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October 5, 2001

A white boy is a terrible thing to waste: Cusack Theory

We here at the Maroon have many crazy theories. Some of them are just that: crazy theories. But much like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory, some of our crazy theories are so sane they might just blow your mind. Coming straight from that “so-sane-it-will-blow-your-almond" mold is our insistence that the personality of every single one of our male, heterosexual English-speaking friends, including ourselves, corresponds to a specific role John Cusack played in a romantic comedy, or some combination of those roles. This writer has been described on several occasions as a near-perfect copy of One Crazy Summer's Hoops McCann, with just a touch of Say Anything's Lloyd Dobler. It might sound crazy, but it works.

How does Serendipity's Jonathan Trager fit into the Pantheon of John Cusack? First, a recapitulation of Cusacks past.

The Sure Thing: Walter “Gib" Gibson: The earliest and roughest of all the Cusack identities. Sort of a dick at times, and his inability to seal the deal with Princess Vespa from Spaceballs is a definite weakness. You know people like this. You are people like this.

Better Off Dead: Lane Myer: A class act all the way, but his predilection for talking to his cartoons and attempted suicide prevent Lane from really taking off. His ability to endow hamburger meat with consciousness a la Frankenstein is a major plus. Probably the weakest in terms of quality of ass bagged; we're not a fan of the broke French foreign-exchange girl.

One Crazy Summer: Hoops McCann: The refined classic, elegant in his simplicity. Draws cartoons, is supposed to be good at basketball for some unspecified reason, yet can't make one single free throw to save Bobcat Goldthwait from a pounding at the hands of the Nantucket yuppies. Flawed yet so likeable, and eventually defeats the evil Mr. Beckerstead and stops him from covering Nantucket with his Lobster Log restaurants.

High Fidelity: DJ Rob Gordon: The hipster Cusack, or perhaps the updated non-‘80s Cusack who doesn't listen to Peter Gabriel. Some have said he is merely Lloyd D. all grown up. We are inclined to view Rob Gordon as a distinct entity. He is the record guy. He is your DJ friend. You know this guy. Careful, he's moody.

Say Anything: Lloyd Dobler: The granddaddy of them all. So fucking charismatic you want to stop the tape and go find John Cusack and make him tell you how to act like that, as you would soon find yourself in poon up to your knees. That, or to kill him and live in his mansion until the cops come for you. It is a rare man who successfully pulls off the Dobler, and the world is his oyster.

Serendipity: Jonathan Trager: Press kit calls him an “every-man." But John Cusack is always an every-man, because he is every man. Whatever. He's playing the producer of a sports show who wants to be a documentary filmmaker. Whaa? Considering the previous fictional career track of John Cusack (college kid to skiier to cartoonist to kickboxer to grifter to White Sox 3B to deputy mayor to hitman to puppeteer to record store owner) this is a serious letdown. Let's not be hasty, but it looks like Jonathan Trager doesn't make the cut. Get your shit together, Cusack. A bunch of hopeless white men need your guidance in this dark time.