Editorial

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Social Media Has Convinced Millennial Men They Need Chin Implants

A weak chin—forever the enemy of masculinity—has never been so readily apparent

Twenty-one-year-old FouriersAllDay has come to the PlasticSurgery subreddit seeking guidance and support. He fears his weak chin makes everything about him weaker and “ruins Facebook photos taken from the side,” despite his dieting and the fact that he spends “a TON of time at the gym trying to look exactly the way” he wants.

Fellow Redditor Coltis feels exactly the same. “My chin looks a lot like yours!” he exclaims, adding he also lacks a jawline, so he’ll be having chin liposuction later this summer to establish one. “Sure, it’s a lot of money that I could do a lot of things with,” he reasons. “But when I really think about it, this is what I want more than anything in the world.”

“Slow down,” cautions Iredditi. “It sounds like you both are making major plastic surgery decisions based only how you look from the side-and-three-quarters!”

Here’s the thing: A lot of guys today are making plastic surgery decisions based on how they look from all sorts of shitty and mostly virtual angles… FULL STORY 


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Home Is Where the Area Code Is

Why we hang onto those three meaningless digits

I got my first cellphone in college, in 1998. It came with a phone number and, more specifically, a Connecticut area code (203). I’ve yet to change either of them. In fact, when it comes to the area code in particular, I feel no need whatsoever to ever possess a different one. (203) just feels right to me: I was born and raised in Connecticut; I went to college in Connecticut; my family still makes their home in Connecticut. FULL STORY


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A Different Kind of Gay Adoption

Two couples explain why they adopted each other before the advent of gay marriage

In the 1970s and ‘80s, when marriage equality looked to be an impossible pursuit, lifelong same-sex partners facing the financial and emotional insecurities of old age didn’t have the time to wait around for marriage equality. Instead, some changed the legal status of their union to father and son or mother and daughter. Adoption gave them next-of-kin rights vis-à-vis their estates and taxes, as well as hospital visitation and other legal rights not otherwise available to gay couples at the time.

In a way, commitments like these trumped even the presumed longevity of marriage because the bond between parent and child in America is legally irrevocable: The law cements them as parent and child for life. And that became a problem for some couples. When Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage throughout the U.S. in 2015, gay couples who had adopted each other suddenly faced a new hurdle: Getting married would violate state incest laws. They needed to have the adoption annulled — no small task — in order to get what they always wanted in the first place — to be married.

Such was the plight of the two Pennsylvania couples below. FULL STORY


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Adrianna Vorderbruggen, instrumental in repealing DADT, died while on active duty in Afghanistan.

Remembering a Pioneering Female Soldier Killed in Action

Four days before Christmas 2015, Air Force Maj. Adrianna Vorderbruggen was killed when a Taliban suicide bomber drove a motorcycle packed with explosives into a security patrol she was leading near Bagram Air Base in eastern Afghanistan. It was the deadliest day for the U.S. military in Afghanistan in 18 months, in what was supposed to be the waning days of the war. Five others were killed in the attack, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.

Vorderbruggen is remembered as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend to many.

“She’s a hero, and I hope she’s a hero to all of us, not just to me,” remembers her older brother Christopher. 

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Behind the Mormon Church’s Ironic Defense of Discrimination  ADVOCATE — 02.16

“Tears were pouring down my face. I was so hurt and angry but also so conflicted. But then, clear as a bell, a thought came into my head. Maybe it was my Mormon upbringing and the tendency to seek approval by authority, but the thought of giving myself permission to leave — to do what I knew I had to do — was so liberating. I kept repeating it over and over in my mind, then aloud. Before long, I was shouting it into the night air: It’s OK. You are loved. You can go.”


 

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Reversing the Re-write of LGBT History ADVOCATE — 07.14

Jo Becker’s version of the gay marriage story was undone before it was even published.


 

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My Dinners with Dubya” VANITY FAIR — 01.09

When a college drinking buddy invited C. Brian Smith to hang out with her parents, he tried not to sweat the fact that they lived in the White House. He even had fun—until 9/11 made watching bad movies with the president feel like a guilty pleasure America couldn’t afford.


 

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Porn Panic!” ADVOCATE — 04.09

The recession has dealt knockout blows to the auto and financial industries, and now adult entertainment could be the next to drop to its knees.


 

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Don’t Fence Me In” ADVOCATE — 11.09

I’ve been on exactly one horse in my life: at the town fair when I was 10. (And it was a pony. And walked in a circle.) I am no cowboy.


 

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Loving Your Enemies 2.0 HUFFINGTON POST — 03.14

I’m impressed with the collective restraint being shown by the gay community (and our friends) in the wake of Rev. Fred Phelps Sr.’s death — a man who, according to CBS, “led outrageous and hate-filled protests that blamed almost everything, including the deaths of AIDS victims and U.S soldiers, on America’s tolerance for gay people.”


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On Being Gay by the Strait” ADVOCATE — 08.11

Every facet of Spain’s culture seems to be firmly rooted on the Costa del Sol: Picasso isn’t just celebrated in Málaga, he was born here; gazpacho isn’t just served in Andalusía, the recipe was written here; flamenco isn’t just danced in Seville, it was choreographed here; and Hemingway didn’t just write about bullfights in Ronda, streets and children are named after him here. 


 

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London Pre-pride: Wimbledon” — OutTraveler 7.10

Grab the requisite bowl of strawberries n’ cream and a Pims Cup and casually stroll around the outer courts, where you can sit front row and watch some of the best players in the world compete (in short white shorts.)   


 

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A SALUTE TO THE STUNT DOUBLES OF STYLE ICONS  URBANDADDY — 05.12
Allow us to raise a glass to Big John, the Shogun, and all the brave men who have kept our precious style icons safe over the years. A salute to the stunt doubles of style icons.


 

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The Shame of Celibacy” THE HUFFINGTON POST — 01.12

I was saddened to learn of the resignation this week of Gabino Zavala, Auxiliary Bishop of the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese. This is not another sexual abuse case involving a priest. Like many, I am skeptical of the Catholic Church. It’s a sketchy place.

Figure Skating and Hate Crimes, Averted” THE HUFFINGTON POST — 04.10

I came out of the closet ten years ago and honestly have never felt even the slightest sense of homophobia directed toward me, individually. I chalk that up to my willingness (and better-than-average ability) to sit down with anyone at all and have a candid, respectful discussion about our differences and fears.


 

get-kempt-stamp URBANDADDY/GETKEMPT.COM [From 8/11-11/12, I wrote a daily column for UrbanDaddy.com’s style blog “Kempt” (www.getkempt.com) which included profiles on noteworthy individuals and stories relating to arts & culture, style icons, the past, zeitgeist, sports, grooming, style, curious items, and etiquette.

~PROFILES~

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The 12 Original Playboys of the Jetset Sixties

When 78-year-old Gunter Sachs killed himself with a single gun shot to the head in May of this year, the world not only lost an accomplished marksman, but also a fine bobsledder, photographer, and manufacturer of ball-bearings. Of greater concern, though, was the fact that Gunter was widely considered to be the world’s last remaining “Original Playboy,” of which there were twelve.

