Sunday, December 15, 2013

DotTeeVee: 4 Magic Phrases You Can Use to Respond to ANYTHING

Having conversations with other human beings is difficult to the point where I'd be willing to take advice from even the most annoying huckster just to make it a little more manageable. When there's the promise of actually violating the natural laws of our clockwork universe via four easy replies, well you'd be a fool not to spend as much time and money as possible on this guy's "system." No more struggling to actually share common humanity, instead I'm going to run roughshod over polite interactions by utilizing preplanned language, like a very simple and poorly programmed social robot.

We meet the Wizard who will be teaching us the social legerdemain and unfortunately he's one of those annoying "Say it with me!" and "Yay, Enron!" presenters you've come to know and hate if you've ever had the misfortune of attending business seminars. If you haven't, let's just say this guy has some serious punch appeal and leave it at that. He's already in full coked-up goofball mode when we start the video, making smarmy statements that equate the spoken word to "duct tape" and then yelling "Magic!" like the world's least likable mental patient. I'm sure his audience, who must already feel like suckers for attending this thing in the first place, is enjoying having their remaining dignity stripped away by this clown.

 If you follow my system, you, too, can bang seven gram rocks.

Now we get some crazy promises that these "magic phrases" can be used as a universal response to absolutely anything. Maybe not a good response, or even one that doesn't make me want to hit this goof right in the center of his face, but a response regardless. We get this weird, almost new age bit about "validating" others, which seems kind of out of place in seminar on how to give various automated responses that are all basically euphemisms for "Go to hell."

They all start with "That's interesting!" I guess it's possible to be more patronizing, but it would probably require years of work by a douche-bag version of the Manhattan Project to achieve that. Seems unnecessary, when such a powerful conventional weapon is already available.

We now get one of four ways to complete the magical phrase and it's "Tell me more!" Bonus points for delivering it in a monotone while looking off into the distance, I guess. I just don't understand why the magic isn't working. Probably because I don't believe in it strong enough. He then goes all drill sergeant and makes the audience repeat it over and over complete with "Louder!" and "Show me your negotiation face! Arrrggggghhhhhh! That's a negotiation face!"

It's really a commentary on the power that maintaining a relatively comfortable and stable life has over the individual, considering no one wraps a pool cue around this guy's head or something similar. The urge must have been overwhelming.

"If you leave here, if you survive, you will be High Priests of Capitalism praying for profits."

We are told this phrase gets our unlikable instructor out of many "pickles." Somehow I don't have any problem believing that he's constantly making enemies and getting into bad situations. However, it isn't a perfect fix, always, which is why we have three other stock lines, after all. We get them all at once "Why would you say/do/ask that?" Yes, when we're not patronizing like a m.f. we can call into question the other person's behavior and then declare victory, hopefully from a safe distance.

How could it fail? We're told the sometimes people are less than "honorable" toward us and instead of being all "That's interesting, Sir Knight. Why would you say that?" our ego responds instead of our mechanized reply system. The conversation conjurer equates it to the effect of "chemicals in the body," which at least I believe he'd know a thing or two about, specifically going up the nasal passages and then hitting the brain. 

A sound that indicates agreement rises from the crowd as he discusses emotional overreaction, just another little reminder that we live in an angry nation full of people ready to snap at the slightest provocation. He then compares others to "energy vampires" and mentions how questioning someone's motives can remove the "invisibility cloak." Your bizarre, paranoid analogies are interesting, tell me more.

We jump ahead to trying to apply this verbal wooden stake to a hypothetical situation involving those energy vampires. Specifically, people asking you "When you getting married?" You know, I thought we were learning tips on making those big profits rather than papering over your embarrassing personal life. 

That's interesting, why would you say that?

After that brief digression into this guy's confirmed bachelorhood it's back to commanding your work kollectiv. We're told to keep our cool in the face of the occasional pathetic dissent from the last men and women we own and control. He calls the successful defusing of these attempts at free agency a "verbal karate kick" and even simulates the physical equivalent. I'm having Todd Bentley flashbacks.

"That's interesting, what's your style?"

It's almost time for lunch, so we have to wrap it up. We're encouraged to send e-mails, because it's a computer wonder age. He offers to hang with us during the midday face-stuff and declares this audience one of the best ever. "I was in Chicago (Boo!) last week and I thought they knew how to parrot phrases there...but NOBODY regurgitates the drivel I teach like King of Prussia, Pennsylvania!"

A little more crowd-pleasing and we're done. I think we can all agree that this video was interesting.

Komment Korner, That's interesting, why would you say that? edition  
Is this satire?

the taste in his mouth is certainly not anger, rrrrright?

In Norwegian the same words would send very different signals .. =)

Does it work with women when they like to talk to you about bullshit  

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

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