This Sort of Pissed Me Off
I just saw this decal, alongside the caption “Only little boys wear bowties” and I don’t think one could devise a more perfect crystallization of the perversity of what one might as well call American masculinity.
I mean, you’ve got a dick-waving nihilism absorbed into a hideous caricature of freedom, the proud rule-breaker who breaks the rules by selecting the appropriate commodity through which to identify. You’ve got the smirk that speaks a worldview defined by contempt. You’ve got the dueling narratives of man-children: the good boy (who’s the bad boy) whose manhood is demonstrated by peeing on the world — and exposing his ass — contrasted with the bad boy (who’s the good boy) whose effeminacy is figured by his pretensions to high status. And underneath it all, you’ve got the buried and traduced and pissed upon image of the actual boy whose spirit motivated Bill Watterson’s comic, an innocent and sociopathic will-to-power that loves the world too much to give up even a single one of its joys.