“Just to let you know, your facebook statuses are getting douchier and douchier.”
My dear and always honest friend Lindsay expressed this to me several months ago, when I was in the midst of a paper on Nietzsche and postmodernism that was, like, totally blowing my mind. And my, but my facebook statuses were indeed getting douchier and douchier. No question. Since that fateful day, however, I have begun to hear the word douche used in new and exciting contexts. How douchey can we be? seems to be the question of the day.
Now, the etymology of the word ‘douche’ has a long and complicated history. When we call someone a ‘douche’, we are not, of course, referring to the actual item of feminine hygiene. Nor are we particularly comparing said individual to that item. Back in the day, my father informed me, to call someone a ‘douche’ was one of the worst things you could say. Now, we say it routinely. It references someone (very often male) who behaves in a pretentious, obnoxious, or generally … uh … douchey manner. It continues to be a derogatory term, of course. Or does it?
Recently, I have heard (and used) the word ‘douche’ in a highly self-referential fashion. ‘Hipster douchiness’ has become a regular statement among my circle of friends here in Edinburgh.
“Come and be a douche with us!” stated a text message, inviting everyone along to hang out in the Meadows. When one sits in a cafe, drinking organic coffee, typing one’s novel on one’s MacBook (or, for true douchiness, iPad), one is achieving a true level of douchiness that few ever arrive honestly at. Dressing like a hipster, saying things like ‘That is sooooo Postmodern’, reading Nietzsche, speaking of one’s existential self, updating one’s blog with ironic referential comments, shopping at Urban Outfitters, complaining of the difficulty of one’s life while lying in the sun, being a barista in any capacity, talking about being a barista, smoking hand-rolled cigarettes, listening to obscure folk music … these are not the hallmarks of true douchiness. No, true douchiness must be achieved by being AWARE of true douchiness. By the recognition that one is behaving like a total, complete, remarkable, capitalized Douche.
“We’re so hip, we’re going to a band that even we haven’t heard of!”
This, my friends, is true douchiness. The Way of the Douche is fraught with peril, for the pitfalls might turn you into an acoustic guitar playing juggler on a unicycle who has no freaking idea of how douchey he/she truly is. It might turn you into a twenty-something would-be novelist in a cafe bitching about how no one gets just what post-postmodernism is. The Way of the Douche must be carefully discovered, hopefully with people just as pretend-douchey as you are. For the true Douche is not a douche at all. Just someone who enjoys a ironic joke, a scene of pop-culture referentiality, an honest moment in the sun with friends. Someone who can laugh at themselves.
So, verily, I say unto you: go and discover the Way of the Douche. I know I have.