One Day As an Appearance Attorney

Wake up at 6 AM, down two bottles of water.  You don’t eat breakfast on this day, because you’ve made a ritual of not eating breakfast during the days you appear before a judge.  The first and only time you tried it went badly, and you learn from your mistakes.

Next comes the kids.  The youngest is up first, then the eldest.  You make them both breakfast, and have a talk with each.  In the meantime, you’re preparing your files for the day ahead of you.

Drop the kids off on getting them ready with spouse’s help.  You then head back, down a Bolthouse Farms’ glass of Green Machine juice as a “breakfast” since you’re trying to evolve along with the requisite supplements you’ve learned help jog your memory and bring your cognitive abilities together, then you hop in the SUV and head to court after a cold shower and decking yourself out in a nice suit.

Parking is $8 for what will account to two hours’ time in the building. You resoundingly curse as you insert the credit card, get the ticket, and place it on the dash because the people who run the lot are assholes that will boot your car the moment they suspect shenanigans with your parking pass.  After paying and grabbing the briefcase and file folder, you head to court.

The courthouse is full of sights and smells alien and fearful to the layperson.  To me, it’s like welcoming an old friend into my home.  There’s the slight tinge of must from mold emerging somewhere in the building, possibly in the holding cells at the basement where alleged “cons” are held pending arraignment via video magistrate.  A nice, easy din of vocal chatter as I head down the hallway lined with glass to the main foyer where voting booths are set up that don’t open until noon.  I know the courtrooms in which I must appear and have made phone calls the day prior to both judicial assistants, letting them know I’ve got the Houdini-like task of appearing in two places at the same time.

They all have my back.  They always do.  In a shitshow like a local Bar, the assistants take care of those who treat them well.  It’s one reason I know every clerk by name and keep birthdays in a special calendar for each.  It’s why when Christmas comes around every clerk gets a Christmas Card with a special thank you note from me.

First stop is the courtroom with the judge who has an axe to grind and loves the respect.  By the way, I should mention at this point I’m not really on these cases as an attorney of record.  I’m just covering for an attorney who didn’t either decide or want to come from their home state to get a simple judgment taken care of.  At any rate, when I appear in front of the first Judge, I express deep regret for the attorney who “couldn’t make it,” because this judge loves propriety and has a fondness for respecting her robe.  The bailiff calls the Defendant’s name twice outside the court.  Hearing no response, I ask for a default.  The jurist grants it, signs the order, and hands me the file to get a copy for the attorney whose ass I just saved.

The file doesn’t go to the Clerk just yet.  I take a detour into Courtroom #2, where I’ve spoken with the judicial assistant the day before.  She’s flagged my file so the judge knows I’ve been in another court first thing.  Unfortunately for me, that means I’m waiting until the judge hears everything else.

I wait and get to hear another attorney whose opposing counsel on a case I’m working.  Never met this person before, but within minutes I know who this attorney is and that this attorney has real difficulties actually presenting a cogent case before a judge.  I keep a few notes as extra ammo in one of several black notebooks I carry, then get my few shots in for the second default of the day.

After the bailiff calls the Defendant’s name twice with no response, I get my second win of the day.  I go celebrate with a steak.

For the two appearances, I earned less than $100.  That’s cool by me.  I did it more for the court time and the chance to write about it than anything else.  I think most of all, I just missed having the ability to turn the screws in a low-cost, low-stress manner for people who needed a little help getting closure on a case.

Because the clients come and go, but the people in the Bar you work with until you retire or drop dead.

Thought Experiment: WWE Draft

Tuesday night is a big night for those who watch World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) programming.  Smackdown, traditionally considered the “B” show of the company’s programming, is going live on the USA network.  To celebrate, the new “heads” of Raw and Smackdown will hold a draft to determine the fate of WWE and NXT’s superstars.  I don’t have any skin in this, but I wanted to take a moment and conduct my own “draft” to see how things might play out.

For the purposes of this little thought experiment, I’m stepping into the shoes of Shane McMahon, the new head of Smackdown.  I want my brand to be different immediately from Raw, which made a name for itself in the nineties as the place for outlandish interactions between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon, the battle between Kane and the Undertaker, the Corporate Ministry, and more.  I’m interested in making my brand feel more as “sport” than “sports-entertainment.”  That’s my strategy going in to make my two hours of live TV “can’t miss.”

