Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nice Guys are the New Bad Boys

You know how sometimes you read a sentence or see a moment in a film or hear a lyric that totally makes you say out loud to no one, "Holy crap, that is dead on!" Such was my reaction to this post about "nice guys" (which I especially loved because generalizations are awesome). Penned by a gay man, the post discusses the "new" nice guy...the one who claims to be unlike "all the other guys," but is really out to get laid like every other guy in the known universe (nice touch with the Cusack photos throughout, as Johnny pretty much encompasses this idea like no other). Read it to capture the true brilliance, but in case you are unwilling to click, here's his list of signs that maybe a guy isn't so nice after all:
1. Does he think he's awkward? If he describes himself as awkward, there's a problem. (To quote Edith Wharton: "[T]he inner vanity is generally in proportion to the outer self-depreciation.") We're misusing that word most of the time anyway. If everyone's awkward, then no one's awkward, okay? (That's the closest I'll ever come to Ayn Rand Objectivist thought.)

2. Is he a currently attractive former geek? That's a red flag. He's probably not looking to settle down, even if he plays you Sufjan on his guitar. He's most likely looking for help discovering his newfound hotness.

3. Does he perform improv and have a huuuuge crush on Tina Fey? Look out! You might think those loose-fitting khakis paired with Nike sneakers are endearing and the prospect of having a guy watch Mean Girls with you sounds like a dream come true now, but it's only because he thinks she's a hottie on 30 Rock. Would he have dated her in college?

4. Does he still listen to The Shins? All I'm going to say is that the dude from The Shins roughed up his America's Next Top Model girlfriend. I didn't even see that one coming.

5. Does he have a blog? YIKES.

Just un-freaking-canny.


Liz said...

I'm not sure the "nice guy" as girls imagine him actually exists. They're all horndogs, we just kind of have to deal with it, unless we want to play for the other team.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Couldn't you have waited until after I was married to post this? Future Mrs IR doesn't need to know this...

McGone said...

I have a medium-size crush on Tina Fey ("Mean Girls" and "30 Rock"), I know I'm awkward because I have to listen to myself everyday, and I used to have a blog. But I do own the same shirt as that drawing. So I don't know what that makes me.

Also, for the record, I think The Shins are overrated, and that's mostly because of Zach Braff's "Garden State." (As screenwriter, he is responsible for Manic Pixie Dream Girl Natalie Portman uttering the line "It'll change your life, I swear.") When you think about it, it is he - both in character and seemingly in real life - that optimizes this idea much more so than John Cusack, especially Cusack-in-"High Fidelity." That character, Rob Gordon, made no bones about the fact that he wanted to get laid if he was dumped. And that he was going to reverse engineer every relationship he had - even discovering that when he thought he was dumped, he was actually the dumpee - in order to win back The Girl. Was he a nice guy? No. No, he wasn't. He was even kind of a douche, as he discovered.

So what was my point? Mainly that I don't want you turning into a femi-nazi (your words, not mine). It's OK to hate men, just as long as that man is Zach Braff. And Hitler.

The End.

McGone said...

Dammit, it's late. I meant "epitomizes" and typed "optimize" in my rant. I apologize.

red said...

Excellent point, McGone. Though I'd argue Rob is exactly what the TR post that his outer persona is "Nice Guy!" while he (and the audience) discovers what a dick he can be...which obviously makes him more interesting and more believable. I think the morning after scene with Marie La Salle (or whatever her name is) sums that up perfectly. He's still trying to pretend she's more than just a one night stand and she's like, "Dude, I know what's what. You don't have to pretend this is something it's not."

But you're right. Zack Braff is probably a better example. And that Manic Pixie Dream girl thing is brilliant!

Also, I don't hate men (other than Hitler, obvs). I just find 80% of them insufferable. However, that other 20%...very good times. And, for the record, I don't begrudge anyone (male or female) just trying to get laid. I just think people should be upfront about what they really want. Of course, that assumes anyone really ever knows what they want, but that's another point entirely.

And, finally, I like this guy's point about awkwardness. I mean, "if everyone's awkward, then no one's awkward" is pretty well put. Plus, awkwardness can be endearing. People that have it all together are bor-ing!

I see your rant and raise you, well, another rant!

words...words...words... said...

It was only a matter of time until someone found me out!

I actually think this is dead-on for a lot of guys. As my favorite quote from the movie Singles says, "I think you do have an act, and I think that not having an act is your act." There are nice guys, but most of the time self-described nice guys just aren't pursuers. And everyone wants to feel wanted. That's why women wind up with d-bags. Say what you will about them, d-bags get after it.

Grant Miller said...

The dude from The Shins roughed up his girlfriend? Really? Seriously?

I much prefer the base-humor of Amy Poehler myself.

Grant Miller said...

And after reading McGone's comment...If I ever meet Zach Braff he's a goner. He doesn't stand a chance.