Saturday, August 14, 2010

 I've been trying to figure out what it is about Scott Pilgram vs. The World that makes me want to, if I may quote Lucille Bluth, set myself on fire. 

But today, I have finally had a breakthrough.  It's not just the incessant pop culture references or the choked irony or the transparent pandering to late 20-somethings who need to put down the fucking cheetos and move out of Mom's basement and get a life, seriously, or the continued presence of Michael Cera, who said he would retire at 21 and held up the Arrested Development movie because he was sick of playing George Michael except that he continues to play George Michael in absolutely every single movie he's in because he's a lousy actor and probably a douchebag.

Like this asshole
It's because Scott Pilgram is an amalgamation of everything that is horrible in the modern 20-something white male.  You've got two breeds--one that is emo-tastic and wimpy and sensitive enough to make Morrissey look like Clint Eastwood.   No longer locked into a poet shirt to show off his artistic soul, he now has his choice of ironic/pun teeshirts from places like threadless or snorg.  He wants to play board games in the park by candlelight on a first date.  He doesn't drink and cannot believe that such a beautiful soul such as you would stoop to joining the louts at a brewpub and having one of their awesome IPAs. He likes everyone because hate is an angry word and should you even dare express your dislike of something, he will quickly shut you down before your negativity ruins your romantic evening.  He will tenderly caress your shoulders, dropping his hand to the small of your back and holding it there, even if your husband is standing ten feet away and you are giving him looks like please come over here and help me.  And he will probably cry . . . a lot.  Think Zach Braff.

The other horrible type is the video-game playing, Jason-Statham-worshipping maroon who thinks that he could totally be a hitman because he's awesome at Halo and that would be, like, a totally great job.  Never mind that hitmen are generally hired to take out spouses for the insurance money and rarely get to kill "bad guys," these idiots believe that violence solves everything, from parking tickets to getting stiffed a McNugget.  Because in their world, violence does solve everything--you need to get from one level to the next?  Kill a bunch of anonymous thugs. 

They have tee-shirts too

Violence is funny to them.  It's a part of their everyday virtual life, despite the fact that most of them have never been confronted with actual violence outside of maybe this time that they were at a bar, and this guy knocked into them, and they like, totally shoved him back and he's like "you wanna take this outside" and then the bouncer came and broke it up but they totally would have kicked his ass.

And look, I'm okay with violence in media.  I just got back from seeing The Expendables (it was everything a $6 matinee should be) and my favorite show is The Shield . . . but the difference is that nobody is Vic Mackey or Rambo . . . they imagine themselves to be, but they're not, plain and simple, and deep down, they know this.  They pretend to aspire to want to be Bruce Willis, but after about ten minutes of driving home really fast from Burger King, almost totally running a red light because you are badass! it's back to microwaving some pizza rolls and watching reruns of Lost.

But Scott Pilgram combines the irritating wimpiness of Michael Cera with the awful arrogance of your hyper-violent mama's boy into one package reeking of Axe body spray and stale Doritoes.  All 27 year old guys think they're every character Michael Cera has ever played.  They think no one understands them and that they don't have to ever work or attempt anything because they deserve great things (namely, babes) simply by blessing the universe with their slimy presence.  Now you've added a level of violence that they understand--the consequence-free violence of video games--and you've created an attitude that pits violence against rejection.  Clerk being rude to you at the grocery store?  Tell her how fat she is and that maybe she should just kill herself.  Joker626 says that Green Day sold out years ago?  Write back you are stupid and your mother should have aborted you with a coat hanger you piece of shit.  Indie girl won't give you the time of day?  Slug her, the bitch deserves it.  You think I'm joking?  I've heard this from guys I consider well-educated. 

It's not their fault, really.  This vile attitude is rapidly on it's way to being socially acceptable.  We've got a coddled generation spoiled by the anonymity of the internet and the absence of male role models.  Michael Cera gets the hot girl by being a sniveling piece of garbage.  Why wouldn't the boy next door be the same way?

1 comment:

  1. No one nails Generation Twilight and beyond like Libby! This one line says it all:
    "But Scott Pilgram combines the irritating wimpiness of Michael Cera with the awful arrogance of your hyper-violent mama's boy into one package reeking of Axe body spray and stale Doritoes."

    Wow; take that, Pilgram. And for more of Libby's cutting wit, check out her newest post on Celebrities in Disgrace: