Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Manly and Not-so-Manly Cities

According to this market research study commissioned by the Mars Snackfood corporation, Nashville is America’s manliest city. Ohioans needn’t fret, however. Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo were all in the top 10 and Dayton ranked 15. According to the story on the study, "Factors used to determine the manliest city rankings included the number of U.S.-made cars driven in the city, number of sports bars and BBQ restaurants, number of home improvement and hardware stores as well as manly salty snacks consumption." Factors that could doom a city in the rankings included the number of home-furnishing stores, beauty magazine subscriptions and minivan sales.

Portland, Oregon ranked pretty low on the survey--coming in at 47 among the 50. Their reaction? Well, of course! They’re depressed.

Discussions - 17 Comments

Two Ohio cities are in the top 10 Unhappiest cities in the nation: Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Also, I thought it was interesting that not too many southern cities were listed as manly cities, save Nashville and Richmond... but nothing really deep south. I would've thought they would've ranked higher. Maybe it has something to do with remnants of the southern gentleman, or perhaps more likely, the beauty magazine subscriptions of the southern bell.

I also wonder about the cities with high manliness -- Do they rank high because the women in the town aren't truly feminine??? That is, the women don't really care about their beauty or the beauty of their home.

I'm actually surprised Rochester came in as low as it did--this is really a sports obsessed town that is home to a whole lot of bbq style restaurants and greasy food in general (not to mention sports bars)...and our nationally high murder rate is evidence that the we have no dearth of thymos......

Any place with that much snow would have to be manly...and proud cultural artifacts like "Rockin' Rochester" indeed suggest as much. I do look forward to my visit.

Terrific pic! We'll have a grand time, almost definitely without snow and very, very likely without murder. I can promise lots of great conversation and wine too.

This was the best my sun-drenched home-town could come up with, 20 years after the fact, and, er, manly in that British long-haired way.

Oh but we also had this, this time 30 years too late, but more American-style.

Yes, I am proud to be a San Diegan. Screw Anchorman, we had the two best rock and roll bands ever, albeit during the wrong decades.

Honestly, whenever someone talks about manliness on this site, I have no idea what they mean. And I suspect they don't, either.

Exactly Blanket...As you can see by the narrow factors considered by the study. In this particular case, the narrow definitions of the social scientists/political economists, seek to link manliness up to whatever factors they used to pin it down. Therefore Manliness is a neat mathmatical equation. If manliness was a neat mathmatical equation we would always know what we mean by it practically speaking...but trust me when I say that neither Ivan K or Carl Scott are card carrying "rational choice theorists".

The political economists know exactly what manliness is in terms of what it means statistically for the sale of Mars products. In other words Manliness=the weight statistically derived and applied to each of the factors in the test x1 US made cars, x2 sports bars, x3 BBQ joints, x4 home depot...ext...

With given weights for various factors one can compute Manliness...if you want you could doctor weights if you think X is more important/significantly manly.

Of course the dispute over what weight should be given to what is manly/or not manly...so a dispute exists on whether or not a...look dammit, sports and salty foods are manly and forget about wine, conversation or gossip about what is a higher priority...you will accept this study...or not, but Mars will accept it in so far as it is usefull to them in selling different types of candy bars....In some sense Ivan K and Carl Scott are likely to be Marxist if the end of the story(history) is that the mars study stands as authoritive on what is and is not manliness...because this study is a clear example of manliness being structured by those who own the means of production...for the explicit purpose of selling that opiate chocolate to the masses!

Now the rational choice theorist or the Hegelians will point out that this Mars study is Rational and clear as to what manliness actually is...while the Marxists or moralists of all stripes will unite in general disorder and disgruntlement over being topiarized thusly...So you have the bourgeois slave/manliness of the hoi polloi that clings to american cars, sports, chocolate, salty nuts, home depot stores vs. the aristocratic master/manliness that with leisure enjoys endless debate over what should be held to be manly or worthy of praise...part of Ivan's promise includes wine and great conversation from which one can conclude that they will reflect upon the self-incured tutalege that is manliness and seperate from it what is trully Rational and Good from what is ugly, low and sad.

