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The Horrible Truth About Jerks


It’s approaching
600 pounds gas and flesh
Robes in tatters
It’s approaching
Lips and tongue abhorrent
Flickering lexicon
Or a stray dog pack leader

— Mark E. Smith

Tonight I watched a show on the American Broadcasting Company called True Beauty. It was a complete mistake, but I undeniably watched it for at least 23 minutes, totally realizing the entire time that I was doing this thing and helpless to stop doing it. It’s still going on right now, as a matter of fact, and I won’t be able to tell you whether Amy or Michelle gets kicked off of Douchebag Island, because it seemed more important that I go run into the other room and tell my blog all about it.

The premise seems to be that there are vain douchenozzle-type people, princes and princesses both, scattered throughout the world in relatively equal population distributions, except Las Vegas is a magnet that attracts them all. So far I have no problem with this premise.

They are all ridiculously good-looking, these people gathered in this place. In sort of a fake, television way, but: yes. The show is hosted by the one blond Gay from the Five Gay Eyes Looking at a Straight show that used to be on TV all the time, non-stop, like vuvuzelas on Saturday morning in Johannesburg.  They are fierce and you cannot stop them. There are also two other women who seem to be sort of the Greek Chorus of this show and make comments like oh no he did not and what a knight in shining armor!

OhmygodBecky, look at her butt. It is so big.

So the other premise of this show is that they are all trapped in an expensive hotel suite (off-strip, but located fashionably close to the Palms, I think). And the Main Gay makes them do things like go to a store, and interact with Normals. And of course they treat the Normals like shit, because they are the kind of people who would agree to be on a show like this, in other words: kind of shits. Occasionally one of them will act not unlike a human, and pretend to understand out human emotions, and that’s kind of the only amusing part of the show, because at least you get to watch wheels turn and not just smoke issuing from the bowels of the machinery.

They are all observed by hidden cameras during all of this, of course, it being a television play and all, and their actions are recorded for posterity, and then the judges swoops in to mock and judge and this portion of True Beauty is like meat being weighed and measured down to the butcher market. The Least True Beautyest is eventually sent back to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, with a note from America pinned to their lapel saying: We Did Not Approve Of Your Antics, Please Try Harder Next Time.

Except no one is going to watch this show and there will be no next time.  “‘QED!,’ exclaimed Dr. Philo T. McFusterbuster.”

Not that Dick

Beyond this premise, which utterly taxes the ability of the word “simple” to convey its own meaning, these awful people are given one goal, and the goal is to not be a dick. It’s really that easy. Just go outside and talk to people and try not to be a dick. Yet every episode, it appears (and I really don’t know, I just watched the one), terminates in some kind of giant clusterfuck of chittering asshats squabbling over which one wore the biggest hat. They’re all terrible people from where you or I sit, but it makes no difference to Queer Eye or the Chorus, because somebody has to “win” this thing, I guess.

In any case, this brought up an interesting idea to me, which is that in America, at least, we are not judged for the way we treat people, but rather the way we pretend to feel about them. And because this wasn’t a surprise to me at all when it occurred to me, but instead a natural extension of thinking along rather logical lines (hence the title of THIS JOINT, YO), it also strikes me that this has probably been going on for quite a long time and we either a) don’t notice anymore or b) don’t care.

I’m going to go with b), because even though I’ve seen that we do still possess the situational ability, as a people, to care about some of our children acting like total shitfucks, we’ve more or less collectively lost the ability to channel our caring about such things into anything that moves or looks like a useful remedy; in other words, it’s far easier to divide the Dicks into Bad Dicks (Dicks We Want Out Of Our Goddamn Faces Right This Minute) and Good Dicks (Dicks We Can Sort Of Live With For Right Now) than it is to get together and actually take collective action against The Dicks.

We’d rather see our awful people pretend to be decent than vice versa, but who wouldn’t? Even Spencer Pratt must endure the unyielding love of puppies once in awhile, and the horrible orange people on MTV’s Jersey Shore have even been known to make token gestures for the Proles. We’ve all seen enough WWE to know the heel turn is imminent, and that no allegiance lasts forever, and that not even the foulest beasts of man’s heart can chain us to a rock in hell for one minute longer than it takes for us to rise up and cry out against the disease in our own souls: we’re all children of Vader, in one sense or another.

And yet we don’t spend much time thanking the good people for not being like the jerks. We never do, and we always go back to the jerk in the end, because, frankly, he’s more interesting. He’s so complicated, so different — and this can’t be emphasized enough — so orange. Will we always be the whiny nice guy complaining about all the play that the bad boys get? How terrible and cyclically redundant it is to be us sometimes.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
— W.B. Yeats

Tonight during a commercial break I also was reminded that ABC has a show called “Rampage” or “Riptide” or “Gadzooks!” or something like that, and it is a contest of sorts between idiots on an obstacle course, who run around wearing special education helmets and dorky skateboard knee- and elbow-pads while the people who work on the show hurl giant objects at them and attempt to cause them pain, a profession at which they are highly skilled. The winner receives a kewpie doll and a lifetime supply of Capri Sun, I think. The contestants are all sort of fresh-scrubbed and collegiate and don’t seem like bad people at all, if a bit thick, so why ABC is intent on injuring them is a subject of great mystery to me; why not throw boulders at the jerks and the dicks? Can’t we attempt to injure the jerks instead?

Write letters to ABC. Demand justice for the fucktards! End their oppression now! They are not the boss of you.

Michelle got kicked out of the Hotel Suite, by the way. Thank god. She was such a bitch.

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