The Modern Day Mad Man: Ian Schaeffer, Deep Focus

“When’s everything going to go back to normal?” So asks a defeated Roger Sterling in the final moments of last night’s episode of Mad Men, realizing that the industry he helped create has morphed into one he no longer understands. Modern-day Roger Sterlings likely feel the same way after meeting guys like Ian Schafer, founder and CEO of Deep Focus, a digital marketing and social media agency enlisted by dozens of iconic brands from Pepsi to Purina to help them engage a radically different consumer in a world riddled with uncertainty. And Ian Schafer wouldn’t have it any other way…

On John Glenn and Heroes

Fifty years ago this week, when John Glenn completed the first of three orbits around the earth, he reported the presence of a bright light on an otherwise pitch-black, sunless horizon. Fearing that Glenn was hallucinating, the medical staff was called in to initiate a health assessment test. As it turned out, though, residents of Perth, Australia, had turned on every light in the city as a message of goodwill to the astronaut orbiting above. From then on, Perth would be known as “the city of lights.” And John Glenn, an intergalactic hero…

The Johnson Treatment

While campaigning in 1964, President Johnson ordered a Secret Service agent to stand in front of him so that he could urinate on the sidewalk. After a few seconds, the agent said, “Sir, you’re pissing on my leg,” to which Johnson matter-of-factly responded, “That’s all right, son. That’s my prerogative.” It was known as the Johnson Treatment—unrelenting mental and physical intimidation by any means necessary. And the 6’3″, 250-pound president had plenty of means…

The Modern Day Man Man: Otto Bell, OgilvyEntertainment

Legendary adman David Ogilvy believed the best ads are derived from relatable, personal experiences. More than anything else, he said, consumers respond to stories about themselves. (If this sounds familiar, that’s because Draper masterfully employed a similar argument herehere and here.) So, what’s in a story? In 1949, Hathaway Dress Shirts was looking to add to their market share and, as such, enlisted David Ogilvy—who agreed to take the account on one condition: creative carte blanche. To demonstrate the power of “the story,” Ogilvy photographed a Hathaway shirt on a nondescript, middle-aged man wearing an eye patch. Nothing was wrong with the man’s eye—the patch was purely a prop—but consumers wrote their own conclusion to the man’s story, and it was unanimously positive. After all, a well-to-do, one-eyed aristocrat had to have a story, right? By the end of the week, every shirt had been sold.

Dusting Off: True Grit – The John Fairfax Story”

When he was 13 years old, John Fairfax ran away from home to live in the jungle, emerging periodically in town to exchange ocelot skins for knives—which he used to skin more ocelots, and so on. After having been dumped by a college girlfriend in Argentina at the age of 20, he attempted suicide—by letting a 400-pound jaguar attack him. A decade later, he drew upon navigational skills picked up as captain of a Panamanian pirate ship, braved numerous typhoons and shark attacks, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat stocked only with Spam, oatmeal and brandy. Then, after a brief stint as a mink farmer, he traversed the Pacific Ocean in identical fashion, only this time he brought along a female companion.

Neil Young,The Accidental Icon

There’s a fine sartorial line between Neil Young and, say, Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard. Both subscribe to function over form. Rather than laying out tomorrow’s clothes the night before, more often than not they simply wear last night’s clothes tomorrow. If they own mirrors, they’re of the rear-view variety. Neither is particularly attractive, yet both are widely beloved. Unfortunately, though, not everyone can be deemed a Kempt icon…

Portrait of a Rocker

If long-lost portraits of the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan are your bag, then you’re about to open up a pretty sweet bag. Music photographer Jim Marshall reached legendary status long ago thanks to an uncanny ability to catch rock stars looking decidedly un-rockstar-like. One eye in the mirror, watching themselves, etc. The beasts are tempered only momentarily, just long enough to steal a knowing glance before the next bell. We invite you to step into his ring…

~ARTS & CULTURE~

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Great Moments in Sitcom History (a Eulogy)

Two and a Half Men was the most popular sitcom on television last year, averaging 13.1 million viewers. In the 1987-1988 season, The Cosby Showaveraged 30 million viewers. In fact, 19 sitcoms that year had more viewers than Two and a Half Men, including Night Court (20.2M), Kate & Allie(15.9M), My Sister Sam (15.2M) and ALF (14.4M).

Snapshots from London’s Greatest Party

Graham Smith was the unofficial house photographer of London’s club scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s, chronicling one of the most flamboyant, lurid and just-plain-awesome periods in grooming history. For proof, check out the newly released We Can Be Heroes.

Dusting Off: The Cigarette Ad

Cigarettes are bad. But boy were cigarette ads good. By good, of course, we don’t mean accurate. (“The finer the filter, the milder the taste.”) Or moral. (“Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere.”) Or okay. (Barney Rubble: “I sure hate to see our wives work so hard.” Fred Flintstone: “Me too. Let’s have a smoke around back where we can’t see ’em.”) Yeah. There’s a whole lot wrong with cigarette ads…

The Classy Mugshot, circa 1924

Our continuing report on the well-dressed criminal continues today with a collection of mug shots from the New South Wales Police Department in Australia, taken between 1910 and 1930. As curator Peter Doyle explains, an anonymous photographer working in Sydney’s Central Police Station took the photos of “men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension.”

23 Random Stones Photos Found at a Flea Market

This sort of shit never happens to us: 23 candid photos of the Rolling Stones on their 1965 American tour were recently discovered in an unmarked box at a Southern California estate sale.

Style Icons for George McGovern

Leading up to his 1972 presidential bid, Senator George McGovern, who died over the weekend at the age of 90, met with a group of Hollywood celebrities at the home of Shirley MacLaine. Since he was not well-known and had little support within the Democratic Party, it was decided that the entertainment industry could lend the McGovern campaign some much-needed credibility, charisma and cash.

10 Photos to Complement Last Night’s 60 Minutes Bond Segment

60 Minutes hopped on the James Bond 50th anniversary bandwagon with an extremely watchable segment on 007 last night. (Side note: Anderson Cooper, first gay Bond?)

Why Your Grandparents Loved the 84th Annual Academy Awards

1. Billy Crystal told a Flomax joke. 2. Meryl Streep won Best Actress for a film about a prime minister who hasn’t been relevant for 20 years. 3. Woody Allen won Best Screenplay for a film about writers who’ve been dead for 50 years. 4. A silent film won the rest.

On Being Alone, Together

Nicolas Sarkozy became the first sitting president to lose the first round of a presidential election. 60 Minutes made both the top brass of Lehman Brothers and the SEC look a whole lot like criminals. The Yankees embarrassed the Red Sox. And then the Yankees embarrassed the Red Sox. But according to an op-ed in Saturday’s New York Times, we likely didn’t talk about any of that over the weekend—at least not to each other. We were too busy being alone, together…

The Ambivalent Holiday

Happy Columbus Day! (Yawn.) Chances are, you’re reading this at work, since chances are, your boss is about as ambivalent to Columbus Day as, well, the rest of us. We wouldn’t go so far as to call it a bullshit holiday, though we know a couple Native Americans who would.

