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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Staying Sane

Robert Manni - Thursday, April 06, 2017

Can you recall a crazier time in our lives than right now? Probably not.

Between every excruciating day of chaos ushered in by our new president, global terror, rising health care costs, homelessness, weekend subway service in NYC, an endless winter, GMO’s infesting our food, drone-like jobs with longer hours and less pay, it’s a tough time to be alive. People are stressed out, tired, unfocused, hyper, and stretched to the human limits. This is not how things are supposed to be, amigos. I’m actually surprised our society hasn’t completely melted down.

More and more I read about disclosure and how our planet is on the verge of a major change for the better. But when you are under a constant assault of fear by the media and the powers that be, no one would blame you for feeling life is uninspiring and becoming a long, slow downward spiral.

What’s a Guy’s Guy to do? Lots. With the hope of contributing to your mental, physical and spiritual wellness, I’ve pulled together a punch list of ten things you can do when your world appears to have gone absolutely bonkers. I call it, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Staying Sane. Here’s my list in no particular order.

Drum roll, please…

1. Breathe – That’s right. Breathe. When you are on edge, even the smallest slight can trigger you into overreacting and regretting things later. If your latest Facebook post puts you on the receiving end of the social media trolls or your boss is sabotaging you because you can do her job better than she can, don’t take the bait. Take a few slow breaths, hold, and release. Breathe and repeat. Try this slow breathing when riding the subway or the bus and within a few minutes your mind will calm down. It’s a good start.

2. Ease up on social media – I don’t know about you, but my feed features a polarizing gamut of spiritual articles and memes, sports and culture, and partisan political posts. After asking myself why do I care what my grammar schoolmates post about Trump, I began unfollowing, and at times unfriending and blocking those I found annoying. I feel better. It’s a start to regaining my sanity. I’ve found that endlessly scrolling Facebook and Twitter makes us anxious, like we’re all on pins and needles waiting for that post or tweet that’s going to make everything better in our lives. It’s making people crazy. Sure, I enjoy videos of the kitty that scared off the alligator and the kid with no arms who sank a 3-point shot. But there’s too much weird activity on Earth to keep up with while trying to be productive. So get a grip, amigo, holster that phone, and push away from your computer screen. Live your life offline.

3. Turn off the news – Whether it’s online or on your television, there’s an endless feed of news and propaganda spewed at us all day. Have you ever wondered why you see the same stories on most of the networks? It’s because a handful of organizations own the news outlets. They decide what stories are worthy and how long to pound them into our consciousness. Right now it’s all about Russia, Trump, the latest global terror strikes and other stories that instill fear. Those topics have legs, while other topics like fixing our environment and safeguarding our food supply are ignored. I’m not suggesting we turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the world, but we need to remind ourselves that there is an agenda. We’re served what they want to feed us. So it’s important to our mental health to consume news in moderate, manageable doses or else risk depression. After all, you still need to submit that updated Excel sheet with the Q3 projections by close of business tomorrow.

4. Get outside – Nothing brings me more sanity than getting out of my crib. When it’s cold and dreary, it’s tough to push yourself out the door. But, when you stay inside there are too many temptations to flip on the TV or laptop. A walk in the fresh air brings a new perspective and is very helpful for calming down.

5. Exercise – When the world seems to be going crazy, a workout or a run in the park provide a hard to beat mental, physical, and spiritual respite from all the stress. I prefer a long run to clear my head. Others like yoga or spin classes, stretching, cardio or free weights to decompress. Whatever you choose is fine. Like they say, just do it. Sex is a good exercise also.

6. Meditate – Meditation has many benefits. Besides relaxing and clearing the mind, meditation gives the physical body an opportunity to heal from the duress of modern life. And of course, it also allows us to get in touch with our inner consciousness and higher self. Even if you can only spare a few minutes a day, find time to meditate. You’ll see a difference in how you view the world.

7. Appreciate art – Thank God for artists. They reflect our world in so many ways while allowing our minds to process life through a fresh lens. It doesn’t matter if you are reading a novel, wandering through a museum, watching an indie film, or listening to jazz. Taking time to appreciate the arts always provides a needed mental break from the craziness and helps us see our world and plight with a different perspective.

