John Mayer: The Douchebag Challenge
“What if I had a booth on the street and I said, ‘Attention, everybody who hates me: If you have a problem with me, I’m ready to hear your gripes! I will be outside the Barneys store on 60th Street from two to four this afternoon. [...]
“How many people do you think would be standing there? I’m talking about people getting the chance to tell me directly, ‘I think you’re a douchebag.’ You know how many people would do it? Ze-ro.”
Make that Ze-ro, plus one, Mr. Mayer.
First sign that you may be a douche, you’ve selected the Barneys department store in Manhattan as your field of battle. Seriously? Barneys? That’s where you go to open yourself up to public criticism?
But, let’s say we do meet in front of the luxury department store. It being winter, your Twitter-addicted fingers would be delicately covered in Prada leather. In a vain attempt to seem not so vain, you’d call out to the world, “Who thinks I’m a douchebag?”
Then, counter to your bold predictions, a crowd of disgruntled individuals begins to congregate. People with real taste in music demanding that you take your slow-night-at-the-coffee-house acoustical guitar act and hit the road, and give back your inexplicable Grammy awards while you’re at it.
These music lovers would quickly be joined by a line of second-tier female celebrities you refuse to date because they lack appropriate levels of cohort fame. What’s Jessica Simpson got that they don’t? It can’t be musical talent, unless, you know, measured relative to your own.
Dr. Phil might comes up Madison Avenue to “douche-charge” you for your faux sensitivity toward women. In the very least, he’d whisper into your ear to end the pseudo-intellectual crapola you feel obliged to dish out since being crowned “important” by virtual vote of teen-aged girls just old enough to have missed the equally ridiculous Sugar Ray run at the top of the charts.
Sure, it’d be easy for us detractors just to whip out our iPods and play “Wonderland” aloud to the ever-growing, Mayer-hating mob, now gathered outside Barneys. Heck, after four rotations of the song, we’d all have a little vomit in our mouths. We could probably whip up a murderous frenzy. But knowing that violence would just create an outlet for you to emo-glance your way into twenty more self-effacing, look-at-me-I’m-a-sad-puppy magazine interviews makes that path seem entirely counterproductive.
I’m not suggesting it’s time for you to leave the stage, Mr. Mayer. I’m just suggesting that your stage is more appropriately a cafeteria at a Junior High School dance.