As a commentator of the comedic persuasion, Christian Finnegan has extensively studied douchebaggery. For his latest comedy album and special, "Au Contraire," Finnegan once again visited the topic. We asked him to relate some of his vast knowledge of the lamest sort of dude in greater detail for you, the douchebag-averse Asylum reader.Restoring a Legacy
The word douchebag
is the most overused and underappreciated word in the English language. Once a potent insult, it has been watered down to a near meaninglessness catchall term. Your boss made you come in on a Saturday? What a douchebag. Your local deli guy forgot to put mustard on your sandwich? Wow, he must be some kind of douchebag, right? Wrong. These people are simple, run-of-the-mill assholes. (And in the case of your overworked deli guy, probably not even that, you heartless prick.)
A douchebag is something far grander than a mere asshole, something ... magical. There's a movement afoot these days to chuck the word altogether, to consign it to the linguistic dustbin with the likes of gnarly
and word to your mother
. But no matter how hard the arbiters of pop culture try to make us adopt asshat
, the Big D still captures the imagination. Say it out loud. Right now. Dooooouchebag. Feels good, doesn't it?
Finnegan identifies the d-bag in all his forms, after the jump
Know What You're Looking For
In order to spot a true douchebag, we must first identify what the word means. At its heart, douchebaggery is a matter of faulty self-perception. In his mind's eye, the Type A d-bag sees someone exponentially smarter/cooler/sexier than the person on display to the rest of the world. This dichotomy inspires in those around him a very potent combination of disgust and amusement. So if you meet someone and you're on the fence, just ask, "Is this person simultaneously nauseating and entertaining?"Can a Woman Be a Douchebag?
Nope. Sorry. Try calling a woman a douchebag sometime. Eh. It's like telling an Obama joke -- sure you can do it, but it's not going to feel very satisfying. For whatever reason, douchebaggery seems to be a purely male classification. Now let's move on to a few good places to spot douchebags doing their thing.Let's Go Clubbing
There is simply no better place to find real live douchebags than a nightclub. In fact, here they seem to run in herds. The combination of liquor, horrible music and the "guest list" creates a perfect storm of misguided self-importance. Telltale signs include: spray tan, porcupine hair, overly 'distressed' denim and of course, an Ed Hardy t-shirt (aka the Members Only Jacket of This Generation). So omnipresent is the nightclub douche, one could argue that merely by setting foot in a place called "Aura" or "Chaos" or even "Glockenspiel," you are inadvertently filing for douchebag status. Approach with caution.
Watch the Big Game at a Sports Bar
Look, I love sports. Most of us love sports. So why then are so many sports bars unbearable? Because at a sports bar, there are always a couple of guys who want to prove that they're just a little bit more "into it" than everyone else -- how they can yell a bit louder, how they can rattle off statistical minutiae a little faster, how they can find a more creative way to call an opposing player queer. Combine this with a close game in the fourth quarter and three pitchers of Coors Light and you have a blue ribbon recipe for douchebag stew.Check Out an Indie-Rock Festival
You'll find this douchebag at Bumbershoot (or Bonnaroo or Sasquatch or Skittlebump*) rolling his eyes because you don't own Animal Collective's remix of Ratatat's "Mirando." What you won't see him exhibit is any genuine enjoyment of the various goings-on. He wants the world to know how bored he is by everything. That's not to say this douchebag doesn't have a sense of humor, of course. He's actually much funnier than you. Why else would he be wearing those hilarious neon-green Kanye West sunglasses?
(* OK, I made that one up. But for a brief moment you felt insecure about not having heard of it, didn't you?)Get in a Good Workout
You're a regular guy who lives a relatively ordinary life. You have no illusions about being the picture of physical perfection, but you'd like to be able to glance at your naked self in a full-length mirror without wanting to vomit. So you join a fitness center. And in so doing so, you place yourself at Douchebag Ground Zero. Indigenous to the free-weight section of the gym, these particular d-bags can be identified by their grotesquely inflated pecs, delts, quads, felps and plorps. They congregate in small groups near the free weights, bellowing encouragement to each other, grunting and comparing tribal tattoos.
Walk Around Your Place of Business
So this one's been pretty well-documented, both on television and in film. I don't really need to pontificate on the many varieties of douchebag you have traipsing around your office, do I? The guy who thinks you're intimidated by his quarterly sales. The supervisor who refers to himself as his "own worst critic," not realizing that the entire office loathes him more than he can possibly comprehend. The dickwad who works "Austin Powers" and "Borat" impressions into staff meetings. You're getting angry just thinking about him, aren't you? It's OK. Let's move on.Explore the World Wide Web
Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can find douchebags right from the privacy of your own home! Snarky blogs, racist message-board comments, self-aggrandizing Twitter feeds -- the Internet itself seems to be powered by unyielding, unrepentant douchebaggery. Why? Because the internet creates the illusion of anonymity. And that anonymity encourages one to unleash the raging jackass within. (Hell, you're experiencing it at this very moment. After all, who the hell am I to label all of these people douchebags? Some fourth-tier comedian is going to take a break from headlining Uncle Yukstein's in Duluth so he can spout off on what a douchebag everyone else is?)Look in the Mirror
Go ahead, take a long hard look. What do you see? It's OK -- the more aware you are of your own d-bag tendencies, the less likely you are to inflict them on others. After all, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
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