8. Create something  Putting your focus into personal expression keeps the cray cray away. Writing, singing, painting, sewing, chanting, or even sculpting your body are wonderful outlets to let off steam and express how you feel about what’s gong on in the world and your personal experience. These all take a concentration and getting into a zone where you’re focused on building something instead of simply processing information. Creativity is a safe haven from a messed up world.

9. Engage with other people – Deep conversations with a friend, laughter, hugging it out, and sex are proven ways to de-stress and stay sane. And they’re usually fun.

10. Service – Extending oneself to others, even in small ways has a ripple effect. Doing good makes the world a better place, and a less crazy place. Sharing your knowledge, being a mentor, volunteering, or even giving accordion players a buck all helps make the world a better place.

These are just a few ways we can keep our sanity in an increasingly dysfunctional culture. The media and the powers that be want us to live in fear and see one another as separate. The truth is that underneath the surface everyone is connected and we have a lot of collective power. Stay positive and control your thoughts. You are not crazy.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is the Dalai Lama. Throughout his life he has managed to maintain wisdom, calm, and equilibrium in the face of the endless challenges that have been thrown his way.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Detoxifying Your Life

Robert Manni - Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We’re bombarded with toxins every day. Whether they’re in the food we eat, the air we breathe, or the media we consume, human beings are under constant attack.

Autopsies show that most people who die had cancer in their bodies, even is it was not the cause of their death. Why? We enter this world pure, pristine, and in most cases, blessed with good health. But over time, due to our lifestyles, the foods we ingest, our thoughts, the images we view, heavy metals, the pollutants in our air and the water we drink create a poisonous environment within our bodies.

Some people claim that we can’t detoxify our bodies and that cleanses don’t work, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide after you do your research. Even so, there sure are a lot of people who are sick and contracting chronic autoimmune diseases. I’m a Guy’s guy, not a western doctor, but I’ve experienced a life-threatening health scare that forced me to stare into the abyss. As a result, I’ve taken the time to dig into the things that make us toxic and how we can clean up and live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. And that means eliminating and replacing much of what our body, mind, and spirit consumes.  My suggestions are based on reading, interviewing numerous healers on my podcast, Guy’s Guy Radio, and my personal experience. If our collective human makeup and physical chemistry is the same, why are some of us sick and others healthy? It’s a mystery and yet it makes sense. Some of us treat our body, minds and spirit like shit, and I think we can agree that there are steps we can take to help maintain better health. These are my suggestions, but ultimately, you’ve gotta live your life and make the choices that feel right for you.

Let’s break this down into three parts: our body, mind, and spirit and explore some tips and insights to consider that might enhance your day-to-day existence. My goal is that you are as healthy and happy as possible.

BODY – Our western diet has not evolved with our optimal health in mind. The bulk of our daily meals are laden with too much sugar, salt, meat, fried or processed foods, dairy, and GMO’s. The cumulative effect of a steady diet of these over the years can result in chronic autoimmune diseases, intestinal fungi, parasites, and lead to cancer. Add alcohol consumption, tobacco, drugs, prescription meds, and a lack of sleep and water, and our body chemistry can turn toxic. It’s imperative that we drastically reduce or eliminate much of these poisons while at the same time hydrating more frequently and getting more sleep.

We are what we eat, so choose organic foods and do your very best to cut out meat and sugar. Cut out the obvious bad stuff like drugs, prescription meds (when possible) and tobacco, drink as much filtered water as you can (about 8 liters a day if you can handle it) and get more shut-eye. Even a short nap helps because we’re a sleep-deprived culture. You might also add apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, Himalayan sea salt, and clay to your water, food, and oral health regime to aid health and hasten the elimination of toxins from your overloaded system. Even our environment plays a role with all of the electromagnetic energy pulsing trough urban locales. Over time all this can accumulate inside of you. Your body is a temple, but over time even the sturdiest temples crumble if they are not properly maintained.

MIND – If we are what we consume, that includes media, music, media, news, social media, films, video and games, porn, etc. Garbage in. Garbage out. Studies have proved that there is energy in all of the above, so be mindful about what you watch and read, and the music you listen to. It will impact your outlook and your health. As a marketing and ad guy, I always check out the ads running in the subways for the latest movies, television shows, and music. Most of it is dark, creepy, and violent. Is it any wonder why young people (I don’t want to put this all on millennials, but…) hold such jaded views on life and their fellow man? But more than that, when we consume all of the negativity, it poisons us from within.