And You Thought the Military Was Gay Now

In the process of researching various stories over the summer, we’ve stumbled upon a handful of vintage photographs that, at best, defy logic:Babe Ruth regifting a poodle to a wounded veteran on a stretcher, for example. A sinister “police officer” glaring at a splayed-out, tank-suited swinger, with a ghostly goddess in the distance patiently sashaying down the beach in an evening gown, for another example.

The Barbershop Book

Jay Seldin gets it. His new tome, The Barbershop Book, is a sort of No Reservations-style look at barbershops in some of the most remote corners of India, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Haiti and Cuba. Seldin, an “environmental portrait photographer,” steps out of the way and lets the grooming rituals do the talking. The Barbershop Book is a fascinating glimpse into one of man’s oldest and most common rituals: a haircut and shave at the local barbershop—some of which boast nothing more than a wooden plank, a semi-sharp blade and a couple of chickens frolicking about.

Weekending the Right Way: Being Childish

Labor Day is still a week off, but for all intents and purposes, this will serve as the last weekend of summer. After all, it’s the kid in us who cares about summer to begin with, and nothing says “autumnal equinox” to a kid quite like dozens of back-to-school commercials during the Little League World Series.

Has Ferris Bueller Sold Out?

Life moves pretty fast, and Ferris Bueller has apparently missed it. Case in point: he’s traded in Mr. Frye’s Ferrari for a 2012 Honda CR-V. You’re not familiar with the car because you’ve never been in the market for a moderately priced compact minivan with above-average safety ratings.

Enough is Enough With Bullshit Holidays

And a happy No Socks Day© to you, too. According to Thomas and Ruth Roy, creators of the holiday, “If we give up wearing socks for one day, it will mean a little less laundry, thereby contributing to the betterment of the environment. Besides, we will all feel a bit freer, at least for one day.”  We have questions, Tom and Ruth…

How the Dutch do the Summer Olympics

This was the scene outside Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace yesterday, moments after the women’s 250km cycling race blew through. Two Dutch gentlemen, the first ever to successfully pull off matching orange suits, were likely headed to a London-side victory gala for countrywoman Marianne Vos, who took gold in the race.

This Weekend, You’re Headed to the Beach

You enjoy the beach. Of course you do. It’s just that you’ve been enjoying the beach for dozens of years now, and it’s become a bit predictable: the sand, the sun, the water that’s “freezing!” and then “actually not so bad!” and then “aren’t you gonna get in?!” and so on, and so on. Let’s be honest—you’re not going to read the Steve Jobs biography. So don’t pack it. In its stead, may we recommend one or more of the following…

I’m Willing Irene to Manhattan

We were thrilled to learn that an actual hurricane was headed all the way to Manhattan. Those of us in the northeast only got the tail ends growing up – the oozing (yet benign), detached organs once belonging to Hugo and Andrew and Gloria, and so on. Kids our age in Miami and Charleston and some magical place called “The Outer Banks” were being interviewed by Tom Brokaw on the evening news while horizontal rain pelted them every which way – the type of natural disaster that looks a whole lot like the coolest water park in the world.

Man of the Hour: Mayor Boris Johnson

He may very well be the least athletic man in all of London this week, but Mayor Boris Johnson is our pick for breakout star of the 2012 games.

Another One Bites the Dust: RIP Prime Burger

First, a caveat: I’m hardly the first person to bemoan the fact that things today are different than they were in the past (Andy Rooney cornered the market on this way of thinking years ago). But I’m mad as hell, so I’m going to do it anyway. I’m sick of seeing so many iconic New York City bars and restaurants close—institutions with decades upon decades of history cast aside in order to make way for another bank branch or pharmacy. It’s been bothering me for a while. But when the Prime Burger on 51st Street closed last week, it got personal.

Santa Gone Bad

You’ve been tapped to play Santa Claus this year, the most beloved bearded man on the planet. This is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Properly projecting the triplet of “Ho’s” will require core strength. Properly responding to a kid who’s just asked you to save his house from foreclosure requires a good excuse to take a five-minute break. Parents and children alike are depending on you. (As are the 12 “little people” you hired as elves.)

Extraordinary Moments in Soul Train History

Earlier this week, Don Cornelius, the beloved host and creator of Soul Train, chose the Gunter Sachs method of treating Alzheimer’s disease: he shot himself in the head. Though terribly sad, it’s not at all surprising that men like Cornelius and Sachs—both unceasingly proud and dignified individuals who lived fairy-tale lives—opted to stare down the barrel of a shotgun rather than the dim, tapering tunnel of dementia.

Soup For You

A couple weeks ago, we came down pretty hard on the oversaturation of Warhol schwag, namely this giant Campbell’s range hood. Our views on this matter have not changed. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Warhol’s iconic painting, Campbell’s Soup is distributing its tomato variety in a series of designer, Warhol-inspired cans. We’re told that you can pick up the entire set at Target for the remarkably fair price of $0.75 a can.

Your Andy Warhol Range Hood is Making You Look Silly

…for that matter, so is your Andy Warhol watch and your Andy Warhol T-shirt,tote bagsneakers and snowboardYou whittled the neighbor’s kid an Andy Warhol big wheel for no particular reason, so it’s safe to say his parents will be keeping a closer eye on you, and you’ve been patiently waiting for just the right woman to come along who will appreciate that Andy Warhol dress you’ve been storing in mothballs for years, along with the hip, snappy alternative, if such a thing exists in the world of old-timey soup can apparel. The problem, of course, is that dates have been ending prematurely of late, ever since you dropped the hammer on the duvet-slash-bedside lamp combo.

~STYLE ICONS~

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Johnny Carson

Twenty years ago this week, on May 22, 1992, Johnny Carson ended his 30-year reign as the host of The Tonight Show. In the newly released PBS documentary Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, we’re pleasantly reminded why, decades later, the prototype Carson set for late-night hosts—trustworthy, likable, neighborly, cool—remains the same.

George Burns

At the age of 7, Naftaly Birnbaum (aka George Burns) landed a job making syrup in the basement of a local candy store. When the mailman, a sucker for tight harmony, heard Burns and his pals crooning away on a barbershop number, he brought them out to the street and a small crowd gathered.

Buster Keaton’s Porkpie Hat

Few things are more precise than the fit of a good hat—the contour, the brim, the insulation (or lack thereof), the dexterity, the elasticity and so on. For Buster Keaton, though, the most important attribute of his iconic porkpie hat was its “mortality.” For more on the matter, we turn it over to Buster himself, as quoted at the Movieland Wax Museum on May 7, 1964.

William Jefferson Clinton

Regardless of who you believe won last night’s third and final presidential debate, there’s one talking point we can all get behind: Bill Clinton has never looked better.

Cosby: Before the Sweater

The Cosby Sweater. Never before have a man and an article of clothing been more intimately linked. But it’s also important to remember that Cliff Huxtable’s Fruity Pebble patterns were confined to the 1980s—and a fictional character. 

Baseball, Apple Pie, and Bob Costas’s Face

If this ever-changing world in which we live in makes you give in and cry, just turn on NBC and sooner or later you’ll be greeted with a familiar face from a simpler time. We’re referring, of course, to the curious case of Bob Costas’s visage.

Farewell to Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal published 25 novels, two memoirs and reams upon reams of historical and opinionated essays, plays, television dramas and screenplays. “Style,” he once wrote, “is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” By that definition, one of the most stylish gentlemen we have ever known passed away last night at the age of 86.

