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Gentleman's Philosophy

One Sad Result of Capitalism

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So today’s article is sort of going against the grain of what I normally post, but this is something that I’ve been wanting to talk about for a long time, and I feel like this is the best place to do it. Now before I continue, I must address that I actually favor and advocate for free-market capitalism as much as the next guy. It may have its flaws, but I believe it’s a fair and sound economic ideology that has done an inordinate amount of good for the societies where it has been implemented. But as with any good thing, there will be people out there who try to exploit it, and that leads quite nicely into the meat of this article.

As much of a proponent as I am for capitalism, it pains me to say that its implementation in American society has led to a serious degradation and stagnation in the world of music. Of course, anyone who knows me knows that I love music, so it brings me no pleasure to say this. Instead of powerful, emotional, and experimental masterpieces like Gabrieli’s Sacrae Symphoniae, Mozart’s Magic Flute, Debussy’s Clair de Lune, Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and others, we have the repetitive, recycled, uninspired droll of artists like Ariana Grande, Post Malone, and Katy Perry, among others. And I’m not just talking the simple harmonic structures, though that can certainly be a contributing factor. Even with jazz, classic rock, and R&B, as simple as the structures of those styles can be, many artists back in the day were still able to implement some form of experimentation, whether it be in the form of improvisation, instrumental choices, or storytelling through the music and lyrics. Artists like Miles Davis dabbled in and was a pioneer of multiple different jazz styles, Bob Seger told very deep and heartfelt stories through his lyrics, and the members of The Who were able to write a surreal messiah story in the form of Tommy. Nowadays, most modern pop artists seem to just seem to be the masters of mundane. They wrote mundane songs with mundane structures about mundane subjects. So many of today’s modern hits are just songs about subjects that have been done to death; broken relationships, heartbreak, sex, love, or even just everyday life. While there have obviously been countless songs about all these subjects in the past, artists in the past would often use those subjects to tell a deeper story or have a deeper moral. Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely was written as a heartwarming ode to his daughter. Bob Seger’s The Fire Inside, for as simple as its chord and harmonic sequence is, is a heartfelt tale about the struggles of finding love and how the pain and memory of love lost never really leave you. Many songs by the Beatles utilized unorthodox chord progressions and key changes that kept listeners interested from start to finish. And of course, there’s the entire treasure trove of classical music with its multitude of stories, emotion, and themes. Nowadays, however, many pop artists are just expected to write simple, repetitive, and mundane songs to please the masses. I don’t entirely blame the artists for this, however. I believe it’s mostly the fault of their producers, which leads me to believe this is the result of capitalism.

One of the core tenets of capitalism is the concept of supply and demand. While the details of both supply and demand are entirely too complex for an article like this, the basics of it is that if there is a high demand for a product, those who own the business will need to continue putting out said product to meet the demand. This is exactly the way the music industry works. These young, marginally talented artists are being picked up by major record labels and music producers just as a means to sell more of their music in order to meet the demand of the people, and as a result, make more and more money. While this kind of business model is perfectly understandable and seems just fine on the surface, it has unfortunately led to a complete stagnation of creativity and experimentation. On top of that, it’s not even important to these producers that artists are even talented, all that’s important to them is that they’re marketable. This had let to not only stagnation in musical creativity, but also on a reliance on lip-syncing and autotuning, meaning the artists who are supposedly playing a singing these songs don’t even need to actually have musical talent. Now, none of this is to say that there is zero musical creativity out there today. There are a number of independent and self-produced artists out there who I’m sure would appreciate as much support as they can get. What bothers is me is that these modern, over-marketed pop artists are what most people are exposed to. It’s what’s played on the radio, in department stores, on TV, and anywhere else that allows it to be heard by the masses. And because it’s so often heard by so many people, it makes them think that music like that is the pinnacle of musical talent, and they’ll never be able to appreciate the genuine talent that many unheard artists, musicians, and composers actually have.