I like to binge on the latest Netflix series as much as the next guy, but I am careful about how much violence, hate, and broken characters I allow into my consciousness. And let’s not forget good old Facebook and its daily barrage of memes and posts about our new president. I’m not a fan, but I also don’t want to allow his odd behavior be a constant distraction and annoyance. Concerning social media, the best thing I have done this year is to “unfollow” a bunch of guys from my high school that apparently live to defend anything Trump does, says, or lies about. Fellas, have at it, but I’m out. And I feel so much better.

SPIRIT – This might be the most important area to focus on if you want to detox your life. When you boil it all down, every real decision we face forces us to choose between love and fear. Choosing love requires us to do what we can to enhance our spiritual practices. Walking the righteous path is not easy, but it pays off if you maintain stamina and a determination side with love when the world around you gets crazy and people behave like jerks. To help detoxify spiritually, I meditate, affirm, appreciate my gifts, pray, forgive myself and the other guy. I know it sounds sappy, but if you give the righteous path a fair chance, over time you’ll raise your vibration and reap the rewards of living in alignment with your truth.

These are my simple suggestions that I hope will help you they way they have helped me live my best life.  That’s what I am doing right now. Sure, I’m a work in progress, but I am making consistent strides. And it feels great. Do what’s best for you, but always, always, always choose love. And remember to love yourself while you’re at it.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Lord Dhanvantari who is considered the physician of the Devas (gods) and the father of Ayurvedic medicine.    

Our Negative Culture

Robert Manni - Thursday, May 22, 2014

Seeing all the videos, parodies and effusive comments on social media about Pharrell’s omnipresent hit song, “Happy” makes me scratch my head.

If everyone is so damn happy, then why do we wallow in a bottomless pool of gory, violent, toxic stories in the movies, on television and in the news? The common denominators on our palette are negativity, human failure, and buckets of blood. Welcome to 2014.

For some reason, studios and networks insist on showcasing deceit, vengefulness, violence, and dishonesty as entertainment. I thought that’s what we have to deal with at work. Who wants to experience this angst again in their free time after hours in HD? Could it be the hypnotic power of that 54” screen dominating our living room and minds? Your Guy’s Guy takes his media medicine in small, detached doses and decries, “Is this the best we can come up with?” Here are a few considerations for consuming content.


A Guy’s Guy likes a good dust up and action-packed films, but lately, things have gotten out of hand. Even the Hollywood legends have gotten into the act. Stallone’s “Expendables” franchise is really just a bunch of aging action stars shooting, stabbing and punching their way to a paycheck. Sly’s latest endeavor is something called, “Bullet to the Head”. What can I say?

Ah-nold? His recent film comeback includes “Expendables 2” (number three is on the way), “Escape Plan” with Stallone, and “Sabotage” (a B version of an Expendables movie). The poster features the usual cadre of buff guys and gals wielding machine guns of varying sizes. And the next generation of stars is on a similar path of death and destruction. Have you seen the trailer for the new Tom Cruise movie, “Edge of Tomorrow”? Its tagline is, “Live. Die. Repeat.” We see Tom wrapped in futuristic battle amour, toting an assault weapon that appears to be welded to his arm. Didn’t Matt Damon already do that in last year’s futuristic death match, “Elysium”? This is just a sampling of what the big stars are up to. Let’s not forget, “Machete” and “Machete 2013”? Wonderful.

Some say Hollywood is simply giving the people what they want (lots of video game action) and anti-heroes like we had in the seventies. When I think of anti-heroes, Clint Eastwood in “Dirty Harry” and “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” or Charles Bronson in “Death Wish” come to mind. Sure, their movies had selected violent scenes, but the acts were focused on moving the story along.  They didn’t glorify killing and maiming as an art form. With all the hype about Dirty Harry’s Magnum, he rarely used it.

Fast-forward to today and we see blood spurting and mayhem starting from the first scene. Even the once car-based “Fast and Furious” franchise has gone ultra-violent. After seeing the first two “Fast and Furious” movies a few years ago, I recently watched the first fifteen minutes of “Fast and Furious Six”. I was amazed at the non-stop violence. No breaks: just kicking, punching, and fighting amongst all the main characters.

I’m not even going to get into the video games aimed at kids and teens. So many of them are hyper violent and focused on deception, thievery, and war.

