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Friday, September 5. 2008
(The idea for this post grew out of a conversation with a colleague, who thought that Obama - and occasionally other politicians - successfully apply these techniques. She suspects that Obama has read Greene's best-seller because of his stated awareness of the effectiveness of his mirroring role, but that's not my motive for this post.)
Robert Greene's book, The Art of Seduction, is the sort-of sequel to his The 48 Laws of Power. Greene is a student of the dark arts. Both books are applicable to politics, business, relationships, and daily life - especially by those with sociopathic inclinations. However, reading these books can help one understand how some people approach their lives.
(This has nothing at all to do with Freud's seduction theory, by the way.)
The game, or art, of seduction is, at its core, not mainly about physical sex. It is not about earnest courtship, nor is it plain old trying to get laid. In its most artful form, sex doesn't occur (although it is indeed generally difficult for guys to refuse an appealing offer). The art of seduction is a game of deception and subtle psychological manipulation. Here's a bit from Ovid on "Promise and Deceive" from The Art of Love:
When the game is played in its purest form there is no consummation: the seducer disappears in victory, leaving the innocent in despair, holding nothing but a cracked mirror. If the seducer falls in love with his mirrored creation, as in Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, the seducer has failed in his game by entering the looking glass world rather than remaining a disengaged puppeteer.
The chosen victim must be either innocent or vulnerable in some way, because a sophisticated victim might very well be playing her own game - and beat you at it.
The art of seduction, when done "right," is about the enactment of a subtly homoerotic dynamic wherein the seducer guy reflects back an image of the female as she wants to be, or as she regressively is. Thus the best seducers can be those men with "sensitive," "feminine" sides - "metrosexuals," or even the sexually ambivalent, because they are the best at reflecting the feminine.
The classic writings on the art of seduction, besides Ovid, must include Les Liasons Dangereuses, written in 1782 by Pierre LaClos, to which the expression "revenge is a dish best served cold" has been often erroneously attributed.
They must also include Soren Kierkegaard's Diary of a Seducer. That review begins:
There are even internet communities that teach and practice the seductive arts. Here's one such site. A cursory view of their sites makes the accurate point that success in seduction has nothing to do with a fellow's appearance or background - just his skill at the game. However, for these people online, unlike the classic form of the game, consummation seems to be the trophy. Scoring, but not stupid drunk scoring - deftly engaging the lady emotionally first with the "bold move" carefully planned and timed.
Greene's book goes through the essential tactics of the art, which he lists as the following:
Image: Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror, 1932.
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Had a copy of Greene's 48 laws and sold it on Amazon some time ago after realizing that a) some of the stuff is down right evil b) he wrote the book not because he had something to say but to make a buck, that's OK but it wasn't wisdom just checklists that a book publisher ordered up
Yeah. They both have to do with what you do with your balls.
Also sounds like I wouldn't care to associate with anyone who practices those dark arts.
As for politicians doing so, good point... but I don't think that would include Sarah P or John M. Unless they deceive themselves. I don't think so.
As a once famous but forgotten by me wag once said (paraphrased): "A maid laughing is halfway to the bed".
McCain and Palin seem to have caught on.
Golf is a sublime game. Deceptively simple but so hard to execute. If you ask Tiger Woods how many really good shots he made in a tournament he answers "maybe three or four".
That is its fascination. It is a test of yourself. Bobby Jones, revered in the history of golf - an amateur who who gained riches and fame in other fields - said "Golf is a game that is played in that five inch space between your ears".
Many who don't understand the game have decried the the business deals made on the golf course. It is a test of character. Do you complain about your misfortune of winding up in a sand trap or a bad lie - or do you grab a club and advance the ball.
No, a maid in tears is halfway to the bed.
Golf this morning, barring heavy rain and bad weather.
I'm going to try to get in nine before the hurricane. I love to play in the wind. They say even the pros have a hard time scoring in a stiff breeze. Sort of eves it up a bit.
ha ha. What a funny thread. A wicked post about how to subjugate a woman morphs into scoring in a stiff breeze on the back nine.
Gotta love it.
Seduction sounded attractive until I read that.
Seduction is a young man's game. It's tough to find the opportunity when you hit the early bird senior specials then fall asleep on the couch before nine.
Golf on the other hand is not only enjoyable but cheaper as you age. You can't hit a ball far enough to lose it.
Seduction is not necessarily about sex. To read Greene's book is to understand the possible tactics that will be used against you in other arenas: politics and business. To understand is to be mentally armed.
For example: yesterday I had a long conversation with a fellow who went on about how corrupt New Jersey is; he had enough inside knowledge to give credence to his statements. He also spoke of the corruption in New Jersey business. Towards the end of the conversation, I asked him, "How are you able to spot such personally corrupt people?" He couldn't say. There aren't many visual clues.
The only way to be able to resist seduction is to know when you are being manipulated, pay full attention to what is being done and said, have principles to guide your actions, and to step back and ponder any such situation: obtain mental breathing room.