Apologies if this turned into such a downer, this subject just really gets under my skin. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, 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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Gentleman's Philosophy

15 Rules for Gentlemen to Teach Their Sons

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! First off, I want to sincerely apologize for being absent for so long. Finishing up school at SF State was absolutely brutal, but now that I’ve graduated, I should have much more time to put up more articles for you all to enjoy! In any case, a few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast called Deconstructing the Culture with Elisa Steele. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in political and social commentary from a conservative and Biblical perspective. In her thirty-eighth episode, entitled “Real Men”, Mrs. Steele looks over and debunks a ludicrous list of fifteen things to teach young boys, and for the most part, I have to agree with what she has to say. After going through that list, Mrs. Steele encourages her listeners to send her an email with their own list of what to teach young men, so I decided to do just that. I emailed her fifteen rules for gentlemen to teach their sons, and in this article, I’m going to explain each rule one-by-one. Bear in mind that this article is going to be a bit longer than most of my other articles, but I can almost guarantee you that these will go a long way. So before this article turns into a full-length novel, let’s get started!

1. Step up and be a leader when no one else will

This one really should go without saying. Men by nature should be more eager to take on leadership roles, and there may be those times where someone needs to take charge. Not only does taking on leadership positions allow men to grow in their confidence, but it also allows men to learn more about themselves, which will further prepare them to take on more leadership positions or even be fathers later on down the road.

2. There’s a difference between being a leader and being a dictator

As an extension to rule number 1, this is a very small, yet extremely important distinction to make. While both leaders and dictators will likely be giving orders, a true leader will be out with there those he is commanding, assisting them or even protecting them so they can complete the task at hand. While a dictator will also give orders, he will simply watch over those he is commanding and most of the time, not even be out there to assist them.

3. Be assertive, but don’t be the bad guy

This is yet another extension to the first two rules. A true leader will enforce the rules and commands he gives; if not, he wouldn’t even be doing his job properly. But there is a way to enforce said rules without coming across as the bad guy. The best leader will enforce the rules while making it clear that he is not at all above them. If a leader thinks himself to be above the rules, that’s essentially the first step to a dictatorship.

4. It’s not always shameful to back down from a fight

A lot of times, men are encouraged to engage in fights, whether verbal or physical, as a way to prove their manliness, so to speak. However, there are, more often than not, certain times where engaging in a fight simply isn’t worth it. Whether it’s because there’s no changing the mind of the opposition or simply because there’s no chance of winning, some fights are just not worth getting into, and thus there’s no shame in backing down from them. Of course, figuring out which fights may or may not be worth getting into is all up to every man’s instincts; I can’t be the arbiter of which fights are worth getting into.

5. Never be afraid to ask questions

Most men by default like to feel like they’re in charge and that they don’t need help. Of course, there will simply be those times where a man can’t figure something out, and will need to ask a question or ask for help. This is often an area of shame for many men, myself included, but it really shouldn’t be. Asking questions and asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it should be treated as a sign of humility and being willing to learn.

6. Always ask how you can help

Whenever working on a group project in any capacity, there will almost always be a way to help. However, a man should rarely, if ever, wait for a task to be handed or appointed to them. A man should always be on hand to help, and as such, should always ask how they can help with the task at hand.

7. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in, even in the face of being mocked or dismissed

In today’s political and social climate, this seems more relevant than ever. No matter where they stand on the political spectrum, a man will have opponents. And when a man has opinions, he should be prepared to have them challenged at any point. Thus, he should stand up for what he believes in, and not back down if backed into a corner. This doesn’t mean he should be a “yes man” at any point, but we’ll get to that later.

8. More importantly, stand up for those who are important to you

Though there may be some who try to deny it, every man has at least one person who is important to them. It can be a family member, a friend, or a significant other. If such people are important to a man, that man should stand up for them as well as himself in the case of violence, ridicule, and exploitation. Men by nature are protectors, and not being able to stand up for those who are important to them are simply betraying themselves along with those people.

9. Being a champion bodybuilder doesn’t make you a great man

Don’t misunderstand me. Being physically fit is essential to any man’s health, and being able to lift heavy loads can certainly be an important part of his arsenal. However, a man being able to bench press twice his body weight just to say that he can is in no way correlated to his character. Moreover, it doesn’t really serve any purpose unless he plans to use his strength as a way to help people. As much a man should value his health and physical fitness, physical prowess and good character are in no way correlated.