We’re going to take the actual rules of the WWE Draft as recently announced, which go as follows:

  1. Raw has the first overall pick.
  2. Since Smackdown Live is a two hour show, and Raw is three hours, for every two picks Smackdown gets Raw will get three picks
  3. Tag Teams count as one pick unless a Commissioner/GM specifically only wants one member of the team.
  4. Six picks will be made off the NXT roster.

I’m also using the list of “draft eligible” stars off WWE.com for this little experiment.

Round one:

  1. Dean Ambrose to RAW, John Cena to Raw, and Seth Rollins to Raw
  2. AJ Styles to Smackdown and the Club (Gallows and Anderson) to Smackdown.

I’m focusing on Sport, and I want the focus to be on talent with more “sport” than “sports entertainment” for this brand.  Therefore, I take three guys who have experience in New Japan with a “sports” feel and leave Raw with Cena, the Champ, and Rollins so you have a built in feud and the iconic face of WWE.

Round two:

  1. The New Day to RAW, Rusev to Raw, and Charlotte to Raw.
  2. Enzo and Cass to Smackdown, Cesaro to Smackdown

I place this in the realm again of looking at Raw trying to hold the champs.  Smackdown needs a colorful tag team to feud with the Club, and I want Cesaro for his athletic ability.

Round three:

  1. Brock Lesnar to Raw, The Dudley Boys to Raw, and Demon Kane to Raw
  2. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens to Smackdown

This might seem like a counter-intuitive pick.  Give the beast to Raw, a good tag team that can put good matches with The New Day, and Kane shows up for a heel figure that would serve in a great authority figure role if you needed someone as a check on the GM.  With Smackdown I want two guys that can go and continually put out consistent matches night after night.  Zayn and Owens fit that role perfectly.

Round four:

  1. Chris Jericho to Raw, The Usos to Raw, and Roman Reigns to Raw
  2. The Miz to Smackdown, Neville to Smackdown, and the Vaudevillians to Smackdown.

So this continues a pick of the big names going to Raw, with additions of the Usos and Reigns to Raw.  I see the big names getting picked by my counterpart.  I want a champ of some sort on my show, so I get the Miz who holds the IC belt.  I want a high flyer and Neville fits that.  The Vaudevillians have a certain kitschy feel to them, so I want them for my show to make things different.

Round Five (the NXT Round)

  1. Shinsuke Nakamura to Raw, The Revival to Raw, and Askua to Raw
  2. Finn Balor to Smackdown, American Alpha to Smackdown

Nakamura needs time on the big stage on Raw, and his presence could help offset some of the major names on Raw that would have great matches with him.  I want Balor to act as the anchoring member of the Club or keep him as a face to feud with the Club, and American Alpha fits the “sport” mentality I see present for Smackdown.

Round Six:

  1. Alberto Del Rio to Raw, Paige to Raw, Becky Lynch to Raw
  2. Bayley to Smackdown, Sasha Banks to Smackdown

This fills out my quota of NXT stars and gives some diversity to the women’s division.  I also think Raw needs the Latino superstar, and two of the major Women’s Division talent to round them out.  I think Sasha Banks and Bayley can carry a good feud for the Smackdown Women’s title, so that’s my picks there.

Round Seven:

  1. Randy Orton to Raw, the Social Outcasts to Raw, and Big Show to Raw
  2. Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family to Smackdown

I make this pick because I think Orton, the Outcasts, and Big Show all have value to the Raw Brand.  Orion and Show are the big names that already have value.  The Social Outcasts are a niche group that will bring some JOB Squad level talent to the mix and can work as “enhancement talent” for any group or person they face.  Plus it’d be cool if they decided “we’re tired of the jobber role and are ready to gang up on people.”  I think Bray and the Wyatt Family are criminally underused on Raw, so I’d take them all for Smackdown.

So I hope this shows you a good view of continually working towards two different products that make Raw and Smackdown distinguishable and ready to compete with either brand.  If I had my druthers, I’d put a commentary team of JBL, Michael Cole, and Byron Saxton on Raw, with Smackdown getting Mauro Ranallo, Daniel Bryan, and Jerry Lawler (if he ever recovers from his legal battles).  Other rounds can make for good fodder off camera, but I think seven rounds of picks on TV plus after show picks will make the dearth of the draft.

If you have other picks, or think I’m dead wrong, tell me in comments or hit me up on Twitter @clsesq.

Rant in D Minor.

