The other day I was watching a show on homes for sale. They stated it had a nice man cave. I said to myself, a what?
It started me thinking about how things have changed. At one time men used to take care of household maintenance and repairs, the same with auto maintenance and repair. Many usually had a project going in the garage or basement. Preferred reading was Popular Mechanics and Do-It-Yourself publications. A lot were involved with the outdoors: hunting and fishing, etc.
Slowly things started to change. Schools were a big part of the change. Working with your hands became looked down upon by the intellectuals. Emphasis was put on higher education to the point students and society were discouraged to go in any direction except college. In a lot of cases there were no or low paying jobs when they finished, and now they were lacking any real skills. The exception was if you went into a highly specialized field, and not everyone was cut out for that.
Then somewhere along the line, maybe it started in the 60s, sports became front and center as the most important part of college. Just check out the pay for coaches compared to Chancellor and other administrators. Playing with the ball became more important than what you could actually do with your hands. Cars became so high-tech the average person couldn't work on them anymore. Instead of being able to fix something broken, people started just throwing it away and buying new. Usually the new wasn't built as good or would last as long as what they threw away. Hunting became almost a crime because it was criminal to shoot Bambi's father, etc. Now if a kindergartner so much as points his finger pretending it's a gun it's cause for suspension or worse. Beverage companies started to really push their product towards the young. Good times, meant drinking and sports, more drinking, and parties, and celebration. What could be more meaningful and fun "We Won" (even though "WE" weren't actually playing). Cute mascots like Spuds McKenzie were part of the promotion. I couldn't believe when my eight-year-old niece at the time got a Spuds for a Christmas present. She hung onto it all day. It made me sick. Her parents weren't smart enough to figure it out or didn't care (even though they were educators).
So now the modern man has evolved into a drinking sport crazed person because there isn't much else for the average male to be involved in.
I guess that's the need for a "Cave".
Thank goodness the Model T has saved us from this
Well said, Dan. I agree 100%.
Never thought of it that way, but I think your right. It used to be, let's go hunting, fishing, to the park, or other outdoor event. Now, a typical gathering is in front of a big screen TV, in a basement or other secluded room, and watch sports (and beer commercials).
I better go work on a car, right after the next commercial.......
I don't have a "Man Cave", I have a shop.
In schools, the shop programs are being cut while the sports programs are expanding or upgrading.
I hate all sports. Excuse me, I have some work to do on the car.
Last time I checked, we still worked on cars. My son brought his friend Kevin from work and I invited my friend John. Our security camera didn't catch the right moment when all of us were forcing the new engine into my son's car. A few years back we realized our hobby wasn't going away so we got the shop.
In regards to my daughter, she thanked me for teaching her household wiring and she is showing her husband how to fix switches and change fixtures.
I am proof that you can drink beer and still work on cars. John has four daughters and I think he enjoys hiding out here.
"Cars or Bars" that's what I told my 2nd wife, "either way we end up flat broke and nothing to show for it" she chose the Cars I have no idea why!
(But she tells all of her friends "I know where to find him")
Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" is on a mission to get America back to using out hands (and not for typing on a computer)...see attached link for his website.....I agree that the emphasis on higher education is not applicable to a lot of people, and now we have MBA guys flipping burgers... http://profoundlydisconnected.com/
I tell people that I came from another planet. It's called the United States of America, 1950. On that planet men and boys all carried pocket knives. A pocket knife was considered a tool, not a weapon. You used it to sharpen a pencil, or cut the twine you were using to stake a seedling, or cut off the tall grass that wound around a mower shaft, and all sorts of other useful things. A few years ago the change we've suffered was driven home to me when I saw one of the boys at McDonalds try to open a plastic bag of biscuit mix by ripping it with his teeth.
The students at Wright Bend School, 1950. My guess would be that there wasn't one of these boys without a knife in his pocket.
"My guess would be that there wasn't one of these boys without a knife in his pocket."
And probably some in the girls pockets too.
I absolutely hate & detest the term "man cave"!
Also, do not have a warm spot for a person who describes their, or worse yet other people's, hobbies as their "passion".
Since I'm rolling here, overuse of the word "amazing" is also very irritating. It seems everything today is "amazing".
