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). 
click to enlarge gardenbenghazi.jpg

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. 

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