<p>Forget the gadgets and gizmos; take this father's day to explore some of the lost manly arts. </p>
Fathers. Simple men. Strong men. Brought up in a time when “all the bells and whistles” meant electric windows and Technicolor, they could never have foreseen how skill sets would be passed down to future generations, never would have predicted all this newfangled technology, the little boxes and beeps that rule the world. Back then, the internet was something of a deus ex machina; the idea that we would one day forgo knowledge from experience in exchange for so-called knowledge at our fingertips would have seemed altogether absurd. Googling anything, let alone a ritual as ancient and important as “how to shave,” would have seemed strange, Star Trekian to them; gauging the degree to which a steak should be cooked based on an infograph, odd. Indeed: in the age of the internet, the father has easily been supplanted by the sterile, cold world of the search engine.
So this Father’s Day, forget getting Dad the latest hyperconnected gizmo; go back and spend some time with him, learn some of the lost arts of manliness from the man who learned them from his dad. Lost arts like…
Lost Art: Shaving
You used to watch your dad nick himself in the mirror and never wanted to bleed more. This was also probably your first introduction to a wide variety of curse words which, at such a tender age and spoken by such a commanding figure, instantly became embedded into your vocabulary and were echoed out of context with reckless abandon. This set from Art of Shaving features a replaceable fusion razor and pure badger brush.
The Art of Shaving’s Fusion Contemporary Shaving Set: $265.
Lost Art: Drinking
Dad probably has a preferred poison (a Johnnie Walker Black, perhaps) so getting him to shift tacks midstream might be a bit of a challenge (he is, after all, set in his ways), but this latest offering from Suntory is something special. Though hailing from Japan, it’s every bit as peaty as an Islay, and Suntory boasts the title Distiller of the Year from the IOC for three years running. Now, as far as a lost art: it means drinking heavily, like Dad, but never showing a sign of being drunk.
The Hakushu Single Malt Whisky: $60.
Lost Art: Grilling
Is the only thing worse than your dad’s inedible, incinerated meat his golf game? Welcome, then, to the world of getting two birds stoned at once. This is really a gift for you, for the whole family: no longer will you have to grin and bear it in the backyard or on the back nine; Dad can work on his grip and his flip simultaneously. And the kind of jokes your dad likes are endless: no more meat mulligans, hitting the (sausage) links; everyone can laugh and laugh…
Golfer’s BBQ Set from Uncommon Goods: $28.
Lost Art: Subtlety
Subtlety is something of an underappreciated quality in the brisk and blunt age of single-sentence emails and expected-immediately replies. But your dad knows a thing or two about it; he lived in the era of the sleazy used-car salesman, a time when not showing every card in your hand was truly an ace in the hole. Show him you still see the smooth operator he once was with this simple “you-sly-devil-you” flask set from Ernest Alexander.
Dean Chocolate Wax Flask Set from Ernest Alexander: $50.
Lost Art: Woodsman-ery
Whether your dad is a woodsman or not, there is nothing cooler or more manly than owning an oversized and ultimately useless knife. He may never have spent a day outside a major metropolitan area in his life, but he’ll be happy to receive this machete. Think of the time you’ll spend together imagining all the impractical uses for it: cutting fruit, pruning shrubs, scaring children, carrying it around with no rhyme or reason. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
The Woodsmans Pal: $67.
Lost Art: Culinary Skills
There was a time when a man’s worth was intrinsically tied to the sharpness of his sword, to his skills with a blade. We’ve since become a little more diplomatic about settling disputes (more back-and-forth, less bloodshed), but that shouldn’t deter you from knowing your way around a knife. Your dad will tell you that folks who use subpar steel don’t think much about the difference a quality cut can make, but once you’ve mastered the craft, it’ll be hard to go back.
Shun Fuji 7-Piece Knife Block Set from Williams-Sonoma: $1963.
Lost Art: Owning a Big Fucking Moose Head
This, the mother of all lost arts, went the way of the dodo about the same time that people started getting really restless about the treatment of animals; all of a sudden having a giant stuffed and cockeyed dead animal hanging from the rafters was a real faux pas. But fear not: the people over at White Faux Taxidermy are bringing this back from the dead (pardon the pun); Dad’s gonna love a big ole Bullwinkle mounted on the wall. Mom’s not.
The Leonard Moose Head Black Resin from WFT: $89.