Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A unified theoretical approach to "Tourette's Guy"

Some years ago, the phenomenon of “Tourette’s Guy” took the internet by storm. While his popularity cannot be exaggerated—Tourette’s Guy’s emblematic catch phrases have rapidly become part and parcel of the popular lexicon, including such phrases as “Fuck salt”, “Bob Saget!” and “Asshole!” —few have bothered to offer a comprehensive theoretical interpretation of this cultural icon.

In the interest of applying the same systematic approach as has been used for scientific hypotheses, psychological theory and Biblical exegesis, I offer here a holistic analysis of Tourette’s Guy, attempting to unify several disparate and apparently contradictory statements made by said Guy.

Extracockal approach to the penis

Concerning penile references and the broader category of penile miscellany in general, the position of Tourette’s Guy can best be described as extracockal—focused nearly exclusively on the dick of the Other, to the exclusion of Tourette’s Guy’s own dick.

This is far from a rigidly hard-set rule. Tourette’s Guy makes several references to his own penis throughout the trajectory of his career (see “Suck my dick—or cock”, et al). When the totality of his statements is considered en masse, however, there exists a preponderance of references to others’ penii—enough to fully justify the designation of “extracockal”.

I invite the reader to consider the following examples:

 “Calm down, calm down, don’t get a big dick.”

 “Go count your dick.”

Certain ill-starred academics have decried my evaluation of Tourette’s Guy’s extracockal posture as premature and poorly founded. One can hardly discount, however, the overwhelming evidence which supports my hypothesis; especially after taking into account statements such as this one:

 “I wouldn’t Google Limp Bizkit with your dick.” [emphasis in original]

Tourette’s Guy is so faithfully beholden to his extracockal approach that he maintains it, to the exclusion of logical or physical practicality—how is he to Google Limp Bizkit with the dick of another? In the above statement, we see a preference for referencing the Other’s penis which surpasses even the possibilities of biology. Tourette’s Guy opts to reference his son’s dick (rather than his own), even when this takes him beyond the boundaries of reality.

Indeed, Tourette’s Guy’s extracockal focus may very well be a unique method of meditation, a form of achieving transcendence and enlightenment through the appreciation of paradox, akin in its function to a Zen Buddhist koan.

Alternative interpretation of the extracockal approach

A minority voice exists within the scholarly community which advocates for an entirely different reading of Tourette’s Guy’s focus on the “dick of the Other”. Those who adhere to this alternative position attribute special significance to Tourette’s Guy’s admonition, in speaking to his son, to “[not] get a big dick” [ibid] during their venture in the supermarket.

Rather than demonstrating a transcendental appreciation of paradox, this statement—coupled with the extracockal focus of Tourette’s Guy’s statements—may show a deeply conflicted attitude towards penility. Indeed, if this is taken as evidence of castration anxiety, Tourette’s Guy may be coping with the neurotic fear by externalizing it, focusing almost exclusively on the dick of the Other in order to deflect attention from his own anxiety-provoking genitalia.

Apparent contradictions regarding consumer brands

As concerns the comprehensive philosophy of Tourette’s Guy, no subject matter has generated more controversy than the Guy’s apparently contradictory approach to consumer brands. Regarding his statements concerning name brands, many scholars have—not without justification—thrown up their hands in desperation and affirmed that, indeed, it is impossible to develop a unified theoretical interpretation of Tourette’s Guy.

The contradiction which has received the most attention lies in the stark contrast between Tourette’s Guy’s approach to Colgate toothpaste (with tartar control) and his approach to Total-brand breakfast cereal. He appears to wholly reject the Colgate brand, while coming to the defence of the Total brand. On the one hand, Tourette’s Guy insists to a customer service representative of Colgate:

“I bought your Colgate toothpaste. The one with tartar control. And it made me feel like a piece of shit!”

In contrast, he chides his son for “talking shit about ‘Total’”:
“Don’t talk shit about Total.”

Is Tourette’s Guy in favour of or opposed to consumer brands? How are we to reconcile these two facts?

Despite their apparent contradiction, these statements can easily be reconciled with one another if we take the breadth of Tourette’s Guy’s work in its totality. While his dismissal of certain consumer brands (i.e., Colgate) cannot be ignored, he is far from an opponent of consumer brands a capite ad calcem. Rather, we see here Tourette’s Guy’s fierce loyalty to the brands of his choice—and his unequivocal hatred of brands which he finds substandard.

Selectively tempered misogyny

Some would allege that Tourette’s Guy is guilty of generalised and absolute misogyny. Indeed, a cursory reading of his material could lead one to this conclusion:

“I have to live in this hell hole; all you ever do is stay at home, and play with your tits and look at your ass at the same time!”
However, upon analysing more carefully his misogynistic statements—in particular, those directed towards his wife, Shirlena—we find the antipathy somewhat subdued and tempered at points, occasionally diluted with something akin to kindness.

 [TOURETTE’S GUY]: “Wait a minute, you dick!”
[SHIRLENA]: “I don’t have a dick, you prick.”
[TOURETTE’S GUY]: “…Shirlena? Oh, shit!”

A certain degree of remorse is evident in Tourette’s Guy’s reaction to his wife’s statement; he appears to regret having applied to her the moniker “you dick”. While my reading of this particular scene is sympathetic towards Tourette’s Guy, however, other scholars have offered an alternative interpretation of his reaction. Some have suggested that his reaction of “Oh, shit!” is not one of remorse for having called Shirlena a “dick”; rather, these researchers assert that Tourette’s Guy commiserates with Shirlena for not having a dick. In the event that this fact inspired pity in Tourette’s Guy, this would indeed imply an inherently misogynistic approach to genitalia, suggesting an inherent belief in the superiority of penii. Indeed, it may be asserted that Tourette’s Guy sympathizes with Shirlena solely out of an assumption that she suffers from an acute case of penis envy.

Perhaps the most clear example of the subdued, yet ever-present compassion, can be found in the following statement:

“Bitch! I love you!”

The tone is conflicted, ambiguous, yet overall affectionate in the end.


The academic literature devoted to Tourette’s Guy is, regrettably, limited and extremely introductory. While this field remains embryonic and underdeveloped, we can be thankful to modern technology for the fact that every single moment of Tourette’s Guy’s life has been recorded for posterity in the annals of YouTube. While the printed word may or may not survive into the 22nd century—the works of Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Hemingway are not ensured passage into the future—we can rest assured that Tourette’s Guy will last for as long as digital technology does. 

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