Shady Characters

We also are inundated with hit show and films like “Penny Dreadful”, “Scandal,” “Revenge”, “Breaking Bad”, “House of Lies”, “Shameless”, “Wolf of Wall Street”, and “American Hustle” all focused on human failure with main characters lacking in moral fiber. The industry tells us they’re always looking for “interesting and intricate characters”. Yes, I know that conflict drives storylines, but do you have to be an a-hole to be interesting?

For a change of pace there is “True Blood”, “The Walking Dead”, and all the shows about zombies, vampires and creatures bent of exterminating mankind. Want a change of pace? How about those housewives, the slippery realtors in NYC and LA, the backstabbing contestants on “Survivor”, and lying bachelors and bachelorettes? There is little escape from bad behavior and dysfunction unless you turn to the talent shows.

And Now To The News

Adding to this Gatling gun of toxicity, is our news industry. Regardless of which network we watch or what newspaper or major website we follow it spits the same selected, fear-inducing stories at us.  If you don’t believe me; just turn on any local or national news network and you’ll see the same stories rolled out and read to you in almost the same order by a different talking head. Fire in the Bronx kills three, measles on the rise, the world economy on the brink of collapse, voter fraud, and on and on. Until you reach to the last two minutes, it’s all bad news and human failure. During the breaks, most of the ads are for cars we can’t afford, fast food that makes us obese, and from pharmaceutical companies selling us medication for all of our diseases. Your Guy’s Guy is getting a stomachache.

The Solution

We live in a culture that requires connectivity, so it’s almost impossible to simply tune out. We need to be mindful of our media consumption and make the effort to unplug whenever possible. The folks running the networks and studios need to make a buck, so they are not going to change unless we stop consuming what they push our way. Here are three suggestions: Don’t watch the news or violent shows before going to bed. Do not keep your TV in your bedroom.  I know we all need to check email and do our jobs, but each morning, see how long you can go without tapping into mass media. Your mind will become more peaceful and quiet, and you’ll get to know that wonderful person hidden inside you a lot better.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is George Clooney. No, it’s not because he’s getting married. It’s because he chooses to make movies that are well-told stories that are never ultra-violent.

10 Awesome Non-Scripted TV Shows for Guy's Guys

Robert Manni - Thursday, May 01, 2014

Okay, I get it. All television is scripted. I’m not talking about mainstream series like “Scandal”, “Revenge” or even “The Family Guy”. I’m referring to all those wacky cable shows that somehow hook our interest when we’re surfing the gazillion channels clogging up the cable box. When I embarked on my research for this blog I was amazed at how many ridiculous shows are currently on air, many of them already in seasons four and five. So, using a male-centric Guy’s Guy filter and eliminating the obvious “ESPN SportsCenter” here are ten tasty shows that guys can confidently invest a smattering of their psychic energy in. So, in no particular order…

1. INK MASTERS (Spike) – Hosted by rock’s Dave Navarro and a handful of the world’s best tattoo artists, this competition show uses real people as canvases for contestant’s to demonstrate their ink design skills. Hey, who wouldn’t want a “X-Men” character adorning their thigh or neck? The artists are good, but I feel bad for those bozos that agree to be permanently defaced with a failed design. But who knows, maybe they actually wanted that bad version of the Wolverine’s face and claws on their chest.

2. BAR RESCUE (Spike) – If you are a failing bar owner who is about to lose his home because he runs a skivvy venue that should be shuttered by the Board of Health and manned by a staff of rejects who skim tabs and can’t mix a Cosmo, then Jon Tafer is the man for you. Jon is a total Guy’s Guy. He and his team occupy the bar in question for a week. While ferreting out the problems, they break down the owner, staff, and the actual venue. Then with a special version of tough love and common sense, Jon rebuilds the business, the staff’s morale and the bar. You can place your bets on how long it will be before the owners refer to their old ways again after Jon leaves, but for a brief moment in time, their dreams are reborn. Way to go, Jon.

3. BOBBY FLAY’S THROWDOWN (Cooking Channel) – This former Food Network staple has found new life on their sister station filled with recycled content. At the onset of each show a bike messenger delivers Flay’s latest challenge. He might take on the biscuits and gravy champ in Chattanooga or the meatball king of Bronx. It doesn’t matter to our Bobby. He battles all comers and with the help of his crack staff, he owns about a .300 winning percentage. You can also pick up a number of cooking tips while being entertained. Nice show.

