‘Nice guys finish last,’ goes the old maxim. Apparently, they also go home alone. At least the straight ones do. Recently, a photograph has been circulating on the Internet of a young man named Jeremy Meeks. This isn’t just a simple cell phone snapshot, or a Facebook post. It’s a mug shot. Meeks’ picture went viral in June, after his arrest on weapons charges; earning him the affectionate moniker of “handsome mug shot guy.” The 30-year-old Californian isn’t exactly husband material, though, and the dark spot on the outer edge of his left eye isn’t a birthmark. Meeks has a lengthy criminal rap sheet dating back to 2002; the tear drop mark is a gang tattoo.
That didn’t stop thousands of people from visiting his Facebook page and “liking” it, as people are wont to do in this digital age. It didn’t even prevent talent agent Gina Rodriguez from accepting Meeks as a prospective client. Rodriguez, whose gallery of talent includes such media gems as Nadya “Octomom” Suleman and Farrah “Teen Mom” Abraham, hoped to get Meeks a modeling contract as voluptuous as his lips. Knowing star potential when they see one, officials with a porn studio have also approached Meeks; offering him a $100,000 contract. Meeks has been held in the San Joaquin County Jail on a whopping $1,050,000 bail.
“Handsome mug shot guy” is married with a young son and, according to family members, has been trying to live a quiet life after spending time in prison and being involved with the “Northside Gangster Crips,” an offshoot of the Los Angeles-based “Crips,” one of the oldest and most violent street gangs in the U.S. He was arrested June 18 after driving away from a suspected drug house in Stockton, California that was due to be searched. Two others were with him in the vehicle, which also contained a loaded and unregistered semi-automatic handgun and two extended magazines in the trunk. Police also found marijuana in the car.
Insisting her son is an innocent “working man,” Meeks’ mother, Katherine Angier, seized upon his newfound celebrity to plead for help. She established a profile on the “Go Fund Me” web site to raise money for his legal defense, adding that her precious offspring has been stereotyped because of his past behavior. “He’s my son, and he is so sweet,” Angier opines.
Well, who could argue with her?! Unfortunately, more than just Meeks’ mother has come to love his face. Plenty of desperately lonely females have swooned over those cornflower blue eyes and chiseled cheek bones.
A second cousin of mine who’s an active-duty solider in the U.S. Army recently went on a Facebook rant about the lascivious response Meeks is getting; ending it with a deprecatingly bitter piece of advice: “Keep it classy, girls!”
I can empathize. This is the kind of crap that drives men crazy. While women often complain that men lust after the ubiquitous supermodel chicks, the reality is that most men usually don’t become infatuated with female criminals. At least most supermodels aren’t of a criminal bent – excluding Naomi Campbell. Indeed, two of America’s worst serial killers, Ted Bundy and Richard Ramirez, developed legions of female fans during their respective criminal trials. It didn’t seem to matter that these monsters deliberately sought out and slaughtered untold numbers of innocent people. Some felt there was an angel inside each man and they had the ability to bring it out.
I wish I had purple eyes and stood six feet tall. But, I don’t. I just wasn’t born with those attributes. I wish I’d joined the U.S. Navy some 30 years ago; my life might have gotten into better shape a long time ago. But, I just never did. I’m not alone. People often want who and / or what they can’t normally have. Poets and psychologists have debated this issue for millennia; knowing it’s part of the human psyche to crave the unattainable. Modern science has deduced that dopamine, a chemical precursor to adrenaline, is the primary culprit. It’s a complex substance the brain develops naturally; one that generates feelings of pleasure and desire – but, not necessarily satisfaction. It may be a key factor in substance abuse, such as alcoholism. Researchers still don’t understand why some people respond more acutely to one set of stimuli than others. The brain may be the most powerful sex organ in the human body, but it remains a mysterious one.
Females who prefer the stereotypical “bodice-ripper” (think Rhett Butler carrying a shrieking Scarlett O’Hara up the staircase in “Gone with the Wind”) might want to confer with occupants of a domestic violence shelter; women who either fell for or stayed with a man they thought could change with a good meal and the right perfume. It’s amazing how stupid some women can be in genuinely believing their feminine charms are powerful enough to alter the core personalities of the worst men; a sort of hormonal alchemy that would be the “Holy Grail” for marriage counselors, psychologists and talk show hosts. But, with a few exceptional cases, it rarely occurs.
Such blind self-adulation can be fatal. There are countless stories of women dying at the hands of men who really didn’t have a Prince Charming hidden beneath those balled up fists and bloodshot eyes. But, when I contemplate such odd pairings, I recall the tragic tale of a cousin who took her own life in January 1983. Already a somewhat fragile soul, she had married a man with a drug problem a couple of years earlier; believing she could somehow cure him of his ailment. Her mother strongly opposed the union, as did most everyone else in the family. But, no one could stop it. After all, she was an adult. And, apparently no one – not even my cousin – could stop her husband’s drug addiction. So, she left him. That would seem a happy enough ending, but her marriage’s sudden dissolution plunged my cousin into a state of extraordinary despair. I guess she blamed herself for the guy’s inability to shake free from his wicked habit; shattering her vision of a bright and loving future for the two of them. So, she sat down in a closet one night after work and stuck a pistol in her mouth. He had been a very bad boy, and she was a very good girl. Yet, she’s the one who ended up dead. He had failed miserably, but she felt like a miserable failure. Where’s the justice, I asked quietly at the funeral. Where, in a decent world, is there room for something so twisted as that?
Wearing a San Joaquin County jumpsuit – in what I called “arresting amber” – Meeks made a court appearance on July 8 and received mixed news: he’s no longer facing multiple weapons charges. But, the state turned his case over to the federal government, and now, Meeks is looking at a single federal weapons possession indictment. As a federal case, it’s obviously much more serious, and if convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
And, knowing how desperate some women are for a man, there’ll be more than a few nitwits holding vigil for his sorry ass in the comfort of their delusional minds. Meanwhile, the truly nice men will still be at home alone.
Cartoon courtesy of Joke All You Can.