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Greetings, all.

Though it may well undercut my intentions as an aspiring writer (to the extent that I truly aspire to popularity), I feel like I should open up about something here.

I am aware that… adopting a dramatic persona, one that isn’t “me,” is “good for business.”

Good Business Devil Briefcase

You don’t have to look far.

I mean, if you pay attention, you can tell that all kinds of people “play up” drama and conflict to get attention. To get the blood of the audience flowing. To start arguments. The news media provides many examples.

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Maybe that’s not a good example….

Curses! Foiled again.


One of my favorite examples, as a one time (and perhaps future time) lover of videogames, comes from the great online videogame-review-by-video critic who calls himself Yahtzee, and works for the online magazine The Escapist.

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Don’t sue me, man. I’m about to talk you up. This is free advertising!

When he started, if you watch the early reviews, he, like most honest people who consider themselves thoughtful artists, went deep and sincere. But he soon learned that his audience loved it much more when he tore pretty much every game a new one, beyond the one it already had in the center of the DVD.

Like the great New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, who may or may not have consciously adopted that kind of persona, people came to love to hate him.

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Which made him money.

And his company money.

And money is, shall we say, useful?

Yes. We shall. As is fame and power. Not that all of them don’t corrupt. Not that I’m implying anything about Yahtzee please don’t sue me you are a great man yes you are you are a great and awesome smart man.

So I try, in my way (boy is it hard because I’m pathologically open and honest), to adopt some of that in my prepared writing. It’s possible in writing, because I don’t have to create it live and on the fly. Being a “phony” for positive gain in real life is VERY hard for me, though I increasingly worry that… not learning how to act better is maybe immature, selfish, and even hurtful. Not to mention an obstacle to big, concrete life goals.

You may sense that I’m kind of addressing my last post. Which scared at least one person. Sorry for that….

Yeah. Sometimes the voice in my blog posts isn’t fully “me.” It can be a character of sorts, designed to stir the pot, and possibly increase my fame.

I crave fame and fortune yes I do pardon me while my training drags me by the hair to the bathroom for a good vomit….

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So yeah. I’m back to “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene, which I mentioned yesterday in my needling post about romance and relationships.

And hunting.

{Amos, remembering he’s hunting for fame as a writer, wonders if the pen is also mightier than the spear}

Am I a callous, tail-chasing wolf of a man?

Did I bring up “The Tao of Steve” in order to illustrate how much I love cruising the bars, picking up chicks, and then with a slam, bam, thank you may saying “Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, hot pants.”


Hells to the no.

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I brought the three rules up because… they work.

And even if, as used in the film, they make me SICK… it’s… truth. As illustrated amply by “The 48 Laws of Power” (BTW, why the Hell isn’t there a 49th law saying “Always remember that power corrupts”?) with it’s myriad examples of certain rules by fable, quote and story from all eras and all World cultures. Undeniable.

And terrifying. I feel like that book is the scariest book I’ve ever read. Sorry, Stephen King.

Stephen King Reads From His New Fiction Book "11/22/63: A Novel" During The "Kennedy Library Forum Series"


Now I feel guilty….

Don’t sue me, man!


I… pride myself on being open minded. Because, so often in life, the greatest, deepest learning happens in the places where we’re certain, just totally certain, that there’s no learning to be had. It relates to a favorite quote of mine (by Amos Parker, who may or may not be the author of this post), which goes: “The beginning of judgment is the end of learning.”

Take that, you word-hunting Shakespeare whose spear was a quill!


Those rules WORK. And hence, they apply to life, either to be used, or to understand so as to guard against the bad people who understand them and want to use.

Plus, why must they be used for ill?

Do you have to “eliminate desire” as the first step toward one night stands? I don’t think so. It was immediately apparent to me that that rule… reminded me a lot of the vital Buddhist notions of selfish desire as the cause of suffering and the cure of “non-attachment.”

And do you have to ” be excellent” for a woman just to bang her? Again, I don’t think so. It just makes her happy, and being excellent is all the easier when you’re not stressed about what she thinks about you. When you can “be you.”

And and do you have to “withdraw” only to get the deer to come to your bait? Once again, I don’t think so. I believe it… comes naturally when… life is full for you, when you love all life has to offer, and have much more that matters to you than just a woman.

Or a man. Or a person. Or a group.

You just naturally withdraw then. For other interests. And then you naturally give others space to breathe, and as an added gift, the fruits of you taking flight in their imagination.

One of my favorite films, one I watched yearly on the obvious day until my father died (next year, Dad, in Punxsutawney, for the 25th anniversary celebration, which you will surely attend in spirit), is the Bill Murray classic “Groundhog Day” from 1993. I’ve seen it a hundred times (Heidi II not so much). And I have long esteemed it as a road map to personal and spiritual growth in life. To success in love.

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And then what do I go and do after my breakup left me in a million pieces?

Ignore the prime lesson, which is that… healthy love and escape from life-as-repetitive-drudgery comes to the man who lives life to the fullest. And for others.

And Phil Connors? By the end of the film?

He just naturally obeys all those three rules. Because of “figuring it out.” Not because he wants to bang Rita. But because he’s… fully happy and at peace with existence.

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Even if your “god” is just… life. The great gift, when you awaken fully.

And, back to the “hunting part of my blog post from yesterday, there’s my extended hunting-exercise-in-marriage analogy. I think that… being fully happy in Phil’s final way would lead one naturally to that “constant low level of unavailability.” But in a good way. You love a person who wants you but doesn’t need you. Who has true self love as the bedrock of all other love.

OK. I guess I’m done.

Did that all sound like me?

I won’t tell you if it was: titillating an audience requires mystery, which, of course, is a grand kind of hunt in itself.

Final note. And I now plan to make this, or a variant of it, my permanent sign off.

If you like this blog… SHARE IT! “Likes” only flatter my ego: they don’t flatter the growth of my career. đŸ™‚

And yes, careers are a form of power.