>>> The Scholarly Tabloid
By staff writer Et Nola
July 2, 2006

“Now Fortified with Vitamins F & U”

When it comes to my self-appointed exile to the internet/cable-less neighborhood of Mid-City New Orleans, I had little idea just how far society would fall. Haha, just kidding (I had Roots on DVD). In a world where Pink is the New Blog, Thursday is the new Friday, and Wikipedia has already documented these revolutionary concepts, it would appear that my absence from internet connection has left me “out of the loop.”

“The loop,” as it were, is the popular rise—dare I say “public embrace” —of the guy formerly known as “the asshole.” You may recall a time in which the term “asshole” was used to describe a) one whose welcome has worn thin, b) a site from which magical solutions to your problems can be found, and even c) possible shooting locations for Disney/Pixar’s Willy Wanker and the Fudge Factory. Lo and behold, that simply is not the case these days.

Apparently, “assholes” have been redefined simply as guys who speak their mind about women, life, and any number of topics found in most bathroom stalls. You may disagree with the modern incarnation (in which case, a “sharp eye, Ace” is in order). But there are a number of women (and men) who accept this reinvention. Welcome to my concern.

“The truth is, it would be far easier for some guys if the world continued to accept the ‘asshole' persona as something genuine and real.”

Now, I’ve been mellow in my columns up until now, but as a protestant preacher once said to his gay son, “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch.”

So let’s clear something up right about…here: just because a guy mentions that he’d honestly rather sleep with assorted sluts than suffer in a lackluster relationship, doesn’t mean he’s an asshole. He may certainly be acting like one. Hell, Keanu-fucking-Reeves acted in a movie about sky-diving FBI agents. Some acting jobs are better than others.

The truth is, beneath the desire to sleep with sluts lies the idea that someday most guys hope to actually find a woman who satisfies a large portion of his physical and emotional expectations. In the meantime, getting a hummer from “Hilary Muff” instead of cuddling with a manipulative, overbearing, and/or conceited girlfriend will remain our most popular choice.

Alright, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, allow me to address the Cleveland Steamer that’s been administered across the face of decent guys everywhere. Look, being a “decent guy” isn’t being a pussy who can’t speak his mind about what he wants and what he feels (pending he actually is feeling something). Decent guys are simply the ones who realize that sometimes women honestly want to be appreciated even for things they already know we appreciate about them. Hell, pro athletes get paid millions of dollars to perform in a sport they probably saw as a hobby as a child, yet we cheer them on like they’re the retarded kid who got picked last for T-ball. These guys are on the team because they are good, yet we still praise them for doing their fucking “job.”

When it comes to good relationships, we remain in them because they are good (or should be in them for that reason). Compliments or simple expressions of appreciation should not be a chore. If the relationship isn’t worth that simple effort, make like Terry Schiavo and pull the freaking cord. The goal is to be happy and to be honest—it’s possible to be both and still get laid. Don’t just take my word for it—ask my penis.

There’s more to the concept of being a “decent guy” than the ability to formulate and execute a compliment. In fact, there are a number of ways in which guys can be decent that aren’t exactly stretches of the imagination. Though I’m not the authoritative source on being a decent guy (Jesus has that shit under copyright until 2012), here’s a quick list of what I’d say it takes to be a decent guy: respect. That about sums it up. Decent guys respect their friends, respect their girlfriends, and generally respect people enough to check their ego at the door.

Respect is about both having a clue and actually caring about people. Shit happens though, so people will tend to overlook the portion about actually caring about people. The point is to try understanding them and, failing that, learn to hug it out, bitches. It’s all about you. If any one individual were the center of everything, the universe would just be a large gaping hole in which everybody sucked (see American Idol…or rather, don’t).

Look, I’m sure there are a number of people out there, whistles-in-hand, ready to call “bullshit” on this concept. The truth is, it would be far easier for some guys if the world continued to accept the “asshole” persona as something genuine and real. The reality is that it is just as fake and contrived as the skeptically-designed vision of “the nice guy.”

I talk about being a decent guy versus being a “nice guy” because the truth is that only one of the two follows to be realistic and sustainable. “Nice guys” will fall dick first into assorted sluts from time to time and attempt to recover by creating a relationship, but “decent guys” will call the situation what it is, even if it’s not something they’d prefer. Decent guys will still piss people off from time to time and will probably screw up a relationship at some point (or several). Decent guys will stumble just like any other human being, but the stumble is on the way to being a better person. All they need to be reminded of is that some women continue to be worth the effort.

Even an asshole can respect that.