A show about being a man.

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What is Manhood? At a minimum: it's duty, honor, courage, industry, self-reliance, self-regard, and resilience. Those are widespread human qualities, not exclusive to men. So what does masculine culture have to say about them, and why are they so central to a man's identity? And what do any of those things have to do with tools, dogs, cigars and Scotch, cars and trucks, fishing and sports, protecting and providing, risk-taking and leadership?

Manhearted gets to the heart of manhood while rejecting fringe views on either end of the polar spectrum. With bombastic glee, Asher roasts nihilists and nutjobs equally, satirizing all attempts to shut down conversation between men about what it means to be men. "If we're to head off misandry and misogyny from the peanut gallery on the periphery, we have to build a strong center, predicated on a deeply-held cultural consensus that's wholesome, decent to everyone, that scoffs at extremism and condemns mistreatment, and doesn't let any faction get strong enough to trounce our basic dignities and freedom."

Manhearted™ is an ideal, specifically an ideal of freedom to be fully expressed in one's manhood, to enjoy it in the context of other people, and to grow as individuals unimpeded by either stilted fringe definitions of manhood or the suppression of conversation around masculinity. Growth doesn't have to be dramatic, or even obvious. It's the deepening mildness of a cigar aging in a humidor, the maturity of a scotch settling in the bottle, or the resilient character of the embers of a burning fire.

Manhood includes a willingness to learn and improve at something—to stretch one's capabilities. Men who dig in and refuse the self-confidence that comes from that continual deepening of character, perhaps even calling it unmanly, are missing out on one of the joys of being a man. We're here, because it's going to be more interesting to have a fireside talk with Winston Churchill or Alec Baldwin or Bill Burr over a great glass of whiskey than some guy stocking his bunker against "the day the cucks and the feminists take over".

My interest in Manhearted™ stems from a conversation about the television show Cheers® and the loss of the pub and the community of working men it represented. It's now largely given way to the sports bar, dive bar, office bar, and singles bar and simultaneous frustration with the swelling ranks of extremist groups that offer a rageful, fearful, weak and frankly absurd caricature of masculinity.

I think of "Manhearted™ as a virtual pub. It's not exclusively for men, any more than a pub is. But you can slap a man on the back without it being a fight, a romantic overture, or an interview by HR the next morning." You'll find here a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek hyperbole, a certain amount of jocular bluster. The most profound sign of the freedom to have a substantive discussion is the invitation to exaggerate and crack a smile. Some of the indecorous wisecracking and droll, salty rhetoric is intentional. Pull up a stool. Choose an ale. The first one is on the house.

Asher Black

Asher is a fabulist, maximist, humorist, and raconteur. By day, he works with companies to find and tell their story effectively. By night, he is a human bonfire.

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