Monday, April 17, 2006

On being tough

Exhibit A has multiple tattoos -- several on his forearms, in fact -- rides a Harley and breeds Rottweilers. He's tough, and he'll make a point of telling you just how tough he is just about every time he opens his mouth. You don't want to fuck with Exhibit A, or so he says. Break into his house, and he's taking you down, because the place is like an armory. He's a badass, is Exhibit A.

Exhibit B wears glasses. His sartorial style tends toward the conservative end, because Exhibit B generally likes to avoid attracting attention. All he really wants out of life is to pursue his own interests. To earn a living. To be comfortable in his home. To get some high quality ass. To have a shitload of friends on whom he can rely. Exhibit B accomplishes all these things because he's not an asshole like Exhibit A.

And sometimes, when the two collide with extreme prejudice, Exhibit B beats the piss out of Exhibit A.

Why is this? Why does this happen? Why do some guys insist upon acting like Exhibit A, while others are fortunate enough to resemble Exhibit B?

I've given a lot of thought to this lately, and I want to spend some time exploring why some people feel compelled to show the world how hardcore they are, and some -- especially those who actually can deliver the mail, so to speak -- don't. Throughout this week, I'm going to examine this "New York Badass" phenomenon -- with apologies to Phil Baroni, of course -- in an attempt to figure out why the world is so fucking stupid. More on this later today.