Wonder why guys are jerks at the bars, maybe it’s the movies they watch

Sean Flack

I like observing people. It’s not staring or creeping, it’s people-watching. Like Andy Warhol said, the world fascinates me, and I love seeing all these different people interacting and colliding against each other.

One of my favorite spots to observe people is the bar. Contributing to the observations is the fact that I live with three girls. So usually when I go out with my roommates, everyone is mostly female. This makes going in a bar feel like those old cartoons where someone is tiredly walking through the desert while vultures are circling above them. Except here in Ames, these vultures pop their collars and wear sideways baseball caps.

There are a million ways I could start off this paragraph, but I guess what it all boils down to is that I just don’t get people. I don’t get how any human with a brain could think that sitting down next to a girl you don’t know and letting out some line you heard in an “American Pie” movie is a good idea.

A guy pulled this routine once and then just started talking about his BMX bike in between grunts. He looked around the table with a face that suggested he was looking for the girls to jump him at any minute.

Sure, one could argue the point that if you like a girl, then you should go up and talk to her. But jeez, at least have some class while you’re doing it. Don’t just nudge your way into the group and say, “Hey, baby.”

I’d really like to do a scientific study or something to see if these awful techniques actually work on any girls. I mean, if these guys continue to creep, it must be because it has worked on girls before, right?

I think these behaviors stem from this huge influx of “college” movies that have been released over the past couple of years. The frat boy movies, the “American Pie” series, all this crap heavily contributes to this idea that if you act like an jackass, you’ll get chicks.

You’re probably thinking, “Sean, it’s just a movie.” But you know, a big chunk of what I know today, I learned from movies. I think this applies to a lot of people.

We wonder why guys are such jackasses — it’s easy, stuff like this. These movies make girls out to seem like stupid toys, whose only purpose in life is to please the OMGOMGTOTALLYHOT guy. And the guy role isn’t much better. Guys just strut around, and act like you should be honored to be in their presence. Hell, even the nerd’s a jerk in those movies.

Since it’s the mainstream, teenagers gobble this stuff up. There are poop jokes, boobs and bad language. Whether they know it or not, that mentality I think seeps into their head. This all leads to swooping through the bars with guys looking for their own “American Pie” girl.

It’s exactly the same idea with girls and Disney movies. You grow up watching this stuff for so long that you expect reality to follow suit. But it doesn’t. And people don’t realize that.

No girl wants to be weirdly propositioned at a bar. It may work on a drunk girl or two, but eventually that’s going to get old. And if you’re still using Google pickup lines on people post-high school, post-college, then that’s just sad.