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September 22, 2003

Lifestyles of the Perennially Pathetic

I have found a new population of people to target my wrath at for today. It is OK—I am sure most you hate them as well, so this should not be a very controversial entry. Then again, maybe some of you folks out there are actually the type of people I am going to write about, and then you will be upset, because I called you out on your despicable behavior. Either way, something had to be said, and I am just the guy to say it.

Now poseurs abound wherever you may travel (and certainly everywhere that I have traveled), but there is one subclass of the poseur family that seems to be in especial high density in Berkeley. The perennially over-compensating guys who always need to be the loudest, most manly, most athletic, and consequently, most obnoxious. They usually accomplish this goal by always talking about how much weight they lift at the gym, or how much alcohol they can drink before they have to go to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, or how much sex they have with women they have drugged.

Having been around plenty of these sorts of guys, I know how pathetically insecure they are about everything, but that does not really change anything. Just the sight or sound of one of these idiots makes me want to cringe (or better yet, just run away). Can you think of a more despicable quality than low self-esteem? I cannot. Someone should just tell all these posers that absolutely no one besides they themselves (and perhaps their poseur friends) care how many shots of tequila that they can put down before throwing up, or how many women they slept with in one night, or if they can bench press a small elephant. None of these things compensate for their awful personality, so please stop trying.

People who are this insecure about themselves should just be herded onto an island so they can over-compensate amongst themselves. Who knows: maybe they will end up shooting each other in the back in a fine display of bravado and masculinity.

A direct offshoot of the tough guy poseur attitude is the extreme possessiveness that comes with it. Since these morons define themselves by physical things, one of the biggest ways in which they make themselves feel good is by the token significant other, whether it be a girlfriend, friend with benefits, or even a wife. The reason I bring this up is because I recently had a couple of encounters that made me think how pathetic these guys really are.

The first of these episodes happened when I was walking home after class with a couple of friends. I saw a typical poseur walking down Sproul with what I assumed was his girlfriend. I was involved in a conversation, but I happened to notice that he was looking at us as we walked. The only reason I noticed was because he had on huge sunglasses, and as he turned his head, the sun reflected off the glasses into my eyes. As soon as he noticed us, he immediately put his arm around his girlfriend and brought her in so close it was as if they were fused. By the time he was finished, she was so wrapped up that it was like he was carrying a very large stuffed animal instead of holding another person. Now, I do not think I need to remind you guys that there has been a major heat wave in Berkeley recently and it was about 95° Fahrenheit at the time this was going on. But you could just look at the idiotic expression at his face and deduce what he was thinking: Look at me—I have such a hot girlfriend. I am so cool!

I have to admit that she was attractive, but by the time we walked by them, both of them were sweating so much, neither looked particularly good. The only thought that came to my mind was, Wow, you are really pathetic. You have to define yourself by who you date. You must be worthless as a person.

The second episode that caused me to think about these posers was when I was studying in the library for my MCB midterm last week. It was in the evening and I was sitting in the Doe portion of Main Stacks. Soon a couple walked in and sat about five seats away from me on the long tables. The difference was, that both of them sat on one seat, side by side. I was about to say, Hey guys, you know, all those other seats are open—you don't really need to sit on the same chair, but then I thought better of it. Why interfere with stupid people, right?

Anyway, a few seconds later, two ostentatiously nerdy freshman-types walk in and sit in front of me, bust out laptops, and start giggling like idiots. I could only assume they thought it was funny to watch porn in the library or something, but then I realized it wasn't even human porn—it was cartoon porn! What the hell! I was thinking of getting up and leaving so I would not have to witness this group masturbatory event, but then they closed their laptops and started reading. What a bunch of stupid shits—wait, let's not get started on them. About ten minutes later, the freshman-types start giggling again, and I am about to look up and give them a dirty look when I noticed that they were both looking at the couple sitting on the single chair. I guess the frosh had never seen a guy with his hand around a woman's waist or something, but they would not stop cracking up. The guy then put his head on his girlfriend's shoulder and rubbed it (all the grease) into her shirt. At that point, I was thought to myself, That is one public display of affection I definitely did not have to see.

I got up and went home to study. It is just my curse that I run into these freaks whenever I go to the library. Anyway, the point is that this poseur guy had to show off to the freshman that he had a girlfriend who was so kind as to clean off his greasy hair on her shirt. He was just another guy without his girlfriend, but with her, now he is the guy who has a girlfriend who is just as weird as him. I guess that is enough recognition for some of these poseurs.

There have also been countless other episodes where I have been in a conversation and just felt sad for the guy who was over-compensating. They are so pathetic, they actually invoked some pity out of me, which needless to say is a very hard thing to do. Now, if any poseurs read this, they will be immediately distraught, and run to their rooms to bench press elephants, drink shots of vodka, and collect their roofies, because how could I, a skinny, nerdy guy who cannot drink 15 shots of tequila without passing out, say that about them, the ultimate in manliness. But that's just the point: if they had even an ounce of confidence in their steroid-enhanced body, they would not take seriously the comments of a stranger, and moreover would not be phased by the insults that I delivered. The fact that most would in fact try to over-compensate by attacking me for my comments speaks more to their perennially pathetic lifestyle than I ever could.


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