Alex is on assignment today, so we’ve got Julian filling in. Enjoy.
How much of an asshole should you be?
I am of the opinion that being an asshole is not only NOT a bad thing, it is, in fact, a trait that we desire to see in people, especially men. Guys who are a bit of an asshole seem to be more successful with women, more respected by other men and genuinely feared by children. For example, who are the famous celebrities that everyone admires? Han Solo? Asshole. Chef Gordon Ramsay? Rude douche. Every single Clint Eastwood character ever? Mean jerks. David Letterman? Cranky old man. These guys are still cool though. David Letterman, in fact, is so cool, that he can have sex with co-workers, get blackmailed about it, then ADMIT TO IT ON TV to screw the guy who is trying to get money out of him. That’s pretty badass.
But there is a very distinct threshold between having an acceptable amount of dickishness and being a straight-up douchebag. For example, Kanye West just recently crossed that line. Up until very recently, his rampant assholishness was seen as a cute, and even endearing trait. Going up on stage unannounced and saying that someone is undeserving of an award is actually not a new occurance for Kanye, who had actually done that before. However, Mr. West’s most recent outburst made even the people who enjoyed his inane BS think to themselves “Well, maybe he’s just a stupid prick.” And that’s a pretty big deal, because there are people who can tolerate a lot of douchebaggery before making that mental leap.
In fact, Barack Obama got some props from not one, but two Huffington Post bloggers for calling Kanye West a “Jackass”. Now, that’s not very nice, but that’s sort of the point isn’t it? One Huffer said that Obama calling Kanye a jackass was “A side of Barack that the public desperately needs to see.” Which is probably one of the most clever, roundabout ways of fellating the president that I’ve seen to date, and I have witnessed some pretty incredible Obama slurpjobs. It seems that (at least some) people want to see Barack shed his straight-edge appearance, and get a bit nastier.
Being a politician and being an asshole go together like Russell Crowe and hurting people, so maybe that’s why we have a deep distrust for politicians who lack any sort of asshole-osity whatsoever. For example, Canada recently had an election in which Prime Minister Stephen Harper managed to pick up even more seats in government due to his opponent, Stephane Dion, being a giant, quivering bowl of gelatin. He seemed like the type of guy who wasn’t just picked on in elementary school, but that he was STILL being picked on, by kids in elementary school. Now there may be a large segment of the population who do not like Stephen Harper, because he is a bit of a dick all things considered, but when those same people looked at Stephane Dion, they instantly knew that he was simply too much of a wuss to lead a country. I personally came up with a number of embarassing situations in my mind, like the other G8 leaders stealing his lunch money, or them secretly planning a G7 meeting afterwards with no Stephanes allowed.
Now it seems that the Liberal party has learned it’s lesson, and has nominated a tried and true prick to represent them; Michael Ignatieff. It remains to be seen if they’ve gone to far, and picked someone who might occupy the dreaded “Kanye zone”.
Being an asshole is actually one of the biggest sexist double standards there is, really. The female equivilant of being an asshole is being a bitch, and being a bitch is really just not a place you ever want to be. People, for whatever reason, want women to be happy, well adjusted people who don’t go out of their way to make other people feel miserable, and that to me is a crying shame. Hillary Clinton recently tested that hypothesis when she went toe to toe with Barack Obama in the Democratic Primaries. She is the female equivilant of a jerk, and while that might be a good career move for many guys, it really did not work very well for her, and she was derided as being a meanhearted she-devil. Rosie O’Donnell? People do not like this woman. The only woman has made being a bitch work for her on the political stage was Margaret Thatcher. Simply mentioning her name in certain areas of Britain will get you trollied up by a bunch of tossers, yet she was re-elected in a number of landslide victories throughout the 70s and 80s, and helped the Conservative party stay in power for 20 straight years.