The wife and I watched the first disc of House (M.D.) Season 4 last night, and while I was disappointed that this season continued in its power-rangers-everyplot routine, it also got me thinking about my friend who, despite Dr. Gregory House being a fictional character (who would likely have been kicked to the street living as a junkie long ago) attempts to, in his real life, mimic the hostility and demeanor of Dr. Crankypants.
He thinks its cool. He thinks it helps create an aura of respect around him. In truth, he's an idiot.
As many times as I've tried to explain that the character's abrasive idiosyncrasies are tolerated because he's a genius, and that my friend is not (ergo he'd likely be seen as just an annoying prick) he really feels that there's something to be said for acting like an ass. Gruff, aloof. Angry. These are not traits young people need to enter the workforce with, yet they see these traits as being successful on television, and therefore choose to emulate them.
Early police shows exploited the whole "procedurally challenged anti-authority cop who gets the job done" persona for decades. Something innate to us longs for the underdog to buck the system while simultaneously being applauded for doing the right thing - casting 'rules' and those who look after them as the antagonist. Here's the thing - if you suck at procedure, challenge authority, and suck at your job, you'll simply be fired that much more quickly. We're talking about the real world here.
I'm good at what I do, but I don't think for a moment that if I chose to maliciously ignore safeguards that I wouldn't be fired. Trust is important in any working relationship, and no, "knowing your stuff" is not enough to overlook obvious flaws such as blatant disregard. And while I'm mildly amused at the antics Dr. House pulls, living in the real world myself, I often shake my head in disbelief that there are people who wish to emulate this tremendous asshole. No, its not cool, and neither are you.
I cannot seem to reiterate enough that not only is this a work of fiction, it only works because he's a genuis! Hell, I'd like to be a drunk billionaire playboy throwing money around, buying and crashing exotic cars and bedding a different movie star every night. IT WOULDN'T WORK BECAUSE I'M NOT FILTHY RICH. See? If I became an irresponsible lush I wouldn't be able to keep my job, my family, or my freedom. I'd be thrown in jail. If you can understand how it takes being a billionaire to act like a billionaire with no repercussions, how come you can't see that if you're a garden-variety idiot who acts like Dr. House, people will despise you and you'll never succeed?
No one likes a dick. You don't like people who are rude to you, or despise you. Why do you think it would be cool to be one of those people? I don't understand. Someone is going to knife you in the back and not think twice about it.