10. There’s never a right time to get married

This one applies later in life to those who are getting ready to tie the knot. There is, of course, no shame in a man waiting for the right person or waiting until being more financially stable, but the fact of the matter is that there will always be risks going in. The best a man can do is make the best-informed decision at the time. But even as well-informed as that decision may be, the risk will always be there, and there will never be that “perfect time” to get married.

11. Blind faith and loyalty will get you nowhere

This is essentially a follow-up to rule number 7. While it is of course important to have things you believe in and people to look up to, it should never spiral down to the point of blind faith and loyalty. A man should always hold his beliefs and those he looks up to to some amount of scrutiny. As much as a man can look up to a certain political figure, it’s important to remember that they are still human. They make mistakes, especially in things that they say, and they should be called on it. And as far as beliefs go, especially religious, it’s perfectly reasonable for a man to have doubts and questions about them. It’s another sign of humility and willingness to learn. Without that scrutiny and ability to question his own beliefs as well as the beliefs of those he looks up to, a man will simply turn into the stereotype of the “yes man” who can’t think for himself or formulate his own opinions.

12. There’s no shame in loss or failure

There’s simply no way around this. Losing and failing are simply inevitable in life. And while things like losing that soccer game, not getting that certain job, or getting passed up for that promotion can certainly hurt, there’s no shame in that as long as an honest effort was put in. In fact, loss and failure is, more often than not, necessary. It can certainly hurt to lose, but a man should use the pain of his loss as the first step of improvement. If a man loses a soccer game, that should be a sign to put more work into his practices and drills. If a man gets passed up for a job promotion, he should use that lost opportunity as a stepping stone to improve his work ethic and figure out what he’s doing wrong. In the words of hall of fame soccer player Cobi Jones. “The road to victory… is paved with losses.

13. Your virginity and your loss of it should never define you

It essentially seems like a stereotype at this point that high school boys are practically in competition to see who can either get laid first, or get laid the most. And of course, the guy who hasn’t been able to do the horizontal mambo, either because he doesn’t want to, or  just has trouble with the opposite sex, is mocked and ridiculed by his peers. This sets a dangerous precedent for young men. It teaches them that being a virgin is something that he should be ashamed of. However, being a virgin, at least by choice, is nothing to be ashamed of, and certainly not what a man should stake his reputation on. It shows that he has enough respect for himself and his body to save such a hard decision for the best time, most likely when he’s in a committed relationship or married.

14. Do what’s right, not what feels good, as hard of a decision as it may be

It’s no secret that when given the choice, people will often go with what makes them feel good, even if it might not be the overall best choice in the long run. It might feel good to have that leftover piece of cake instead of an apple for breakfast, but it will most likely not be the best for a man’s health in the long run. A man may find it more satisfying to leave work just a minute or two early and put off whatever he was working on until the next day, even though he can easily finish it that day and just spare a few minutes into overtime to finish it. With that kind of attitude, it can lead him to do mediocre work or just the bare minimum for his job requirement, instead of putting that extra initiative in that could possibly get him that promotion. Of course, there may be those times where the right decision and the decision that feels good may overlap, but those situations are very few and far between.  Most of the time, a man may have to sacrifice what feels good for doing something right.

15. The two words that will take you farther in life than anything else: “Thank you.”

As I’ve said in the past, I believe that gratitude is the greatest quality for a man to have, and I still wholeheartedly stand by that. A man who is grateful for the things he’s been given or has earned, as few as they may be, will be a far happier and more productive person. A man who is grateful to his employer will do everything he can to keep his job. A man who is grateful to his family and friends will undoubtedly create a deeper loving connection with them. A grateful man will be satisfied in what he has earned or has been given, and work even harder to achieve more of it, as opposed to an ungrateful man who believes he’s entitled to certain things for no extra work  or effort because he’s unsatisfied with what he has. Essentially, a man should follow this mantra: gratitude leads to satisfaction, satisfaction leads to happiness. Ingratitude leads to entitlement, entitlement leads to bitterness. “Thank you.” Those two small words will take a man farther in life than he could ever realize.