Icon: Stevie Wonder

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: blind guys are cool. The dog, the stick, the shades—the whole package is pretty money. To that package at the age of 11 Stevie Wonder added a Motown record deal, a six-octave range, virtuosity in seven different instruments, a can’t-lose smile and a popped gingham collar.

~THE PAST ~

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The Golden (Brown) Age of Gameshow Hosts

The game show era of the 1970s and 1980s. A strange time. Refined, black-tie shows like What’s My Lineand Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life gave way to wide lapels, sexual innuendoes and long-stemmed microphones.

Dusting Off: The Concorde

It was the crown jewel of aircrafts from the moment it lifted off in 1976 until its sudden, catastrophic extinction 27 years later. The Concorde.

When Cuba was Cuba

A month after the Bay of Pigs invasion, on February 2, 1962, President Kennedy called his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, into his office and directed him to buy as many Cuban cigars as he could find. The next morning Salinger walked into the Oval Office with 1,200 H. Upmann Petits, the president’s preferred brand. “Fantastic,” Kennedy said, placing them under his desk. Then, asSalinger explained at a Cigar Association of America annual meeting in 1987, the president “pulled out a decree banning all Cuban products from the United States and signed it.”

When Drug Paraphernalia Had Class

Allow us for a moment to set aside the horrors of drug addiction and bask in the illusory splendor of 19th-century opium pipes. We were first turned on to the nice side of heroin by Alessandro, Principe Ruspoli, Ninth Prince of Cerveteri, last summer while researching our series on the 12 original playboys of the jetset sixties. If you missed Dado the first time around, you’ll want to take a few minutes to watchhis delightfully infectious endorsement of the practice.

Dusting Off: The Stylish Fallout Shelter

On October 6, 1961, President Kennedy directed American families to begin building bomb shelters to protect them from atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. We now know that digging a 10-foot hole in your backyard and stocking it with two weeks’ worth of Spam will not, in fact, save a family of four in the event of a nuclear holocaust.

The Filthiest Song of 1937, by A Lot

While preparing last week’s report “In Defense of Cussing,” we stumbled upon a 1937 song by Lucille Bogan that contained the first swear word ever recorded. Judging from Ms. Bogan’s photo, we assumed her vernacular would have been similar to that used in, say, Gone with the Wind—which, in 1939, became the first major film to employ the word “damn.” We were fantastically wrong.

French Artists in 1899 Visualize the year 2000

In preparation for the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, a group of French artists were asked to create a series of futuristic pictures depicting life in the year 2000. For example, here we have a robotic tailor spitting out a sharp salmon dinner jacket for a customer based on measurements gathered from… well, your guess is as good as ours.

A Guy Who Took a Stroll Through New York in ’68

Over the last 24 hours, the blogosphere has taken a delightful stroll from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, circa 1968, thanks to an excerpt from Hollis Frampton’s 10-minute short film Surface Tension posted on the New York Times blog yesterday.

Dusting Off: Holding Up Lighters at Concerts

The stage was still smoldering when Leonard Cohen stepped upon it shortly after 4am on the final night of the Isle of Wight concert in 1970. Hours earlier, the festival had deteriorated into anarchy when the rain-soaked crowd of 600,000—few of whom had slept in five days—responded to Jimi Hendrix’s incendiary performance by setting ablaze anything remotely combustible. Multiple riots erupted. Joni Mitchell and Kris Kristofferson were booed offstage, the piano and organ were burned to the ground.

Dusting Off: Digging a Hole to China”

There comes a point in every boy’s life when he realizes that digging a hole to China is impossible. Previous attempts at burrowing a Sino-antipodean tunnel had been foiled not by the inability of the boy’s plastic shovel to withstand earth’s 9,800-degree inner core, but rather by a late-afternoon thunderstorm or his mother’s maddening penchant for whisking him off the beach just as the tip of a chopstick was being exhumed. “If only I didn’t have to take a nap today,” he’d reckon, “I’d be in Hong Kong by supper.” We could all benefit from dusting off that sort of arrogant, boyish ignorance once in a while.

Dusting Off: Hotwiring a Car

First, the obvious: we don’t actually endorse stealing cars. But still, it’s nice to know that in a pinch, all you need to do to escape your pursuers is shimmy the lock of the nearest parked car, reach under the dashboard, connect a couple of wires and peel out just in time to wink at the goon coming around the bend, gun in hand.

Dusting Off: Intimidating Desk Toys

Back in the ’80s, interspersed amongst various raised-seal accolades from Ivy League universities, stacks of (TPS?) reports and expensively framed photographs of family vacations to Gstaad and St. Barts (aka “the happier times”) were a series of curious adult toys and trinkets, more often than not mail-ordered from Sharper Image catalogs and the like.

America’s Most Intimidating Men Since LBJ

As we discussed on Tuesday, Lyndon Johnson was one of the greatest intimidators in US history, utilizing every bit of his 6’3″, 250-pound frame and sharp, filthy tongue to push through a fistful of the most sweeping governmental reforms of the 20th century. It was known simply as the Johnson Treatment—unrelenting mental and physical intimidation of opponents by any means necessary—and only 10 American gentlemen in the last 50 years have employed it as famously and effectively as LBJ.

Farewell to John Glenn, the Original Iron Man

John Glenn coincidentally (but awesomely) threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium yesterday as part of a previously scheduled ceremony to honor Glenn’s service as both an orbiting astronaut and United States senator. Before heading out to the mound, Glenn, 91, was asked an extraordinary question: “Were you jealous of Neil Armstrong?” The senator’s response made us proud to be Americans (and baseball fans)…

Liner Notes: Tomorrow Never Knows

Donald Draper isn’t a Beatles fan, but his creator sure is. The New York Timesreported yesterday that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner didn’t blink at the $250,000 price tag that came with concluding Sunday’s episode with “Tomorrow Never Knows,” the first song written and recorded by the Beatles to be licensed for use on a television series.

12 New Years Eve Photos for 2012

In honor of 2012, we present our 12 favorite New Years Eve photos of all time…

Farewell to the Oompa’s Director

The world got a little less sweet over the weekend with the passing of Mel Stuart, director of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. “I saw parts of myself in him,” Stuart said of Wonka. “I had always treated my children as little adults growing up. This made us all a little happier.” You can live in happiness, too. (Like the Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-doo.)

Dusting Off: The Sitcom Theme Song

Ah, those were the days. Archie and Edith agreeing in song, “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.” We realize it’s a little odd to be waxing nostalgic about the Bunkers waxing nostalgic, but this much is certain: The All in the Family theme song—she wailing, he demonizing “the welfare state,” they embraced in the end over thunderous, authentic applause—had as much to do with setting the voice and tone of the working-class show as Meathead, George Jefferson and anti-Semitism. That’s because sitcom theme songs used to matter.

Celebrating the Streaker

Boy do we love streakers. No, we don’t condone lawlessness, and of course we realize the security risk associated with deranged stalkers coming in contact with professional athletes. But you have to admit, there’s something glorious about a good-natured fan sneaking onto the field of a nationally televised sporting event, shedding his (or her) clothes and running in circles whilst commentators deem him a “knucklehead” and stadium security attempts, fails and eventually succeeds in tackling him to the ground.

