Search This Blog

Saturday, March 22, 2008

On the Obama-Wright controversy: A letter from a Parallel Universe

...or when Wright makes might.


As a member of the First National Socialism Church of Nuremberg in a parallel universe near you, I can't help but sympathize with Barack and his embattled pastor. We Aryans know how it is to be a people crushed in spirit, segregated from others in the world community, lacking job opportunities, and discriminated by others, particularly the French. The leader of our nation wide church has given us our self respect after years of world wide discrimination and intermittent naval blockades. Sure, he's said a few cranky things about increasing our living space and the international Jewish conspiracy, and I would like you to know that I abhor and distance myself from these comments. But I cannot distance myself from the man no more than I can distance myself from my French grandmother who was insulted by Leipzig farm workers when strolling out to buy croissants.

Crazy old uncle Adolf

By working together and understanding each others views perhaps we can repair the divisions of the past and come together in a new more perfect union.

Heil Hitler!

Gustav Blowharde
Nuremberg, GE.
Alernative Earth no. 10238b

(Moral: Even if your wholesome glass of milk contains just 1% poison, it will still kill you.)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sexual Games

We view with humorous tolerance the games of little boys. The mock violence of ‘cowboys and Indians’ and other war like games is something kids just outgrow, and has as much enduring value as baby teeth. But this common sense opinion misses the point. Although the content of children’s games is transformed with maturity, the abstract form remains the same. Competition, whether it be for a better job, a preferred spouse, or a higher status job remains the names of the game, and we learn this game as children. The difference for us is in the complexity of our adult games, and in the veneer of etiquette that provides the velvet glove for iron hand of competitive reality. Let’s face it, we either like people or we don’t, desire certain things or don’t desire them; yet social convention rightly masks the brutal decisiveness of these decisions. We can all recall the unintended cruelties we inflicted on each other as children. The uninhibited candor, simplistic thinking, and readiness to follow every impulse makes kids lovable, unpredictable, and on the flip side, something near akin to proto-Nazis. If you’re liked or disliked, a child will let you know it, and you’d better move out of the way if he or she doesn’t like you. As adults, our likes and dislikes are no less intense, and we are equally as brutal in casting judgement on those who cross us or do not strike our fancy. But do we tell them about these sharp opinions? Of course not. Save for the inevitable outlet of gossip, we let them know through a subtle form of sign language called game playing.

A game is any non-verbal means of communication that is aimed at achieving some very specific goal, and is directed at an individual who is employing a similar mode of communication to in turn realize his or her goal. It is, in other words, a type of non-verbal bargaining, and it comes with a multitude of rules that are constantly shifting with different circumstances and individuals. Game playing exists because it deflects, dilutes, or defers the need to make and/or reveal final personal judgements. And this is all for the good, for often we’re unprepared to decide what we want or when we want it, or to reveal a future decision which is at variance to what we’ve decided at the moment.

The best way to understand this non-verbal posturing is to exact from it an English translation. Let’s say boy meets girl at a party; how would he approach her if he was to state his intentions in plain English, or in other words, without playing games? Given his inclinations, he might say something like this. "Well, Doris, I find you very attractive and personable, and I’m willing to go out with you for a couple of weeks or so until I find someone better. Of course, if the relationship doesn’t get sexual by the third date, I’ll drop you cold for Carol over there in the corner. But then again, if you can cook lasagna well, like Chopin preludes, and don’t hum in the shower, I could get romantically involved with you. Still, romance would have to wait until I see how my budding relationship with Mary turns out. I’m sure you’ll find my plans for you agreeable, for its not everyday that a young lady gets to go out with an unemployed mattress tester."

Needless to say, such a line would fall flat like a lead balloon in any social situation, with an equally large chance that a lady would flatten the pour lout who would say such a thing. Nonetheless, hypothetical scripts like these pop into our heads in every interpersonal setting where we must make spot decisions as to whether or not to accept or reject the company of another. We know our personal agendas, but accomplishing that agenda means hiding much of it, while deducing the equally private agendas of others. The art of performing this task is the mark of a true gamesman.
The following types of games are some of the more common games that men and women play with one another. By understanding them and their subtle rules, we may find it easier to cut our losses by more easily recognizing when we’re inadvertently playing on a losing end.
Hide and Seek

In hide and seek, after a date, the male closes his eyes and counts v e r y slowly to ten. Then, in a few days, much to the female’s delightful surprise, he goes to great lengths to look her up, and after he finds her, he sets up another date. A sad problem with this game is that often the male doesn’t feel like playing any more, and while the poor young lady awaits patiently at home nestled next to the phone, the male has long stopped counting, and is currently on a bus to Topeka.