My man cave has become my amazing new passion.... Uck, I threw-up a little bit!
(Also hate the song "Venus" by Frankie Avalon.)
There, I'm done now. Glad I got that out.
Forget it Dan. Your (our?) idea of America is dead and gone. I laugh out loud when I hear (usually) a politician say: "We've got to get back to this or that". There's no going back. The world is changing and so are we. Yes, people still volunteer for the Military and other's refuse. Yes, even though skilled workers NEVER starve no matter what the financial conditions are, many refuse to use their hands. Some of you refuse to have a cel phone. You're in a minority so small it's almost un-countable. You couldn't get a phone from a dead man's hands in most cases. Scene from "Abe Lincoln In Illinois": 1830's. An old timer in a ratty looking Revolutionary War outfit is standing on a stump in the town square and is yelling about how this country is going to hell in a hand basket. Hollywood I know but if you think there weren't people back then that felt that way you're mistaken. Just like today.
Ever wonder why there are commercials on TV for testosterone replacement drugs? It is because for the most part men have willfully surrendered any they had to be politically correct.
I blame a lot of the wrongs in this country on T ball and soccer. No score, everyone is a winner, they all feel validated. Yeah, that's how life work ain't it? No need for a kid to man up there.
I'm mid 50's and can't believe the number of men I work with that can't fix anything. One guy took his push mower in for a broken rope. It would take me longer to put it in the truck and take it someplace than to just take it apart and change the rope. For crying out loud, pay someone to tie a knot in a rope for you? Have some testosterone medicine.
This is all the result of generational sportsification and rampant narcissism as accepted norms in our society. Most places you go, this class of people outnumber traditional thinking people, at least in terms of influence if not sheer quantity. Reversing it on a grand scale would be impossible, because anything other than striving to be self-sufficient is the most cowardly and easy way out one can take in life and that's what society as a whole is into anymore.
What ever happened to on the job training?
I don't like "You can be anything you want to be."
It should be you have the opportunity to be anything you want to be IF you have the skills and abilities to do so.
Most of the paper that some people have (earned?) would be best put to use in the bathroom.
There's no doubt we are witnessing the wussification of America!
Awesome Jerry, just AWESOME.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But Charlie is right, too. I well remember older folks in that America of 1950 griping about modern times and going on about how much better things were in the Good Old Days. The truth is, some things are better and some things are worse, and that's how it's always been.
The wussification of America has been going on for some time. Are they are vocational classes in our high schools left that teach young men and women how to work with their hands?
Luckily I took shop classes in high school and have become quite handy. On my recent trip to visit in-laws I fixed my mother-in-laws dryer, her computer and helped her buy a new car.
The model t is the perfect anti-wussifcation tool.
So, which one is you, Steve? I'm guessing the one with the ball glove?
I get tired of the word "Literal" used as every other word on the "news casts."
"The house was literally destroyed by the fire, tornado."
NO! It was destroyed!!
I get tired of hearing "GOOD JOB!" I wonder of Jesse James ever told that to his gang? Of course here around Independence, Mo. people are still looking for his loot in his "Man Cave."
I was working at AZone and was asked about radiator repair, machine shops and welders and realized, one day, that there are more coffee shops than the professional people that I knew who could rebuild things.
I went to Home Despot and asked two of the inmates, both young folk, where did they keep the PB Blaster?
My guess for young Steve Jelf:
Nope, I'm not in it. My aunt Jerry Miller was the teacher at Wright Bend, and when we visited here in November of 1950 I went to school with her. She took this picture at some other time. Eldon Eastman (standing, second from left) made a big impression on me with the collection of arrowheads he and his dad had picked up along the Walnut River. For a city kid with his head full of cowboys and Indians from radio and the movies, that was magic. Part of what made me fall in love with Kansas.
The kid with the cowboy hat is Jim McFarland. But if I had been there I probably would have been wearing one too.
