Monday, January 25, 2010


When Sylvia Kristel, totally unprompted and despite a natural demureness, let her top slide off her shoulders during the Emmanuelle audition, she demonstrated a brilliant example of preempting the inevitable forthcoming request. Naturally, she got the part she so badly wanted, and so richly deserved.

Seizing the initiative by acting before an impending directive demonstrates high social value, and, despite requiring some boldness, is utterly disarming. Paradoxically, it is often the most effective means for withdrawing compliance and establishing higher social value than those who would have you infantilised. One relevant use is against mindless bureaucratic pettiness, for example, the hateful buffoons at airport security.

Before these muppets have even been given a chance to say a word, you politely throw two or three questions yourself in their direction.

Should I remove my scarf?
And what about my belt, is that necessary too?
I've also got a few coins in my pockets, is that OK for the scanner?

Simultaneously, you remove each item. Ostentatiously. By which time they'll be rendered speechless to the point where you can enjoy the petty (but not insignifcant) 'victory' of getting your liquids through without their being checked.


WXXX said...

Not long after the undie bomber incident, I heard some woman in an airport on public radio say: 'I don't mind the extra security measures at all... I'd do ANYTHING to stay safe...' Immediately, the words of "You Don't Have to Say Please" popped into my head...

For more on airport psychology, I recommend Sibel Edmonds latest installment of her Makings of a Police State series.

Ardepark said...

Well thought out and true! I have employed this kind of gesture many times. It makes you seem like you care more about the rules than those appointed to enforce them, and therefore you are less scrutinized and/or given more benefit of the doubt.

It's kind of like playing dumb. I love it.

My Mom lives out in the country in Arkansas, and one New Year's eve the sheriff's dept. had said up road blocks on a busy highway and was giving random alcohol tests. Not sure she even realized what she was doing, but when the officer asked her "Have you had anything to drink in the last 8 hours?" She said, "I can't'd better test me!"

Reminds me of Dave Chappelle's that because the average white person is less afraid of cops than the average black person, they know how to employ such "preempting" and get away with petty crimes. Whereas, according to him, the average black considers the cop out to get him and will have a guilty conscience that shows.

prince michael PELAO III said...

ha ha, love this! i just got on a plane after a self-imposed 4 year hiatus....the tingling-belt issue was much disposed of in your blatantly in-yer-nosy-fuckface manner...yeeee!