This will have no substantive value.  It is a rant for your own pleasure and entertainment.  Right now I’m getting this shit off my chest, and I’ll use my platform to deal with it.  I call it “Adventures in Parenting With Unrepentant Fuckwits,” or “What Happens When You Make Me Go Full Gorilla At 6 PM For Stupid Shit.”

As an homage to Bill Hicks, let’s shorten it to “Rant in D Minor.”*

One reason I relish being a solo practitioner and my own boss is because I love my kids and want to be there for them when a crisis situation occurs. About 10:15 this morning one of those crises moments happened.  My wife rings my cell phone.  It’s her vet tech, and she puts me on speaker.

“Your son is running a 101.9 degree fever.  You need to go get him.”

Cursing like crazy at this point, I hop in the car and dash off to the day care.  They’ve got rules there, rules I can’t complain about for protection of children against contagious diseases, and one of them is if your kid has a fever running over 100 degrees then they have to be without fever for 24 hours, pain medication and fever reducer free.  I’m just glad it’s the son though, and not both the kids, because if it’s both then I’m getting nothing done besides telling my daughter it’s not okay to lick the television.

We get back to the house and I give my son some Motrin.  His fever goes down immediately, and I get a strong suspicion he’s teething again.  Every single time he’s cut a tooth he gets a fever, and this was no different in my head.  He ate well, took a good nap, and I got some work done until he got up (Including three, yes three posts at Fault Lines you’ll be able to read tomorrow).

When my son awakens he’s not in the best of moods, but it’s to be expected.  Temperature’s still low, though.  By dinner he’s lethargic, not willing to eat, his fever’s gone back up, and I’m starting to get worried.  My wife, who is home by this point, confirms our son is teething.  It’s not just any teething, it’s a molar, which means it’s painful as all hell for him.  Fortunately, there’s a remedy for such things, but I have to go get it from a place called “Bohemian Baby.”  It’s an all natural teething oil called “Punkin’ Butt,” and the stuff works wonders.  My wife says she can either go or I can go get it.  I opt for the latter decision because of a couple reasons.

The first is that when it gets to a certain time of night and my kids are tired, they turn into the pint sized equivalents of drunks at the bar on last call.  My daughter is the one white girl who doesn’t want to leave and is protesting loudly because she’s just downed her twelfth shot of Jager and “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”  My son is the bro who’s ready to fight anyone over anything, and protesting loudly because he just lost his last game of Beer Pong or Flip Cup.  Reason two is that “Bohemian Baby” is about two miles away,  I just ordered Chinese food, and I figure I can get the oil, be back in time for the kids to go to bed, and nothing go wrong.

I make it to “Bohemian Baby” and there’s a sign on the door that they’ve moved locations.  However there’s people inside this store, and it looks stocked.  A lady opens the door and asks what’s going on.  I ask if I can purchase a container of “Punkin Butt.”  The lady, who is lit brighter than a Christmas tree and smells as though she’s just stepped out of a Colorado dispensary, says “We have that, but like, we can’t sell it to you here.”

“Why?”

“Because this is like our online distribution store now, you know?  You want to buy it in town, you have to go to the West Town Mall location.  That’s our…what do you call it…um…yeah man…”physical location.”

I politely explain my situation and ask if I can make an “online purchase” somehow at this store.  She declines, and tells me the place to go is “Next to Sears, so you don’t have to worry about going in the whole mall, man.  I mean that’s a good thing, right?  At least I wouldn’t go near one of those mass commercialism centers.”

I thank the young lady, and turn to leave.  She says “Wait.  You’re going to want to go to the…wait…is it the first Sears entrance or the second Sears entrance?  I’m….wait….I think it’s the first Sears entrance.”  None of this exchange meant a damn thing.  There’s no telling what this stoner meant by “first” or “second” entrance, and there’s no telling even if she knows what planet she’s on.  I thank her and drive to Sears.

When I get to the entrance of Sears that leads into the mall proper, “Bohemian Baby” is nowhere to be found.  I ask at least three store owners if they’ve heard of “Bohemian Baby” and where the location is.  None of them know where this store is, if it’s open, or what it’s about.  If you know me, by this point you know it’s an exercise in restraint for me to continue keeping my cool.

One store owner, the guy running a place called “Wireless Toyz,” points to a mall cop and says “Hey man!  The Mall Dick will know where the place is!”  Thankful for finally sensing a useful function of a Paul Blart, I ask the guy where Bohemian Baby is located and if he can point me in their direction.

