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by David Todd McCarty | Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I wrote the following piece almost ten years ago. It says as much about who I was then as it does about the changes in the world since then.


I was raised with the firm belief that honesty was a thing to be valued. Telling the truth was the most important thing a man could do. It was, in fact, what separated the good people from the bad, the honorable from the dishonorable. But over the course of the last 38 years, I’ve begun to change my mind.

The truth, I have discovered, is highly overrated.

When you’re young, it’s acceptable to tell an inappropriate truth. Sometimes, it’s even considered cute.

“What’s wrong with your face,” you may ask a severely burned man at the bank.

The question “Are you a man or a woman?” is directed at the unfortunate looking person in the checkout lane at the grocery store.

Even the cable repairman might be greeted at the door with the news, “My Mommy isn’t wearing any panties.”

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, December 1, 2015

There is nothing funnier in the world than seeing a grown man pretending to be a professional athlete. You’ve seen them. Pushing 40. Beginnings of a pot belly. Wearing the jersey with someone else’s name on the back. Like any minute they’re going to get the call, “Jimmy, we need you!”

The reality is that fans of the Big Four: Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey are the least offensive. Generally, they simply wear a jersey, albeit with no pads or helmet. Even run of the mill fans wear a hat, t-shirt or jacket emblazoned with the logo. That’s pretty normal the world over.

But the jerseys are still funny to me. “Look at me” wearing someone else’s uniform, only fat, slow, old, wearing penny loafers and khakis.

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by David Todd McCarty | Wednesday, November 25, 2015

There’s no better feeling in the world than walking out of a proper barbershop having just had a wonderful experience and looking and feeling your best. It’s transcendent. It’s a wonderful experience—when done right anyway.

The problem, for me, is I hate taking the time necessary to get a haircut, let alone a shave. I have to stop what I’m doing, drive to the barber, potentially wait as much as an hour or more, just for the opportunity to get my 20 minute haircut. I don’t enjoy the community of hanging around in a barbershop shooting the shit and arguing about nonsense. It’s not my style.

Even with the resurgence of vintage culture brought about by the hipster scene, it’s increasingly difficult to find a decent barbershop, especially outside of major urban areas. In 2011, it was the fastest growing business in America, and there has been a resurgence in barbershops for men. But I fear that it was just a trend and when the hipster grooming thing ends, so will the interest in barbering.

It was such a big trend, that traditional salons were getting into the mix, putting in barbershops to compete for the male customer. But I’ve found it’s not really the same thing.

Let me quickly walk you through what a proper Barbershop looks like to me.

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Everyone wants to be home for the holidays, even if only in our dreams, or so says the old carol. Thanksgiving and Christmas are especially difficult times to be away from home. Our thoughts are packed with memories and emotions that at times, quite literally, define who we are, and where we come from, or at the very least say a lot about what we wish were true.

Nostalgia is defined by the dictionary as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” The word is actually a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning “homecoming”, a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning “pain, ache”, and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home.

It’s literally a longing so strong that it causes pain. Now that’s powerful stuff.

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