I was the beneficiary this week of the kindness and manly spirit of Brett McKay, who presides, with his wife, over the writing and goings on at the Art of Manliness. Being Manly was featured in the Art of Manliness Trunk: a treasure-trove of ethereal delights from out there in internet land. The effect would have caused nose bleeds in lesser men: 2,200 page views in three days is new territory for these humble pages, and long may things continue in such a vein. I am most grateful for the exposure, and I’m especially happy to welcome newcomers, especially when they are sent from such reputable sources.
The Art of Manliness community is an amorphous place, filled with every kind of man one might imagine. Yet it is driven by a spirit of masculine depth that keeps it from being a mere locus of grunting and scratching. To be sure, look deeply into any community and you will find elements that you do not like. But such a discovery has an air of reality about it, and one better appreciates the prevailing decency of the majority for remaining hospitable to the rest. In this community, in which I’ve been active for a long time by now, are men driven by giving, by intellect, by enthusiasm, by sartorialism, by literature, by politics, by art, by sport, and by a willingness and a wish simply to understand what it is to be, and what it takes to improve, a man. It is neither self-help, nor men helping themselves (i.e. taking). It is a shared journey, the passage of which involves disagreement, requests for advice, the giving of advice, and the expression of opinion. The community regulates itself. Members call out each other for transgression. Moderation – two meanings, one a virtue, the other a duty – abounds here by nature.
If you’ve never been to the Art of Manliness, do go. If you like it here – and I do hope that you find my hearth equal in warmth to my hospitality – you will assuredly like it there. And do come back again and tell me what you found on your travels.
To the Art of Manliness: in being there, may we find out what it is.