I received the following email from a reader this morning.
Here is my response.
Now Let’s Talk About Grooming
Hair: It should be short. Sorry, gents, but we’ve advanced as a society far enough now that scissors are a widely available thing as are electric clippers. In fact, there was really only one man in history Who had long hair that worked for Him. And you’re not Him. I see my barber every 3-4 weeks and get a high and tight. Again, your hair should not be a distraction nor should it be the focal point of your existence and stature.
Facial Hair: This one’s not as tricky as it sounds. I tend to say either clean shaven (all the time) or, better yet, grow it out but keep it trimmed. I remember feeling so cool when I was 13 and shaved for the first time. It was manly and I was now a man (or so I thought). Years later I was teaching CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters and read (and re-read many times) the following passage. It’s advice from one demon to another.
I’ve given this one some thought and I’ve worn a beard for the past five years. I recognize not all men can grow a beard. I believe that has to do with the overall feminization of the West – soy products and overall lower levels of testosterone. OK 1) Eat meat. That being said, I say, if you can do it, do it.
Posture: Stand up straight. Shoulders back. Suck in your gut. Chest out. Make yourself big.
Chivalry: Learn it. Live it. Grab that door for every lady (and really for any person). Give of yourself. Another thing I learned from Dad was in watching how until the last time he drove a car, he always held the car door for my mom. I try to do that for my wife. She agreed to take on your life, your name, and your children. Treat her like it.
Accessories: First, don’t ever use that word. I’m just using it here for reference. Shoes should be polished. They should match your belt which should match your eyes which should be hazel. I’m only kidding about that last part but you get it.
Other than that, there’s not much to it. Ann Barnhardt mentioned a preference for not going wild with colors and not giving into the trend of “skinny” tailoring. First that brings up an important point. If you are able to and need to, get your more important clothing tailored. Many dry cleaners have a tailor on site. It’s a one-time thing (unless your weight fluctuates wildly) and worth the relatively minor cost. WEAR YOUR PANTS AT YOUR WAIST – Not below, Not above. And yes, I agree. I wouldn’t go the skinny route. I know some will push back and say “but I look good in that!” If you do, that probably means you are skinny. Don’t be afraid to put some meat on your bones. Remember we men are distinguished by greater muscle mass. Ask any swimmer who’s competed against Will Thomas. And as far as bright colors, the word I would use is gauche or flamboyant. I own exactly one pink tie. I bought it for my daughter’s baptism which occurred on Gaudete Sunday. Other than that, a tiny splash of color is OK, as Ann says, in ties, pocket squares, etc. Don’t make a habit of it.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t wear jewelry. It should go without saying that earrings are for pirates and queers. Tough love moment? Sorry. Your wedding ring, gentlemen, is a sacramental, not jewelry. Treat it accordingly. Your scapular (and you should be wearing one) stays beneath your shirt. It is for your benefit. Trust me, everyone else in that Trad parish has one on and they assume you do as well.
Wow, that was longer than I was expecting. Perhaps this becomes a regular feature? Likely not.
My thoughts at the end of this mid-week night are all over the map, friends. Bear with me. I promise you’ll enjoy the round-up (even if there isn’t any actual DDT).
Nancy and Frankie
Nancy took Communion at the Vatican. Exactly. She “took” Communion in the same way a thief takes your jewels. Her bishop ordered her not to present herself for Communion. She said she didn’t care. She jetted off to Rome on our dime despite her net worth being in the way-up-there-millions. She met with Antipope Bergoglio. He apparently blessed her which has as much worth as my own blessing but less so. She then “got in the line” and “took Communion”. She is a foul, festering, and atrocious bitch. There is no other word. You were thinking the same thing. We’re moving on.
