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Reinhardt Wilhelm’s Guide to Manliness

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So, in case you’ve missed the first few articles about this subject, links here and here, I’ve started a little mini-series on the blog about how characters from movies and TV shows can teach young men to be true gentlemen, and now I’ve decided to open that up to video game characters, since in case you couldn’t tell, I love video games. So for the first character to receive this treatment, we’re talking about the German crusader himself, Reinhardt Wilhelm from the Blizzard game Overwatch! The embodiment of chivalry, honor, and friendship, I’m almost surprised I didn’t write about this guy before, but here we are. Here are a few things that Reinhardt can teach about being a true gentleman!

Practically anyone who knows me knows that there are very few traits I value more than loyalty, and Reinhardt displays this in spades. One of the most famous events in Overwatch history is the Battle for Eichenwalde, in legions of Omnics invaded the German castle of Eichenwalde. A young Reinhardt was among those who led the defense of the castle, but was severely overconfident, leaving behind his squadron to demolish the Omnics by himself; taking to heart the “die with glory” aspect of the Crusaders’ oath, “Live with honor, die with glory.” After losing his eye and being rescued by his commander, Balderich von Adler, Reinhardt took some of Adler’s dying words to heart before joining the Overwatch strike team: “The team needs you. Be their shield.” Although the Battle for Eichenwalde was ultimately a victory for the Crusaders, Adler lost his life at the hands of the Omnics, and Reinhart took his dying words to heart. Reinhardt now dedicates his life to protecting those who need his protection, and would lay down his life for his friends. One of his most famous lines in the game is “Don’t worry my friends. I will be your shield!” Even after being discouraged to rejoin after the Overwatch Recall was initiated, Reinhardt told his squire “I have been called, I must answer. Always.” His dedication to his friends, Overwatch, and the overall protection of humanity, is absolutely something to admire about Reinhardt.

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Crusader online!

Something else to admire about Reinardt is that he has a strict moral code of honor, justice, and courage that he follows almost to a fault. After Overwatch was disbanded he still continued to travel the world with his squire Brigitte Lindholm, helping protect any towns or cities riddled with crime or injustice. He can’t stand to see people in trouble and will gladly fight for anyone who needs his help. Not only that, but he also cannot stand cowardice. If he ever has to engage in a fight, he wants a good clean fight, head-to-head, mano-a-mano. That’s why in-game when he spots a sniper, Reinhardt will sometimes say “Sniper! Fight toe-to-toe, you coward!” One of the best things about having this attitude is that he just stays so positive. This strict moral code and chivalrous attitude allows him to bring out the best in his allies as well as himself. And if you’re asking me, that’s one of the most important things a gentleman can do.

I really don’t know what else to say. Reinhardt is truly an honorable knight and a perfect example of what a gentleman should be. Tough, trustworthy, courageous, optimistic, loyal, fair,  and friendly. If that combination of traits doesn’t make a true gentleman, I don’t know what does. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook, Twitter, 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!

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Gentlemanly Figureheads

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.

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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, he 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

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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

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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!

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

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Lessons In Manliness From My Grandfather

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! First off, apologies from both Jonah and myself for not having any posts up for a while. I just started another semester at San Francisco State, and these first few weeks have truly thrown me for a loop and have really been testing my patience. In any case, I should be back to my regular posting schedule right starting right now, and today, I have a big one for you guys! Now, any man should have a positive male role model in his life, and I consider myself incredibly lucky since I have several in my life. Whether family, friends, or otherwise, there are several men in my life that I look up to and strive to emulate every day of my life. With this in mind, I thought it would be nice to talk about possibly the biggest male role model in my life, my grandfather, Robert Mahan. In this post, I’m going to talk about the things I admire about my grandpa and how he can serve as a model for all up-and-coming gentlemen today. So with all of that out of the way, let’s get started!

1. He’s handy

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Grandpa is mechanic and metalworker, so he obviously knows how to use tools as well as how to work with just his hands. Just about anything involving the use of of his hands, he’s able to do. He can change a tire, build and fix engines, effectively use an axe, and he even built a fully-functional, scale model train engine from scratch, which took the better part of thirty years to complete. Here’s a picture in case you don’t believe me.

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On top of all of this, there’s one thing Grandpa always has on him that can help in so many situations: his pocketknife. He and my uncles are essentially the ones who taught me to always carry my pocketknife with me (which is why I rarely leave my dorm without my Swiss Army Knife). Long story short, if you have any project that involves work with tools or with your hands, Grandpa either always has the right tool for the job, or knows where to find and how to use said right tool. And that’s a great thing that men should know how to do. Being able to help and have the right tools for any situation can generally just make life easier, and being generally reliable is just a great trait to have. But that only scratches the surface of what Grandpa can teach.

