You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘success’ tag.

This is for katlaire who requested I make this post. As promised, this will offend some die-hard fans so if you can’t stomach objective criticism, you’re better off not venturing down this dark alley.

I actually had a hard time coming up with a title for this post because I don’t want it to be just a rant on crappy books that get published. Ranting would imply a subjective opinion. I like to be a coldly logical person with an objective view, so instead of ranting I’m going to mention a few books (all of which were published by a proper publishing house) and analyse why they were successful and whether they deserved to be published. To keep things orderly, I’ll divide this post by book titles, but I’m only going to go in-depth with Twilight. The other books I’ll mention are just for comparison (some of them also suck).

Twilight:

This is, of course, borderline ranting about some of the junk that’s out there, and how could anyone do that without mentioning a crowd favourite? Now it’s Twilight’s turn to shine (or sparkle), something the writing in this book never did.

Honestly, I haven’t read any of the books cover to cover (it’s unbearable even to think about it). I have watched some of the movies though (not my choice) and have done some research into the matter so I don’t end up giving an uninformed analysis. Based on the examples I’ve seen and the common consensus of the writing world and my own opinion, this book is (by writing standards) absolutely atrocious. There is, however, a valid reason for why it became popular, which I will mention later. I’d just like to point out a famous quote that’s relevant here:

“Harry Potter is all about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

Many of you think Stephen King made this quote but he didn’t. This quote has never been sourced back to him and based on a quick Google search, it’s quite obvious the originator of this quote is Robin Browne (who was quoted by Andrew Futral in a tumblr post and later confirmed that he got the quote from Browne). However, despite not coming up with this quote, Stephen King is quite a vocal critic of Twilight. Here’s a quote he actually did say when asked to compare Harry Potter and Twilight (during an interview):

“The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephanie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

I disagree slightly about Rowling being “terrific” but I’ll get to that in the Harry Potter section.

Anyway, let’s get to the point shall we? Why is Twilight such garbage? Well, for one it’s plagued with purple prose and a huge lack of pace and excitement. Twilight is something that you lose interest in the moment you gain a shred of maturity. In fact, the series would never have survived if it weren’t for the “hot guys” acting in the movies, because it’s a terrible book/movie series.

Not only is Bella a Mary Sue (more on this later), the plot is focused around the most mundane and ridiculous stuff that only a narcissistic pre-pubescent girl would find interesting. Ohhhh noooo, which of these two mythical hunks is Bella going to pick? Ohhhh noooo, should she become a vampire to be with Edward? Ohhh noooo, Bella has special smelling blood so there’s a sexy feeling of danger whenever she’s around vampires.

Wow, seriously? You have vampires and werewolves in an eternal conflict, living amongst regular humans whilst waging their silent war on each other and the only thing you can focus on is the most prosaic crap about Bella? That’s like Homer writing about two mud-crabs fighting over a rock whilst the Battle of Troy was raging in the background. In fact, this is a particularly apt analogy (that I came up with on the spot) because the Battle of Troy had a love triangle at its very heart too, except look at the difference; Homer’s work has gone down as one of the greatest love stories ever written and has convinced historians and archaeologists to spend their entire lives’ work dedicated to trying to prove the story true.

Now, back to Bella. I mentioned she was a Mary Sue. I can’t be bothered explaining what this is again, so I’m going to put an article on it in the English techniques section later – but I’m sure many people already know the definition. In this case, Bella is a normal girl (albeit with “special smelling blood”) who has the two hottest male characters in the book fighting over her for no apparent reason. Wait, let me recant that. She’s not normal, she’s boring. Not only is she a boring person, she has a horrible, depressive, suicidal, fickle, insecure, narcissistic personality that any real man in the real world would look at and tell both Edward and Jacob “don’t stick your d**k in crazy”. She has absolutely zero redeeming characteristics to make her a likeable person that is in any way deserving of any of the special treatment she is given.

