhere is that more apparent in the Season 5 episode “Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants.” The reason I mention this episode is because it clearly displays the importance of laughter in general. Most of what I’m about to say is actually credited to the popular YouTube film reviewer Nostalgia Critic, so I am not about to take credit for any of it. That being said, in the wake of 9/11 and the anthrax epidemic being sent through the mail, the United States was in a state of abject fear. As a response to this, Matt Stone and Trey Parker released this South Park episode, making Osama bin Laden look like a completely pathetic tool. After this episode was released, the US’s spirits were collectively raised, as temporary as it may have been. The reason being that everyone just needed a good laugh at the entire situation. And that’s the power of laughter. It could be the most awful, distressful situation ever, like in the case of 9/11, being worried about the threat of terrorism. But if you’re able to find humor in that situation, and thus react to it, it can simply help lift people’s spirits and reduce the pain of the situation even just a little bit. And with so many dark things happening in our world today, being able to make people laugh seems more important now than ever. Also, in the case of 9/11, I think the Nostalgia Critic put it best: “Giuliani showed us we needed to be strong, Letterman showed us we needed to cry, South Park showed us we needed to laugh.”

2. It’s a great way to bond with people

People always say laughter is the best medicine, and there’s a lot of truth to that. Not only has laughter been proven to lower blood pressure and decrease stress hormones, but it can also just help people bond with each other. This can be especially helpful in a romantic situation. I’ve always said that one thing I always look for in a woman is someone who can laugh at me and make fun of me, but in a fun, loving way. I feel like that’s one of the most important things to do in any relationship, romantic or not. If you and your lady able to notice and, more importantly, laugh at each others’ flaws or missteps, it will only help both of you more clearly see what you both love about each other. Obviously, acknowledging what you love about each other will only strengthen your relationship, but it doesn’t just stop there. One point that Yakov Smirnoff makes in the PragerU video is that it’s not just laughter that strengthens a relationship, but shared laughter. If you and the people you care about can find laughter and enjoyment in similar things, that can strengthen your relationship with anybody, it could be a significant other, a friend, or a family member, because you find what you have in common. It would obviously be hard to bond with somebody you don’t have many things in common with, and of course, that can be the death of any relationship, especially a romantic one. And what we find funny and find enjoyment in is the clearest way of showing what we like and what we don’t like, and if someone we know also finds those things funny, that can be a sign of a great relationship. So if you’re spending time with someone and you aren’t laughing at or with each other, it may time to evaluate you’re relationship, especially if it’s romantic.

So there it is! I know this list wasn’t a very long one, but that’s really all I needed to get my point across. A man who can make people laugh can raise people’s spirits and foster many a strong friendship. To me, those are among the most important things a man should strive to accomplish in his life. Thank you all so much for reading today’s article! I know things with my schedule have been a little odd, but for those of you who read my updates article (link right here if you missed it), I should be back to a consistent schedule starting now. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for any content I have coming out on The Classy Libertarian In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share it, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Resources

Prager University – Love Needs Laughs: https://youtu.be/4qfum5vc4Ew

StopDoingNothing:  stopdoingnothing.com/healthy-living/the-five-most-important-reasons-to-laugh/

Top 11 South Park Episodes – Nostalgia Critic: https://youtu.be/qyZacZPzOS8

Updates and stuff!

Evening gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! First and foremost, my apologies for being MIA lately. For those of you who are unaware, I was recently brought on as a brand ambassador for a new online publication, The Classy Libertarian, and I actually just put up my first article on their site earlier this week, which you can check out right here. With that in mind, I just wanted to catch you guys up on what’s been happening with the blog, and what I have planned for the future. I am still on the lookout for another admin so I can continue with my current schedule of two posts a week on The Young Gentleman’s Guide, so if you’d be interested in that or know someone who would be interested, please be sure to let me know! In the meantime, I’ll have to go back to just one post a week, but going forward, I will also re-blog my articles from The Classy Libertarian as they come out so you can see what’s going on there. So with all that out of the way, if you’re looking for more stuff to read, you can have a look at my first post with The Classy Libertarian, or feel free to read this article by my dear friend, the Vintage Athenian, where she addresses some controversy surrounding the celebration of VJ Day at the end of World War II (also be on the lookout for a collaboration with her before too long). In any case, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

A Couple Big Announcements!

