Thursday, 12 November 2009

Building a better bad boy

We all love a bad boy. We either want to be one, or tame one. He's the fantasy feature of literature and he never, ever goes out of style. He is style.
So, how do we spot one? What are the key credentials in acquiring bad boy status? Let's have a look at a few examples and qualifications.
1. He's gorgeous. Well, that's a given. He's an alpha male who leads the pack or the lone wolf. Nothing shouts ego like turning up at a party alone, and still being centre of attention. Yes, I mean you, Mr.Darcy.
2. He plays by his own rules. He's an outsider, he's got a reputation and it's one of scandals galore. BUT (and this is a big but) he's in society. He's comfortable with the movers and shakers as well as the scum of the earth. He's always invited to the best parties because, well, he is the party. Dorian Gray, I salute you!
3. Oh, he's dangerous. He fights, he drinks, he gambles, he smokes and has female friends of ill repute. He picks his friends as they suit him. He is guaranteed to act inappropriately. If he hasn't ruined some innocent lady's reputation or been challenged to a duel by the end of a weekend, well, he's not a bad boy. Valmont, take a bow.
4. He knows he's good. That's bad. He's not shy. He's not timid or misunderstood. He is what he is. Take it or leave it. It'll end badly, but would you want it any other way? He doesn't give a damn. Thank you, Rhett Butler.
5. If you can tame him, he's not a bad boy. He will love you and leave you. It's part of his DNA. That's why all the stories end with the marraige. The rest is all downhill. Bad boys don't do domestic bliss. Suicide is the traditional way out for the female. Salve, Mark Antony!
6. He's no gentleman. He will shoot first. That'll be Han Solo, then.
7. You may think all he needs is the love of the right woman. Wrong. He needs the love of every woman. It's probably tied up with him being bottle-fed as a baby. Look no further than Mr. Casanova.
8. He'll age disgracefully. He won't care. No matter his age, even if he's drawing a pension, he's still that bad boy. It's as much attitude as looks. Check out Jack Nicholson clubbing at 70!?!
I'm sure there are more qualifications but those seem to be the most common. So, do take time to check out some of the characters listed above (especially Dorian and Rhett, still the gold standard of bad boy-ness).


Arya said...

Wait a second, wait a second. I'm confused. I thought Octavian was the one that ended up getting everyone to commit suicide, not Marc Antony.

Great post, though! =)

SarwatC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SarwatC said...

Sorry, I deleted that above because I mis-read the post.
Hmm, I not sure Octavian got everyone to commit suicide. Anthoy did is so he wouldn't suffer the ignomy of being paraded through Rome as a war prize, and Cleopatra had a somewhat similar worry. However, in the realms of epic romances, Anthony and Cleopatra epitomise the burning destructiveness of the arch-type bad boy meets bad girl. It will end badly.