As many women know, hide and seek is a game that men often find distasteful. Even in relationships of more than minor significance, the male often begs out by disappearing off the map. Particularly for men who are on the hyperactive side, and there are many; they elect to play the game yet are soon diverted to other pursuits that also tend be flirting and fleeing. Women are understandably very concerned about this hyperactivity among men, and many prescribe a saltpeter therapy to soothe this male rambunctiousness.

Sometimes in hide and seek the woman hides much too well, and try as he might, the man can never quite find her. When he manages to get on her trail, she tells him that she has to work, or is out of time, or has a headache. It is then that the male often fervently hopes that now she is well hidden, she stay hidden for a long time.


Whenever you meet members of the opposite sex in a social situation, they could tell you right then and there whether or not they’re really interested in meeting you. But that of course would spoil all of the fun. Especially in a party, a good party game is necessary to provide the entertainment that candor surely cannot provide. That game is charades.

To play charades, you must be able to relay a simple message such as ‘get lost’ or ‘come hither’ to the person you’re talking to through the artful use of body language, or else be able to read the same. The sooner that person or yourself ‘gets the message’, the better you’ll do at charades.

You know that the person you’re talking to is playing charades when he or she begins to move about or fidget in strange ways. This odd body language can be readily interpreted by an experienced charades player, who’ll note the key physical nuances which give away what'’ on a person’s mind. For example, a gentlemen will note that a lady is less than interest if during the course of a conversation she begins to gravely scan the ceiling for invisible cracks. A lady on the other hand will rightly guess that a gentleman is attracted to her is he begins to breath and perspire heavily as she discourse on the topic of Easter floral arrangements.

Charades is of course wildly popular at parties, as you find almost all guest playing at one time in the evening or other. Indeed, there are often two conversations going on simultaneously: a fake one where couples blather on about the weather or the price of milk, and the real conversation in which the simple turn of a cheek or arching of an eyebrow can speak volumes.


As human beings, we possess many attributes, each of which can allow us to make certain moves in certain ways. In chess, we come against individuals who are also making moves in specific ways, ways that can impede your own movement towards the goals you desire. To this end you predict what your opponent is going to do, and make the necessary moves to counter him. To succeed in chess, you need to develop strong analytical skills as well as a great degree of patience. Analytical skills are important because oftentimes someone isn’t going to tell you what they’re going to do, and you need to plan ahead the type of moves you could make and the likely countermoves of your opponent. Patience is also necessary because your opponent can be ambivalent about the moves he or she should make, and you may have to wait weeks before a move is made. Grandmasters in chess can look ahead many moves, and are prepared for any future eventuality. Such master game players often show off by playing many games simultaneously. It is always fascinating to watch a grandmaster concurrently taking on a dozen or so female guests at a party. Moving from guest to guest in rapid succession, he would put on a clever move and then flit on, leaving each guest to ponder her next move in eager anticipation.

In the following scenario, we will take you through highlights of a sample chess match between two experienced players, who shall be called Mr. White and Miss Black. Mr. White of course always makes the first move.

Move 1 Mr. White: opening flirt

Miss Black: counter flirt

These opening moves effectively test the defenses of the opposite party while protecting the ego from direct assault. These players will exchange flirts in their first few opening moves.

Move 7 Mr. White: make offer for a date

Miss Black: takes offer

Mr. White advances his offer, which Miss Black takes, thus lowering her personal defenses for White’s further moves.

Move 18 Mr. White: invites Miss Black over to his apartment for drinks.

Miss Black: moves to White’s apartment

White’s aggressive game so fat has lured Black into an exposed position through the selective sacrifice of a few pieces, which he has placed on his American Express card.

Move 22 Mr. White: tries to mate Ms. Black

Miss Black: slugs Mr. White

White rashly tries to mate Miss Black, While exposing his side to a devastating countermove by Miss Black that effectively checks him. Although White retreats later to a more conservative position, the game is later called a draw.

