In classic TAN style, I have data that predicts and predates an event, but I don't reveal it for months later. In this case, the event was "End of Douche 2006." Of course credit is beside the point here, because I believe in the "communal reservoir" and the "end of douche" proved to be a prime example of the reservoir in action. On November 1 Gawker called the name into question, possibly their most commented on post. Best Week Ever, despite their heavy usage, seconded the motion. The subject may have gotten on to television. The thing is, the actual metaphysics behind the issue were being hashed out a few days prior. I actually chimed in on the Gawk post, but saved the full dialogue until now. The following is an IM conversation that would help seed the resistance to the wanton proliferation of the word "douche" (specificially with regards to usage).
Friend: so how was uptown?
TAN: ok ...
Friend: just ok?
TAN: dinner and drinks at hi life
TAN: yeah, hi [picture of martini] life
Friend: sounds like a candidate for the gawker hall of douche
Friend: I take that back
TAN: i'm about to start campaigning against the word douche ...
Friend: but it has such nuance
Friend: though I admit I have heard this complaint, friends have not come up with better solutions
things like cheese-dick have been suggested
TAN: if you drop douche, you revert back to [old] standards like "asshole," "dickhead"...
Friend: actually I had a whole conversation about this while drunk at soho house
which was kinda ironic considering
TAN: [it was] full of douchebags?
[you were] talking to a douche?
Friend: ehhh, the guys who pay for it
TAN: my man "Adouche"
TAN: I might be cool with it if we changed the pronunciation ...
has to have "e/ay" at the end
like dulce de leche
Friend: its dulcet tones?
see asshole is about a guy being kinda a bad guy
a douchebag is just sort of an unfortunate guy
like [redacted], he isn't an asshole, I love [redacted], but he can be kind of a douchebag
TAN: eh, the line has definitely blurred
right, the pro-active, free will element...
Friend: well rest assured that you aren't one and be happy with that
yes, see asshole is a choice
there is a "will to asshole"
TAN: but i'm dubious that that rule is abided in all uses of the word
or even 50%
Friend: probably not, it has gotten too far from the source culture
TAN: "this will to power, has me counting the hours..."
Friend: see I believe douche originated in tech which makes it very much an anti free will proposition
counting the hours till what?
TAN: yeah, but i'm not debating the meaning. i'm debating the usage
Friend: well in our rarified circles we can maintain its original usage yes? ;-)
TAN: it wouldn't be overused if people abided by some particular, more nuanced definition
it's too late for that [exclusivity] ...
Friend: well once things hit a certain place on the cultural-diffusion-curve nuance doesn't exist anymore
TAN: exactly ...
Friend: but that doesn't mean we should kill something. It means that we in the source cultural should respect its original meaning even more
TAN: it has to go ...
once it's lost nuance, reached that place, "respect" of the original meaning is wasted effort
to try and bring it back would be a waste of resources. you can't rescind cultural diffusion
Friend: hmmmm, do you discount public enemy just because flavor flav went off into vh1 land?
TAN: it's a different thing
flava flav isn't doing Public Enemy
Friend: well you ignore vh1 but remember that at one time he wasn't a buffoon
TAN: and it's like he was a part of a group, associated with music, concerts etc. now he's something else [entirely] ...
Friend: just as douche once had great meaning but has now associated itself with something that has some of the spirit but none of the original essence
TAN: right, douche is to hip lingo as Flava Flav is to Public Enemy
there's also a race problem with the word ...
Friend: with douchebag?
this I have to hear
TAN: no big story, i don't think i've ever heard a black person use the word
or anyone with brownskin ...
Friend: you use it
TAN: no i don't
Friend: alright, but we are having this huge discussion about it at 2am
Friend: you could use it or apply it
I don't know
TAN: I'm going to marinate on it ...
Friend: are you saying only white people use the term douchebag?
mmmm marinated tan
TAN: no. asians use it also. but just saying the lack of support from the african-american population adds another bullet point to the proposal for its dismissal
Friend: there are totally black douchebags
just because one doesn't use the term
TAN: yeah, but a black person wouldn't say that .... i'm not debating meaning, i'm debating usage
a person who uses the term "douchebag" can identify anyone, of any race, color, creed as such
Friend: and I keep trying to steer that debate away from usage, I am a bad girl I know
TAN: well it's the only way to argue [on douche's behalf] ... cause you know it's overused also
Friend: it is true, I use it all the time
mostly because I dislike "asshole" or "dick"
because I respect guys that have actively engaged in a given behavior
it is the ones that don't "will to power" about their own behavior that gross me out
TAN: "in 96 they got they shit off ...
swallowed what they bit off ...
now everyone's a ripoff ...
of darius bikoff ...
didn't stutter or hic-cough ...
Friend: lost here my dear
TAN: the only solution is to bring in the "chay"
Friend: pronounced like tar-ghay?
TAN: if you bring in the "chay" then it's ironic enough to sustain mass exposure
i'm thinking a hard ch, but it could be soft, or zsa-zsa, -ghay ish
Friend: hmmmmmmm, I would question irony's power but I see your point
TAN: seriously, calling someone a doo-chay bag is so much better ...
like gucci ...
there it is
Friend: I am so excited! I am going to gucci next week to pick up my boots
Friend: I think you have the makings of a brilliant blog post
have you considered like comedy writing on tv?
it's on the to-do list ...
[along with sleeping with Angelina Jolie and Jessica Biel]