Saturday, November 18, 2006

Your assignment is as follows...

I’m tipsy and pissed and I’ll probably remove this post later. Or not, we’ll see if it still amuses me as much tomorrow morning as it does right now.

I have an assignment for you. The next time you’re out with a group of people, observe the group dynamic as they speak to each other. Specifically note eye contact as distributed by the person speaking.

The second half of the assignment, a bit more difficult: go out with a group of people where your language is not the one spoken by the majority. Observe the same occurrence, i.e. eye contact. At some point, you will observe the following phenomenon: the majority speakers will cease to include you in their conversation, simply by denying you eye contact. This phenomenon is more noticeable in smaller groups.

You may indulge in the following recourse: disassociate. Drift away in the fantasy of your choosing. So long as you sit with a half-smile smirk on your face, as if you were deeply involved in the insipid conversation happening around but not including you, no one is the wiser. In fact, by the end of the evening they will congratulate and admire you for being the wise, all-knowing but silent type. And you will smile your Mona Lisa smile and pretend that you understand them telling you about how well you understand everything.

I’m telling you, it’s fucking amazing.

Update to the assignment, Sunday: Upon the successful completion of the preceding experiment, you are permitted to move on to Experiment Two. X2 embodies the search for the inverse situation as the one described above.

Proceed as follows: gather a group of people who, like in the first round, are speakers of a language other than your own. Excluding oneself, the group should be made up of no more than one of the same people from the first experiment's group. It is vital that the group dynamic be different from the first round. Because if so, you will observe the in X2 the opposite of X1: that is, the minority speaker will be included in the conversation. The group will interact well and equally, a good time will be had, and the world will be slightly more harmonious.

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