What’s worst though, is that despite being a purple prose (another term I’ll define in English-techniques later on; Google it if you don’t know) infested text, there is a suspicious lack of description regarding Bella – the main character. Want to know why? Because Bella is not a real character – she’s an insertion of Stephanie Meyer’s own personality and is her own pathetic little “John Everyman” for insecure girls. She is basically a gaping white blank in the world of her writing so that any other teenage girl with the same insecurities and personality flaws can just insert themselves into Bella’s place and fantasise about being popular and special for no reason at all. And I can’t stress enough how much this series is focused on this “love triangle” – she even butchered the concept of vampires to “emphasise” how good looking Edward was so that it would be all the more desirable for any girl who inserted herself into Bella’s shoes. So much for Bram Stoker’s Dracula – a hunter of the night, manipulator of the human heart and a dark, gothic villain whose only weakness were the elements. Move over Dracula, we have good-looking, sparkly playboys to represent vampire-kind now. The only aspect of vampires that Meyer got right was the connection between vampires and female sexuality (as Stoker’s Dracula had a strong underlying message of forbidden sexual tension), but I’m almost certain this was purely by mistake and coincidence.

So why did this book become popular? Well, I’ve already mentioned the reason. The book is a tool for girls to insert themselves into this sexual fantasy of self-importance. Since your teenage years are a tough battle to find self-worth, identity and “love” (or what you think is love and will later learn was something stupid), the book really kicked off. In fact, based purely on the target market (insecure young girls), there was even a bit of a snowball effect in which non-readers were pressured into becoming readers so that they would “fit in”. Kind of sad how youths don’t realise that “fitting in” is the opposite of finding your identity, but that’s just something you’ll have to learn over time.

Because of the above reasons, I don’t blame the publishing company for publishing Twilight. They knew it would make money and they were right. I don’t even blame the readers for supporting such a crappy book. It’s natural to want an escape from reality, and when you’re young and immature, your idea of a perfect roleplay is when you get to be Bella. Don’t worry, as you mature your dreams become bigger and more meaningful.

Harry Potter and the Hunger Games:

                        

These two books are common comparisons with Twilight because they became popular during roughly the same period of time. I’m going to dispel a common misconception right off the bat here. Harry Potter is not the greatest series of books ever written. To be more specific, the first three books were mediocre.

I’m crazy right? I told you I’d offend people. Harry Potter has a huge fan-base of zealous supporters just like Twilight does. There’s a problem with books – usually only the mass marketed, viral books get read and people who don’t read regularly just assume that these are the best books out there. That’s way off the mark. There’s a treasure trove of good books that a lot of people have never heard before. Back to Harry Potter though – the overarching plot for the seven books was very creative and original and unlike Twilight, there were actually morals encouraged by the story. The characters were solid and the main cast was characterised very well.

Why then do I not worship the books? Well, as much of a fan as I am, I have to concede that the first three books are sort of mundane, unexciting and most of all, written poorly. The first book in particular is atrocious. The language and writing style that Rowling uses for The Philosopher’s Stone is something I would expect of a high school student who’s doing badly at English. If you don’t believe me go and read the first three pages of The Philosopher’s Stone and then go and read the first three pages of The Deathly Hallows. There’s a HUGE difference. That’s where I respect Rowling, as I read the Harry Potter series, I can feel her skill as a writer growing. The only other aspect I would have liked her to improve on was the world-building. There was a nice contrast between the Muggle world and the Magical world, but it was focused almost entirely on the same setting. It would have been nice to get more into the politics and the different countries and cities.

Harry Potter was popular for the setting and concept. The writing was not originally great (although it did become good), but the idea of a magical society living amongst us and their fear of a powerful evil wizard who could only be destroyed by an unremarkable young boy is a huge underdog story set in a very interesting world. Not only that, the school environment is a popular because it provides a realistic frame of reference for the audience and is a cultural meme that invokes a wide variety of emotions.

Similarly, the Hunger Games was quite average but was popular because the main character featured a strong female role where the majority of fiction books feature a male in the leading role. The story is not entirely original, being a twist on the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur (I’ve said this before and someone didn’t believe me so you can go Google this yourself – the author said as much herself during an interview). I have nothing against unique twists on existing concepts (as I write high fantasy, I pretty much live by making my own twist on existing concepts), but the point is the strongest feature of the Hunger Games are the characters, and this is why the series became popular – though the plot isn’t bad either.

