The definition of cynical is an app designed to help the socially inept interact with women - by practicing "pick up artistry" on cartoon ladies. For $4.19 a pop.
Yes, pick up artistry. That tired old pseudo - and ethically dubious - science that reached its pinnacle when "legendary pick up artist" Neill Strauss wrote The Game, in which desperate men are told the secrets of Male Professional Seducers (known as MPUs). Lead by an indescribably unappealing and moronic MPU called Mystery, this "seduction community", as he calls it, claims there is no woman on earth you cannot seduce if you follow their sad techniques.
Like "negging", the unashamed act of belittling a woman so she'll feel vulnerable and therefore seek your approval. Or "peacocking", which is when you wear something that REALLY STANDS OUT AT THE BAR. One hapless forum poster on Mystery's website suggests "LED-anything, or a funky hat, or maybe a pimp coat, or something really off the wall". I actually can't think of anything right now that'd make me die inside more than a "funky hat". No lie.
Anyway, this new app. It's called Become a Pick Up Artist, and its stupid media release explains the premise:
Developed around pick-up artist extraordinaire Nick Savoy's legendary Love Systems method, players are cast as the unlucky in love "Luke" and learn how to attract and interact with gorgeous women by testing their dating skills against a virtual collection of flirty femmes.
Follow Luke's journey from average frustrated chump to charming casanova while learning the secrets of the world's greatest ladies' men to meet, interact, and form relationships in any social situation.
Cue: Oh ha ha HA - it's all just fun and games! Little cartoon ladies! Lighten up!
Yes, okay. But that's an easy argument to make. (I even just made it to myself at my desk with no one else around, to prove a point - that's how easy it is.) But here's the thing: women aren't cartoons, and they can't be "won" via one-size-fits-all rules and techniques. So anything that teaches boys otherwise, especially by promoting itself as an expert source, is rubbish.
Also, someone needs to tell wannabe MPUs once and for all that women can sense when you're using some agenda-fueled technique, whether it's from a lame manual or something you dreamed up yourself. And it's incredibly unattractive - probably more unattractive than they could possibly imagine.
As a woman, it makes you feel like you could be absolutely anyone, because there's no genuine interest in finding out who you actually are. Or, if there is some genuine interest, it's deeply hidden beneath layers of insecurity and Funky Hat.
Most importantly though, every pick-up artistry book or app out there positions relations between ladies and men as adversarial, a state of affairs in which gaining the upper hand is how you "win" the shiny "prize". And that ensures everyone ends up the loser.
So, on behalf of my ladies, here is a FREE tip: Go for coffee and meet a person, and listen to her and let her speak, and don't try too hard to conceal the fact you're a shy, vulnerable bunch of nerves. She might even like you for it. It has been known to happen. The end.
P.S. Here is an ABC Nightline story on the douche-artist behind the app, Nick Savoy, and his business, Love Systems - whose motto is Hotter Women. More Options. Faster Than Ever. Please note Nick Savoy's hair, and consider briefly whether Funky Hat might be the better option? I'm taking votes... NOW.
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