“Wedmin” Did My Head In.

By Simmy Richman
Getting married is, indeed, awesome. But when you're drowning in "wedmin" on the lead up to Your Big Day, gravy boats are going to be the least of your problems. Here are the key areas my wife and I - first time of putting that in print, feels weird and somehow comforting[*] - rowed over in the run up to our February nuptials. It’s our Top 10 hitches on the way to getting hitched.
1. The Guest List
She will say things like, “But you've only seen him four times in the 10 years we've been together." You will patiently explain that this is your best friend she is talking about and that male friendships are about quality, not quantity.
2. The God Thing
You are both open-minded, rational, commitment-phobic atheists. This will not matter when there is suddenly an excuse to dust down the cranky set of beliefs and traditions they tried to brainwash you with in childhood. So you are X. She is Y. But how X and Y should the day itself be? She will try sneaking in elements of both to keep everyone happy. You would be happy with no mention of either.
Go for an ecumenical solution. And pray.
3. The Invites
You're thinking outside the box with those friends who got their caricatures on a tea towel as inspiration. She is thinking ribbons, embossing and wax seals.


4. The Wedding List
You have been living together for years and really don't need anything. She has been waiting for this moment all of her life. Give in and learn to think of Dualit toasters as marriage’s own Medal of Honour.
5. The Photos
Your two oldest friends are photographers whose work sells for a small fortune. Both have agreed to take pictures of your big day. She will ask, "Why can't we just have a proper wedding photographer like everyone else." Worth digging your heels in on this one - for art's sake, of course.
6. The Dress
Never suggest a price limit. Never offer an opinion. Even if, price per wear, this item will work out more expensive than the crown jewels.
7. The Venue
Your input will be sought. Shoot for the Chapel of Love, Las Vegas, but prepare to be shown around stately homes, grand follies and glitzy hotels.
8. The Entrance Music
Best to accept the simple comment, made in passing, that "Nick Drake's music actually doesn't mean anything to me" is hardly grounds for calling the whole thing off.
9. The Night Before
No, apparently you can't just stay at home and sleep on the sofa. But before you tell your best man you're staying at his, bear in mind you will need to be bright-eyed and top-and-tailed in the morning.
10. The Chair Covers, Napkins, etc
If these suddenly start to seem really important, you have probably gone too far in trying to appease her.
* Congratulations – Ed.

Further Thoughts & Bits

- Illustration by Peter Stitson
- Story by Peter Lyle
- Wise rainwear by Barbour

Man's best Friend No.1: Alfie

By Greg Parker

Elements of Retail Rudeness No.1: from “Can I Get?” to “Let Me Get”

I was talking to Chris Floyd about the normalisation of people saying “can I get…” instead of “can I have…” when buying a sandwich, coffee or some drinks in a pub. “Can I get” is the standard retail request now, and probably has been since the Starbucks-ing of the high street in the mid-Nineties. Peter Lyle reckoned it had something to do with “Friends” on E4 too.
You no longer “have” a commodity in return for cash. “Having” implies exchange and courtesy – it’s a bit weak, really. On the other hand, “Getting” the product, which connotes seizing/removing, is more modern, a bit more Because-I’m-Worth-It, even if it feels a somewhat lacking in empathy. It's hardly even a request anymore, just a straightforward command. It’s the most commonplace example of retail rudeness today and it grates a bit with my sense of reserve about public interactions. I doubt I’m alone in that.