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So today, we won’t have any of our regular content, because we have some big announcements that might affect what’s going to happen on the blog going forward. So let’s not beat around the bush and get to the announcements!

The first announcement is going to be kind of hard to share, but unfortunately, our other admin, Jonah, will no longer be writing for the blog. Also, with Jonah leaving, the mini-series that he wrote, “Lessons in Manliness from the Vikings” will also be leaving. And this isn’t for any dramatic reason or anything, he just has a lot going on with school and work, among other things. I truly appreciate Jonah’s input, and everything he’s done for the blog. I will still continue to consult with him occasionally for future posts, and his posts will obviously still remain up on the blog so you can still see what he had to say. So on that note, thank you so much for you help, Jonah, and I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors!

The second announcement may actually affect often things may be coming out on the blog. I was recently offered a position to write for another blog known as The Classy Libertarian, who put out content very similar to mine. They also put out more political commentary as well as cultural stuff and general gentlemanly things, so if all goes according to plan, I will be posting more to their cultural tab. Now, don’t worry, this this blog will still have content coming out on it, because I still have some exciting projects coming down the pipeline. If anything, I might have to cut back to one post a week, unless I can find another admin. I’ll let you all know the details of what’s coming as soon as they come. Thank you all so much for reading and continuing to support the blog, and I hope to see you over at The Classy Libertarian! Also, be sure to follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Westley’s Guide to Manliness

Evening gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! Today is the second article in our new series about how characters from movies and TV can teach us how to be men (name of which is TBD). So today, we’re going to take a look at one of my favorite movies, and my favorite character from said movie: Westley from The Princess Bride! Now, if you’ve never seen this movie, you absolutely should, it’s wonderful! At first glance, it may just seem like your typical fairy tale with the dashing hero, but there is so much more to it. It’s got just as much for kids as it does for adults, and just as much for girls as it does for boys. Not to mention that pretty much all the characters are just as wonderful, and today, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the stereotypical dashing hero in the story, the young farmboy turned pirate, Westley, and how his actions throughout the movie can teach you young gents reading how to be better gentlemen. Now, I should’ve mentioned this with my last post about Ron Swanson, but I’ll just mention it here; not everything I say here is meant to be taken super seriously. This series is just for fun, and it would be smart to just take certain things I say in this and future posts like this with a grain of salt. So before this article turns into a full-length novel, let’s get started!

Two disclaimers: There may be some spoilers for The Princess Bride in this post, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’ve been warned. Also, I do not own any of the images used in this post, and all the images used are from The Princess Bride.

1. He respects everyone he comes across

Obviously one of the most gentlemanly traits someone can have is respect, and Westley displays this trait in spades. I myself have a “live and let live” kind of nature; if you respect me, I’ll respect you, it’s that simple. And that perfectly describes Westley as well. He even holds most of his adversaries with the utmost respect, and will even compliment them (with the exception of Prince Humperdinck). For example, when Westley is engaged in a duel with Inigo Montoya near the beginning of the film, they hold a fairly friendly conversation, complimenting each other on their dueling styles and devotion to the art. And even when Westley bests Inigo and defeats him, Westley refuses to kill him, saying, and I quote, “I would sooner destroy a stained glass window than an artist like yourself.” And then, after knocking Inigo out, Westley tells him “Please understand I hold you in the highest respect.” That should just speak for itself. Later on, after besting Fezzik the giant, he doesn’t necessarily apologize for KO’ing him, but does wish that he sleeps well and dreams of large women. And when going up against Vizzini in his battle of wits, Westley even compliments him saying he has a “dizzying intellect.” So in short, whether they’re with him, or against him, Westley holds nothing but respect for almost everyone around him. If that doesn’t make him a true gentleman, I don’t know what does.