New Apostolic Letter, Same Old Garbage
Antipope Bergoglio issued some kind of apostolic letter today. I think it was called Desilu Studios or something like that. Trying to sift through the nonsense. It’s like trying to read through the end paper of a group project foisted upon a cohort of graduate students in a program in Education. Yes, friends, yours truly had to slog through that too thanks to the ridiculous MS in Educational Administration I had to get along the way. Here’s a hint. It’s like reading an 8th grade book report from the kids who didn’t read the book. I’ll summarize it so far. If you are Catholic, as in you believe everything handed down to you from the apostles and worship Our Lord in the Mass of Angels and Saints, then apparently you’ve got some problems. They may be psychological. They may be physical. We really don’t know. But you had better get on board soon. They’re really tired of having to play “good cop/bad cop” over there at Casa Sancta Marta. If you didn’t flip for them a year ago with Traditiones Custodes, maybe the kinder, gentler version will help you conform.
Boys Will be Trad Men
I wandered into my family room this afternoon to something I thought I’d never see. My teenage son and two of his friends were on the couch watching a YouTube video called “Novus Ordo Cringe Compilation vol. 3” I seriously love these young men. There is hope that we’re raising tomorrow’s men right.
This afternoon I was doing my daily “research”. This entails sitting on my Texas front porch, sipping my gin and tonic, and thumbing through my phone catching up on all my trad goings-on.
I came across Ann Barnhardt’s latest post. I wonder if I can call her “Miss B.” like Non Veni Mark does? In any event, click here to read that post. It is one million per cent magnificent in its truth and timeliness. Here’s the quick synopsis. Ann argues the point that women need to start dressing modestly for obvious virtuous reasons, that doing so is not hard and in fact can be inexpensive, and that she herself is doing her part to get the trend of “these girls walking around almost nekkid, or in uber-expensive designer trash” reversed by, surprise, dressing amazingly. First sidenote: Going from Miss B. to Ann might be a bit too forward. I’ll return simply to Barnhardt. Second sidenote: Barnhardt has just upped the game for all of us. She’s wearing white summer gloves everywhere.
This all evoked incredible memories of my dad. I’ve mentioned him a few times. He was an honest-to-goodness real man and we were all blessed to have been born of him. To describe my dad accurately would take volumes so I’ll just give a sartorial overview. My dad wasn’t a hulking huge guy. He never played sports to my knowledge, though he did enjoy a game of frisbee or backyard volleyball with the kids in the summer. When you’ve brought a literal army into the world (there are 16 of us), you tend to do these things with and for your kids. Dad was incredibly smart. He was an actuary. He had a wicked sense of humor. He once told me (I was 6 years-old) that an actuary is a place where they bury dead actors. I believed him. He was a man of incredible faith and great dignity – at home with rich and poor alike. A daily mass-goer, a family man extraordinaire, a gentleman, and a scholar. And all who ever met him remember his class and style.
Barnhardt mentions that she was “born in ’76” and thus after many of the trends she’d like to bring back. Fair point. I was born in ’77. My parents, however, were born in the late 1930’s. They lived through the upheaval and the revolution and all that jazz. Dad never stepped out of the house unless properly attired. That meant, most days of the week he was in a suit. He’d tell me, “Son, you can never go wrong with a dark suit and a white shirt.” His shoes were always polished. He always had his pocketwatch tucked neatly into his watch pocket. He wore this to daily mass, to work, and finally, sitting in his chair at night watching TV with us kids. On Saturday he might be found in a polo shirt and navy trousers but always with a sportcoat and always a very nice looking one. I never saw the man wear shorts, sneakers, or a tee shirt. Every September he would grow in his goatee and every March he would shave it off. Even in his retirement, he still came to the breakfast table in a jacket. And he loved covering his head when he stepped outside. From the occasional Irish motoring cap to the wool fedora (to match his trench coat, of course) to my all time favorite – his 1910-era boater hat.
The man had style and a ubiquitous pipe from which he let out billows of beautiful and aromatic smoke.
More importantly, he respected others. He made a lasting impact. All looked up to him. He represented an ideal of manliness one hardly sees anymore. He placed my mom on a pedestal, honored his marriage vows for close to 60 years, brought many souls into being for God, took care of his family, and went to his reward buried in a dark suit. And a white shirt.