The Swinger’s Uniform

The ’70s jumpsuit: a departure from original one-piecers designed for utilitarian workers and skydivers, but not quite evolved into the full-on leisure suits made famous by guys named Larry. Even sweeter than the suits themselves were the advertisements, the copy for which seems to have been written on a cocktail napkin at the Regal Beagle.

Dusting Off: The Telephone Booth

It’s no mystery why telephone booths went the way of the hitching post: 90% of Americans now use mobile devices of some sort. (The other 10% use rotary phones to order more hitching posts, apparently.) Yes, the pay phone is obsolete—but we’re not dusting off the pay phone. It’s the booth we’re after…

Dusting Off: Throwing a Pie in Someone’s Face

Aaron Rodgers was blasted with a towel full of shaving cream during a postgame interview on Monday, marking the unfortunate migration of the practice from Major League Baseball to the National Football League. As we discussed a couple weeks ago, there’s no shortage ofjuvenile celebratory antics on professional playing fields these days.

Your Horribly Misogynistic Vintage Ad of the Day

Some things make you want to be a better man. Other things remind you that you already are one—like this ad for Drummond Sweaters, which ran in a 1959 issue ofEsquire.

The War Hero of 1812 Sets Sail Again

You don’t get a nickname like “Old Ironsides” by losing high-profile battles. To commemorate the USS Constitution’s 200-year-old victory over the British fleet in the War of 1812, the US Navy’s oldest commissioned warship was sailed across Boston Harbor under its own power yesterday. Tea was served, mockingly.

~ZEITGEIST~

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Enough is Enough with Latte Art

We love John Lennon, we just don’t want to sip him first thing in the morning. Same goes with kittensmusicbearsbunny rabbitswords of wisdomsmiley facessmiley faces in hearts, and Barack Obama.

The 2011 Kempt Awards – Part 1: The Gentlemen

We spend a good deal of time here at Kempt headquarters discussing the gentleman’s style: his clothes, his facial hair, his accoutrements, etc. In addition, though, over the past year, we’ve attempted to broaden the definition of style to include his behavior as well: his adherence to a certain chivalric code, his etiquette, the words he uses, his manner of pursuing artistic and athletic endeavors, his morality, his aspirations and, inevitably, the periodic missteps that can and squander those aspirations.

The 2011 Kempt Awards – Part 2: The Moments

What’s in a 2011 moment? Certainly a few things we never thought we’d see: Charlie Sheen’s crack-induced webcam vlog, a Facebook-inspired revolution in Egypt, a Seal Team Six smackdown on Osama Bin Laden, the discovery of another earthly planet… And just like that, the moments passed.

The 2011 Kempt Awards – Part 3: Our Favorite Things

We were waiting to board a cross-country Delta flight last week when the flight attendant informed us that the overhead storage compartments were full. She apologized and asked everyone to remove whatever they liked from their carry-on bags before placing them on the jetway to be checked. A six-year-old girl ahead of us replied, “But I like everything in my carry-on bag. That’s why I’m carrying them.” We all felt the same way.

Is Steve Pozniak a PC?

A couple days ago, the online gadget guide Gizmodo posted and masturbated toa photo of the contents of Steve Wozniak’s travel backpack. In the photo (taken and annotated by The Woz himself), an iSimCity of redundant -pads, -phones, -books, -pods and so on is neatly nestled together, row after row, much like Sol Rosenberg’s shoes and glasses (so he has them). 

The Gentleman’s Workout (And Other Advice from 2011)

Let’s be realistic. It’s the week between Christmas and New Years – you’re not going to beat your personal best mile time. Instead, consider employing The Gentleman’s Workout: Pack a gym bag. Leave it in the car. Find the closest steam room. Enter it with one large bottle of chilled water. Drink it. Take a cold shower. Enter the steam room with a second bottle of chilled water. Drink it. Take a slightly warmer shower. Utilize all toiletries/razors/ combs-in-jar-0f-blue-liquid saves/q-tips available in the locker room and, if applicable, enjoy a stiff cocktail in the clubhouse before returning home for a much-needed post-holiday workout feast.

Dusting Off: Starting Christmas Season the Day After Thanksgiving

Target aired its first holiday ad on Monday and we’re not okay with that. Just so we’re clear: Monday was October 15, 71 days before Christmas.

Welcome to the Blogosphere, Superman

Dear Mr. Kent, On behalf of bloggers everywhere, we’d like to welcome you to New Media. Like you, we once believed in print journalism. We had subscriptions to things. We creased newspapers and dug into below-the-fold stories about stray dogs and corruption within the gas company. We snickered at comics, replied to classified ads and (acted like we) did the Sunday crossword.

~”HIGH & TIGHT” GROOMING SERIES (Sponsored by Braun)  Eyebrows-Header

Name That Eyebrow

The eyebrow. A curious body part. Its primary evolutionary purpose is threefold: 1) To prevent moisture from entering the eye. 2) To strengthen expressions of emotion, particularly with regard to confusion and disdain. 3) To assist in the process of facial recognition.

Buzzing the Tower: Top Gun Grooming

Maverick, Iceman, Goose, Viper, Slider: egos writing checks that bodies couldn’t cash. If they screwed up just this much, they’d be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong. The Navy called it Fighter Weapons School. The fliers called it Top Gun.

Grooming and Song: Freddie Mercury

Few industries are as inextricably linked to men’s grooming (or, as the case may be, lack of men’s grooming) than music. Whether it’s Little Richard’s curls or the mop-headed young Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show or ZZ Top’s cone-beards or the staggering amount of hair spray bottles depleted on glam-rock tours throughout the ’80s, one thing is certain: how you cut it as a musician has a lot to do with how you cut it as a groomer.

Coming to America: a Grooming Montage 

Alert the rose-bearers and shake up your Soul Glo: today we celebrate one of the most iconic men’s grooming movies of all time: Coming to America.

Be All That You Can Be (But Get a Haircut)

On the heels of last week’s (relatively) successful resolution in Libya, President Obama’s announcement on Sunday that all troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year signifies the beginning of what is likely to be the steepest drop in active service men and women in recent US history.

Ben Affleck is Not Justin Bieber

Ben Affleck used to be as reliably close-cropped as anyone in Hollywood—but it would appear those days are over. Any discussion about Ben Affleck’s more recent coiffure these days seems to liken his man-mop to Justin Bieber’s, inferring that the 39-year-old A-list actor/director/father of three is taking style advice from a barely pubescent half-pint crooner (who, incidentally, is no longer rocking his own haircut).

The Five Best Toupees of All Time

It’s been two years since Andre Agassi shocked the world by admitting that his flowing locks of “image is everything” hair were, in fact, a toupee. And while we’ve battled trust issues ever since, we’ve also gained a lot more respect for gentlemen who successfully pull off (or avoid pulling off, as the case may be) a man wig.

Where Have All the Hairy Leading Men Gone?

Leading men used to look like, well, leading men: moderate amounts of body hair in appropriate areas and, when the part called for it, moderate amounts of hair elsewhere as well.

