I ran into this review of a pizza place from the many rabbit holes I jump into via the internet. Let me open by saying I’m all for reviews, and also reviews which are negative---not everyone gets a trophy.
What I am not for is douchebags. Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy comes off as a douchebag in this clip especially since he was so psyched that it went viral. He is so excited that the clip was named “Best of 2023” by his own website. He is very proud of how this went down.
Let’s start with my own review of douchebags, and how to argue like one. Beginning with how Portnoy changes his pizza review from bad to horrible after the interaction with the shop owner, Charlie Redd. “Now, I can say this pizza is trash,” he says afterwards their exchange. That’s like a writer taking someone’s parking spot and that driver goes on Amazon and leaves a bad review. You don’t get to do that. Bad reviews are earned. So, that is a total douche move.
Redd wasn’t on his best behavior either. When you get a bad review you really should let it slide. Redd started out just fine in his defense, basically saying, “Enjoy the pizza, you shouldn’t judge it based on one bite, and I don’t appreciate what you do to small businesses.” Portnoy’s response is how he actually helps so many small businesses, as he is trashing this one. Now this is like a racist defending himself that he can’t be a racist because he has a lot of black friends. By the way Portnoy has had to defend himself from being accused of being a racist and misogynist, but that wasn’t my original point. That’s just a side note.
Honestly, I’m not picking sides, but I will admit I was jaded right from the start of the video when Portnoy in a rather privileged way directed to his camera man to get a shot of The Buffalo Exchange where he bought his 1985 Frat-boy Hawaiian shirt. It's not the first "I am better than you," moment in this video, but it set the tone.
All in all, the video shows Amerika at its most Karen-esque “finest”. The entire I can stand here and be an asshole because it’s public street…falls into the “I have my rights to do whatever the fuck I want,” rhetoric. Portnoy shows a real ugly side, as (seen on video) his fans fawn over him during and after (with edits obviously added.) I certainly understand how this works, while at the same time certainly don’t understand. I still don’t understand the Trump phenomena, and this is just a small shadow on that big highway, but it is reflective of society as a whole. When Redd brings up a particularly unflattering New York Times article about Portnoy, his response, “Oh, there you go. THERE YOU GO,” before attempting an insult on how Redd looks, (fat) is also telling. Having no accountability for behavior and becoming the victim because instead, is also right in line with ugly post-modern American behavior. Then the final defense from Portnoy…that he is rich. "Sold for a million, bought back for a dollar," is actually really good business. In fact, it is great great buisness. Good for him! Hurray! Here's where it's off topic: To use it as point in an argument is very douchey. “I have more money than you so STFU?” Is that the point here? My guess is the argumentative point is a more general, “I am better than you.” Of course, it is, especially when he states, “You’re posting me buddy,” when Redd films him, as Redd in his eyes is just a tiny little speck in the great big world of he and Barstool Sports.
In another article, since I'm down the hole, Barstool Sports tells all of us how to do dry January, and it involves not being dry at all! Yippee, you can drink AND give up alcohol at the same time. Man, I’ve wasted my time being sober and not drinking, when I could have been drinking this entire time.