The throw away culture made me think about yesterday. I'm cleaning up my garage to have some shop space. I have this old drill press (craftsman brand, hardly used) that has a motor that won't start, you have to spin the chuck to get it going--sometimes works sometimes doesn't. Well, I have a new one, and there's a guy in town who lost his shop to a fire, so I want to give it to him--but can't with that motor, so I take it apart, figuring it's the starter switch. Nope, no continuity in the start winding. Hmm, gotta be a break somewhere, so I take out the insulating strips that hold the coils in, and lift out coils until I find the break--Ah HA!! Lucked out, second set and there it is. Solder, insulate, and then put things back together---Success! Whew!
But who today would bother--out to HF and buy a cheap China-made motor for them. Oh well, guess I'm just a crotchety cheapskate.
You can make a lot of money doing simple things for incompetent people now! I have neighbors that pay people to mow their yard, reprogram their sprinkler systems, put up missing fence slats, even wash their cars. Pay someone to wash your car! Really? I actually enjoy the sense of accomplishment doing these things for myself. I dream about making a home care company with an army of workers who get paid to take care of things people used to take care of themselves. I'd be rich! Haha
It's a vicious spiral - both adults have jobs in an effort to make ends meet, then they find that they have no time to do all the recreational things they want to do, plus all the chores. So, they hire others to do the chores, which forces them to make more money by working more hours/jobs, yada, yada, yada....
YES! That one too!
And, the recent trend of ending sentences, or replying to a statement, with the word "Right?"
- "That sure is a nice Model T."
There is another aspect of the sports part of this subject that I find very disturbing. It's the money.
Everything you guys have said is true. The proof is in the amount of money spent on so called "professional" sports. I learned long ago that organizations make lots of policy, but the only true policy of any entity (private company, governmental organization or individual) is how they spend money. In fact, in any governmental organization from local school district, irrigation district, city, county state, up to and including the federal government the only policy document that really means anything is the budget.
It does not bode well for the future when you think about the money spent, the salaries paid, etc. in the prof. sports world and then compare that to the fact that many children here in the USA lack adequate food, shelter, medical attention, etc. It's a question of our priorities as a society. What we think is important is reflected in how we spend our money. I do not like the reflection I see.
Incidentally, I'm OK with folks enjoying sports. I just think we as a society have lost perspective of what's really important. This loss of perspective is manifest, at least in part, by the loss of manhood discussed in this thread.
I agree, life and the world has changed since the greatest generation, but "man caves" aren't all that bad in my dictionary. It can simply refer to a place where a man keeps his "toys", as in Model T's and tools.
Will: You would be rich till you had to get liability ins for your workers. Then one of them gets hurt on the job and where is your workman comp. Oh, and now the liability has to be 5 mill instead of 1 mill. And what about a Bus lic for each town and four way stop that you work in. Now, since you are a business where is your CDL? And why do you not have a DOT # on that truck? And where is your sales tax report for the last 3 years? Is it really worth it
I DARE you to watch it... BTW, its getting windy up here again... trooper Herm
I recall in 1959 I got a tattoo on my arm with a girl's name on it. I thought being tough enough to get a tattoo made me kind of manly. No need to say more.... By the way, is there anything more disgusting than .......never mind, I'm showing my age.
Ouch Dan, pop my bubble haha. Yes too many regulations.
Bill, I heard that the company didn't promote it because it made such brutal fun of their TV channels.
I hope you guys who complain about a decline in the manly arts are opening your garages to younger folks who show an interest. I was lucky enough to get involved in antique stuff by exactly that.
The yellow Mustang in my photo above was handed to my son when he was 15. He restored it in time to pose next to it his high school senior picture.
When we bought it, it had a straight six and he added front disk brakes, and replaced several body panels. He went on to college where he captained the Formula SAE race team and learned welding. He is now a graduate engineer and the fact that he knows how to make things is helping him at his job. So yes, I allow youngsters in my shop.
And yes, he helped me restore his Model T.
I don't know how but in our pictures at Floyd School i was the little kid everyone used to beat the snot out of!! Bud.
Steve... you gotta watch it; its as bad as Second Hand Lions is good.
Maybe I am weird, but my idea on sports is this: Jogging is running around in circles, not useful. Gym is just working out with no useful result. Ball games are just playing. Hunting and fishing are useful if you eat what you catch, but catch and release or hunting for trophy are a waste of time. It is even worse to waste time watching someone else doing sports. It is just wishful thinking that the person watching really wishes he could be the champion.
