If you've walked through a checkout line in a grocery store lately, you've probably seen the earth-shattering, heartbreaking news. Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani! Your dreams have been betrayed, your hopes deceived, your spirit horrifically sodomized and left for dead. Your sink to your knees, gasp for air; tears cloud your eyes. You look again... yes, it has happened. Robert Pattinson and Kristin Stewart are splitsville.
"But how can this be?" you ask yourself. "They seemed so happy together..." And you grasp frantically at the glossy pages on the newsstand, flipping through one celebrity rag after another, groping desperately for anwers. Soon enough you have an explanation for this tragic turn of events, but it makes no sense. It doesn't fit with anything you've previously known to be true. You are baffled, and appalled.
"She cheated?" your brain screams, incredulously. "But that's impossible!" Women aren't unfaithful to their husbands! Men cheat... men are pigs, men are dogs... women, on the other hand, are exalted beings who must be such saints to put up with the annoyingly feral bleatings and relentlessly shitty behavior of the pigdog sex!" You know this well enough, just as you know that the white race is the cancer of history, and that diversity is strength, and that gay marriage is wonderful, and that Martin Luther King died for your sins... You're an educated person, after all; such knowledge simply follows as a matter of course. And you've watched your requisite share of Lifetime TV-movies with your long string of feminist girlfriends, enough to qualify you as an honorary sensitive male.
Then in the midst of your bewildered musings, two creatures suddenly appear over each of your shoulders. On your right, clad in immaculate white, sits what looks to be a heavenly angel; her hair, however, is butch-cut short. A ring adorns her left nostril, and her voice, when she speaks, resonates with the cultivated contempt of an upper-middle class Womyn's Studies major at a high-toned university.
"How dare you judge poor Kristin Stewart!" the dyke-angel scolds, in the fire-and-brimstone manner of an old-school New England minister turned self-righteous WASP hippie New Ager from Martha's Vinyard. Being a deracinated male feminist, you are flushed with terrified feelings of involuntary shame; your face reddens, and you lower your eyes... A woman is upset! It must be your fault!
Still, the enraged angel shows no sign of letting up. "Don't you go around slut-shaming, you testoterone-addled wretch!" she hectors, wagging her finger sternly. "You... men (she spits the word as if it were an obscenity) always try to make us one of two things: either virgins or whores... Well, Kristin is just breaking out of your repressive patriarchal paradigm and embracing her own sexuality. She can do what she wants! She doesn't need or endorsement or approval. Quit being so judgmental, you wicked white male heterosexist homophobic pigdog!"
Truth be told, you feel somewhat judged by this heavenly messenger's admonishment to refrain from judgment, but you decide not to raise the issue. Instead, you opt to stay on point. "But Kristin cheated on her boyfriend!" you feel moved to observe. "If Robert had been the unfaithful one, you'd be laying into him unmercifully. Isn't this a double standard?"
The Janet Napolitanto-faced specter purses her lips menacingly in response to this unwelcome retort, but before she can fly at your face with the unleashed rage of an early-90s Alanis Morissette song, the creature over your left shoulder interrupts by snickering loudly, and you turn to look at him for the first time. This little devil wears a backwards baseball cap over his horns and sports truly tacky sunglasses on his pointy nose. A demonically sleazy Anton LaVey-esque gotee adorns his chin. You can't help but notice, though you wish you could, that his fiery-red jeans are at least two sizes too tight. The devil takes a puff from his uber-manly cigar, which is nearly as big as he is, and he mutters, "Cool your jets, sweet-cheeks; I'll take it from here."
The angel, knowing that she's in the presence of a true "alpha," obediently pipes down, her feminist anger having been effectively neutralized by the frat-boy devil's irresistable studliness. She bats her eyes and begins to nibble on a fingernail coquetteishly, casting coy glances in his direction, but he utterly ignores her. He turns his head with casual studied ease and addresses you in a condescending voice that recalls teenage Christian Slater shamelessly channeling Jack Nicholson.
"Look, chum," he nasally rasps. "Here's the way of the world. A woman wants what she wants. She can't help desiring that whcih makes her 'gina tingle. Now Robert's a good-looking guy all right, but he's too nice. Anyone can see that. A girl doesn't want a shy, retiring nice guy; she wants a confident asshole. She may not think that's what she wants... She may not want to want a dick, but she can't help it: the preference is hardwired into her genes. It's part of who women are. Dames don't want a pasty-faced pushover like Pattinson. They want a cocky, arrogant alpha, like Rupert Sanderson, film director extraordinaire."
"A powerful, older man with a sexy, commanding voice, a man influential in the industry... ooh la lah!" enthuses the angel, who's now stripped out of her angelic robe to don a pair of hot pants and some whorish high-heels.
"Shut up, bitch. Go fix me some turkey pot pie," the devil in the Top Gun shades commands in an even voice.
And this is when you've had enough.
"Both of you, SHUT UP!" you yell.
Other patrons of the grocery store glance up at you with astonishment, as if they don't see the miniature personages floating over your two shoulders, plain as day. But you don't care. What you have to say is important, damnit, and the world needs to hear it.
"Look, you silly little devil... maybe it's true what you say. Maybe women do love assholes, and have nothing but contempt for nice guys. But if you've chosen to be with a nice guy, you've made a commitment. No one forces a grown woman to follow her base instincts and engage in adultery just because her 'gina is tingling... If you're in a serious relationship and you find yourself lusting after someone else who's more 'alpha,' that doesn't mean you get to sleep with him. Get a vibrator, knock yourself out, fantasize all you want--- you're still a taken woman. You can't help what you feel, but you can help your behavior!"
Angel and devil stare at you, bemused and speechless, and as you look quickly from one to the other, your fury escalates. You suddenly realize that everything you've ever been taught is wrong. It's been swimming around in your head for years, but you've always previously held it in. Now the ugly truth has crystallized before your eyes.
"You pick-up artist types and radical feminists are in cahoots!" you exclaim. "It's in both of your interests to undermine marriage... You work in concert to justify female adultery and to mock 'beta' cuckolds as somehow unworthy and unmanly, deserving only of humiliation... When each of my feminist girlfriends left me, they always just told me that they needed 'space,' and afterwards I always saw them with guys more monied, more powerful, more full of themselves than I was. So yeah, maybe chicks do dig assholes. Or maybe I just need to seek out a better caliber of women.. In any case, fuck it. I refuse to be an asshole, so fuck feminism and fuck lame alpha asshole-apologetics!"
The two specters exchange a glance.
"Oh, dear," says the angel. "This is awkward..."
"Yeah, you figured us out," the devil admits. "Busted us good! Guilty as charged. So what are you gonna do now, Twilight-boy? What's your next move? Something really supremely beta, I'll bet. Throw a hissy fit, maybe? Break down in tears? Cut your wrists? Go on a shooting spree and call yourself The Joker?"
You shake your head. "Nope, I'm doing something ever worse," you say.
"I'm gonna write a book."