New York Times Says 'Modern Man' 'Has No Use for a Gun,' 'Cries Often'

The New York Times is not just the Paper of Record. It is, among so very many other things, the adjudicator of acceptable opinion, the arbiter of style, and the guide for the perplexed. It was thus with humble gratitude that males, all of whom are prostrate betas before the Times’ grand alpha, received the article that appeared last week in the Men’s Style/Self-Help section: “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man.”

How would we know, if the New York Times didn’t tell us?

Brian Lombardi, the Times’ appointed oracle on what makes a Modern Man, is as gnomic and enigmatic as any of his Delphic predecessors. He tells us, for example, that “the modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.” My best guess as to what this could possibly mean is that it is a reference to the Wu-Tang Clan, which, I am informed, is “an American hip hop group from New York City, originally composed of East Coast rappers RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard.”

That’s right: “the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard.” There are plenty of us still alive, but never mind. Brian Lombardi’s epigrammatic utterances include no explanation of why modern man must consult Wu-Tang weekly. There is no why. One does not question the oracle.

But then, there is this:

The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.

Very well, but also:

The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.

If Modern Man must never own a gun, that’s his choice. But he “has no use” for one? What if the intruder who storms his bedroom is too strong for Modern Man to fight off unarmed? What if the intruder has a knife -- or is even so much of an Antiquated Man as to have a gun?

What can Modern Man do then? Reach for the melon baller that Lombardi advises he use to make sure  “the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves” are “uniformly shaped”?

A clue as to how all this sage advice hangs together comes in the oracle’s penultimate utterance:

The modern man cries. He cries often.

Perhaps the Modern Man is so given to such displays because the intruder was indeed armed, and Modern Man wasn’t, and Modern Man’s wife had no chance to get away.

That possibility, however, almost certainly didn’t occur to Brian Lombardi or his New York Times editors. They no doubt agree: “the Modern Man has no use for a gun.” Barack Obama and John Kerry are quintessential examples of this Modern Man. They live in a world where all people are rational, gentle, peace-loving, and concerned about saving the planet and sharing her resources. That includes the Ayatollah Khamenei and Hassan Rouhani. Hell, it includes Kim Jong-un and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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(Pictured: Al-Baghdadi and his ... selfie stick? Anyone know what that thing is?)

Brian Lombardi could have added a 28th characteristic of the Modern Man: "the Modern Man assumes that everyone he ever encounters in any situation, no matter how threatening, irrational, or actively violent, is also a Modern Man." There is, in other words, no one who cannot be talked to, no one who cannot be negotiated with, no one who doesn’t prize Peace above all things, and no one who isn’t willing to make concessions and receive them in turn, in order to bring about and preserve that Peace.