“It is Better to be Feared Than Loved”

[Editor’s note –  Do women have to be beautiful and sweet? Is that required?]

I have heard many theories about how men and women relate to each other. It goes back to grade school. See, if you were a girl, and there was a particular young man who liked you, he would treat you very badly. Basically, it’s the masculine push-pull dynamic, wherein the male of the species behaves as though he finds the female unappealing so that he would never risk the observations and judgements of others that he has feelings, a heart, a soul, and a pair of decent lungs. With girls, I have no clue. When I was a kid, girls never showed interest, or maybe it wasn’t such a biological priority that they cared.

I didn’t intend to go off on a tangent about gender-based behavioral concepts. I was just thinking about how much I hate Amy Schumer, and I think it’s safe to assume I’m not hiding an undeniable attraction to her. I seriously find her repulsive. There’s absolutely nothing about her I would consider attractive in any sense of the word. In fact, I feel I am being punished with her presence on my television, the most recent manifestation being a terrible and disturbing Old Navy commercial making the rounds. You can view that son-of-a-bitch right here. I’ve included some screencaps to “highlight” her brand of antic levity.

The predator marks her prey.

It must be laundry day because our favorite comedienne is in sweats. She runs into her ex-boyfriend at a copy store.  She rushes up to him, hugs him and then smells him. Really, Amy? Ex-boyfriend Luke has gotten over her, taken a beautiful wife, and had two gorgeous children, all dressed impeccably (as Amy notes). They seem like the perfect family. Luke’s comely wife advises Amy to shop at Old Navy (a low-end Monty Ward knock-off that gained prominence in the late ’90s selling inferior-quality clothing at high prices) for all the best prices, yadda-yadda-yadda – why is Amy here? Does she haunt copy stores so she can get into uncomfortable conversations with ex-boyfriends and their wives (or husbands, for that matter – I can imagine a few of them jumping to the other team)?

The predator smells her prey.

As Luke’s fetching wife espouses the virtues of Old Navy’s inexplicable appeal, Amy glares at her with the burning psychotic hatred of a thousand suns. It’s obvious to me this commercial is really about Amy’s maladroit manner, her ease at creepy gazing, and her willful obsession with making other people incredibly uncomfortable. Her bipolar changes of mood (are they bipolar?) are not enough for clueless ex-boyfriend Luke to quietly move his good-looking family away from her. Maybe Luke will think about it later and clutch his wife in tearful, fearful embrace. We’ll never know. This commercial is not about Luke or his family. It’s about Amy. It has to be about Amy. Everything has to be about Amy. or else we’re all fired. Got it? Good. [Editor’s note: Shouldn’t it be about selling Old Navy?]

If I understand the idea put forth by the advertisement, it’s that we’re all beautiful and twisted little monsters (not Lady Gaga fans, but the real thing) who were spurned for much more beautiful, slightly less frightening examples of modern humanity. Our ex-boyfriends (and girlfriends) all found better mates to run their lives, perhaps take them shopping and wear cute scarves and hats, I don’t know. I’m just grasping at straws here, but if it came down to Amy Schumer or my wife, I’d still pick my wife in a cold minute. She can glare psychotically with the best of them (I call it the “Linda Blair”) but she doesn’t make me want to wet myself, or even regret my life choices.

The prey wets his pants.

Unfortunately, we have to discuss the superficialities. Luke is an obvious and easy “10”. Amy? Not so much. She’s a “2” on a bad day and a “3” with makeup and proper dress. There’s nothing beautiful or sweet about her face, her demeanor, or her personality. The sweats make her look fat, which is probably the look she and the producers of this piece were shooting for, though they would never admit it (this is not the kind of person you want selling your clothes). My condensed point? How did Amy ever wind up in the same universe as “dreamy” Luke?  Did she get him really drunk one night? Again, we’ll never know.  I like to subscribe to the Gregory House theory of coupling: tens marry tens, twos marry twos; there might be a little wiggle room if money or kids are involved.

As I also begin to understand it, we’re examining the cutting-edge borders of humor, an undeserved sense of antipathy (and apathy) in modern celebrity, and Amy Schumer’s shtick of mean-spirited, alpha-feminist psychosis. It’s even more disturbing that Schumer and/or her cohorts find these exchanges and doctrine funny. Schumer knows no need to express herself in such an unattractive (and unconvincing) manner. The more she tries to construct herself in the mold of modern feminism, the more she separates herself from the women who truly struggle in this world without the constant need for self-empowerment, bold pronouncement, or the harsh judgmental rhetoric (from their peers) of their personal life choices.


David Lawler has written for Film Threat, VHS Rewind, Second Union, and his own blog, Misadventures in BlissVille. Lawler has produced several podcasts including That Twilighty Show About That Zone, Two Davids Walk Into A Bar (with co-host David Anderson), EQ Lawler/Saltz (with Alex Saltz), and Upstairs at Froelich's (with co-host John Froelich).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *