Saturday, November 15, 2014

A search for community at Man Show Spokane 2014

Posted By on Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 8:46 AM

The mission was clear – find out what a “man” is, as defined by the commercially driven Man Show Spokane 2014.

The stakes? Well, pretty non-existent really, other than a personal interest as a new transplant to Spokane, and self-described “man.” Although, my definition of the word might be a wee bit different than the marketing demographics’ version at play at Man Show Spokane. I may not hunt, nor sail, nor ride motorcycles nor buy calendars of tool company pin-ups. Even so – I am a man, dammit! 

The definition fluctuates, of course. “Man” has all manner of permutations. In my home state of Utah, a big part of it for some is going to church and siring many, many children. I’m not qualified for either of those roles. And yet, I’m crazy hairy and deep-voiced. But I digress.

Community celebrations and festivals are good barometers of a culture and a place. That’s according to a pop-culture class taken 23 years ago, anyway. So I headed to Man Show Spokane to learn a bit about my new community, and “manned up” for the trip. Unshaven. Wearing a heavy metal T-shirt and hoodie. Listening to the newly remaster of Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy on the drive (yes, you should buy it – again). 

My Suburu looked a little meek parked next to some of the trucks in the lot, but whatever – I’m still a man, dammit! The most surprising thing I saw there was a SCRAPS animal rescue booth right next to a spot showcasing furs, skulls and collectible gator heads, or maybe seeing a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook for sale alongside booths for Tupperware and DirecTV. Oh, and there was a booth featuring a conspiracy theorist/gardening entrepreneur’s wonder-tool dubbed the BGT (Basic Garden Tool — over there to the right).

And still, I found some answers to the question:

WHAT’S A “MAN” IN SPOKANE? (according to a two-hour visit to the Man Show Spokane 2014)

A Spokane Man likes to bash the hell out of some cars when given the opportunity:

A Spokane Man is ready for zombies:

A Spokane Man can appreciate hand-crafted decorations on his growler (Northwest Brew Gear):

A Spokane Man can go for a beer-flavored jam or jelly (from Mick’s Peppourri, or Mick's Brewourri in this case):

A Spokane Man likes a good deal:

The Man Show Spokane 2014 runs through Sunday. It's $10 for an all-weekend pass. 

Tags: , , , , ,

Wonder Fair @ The Wonder Building

Sun., Aug. 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • or

About The Author

Dan Nailen

Dan Nailen is the managing editor of the Inlander, where he oversees coverage of arts and culture. He's previously written and edited for The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Weekly, Missoula Independent, Salt Lake Magazine, The Oregonian and KUER-FM. He grew up seeing the country in an Air Force family and studied...