Monday, September 24, 2007

Pick-Up Schticks

And, just as quickly as it appeared, VH1's "The Pick-Up Artist" is gone. Tonight, "Kosmo" (Alvaro's chosen pseudonym) was crowned "The Pick-Up Artist" by crazy Mystery and his somewhat silly-looking partners in crime, J-Dog and Matador.

I've stated my preference for Brady (the second runner-up) before, and I don't feel that Brady was robbed of the victory. If anything, I'm glad he's not going on "tour" -- skank-hunting and picking up STDs around the globe with Mystery and his sycophants. Whiiiiiiiich makes Brady all the more available to come to New York and date me. (Brady: Call me. *making phone signal with my right hand*)

As happy as I am for these guys that they finally have self-confidence -- it was nice to see everyone smiling big, genuine guy-smiles simultaneously during the final minutes, as opposed to their clearly practiced scowls -- I'm a little worried about Kosmo. He really seems to have drunk the Kool-Aid that Mystery's been mixing up: "I love you guys," he said to Mystery, J-Dog, and Matador. But who knows? Maybe he really does love them in that weird fratboy "I love you, man" way.

No, the thing that worries me most is that Kosmo left us with a soundbite at the end of the show that sounded something like this: "I'm not a pimp, and I'm not a player. I'm pick-up artist. And there's a big difference."

Here was my reaction to that, as I sat in my living room:

*crickets chirping*

Okay, if there is a difference, what would that difference be? As a "pick-up artist," you tell women fictional stories (a.k.a. lies, like a player might make up) to attract them. You put them down (like a pimp might, perhaps) to hook them. You weave a web of escalating psychological hot-buttons in order to "close" with a woman (or "girl," as they say on the show) -- be it closing her phone number, closing a kiss, or opening get what I mean.

Don't get me wrong: I want to admit up front that I love the show, and I watched every single episode. And maybe if the women are dumb enough to fall for these schticks, then they deserve the predators they eventually fall into bed with. Plus, I would gladly welcome a tutorial from Mystery to learn a few tricks of the pick-up artists' trade to use on men. (We ladies need all the help we can get in the New York dating minefield.)

But, come now: "I'm not a player"? Playa, please. Kosmo, if you'd read Neil Strauss's The Game, you'd better understand what you've signed yourself up for. Get ready to observe some seriously low standards, a few existential/psychological crises, and rampant sexual debauchery. And be glad your "tour" won't be filmed, so your mama won't have to watch you disrespect women the world over.

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