4. FIRST TAKE (ESPN) – Even in non-scripted television conflict is a key to the storytelling. If you’ve ever watched one of the housewives shows, you’ll know what I mean. Behind the desk of First Take are Skip Bayless, hailing from Oklahoma, Stephen A. Smith from Queens, New York and hottie, Carrie Champion, who acts as referee. Skip and Stephen A. both have long careers in sports journalism and a healthy dose of diarrhea of the mouth. I say this as a compliment because they can wax on endlessly any topic relating to sports without coming up for air until the next commercial break. Even my year old son turns his head when he hears Stephen A. start to wind up on a topic that he feels passionate about, like the Dallas Cowboys.

5. BREAKING THE MAGICIAN’S CODE (Bio) – If you ever wondered how a magician makes a girl’s torso disappear, makes spirits appear, or survives the fiery blades of depth, this is the show for you. In these days where selling out means good business, I’m wondering when the rest of the magicians trying to make a living are going to make this show and its participants permanently disappear.

6. KAYAK FISHING WITH JIM SAMMON (Fishing Channel) – Yes, there is a fishing show with a host named sammon, even if it is spelled differently than the fish. What could be more relaxing than sitting back and watching Big Jim paddle around the rivers and lakes of the Pacific Northwest in a tricked out kayak, casting his lines and scooping up fresh water beauties? Answer: Being Jim Sammon and getting paid to do this.

7. ALIEN MYSTERIES – Discovery - I have studied a number of books about alien contact. The consistencies I’ve read are that they are here, there are different species, and there are many who want to help. But, of course, we’re not ready for the truth. So instead, we’re fed scary stories of little gray creatures with big eyes that abduct us and shove cattle prods up our butts. Each episode begins by teasing the audience in the hopes that the final, uncontestable proof of alien contact will be offered. But, by the six commercial break or so, they show that photo of an ominous creature who we are reminded might have plans for enslaving the human race.  The show does investigate a number of ne sightings and cover ups, so if you are curious, there is fresh content delivered.

8. UNTAMED FLORIDA (NatGeoWild) - For some reasons, consumers love to watch shows featuring alligators and crocodiles. I guess the combination of curiosity and fear, along with the fact that you are safe at home in your armchair and not wandering through a southern swamp in the darkness makes for good viewing. What this show boils down to is that as crazy as the SoBe party scene is, Florida is a state populated with all sorts of wild creatures.

9. CHOPPED CANADA (Food Network) - Anyone who watches the Food Network can see that it is close to jumping the shark with so many shows featuring cupcake, food cart, dessert, and Iron Chef competitions. “Chopped” was a fresh ideaseven years ago. Now, for some reason, the brand has been extended north to Canada, which is not what we usually consider the epicenter of gourmet cooking. That said, this show fun to watch. The ingredients in the basket are different than in the US and the competing chefs are not quite as talented. So the competitions feel more organic than the gold standard set with the original show. The other thing I like is the judges are not as full of themselves as the New York judges.

10. CONSIRACY THEORY (Bio) - Jesse Ventura is a character. He's the former governor of Minnesota, former professional wrestler, and a free spirit who's not afraid to speak his mind. Of course he is often discredited and branded as a kook, but he does not back down from his points of view. Jesse and his team explore topics usually tinged with government security issues.  We see him get shut down at the point of entry to many areas of the country that are supposedly free open space. In one show Jesse and his team of experts explained that the government was breeding a new species of half-human mutant super solider in a hidden location that he tracked down. The show’s airing time gets juggled around by the network, so of course, Jesse says that this is part of a conspiracy to keep him quiet.

I could keep going with these shows, but the list is endless. The point is, if you’ve had enough of dark depressing television series produced with binge-watching in mind, you might find a few nuggets of light entertainment here that don’t take up all of your free time.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Mark Burnett, who brought us “Survivor”, the first real original non-scripted/reality show hit.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Things That Are Better Now

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 10, 2013

There are so many things wrong today—government shut downs, GMO’s, NSA snooping and Miley’s coated tongue.

It’s too easy to add to the list and bemoan our plight. Instead, let’s go back thirty years to 1983 and compare notes. That was the year Michael Jackson dominated the charts, the Swatch was launched, McNuggets came out and Lotus 1-2-3 was our preferred software.  Here is my Guy’s Guy Guide to Things That Are Better Now. One caveat—technology is more advanced than in 1983, so we’ll put the tech-related items into context. Enjoy!

