From the Braver Institute
I subscribe to GQ magazine. I didn’t really want to subscribe to GQ. I kind of had no choice in the matter. Okay, I guess I could have chosen not to subscribe, but it was free and I didn’t want my “reward” points from Coca-Cola to go to waste. The points I had didn’t afford much in the way of reward from their catalog but it did allow for a couple of magazine subscriptions. There were all kinds of choices as long as I wanted subscriptions to home decorating, bridal, or travel magazines. I was tempted by the home decorating issues so I could have a look at everything my house would never be, but in the end I opted for Popular Mechanics and GQ.
I had subscribed to Popular Mechanics in the past so I knew what I was in for. GQ was the only thing left that stood a chance of having any appeal to me at all. It turns out that GQ is a great source of humor for me, although it was never intended to be humorous.
GQ is full of images of guys who have never had dirt under their fingernails, wearing the latest in fleeting fashion du jour looking all pouty and sullen, which in and of itself I find very funny, but not as funny as the photo of the toolbox featured in a recent issue.
I guess it really wasn’t the photo itself, although it was posed and lit in a very GQ-ish style which made it look every bit as pretty as the pouty and sullen fashion models – it was the fact that it was there at all that struck me as funny.
The fact is that GQ is not a magazine that most men and perhaps many women would ever consider to be “manly.” It is a magazine for guys whose sense of adventure doesn’t go much beyond a walk to the local coffee house on an autumn day. The idea that they would stick a toolbox amidst the high fashion is a bit like Better Homes and Gardens featuring my house in an attempt to be more inclusive.
This fish-out-of-water tool box was an obvious attempt to say “See! We’re Macho!” Perhaps a new tool box prominently displayed within the confines of the GQ reader’s walk-in closet would somehow make him feel a bit more like said closet was a garage, or at least a workshop. In the three sentence write-up about the toolbox GQ suggests that it could be the motivation, at longlast, to take on a project that the GQ reader is confident that they could tackle, perhaps tightening a faucet handle or hanging a picture on the wall. Trust me, the toolbox they feature is capable of holding little more than a hammer and a screwdriver.
They go on to claim that you “haven’t really earned this toolbox until it’s got a big ol’ scar in that gleaming finish.” What a riot.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against being welldressed and looking a bit stylish, I try to do so whenever I have the opportunity, which, given the area where I live and the activities in which I participate, is rare. GQ is a fine source for the latest in men’s fashion, but it has absolutely zero clue about tool boxes or what one would even be used for.
If I want to know about men’s fashion trends for the upcoming spring season, GQ will be my goto resource. If I want to know what the latest in toolbox technology is, I will turn to, oh I don’t know, the aforementioned Popular Mechanics maybe? Thankfully, the only thing they may feature about someone like Ralph Lauren is his car collection.
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Waye Braver can be contacted on Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Braver Institute at www.braverinsitute.com.