I have the same feelings about those who get their cars professionally restored and detailed and then win a prize for the best car. It is glorying in someone else's work.
My idea of a "man" working out is cutting weeds with a hoe, sawing wood with a hand saw, working on my own car and driving it around. Putting on my own roof, and painting my own house. This is the way to get exercise and accomplish something in so doing.
I grew up in a family of furniture builders, and started helping in the factory when I was 9 years old. So I didn't learn to play the games other boys did in those days. I worked alongside men and felt like I was a man.
Later I went to work for a garage and learned on the job how to fix cars. Then after that I liked what I saw when the telephone man came to install our phone, and became a telephone man. Those days we climbed poles, not raise up in a "cherry picker"
Anyway, to me work is something which accomplishes a task. That is what makes a man.
I fix things for folks that the problems are so simple that later I scratch my head and wonder how they figured how to get in the car and leave.Broke starter ropes,bad spark plugs,bent blades,sheared flywheel keys.All simple stuff.
The lack of peoples desire to do anything productive with their hands and mind is sadly becoming something profitable for others willing to do so.
I think my pet peeve with driving now is with people who struggle with the word ONLY, as in right turn only, left turn only.
I would never cut in front of a line I was standing in so why would I let a jerk try and cut in front of me when I have been sitting in my truck in a traffic line.
Ps, people are not successful trying to cut in front of me.
61 years old , living in Parsippany NJ for the past 58 years
I agree with you,and it is hard to except, but there comes a time that age requires you to let some things go or ask for help ether from family or pay someone to do it. Being independent is the best way,but the time comes and its not easy. Don't ask me how I know.
When I listen to the news now I hear about people getting arrested for suspicion of murder, suspicion of having drugs in possession, suspicion of breaking and entering, etc.
I don't think they were arrested for suspicion, they were arrested for doing it. They may not have done it but they were arrested for speeding, not suspicion of speeding. Right Jerry?
Why in hell can't store clerks and bank tellers and nurses say, "You're welcome", instead of, "No problem"???????????????
Of course it isn't a problem, you're being paid for it!
Aaron, our legal system assumes a person is innocent until proven guilty. They are arrested on suspicion, and the evidence is presented in court. The court, if sufficient evidence is presented will proclaim them guilty. They are never guilty until they either plead guilty, or a court finds them guilty.
Great discussion. Thanks for starting it Dan. What about guys with earrings and necklaces? When did all that start? Yuk!
After meditating on this a bit, I have to disagree with Norm on the utility of exercise. When I go out and do my three mile run, it raises my pulse rate and makes me breathe hard and sweat. Installing band linings, gapping plugs, and fixing my roof, while useful, don't do that. Current research indicates that vigorous physical exercise benefits the cardiovascular system and reduces the incidence of strokes, dementia, and other geriatric afflictions. I may not ward off all the ailments that could occur, but I'm improving my odds. So far I like being alive and prefer it to the alternative, so I'm willing to "waste" an hour on physical activity that doesn't produce an immediate product other than health.
All of this complaining about the new generation is funny since the people who are doing the complaining are the ones that "created" the problem.
You can always trace current society's problems back a generation or two.
Man cave? Naw, you need a garage-mahall. I work with my hands and have signed my own paycheck for 40 years. Really one can only make so much with 10 fingers and it typically isn't enough. In my lifetime all the way back into the good ole days mechanics worked on week-ends to make ends meet.
For what you need to do, what tools you need and the knowledge base required it's a bad gig.
The sad part is that those that are so capable are not being replaced. Money drives everything. Do new cars even have jacks anymore? Most people I doubt know how to change a tire.
"I hope you guys who complain about a decline in the manly arts are opening your garages to younger folks who show an interest."
I'm guessing that folks who represent examples of the decline of the "manly arts" are not the ones who would show an interest in Model T's. I'm speaking in generalities of course. However, please don't take any of this as a general condemnation of young people. I am constantly impressed by the many young folks who get into this hobby, and others. I am in this hobby because I was born into it. Young people who were not, but have discovered and adopted this hobby on their own, make me feel like there's hope yet, in spite of all that's been bemoaned above. I hope that I have inspired a few. Tim, I'm also glad someone has inspired you as well. I'm proud of you, and proud of those who have inspired you.