10. Central Park – From its lush greenery to the calming energy that permeates the sprawling fifty-block area to the expanded running paths and new playgrounds, Central Park keeps getting better. Central Park was, for the most part, a scrubby dump in the seventies and eighties that you could not venture into after dark. With the commitment from the city and the hard work of the Central Park Conservatory, it has been transformed again into the wonderful oasis as it was imagined.

9. Beer – No longer are we limited to old standbys like Bud and Miller. The beer industry has exploded with creativity, craft brews and innumerable fine selections available in bars, taverns and delis. You can even brew your own beer. This is very good news for beer lovers whose idea of excitement in the past was waiting for that shipment of Coors in a refrigerated container to show up on the East Coast.

8. Cooking – I thought about calling this, “Food”, but with the advent of GMO’s and factory farming, food has not gotten better. That said, the world of gastronomy has expanded and in many cities you can sample any kind of cuisine at any hour of the day. The “foodie” movement has given us an education on preparation and matching flavors. If you want more proof, check the frozen food aisle of your local supermarket. The section that once offered a merger selection of TV diners and frozen pizza has now become a smorgasbord of global offerings.

7. Clothing – Let’s face it, people can showcase their personal style a heck of a lot better now than in 1983. Men’s suits are more flattering, mixing and matching of patterns has become an art form and women have an endless selection of shoes, bags and hairstyles to embrace and call their own. Of course there's a down side: we’ve seen the casual movement turn air travel into a parade of tracksuits and ladies, those yoga pants are a bit too ubiquitous now. That said, it’s hard to argue with being comfortable.

6. Publishing – Instead of following the music industry's demise until it embraced digital offerings and sent more bands out on tour, the publishing industry was taken by surprise when self and hybrid and independent offerings created stars. Before they knew it, sales of eBooks were in line with physical book sales. This is great news for both readers and writers. Meanwhile, the publishing industry is busy peddling celebrity books because they don’t require “breaking” a new name or building a brand. Snooki had brand awareness before her novels launched.

5. Social Media – Okay; we didn’t have social media in 1983, and you may not care for those pithy, inspirational sayings from your Facebook friends, being on the receiving end of a poke, reading political rants or seeing photos of someone’s sushi lunch, but keeping in touch with long lost acquaintances can be fun. And if you’re not interested, you can turn it off at any time. Period.

4. Weed – We’re moving from draconian Rockefeller laws to medicinal use, and that’s only the beginning. Pot is going to become legal at some point during the next decade. Why? Follow the money. Marijuana is the next cash crop and it’s ripe for reaping tax revenues.

3. Gay Rights – Who would have conceived of legislation legalizing gay and lesbian marriage back in 1983? We’ve come a long way in accepting and protecting the rights of everyone regardless of their sexual preference. There isn't enough love in the world so let’s hope this will soon become a non-issue.

2. Coffee and Tea - Similar to beer, we’ve moved from a handful of mass brands to a plethora of exotic, great-tasting blends from around the world that are featured in small independent stores on every corner of the city. The same goes for tea. Once there were two big, boring brands on the shelves. Now we have dozens and even yerba mate comes in an array of flavors. That’s a good thing.

1. Broadcast Media – Cable grew from a handful of new channels to the thousands of selections we have today in a short period of time. We can watch whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want, with or without commercials on a multitude of devices. That's cool. Okay, I don’t like those housewives shows either, but you know what I mean.

This is just a first pass. There’s also been advances in traditional medicine, an increased awareness of holistic healing and yoga, cell phones with cameras that capture so much more good and bad behavior, and of course Duck Dynasty.

Now that doesn’t necessarily make this a better world than thirty years ago, but it’s too easy to fall into a malaise and cry about once what was. Hey people: things change and they will keep changing faster than they did over the past thirty years. Guy’s Guys look on the bright side. How about you?

Do you appreciate the many changes in our culture since 1983?


This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Frederick Law Olmsted who won the Central Park design competition in 1857. Nice work, amigo.

The Guys’ Guy’s Guide To Great TV Shows

Robert Manni - Thursday, May 16, 2013

Guy’s Guys love television.

