Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Douche Bag Dissertation


"A dick has power; a douche only thinks he does."

On "Douchebags"
Mapping the origins of America's favorite insult

By Lynn Harris

What do Tucker Carlson, Vanilla Ice, and that guy who just ordered grape-flavored vodka with sugar-free Red Bull have in common? Let's see. Are they jerks? Maybe, but that doesn't cover the bow tie. Losers? Yes, but such a tepid term does a disservice to these guys' supreme, majestic lameness. Dickheads, boneheads, assholes? Yeah ... but. I know: You had the real answer back at "sugar-free." There is only one way to describe them. They are douchebags.

Douchebag: We said it about Mr. Knowlton in algebra, and now we're saying it again. A lot. (And with colorful lexical and taxonomical variation: fratdouche; eco-douche; douchetard; douchenozzle; even douchebaguette, for girls.)

Over the past several years, as you might have noticed if you have watched Family Guy, Saturday Night Live, The Bachelorette, or The Daily Show (e.g., "Robert Novak: Douchebag of Liberty," c. 2004), or have read any blog, ever—including one maintained by John Mayer , who famously defined the term, so to speak, in 2007—douchebag has enjoyed a renaissance perhaps more pervasive than any other retro-linguistic relic. ("Dink," anyone?) It has become as ubiquitous as, well, actual douchebags. So much so, in fact, that some claim it's already way jumped the shark: Esquire has called for a moratorium on the word; Gawker conducted a search for an apt replacement.

Both failed

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