Friday, June 17, 2011

So a geek cannot be a gentleman (or, I compare myself to Mark Cuban)

There are numerous reasons why I will not make the cover of GQ, and voop has written something that explains one of these reasons.

The website The Fountain Pen Network recently had a vigorous discussion on the question "Where should a gentleman you keep the day's pen when it's not in your hand?" After many people weighed in on the various options (shirt pocket, suit pocket, vest pocket), voop contributed a comment. Here's voop's reply:

A gentleman's shirt doesn't have pockets, so the question is really moot. Should you have a shirt with pockets, know that they are for decorative use exclusively.

Others have commented on the only appropriate use of a jacket outside pocket, so I shall just adhere.

However, just as a gentleman's shirt does not have pockets, a gentleman has his tailor fit his suit jacket with a pen-pocket, especially for holding said pen safely and securely, not to mention without it deforming the fit of the jacket.

I'll be sure to mention this to my tailors, Mr. Kohl and Mr. Kirkland, when I have my next fitting.

I would be willing to guess that voop spends a relatively large amount of money on his pens, which can be defined as buying pens in single units and not having to remove them from a plastic bag.

And I would also be willing to guess that voop does not write for a living. Oh, I'm sure that voop writes, but writing is probably not voop's primary job. voop's location is listed as "Statistically, either in an A330/A340 or in a Hilton," so it's pretty likely that someone does the writing FOR voop.

Someone like me.

But there are other people who require rapid access to pens. While these things are changing, and perhaps there are people who are more likely to tap something into a smartphone than write it on a piece of paper, there are still some old fogeys like myself who actually use pens. And (I'd better whisper this very quietly) there are also grown adults who use PENCILS. (As a left-hander, I don't do this.)

And this whole "gentleman" thing goes far beyond myself. Perhaps you've heard about former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent's remarks about Mark Cuban:

"I think it's more important for owners to be gentlemen, play by the rules, respect the authorities, do what's good for the sport, than it is to manage his franchise into total success," he said. "The subtleties make the difference. George Steinbrenner was a real problem in baseball, and I think Mark Cuban is a real problem in basketball."...

"The rules are the rules. I think this enormous criticism -- the screaming about officials, the kinds of things that got him fined by David -- those are not actions of a sensible, responsible owner."

Then Vincent said the thing that really got sports radio hollering:

"I mean winning is not everything, and I'm afraid for some of these owners they get so carried away with winning they believe that's the objective."

In case someone sees this blog post years from now, it should be noted that Vincent made these remarks one year after Cuban was blocked from becoming a baseball owner...and mere days after Cuban's Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship.

According to ESPN, Cuban chose not to respond to Vincent's remarks.

Cuban is a true gentleman. Now I don't know if he carries pens in his shirt pockets...but perhaps he does.
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