Monday, October 20, 2008

Fetid disco ball lying on a used-condom-covered floor

Curious about the terms that Roissy and pick-up* artists like him use, I attempted to read The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss. I just couldn't get through it.

*I use the hyphen because to me "pickup" is a vehicle with a big space in the back that condemns you to forever helping anyone when they are moving.

For starters, the topic is just so one-dimensional. It's like watching those fishing shows or golf; fishing and, presumably, golf are of interest only if you're doing them yourself.

Worse yet, the writing was abysmal. Especially compared to Roissy or Tucker Max (the author of the other pick-up tome I read - though I didn't know that's what it was before I started reading it).

So let's just segue into I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max. While the writing was much better, and overall much, much funnier, it still was about picking up loose chicks in cheesy bars. You can read one of the best, nastiest, I-can't-believe-that-happened one here (possibly NSFW, my work's web cop software blocks it).

TLD: And, btw, when I explored the site for this post, I was surprised to learn that a lot of his conquests actually allow their pictures to be posted. Heck, one even let him post a picture of her gargantuan dumps (again, prolly NSFW). The mind boggles.)

While initially there are laughs, it begins to get repetitive ("...then, we had mind-bending sex!"), and it ultimately ends badly. To wit: Max, in the last story in the book, has one girl over who tells him that she has to abort the baby she knows is his because she has a type of cancer where the treatment will kill the baby anyway, when another girl shows up for a booty call. He leaves the pregnant one on the couch to go screw the recent arrival, and then goes back to the one on the couch after Ms. Recent passes out. The tawdryness of it just makes you want to hug your kids and stare at a sunset to get the karmic taste out of your soul.

My conclusion about all this pick-up artist stuff is that it proves the old adage, "Mother told me, yes she told me, I'd meet girls like you." The pick-up universe is all about sluts looking for sluts. (Oooo, harsh and judgmental, I know.) And they usually find each other, and boinking occurs. I regret wasting that valuable reading time to arrive at something I already knew.

A Player would maintain (and often do in what I've read) that they can pick up any girl using the techniques, not just sluts. Then again, they all talk about IOI, or "indicator of interest" which means she's into you, so go forth and conquer - which means there are times when you don't get them, and move on, which begs the question, how many women are put off by these guys in the first place? What's the ratio of girls that wouldn't give these guys the time of day compared to the ones looking for Mr. Right Now, etc.?

Roissy mentions that small-town girls are usually more impervious to the game and are usually more wholesome. From my small-town experience, I'd say that's sorta true; we have our sluts too, but yeah, most of the girls have some standards. I know that my player buddies back in my hometown pretty much all screwed the same circle of girls. After we non-players (I think this "beta male" nonsense is just that) figured that out, we tended to avoid those girls.

Overall, though, as mentioned, this lifestyle appears to end badly. Like Curt Cobain's punk value system, it's not sustainable throughout time and reality. Much of the game depends on physical attractiveness, and save for the Paul Newmans and Susan Sarandons of the world, aging just takes its toll. Looks aside, the emotions eventually get chronic rugburn, too. Further, as one Disney ride will explain to you over and over, it's a small world after all; your reputation eventually precedes you.

Sad to say, but every single one of the gamers I've known has ended up going through hell relationship-wise. They can't hold onto anyone for very long, and even if they appear to be doing so, it's hard to leave all those game habits behind, and so they eternally itch for the new conquest - just one more piece of strange (if you will).

It leaves me with the image of the player lying in the dark, disco ball down and condoms strewn, with the strains of "Is That All There Is?" echoing ghostly through their mind.

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