So there it is! Fifteen rules that very gentleman should teach their sons. Apologies for this article being so long, there’s simply a lot of things that every young gentleman should know. Be sure to comment below any other rules you think might be important, or leave any ideas for any future articles In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, 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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Manly Skills

A Gentleman’s Guide to Prom Night

Afternoon gents! I know I said this in my last post, but I want to sincerely apologize for the lack of posts on the blog lately. I have been completely inundated with school work and music stuff (and possible Overwatch marathons) that I haven’t been able to do much of anything! However, I do intend to do a complete overhaul on the blog now, so starting next week, expect TWO (2) posts on the blog every week, one on Monday and one on Friday. If I have enough time in the coming weeks, I may add one more post on Wednesdays, add a new admin for the blog, and possibly bring periodic updates to the YouTube channel! And to all those who have been regularly viewing and reading my content, I would like to say a sincere “thank you.” So with that out of the way, let’s move on to the topic of today’s post before this turns into a novel!

So, for those of you who are unaware, the target audience for my blog and YouTube channel are young men either in or just coming out of high school. That’s around the time when I started reading content from Art of Manliness, and I feel that it’s a vulnerable time in any young man’s life where they could really benefit from the tips and pointers I offer. With that in mind, today I’m going to speak specifically to those young gents still in high school, giving you all the pointers you’ll need for a fun and successful prom night!

Remember that you don’t have to go

The first thing to remember is that you don’t even have to go to prom if you don’t want to! While your classmates may pressure you into thinking you have to go, it’s perfectly ok if you don’t want to go. And it can be for any reason. Whether you want to save money, you don’t have a date, or just simply don’t care, it is completely fine if you don’t want to go. Your classmates may pressure you a lot to go to prom, but at the end of the day, no one will care!

You don’t need a date

If you do decide to go prom, remember that you do not need a date. While it is highly encouraged, it is of course not necessary. During my junior and senior years of high school, my school even offered singles tickets for those students that either couldn’t find a date or didn’t want one. A lot of other schools are starting to do this too, but even if your school doesn’t, you could simply purchase a couple’s ticket for you and a buddy, if he also doesn’t have a date. So unless your school officials have been set back sixty years and think that a gay couple going to prom (which might not even be the case) is a problem, you should be set for prom even if you don’t have a date.

Coordinate your outfit with your date’s

If you don’t have a date, I suppose you can just stop here. But for those of you who have found a lovely lady (or gentleman if you’re gay, I don’t discriminate!) to spend your prom night with, pay attention! Now, it’s traditional that you and your date wear outfits with similar color schemes. For those of you who haven’t read my guide to the perfect suit or tuxedo, that could really come in handy for this, so I’ll include a link right here The Gentleman’s Guide to the Perfect Suit/Tuxedo

Now, with this in mind, just tell the tailor what colored accents you want to match your dates dress. Those accents will usually apply to your tie, vest, and pocket square. Sometimes, the color of the jacket and pants may also have to change from the traditional black. When I went to my senior ball, my date wore a navy blue dress, which both me and the tailor agreed didn’t blend well together with the traditional black, so we worked it out that the tux would be gray with navy blue accents to match her dress, and it looked great! It would be smart to show your tailor a picture of your date’s dress to give them an idea. So, be sure to coordinate with your date and your tailor to get yourself looking perfectly spiffy for your prom night!

Remember it’s a social event!

Now, all of my tips up to this point have applied before prom night even happens, but my last and possibly most important pointer applies to prom night itself. Now, yes, most of you will have a date and you’ll obviously want to spend a lot of your night with them. There’s no debate there, it’s just simple logic. But this doesn’t mean that 100% of your time at prom should be spent making lovey-dovey time with your date (especially if it’s a significant other). It’s meant to be a social event, spent between friends and classmates. The whole point of prom night is just to have fun, celebrate being young, and forget about the stresses of high school for a little bit. And while we’re on the subject, do not interpret an acceptance to prom as an acceptance to sex! I can’t believe I have to say this, but I’ve heard stories of students renting a room if prom was at a hotel, and girls being deflowered on prom night. That is not the point of prom at all. Just keep it in your pants, guys, as much as it pains me to have to say that.

