"It's A Man's World" is a column on anything and everything related to the modern man,by Ian Lang. If there are any topics you'd like to see addressed here, sendthem to us at editorial@askmen.com or let us know what youthink in the comments section.Noise. It’severywhere. Not just on your TV or your radio or ads on in your web browser, but fromeverything and everyone. Every person you speak to has an opinion. While that may havealways been the case, nowadays people aren’t afraid to share their opinions orexplain why they think yours suck. To declare yourself a centrist only serves to declareto others that you’re uneducated and dispassionate. To remain mute on a subjectmakes you appear shy and probably uninformed. Responding with few words means you probablyonly know a few words to begin with.In short, we live in a society that haskilled the strong, silent man.The strong, silent type has been a malearchetype for what seems like eons. James Bond, Indiana Jones or any character played byClint Eastwood all appeared to have mastered the art of conversation bynot making much conversation at all. Their words, however few, carried weight because nota word was wasted. Even Teddy Roosevelt, possibly one of the most masculine humans to everroam the earth, preached a mantra of speaking softly and carrying (presumably forwalloping the bejesus out of blowhards) a big stick. There are plenty of mentoday who grew up with fathers who taught them (often through example alone) thatexcessively flapping one’s jowls was best left to men of a lower order. In a way, itwas taking our mothers' “if you don’t have anything nice to say, thendon’t say anything at all” axiom and pumping it up with steroids and beefjerky. However, much like men’s affinity for disregarding superfluous fashion,keeping your mouth shut and only speaking when necessary appears to have fallen out offashion.Whiny antiheros

In entertainment today, the iconic strong, silent type is still popular, but there is agrowing trend toward “antiheros”who are anything but strong and/or silent. There was a great deal of talk a few years agoabout the rise of the “beta male” (a term that makes me want to strangle ahorse with my bare hands), and as a result, we got movies starring whiny people like SethRogen, MichaelCera and JustinTimberlake stepping outside the boundaries of the comedies that they should beconfined to. I don’t know if it’s a case of art imitating life or lifeimitating art, but my guess would be the former. In a recent column entitled “The Four Worst Things about Writing for the Internet," DanO’Brien (one of the best online scribes of my generation) made an excellent pointthat the vastness of the internet means that an infinite number of media outlets arecompeting for a very finite number of consumers. The world we live in grantsus almost completely unfettered access to whatever information we seek. That’s greatfor us, but for the people supplying that information it means the competition for clicks(and any other form of audience interest) is ridiculously tough.The loudest voice wins

The upshot is that competition for our attention amounts to a race to see who cangenerate the most controversial and sensational headlines and stories. While we’llskip over a link that promises balanced coverage of a presidential debate, we willabsolutely tune in to a television news story that talks about how Rick Perry supposedlycalled Mitt Romney a “bigamist Mormon queer.” I’ve noticed it with mywriting for AskMen. Why is the strong, silent type dead? That'snext... Continue Reading

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