Wednesday, October 17

Games people play

The other day I finally finished The Game, that supposed bastion of seduction secrets. By the end of the book, I was ready for all of the major players to plan a suicide pact and just end their disgusting, miserable lives once and for all, allowing the rest of L.A. and the world a little breathing room. And dignity.

But, sadly, not even Mystery — who threatened repeatedly — had the proverbial balls to do something so sexy and bold as take a flying leap off a cliff. So to this day, these sultans of sociopathic sexing live and move among us, practicing their creepy craft and bedding drunk women with alarming regularity. Ick.

Thankfully, the bulk of douchebaggery seems to be concentrated in Southern California, where many PUAs congregated several years ago to populate a Real World-esque house together to hone their craft and conduct intensely homosocial bonding experiments (aka "workshops"). According to the book, the exact opposite happened, and most of these Casanovas sat around playing video games and never meeting women, because women were too creeped out to come back to their filthy house that was crawling with creepy little sex-starved trolls.

So, from my perspective, the story is equal parts amusing (Mystery is a fucking nutbag! with daddy issues! and an intense love of Pearl Jam and Tool and Live!) and disgusting (because of the aforementioned douchebaggery and straight-up misogyny), but I have to say that by the middle part of the book — regardless of my feelings regarding the content — I wanted to dunk the author's bald head in a vat of lye because his writing got so goddamned hackneyed and lazy. I briefly considered starting a chart of clichés, and ticking off each one as I encountered it in the book. From cliché phrases to cliché sentiments, to the recognition of said sentiments as cliché, I felt like Strauss was just yawning his way through most of the book (even the part where he was getting a blowjob while writing — so edgy!!!!! but if he was able to write during it, doesn't that mean it wasn't very good? just saying). Sure, he had an interesting story to tell, even if it did make me want to vomit approximately eleven times. But just because the story itself is interesting doesn't mean you can just phone it in. "Dude, you had to be there" isn't really a good motto for a writer.

But maybe I'm being too harsh. This book wasn't written for me. It was written for pimply losers who are socially inept. Okay, maybe it was written for me. I'll revise: Pimply men who are socially inept. They want the nuts and bolts of the story, not the theory behind how those nuts and bolts feel about about working together. They want something quick and easy so they can figure out how to find someone quick and easy. I get that. Whatevs. It was a best seller.

But honestly, I don't see how anyone could glean any sort of helpful information from this book, or why anyone would want to after seeing just how awful all the PUAs (who stay in the game) actually are as real human beings. Please, PUAs, stay in SoCal and absorb the shallow women there so none of us here occupying the rest of reality have to deal with you.

Reading this book also got me to thinking about my own style of interacting with people. I was all hot and bothered over the concept of negging — because of its function as an automatic means to gut someone's self-esteem — and then I realized that I neg people all the time! It's pretty much my preferred way of communicating with people I like. It hasn't always been, but some time during college (I figure when I met and had to match wits with The Kids) I became a champion ball-buster. And now my favorite way to show affection (well ... my second favorite way) is to lob a well-timed playful insult. I definitely don't do it to fuck with people's sense of self-worth, though. But I'm afraid that may be an unintended result.

Holy crap, did this book teach me something after all?

Cue the violins!

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