You guys both depress and impress me.
Depressed because there are fewer and fewer people like you.
(I am sitting here after knee surgery, watching FoX news and wondering what happened to our country.)
Impressed because there are some of you left.
(if more people in our country were like you we would still be respected in the world.
Recently, we installed a new top on my 1926 TuDor. Alexander if Kevin's nephew, he has a healthy interest in cars and bikes.
Getting the younger fellows interested isn't hard, all you have to do is let go and allow them to pick up that tool.
How many of your Grand-parents thought our generation ""was going to hell in hand basket"
You'd be surprised at the number of people interested in this stuff. In my experience some don't know it even exists and some have had it beaten into them that it's out of their league.
Since I bought my T I'm not sure I know a single guy in his twenties that hasn't offered to come over and help with it.
Fred, folks who watch those political channels tend to become more ill-informed, angry, and depressed. Gotta find something more uplifting to pass the time.
For Bob and Steve,
I do other than changing bands. I pull engines and transmissions apart and back together. I also move weeds, pine needles, branches, and dirt in the wheelbarrow all around the yard and to the dumpster which is 400' away. I also walk at a brisk pace back and forth to the mail box, which is 1180' one way. And I realize that disabilities will not allow the strenuous work, I also believe that the more physical work one does (including exercise) the disabilities can be postponed until later in life or until death, whichever might come first. So I will continue as long as I am able. Jogging is quite hard on the knees. Walking at pace, or uphill is easier on the joints and can also get the heart rate up.
The opening post is something I certainly relate to - it's the same here in Australia. I come from what was probably the last generation where people could do repairs and make stuff. A teenager pull an engine out of a car? Routine stuff back then, but now they're advised to call road service if they get a flat tyre.
i wonder ... how many of you folks would know what to do if your computer went on the fritz? I think you guys are really selling us young folks short ...
Remember, you're the ones who raised us. You're the ones who are responsible for the job market, the economy that we're trying (struggling!) to enter. If you think we're lazy, or entitled, or "unmanly" (lol) how does that reflect on yourselves?
Norm, that's right. You do what your physical condition allows. If that means you walk, you walk. The only reason I run is that it takes just half as long as walking the same distance.
Clearly you do not understand how this game is played. Each generation in its turn gets to do the "The world is going to pot. Today's young people don't know what's what!" act.
And yet, we make progress. We have better living conditions than were available to most folks in the T era. Better medicine. Better cars (ouch). More leisure time. And on and on and on.
It's just a game! We always think we have more to complain about than those who came before us. Soon (sooner than you can imagine) it will be your turn.
Good comments Dan
We have a saying in these parts: If you've run out of projects to do, it's because you just died.
Having projects to do and interests in life are what keeps us going!
My 25 year old son takes non working computers apart and makes functioning computers from the parts. I ask him about anything electronic, I-phones, sending pictures, etc. He didn't have much interest in the mechanical aspect of fixing things but plays with the electronics and is hoping to make it on American Idol. Other son is more mechanical and helped replace the tranny and painted the S-10 he wrecked. Now he and his wife are practicing law. Son in law can handle a wrench or screwdriver, but not well. He can lay the prettiest concrete and pattern or stain it, and can tune a hunting/target bow to a gnat's a##. Don't mind our bitching. Like was stated above, every generation thinks the world is coming to an end. I have lots of faith in our young folks. BTW,there are lots of old geezers that don't know a spark plug from a light switch also.
I love the old guys who don't know a Model T coil from a piano roll. I buy stuff from them really cheap at swap meets.
Jerry; why do you hate "Venus"?? Cool song.
John S. that's why whenever my daughters computer goes on the "Fritz" she calls me! But once I convinced her to abandon Windows and Mac and get a real computer (LINUX) her computer hasn't gone on the "Fritz" in 8 years.... I kinda miss those calls when I got to show her how simple it was.
You should see the look on the Mexicans faces, when they drive by and see me mowing my grass with a push mower, yup, no engine on it either!
Maybe they think I'm taking a job away from them!
A friend changed the toilet's name from John to Jim so he could say he goes to the Jim every day.