Over the years, although I’ve inherited some of his fashion sense, I’ve fallen into the terrible trap of the modern world where dress is concerned. As I write this I am wearing shorts and a tee shirt. Granted, I’m sitting inside my house and it’s late at night. But just like everything else the man taught me, I’m learning more and more everyday that he was right. That post from Barnhardt brought it home.
I dress the part. To every daily mass I wear a dress shirt and jacket (if not a full suit and tie). I will not ever again run out to the store late at night dressed like I do to work out. And I will be working harder to set those trends back in the right direction. A man who dresses well according to his state in life is a man who cares about others.
We tend to think that modesty isn’t so much of a problem among men but it surely can be. And on that point, I come back in my mind to the question of my PE wardrobe. You know, I live on the surface of the sun in Texas and by necessity I work out outside. OK, I will continue to wear gym shorts and sleeveless shirts when I’m lifting or jumping rope. It’s 14 million degrees here and I sweat. A lot. I also work out in the middle of the day when no one in my neighborhood is even home. But, as Barnhardt says in her piece, we need to lead the counter revolt and we can do it simply enough by how we dress. So, I’ll be thinking twice before running out to the liquor store in my “Biden can’t ban these guns” tank top. Come on, that’s pretty funny.
I learned from my father that men who are bold set trends, they do not follow them. Dad had no shortage of courage and just a dash of “I’m not concerned with what you think”. In the late 1980’s he and my mom headed out to his office client Christmas party. It was a big deal. His bosses spared no expense and hired incredible entertainment. Dad wore his tuxedo. Mom got after him a bit. “Honey, it didn’t say it was black tie.” He replied, “Doesn’t matter. It should be.” He was the only man in a tux that night. Within five years, it was mandatory. The entertainment that year? Dad came home and when asked who had performed said, “Some no talent clown named Michael McDonald.” And everyone in the audience was in a tux.
I started dressing up for daily mass and I’ve noticed other men doing the same. The world already marks us as different. Heck, the institutional Church marks as different – “those trads”. Do it. What do you have to lose? Your wives will respect you for dressing like men should dress. Your sons will copy you because boys want to be like their old men. Your daughters? Oh man, they already think you’re Superman. Wait until they see Clark Kent! And pro tip: suits are designed to be as flattering to the male form as possible.
So thank you, Miss Barnhardt, for starting this conversation. I’m happy if I could offer my insight on the male side of things.
So, putting a hat on this discussion, Barnhardt has a great line in her post:
Fellow trad men, we need to lead that counter-revolt. God made you male for a reason. Dress like men. Act like men. Lead by your example to show the world there are only two genders. Wear the literal pants in the family. And the tie, and the jacket. And don’t forget the hat. I wear one now just so I have something to remove should I hear the Holy Name of Jesus when outdoors. And the hat I wear to Sunday mass in the summer?…
The heat broke temporarily here in Texas. Last night the collapsing remnants of a cold front dropped the temperature from 103° to 74° in a matter of thirty minutes. This is Texas, after all. So it seems that our sufferings do come to an end, albeit for a short period only. The hundreds are roaring back in the next few days.
I mention the weather because it has shaped me over these past eleven years of my life living in the Lone Star State. I recently watched Hillbilly Elegy, the autobiographical story of JD Vance. In one of the opening scenes, an old woman sits on her porch, toothlessly mouthing the word “Amen” while listening to what I imagine is a Billy Graham sermon wafting from her radio. I still have most of my own teeth. Swap out trad YouTube videos and stick a gin in my hand and I could be that old woman. It’s the weather. It’s too hot to do much else.
The Fetal Kind
In the course of my day of “research” I came across several news items. They all focused on the supposed rage felt by the child-sacrificing Molochian class in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision last week. Would you believe that, among other things, these woketard monsters are furious that states would even consider passing legislation to outlaw baby murder but not make a provision for a case involving a child with “severe fetal abnormalities”?! The horror!