The Longest (and Creepiest) Beard Ever

To all you Movember men: You’re supporting a great cause, but don’t get all cocky about the length of your ’stache after two weeks.

Granddadies of Grooming: The Mohawk Indian Tribe

It seems Mr. T, Travis Barker and a whole bunch of 1980s antiestablishment teens have the indigenous people of the Iroquois Confederation to thank for inventing the Mohawk.

The Second Annual National Beard and Mustache Championships

Things got real hairy at the Second Annual Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships held last Saturday at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As is the case with most beard and moustache championships, tensions ran high right from the get-go, with many contestants opting out of Friday night’s Meet-the-Amish Dinner and the Whiskerinas Ladies Fake Beard and Moustache Competition.

An Ode to the Muttonchop

If there’s one thing to be learned from Ambrose Everett Burnside, it’s that you can be dubbed “the most incompetent general of the Civil War” and still be feted in style blogs 150 years later. 

Grooming for God: The Payos

With the passing of Simchat Torah, the last of the autumnal Jewish holidays, we thought we’d take a deeper dive into one of the more impressive faith-based grooming rituals: the Jewish payos (which is acceptably spelled about a dozen ways, including pe’ot, peyos, payot and so on).

Owning the Presidential Gray

Much has been made of Obama’s graying hair this year. Seth Meyers likened the president to “Louis Gossett Senior.” Gawker hinted at a dye job cover-up. Even the first lady chimed in on the matter, admitting she finds Barack’s salt way sexier than his pepper.

How Strong is Your Beard”

Your facial hair is a lot of things. Rugged. Warm. Splotchy, yet sexy. But it is nowhere near as strong as Antanas Kontrimas’s beard which, bearing a strong resemblance to 30 packs of steel wool, has lifted ladies, towed Land Rovers and taxied planes.

The Pros and Cons of Facelube

I wasn’t expecting to discover a three-step men’s facial cleanser and anti-aging formula designed to look like automotive oil in the Kempt mailbox. And I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be made from caviar. But when duty calls, I answer.

The Fu Manchu Vs. The Biker Mustache

We thought we’d take this opportunity to clarify a subtle yet crucial distinction between two commonly confused types of facial hair: the Fu Manchu and the Biker Mustache.

“Pencil Thin Mustache”: a Glossary of Terms

We hesitate to spend too much time parroting in and around Margaritaville these days, but we’ll say this for Jimmy Buffett: he knew his mustaches.

The 5 Guys Allowed to Wear a Pony Tail

Along with tattooed eyeballs and stenciled back hair, we’re going to go ahead and ban male ponytails once and for all. Because there’s simply never a good time to ask your date if you can borrow her scrunchie.

Granddaddies of Grooming: Frank Zappa

Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on the “Zappa.” What we have here are two distinct types of facial hair—a slightly longer “imperial” up top and a slightly wider “soul patch” down below. Put them together and you’ve got one of the most memorable mustaches in rock history.

3 Grooming Products We Can Do Without

We’re all for ingenuity when it comes to grooming. Anything having to do with minimizing back hair, for example, is good by us. But there are three products currently on the market that we’d just assume go away (along with the men using these products.)

~SPORTS~

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The Basketball Uniform: An Evolution

From trousers to satin briefs, turtlenecks to track suits, the basketball uniform has changed more than that of any other professional sport. To kick off yet another March of madness, Kempt takes a look back at some of the most memorable on-court style moments in basketball’s 120-year history.

Baseball Wisdom on the Big Screen

Name 10 films about football. You likely got to five pretty easily: Rudy, Brian’s Song, The Blind Side, Friday Night Lights, Remember the Titans, We Are Marshall, Any Given Sunday, etc. Now, do the same for baseball. If you’re like us, you got to 10 pretty quickly—and then 10 more scenes about baseball in films having absolutely nothing to do with the sport.

The Bearded, 241-Pound, Game-Winning Place-kicker

With the game tied at 20 in overtime of last night’s Sugar Bowl, Michigan’s 241-pound placekicker lumbered onto the field with the swagger of Denis Lemieuxand the biker ’stache of Goose Gossage: decidedly un-kicker-like.

The Best-Dressed Mascots in College Sports

A whole bunch of college football teams are currently facing each other in a series of awkwardly-named, predominantly-irrelevant bowl games to determine… well, essentially nothing at all.

The Best of the Worst Hair on the Mound

In July of 1973, MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn issued a stern order to Pittsburg Pirates starting pitcher Dock Ellis, demanding that he cease and desist wearing curlers on the field during batting practice. True to his outspoken and controversial form, Ellis added several more every day for the rest of his road trip, stating that he simply “did not play good unless he looked good.”

The Fall Golf Checklist

Fall golf: the most underrated golf. The air is crisp, the ground is firm, and the heavy stuff’s not coming down for quite a while (said the greenskeeper to the bishop).

On the Farm: 7 Minor League Ballparks to See Before You Die

Drive 50 miles in any direction this summer and you’ll likely be steps away from a minor league ballpark. You won’t see Pujols or A-Rod there, unless they’re rehabbing a high ankle sprain or the like, but you also won’t see a concession stand selling shrimp tempura rolls and $25 Budweisers. As James Earl Jones said in Field of Dreams, “Baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.”

Scripting Youtube: The George Brett Story

Occasionally in our quest to become better men we are graced with cautionary tales from older, wiser mentors. One such occurrence took place in the moments leading up to a 2005 Kansas City Royals’ spring training game, when Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett imparted upon Ross Boudreaux and Scott Walter, two rookie catchers attempting to make the team, a harrowing tale of steady composure in the face of unthinkable adversity.

Dusting Off: The Hidden Ball Trick

There’s a fine line between unsportsmanlike behavior and good old-fashioned trickery, particularly on the baseball field. For example, most baseball purists—ourselves included—lost a fair amount of respect for Alex Rodriguez back in 2007 when he shouted “I got it” while running past Toronto third baseman Howie Clark, who let the ball drop. Three runs scored. Bush league, A-Rod.

Over: The Fat Lady (or Anyone Else) Singing “God Bless America”

We love our country, but we loathe “God Bless America.” More specifically, we are vehemently opposed to the compulsory singing of the patriotic anthem 1918 showtune from Yip Yip Yaphank! at baseball games. (Yes, “God Bless America” is a showtune, and one that its author, Irving Berlin, cut from Yip! after two performances because he disliked it so much.)

Style Icons Spoiling a Perfectly Good Walk

It may prove a bit tricky to duck out of the office this week for a twilight round of golf, given that we’re coming off a 10-day Fourth of July sabbatical. To tide you over, we now present, in no particular order, 18 photos of style icons spoiling a perfectly good walk.

Out With the Pink, in with the ‘Mo

Maybe it’s because there were five Sundays in October (NFL’s breast cancer awareness month), but it’s hard to remember a time when professional football players weren’t wearing pink.

The Shame of Not Giving Up

Channeling Kenny Powers, 47-year-old Jose Canseco joined the Mexican League’s Quintana Roo Tigers this week in an attempt to limp his way back to major-league baseball. “I am addicted to white leather and red stitches,” he said Tuesday. “If I have no bat speed at 47 then why does the ball go so far when I hit it?”