 

So there we have it! Follow these tips and you’ll have a great prom night! If there happen to be any ladies reading this and would also like some help with prep for prom, my friend Sara has a tutorial on her YouTube channel, showing how you can get a great look with cheap drugstore makeup, which I put a link to right here https://youtu.be/CUy8aMXzL7w

If there are any other prom tips that I missed, please be sure to leave your comments down below, and also be sure to share the post and follow the blog! Be sure to suggest topics for future posts either in the comments, or send an email to the blog which can be found on the homepage! Have fun at prom gents, and until next time, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s guide! 🙂

Categories
Manly Skills

A Gentleman’s Guide to Proper Dining Etiquette

Evening gents, welcome back to The Young Gentleman’s Guide! Now, we’ve all gone to eat at  someone else’s house or at a restaurant before (like a real, sit-down restaurant, not a fast food  place). And I would hope that you try to keep proper table manners and common decency in mind, because they do in fact still apply past your days as a kid when your mom asked you to keep your elbows off the table. By doing that, you’ll create a much more positive self-image for your hosts, show respect to them, and it will overall make your dining experience all the more enjoyable (especially if you’re on a dinner date, fellas). So just in case you don’t keep table manners in mind for any reason, today, I’m going to give you five (5) easy steps to improving your dining etiquette.

1. When do you start eating?

This can be a difficult question to answer. Most people will say to start eating when other people do, but that can be a bit hard to gauge. I was always taught to wait until everyone has their food served to them. However, it may take a while to get for everyone to get their food, especially if you have a large group. So a good rule to follow is that if hot food is being served, if at least two (2) people are seated and served, then you can start eating, provided you yourself have been served. Of course, this is all assuming you’re eating in a group larger than four (4). If your group is four (4) or fewer, just wait for everyone to be served. In general, you do not want to be  the only person eating, but you also want to eat hot food while it’s still hot.

2. Mind your elbows

This is a simple rule. You should not put your elbows on the table while in the middle of the meal is NOT ALLOWED! It’s simply improper, plus you’ll run the risk  of getting a stain on your shirt (if  you’re wearing long sleeves, that is). However, it is perfectly ok to put your elbows on the table in between courses or during coffee is perfectly okay. It’s only when there’s food on the table that you should keep your elbows off the table. That actually brings me to my next rule.

3. Do not reach

Whether you’re eating at a restaurant or at someone’s house, there is likely to a large spread of food across the table. So there might be something you’d like to eat that’s halfway across the table. With that in mind, how should you go about obtaining that item? It’s fairly simple. If you have to reach across the table, meaning you have to get up out of your seat to get it, don’t even bother. Simply ask someone else at the table to pass it over to you. Simple as that

4. Bring the food to you; don’t bring yourself to the food

Let’s face it, we’re guys. Our natural instinct is to shovel food into our face like an animal. This is fine if you’re eating by yourself in the privacy of your own home, but if you’re out eating with someone, you’ll want to make a good impression on whoever you’re eating with. It could be family, a co-worker, or a lady friend. So if you want to leave said impression, it would be smart to not eat like an animal. A couple of good general rules is that you should not put as much food on your fork or spoon as you possibly can and to let the food to travel at least a good ten inches to your mouth.

5. Put the phone away!

It always surprises me how often I sit down at a dinner table and see so many people glued to their phones, as if they’ve forgotten what the purpose of going out to dinner is! The whole point of going out to dinner is to interact and socialize with whoever you’re eating with. And just like I said earlier, you’ll want to leave a positive impression the host, whether it be your boss, your family member you haven’t seen  in a long time, or your date. So in order to avoid making things awkward and leaving other diners feeling offended, just turn your phone off. You’ll be fine without having to check Facebook or Instagram for an hour or two.

So there we go! Follow these simple steps, and you’ll end up leaving a very nice and positive impression on your dinner hosts. As a result, they might invite you to even more dinner plans! Thank you all so much for checking in on The Young Gentleman’s Guide. Please comment down below if there are other ways to improve your dining etiquette that I missed, and be sure to follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Twitter. We have a pretty big announcement coming in the next few days, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. But until next time, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide signing out!