Let’s cut right to the chase.
What they are arguing is that a child who isn’t “perfect” should be slaughtered.
One of my sisters gave birth to a baby girl about 14 years ago. The baby was diagnosed with anencephaly midway through the pregnancy. She lived five beautiful days on this earth. She was baptized. She was perfect. In no universe would any mother or father in their right mind have wanted her dead.
We cannot engage with these people. Someone so vile as to argue for the murder of a child because “Oh my goodness! She isn’t perfect”… That person lacks any intellectual capacity and is likely a sociopath. Pray for that person, yes, but have nothing to do with him.
The Papal Kind
Then there is the matter of a certain Italian-Argentine and his (and his cohort of groupie bishops) refusal to comment (or to comment directly) on Dobbs. Look, it’s not my fault you weren’t cast in the lead role of Evita but don’t take out your troubles on the rest of us.
Under English Common Law, there is a maxim that states “Silence is assent.” And so instead of statements that what the Court just handed down is a good thing because it advances the cause of saving babies and thus saving souls, we get more tired seamless garment crap – heavy of the social justice nonsense and completely silent on what counts.
I’m terribly sorry to have to point this out to some of Your Eminences and Excellencies but… I can be grateful that the slaughter of children for the sake of convenience will grind to a halt in half the country without also getting my rochet in a ring because “we’re still executing wanton criminals!” They do not now nor will they ever equate. This is called Catholic teaching. If you had taken your nose out of Gustavo Gutierrez’s rear end when you were in seminary, you’d know that.
Believe me. I was in seminary. South American Marxist “theology” was our course work. Rather than studying De Deo Uno or Liguori, we read Beth Johnson’s classic She Who Is. It’s a classic alright. A classic piece of garbage. And Latin? Heh! No sir, we never touched the stuff. But Pastoral Spanish I and II were required.
All things being equal, I haven’t heard anything from the pope about recent news. His Holiness Benedict XVI, although still wearing white, giving Apostolic Blessings under his own name and hand, and also being the actual pope, has also remained silent.
Perhaps we will suffer longer under the sweltering mess of this situation. Or perhaps as the Texas weather has shown me, it might all just break one day.
As I was getting dressed for mass this beautiful (if not sweltering) Texas Sunday, I reached onto my dresser for my cuff links.
A note on that… I always wear my best for Sunday mass. Today it was my tan linen suit topped off with my dad’s old straw boater hat. I do believe I’ve just doxxed myself if any of my fellow parishioners are reading.
The cuff links – the charging primers from a couple of old .38 specials – were in a box amidst the myriad other things that have accumulated on my dresser. I’m generally a very tidy guy – some might say OCD – so the fact there is a pile of things on my dresser distresses me.
I grabbed the links and turned around and as I did I heard the sound of a piece of paper hitting the floor. Think about that. Paper hitting the floor. Wouldn’t usually make a sound and yet it sounded like a ten lb. weight. I turned back and looked down to find a holy card with a picture of the foster-father of Our Lord and the words “Ite ad Joseph” – Go to Joseph.
I do believe perhaps Our Lord is directing me to turn to the man who protected His very life in the womb of the Blessed Mother and again when The government tried to kill Him and countless other times.
Go to Joseph I will.
I’ve tried to foster devotion to him for many years, being a husband and father and all. But I know devotions don’t always flourish without any input. I should know this. I’ve got a flower bed in my front yard. I have to make sure it gets watered or I’ll have a crop of dead zinnias on my hands. Actually my wife will have a crop of dead zinnias. I hate gardening. I like the look of the flowers but I hate gardening. I do my best to take care of it for her because I love her.
And because I love her and our kids and the unborn; and because I am a man who strives to protect them all; and because Our Lord loved Joseph (and clearly dropped that holy card at my feet), I will go to Joseph.