They’re on the other side of the fucking mall, and closing in twenty minutes.

I used to train Parkour regularly.  I do cardio regularly as a morning routine, if it’s walks, runs, cycling, or otherwise.  I can tell you with absolute certainty the next few moments consisted of me running for Bohemian Baby faster and more nimbly than David Belle’s iconic chase scene from District B-13.

I make it to the store as they’re slamming their gates shut.  My foot lands in the door of the store.

“I’m sorry sir, we’re closing.”

“No, you’re making one more sale tonight.”

I’ve been told in moments of sheer anger I’ve developed a certain penchant for a “thousand yard stare.”  It worked tonight, as the young lady planning on shutting down her shop asked what I desired most.

“One container Punkin’ Butt, please.”

“Will that be all?”

“Yes.”

“Are you a member of our rewar…”

“No.”

“Do you…”

“No.”

I hand her my card, sign off on the dotted line, and leave.  My kids are in bed asleep now, and we got our Chinese Food this evening and wine.

If I ever see that fuckwit from the “online distribution center” again, even if it’s in my office on an emergency matter, right now I’ll refer her happy ass out the door to someone else.

These are the things you do when you’re a dad.  You deal with the fuckwits of the world, and you do your best to protect your kids from them.  Soon I’ll write a post about the three kinds of Dads I’ve encountered in family law.  I just hope I do my father justice by setting an example for my kids.

*D is for Dad, in case you were still puzzled.

Compound Communication Update: Soundcloud

We’re moving the Collaborative Compound Podcasts back to a regular schedule, and we’re moving them to Soundcloud.  That means RSS feed integration, iTunes, Stitcher, and otherwise support, and more, which means you’ll get more Mediation is Dead Content than before, where you want it, when you want it.  We’re about empowering people through communication skills, and that requires constant evolution.

I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback from my Blab and Periscope sessions.  That’s all well and good, but podcasting is a major business these days for people who need a message broadcasted to the world.  Originally, I’d used a platform called Spreakr since it was an iPhone app and I could record straight from my iPhone 5S.  I learned something very quickly from those initial Collaborative Compound Podcasts.

The first thing I learned is Spreakr is shit compared to other platforms.  There’s little to no visibility for your podcasts, the WordPress plugin is buggy at best, and the limited functionality makes it hard to record something people want to listen to.

The second was the message transmitted to the world wasn’t getting received in the right places. If you want your message heard in the right areas you’ve got to go the route of regular content updates to Stitcher, iTunes, and the rest of the podcast aggregators out there.  Spreakr didn’t have the same visibility, so it had to go.

All of this is in testing mode, mind you.  One thing I’ve learned since beginning Mediation is Dead is the practice of forming an online business and presence is very much a learning game.  One of my favorite podcasts by Mike Cernovich detailed the formation of Danger and Play, as well as the Mike Cernovich podcast.  He freely admitted he didn’t know what he was doing when he got started and his business was very much a “learn as you go” enterprise.  I like that sort of “wrongless approach” to life Mike has, so I embrace it ruthlessly as I work to spread my message.

I went from a Twitter handle of TVDog to my current, @clsesq, which now extends to Instagram and Snapchat.  I evolved from Spreakr to Soundcloud, and continue to work with Periscope and Blab in order to spread the message of better communication to end conflict so parties can stay out of the court system.  I’ve learned content monetization, SEO optimization, and more just based on a desire to get my message to the world and a preference for being resourceful over begging people continually to help me out.

And that take on resourcefulness, the ability to evolve your work, continues to make the entire enterprise fulfilling each day.  Learning is a great endeavor, but when you undertake learning with a desire to evolve in knowledge then it’s a killer combination.

That’s all for now.  Transmissions from the Compound are forthcoming, and I guarantee you won’t want to miss any of them.

What I Learned From A Local Job Fair

I had some time this afternoon, and as a Professional Opportunist I’m always looking for ways to make money, so I ventured into Oak Ridge for the Anderson County Job Fair.  There’s a lot to be learned from job fairs, and I’m going to share with you a few things I learned, plus some suggestions if you’re trying to find work.  I’m not a big fan of job fairs, but they’re a good way to see what local businesses are hiring, take the pulse of a community, and see if there’s any deception afoot.  In the case of Anderson County, there’s a little bit of all that in play.

