Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nail on the Head: Dear Zach Braff...

Heaven bless Jezebel. Over the past ten years, I've come across so many thinly-written soul-searching young white male characters in film, television and books that I despise with so much vitriol that I can't even articulate it properly. This inability to express my hatred probably explains why people look at me like I'm a few grapes short of a bunch whenever I try to discuss this matter. But Jezebel is busy whipping out their 2000-2009 Best of and Worst of Lists, and in their post Your Boyfriend Sucks: The Worst Fictional Dudes of the Decade, Hortense summed up my feelings about this recurring character better than I ever could:
The Emosogynist: He's just so tortured, y'all. He can't even bring himself to cry, which is weird, because he's so deep that you'd think the emotional well could never run dry. Something hurt him, man, and now he's just dead inside. He'd explain it to you, but you probably wouldn't understand, unless you're super cute, kind of quirky, and you remind him of the girl he fell in love with 5 years ago, before his heart turned to dust and blew away. Of course, if you were around then, you might have saved him from this cold, heartless life he leads, but alas, no, some woman destroyed him forevermore, and he just can't be put back together again, unless, of course, he's put back together to an indie soundtrack by (an often much younger) woman he can easily manipulate and later dismiss after his confidence rises. He has to find himself, you know? And the only way he can do that is through some girlfriend who isn't aware of the fact that he's a bitter 16-year-old trapped in a 28-year-old man's body.
That's right, boys. You're going to have to figure out how to get over your existential crisis all on your own, because my fun talented clever beautiful and witty girlfriends will never be any man's Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Believe it or not, our sole purpose in life is not to be "that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." (Thanks, Nathan Rabin!) So while we're at it 2010, let's kill the MPDGs too!

I realize that this post may make me sound a bit like a man-hating hag who sits around all day with her cats posting on feminist websites. And though I am sitting with my cats, commenting on Jezebel and Feministing, and feeling a bit haggish, I don't hate all men. I love dudes. But my dear archetypal young white male character who attempts to pass off self-involvement and narcissism as depth (that means you, Zach Braff!), your time has come. Cheers to 2010!!

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