Dusting Off: The Single-Bar Kicker’s Helmet

Like most of you, we are all in favor of the NFL doing whatever is necessary to protect its players. Ease up on the defenseless receiver. Respect the fair catch. Save the horse collar tackles for the rodeo ring. But since we are ever-so-slightly more interested in aesthetics over long-term brain functionality…we were devastated when the league banned the single-bar facemask in 2004.

Dusting Off: The Player-Coach

Most sports enthusiasts will tell you that the reason we don’t have player-coaches these days has to do with salary caps, collective bargaining agreements and growing complexities of the game. In our estimation, though, the reason is much simpler: They just don’t make competitors like “Charlie Hustle” anymore.

Brother, Can you Spare a Razor

The bearded indie rock frontman is hardly a new phenomenon. Guys like Will OldhamChris Robinson and Jerry Garcia blazed that trail long ago (literally). Given the above collage, though, it appears the trail has been transformed into a well-paved thoroughfare connecting Coachella, Bonnaroo, SXSW, Glastonbury and wherever else present-day introspective rockers gather to perform before thousands of similarly bearded hipsters. What’s behind the scruff…

Your Last Look at Jose Reyes’s Dreads

Taking a page out of George Steinbrenner’s grooming guide, Florida Marlins owner David Samson made it clear over the weekend that Jose Reyes, the team’s shiny new $106 million shortstop, would be forced to cut the dreadlocks he’s been sporting for most of his career. “The answer is, there’ll be team rules,” Samson said. “Everyone follows the team rules, whatever they are.”

The Longest-Running Streak in College Sports Has Ended

The Yale men’s squash team defeated Trinity College Wednesday night, ending Trinity’s streak of 262 consecutive victories, the longest in intercollegiate sports history.

The Steinbrenner Look

We’re with George Steinbrenner on this one: baseball players should maintain a conservative, athletic appearance on the field.

Kempt’s Superbowl Party Menu

The Super Bowl party is a marquee culinary event. The menu requires a bold imagination and a month of preparation. Sure, you could go with chips, salsa and chicken wings. And, you know, hummus. Again. Or you could make a statement and serve up something as big and powerful as America.

Facial Hair is Not a Treadmill

A reminder: it’s best to think of facial hair as an accessory. Ask too much of it and, like a loud pair of shades or an overused pocket square, it will eventually let you down. To that end, we respectfully offer: Four things facial hair can’t do…

Mike Tyson: Still a Really Weird Dude

So, a couple nights ago, Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champion of the world, appeared on a Brazilian television show called Caldeirão do Huck and, dressed to the nines in a white rental tuxedo, (kind of) sang “The Girl from Ipanema.”

Why is Vin Scully “Fed Up”?

It was probably nothing—the tail end of an otherwise forgettable press conference yesterday in which Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Baseball Management group officially took control of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Our beloved Vin Scully, now in his 63rd consecutive year as the voice of the Dodgers, served as emcee of the event and, per usual, was magnificent. And it was probably nothing. But in closing, Vin seemed to go off-script for a moment—almost as though he were finally speaking out on something that had been eating at him for years.

Can We Cool It With The Walk-Off Celebrations?

Major League ballplayers sure do like to jump all over each other. And we get it: there’s nothing quite like a walk-off hit to win a baseball game in extra innings. That is, except for all the other walk-off hits to win a baseball game in extra innings…

Icon: Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi has never been afraid of a little pressure. When he was 9 years old, his father pit him against NFL legend Jim Brown in a $10,000 tennis match at a Las Vegas country club. Brown initially thought the challenge was a joke, though it’s safe to say the pro shop got a lot less funny when Andre’s father, Emmanuel B. Aghassian, a retired Iranian boxer, put up the family home as collateral, literally betting the house that his pre-tween son could take two out of three from the greatest athlete of all time.

~STYLE~

Man Modeling Tank Suit

Here’s a Patently Bizzare Tanksuit Ad from 1970

From time to time, we stumble upon a photograph from the past that simply defies logic. Take this tank suit ad published by Condé Nast in 1970, for example…

Aged Leather for Your New Baby

Keys, wallet, phone. Rarely are all three of these things packed and ready to go when you are, thus the frantic scurrying, the mindless patting of pants that haven’t been worn since Easter, the “would you mind calling my phone,” followed by “I thought you said your phone was out of battery,” followed by blank stares as yet another movie night is ruined.

Do Eyebrows Win Elections?

The furrowed presidential brow is also a well-groomed one. So says Michael Gilman, founder of the Grooming Lounge in Washington, DC, who contends that “seven of the past eight [US presidential] elections have been won by the candidate with the best-groomed eyebrows.” Maddeningly, Mr. Gilman leaves us hanging on the exception.

Style Advice for U.S. Congressmen

Congressmen: While we did not elect you for your fashion sense, and we understand that you are not Senators, please remember that you are representing us in all capacities. So might we respectfully suggest that you ease off the Cosby cardigans and, you know, class it up a bit? (Mr. Frank, we understand you were wearing a cast in the above photo, but that is no excuse for standing in the House Chamber looking like a chilly American tourist.)

Two Things You Didn’t Know About the Agnelli Cuff

We’re guessing the last time your wristwatch was over your cuff there were a lot of other things in disarray as well. Not so for Gianni Agnelli, aka “The Rake of the Riviera.” As we mentioned in ourrecent series on the 12 Jetset Playboys of the Sixties Agnelli had a penchant for tucking his French cuff underneath his watch. But here’s a couple things you may not have known, starting with the reason he couldn’t keep it on his wrist like a lesser mortal…

Weekending the Right Way: The Summer Alfresco Party

Let’s face it: that repurposed keg tub has served as the centerpiece of every outdoor party you’ve thrown since graduation. It’s time for it to leak weird liquid somewhere else. And since you’re already headed to the dump, you might as well toss out the wobbly coffee table, the not-supposed-to-be-blinking Christmas lights and, well, just about everything else that’s been outside for over a year. We know, you kind of like that stuff.

Ann Landers On: The Male Earring

Certain questions regarding matters of gentlemanly style and grace have repeated themselves for decades. Case in point: on three separate occasions—once in 1966 and twice in 1984—Ann Landers was asked for her advice on the subject of male earrings.

Drawing the Line at Brotox

We were discouraged by a profile on Good Morning America yesterday about the rising popularity of Botox among men. (We refuse to use the term “Bro-tox.”) According to ABC News, 300,000 men received injections in 2011, up 10% from the previous year. Eyelid surgery is up 15%. Face-lifts: 14%. Liposuction: 7%. Why?

Granddadies of Grooming: Julius Caesar

Next time you find yourself envying George Clooney’s swagger or Eminem’s—well, George Clooney’s swagger—offer a tip of the hat to Julius Caesar. Long before the 1990s, the Roman emperor decided it’d be a whole lot less work to take his mane high and tight, and front-comb the rest.

Farewell to the Dandy Congressman

It’s a dark day for Congressional style. Representative David Dreier (R-CA), widely considered the best-dressed Congressman in the House of Representatives, announced yesterday that he would not be seeking a 17th term in office. “After three decades on Capitol Hill,” he said jokingly on the House floor, “I am finally doing my part to improve Congress’s sorry image.”