First a word about Oak Ridge.  I don’t have an issue with the town, but it gives off a vibe of sadness and despair.  Whether this has something to do with the immense lack of jobs in the region or the presence of a nuclear weapons plant in the town, I’m not entirely sure.  In recent days I’ve become far more mindful of where my mind goes in certain areas with regards to emotion, so I’m able to spot it and shift that mental frame into a more positive one.  Despite this, Oak Ridge just carries a lot of negative energy.  That said, let’s discuss the positive facts I learned.

  1. There’s a big job problem, especially in rural areas.

It’s hard to call Oak Ridge “rural,” but it’s very clear there’s a job problem everywhere.  Anderson County is about as “rural” of a city as you can get, especially so close to Knoxville, and the amount of people at this job fair were staggering.  I got there about 45 minutes before it was scheduled to open and the parking lot was already full of potential job-seekers.  The lobby was packed as well with people hungry and ready for a steady paycheck.  I hung back and observed the general tempo of the crowd, just in an attempt to see what I could learn.

The gamut of dress ran from absolute casual to full-blown business attire.  A few people even had their children with them.  I’m not sure whether this was due to an inability to afford child care for an afternoon or find someone to watch their kids, but it was definitely a sticking point in my head as I walked through the exhibition hall.  Some people carried briefcases or binders.  Many flashed stacks of resumes.

When the job fair opened everyone poured in though a narrow opening, almost like cattle, and began hitting up the various booths.  Some people were talkative.  Others simply grabbed applications and left the table without even saying a word.  One guy I saw do this kept muttering “as long as I keep applying they won’t put me in jail,” which was a rather telling statement as to what sort of legal situation he faced, as well as just how nervous he was in his current environment.

2. Everyone wants to work for the government.

The biggest demand from the job seekers was time in front of the nuke plant officials.  Once the hall opened, nearly every job-seeker made a beeline for the nuke plant table.  It’s understandable, the benefits were great and the job pool larger than just about any other table.  Yet few seemed to realize with that dearth of people coming to the table, very little of the faces would actually be recognized later on in potential job interviews.

3. Education is failing as a job market.

Most of the jobs were for rather specialized skill sets that didn’t require a higher education degree.  In fact, one of the better paying jobs only required a GED or high school diploma as educational experience.  This didn’t stop two colleges from showing up to flaunt their “track record” for job placement and shill how signing up and paying them money for a diploma would grant you keys to the world.

This presents a very interesting question.  Why are colleges hitting up potential students at a job fair?  With sliding enrollment rates, more people realizing trades and marketable skill sets are better than a piece of paper, and the continued spread of academic culture that promotes feelings over facts and perpetuates “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces,” it’s not that hard to pick out.  Yet the schools are that desperate, so much so they’re willing to try and take the money of those who have none at an event ostensibly designed to create jobs and place people with jobs.  It’s a deception, and one I’m dangerously close to exploring in depth.

4. The most sought after skills aren’t taught in higher education.

Driving a fork lift, building houses, welding, and working with the developmentally challenged were some of the most lucrative positions offered at this job fair.  However, most of the people who came to the job fair didn’t have a chance at any of these positions, because they didn’t have the requisite training or skills marketable enough to land these positions.  Most of them aren’t hard to learn; I got a chance to learn my locksmithing skills by asking an expert if I could apprentice under him.  Yet most people won’t take the time to even sort our these skills and simply choose to blame others for their inability to find a job.

Tips for successfully negotiating a job fair.

  1.  If there’s a lot of people flocking to a booth, ignore it and see if you can’t find the point of contact for the person who’s running the department you want to work with.  Standing in line for 30 minutes to an hour not only wastes your time, it practically guarantees you won’t be remembered by a hiring official sent to the job fair unless there’s something about you that sticks out.
  2. Go to the booths that look “different” and talk up the people there, especially if you notice they’re not getting a lot of traffic.  Tell them you want to speak to the “interesting” people, and they’ll fall head over heels for you at that point.  You might even get word of some interesting job opportunities better suited to your liking this way.
  3. Take a look at the flyers presented by the Chamber of Commerce.  You’ll usually be able to pick out what booths you want to visit and those you don’t that way.  Your time is valuable, make the most of it in advance by not visiting the places you don’t want to work.
  4. Leave your kids at home or with a caregiver.  If you can’t do that, ask a relative to watch them.  Finding good child care is hard, but just as it’s not beneficial to you to bring your kids to a job interview it’s not beneficial to take your kids with you to a job fair.  Plus they’ll get bored quickly, and bored kids don’t usually behave well.
  5. Dress at least in business casual.  If you don’t own a suit, buy a dress shirt.  If you don’t have slacks, buy some.  If you don’t have the money to do even that, go check out a local thrift store or ask about job clothing programs.  They usually exist.  And remember, you get a tax deduction for job seeking expenses.
  6. Have something that makes you stand out for a job hunter.  I took Bobby Motta’s “The Informant” with me and performed it for at least three people at job booths.  They get my business card and I leave an impression on them, knowing I can “read minds.”

