Saturday, August 18, 2007
The Pick-Up Artist, or the Biggest Loser?
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for people who were unable to pick up girls at clubs. Why? Because I am one of those people. I feel so completely out of my element in clubs, that simply for me to get out of the house and go to one is a miracle in itself. To ask me, then, to approach an attractive babe, and start talking to her, and get her phone number? Well, I am sure there is some clever saying about miracles not striking twice, or lightning, or something like that.
So I am not quite sure what to make of a new television show, based on the best-selling book The Game, which details the secret world of the pick up artist. Now, full disclaimer, I read the book in question. It was a fantastic book. It taught me is lots of things: be yourself, but not too much of yourself, be flirty, playful, and so on. The point is to take these first encounters lightly. You don't want to open yourself up too quickly, or else you will scare the girl away, and all will be lost.
(Not that I am too impressed with the caliber of girl at these clubs, anyway. Seriously, who goes to these things? Who honestly thinks it would be a worthwhile way to spend a Friday or Saturday night - dressing up like a prostitute and dancing with random strangers at an overcrowded and smoky nightclub? I want a girl who is far more content to stay home, and read, play board games, and sing. Yes, I am very serious.)
That said, I can understand the mentality of a guy who simply wants help learning how to walk go to random people and talk to them. It is a skill valuable in every facet of life. "Mystery" is a man who was once every bit as nerdy and socially awkward as the motley crew who star in the pick up artist. But, through experience, and studying the social interactions of successful pickup artists, mystery learned the secrets. After years of practice, he was able to apply them "in the field ", and before this television show he made a very substantial income selling his services as mentor and guide to the tune of three thousand dollars a pop.
On the show, mystery and his wing men first watch the bunch as they walk into the clubs and attempts to pick up girls. There are microphones and hidden cameras everywhere. Meanwhile, in the surveillance van, mystery and his friends make comments and talk about how they would do things differently. Then, after the group has suitably embarrassed themselves in front of national television, we get to see mystery and his friends at work.
It is truly miraculous to witness what the master pick up artist can do. We’re talking Jesus level miracles. It is amazing. It makes me want to try my hand at the clubs myself. Even knowing know that I would not be compatible with any of the women who go there. Mystery and his friends make it look fun!
So, all in all, it is a very interesting show, but I am not sure if I find it acceptable to laugh at the pathetic “contestants” on the show. (Oh yes, it is a game show, and somebody has to get voted off every week. Further adding to their humiliation.) Obviously, there has to be something wrong with them the first place if they would be willing to get onto national television make a fool of themselves. But that doesn't give me a right to laugh at them.
I will continue to watch. But I will not guffaw as much as I would have otherwise, because I know that the only difference between me and the losers on the show is that I did not take the time to audition.