So a couple of girlfriends and I recently went to see a movie called “The Ugly Truth.” It looked like a cute Friday-night-with-your-ladies type of film that we could all sit back and enjoy as mindless fun for a couple of hours. It was true to the genre of lonely girl meets douchebag with a secret heart of gold. Of course hijinx ensue as we see the douchebag start to fall for lonely girl, and watch lonely girl debate whether to be with the guy she thinks is “safe” or get involved with the guy who acts like a royal dickcheese but she’s certain he just needs a girl who understands. So obviously she goes with the screwed-over douche, only to be rebuffed in a big miscommunication, and her anger at the situation causes a revenge plot that proceeds to win him over after he has an epiphany about his caddish behavior and everyone lives happily ever after. Frankly friends, the only thing “truthful” about this movie was that you knew the whole thing was going to end in a big, fat, UGLY breakup somewhere down the road after the movie is over; after he’s been out drinking with the boys, ogling women and smoking cigars one too many times, while she’s been sitting at home with the damn cat, drinking wine and watching too much Oprah. I mean, come ON! Why does Hollywood insist on continuing to force-feed us bullshit stories like this? Because secretly we want to believe that people are good at their core, that their very nature is not a fucktard in hiding, but a lovely human being waiting for their best intentions to bloom with the right nuturing. That this person you see before you is just putting up a front to weed out the sick and the old, and deep down inside they’re just a scared puppy in need of love and affection. And these movies we watch reinforce these notions. They don’t ever give you the “Ugly Truth,” they give you the “Processed Truth.” The truth is, people lie, they cheat, and they hurt other people. And I don’t think that’s because they have been hurt before, or they have been “misunderstood” or whatever, it’s because people are not good at their core. They are mean, spiteful, and selfish. We act good, we act kind, and we put on a lot of artifice about our innocence, but way down deep we’ve got nothing but our own proud self-centered nature that drives us to do the things we do sometimes. Like my old pal Michael Jackson used to sing: “If they say why, why? Tell ‘em that it’s human nature.” It goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. Eve was sitting around nekkid in the garden minding her own business when she got approached by The Serpent. He offered her something that she thought God wouldn’t give her: an upper-hand. So what did she do? She took it. She took it and ran with it. And got Adam implicated in the deal too. Eve didn’t eat the fruit out of the goodness of her heart, or because she didn’t want to hurt The Serpent’s feelings, or because she wanted to keep him from getting hurt the way she got hurt. She didn’t know about any of that. She did it because she was pulled over to the dark side by her own free will. And therein lies the rub, friends. Who’s to say who the first person was to screw somebody else over? Think about it—you’d have to do some pretty extensive research to trace all the way back to where all this trickeration started. Personally, I have no idea what has made some guys I’ve dated act the way they have except for pure old unadulterated meanness. I know I’ve done some morally reprehensible things in my day for no other reason than selfishness. I wanted what I wanted and I didn’t care who got hurt in the process; I didn’t even give it another thought because I was thinking about me and me only. Selfless, kind, sweet people are not born, they’re made. I am a good person because I have chosen to be a good person, and take my life down a path that is generally upstanding and of moral consequence. I can play dumb, pretend I didn’t know that I had hurt someone’s feelings or stepped over the line when I know good and well that I did it knowingly and in spite of the consequences. Because when the “ugly truth” appears, I’m still bad to the bone.