Give it a shot.  You don’t have to be unemployed if you don’t want it.  Job fairs can produce positive results, you just have to approach them correctly.

 

Lessons Learned From Roasting Social Autopsy

Fault Lines has been generous enough to let me take a story and lampoon it or come up with some comic laden angle every Friday.  On the 15th we ran with a story on Social Autopsy where I “roasted” them with insult after insult.  For further giggles, I anchored every paragraph with a hook developed by comedian Carlos Valencia: “It Gets Worse.” What ends up surprising me is over the weekend people started picking up the post and taking it seriously!

One person picked up the post and twitted it as analysis of Social Autopsy’s problems.  Then people started applauding it as a “refreshing take” on the site’s attempt to end cyber bullying by actually cyber bulling people.  Yet another person got in touch with me on Twitter and argued that in our current climate of butthurt it might turn into a viable business model, comparing it to Peeple, another failed attempt at trying to smear character in a thinly-veiled attempt to spread “positivity.”  There’s lessons to be learned from this exercise I think worth sharing.

  1. People don’t care for the online “naming and shaming” or “call out culture” anymore.

We used to take this approach and laud it as a means of “eradicating” certain wrongthink or shun peoples’ ideas we found offensive or hurtful to others.  Now it’s something recognized as a bad idea in a country that values free speech, and people who attempt to use the technique and turn it into a business model are going to see some inevitable blowback if they try to reinvent the “reputation” wheel.

2. There is a blowback against monetizing reputation or attempting to run people out of a job in the name of “inclusivity” and “diversity.”

Justine Sacco lost her job over a tweet.  Pax Dickinson can’t get a job in tech because of a proclivity to be “trolly.” People now don’t accept this as a proper way to handle conflict, and they’re calling out those who justify this sort of idea as a means to promote a narrative of “words hurt and harm.”  It’s the inevitable response to years of using these tactics to cost people their jobs, reputations, and more.

On a recent episode of The Rubin Report, Paul Joseph Watson of Prison Planet and Infowars called the rise of this cultural libertarianism inevitable because “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  I tend to agree with him.  The push against Social Autopsy, and Peeple before it, is now largely reflective of a contrarian approach to the victimhood mentality or the “call out culture” propagated by the regressive movement that tells us “You can’t say that.”

3. The moment towards making free speech cool again is gaining traction.

Companies and conferences that “no platform” speakers or executives are getting outed for their work.  Protesters that try to silence others are getting resistance.  Even the recent trends of “Chalking” areas with messages others find “offensive” or “unsafe” are beginning to see some blowback with people deliberately using “The Chalkening” to promote free speech instead of stifling it.  The reactionary, provocateur approach is slowly building up a wonderful trend of giving others a chance to speak, and real discussion to begin.

4.  Change in thought concerning speech can happen, even if it’s painful.

There are a few people who gave up on the approach that society would ever shift back in the direction of our old “Marketplace of Ideas” mentality towards free speech.  It’s understandable, and the numbing view is a cultural marker in communication.  When the shift to limit speech and shame people into groupthink began the first trend was deliberate self-censorship.  People just bought into the idea and refused to speak on topics of interest, or even just engage in a back and forth to have fun.  They knew this because of the “social consequences” model justifying this manner of behavior.  No one wants to lose a steady source of income over a few words.

As time passed the approach just became numbing to people.  We knew this cultural shift occurred, and became largely indifferent to it.  The naming and shaming life was the New Normal, and we simply analyzed it and called the practice what it was.  We didn’t really do anything about it, because the idea of shifting cultural practices didn’t seem possible.  The movement was just that powerful.

Now we’re seeing a movement begin that’s changing the way we view speech.  It’s the result of people getting sick and tired of being able to discuss real issues and real problems in our country without getting labeled “racist, sexist and homophobic.” Those terms still get thrown around, but they’ve been used so much the new movement of cultural libertarianism’s response is “you’ve used those terms so much to describe people those words lost their meaning. We’re going to continue the discussion.”