Sasha and some other book whose name I’ve forgotten:

I’m going to end with another two books that I found were terrible. The first is Sasha – A Trial of Blood and Steel. I saw this in book stores a long time ago and the title caught my attention, so when it became available at my library I borrowed it. Wow, what a disappointment. Sasha is a huge Mary Sue (in the opposite direction of Bella). She’s not only a princess but a master swordswoman too. She’s beautiful and far too strong. The few chapters I read were just her killing people with absolutely no effort and being widely respected and sought after because she’s basically perfect. Boring. Not only that, the pace was inappropriate (butchered by some purple prose at the wrong times) and the plot so mundane that I can’t remember much about it besides that it wasn’t interesting. Maybe the book got better (and come to think of it I may not have started reading from the beginning) but all I know is that this was one of the few fantasy books that I’ve picked up and haven’t finished. Usually, I’ll stick with it until the end.

The book that I forgot was a historical fiction where this girl went back in time to medieval England (I think) and changed history. She brought her taekwondo skills with her and beat down all these fully armed and trained knights, did the sideways monkey dance with the prince and turned out to be a Goddess. I don’t have to make it any clearer – she was a Mary Sue, and as a result I can’t even remember the title of that book. See what bad writing does? Admittedly, the book was a bit interesting at first (she became a Goddess later on), but it wasn’t very accurate for a historical fiction and the main character was ridiculously overpowered.

Anyway, that’s that. I gave a pretty objective analysis of why some popular books are popular, and why some of them are horrible books so this is slightly more informative that a simple rant. Hopefully nobody is too offended that I called out Harry Potter, I admit that I’m a huge fan and it’s one of the few books that I’ve read more than once – so the very fact that I pointed out its flaws should demonstrate that I’m giving impersonal, objective critiques.

It’s been a week since this blog went up and I’ve hit 500 views so I thought I’d celebrate by performing another community service (alongside my attempts to educate people in English and science). This time I’ll be telling you why people who complain about being friendzoned only have themselves to blame.

Now I’m no expert on girls, nor am I as smooth as some of my friends, but I do have a beautiful girl friend (which I consider an achievement that qualifies me to advise people stuck in the friendzone). Better yet, I have an analytical mind and will rationalise, to the best of my ability, the reasons behind my argument. It’s up to you whether you choose to believe in my reasoning or not, but honestly, if you have the time to add to this growing internet phenomena of friendzoning I think you’re due for a bit of a change in the way you think and behave. Before I get started, I’ll just mention that it would be more correct for me to say “friend zone” but as the phenomena is practically a term on its own, I combined the words (which also makes it easier for me to type and create a verb for it – friendzoning).

Let’s start with a disclaimer. I’m going to be generalising a lot because that’s the only possible way for me to write anything short of going around to each and every one of you with a case-by-case analysis. It’s the concept you need to understand, not the specific examples. In fact, if you’re dumb enough to think that every girl (yes, this will be targeted towards guys) is identical then maybe that’s the whole reason you’re not having much success. To make it easier on the eyes, I’m going to break it up into subheadings now.

Edit: In retrospect, the post title isn’t really addressed directly so I’ll just mention now: if you do any of the things I say not to do and none of the things I say to do, then that’s why you’re friendzoned. It’s your own fault.

Alpha Male:

Now, since we’re talking about heterosexual guys, it should be safe to assume that the girl you’re after is looking for a man. A man. Why is that important? So you can realise that you should stop acting like a pussy. Put it this way: would you be going for a girl that acts all masculine? I’m not talking about the “cool” girl who hangs out as a friend, plays games or joins in with sport and teasing, I’m talking about excessive bodily noises, behaving like a slob, poor hygiene and anything else considered not very feminine. Since we’re generalising here, the answer should be no. You want a girl who, despite any other cool traits, is still very feminine. What makes you think that girls want a feminine guy? This is why the age old adage “confidence is sexy” is still relevant. Confidence is a part of masculinity.

