It's not the end of civilization, but it may be a sign.

I'm not a macho guy. I'm thin, I have long hair, I don't like sports (or, as I prefer to say, "I outgrew sports"), and I don't spend any of my spare time saying inane things like "I'd hit it". On good days, women even call me "sensitive". (Such days are fewer and farther between with each passing year.) So, generally speaking, I don't advocate a lot of arbitrary standards of manliness -- whatever works for a guy, works for a guy, you know?

Today, however, I feel compelled to draw a line in the sand. Thanks to my reoccuring insomnia, I was flipping through the channels at four in the morning when I saw a commercial for The Tie Teacher, a shamrock-shaped piece of metal that's supposed to let anyone "tie the perfect tie every time". That's just wrong. This is the United States of America. We're the cumulation of millennia's worth of Western Civilization forcing us to get dressed every day (whether we want to or not) and centuries worth of class-conscious dress codes forcing us to wear useless accessories to work and church. Tying ties is just one of those things we (we men, anyway) are supposed to know. It's our cultural birthright and our societal responsibility to know this useless skill, and to able to pass it on to the next generation. Good Americans wouldn't use a Tie Teacher.

I'm not budging on this one. If you've made to eighteen without knowing how to tie a tie, you need to call your father right now and ask him why he doesn't really love you. If you've made it to thirty without knowing at least two ways to tie a necktie, stop reading this stupid blog, grab a tie, and read some directions. This is one of your important responsibilities as a male in Western Civilization. Don't leave the house tomorrow unless you can tie your own necktie. Don't go to work unless you can tie a necktie. Don't have kids unless you can teach them to tie a necktie. If you can't get that basic skill right, I don't want you in charge of the future of the human race.

By the way, the commercial was running on Fox News. While you're learning to tie a necktie, you can work on your own jokes about Fox fans and the future of the human race.

Posted at 11:51:19 PM EST on 31 March 2004 from Trenton, MI