January 26, 2010

"Pick a card." [slap!]

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
by Neil Strauss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was alternately funny, disgusting, and sad. The first by accident (Neil Strauss is a terrible writer, but two good jokes made it in to print), the second in how vapid and clueless men assume some women are, and the third in the level to which this lifestyle is assumed and followed. Mystery's quest to be loved and mentally stable, the time and effort spent laying women, and the importance placed on the roles and routines of The Game are pathetic bordering on tragic. I'm all for former Trekkies who are now getting laid nightly, but in most cases, they found their happiness when they got married, or found girlfriends who actually liked them--not just liked them well enough to sleep with them.

Strauss writes with a Dan Brown level of competency, mixed with a flair of tabloid journalism dramz and "dun-dun-DUUH" chapter endings thrown in. If you subtract the self-aggrandizing, the name dropping, the bromance and the Reformed Geek Finds Soul Mate happy ending, you get three very keen (and psychologically evident) points on human interaction:

1. Women want to have sex as much as men do--they just don't want to be perceived as sluts. By developing a rapport with a woman, you are getting to know each other enough that it is socially okay for her to have sex with you after only meeting you a few hours previously. You have both gotten off, had fun, and nobody has to feel guilty.

2. Women are like cats. Tease them, and they will bat at you. Ignore them, and they will come to you. Smother them and they will leave.

3. Women can read. If any of them see you trying any of these moves at the club, your ass is busted. And any women who is picked up by a magic trick was either driven there by an adult, or is looking past the magic trick to bed you out of pity. Seriously... magic? WTF?

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