People who say otherwise a) were deprived of oxygen at birth, b) are lying to themselves, and/or c) are evil.
Just a quick note tonight. I know this is not the end of the Molochian sacrifice in our once great land. I know the fight continues. But we needed this moment.
Over on the most excellent blog Les Femmes, Mary Ann has a great piece about personhood and the next step. Please check it out.
I realized in part why I got so emotional at yesterday’s news. My late father was a perennial candidate for Congress. He spent his retirement pounding the pavement to get signatures. Got his name on the ballot every two years (so not exactly “perennially” but you get the picture). His slogan?
Yesterday was just one of the things he literally gave his blood, sweat, and tears for. He fought the good fight for that moment. Realizing it six years after his death was bittersweet.
Blessed feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to one and all!
I was awakened this morning to the joyous news that Roe and Casey have fallen.
Let that sink in.
We’ve Fought Side by Side for Many Years
I suspect you and I have been in the same trenches on this one for a long time. Remember how we were armed with prayers and tears?
Perhaps you and I crossed paths in the many, many years of bitter cold January days when we marched up Pennsylvania Avenue to peacefully ask our government for a redress of this grave evil. There were millions of us during those days. We’d get to the top of Capitol Hill and turn around to see the throngs streaming up behind us like ants and take comfort that we weren’t alone in an insane world.
Perhaps we crossed paths in the Spirit of Truth as we knelt before the Lord in Adoration and at the Holy Sacrifice begging Him to hear our voices since the tiny victims were denied speech.
Perhaps we crossed paths simply, humbly, and marvelously on our knees at night as we said our prayers and thought of our own kids – how they came into the world in love and how we would die for them out of love – and then thought of those snuffed out because the evil one demands child sacrifice and men choose to turn from love and the opposite of love is indifference.
Perhaps we crossed paths teaching the faith and trying – sometimes with facility and often against great resistance – to convince a few teenagers in a high school theology class that a human child in the womb is 1) human and 2) can’t be anything other than human.
Maybe we said the same things in our prayers. “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls and unborn babies!”
Our politicians didn’t help, except to say they were on our side when they needed our votes. One man promised us justices who would overturn Roe. He gave us those justices. Despite how he pushed a deadly vaccine (and continues to do so), I give thanks for his actions here and pray for him.
Our bishops didn’t help much. In truth, some were more vocal than others; but we totally could have ended this decades ago if they had stood up.
Is this perfect news? Far from it. In my home state killing a baby up to birth is now codified in law. In my new home state abortion is now essentially illegal altogether.
I’ll admit this is not how I imagined this day would go down. I’m genuinely shedding tears as I write this post. So many years… Did any of us believe that evil decision would be overturned? I bet Nellie Gray believed it, and Phyllis Schlafly too. I think my late dad probably thought this day would come. My widowed mom sent me a text. “God is sooooooo good.” She concluded it with a heart emoji because she’s 85 and texts. He is sooooooo good.
I know it’s far from over. Satanist groups are planning violence. We must pray harder now and be prepared to protect and defend ourselves and our churches.
As for me? I went to confession. Then I went to mass with my daughter. Meditating on the mystery of Our Lord’s Sacred Heart is so powerful. Lord Jesus, cleanse us with the water from Thy Wounded Side and then bathe us in They Precious Blood! Friends, stay confessed. Go to mass. Pray your rosaries.
And celebrate this moment for what it’s worth. You had better believe there’s a bottle of gin on my bar to be opened tonight. It calms the shellshocked nerves. Brothers and sisters, but especially my fellow Catholic men, NEVER give up this fight.
Folks, I got off all that social media nonsense a while ago. Sorry but I'm not on Twitbook, Facepalm, YouHu, WingWang or any of the others. Maybe an event will happen to make me change my mind like Peter and Paul coming down with flaming swords and commanding it be so. Until then, read the blog and if you feel a comment is in order or you feel like sharing a tip or suggestion for a topic, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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