I would like one of the manly bloggers here at NLT to find some data - when they aren't engaged in manly activities like blogging - that ranks cities by obesity, fitness levels, high blood pressure, average lifespan, average daily distance walked, etc. Then overlap those stats with this manly cities list. Could be interesting.

Also, I wonder if Harvey Mansfield ever used research sponsored by Combos - the "cheese"-filled pretzel snacks (not available in Brie, I'm sure).

But maybe NLT could get some money from them. No Left Turns - the manly man's blog, brought to you by Combos!

[Strange - when I went to finalize this post, the captcha words were "filling" and "tragedy" - sorta goes with Combos, no?]

Shut up and eat your wheat germ, Sally. By the way, how are things in Portland?

Blanket, wouldn't you rather talk about rock and roll?

But, if not, aren't there some fairly obvious things, albeit surely a number of them more purely stereotypical than true, that we think of when we hear the word "manly?" If there "must be more to life than stereotypes," as the rock band Blur said, perhaps we can explore the truths behind the non-misleading sterotypes? The founders, in the Declaration and elsewhere, seemed to speak of manliness as an evident quality, and one quite politically relevant. So did Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Having been raised more on the Blur-ish and wordy side of our culture, being a glasses-wearing intellectual who knows about poets and composers, I nonetheless find the more philosophical investigations of maniliness, spiritedness, and courage to be important to the life of the mind itself. And I've learned to better enjoy many of the more natural aspects of the manliness-celebrating sides of our culture, mainly as a result of growing older, but also probably through these investigations. See if you can find Harvey Mansfield's Jefferson Lecture online, or read his book/articles on Manliness. That will give you an indication of why the topic is important to political science egg-heads, and why they like to joke about it and even sometimes think about on a site like NLT.

And John is right to point to the fact that the ethical calling present in the true manliness is a rather rigorous one, and laughs scornfully at compensating luxuries like Monster Trucks. I'm too Christian, perhaps still too culturally leftist, and definitely still too culturally confused (hence my dogged democratic-American love of rock and roll and every down-home dance music under the sun), to really follow that calling, not to mention being more lazy and cheese-snack-enamored than I should be. I like laughing without scorn, or to leave you with the words of Alabaman/Californian Fred Maddox:

I'm a shimmy shakin' daddy from a way out west

I think I can outshake the best

I'm a shimmy-shakin daddy (SHIMMY-SHAKIN' DADDY)

(repeat call and response)

Well, I wiggle my body and I twist my feet

I don't think that I can be beat

and so on...I told you I was confused!

Maybe manliness is a thing akin to the Supreme Court's definition of pornography - you know it when you see it . . . and when you don't. And, whining about manliness may be an indicator of the latter.

I think Tony's right. Manliness is like pornography - but more in the self-absorbed, masturbatory way in which both are celebrated.

WOW. A real man is a consumer of salty snacks. WTF. What a joke, the sports obsessed and bbq's. How can any metro city be on the list though. Is it now more manly to be able to do a few things from the Hank Williams song. I guess old Hank should update it. We can shop at lowes and eat 20 spicy wings... Drink beer and eat chips all day long...Watch sports from dusk till dawn. Get real, this is yuppy self agrandizment at its best.

Carl, are you perchance a fan of the Reverend Horton Heat?

Guys...gentlemen? Does it matter if you can't figure out the definition of "manliness"? Why not ask a girl?
Frankly, I don't want a guy who is sensitive, unless that means he knows when the toilet needs to be repaired and when the oil in the car needs to be changed. If the definition of "home organization" means he can find all of his tools in the basement workshop in the dark (including the ciruclar saw he bought 6 years ago and used twice), bravo zulu. And if he's willing to go clothes shopping with his daughter? Total manliness. Napoleon Dynamite said it best - chicks like guys with skills.

John, never saw or heard much of Rev. Horton Heat, as mockery of fundamentalists (which I assume was part of his schitck) gets old quick, but generally I'm a sucker for good rockabilly...saw a great you-tube vid recently of a rockabilly group called the Horton Brothers, playing with the fiddle player from the old Maddox Bros and Rose band...I figure they're the Rev's back-up band gone their own way, but I don't know.

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