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To 'douchebag' or not: that is the question

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Douche_lHow many of you caught funnyguy Seth Rogen hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend? I thought one of the funniest skits was the “2007 National Douchebag Championships” (featuring SNL MVP Andy Samberg, pictured) but when I asked my colleague Nicholas Fonseca about it, he revealed he has major issues with the d-word. Here’s how our conversation went down over e-mail:

Lindsay: Dude, did you see the douchebag awards SNL sketch this past weekend — so so funny!
Nicholas: Oh! No, I haven’t had a chance to get through the show on my TiVo yet. Busy weekend. But hang on a second… did I just read that correctly? Lindsay, the d-word makes me break out in hives. It’s so uncomfortable. Did they really use it on Saturday night’s show? Oy, I might have to sit this one out, lest I require being hosed down with some industrial-strength calamine lotion. I can already feel my hands getting itchy as I type.
Lindsay: Really, itchy? It’s so commonplace on TV nowadays, I’m surprised you’re not used to it by now!
Nicholas: But when did this become acceptable? It’s used on SNL, it’s been heard on My Boys, and it’s a favorite on Family Guy. Like it or not, there are young kids watching all of those shows. Can you imagine being the parent who has to explain its meaning to an 8-year-old? Where do you even begin? Aughgh… see? I’m starting to feel not-so-fresh just typing about it.

Lindsay: Nicholas, stop being such a douchebag! (See, it’stotally legit.) The origin of the word is pretty gross, you’re right.But I can’t think of a better way to describe a sketchy guy with toomuch chest hair and a knack for gold chains, can you?
Nicholas:I guess “dickweed” never really caught on, did it? Look, I’ve alwaysbeen partial to “asshat,” which is just goofy and explicit enough in mybook. Why can’t people use that one more often? It doesn’t reallydenote anything, so there’s not a lot of explaining to do. I’m stillstuck on the d-word, though. Don’t you find it odd that networks willoften bleep out a word like “ass” on its own, but have let this oneslip through the cracks? I maintain that it conjures up some really badmental imagery. We don’t need that, do we?
Lindsay: Well from doing research (thanks Google!), it’s believed that the first time “douchebag” was every used on air was in a 1980 SNL skit titled “Lord Douchebag.”So looks like it’s here to stay. Can’t say as much for “dickweed” or”asshat,” though — in fact, the latter, I’ve never even heard of. Wherein the world did you grow up?
Nicholas: In the same state as The O.C.,bitch! Come on, Lindsay, don’t you remember Summer Roberts using thatparticularly delicious putdown back in the day? And as for yourhistorical research: Fine. I accept the fact that the d-word is here tostay, but I reserve the right to make sour faces, loud gagging noises,and a general ruckus whenever I hear someone bellow it from my TV. Orstart a discussion with it over e-mail. Is that fair?
Lindsay: Well,I’m a girl and I think that using the word is more than acceptable. Soit can’t be that wrong. P.S…. I hope I don’t get in trouble forGoogling the word “douchebag.” Can’t be nearly as bad as the time IGoogled “Kim Kardashian sex tape,” can it?
Nicholas: Okay. Iguess I give. Clearly, I’ve got nearly three decades of TV historyworking against me. (Curses on you and your filthy mouth twice, SNL!)And no, you’re not in trouble for that. And if anybody dares to giveyou grief, just tell them it was “for work.” Because, my dear, youreally do have a job where Googling “douchebag” serves a real purpose.

PopWatchers, help us settle the argument once and for all: Is it okay to use the d-bag term on network TV or not?