Trivial Pursuit

As a popular and fun game, just about everybody is into the pursuit of trivia. Indeed, if you haven’t mastered all the right trivia, you’ll stand to lose out in the play of this highly competitive game. Of particular popularity is a special edition of the game called dating trivia. In this game, to win a date with someone, you’ll have to answer correctly six questions drawn from six fascinating topics: religion, personal history, education, culture, and social diseases. Answering any question correctly gives you the chance to keep moving, or should we say, putting on the moves. However, an incorrect answer will cause you to lose your turn as the questioning individual will move on to the next player. Since that person may not come back to you for quite some time if at all, it is important that the player have at his or her fingertips a command of all the right trivia.

In response to this pressing need, a veritable cottage industry has sprung up to provide a wealth of trivial information and advice to the serious game player. Such erudite journals as Playboy and Cosmopolitan are often consulted by those folks who feel that they’re not quite trivial enough.

Trivial Pursuit is truly a game for the 90’s, for in the age of fast food, fast track careers, and M-TV, we really don’t have time for boring in depth conversations with each other. Indeed, as a motto for our times, you don’t have to be deep, you just have to be trivial


God dealt us only one hand of cards, so its best to always play them close to the vest. Of course, in poker, the object is to get the other person to think that your cards are a lot better than his. The fact is , God played a big joke on almost all of us by dealing no cards greater than the value of 10. The trick is to convey the impression that God deals lots of aces, and only to you. The pleasure of poker is in the art of the bluff, and masters of this game can puff up as much thunderous bluster as the Wizard of Oz.

Poker is best played in smoky, dimly lit rooms that are filled with a noisy cacophony of voices and throbbing music. These poker halls, which are also called singles bars, allow the good poker player to properly shield his cards from the other players, thus decreasing the likelihood that they will call his bluff. If a poker bluff is called, all players must display their true cars, and the losing player must fold and withdraw from the game. Drawing many of his hints from such works as ‘Dress for Success’, ‘Power Lunching’, and ‘Looking out for Number 1’, the novice poker player must not only learn to present a good poker face, but also learn how to arrange all the necessary poker props such as pin stripe suits, leather briefcases, posh luncheons, etc. to achieve the right phony effect. If you can keep a straight face, you will soon be flush with admirers who will see in you that shrewd captain of industry, gay bon vivant, and all around desirable guy that your delusions keep telling you are.

In Parcheesi the object of the game is to line up all of your marbles in a long neat row, with each marble positioned just behind the next through judicious rolls of the die. Parcheesi has long been a favorite among men, who take special delight in lining things up for a weekend of the week. However, more and more women are becoming interested in the game. Through a carefully planned die roll, which is better known as a phone call, the Parcheesi player hopes to move all of his marbles, better known as dates, into the vacant positions in the time she has allotted for the week. Usually, this is no problem, unless of course she is also playing Parcheesi, in which case a lively evening is in store.

A likely Parcheesi scenario would be as follows: Player A tries to move his marble to Friday night at 9pm. But lo! Player B already has her marble on that time. Player A’s marble can’t move, and on Player B’s turn, she suggests Saturday at 8pm. Player A, who has an open space at that time, agrees, and if player B has succeeded in lining up her weekend first, she wins. Sometimes a Parcheesi player will insist on playing an opponent who has her marbles lined up for many weekends to come, or so he is told. This poor fellow is fated to continually lose at Parcheesi, and plays indeed as if he has lost all of his marbles. Such rigged games are to be avoided whenever possible.


Let’s just face it, people can often be very mysterious, and among all those folks whom you happen to go out with, its up to you to find out who’s the lady killer, or if the case may be ‘femme fatale’. To play clue, you must explore the various rooms of your date’s (i.e., suspect) house or apartment, all the while keeping an eye pealed for tell-tale clues which tell you what your date is really like. As you roam around the house, you pick up clues in such varied places as magazine racks, bookcases, and bathroom cabinets, and when you visit enough rooms, you’ll be able to tell whether your date is in fact a guilty culprit. When this happens, you immediately rise, point to your date, and accuse him of the crime. Boiled down from the usual vengeful hysteria, your accusation usually says something like Col. Mustard, with the nylons, in the bedroom. Your date must, if devoid of good excuses, admit to his crime. It is then that you declare victory, and storm from his apartment in angry glory.