Last week was International Men's Day. That meant everyone sitting down and admitting that yes, men are quite literally responsible for historically pretty much every bad thing that has ever happened – but, they are also quite bad at emotions, so let's talk about those for a bit. Hey men, how about this one: sadness. It was nice, you know? It was progressive.
But then also:
So obviously we find ourselves at a bit of a crossroads, here. Because on one hand: if the royal and collective We ever want men to be anything less than extremely bad, there needs to be a little bit of nurturing along the way. We need to be like: Hey, buddy, ever thought of having an emotion over anything beyond a game of football or the death of a loyal dog? You should try it. But, also, as this can lays bare: men are afraid to even drink wine out of a glass unless somebody sprints into the room and yells "POOFTER". So it's hard.
Let us first consider the guy who invented Mancan: let's dive deep into the sentence, "Thought up by a guy who lives in an old warehouse, walks to work with his dog, has two bikes and a trike, and wanted to move beyond stemware," for it contains multitudes. I am going to go out on a limb here and say the dude who invented Mancan and walks to work with his dog is called Brett and has at least one tattoo of an anchor. Is that such an absurd claim? It isn't.
Consider: the man selling you a can of wine is so disconnected from the actual wine in the can that he wants to tell you how cool he is first before he even tells you the wine is passably delicious. You – a man – you do not want to drink wine unless you know the dude fermenting that shit is 100 percent a broseph. Consider: there is literally no way this guy is not called Brett and is topless in at least a third of his Tinder photos. There is zero chance of those facts not being true. I mean, I've checked, and the guy who invented Mancan is called "Graham" and he is married, but still: Brett, within the last hour, has definitely said the word "booyah".
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Where can you drink wine? Glad you asked, because Mancan has changed everything. You can crush it at the game now, instead of sat at dinner with your fucking grandma. You can slide a can awkwardly into the back pocket of your jeans as you half-waddle, half-hike your way towards a camping trip. Men like camping trips because they almost always require the use of a pocket knife. Also: you know how men like dive bars? Well, they can drink wine at them now, disguised in a can, without someone wearing a leather waistcoat hitting them strongly with a pool cue. Men have spent years at dive bars, drinking beer but secretly craving wine, scared to order a Pinot in case someone who looks like Danny Trejo assaults them with a weapon. Mancan has put an end to all that. Mancan will save lives.
So you've got Brett and you've got a can of wine. How did the wine get in a can? Because Brett was scared someone would think he was effeminate for drinking wine out of a stemmed glass. Seriously, from the website: "Out with a friend at a bar, [Brett] wished he could order wine, but didn't want a 'Sauvignon Blanc' or 'Pinot' in stemware when his friend had a can of beer. He bought mancanwine.com that night."
The scare-quotes around the words "Sauvignon Blanc" are interesting, aren't they? Because you know the guy who walks to work with his dog and has two bikes and a trike has had at least one coffee shop tantrum about how "these Ethiopian beans weren't ground correctly, bro!", but when it comes to the subtleties of wine, a thing he sells, he is like, "I do not care what type of wine it is. To me, wine is a red juice that you drink emotionlessly out of a can. It's what men do."
It's easy to take the piss out of the concept of Mancan, because: well, because it is absurd. But the thing is: a lot ofmen are actually like this about drinking. The complex and self-inflicted idea of masculinity is rooted in only drinking out of vessels you can hold in a clenched fist, and not haughtily between two pinched fingers. And it happens to even the best of us.
Example: have I, a man, ever made a large screeching sound and gone "why?" when a mate comes to the pub and tells me they are not drinking? Yes, I have. Have I ever taken an order for a round and paused when a male friend asked for a vodka and soda instead of a lovely crisp pint? Yes, totally. Have I taken the piss out of my mate Chris Miller for ordering a Blue WKD at the end of the night because "it's refreshing"? I took the piss out of him so much that he became medically dehydrated. So basically: I am the exact problem Mancan is pandering to. This marketing copy – the absolute inverse of twee Innocent ooh-don't-shake-me-too-hard-I've-got-a-bobble-hat-on, the-secret-ingredient-is-banter side of the packet stuff – is actually aimed at me and me alone. I never realised before what a dickhead I was. This can of wine just made me judder to an eye-opening self-truth. This is the MacGuffin that will help me get my life on track.
So thank you, Mancan, and thank you, Brett. Thank you for making me a better man with your silly idea.
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