Everything is Wrong with Dresspant Sweatpants

Just as declining bee populations have recently signified a larger, potentially apocalyptic environmental crisis, there have been a handful of style trends throughout history that, when examined up against the broader cultural landscape of the day, have served as distress signals of something very, very wrong with our society.

Looking Very Dude-like, Sir

Jeff Bridges played at the Democratic National Convention yesterday in downtown Charlotte, reprising his Oscar-winning performance as Bad Blake inCrazy Heart. (Though the wavy locks and abiding grin scream “Dude” all the way, if you ask us.)

The Top Ten Fragrance Experts on Youtube

Choosing just the right scent for the season is a tricky business. Sure, you could head to the fragrance department at Barneys. Or you could go to YouTube and watch what, in our humble opinion, are the “Top 10 YouTube Videos Featuring Random Dudes Offering No One in Particular Their Favorite Fall Fragrances of 2011, Broadcast from What Appear to Be Their Parents’ Basements.”

The Worst Accessory to Sandals Since Socks

What happens when you combine hallucinogenic drugs and venture capital money? KUSA Fake Grass Flip-Flops by Yashin™ happens.

The Horror of Guylashes

While the British remain vigilant in their refusal to hop on the mid-20th-century orthodontia bandwagon, they appear to be way, way out in front when it comes to volumizing men’s eyelashes. Earlier this month, Eylure, a UK-based makeup company, launched a series of false lashes for men, claiming they help to “recreate that Hollywood gaze.” You won’t get any argument from us there.

Avoiding Hat Hair

The groundhog is still fast asleep, and it’s only getting colder out there. As the winter gears up, you may notice more and more disarray in your usually well-ordered coiffure. It’s the affliction known as hat hair, currently ravaging scalps across this great land of ours.

What’s in a Musk?

The word “musk” gets thrown around a lot when people talk cologne—kind of like “oaky” with wine—but surprisingly few people know where the fragrance actually comes from.

Richard Dawson Would Like His 113 Tuxedo Shirts Back

While we’re not big game show fans, we are indeed game show host fans. Which might explain why we can’t take our eyes off this 1972 ad forAfter Six Formalwear tuxedo shirts

Rock of Ages: Big Hair on the Big Screen

1980s metal, without a doubt the most absurd era of grooming in music, hits the big screen this June in Rock of Ages, and we like what we see: really good actors with really bad hair, including Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige and Alec Baldwin—who, in the trailer released along withSherlock Holmes 2, declares, “This place is about to become a sea of sweat, ear-shattering music and puke.” Ah, 1987.

The Five Times You’re Allowed to Wear Scarves Indoors

When it comes to men wearing scarves indoors, there isn’t necessarily a hard-and-fast rule one way or the other. The ascot, a haughty great-uncle of the scarf, has been a mainstay for centuries, and a handful of notably well-dressed menhave successfully pulled off the look of late.

The 7 Times It’s Okay to Wear Sunglasses at Night

There seems to be some misunderstanding when it comes to wearing sunglasses at night. In short, you can’t.

~CURIOUS ITEMS~

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Finally, Your Swiss Army Knife Is Also An Animal

Third-year design student David Suhami disagrees, judging from his latest masterpiece, the Animal Pocket Knife, which “combines the idea of a Swiss Army knife and a jungle safari in Africa. The prototype is made from stainless steel to represent the current technology, while the handles are made from fine tabebuia wood to symbolize the traditional craft.”

The Only Guy Who Can Pull Off a Snow-Camoflauged Lamborghini

We try to avoid the word “cool” around here, particularly when referring to Lamborghini owners. (And Lamborghini smartphone owners.) So it’s safe to say we rolled our eyes at this custom-camouflaged, “check-me-out-I’m-like-a-Swedish-playboy-slash-ski-jumper” Lamborghini Gallardo LP560.

It’s Carving Season

’Tis the season to carve: pumpkins, turkeys, roasts, hams, ice sculptures, etc. Which is why we were so pleased to stumble upon “The Chef’s Guide to Knives,” an incredibly long infographic via the expert meddlers at Lifehacker.

The Coolest Yacht In The World Sets Sail

The Adastra is in the water, gentlemen. The 139-foot trimaran, which last week won Best Yacht Design at the 2012 Asia Boating Awards, will spend most of the summer traveling between two Indonesian islands owned by Anto and Elaine Marden, who commissioned the superyacht from McConaghy Boats five years ago. All functionality aboard the $15 million Adastra can be controlled by an iPad, which strikes us as dangerous, particularly after downing a half-dozen Singapore Slings on the panoramic deck saloon. Luckily, the hull is made of Kevlar.

The Porch Perch

The perch. An underestimated sitting position—relaxed, but alert. Clear sight lines. Nimble. And never more so than upon the Curt deck chair from Swiss designers Bernhard-Burkard, who assure us that: “Even though it looks dangerous it provides comfort seating and relaxing in every occasion.”

Sherlock Holmes Would Like His Laptop Back

Here’s the latest steampunk laptop from “Prestidigital Datamancery & Paraphernalia Technofetishism” expert Richard Nagy. The New York Timesdescribes steampunk as “a subculture that is the aesthetic expression of a time-traveling fantasy world, inspired by the extravagantly inventive age of dirigibles and steam locomotives, brass diving bells and jar-shaped protosubmarines.” We describe steampunk as Comic-Con’s magniloquent Great-Aunt Gretchen serving high tea with one hand while slaying the Dungeon Master with the other.

“The Ultimate Driving Machine is now a Desk Chair

We’re of the mind that luxury sports cars should remain luxury sports cars and chairs should remain chairs. It’s a slippery slope otherwise, a slope that nine times out of 10 leads to fire-engine-red Ferrari armchairs with matching slippers, grease stains on the head rests, monthly ExtenZe shipments and so on…

~ETIQUETTE~ exclamationpoint_crop

Exclamation Points are like Car Horns

You may have seen a lot of these lately… Until the mid 1970s, the exclamation point (also known as a “dembanger” or “dog’s cock”) was not featured on standard typewriters. Instead, one typed a period, backspaced and then typed an apostrophe.

In Defense of Cussing

Last week, Arizona State Senator Lori Klein proposed a law that would make it a fireable offense for K-12 public school teachers to repeatedly swear in the classroom. “These are young, impressionable minds,” she explained. “We want to fill them with the highest ideals, values and education that we can.” Yes, we agree. (Who doesn’t?) The issue we respectfully take with Senator Klein, though, is that a distinction must be made between teachers swearing in front ofstudents and teachers swearing at students

Shit Cellphone Users (Shouldn’t) Say

We conclude Kempt’s Cell Phone Etiquette Month with what we hope will also conclude the once-delightful, now-grating fascination with “shit people say.” To that (merciful) end, we respectfully present you with: Shit Cell Phone Users (Shouldn’t) Say.

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Touching Other Gentlemen

I was late for work last week, moving at a steady clip, when a smiley dude in a purple Phish shirt stepped in front of me and raised his hand. It was 8am on a Thursday and he was high-fiving strangers on the street. When I refused and continued on my way, he looked at his outstretched hand as though it had emotions of its own and said, “Happy National High-Five Day to you, too.”

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