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May 26, 2011

Boston (Rob) Massacre

241 years ago five civilians were mowed down by British bullets in an event today remembered as the catalyst for American revolution. While Boston Rob's victory in the latest season of Survivor involved far fewer casualties -- and no noticeable hatred for the English -- it nevertheless demands the title of a complete massacre. Rob managed to convince eight of nine jury members to vote him the winner of a one million dollar prize, despite having been the ringleader behind the elimination of each of those nine voters. Even more impressive is the fact that the four people that Rob specifically lied to and betrayed (Matt, Grant, Ashley, Andrea) all voted for him. The lone wolf who prevented Rob from sweeping the contest was Farmer Ralph who cast his ballot for Phil -- which he spelt "Phile" -- and that glimpse into Ralph's spelling skill should tell you all you need to know about the wisdom behind that vote.

Survivor fascinates me like no other television program thanks to the behaviors it provokes. Where else could you watch starving humans pitted against each other in uninhabitable locales (besides your neighborhood homeless shelter)? The barbaric conditions spark actions ranging from loyalty and respect to betrayal and revenge, mixed in of course with a constant dash of romance. As of last week's reunion special, 4 Survivor couples had become husband and wife.

Such hope of made-for-television-love is one of the principle drivers behind my current bloodlust to be on Survivor. If I remain unwed in five years I see no better spot to find the dream girl than on a barren island or in a rainforested South American country. At the very least I'll know she is skinny (two cups of rice a day), ambitious (questing for a million dollars) and possibly an owner of great hair (assuming she can muster half the hair excellence demonstrated by original Survivor Colleen Haskell, who despite the awful combination of short locks and jungle living managed to create the greatest do I have ever seen. Even my girlfriend is in love with this chick's hair).

Couldn't find a photo to do it justice. Season one was not filmed in HD, sadly.

Apart from having a shot at true love (a wife) and true happiness (a million dollars), being on Survivor would be great because it would provide a forum in which I would be forced to hone my social skills to their maximum ability. Being personable and capable of making people think you like them in order to gain trust is critical to lasting just a few days in the game. Even more skills are needed to later convince the friends you betrayed to award you the grand prize as Boston Rob did. To pull that off requires serious social power, and that's a power I must develop, if not for Survivor at least life in general.

Landing jobs, gaining promotions, receiving favors, winning Survivor - all these beneficial occurrences would require me to become a superior socializer than I currently am. And in order to become a superior socializer, I will be forced to become like my greatest of all enemies: 


There's a reason that the dog is man's best friend.  In fact there are a lot of reasons, all very well detailed by the social genius Dale Carnegie in his book, "How to Win Friends and Take Advantage of People", er I mean, "How to Win Friends and Influence People". Dogs are more interested in others than they are in themselves, says Dale. Dogs give love unconditionally. Dogs show excitement when seeing others. Unlike felines who are independent, self-preserving, and crafty, dogs are needy, emotional and desperate for friendship. According to Dale, humans who can develop these dog-like attributes will be better equipped to make an impact on the social world. 

Unfortunately I hate dogs. Such feelings are partly due to my preference for pets that don't stink or bite. But mainly it's because I'm a cat man. The reclusive, independent lifestyle fits me well, and I guess that's the problem. To become a socialite on par with Boston Rob, I will have to give up the chew toy and accept the crusty bone.  If I'm to benefit from the connector lifestyle celebrated by Malcolm Gladwell, I need to become as lovable as a canine, the type that all would want to meet. Then we can all rejoice in being able to adapt the familiar saying into a less gruesome, "It's a dog meet dog world".

Then again, is it wise to take social advice from a pair of fellows named Dale and Malcolm?

Man's best friend? Really?

Either way, before I pledge allegiance to the above rag,  I would like to take one second to remind all readers that dogs are not perfect. They still poop without worry of location and bark without thought of reverence. And they remain the only mammal besides my nephew who have yet to conquer the drooling problem. Still, if I'm forced to surrender my cat roots to become a social behemoth, I will do so.

In my quest to win friends and influence people, I will not only cater and bow, I'll bow-wow as well.

1 comment:

  1. "Dogs are more interested in others than they are in themselves, says Dale. Dogs give love unconditionally. Dogs show excitement when seeing others. Unlike felines who are independent, self-preserving, and crafty, dogs are needy, emotional and desperate for friendship."

    Yes, I'm quoting your own words back to you. Is it possible that Men are cats by nature, and females dogs? Think about the implications of that. As always, your blog never fails to delight me.