2. He’s a true outdoorsman

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I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this on the blog before, but I’m actually an Eagle Scout, as is our other admin, Jonah. While I can’t speak for Jonah as to why he even started with the Boy Scouts, I myself can honestly say that my entire reason for becoming a Scout can be attributed to Grandpa. He was the first person in my family to join Boy Scout Troop 119, the troop in which my uncle, my cousin, my brother-in-law, and I all ended up joining. Practically everything I’ve learned about camping and the outdoors can be credited to Grandpa. As a man who has been camping, backpacking, and hunting for almost eighty (80) years, he clearly knows a thing a two about backpacks, tents, and the like. I’m sure if he had the option, he could just live off the land and the wilderness. He can read a map just as well as he can read a book, make a fire, cook his own food, shoot a gun, and even track animals to an extent. If these all aren’t important things for all young men to know, then I don’t know what is.

3. He’s a true family man

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My grandparents have been happily married for sixty-two (62) years, and in my eyes, they’re happier than ever. Obviously, Grandpa has an innumerable amount of traits that I admire and strive to emulate, but the most important thing to know is that no matter what he does, at the end of the day, the thing that’s most important to him is his family. He clearly shows that he loves his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and would give anything to make them happy. And after fairly recently becoming great-grandfather, I’ve never seen him so happy in my life. The fact that his legacy will continue to live on through his family pleases him to no end, and I cannot wait to share what he’s taught to my future kids and grandkids.

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Grandpa giving his great-granddaughter a ride in a wheelbarrow

So there it is! My grandfather has obviously left a huge impact on my life, and I feel like he’s taught me so much that many of you young gents who are reading can learn as well. Again, my sincerest apologies for being so absent lately. As stressful as these first few weeks back at school have been, we should be back to our regular posting schedule starting now. 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 Guideon Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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Glenn Miller: True Gentleman, True American Hero

Evening gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! Apologies for not putting up any posts last week, we decided to take a day off for Memorial Day. I was planning to put up a regular post on Friday, but the time just got away from me, with some old friends coming to visit. With that in mind, I will still put up the post I was planning for Friday, which actually pertains to Memorial Day. In honor of those who gave their lives defending the freedoms of the American people, I thought I would pay tribute to who I believe is one of the greatest American heroes in history: the bandleader Glenn Miller (1904-1944). For those who are unaware, Glenn Miller was one of the greatest bandleaders of the swing era. His music is said to be the bridge between the bridge between jazz and pop. One of the biggest things Miller is known for is forming the US Army Air Force Band in 1942. It was their job to spread morale and entertainment to the servicemen in the war effort during World War II. After being formed, they traveled throughout England and performed over 800 times, and they they made several appearances on the radio, broadcasting to soldiers all over the world. They were also planning to perform in Paris in 1944 after its liberation from the Nazis, but had to do so without Miller, as his plane disappeared over the English Channel on December 15. The band’s music in and of itself was also used as subtle counter-propaganda meant to denounce the spread of the fascist regime by Italy and Germany. As Miller stated himself, “America means freedom and there’s no expression of freedom quite so sincere as music.”

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This, to me, is what makes Miller one of the greatest heroes in American history, and here’s why. Imagine, if you will, that you’re an American soldier in the thick of World War II. You’ve had to travel halfway around the world to fight against the Axis Powers. You’ve had to leave your family and have seen several of your fellow soldiers die on the battlefield. If that were me, between missing home and having to witness such atrocities, I feel like my morale would be at a huge low. I feel like I wouldn’t have much motivation to keep going. Moving on, one night you post up to rest with your platoon, and one of your buddies decides to turn on the radio. You stumble across a broadcast of the Army Air Force Band, led by Glenn Miller, and hear such swing classics as “In The Mood”, “Moonlight Serenade”, and “Pennsylvania 6-5000”, all tunes that were synonymous with American culture at that time. Hearing such music that reminds you so much of home suddenly makes you realize why you’re in the war effort to begin with. It’s those ideals of freedom and liberty embodied in Miller’s music, that you’re fighting for. It also reminds you of your family back home, and also helps you realize that you’re fighting to defend your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your fiancée, your wife, whoever it may be. It’s the same reason bands like the Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath are practically synonymous with the Vietnam War. That music was the equivalent to Glenn Miller’s music in World War II. It reminded them of home and gave them motivation to keep fighting. It is my firm belief that without the morale boost of Glenn Miller’s music, the Allies would have had a much harder time fighting back against the Axis Powers, and could have possibly lost the war. Speaking again from Miller, “We didn’t come here to set any fashions in music. We merely came to bring a much-needed touch of home to some lads who have been here a couple of years.”

In my honest opinion, Glenn Miller is just as much of an American hero, if not more so, than any soldier or strategist who fought on the ground. With his music being synonymous with America at the time, and its power to be such an incredible morale builder, Miller has certainly gone down as a courageous, dedicated,  honorable, yet underappreciated hero of America. If you’ve never heard his music, I cannot stress enough how much I encourage you to listen to it. Whether you feel the same effect that it had on the WWII soldiers or not, it’s undeniable how much this music shaped American culture during its time. His music is easy to come by as well, able to be found on iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora, or you can even find clips of it on YouTube. Tunes I would most recommend to start with are “In The Mood”, “Moonlight Serenade”, “Pennsylvania 6-5000”, “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”, and “String of Pearls.” In any case, thank you so much for reading today’s post from The Young Gentleman’s guide, and nothing would make me happier than if you shared this post with a friend, followed the blog, and checked out The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!Glenn Miller Post 2.png