2. He’s a survivalist

I know I’ve been referencing this post a lot lately, but to those of you who read my post about my grandfather, you would know that he’s a true outdoorsman, and could essentially live off of the land if he so desired. While I can’t say the exact same thing about Westley, he still shows several times throughout The Princess Bride that he has impeccable situational awareness and can survive in several different environmental situations he comes across. When Vizzini cut the climbing rope while Westley was trying to climb the Cliffs of Insanity, not only was he able to grab onto the rocks before he fell, he was able to climb the rocks to a small extent. It may have taken significantly longer, but had Inigo not tossed down the remaining rope down to Westley to help him up, it’s my firm belief that Westley could have climbed up the cliffs by himself. Both Westley and Inigo were able to adapt their dueling techniques to the rocky terrain they were fighting on. That’s something that they specifically converse about during their duel.

Princess Bride Post 2

It also may have taken him a bit of time, but Westley was also able to learn the dangers and signals of said dangers in the fire swamp. He was even able to use those dangers to help defeat the R.O.U.S. that attacked him and Buttercup. When he heard the popping sounds that preceded the bursts of flames common in the fire swamp, Westley was able to roll the R.O.U.S. over to the flame burst in order to seriously injure it and kill it soon after. And f course, being a pirate, he also clearly knows his way around the seas and oceans, enough to the point where he was able to track and trail Vizzini and his crew in order to rescue Buttercup. It’s my belief that situational awareness and outdoor skills are some of the most important things for all gentlemen to know, and these are just two other things that Westley displays in spades.

3. He’s extremely devoted

Princess Bride Post 3

If there’s anything that can be learned about Westley after watching The Princess Bride, it’s that he loves Buttercup more than anything in the world, and will fight for her even to the point of death. Now, I’m not saying that you have to have a woman in your life to fight for to the point you’d be willing to die for her, but there should be something like that that any man should be devoted to. Whether it’s a woman, a family member, or even an idea or belief, having something to be devoted to is essentially another way of saying that you have something to live for. Even after being “mostly dead” for hours but being revived by Miracle Max, the first thing he’s able to say after Miracle Max asks him what’s worth living for, Wesley replies with just two words: “true love.” His love for Buttercup is what keeps him going, the reason he’s even alive. And as Inigo says later that very scene, “You can’t ask for a more noble cause than that.”

4. He can defend himself and others

Princess Bride Post 4

Now, if you’ve seen the movie or even just the thumbnail for this post, this should go without saying. This is pretty much the entire reason Westley even has a sword. The first time you see him use it, it is more or less for sport, but if the situation were to arise, he could draw his blade in order to fend off whatever he needs to. Soon after his duel with Inigo, Westley is scouting the nearby countryside and gets a rock thrown at him by Fezzik. What’s the first thing he does after Fezzik throws the rock at him? He draws his sword, preparing to fend off Fezzik. But it’s not about just defending himself. He also does what he can to defend and protect others. He does this several times with Buttercup, but he also does protect Inigo and his friends by drawing his sword against Prince Humperdinck near the end of the movie, despite how frail he was feeling. He can’t stand to see his true love and his friends in danger, and he does whatever he can to protect them.

So there it is! That’s just four (4) ways in which Westley, the humble farmboy turned pirate, is a true gentleman. His devotion to his love, his respect for all those around him, and his ability to defend himself and survive in almost any situation. Are there any other gentlemanly characters you’d like to see us talk about in the future, be sure to let us know in the comments! In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

The Swiss Army Knife: The Ultimate Gentleman’s Tool

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! Today, we’re going to take a look at one of the most important things a gentleman should have in his arsenal: the Swiss Army Knife, the object synonymous with multipurposeness. This post will go over the history of the Swiss Army Knife, as well as the myriad of why every gentleman should carry one. So let’s get started!