The topic of masculinity will inevitably lead to the controversial topic of the “alpha male”. Looking at primal animals (from which we evolved) the alpha male was basically the strongest provider (mainly of protection) and thus every female instinctively wanted the alpha male. Alpha male status basically denotes you as someone females find more attractive than others. Don’t get this term confused with jerks – they’re two completely different categories. The only reason why jerks have more success than you is because of something all jerks have. Yep, confidence. Do you honestly think women are stupid enough to intentionally choose somebody that will end up treating them wrong? No, they choose these jerks because they’re initially attracted to their confidence.

I’m going to be taking a lot of paragraphs because I don’t want this to turn into a block of text that’s hard to read. More on alpha males though – there are numerous traits of an alpha male and some of them will depend entirely on circumstance and environment. More general traits include wealth (provider), good looks (aesthetics and genetics), good body (protector and aesthetics), status (provider and power), and the confidence that I mentioned earlier. By now, hopefully you understand what I’m getting at. To be the ideal male, you should be confident, successful and just act with dignity and rectitude. Let’s review, can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this following picture?

Image

It should be pretty damn clear why this guy is in the friendzone. That’s not an alpha male. That’s a slave. It’s practically shouting at the girl that he’s not worthy of her attention because he has no dominance, no dignity and no confidence. Just to make my point clear, here’s another one.

Image

The pitiful fact that he’s kneeling in front of her while doing this not only emphasises his subservience (which is practically the opposite of alpha maleness) but basically tells the girl that he’s already in the palm of her hands. More about how girls think later.

Just one last thing to note before leaving the alpha male topic, remember how I said being an alpha male isn’t the same as being a jerk? Well yeah, that’s important. Sure, being an asshole is better than being the quiet guy who nobody thinks of, but if you can be the awesome guy who’s also not an asshole, that’s even better. Sorry, I just had to include one more because this one is the epitome of pathetic.

Image

If you’re going to do that, at least get your face out of the dirt and face upwards. Give her a cheeky grin and tell her to watch her step.

Making your intentions clear:

Let’s start this one off with a picture from Friends, since the show was what popularised the term “friendzone” in the first place.

Image

Notice how he said “you waited too long to make your move”. Time is not an arbitrary measure, but you need to make your intentions clear. If you act like nothing but a friend, eventually, that’s how she’ll think of you. If you don’t make it clear that you’re interested in her, then at some point it’s going to be game over for you. And no, doing everything for her and always agreeing with her doesn’t let her know that you’re interested in her. That’s how she comes to know of you as the friend she can always rely on and who’ll do anything for her.

Image

This one is roughly correct. When the girl loses any sexual interest in you, you are no longer in the game. If you confess after she has decided that you’re only a friend, you’re just going to get an awkward “let’s just be friends” kind of rejection. Your image in her eyes is very important. That doesn’t mean be a pig and make blatant advances on her, but keep her guessing. Just when she thinks you’re just a friend, you say something naughty. She goes “oh! I can’t believe he said that about me” and starts to feel self-conscious. At some point, she’ll start to care about your opinion on how she looks and she’ll want to prove herself to you. That’s how you’re meant to do it – girls are too used to being chased so a guy that can make her do the chasing is both interesting and an alpha male (because by nature, that’s what the alpha male is). I’m not going to go any further into this but just remember, when I say “make your intentions clear” I mean, make sure she knows (or thinks it’s a good chance) that you want more than just friendship. I’m pretty forward and flirtatious myself so I’ve never run into a friendzone problem because none of the girls I’ve been with were ever certain that I just wanted to be friends. It might have also had something to do with me being impatient when I want something, but I would hint at something more than just friends every now and then to keep them on their toes and to keep that interest there.

She just doesn’t like you:

Then give up. Life isn’t so easy that you’ll always get whatever you want. People, of all things, are very emotionally complex. It’s not as simple as “I want an xbox, therefore I work for the money and when I get the money, I can have that xbox that I want”. Sometimes a girl just won’t like you. Take a hint, you’ll be better off and so will she. Not only is pining after the same girl after being subtly rejected very beta (beta meaning not alpha), it puts you in a bad emotional state and prevents you from reaching for other opportunities. Also, it annoys the crap out of the girl.