It’s a great time to be alive.  The lessons learned from the blowback over Social Autopsy prove that we’re headed in the right direction again.  Eventually we’re going to return to a cultural future where we value open, plain, honest discussion of issues instead of buying into group narratives where people stay silent at the risk of personal and professional loss.

That’s when the real discussions over issues of concern will begin.  That’s when we’ll make real progress.  That’s when we’ll see real racism, sexism, and societal concerns addressed through open and honest discussion.

Get a chance to embrace the “Wrongless Approach.” It’s a great way to live.

Want to learn persuasion and suggestion skills?  We can make that happen.

Review: “The Informant” by Bobby Motta

I love mentalism effects.  Mentalism is one of the strongest ways to make an impression with someone because it means you’re essentially messing with someone’s head.  One of the easiest ways to do this is by “the peek,” and one of the best devices I’ve ever seen for getting a “peek” is Bobby Motta’s “The Informant.”

The Informant is a wallet.  You’ll be able to use it all day, every day, just like a regular wallet.  The difference is The Informant has a special device that allows you to get a peek of any thought the spectator is using.  It can be a card, a name, a number, anything your heart desires.  All you have to carry besides the wallet is a provided Sharpie pen and a few post-it notes.

From there the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination.  Here’s a sampling of effects I’ve come up with using “The Informant.”

*Changing a contract from $5 to $500

*Guessing the name of a long dead family member and then conducting “cold reading” to provide a seance with the spectator

*Changing a drawing from one item to another.

*Make a number appear on a blank piece of paper

*Figure out the favorite book of a spectator

*Have the person shuffle and select a card from an “invisible” deck, then you guess it.

That’s just a sampling of what you can do with The Informant.  The effects are only limited by your imagination.  When you receive the wallet you’ll get Bobby’s “Blackmail” device that allows you a whole new series of ideas for effects.  Even when I don’t have The Informant on me, I keep a Blackmail in my wallet because it’s a great way to mess with someone’s head.

The best thing about The Informant, though, is it’s a marketing tool for you.  No matter what your job, the person you perform the effect for is going to end up with your business card in their hands.  That’s a powerful way to spread your brand, because after someone sees you’ve read their mind, they’ll end up with your business card.  Whether you’re a lawyer, doctor, conflict resolution professional, writer, magician, hypnotist, anything you do, the great thing about The Informant is the spectator always leaves with your business card, remembering that you read their mind.

I can’t stress the value of this device for anyone who wants to live a “wrongless approach” with their own personal business.  Carrying The Informant with you and all the extras will help you at networking events because those people outside your personal industry will come back to you for something.  Leaving a person with your business card is one of the best closers you can get, because they just keep it like some sort of personal talisman.  When you get the business because you bought The Informant, you’ll get better at what you’re doing.  More networking opportunities, more business, and more end customers for you.

You can buy The Informant today.  Well worth your dough.  I rate this 5 stars.

Take some time and learn about The Wrongless Approach.

You can learn how to do an easy pickpocket move for free.

Persuasion more your bag?  Here’s a free crash course in bending reality.

I am, and I am not

I Am.

An attorney.

A mediator.

A conflict resolution professional.

A communication theory fan.

A theatrical pickpocket, hypnotist, and card cheat.

A writer.

A rogue with a love of reading about con men and the con game.

An affiliate partner for certain businesses.

Someone who strives to be honest, fair and plain in language with all people.

A father.

A husband.

A friend to a very small group of people.

An unapologetic Freemason.

I am not 

Your fucking therapist.

No seriously, I’m not.  Especially if you’re not paying me.  There’s only a minor amount of bullshit I’ll take from you if you’re paying me, and when you call me, email me, text me, whatever method you use, and attempt to take up the limited amount of time and energy I have I will probably not take it very kindly.  Don’t like it?  That’s your problem, not mine.

I’m putting this out there for everybody to know because it’s got to be ridiculously clear-cut.  I’ve spent enough time today dealing with OPFs (other people’s fuck ups), especially ones from people who owe me money and are unapologetic when they call and tell me they’re not honest enough to honor an agreement.  When I’m paying someone else for goods and services, I expect those services to actually work and for people to do their jobs.  It’s amazing how many people just don’t give a damn when performing their jobs.   Yes, it’s gotten me a little upset.  I’m not really sure why I used the word “upset,” because upset would mean I was even the slightest bit angry, and I’m really not.  There’s a reason for that.  I don’t like spending time, even a short amount, having to meditate and engage in self-hypnosis to get back to a default state of relaxed confidence.