History

In 1884, Karl Elsener and his mother opened up a cutlery shop in Ibach, Switzerland. Soon after opening, they began producing and selling knives to the Swiss Army.

Swiss Army Knife Post 2

Karl Elsener

Their original model, called the Soldier Knife, contained most of the things you would see in a typical pocketknife, like a knife blade, a reamer, a screwdriver, and a can opener. The only real reason the soldiers needed such a knife was because it was necessary and practical. The soldiers and officers need a useful tool in order to open their food, repair their rifles, and cut things whenever they needed to. It wasn’t until the 1940s and World War II that the knives began to spread internationally (seems kind of strange for a product like this to come from one of the most famously neutral countries). And since the 19th century, the design and purpose of the Swiss Army Knife hasn’t changed much, it’s just sort of evolved as the times have. They’re also all made out of the same two factories in Switzerland as they always have. Many Swiss Army Knives now have things like scissors, tweezers, toothpicks, corkscrews, and even small saws. They also come in varying sizes and designs with different tools depending on the model. Models being produced today even add 21st-century components like laser pointers, flash drives, and fingerprint scanners. But why should a gentleman today have one of these knives today?

Why have a Swiss Army Knife?

The answer to this should be fairly obvious. I stated in the post about my grandfather that he is incredibly handy, and that every gentleman should strive to be as well. Always having the right tool for whatever you or your friends are doing is something that is being lost among men today. I got my Swiss Army knife when I was fifteen (15) or sixteen (16) years old, and now I never leave my dorm room without it. I use it as a boxcutter, a letter opener, a screwdriver, and I even use the little toothpick and tweezers every now and again. I’ve also used it in the past to cut rope and one of the most famous uses in my family, cutting the ribbons off of wrapped Christmas or birthday presents, whether mine or otherwise (very silly, I know). Also, if the situation were to arise, I could also use the blade as a weapon if I were to get mugged or anything. I’m desperately hoping it won’t have to come to that, but I still have that option. So in short, the Swiss Army Knife can be a useful tool in almost any situation and can be useful any project, and it’s something that every gentleman today should have.

So there we have it! Hopefully this post will have convinced to get your own Swiss Army Knife, because I really see no reason not to have one! I use mine all the time, and like I said, I never leave my dorm without it. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Resources

Gear Junkie: https://gearjunkie.com/swiss-army-knife-history

Atlas Obscura: www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-simple-elegant-history-of-the-swiss-army-knife

Ron Swanson’s Guide to Manliness

Evening gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! Before we get started, I just thought I should address some of the backlash that my last post has been getting as of late. I fully concede that I probably should have used more reliable sources than Prager University or Louder with Crowder, and I may have made a couple leaps in logic. That being said, as was the situation with my post about the 1950s, I still stand its original intended message, and the post is staying up. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let a couple lost followers ruin my life, and moving forward, I’ll do my best to void any political commentary like stuff like that. That was never this blog’s original intention, and for that, I apologize, and I emphasize I. Jonah had nothing to do with anything that post, it was all my idea. With that out of the way, let’s move on to something a bit more lighthearted!

So, anyone who knows me knows that on top of swing music, chocolate, and John Steinbeck novels, I also love movies and TV, and one of my favorite TV shows of all time is Parks and Recreation. For those of you who haven’t seen this fantastic show about a group of wacky people working for the local government in their wacky town, I highly recommend you do. All seven (7) seasons of the show are on Netflix right now, but it’s not necessary to understand the message of this post. One of my favorite characters in this show, and one of my favorites in TV history, is the man, the myth, the legend, Ron Swanson! One of the most iconic characters from this show, Ron has a personality that’s entirely his own, and several character traits that not only I admire, but traits that he tries to pass on to other characters on the show. So today, I thought I would aid Ron in passing on said character traits to you young gents reading today! So before this post turns into a full-length novel, let’s get started!

