Sunday, July 16, 2006

Perverted Robots

At the suggestion of one of our readers generically named "John" I checked out the first two chapters of the book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. This book neatly reduces club interaction to a series of strategies and rules which have a high likelihood of success. I found it extremely entertaining and frustrating. Entertaining because it is a well written, thought inspiring, and slightly self-depreciating novel. Frustrating, because it's actually fucking right.

For example, the failure described in my last post (Just Say Never) can be attributed to a violation of the "three second rule." Basically, if you don't go up to a girl and talk to her within 3 seconds upon seeing her, you've already over-analyzed the situation and you will fail. I entirely agree with this concept, as well as many others scattered throughout the fascinating plot-line. So why was I shaking my head and swearing under my breath every few pages? Because it was disgusting. Not in an obscene or vulgar sense, but in a scientific sense. It was dehumanizing, to everyone involved.

Hey, I believe in some aspects of behavioral psychology. Under set circumstances, with enough knowledge of an individual's inner state and history, their reactions are largely predictable. What I don't believe, or what I don't want to believe, is that our interactions with others can consist of prefab statements which lead to the same results every time. This kind of world view turns everyone into perverted robots and transforms the club landscape into a statistical wasteland, devoid of any meaningful experience.

While I was dealing with this depressing discovery, the keystone question leapt out at me.
Why does this stuff work?

Well, let's see. The book concerns itself with approaching women at bars. Bars have relatively the same environment, and everyone is there for a narrow set of reasons. The tactics the book describes are sometimes intuitive, sometimes clever, and always generic and extremely appliable. In other words, we're not talking about a one size fits all solution to every form of communication. This is ONLY for nightlife.

And it works because nightlife is not a real-world situation. We all created it from the same template. It the manifestation of our desires, fabricated from fantasy and the hedonistic pleasure centers of the brain. No wonder these shallow tactics work.

But they also take all the adventure out of it. I don't want a prepackaged night experience. I want unpredictability, spontaneity, recklessness, and failure.
Yes. Failure. Isn't that what humanity is about?

So last night I got to thinking, if there are exact rules and guidelines to the club ecosystem which will ensure success, then by doing the exact opposite, one could potentially achieve a total failure.

I will call this the Bizzaro method. Follow closely:

- Apply a substantive quantity of feces to your body and dress like a homeless person.

- Sneak into the party in some kind of not practical or subtle way, say by climbing over a large fence and falling on your face in front of a large group of people.

- If drinks aren't free, don't buy any. If they are free, do not tip.

- Proceed to leer at a girl who is standing by herself for 15 minutes, occasionally making obscene mastibatory gestures and, finally, yell an obscure statement like, "I light my poop on FIRE" preferably through a traffic cone if one is available.

- If you haven't already attracted the authorities you should run up to the closest girl and tackle her from behind. I once saw a goalie tackle a player in a high school soccer game. You should go for something like that. Well executed, but totally inappropriate.

- While you're being dragged away by the cops, verbally assault every girl you see, then attempt to aquire personal information.
"Fuck you! Where do you live!"

Finally, end the night with a "prison cell close."
Congratulations to you. Enjoy the company of your cell-mates.

- Seg


john said...

John is my real name and is my real domain name. You met my friend Josh at a party that Jr Sanchez was spinning at like 3 months ago. Anyway, I'm glad you found the book thought provoking. I agree with you that courtship shouldn't be reduced to a series of canned routines. I do agree with the larger message which seems to be overcome your fear and get on with it. But what do I know?
Generically yours,

seg said...

Thanks for the recommendation. This book gave me more to think about than I could possibly write in a single post.
I mean, here I'm objecting to prefabricating conversation, but how often do we do that already without even realizing it?
"Where do you work?"
"Where are you from?"
"Hows your night?"
So, I'm thinking to myself, how are our everyday uninspiring, boring, conversational cliches more genuine? And I don't have any answer to that. I might not directly take the advice in this book, but I'm certainly going to change the way I view passive conversation.