While Latoya has already done an excellent job dissecting the truly heinous remarks in John Mayer's recent Playboy interview, there was another aspect of the interview that I think warrants a discussion: namely, that John Mayer is a terrible ex-boyfriend.
Last week, the universe threw a douche parade, and every float was John Mayer: John Mayer the racist, John Mayer the homophobe, John Mayer the compulsive masturbator, John Mayer the porn addict, John Mayer the crying apologizer, and John Mayer, the fucking terrible ex-boyfriend.
For all the attention that's been (rightfully) paid to Mayer's racist and homophobic remarks, little has been paid to the fact that Mayer, who spent much of the interview discussing his "choices" in terms of paparazzi and interacting with the media and such (a game he says he's now out of, mind you), decided to completely ignore the choices his ex-partners had made and spilled embarrassing details about both Jessica "Sexual Napalm" Simpson and Jennifer "Wishes It Was 1998" Aniston, giving tabloid-dream soundbites about both women that went viral as soon as the interview hit the internet. He fails to realize that the women in his life are not characters or fodder for his soft-rock ballads, but actual human beings with lives and careers and goals that go beyond being "John Mayer's ex."
Do you know who pulls shit like that? 15-year-old boys. 9th graders, who think "I totally boned her" is a compliment to their ex-girlfriend in some way, as if discussing her body and sexual willingness is something she'd want shared with the bros in the cafeteria. John Mayer is that dude who probably thought Jessica Simpson, her parents, her boyfriend (Billy!), and basically everyone she's ever/never met would be totally stoked when he discussed his sexual addiction to her and their bedroom habits. Nevermind that Simpson, by all accounts, kept those details private: Mayer's self-absorption is so strong that he thinks his praise won't be embarrassing at all, but inspirational, heart-warming, and hilarious. He thinks he's charming. He is not. And what's worse is that John Mayer, as Stephen Marche of Esquire points out, is just one of the "self-styled wimps, the ostentatiously meek," in pop culture who "are inheriting the earth, with vulnerability becoming the definitive, and most profitable, affectation of our time."
Because here's the thing: John Mayer is not clueless. He is not a fragile little thing. He's a manipulator. Please don't make excuses for him or say that perhaps he didn't realize what he was doing. Mayer has since come out to blame "the media game" for his words, as if some magical media whirlwind swept him up and brainwashed him into his privilege, misogyny, racism, homophobia, and lack of empathy for anyone outside of himself. Sure, he apologized for "the N word," and he apologized for hurting people he loves, but most of all he seems to be apologizing to himself, for getting "caught up" and for "trying to be clever."
As Latoya wrote: "In the fallout to his other controversial interviews, Mayer often tries to mask his douchiness with self-depreciating analysis." John Mayer is that guy who talked shit about you in the hallways of your high school (no wonder he wants to go back and run through those halls) and then broke down in tears when you confronted him, telling you he still cared so much about you and that he just wanted to impress the dudes. That may have flown when he was 15, but he's 32 now, an age he invokes several times during his Playboy interview to explain many of his dumb behaviors.
Well guess what John? Being 32 doesn't mean you get to be a self-centered jackass who gets to puppy dog face his way out of real life problems. Do you know what being 32 means? It means you're a fucking adult. So act like it.
Welcome to the real world. And yes, I said that condescendingly. Jackass.
The Playboy Interview: John Mayer [Playboy]
Why You Can't Knock John Mayer's Hustle [Esquire]
Earlier: It's Impossible To Have A Benetton Heart And A White Supremacist Dick