Floyd nodded sagely while I went on about this. Then he said, “it's even worse in New York [Floyd used to live there]. The big one in shops there is ‘let me get’,” he said, rolling his eyes. I could see what he means. It’s all let/get/take/gimme and I’ve no doubt the normalisation of “let me get” isn't far behind “can I get” over here.
I don’t know whose fault it is: “Friends” maybe, or L’OrĂ©al, Public Enemy (remember “You’re Gonna Get Yours”? I know it was about “respect” and stuff but it might as well have been about shopping, the way it was taken), America, or just FMCG brands. My guess is the latter. Brands always claim to be bending over backwards in their efforts to empower the consumer (you know, choice, latte, Tall, whatever). The irony being that quite often, the empowerment just means permission for customers to be rude to the brand’s employees for the price of a cuppa.
Let me get a refund on aggressive consumerism mate yeah? Kevin Braddock


Manzine Design Classics No.2: The Mermaid

There used to be a corner shop on Sidney Street, East London that was one of those places run by rheumy-eyed, gummy-grinned old dudes with no teeth. The place was stuffed with evil, mogwai and small pieces of Kryptonite, and sold tat, hardcore army surplus, unicycles, rags, bones, teeth and much more. I'm not sure I ever went in there, and more thankfully still, it disappeared ages ago.
What I remember with astonishing clarity was the nearly-new soft pornographic magazine in its dusty, mildewed window. I forget which jazz title it was, but I will never forget the cover image: a woman in a waterproof mac and matching sou’wester. But the pose appealed even more than the outfit. Though her exposed bottom was facing the camera, she was also bent over at the waist looking backwards, like a quarterback. This meant you got the bottom, the breasts and the beaming British open-all-hours sauce smile, but not that unknowable scary, hairy thing that you always saw from the front – the from one of which, you were faintly aware, you had clambered into postnatal existence. To a boy of nine who felt nice when his willy tingled, this pose - soft bits yeah!, freaky things not there - represented a kind of uncomplicated feminine perfection.
When I reflect on the allure of the mermaid, I sometimes think of that shop window. Whither the enduring appeal of the Mermaid, if not that she has no genitalia? She is the mythical manifestation of unmessy, wipe-clean femininity. Not womanhood, mind: the point of these creatures is their suspension between states, their almost-ness and interstitial impossibility, and their imperviousness to time and mutability. This detached, otherworldly sexiness is obviously key to their appeal to very overgrown prepubescent boys.
But girls like them too, especially since Disney sugar-coated Hans Christian Andersen's devastatingly melancholy, profoundly misogynistic “The Little Mermaid” in 1989. The academic Dr Chris Richards wrote that Disney's “Ariel… can be understood as a fantasy sexual self for young girls, a figure through which the relation between the self as experienced in the present, with the body of a small child, to the self as imagined and projected into the future, with the sexual body of a woman, can be played at, perhaps rehearsed, perhaps learned.”
In her willingness to surrender her freedom, her immortality and her scales to the consuming love of a mortal man, the mermaid embodies a myth that’s as potent and destructive in big girls' real lives as those she represents as a male fantasy are to boys’. She gets a jealous husband and a so-called soul for all her love-smitten sacrifice. Life's a fish, but then you die.
According to Jorge Luis Borges, English is the only language to formally distinguish between mermaids and Sirens, those hot, wet and wild monsters whose sweet promises threaten to lure any passing hetero hero to his doom. But Borges adds that even the Sirens represented a bittersweet sense of loss and love: when a man did manage to prevent himself from diving into Davey Jones's locker and thus defy her call, the defeated Siren would kill herself.
And then, very straightforwardly, Daryl Hannah in “Splash”!
Text and illustration by Peter Lyle

Men only?

Manzine has recently recently received significant interest from readers of the feminine gender. Despite its positioning as A Publication About The Male Phenomenon, the Editors of Manzine would like to make clear that they are non-partisan about who reads the magazine. "We are very relaxed over the issue of our readership and their respective gender persuasion(s)". In case there is any further doubt or confusion, the Editors would like to make the following statement:


We advise all audiences to read the above statement while listening to heavy R&B music, in particular "Ignition (Remix)" By R. Kelly, and if possible, doing so in a drop-top car such as a Audi Quattro (white only).
Thank you, your support is appreciated regardless of your gender.
THE EDITORS of Manzine.

Manzine on Magculture.com

Jeremy Lesley blogs about Manzine Issue II here on Magculture. "A great example of design and content working together," says a man who knows, adding, "my favourite post-Arena men's magazine." Thanks for the support Jeremy.