"'Douchebag ' was on the vinegary tips of everyone's tongues this year. Trouble is, I'm not really clear on what it means, and I don't know that anyone does," crooner John Mayer blogged yesterday. "I know that I get called one." So does his friend Pete Wentz and a filmmaker he admires named Zach Braff. What gives? What is the "common denominator of douchiness?"
John ends up concluding that people who call other people douchebags are just jealous haters who are unable to comprehend the perceived douche's unique brand of genius. Like eyelinered, Ashlee Simpson-allied Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz, for instance: "Pete Wentz has a truckload of ideas. Big, bold, colorful ideas. They're ideas that have never once had their edges sanded down, and for that reason some people might find him or his band too much to swallow. You know who else had that going for them in their day? Frank Zappa. And David Bowie. And Peter Gabriel. And Elton John. And the Doors."
Hear that? If you're going to call Pete Wentz a douchebag, you might as well call the Doors douchebags!
Reading this douche analysis reminded me of a year ago, when I had just started working at Gawker and was still capable of finding things funny and having ideas. The internet was like a fresh white blanket of new-fallen snow. People were still scandalized by the thought that Britney Spears had gone into a gas station restroom without wearing any shoes.
And one of the first things I did was declare the word "douchebag" to be so totally played out and hold a contest to see if anyone could come up with a better word for "douchebag" than "douchebag." No one could, because there isn't one.
Then I wrote a lot more posts about douchebags. Let's face it: some people are just douchebags! My definition differs from John Mayer's a little bit—I think douchiness has to do with being young, male, decently attractive and successful in a way that doesn't seem correlated to any kind of virtue, coupled with the kind of lack of self-awareness that leads people to muse, blogstyle, about why so many people call them names.
Interesting? Maybe. After a while, though, not so much! Which is why I am psyched to be writing my very last douchebag post of all time.