1. He stands up for what he believes in

For those of you who didn’t read our post about how a gentleman stands up for what he believes in, I actually quoted a line from Ron Swanson. In the Season 6, Episode 14 episode “Anniversaries”, Ron sends reviews from the Parks & Rec office to establishments he personally doesn’t like and includes his name and address with each letter. When questioned about this, he responds “If you believe something, you sign your name to it.” Throughout the course of the show, Ron displays this sentiment in spades. Ron is extremely vocal about what he believes in, including but not limited to, his distrust of the government, his advocacy for capitalism, or his love of meat and breakfast food. On top of this, he rarely, if ever deviates from these beliefs. The only time he ever seems to do so is if he’s caught in the clutches of his ex-wives. Aside from those two spawns of Hell (his words, not mine), he never backs down to anyone, and doesn’t care who he offends, or even if he offends anyone because of his beliefs. He believes what he believes, and doesn’t care who disagrees with him, which leads me to my next point.

2. He doesn’t alienate

Ron Swanson Post 2

Anyone who’s seen Parks and Rec knows that Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope are the closest of friends that many people in the real world could only wish they had. The interesting thing is that Ron and Leslie disagree on almost everything, except for the amazingness of breakfast food. So how can they be such great friends and colleagues when in any other circumstance, they would want nothing to do each other? They simply respect each other. Specifically on Ron’s end, while he couldn’t care less about Leslie’s clearly pro-government ideas and constant need to control everything, but admires her tenacity, and get-it-done attitude. He says that he would rather work with someone who’s motivated and wants to get things done as opposed to a pushover who doesn’t do anything. He’s willing to look past Leslie’s political ideals and just sees her as a good person who just wants to do good for the people around her. And Ron seems to do this with just about every character in the show (with the exception of his ex-wives and Ron Dunn, his Parks & Rec counterpart from Eagleton). He may butt heads with other characters on the show more than once, but he does not alienate them, and in some cases, may actually help them. He pretty much follows the same philosophy that I do: if you respect me, I’ll respect you.

3. He can put up a fight

Ron Swanson Post 3

While this picture is obviously more of a joke if anything else, Ron has shown multiple times throughout the show that he can defend himself using just about anything he has on hand, or even just his hands. And while it’s never explicitly stated, it’s implied through certain incidents across the series that he has some sort of martial arts training (my money’s on boxing) as a means of self-defense, which he’s shown to be rather good at. He even punches councilman Jeremy Jamm in the face to defend Leslie’s honor in the Season 5, Episode 14 Episode “Leslie and Ben”. So in short, if you were to tick Ron off or provoke him in any way, you’d most likely end up with some bruises and some missing teeth.

4. He likes any “manly” activity

Ron Swanson Post 4

Now, while it is my firm belief that anyone of either gender can enjoy any kind of activity they want, practically all of Ron’s passions and hobbies are ones that men traditionally have done and/or enjoyed over the years. Among said hobbies or passions include woodworking, blacksmithing, hunting, and enjoying a neat glass of whiskey. And in reality, these can all help men become true men. I did learn quite a few of these things when I was in the Boy Scouts. Like I said in my post about my grandfather, it’s always good for a man to be handy, and be able to help in any situation (not so much the whiskey though). And that’s exactly what Ron always does. He always is able to help in any situation, whether it’s fixing April and Andy’s sink, making Leslie and Ben’s wedding rings, or fixing a park swing in the final episode of Parks and Recreation.

So there it is! Just four (4) ways that Ron Swanson is a model for the perfect gentleman! This may actually usher in a new mini-series here in the blog, similar to Jonah’s “Lessons in Manliness from the Vikings”, so if any of you would like to see how more movie and TV characters could teach you how to be real gentlemen, just let me know! In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Ron Swanson Post 5.png

Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the images used in this post. They are all screenshots grabbed from Parks and Recreation.