December 2, 2012 21 Comments
While I was living in Tokyo my co-worker told me about a highly regarded domestic whiskey called Yamazaki. It has a peaty smokey taste coming from an unusual casking procedure up in the mountainous hot springs region slightly north of Tokyo. While I was travelling up in Nikko I visited one of the small hole-in-the-wall whiskey joints they have around the rural train station square and fell into conversation with the owner. He must’ve been into his seventies but still had that gruff clipped demeanour of the old generation – the yamato damashi Japanese spirit. When I asked for a Yamazaki single malt his eyes lit up and he regalled me with the history of the drink.
Back in the Meiji Restoration (1868) the Emperor waged a power struggle with the Shogun that culminated in a major battle as depicted in the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai. Leading up to this samurai showdown was a strange stand-off just twenty kilometres south of where I sat on my tatami mat sipping the whiskey. The Emperor’s army had moved north supported by American rifles and camped out on the south of two large thinly-wooded hills. The Shogun host was on the north side. It was a standoff because whoever advanced into the marshy clearing between was at significant disadvantage.
A local whiskey maker, just a ramshackle operation out of one large barn, had begun to supply both sides. As the standoff stretched from one day to a whole week the amassed troops eagerly bought whatever he put in front of them. Before long he was sourcing whiskey from nearby villages and having it shuttled through forest trails at night under cover of darkness, a team of local boys carrying small casks on their backs as they slip past bribed sentries. For a week raucus singing was heard around campfires and the local whiskey maker Shigeru Yamazki filled his coffers…. then suddenly one day the armies moved, a decisive battle was fought, and like a passing tornado the villages were returned to their normal quiet state.
Mr Yamazaki had positioned himself as the biggest whiskey maker in the district, a position his descendents hold to this day. He’s since sold on the brand to Japan’s huge corporation Suntory. Locals of Nikko still remember the story.
Ok, I lied. Every word of the above is a sheer fabrication. But ask yourself this given the following two choices:
- Suntory Yamazaki 12 year malt or
- Sainsbury’s own brand
Which one will give you the greater satisfaction when putting a slug of whiskey over some ice cubes then sitting back, your feet up, unwinding after a day in the office? Marketers know that we prefer to buy experiences and symbols than mere products. I’d rather smoke a Cohiba Esplendido as smoked by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, plugging myself into the long lineage of Cuban culture than an equally fine Honduran cigar form Carlos de No-Name’s plantation.
One question I’m asked about Game is how do you avoid player ennui? How do you avoid that empty feeling that its all pointless and women are just stimulus-responders to run the same model on over and over again until you just want to shut yourself into a room and cry. My answer is to mythologise them.
Mythology Game: Create grand narratives of evocative symbolism, sweeping histories that you can insert the woman into and give her a role to strive to fill
This is value-added game. Reductionists will dehumanise interactions to reduce Game down to a mechanical system – a blueprint, a sequence, a secret code. You apply the code on the lizards / HBs / sluts / girls until you achieve your notch. If you reduce male-female interactions down to the notch you are painting yourself into a corner. You’ll find:
- You target venues where women are at their least interesting, such as nightclubs or online dating sites. Not only are you positioning yourself into a millieu which dehumanises the experience but you are also self-selecting the worst of women
- Your game model funnels girls into a particular role – the target. She understands this. At a meta-level you are leading her to be a co-participant in squalid meaningless sex. Girls who reject this position will be screened out. Girls who are in the grey area are stripped of their better features
- The experience is framed as squalid, so you pilot it that direction
Run this over and over again and of course you’ll have no respect for the women you fuck and this will soon bleed out into a lack of respect for yourself. You are NLPing yourself into misery. Compound this with the dopamine addiction of new lays. Not good. Why not make the process work for you by directing it towards increasing your long-term satisfaction? That’s reality weaving, what I consider to be the next jump forwards in Game.
Try to find the good in everybody and everything that you interact with
Say you are lying on your bed now, your logical forebrain in control. Perhaps you worry about a deadline at work or you are mentally reorganising your Xbox gaming schedule to make sure you can level up on Black Ops 2 but still finish Hitman Absolution. Pull your mind out of the future and live the power of now. Feel your toes. Wiggle them. Enjoy the sensation of sending signals to your toes and making them move. Feel the cotton duvet under your fingertips, the soft duck down of the pillow as it cushions your head. There’s a satisfying plume of heat blowing out the fan of your laptop, like warming your hands over a radiator on a snowy winter’s day after your breath has formed perspiration clouds in the crisp air.
You get to decide how much you enjoy your experiences. You get to decide the symbolism you put onto them. Use that to make your life richer.
Use symbolism to make your girl more interesting to you. She’s Romanian? Slip in callback humour about her being a vampire. Build a whole mythology around it. She’s the last of a long line of vampires from a dark old castle tucked deep in the Carpathian mountains. At night when she closes her Skype she walks over to the windows and looks for miles across dark forests, mist swirling around the treetops and over the vines that snake up the cliff face. Keep the symbolism going, embellish it, get her playing along. She’s Russian? Now she’s a KGB agent like Xenia Onatopp, a top assassin who seduces high-placed diplomats in casinos on the French riviera. Get her talking in an exaggerated Russian accent, encourage her to wear fur hats, call her Comrade when you’re in restaurants.
Women spend their whole lives daydreaming of romance stories. They are desperate to be whisked out of the dreary monotony of the daily grind. Whisk her away mentally. Importantly, you are doing this for yourself. By bringing out the best in her, by fitting her into your favourite mythology, you enrich the experience for yourself. She’s no longer “girl A”. You are co-conspirators in an adventure full of fire, passion and imagination.
Consider routine mechanical dating to be like reading a school textbook or the local free newspaper. Like a repetitive modern dance song. It’s a passionless mediocre affair. How much more fun it is to read a ripping yarn, an adventurous period piece (say Count of Monte Cristo) or to immerse yourself in an amazing song. It’s still just you lying on your bed in your dressing gown but your mind is in the clouds and your heart is beating with the blood of a thousand warriors.
Bring the best out of your women. Mythologise your dating life.
* NSFW link to those Russian birds.