The Man With the Plastic Lunchbox

The conversation keeps coming back to me. Twenty years ago I came across an acquaintance having lunch on a park bench in the Walled City of Intramuros. He was eating out of a plastic lunch box. Halfway through the pleasantries he hit me with the bad news. “My wife left me.” It was said in the open ended tone which indicated perplexity.


“I’m still trying to figure out why,” he added.

“What did she say?” I replied.

“She said I gave her my entire paycheck. Came home every day before 7 pm. Never looked at another woman.”

“Yes,” I said.

“And never did anything dishonest that she could think of.”

I was waiting for the punchline. Somehow I knew it already. “And she left you why?”

“She said being married to me was like being married to a corpse.”

Then he went back to eating his lunch out of the plastic box.

Live Science has an article explaining why women prefer “bad boys” to reliable men. “Women choose bad boys because their hormones make them, new research suggests. When ovulating a woman’s hormones influence who she sees as good potential fathers, and they specifically pick sexier men over obviously more dependable men.”

“When asked about what kind of father the sexy bad boy would make if he were to have children with another woman, women were quick to point out the bad boy’s shortcomings,” said Durante. “But when it came to their own child, ovulating women believed that the charismatic and adventurous cad would be a great father to their kids.”

“While this psychological distortion could be setting some women up to choose partners who are better suited to be short-term mates, missing a mating opportunity with a sexy cad might be too costly for some women to pass up,” said Durante. “After all, you never know if he could be the ‘one.'”


And just to help things along, there are places like the Pick Up Artist Academy which boasts “the most effective pick up artist training (pua training) on the planet! You will be coached by some of the top pick up artists in the world to learn how to approach, attract, seduce and pick up any woman you want regardless of your looks, age or status.”

You’ll learn everything from inner game mindsets, overcoming approach anxiety, body language, voice tonality, NLP and approaching women during the day (day game) to instant attraction techniques, getting women to chase you, calling and texting women (text and phone game), rapid escalation, same night sex, online game, first date strategies, relationship management and more! Not only will you learn from Artisan, voted “Best New Pick Up Artist” in the World, you’ll also learn from guest instructors such as Badboy, David Wygant, James Marshall, Vince Kelvin, Adam Lyons, Hydro, Jordan Harbinger, Nick Quick Rogue, Ryan Juanzemis, Sasha Daygame, Epik pua, Amanda and More.

It got me to thinking that if this kind of s**t worked at all it would do wonders in politics. And sure enough, it turns out that many of the so-called techniques taught at these academies leverage the power of social psychology, “the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.”


Social psychology is the art of communicating to others — girls in some cases, voters in others — what is cool and uncool. And since people want to be cool, you make it easy for them to choose exciting, hip and edgy over clenched, stuffed-up and dead. In other words you eliminate the man with the plastic lunch box from the running.

The topic of persuasion has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Persuasion is an active method of influence that attempts to guide people toward the adoption of an attitude, idea, or behavior by rational or emotive means. Persuasion relies on “appeals” rather than strong pressure or coercion. Numerous variables have been found to influence the persuasion process; these are normally presented in five major categories: who said what to whom and how.

  1. The Communicator, including credibility, expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness.
  2. The Message, including varying degrees of reason, emotion (such as fear), one-sided or two sided arguments, and other types of informational content.
  3. The Audience, including a variety of demographics, personality traits, and preferences.
  4. The Channel or Medium, including the printed word, radio, television, the internet, or face-to-face interactions.
  5. The Context, including the environment, group dynamics, and preamble to the message

You can see how a guy like David Axelrod could use these techniques to great effect. Q: “Why Was David Axelrod Tweeting at 5:42 This Morning?” A: To make anyone who thought of linking his client to Jeremiah Wright feel terminally guilty. Reason, emotion, fear. David Axelrod was up at 5:42 pushing all the buttons he knew how to push.

And what was Mitt Romney doing? Well falling for it.  He quickly said that he would have nothing whatsoever to do with a campaign that would remotely link Jeremiah Wright with President Obama. It was possibly the most Christian, moral and upright thing to do. Would he get credit for it? Would voters stand up say, “now well there’s an honest upright guy.” I couldn’t help but remember the guy sitting in the Walled City of Intramuros and the words in that 2,000 year old book of deluded sayings. “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.”

But the if crown of glory is denied to the swift it almost always goes to the man with the best haircut and nicest suit, even if they  were  bought with borrowed money. Well not always, but like Live Science says, mostly.


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