It’s part of our DNA. After a day at work or a long run, it’s great to kick back and unwind in front of the tube. That doesn’t mean we’re couch potatoes. Guy’s Guys are active and well informed about the news and pop culture. But, we believe in pacing ourselves and television is a great way to tune in or tune out. Fortunately, with the advent of so many cable channels, the quality of television has risen over the past decade. It’s a writer’s medium.

There have been countless great Guy’s Guy shows over the years, but here is a short list of nuggets culled from over thirty years of staring at a screen that has increased in size, clarity and definition. You can learn a lot about a man by what he watches on television. If he’s addicted to HSN and DWTS, you may want to rethink your relationship. Criteria? The shows must feature guys, demonstrate imagination, and be great for viewing with a hangover. So in no particular order I offer you The Guys’ Guy’s Guide To Great TV Shows.

1.    Mr. Ed - A horse is a horse of course of course. What Guy’s Guy wouldn’t want a talking horse? Mr. Ed was sarcastic, clever, and always helped his owner, Wilbur, get out of jams. Best episode? Mr. Ed tries out for the Los Angeles Dodgers and hits a home run by sliding into home plate. Are you kidding me?

2.    Entourage - Four young bucks take on Hollywood. Sex, drugs, rock n roll and lots of hot women. The cast had chemistry and they knew enough to end the series before it jumped the shark. Most memorable character? Ari, hands down. He gobbled up the screen.  “LLOYD!!!”

3.    The Sopranos - I’m from North Jersey. Got a problem with that? There is an actually a Bada Bing club and Jersey has never been portrayed so truthfully as gangster lifestyle blurs the suburban landscape. I met James Gandolfini in a bar in MePa after season one and drank with him for two hours. When I asked the key to being a great actor, he pointed to his heart and said, “It’s gotta come from here.” True story.

4.   Miami Vice - Talk about changing the game. This Michael Mann production ignited South Beach’s restoration from the doldrums. This was the first show that integrated music into the storylines and it featured so many up and coming actors in guest spots. Remember Frank Zappa playing a coke dealer? How about Bruce Willis and Willie Nelson? The cast? Perfecto. Lieutenant Castillo? Incredible. A true, no-nonsense Guy’s Guy.

5.   Californication - How could your Guy’s Guy not love a bawdy series about a drunken, horn dog novelist who moves from NYC to LA in search of fame and fortune? David Duchovny nails his role as Hank Moody, the writer who takes on the world, and a lot of gorgeous women. Hilarious. But after seven seasons is the show is beginning to lose it way?

6.   The Three Stooges - Mission critical viewing in frat houses across America. For some reason three little guys hitting one another with fish, hammers, and nail guns provides a great release for men in need of balls out laughs. With respect to Shep and Joe Besser, I’m a Curly fan.

7.    Charlie Rose - This man is like a porpoise. He has no shut off switch. He’s on the morning news and an evening interview show on PBS. When does he sleep? And he asks really good questions. Let’s toast our Red Bull to this tireless, brilliant newsman and interviewer. Love the black backdrop. Someday, Charlie, someday…

8.    The Odd Couple - Possibly the ultimate Guy’s Guy show. An advertising neat freak moves in with a lovable sportswriter slob. Instant conflict. Instant laughs, and adult stories that any New Yorker can relate to. I prefer the TV show to the movies, because the show stayed fresh and kept growing on me. I cannot recall a boring episode. That’s special.

9.    The Wild Wild West - There has to be one western adventure shoot em up on the list. Robert Conrad plays James West, secret agent in the 1860’s. Pretty cool concept for the 1960’s. His partner, Artemus Gordon plays a master of lame disguises, but the show is purposely over the top as the two agents travel by train across the west solving federal conspiracies. And who can forget a three-foot tall arch villain named Dr. Miquelito Lopez? Classic!

10.  ESPN's SPORTSCENTER - Guy’s Guys love sports and as annoying as this show can be, it is the first of its kind and remains the gold standard for sports info and highlights. There a innumerable versions and spin offs now, but it’s reassuring that when you need a score for your fantasy league or just want a shot of seeing someone drain a three point shot, Sports Center continues to deliver. 

Well kids, that’s but a sampling of some of the favorite Guys’ Guy’s favorite television shows. So next time you are wondering just who the heck is this man I’m sitting next to look at what shows he’s watching and you may find out that he is in fact a Guy’s Guy. Or not.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Philo Farnsworth, whom many credit with inventing the television.

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