Image

So I saw that picture and people were going on about how he was friendzoned. I think that’s just a pretty blatant hint that she’s not into him. Holy crap she practically shouted out “I’m lesbian”. The fact that she felt the need to state that they were “not dating” and just “best friends” seems pretty intentional to me. This is why girls always complain that us guys don’t get hints. Also, why would the guy say “hahahaha” after saying “I love you”. That’s just giving the girl an excuse to take it as a joke. Stick to your guns, don’t pussy out half way.

Even if you want that one particular girl more than anyone else, it’s still better for you to let go – at least for now. Why? Because after letting go, you might find that you didn’t like her as much as you thought you did. Other girls could make you forget her. And if not, by leaving, you have an opportunity to erase your history with her and reinvent yourself before coming back for another shot (maybe a year or so later). It’s better to be constantly in and out of the “I just met you zone” than permanently in the “friendzone” (if you want the girl, that is; those of you that are happy just being friends are either lying to yourself or shouldn’t be bothered about the friendzone in the first place).

And yes, if you finish sticky-taping your balls back together and ask the girl out, you might get rejected. Maybe that’s because she doesn’t like you. But refer to the paragraph above – you’re more of a man (and thus more attractive) if you try, fail then leave. I’ll let you guys in on a secret. My ex cheated on me and we broke it off on mutual terms. She was surprised that I didn’t try to get her back and that I let go of her so quickly and easily. Within two days, she was trying to ask for me back. I still ditched the bitch because that’s what being alpha is and if I let her walk all over me, I’d be like the human bridge up there – pathetic.

Understanding how girls think:

I’ll be blunt. This is incredibly freaking hard. However, there are a few things in particular that you’re better off knowing. First of all, girls are attracted to confidence. We’ve gone through that already. Second, girls are insecure and emotional creatures – they will constantly seek affirmation from peers. That’s why married men and guys with girlfriends are more attractive to girls – because the guy’s worth has already been verified by another female. If the girl is single, she might think “why isn’t he with me? Is the other girl better?” and then feel the need to prove to herself that she’s the better one (which is why we get women who hit on married men, besides the “thrill” of cheating). There are ways to play on these insecurities to get the girl to chase you but I won’t get into those (and they’re not as bad as it sounds). Third, girls are attracted to wealth and status. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. That doesn’t mean a girl will pick solely based on those things, but they do play a significant role. The older the girl gets, the more important money and status will be and the less important things like physical appearance will be (good news for some of you).

Why are wealth and status important? Because females are, by nature, nest builders. They seek the best man to provide for a family, then they have children and raise them in their nest. All girls want a perfect nest. Why wouldn’t you? Of course, sometimes they just want these things because they’re narcissistic. In reality, it’s probably a mix of both. Just remember, girls want a guy that has the potential to provide them things they want, whatever it is they want (superficial stuff or family stuff).

Notice how I say “potential”. This is important because sometimes you don’t have to have the wealth already. Why are men with no direction or future, and who are unwilling to change themselves, unattractive? Because women know they’ll end up nowhere with a man like that. Physical appearance comes in a bit here – the fact that you work out is attractive on multiple levels. First, it means a hot body (or a potential future hot body), and second, it means you’re the kind of guy who’s willing to improve parts of himself that he knows need work. That is immensely attractive in both men and women.

Of course, there are also the other well-known traits that can give you a few extra points. Being interesting and funny and stuff always helps. Just remember though, girls are always talking about that “chemistry” between them and a guy. What they don’t know (and what a lot of you guys don’t know) is that chemistry doesn’t just happen. You make it happen. From the moment a girl meets you, the way you look, smell, present yourself and speak, as well as what you say and with what kind of tone, your body language and your entire carriage all contributes towards whether she feels chemistry or not. Sure, you can fluke it from time to time, but if you really know what’s going on, you can create that chemistry yourself.

So, if you made it through this entire post you’ve probably had some problems with the friendzone. Let me know in the comments below whether you learned anything, whether anything makes or doesn’t make sense and even if you want peoples’ (including mine) opinion on a particular situation of your own, put down the details and I’ll do my best to give you an answer.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 191 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 403,385 hits