Mark Beaumont is worried he has MDE, but it turns out he's in good company
Big Dick Energy. It sounds like the sort of drink a bunch of city bankers might chug to pump them up for a blue-sky meeting about how to short the shit out of Uruguay, or something you’d channel in Glastonbury’s new Porno Field. If there aren’t already emails in my junk folder offering me some, spammers are missing a trick.
Apparently, though, Big Dick Energy – or BDE to make it sound like an awful musical genre for American twats – is an attitude. Though it became famous during a Twitter discussion about the scope of Ariana Grande’s fiance’s wang, one’s medical levels of BDE are measured not in inches but in swagger. It matters not your gender, nor the scale, manner or make-up of your panted VIP area; instead BDE is a kind of un-ignorable, gender-blind self-confidence. It’s in the poise of Rihanna’s hip and the sneer of Cate Blanchett’s eye, the flick of Idris Elba’s shirt cuff and the thwack-thwack-thwack of Pete Davidson’s gigantic penis.
Think you’ve got it? Then you haven’t. Only big dicks think they’ve got Big Dick Energy. The bodybuilders and problematic Love Islanders. The festival piss-throwers and Mahiki brandy smashers. The colleagues of Susanna Reid, the purchasers of million-dollar Wu Tang albums, the medically superhuman Presidents. You can bet your life, right this second, the gastropub gardens of Clapham are ringing to cries of “’sgreat about you Caspar, tah-tal BDE merchant, yah?”
“For God’s sake let’s not bring my own personal dick into this. Enough! The proportions of my genitals are the business solely of myself, my wife and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium”
Me? I’d much rather aspire to Moderate Dick Energy. Now for God’s sake let’s not bring my own personal dick into this. Enough! The proportions of my genitals are the business solely of myself, my wife and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium. But, in music, I like my geniuses with a touch of MDE, with a little frailty and uncertainty attached. People with BDE phone it in. Why should they have to try, have you seen the size of their psychological schlong? People with MDE, on the other hand, ooze vulnerability, relatability and aspiration. They seem modestly unaware of their own brilliance; you believe in them because, one way or another, you are them.
“The xx and Frank Ocean have conquered the world with their MDE”
Sufjan Stevens, MDE incarnate. Regina Spektor, terminal case. Matt Berninger, on daily ego injections to keep his MDE under control. While Bjork’s out there swinging her big ol’ psychological knackers in our faces to minimal artistic effect, the MDE-riddled Ezra Furmans, Perfume Geniuses, Car Seat Headrests and Alvvayses are out there making far superior, infinitely more lovable records. It’s saleable too. The xx and Frank Ocean have conquered the world with their MDE, and Kendrick Lamar is showing hip-hop that it might benefit from a hefty dose. Let’s face it, when so many average hip-hop acts bang on about how much better, fiercer and more comparable to great historical figures they are than everyone else (classic Small Dick Energy behaviour), it makes you wish for the day when an honest, self-aware MDE rapper calls themselves MC Mid-Table and releases the ‘Room For Improvement’ EP featuring A$AP Meh.
So many of my favourite bands have MDE – My Bloody Valentine, Blur (except Alex), Vampire Weekend, Neutral Milk Hotel, REM, The Magnetic Fields, The Breeders, most of The Beatles. It’s a trait of the damaged alternative alt-hero: Kurt Cobain was the undoubted king of Moderate Dick Energy, little knowing that his drummer was infecting his band with rampant BDE.
So, in such illustrious company, MDE sufferers unite! We’re beta and proud. But, hang on, does being comfortable with knowing you exude MDE mean that you actually have BDE? Is there a suppressant we need to start taking?