Despite all of this, I get to know that I’m going to a meeting with some business investors tonight and make up for losing about two hours of my day to asshats.  That’s $800, thank you, and I’ll be taking the payment within fifteen days’ time.

And I’ll still keep writing, because I can do that.  Even on days when I have an absolute shitstorm brewing around me, I’m still standing.  I almost died once because I gave a damn about what other people thought. Now that I have restricted that field of “give a damn” I’m a lot better off.  We’ll talk about that soon enough.

In the meantime, know that when I get people who want to waste my time and energy to the point where I have to go “reboot” my brain with a healthy dose of positivity then I’m not exactly in the best of minds.  I’m probably going to do something to screw with you if you’re not someone I really care about.  I have the ability to switch off the “give a damn” mechanism in my head, because I invested in being the best I can possibly be for this environment.  I am the person people fear when they see me walk into a room, and the person some people love when they see me show up.

I took the Bar Exam with one eye.  I was hospitalized after a brush with death.  I’m still standing.  You cannot beat me.  You cannot put me down.  Every time someone struck me down, I always rise more powerful than they can imagine.  That’s how I work, because that’s what a Professional Opportunist does.  I had a meeting today with someone who took an NLP technique taught regularly in the states and then made it better within fifteen seconds.  That’s the calibre of person I work with.

Get on my level or get the fuck out of my way.

[/end rant]

Buy the book that teaches you the “Wrongless Approach” to life.

My Cover Story For Parties

When I first got started in the legal profession, a Knoxville attorney once told me that I needed to develop a “cover story” for parties and social occasions.  His was “UPS Driver.”  Mine is “Master of the Custodial Arts.”

The rationale for developing a “cover story” is simple.  If I told people I was an attorney, I would always get a response of “Oh, well I have this question I want to ask you” or “I had this experience with an attorney.”  Then I’d usually be subject to an endless discussion on the topics these people wanted to discuss, as opposed to simply enjoying myself at a party.

So I took this lawyer’s approach, and started telling people I was a UPS driver.  It worked at first, because no one really cared about the life of a UPS driver.  On the occasional chance that I’d get a question, I’d get asked things like “What happens to packages that get damaged on delivery?” or “Have you ever looked in a package?” or “What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever delivered?” If I got these questions, then I took it as a blanket license to screw with people and did so accordingly.

When I first met Mrs. S., we went to a party held by the veterinary office at which she worked.  Before we exited my vehicle, I was told “The UPS thing won’t fly here.  One of my colleagues is married to a UPS driver.  He’ll be here and he’ll call you out on it.”

“Shit,” I thought, and just reverted to “lawyer” mode for that gathering.  I was still a newborn of a baby lawyer at that point, and not comfortable in my own skin.  You can imagine from there how things went at this particular gathering.

I’d still toy with the “UPS” or “FedEx Driver” cover story for a while, but eventually I made friends with people who drove for UPS and FedEx, and they both told me the story I had wouldn’t work in either occasion.  So I had to some up with something new.

Enter Kenny Omega, who gave me my current title for parties when I choose to use it: “Master of the Dark Custodial Arts,” or “Master of the Custodial Arts.”

Kenny Omega is a fantastic professional wrestler for an organization called “New Japan Pro Wrestling.”  When Kenny joined a particularly devious heel faction known as the “Bullet Club,” he was dubbed the group’s “Cleaner.”  Now I will confess I know next to nothing about Japanese, despite having taken two semesters of it in undergrad so I could understand commentary on DVDs from FMW, NOAH, and New Japan.  That being said, I’ve always come to understand that “Cleaner” is what “Hitman” translates to in Japanese.

Omega is a bit of an oddball in pro wrestling, and ran with the title in ways you wouldn’t expect.  Eventually, the nickname “The Cleaner” gave way to Kenny calling himself “Master of the Dark Custodial Arts.”  I dug it and ran with that to this day for my “cover story” when I choose to pull that card at parties.

It’s simple to understand: Most people think “Janitor” when they hear “Master of the Custodial Arts,” and will leave me alone if I want to be left alone.  Sometimes I’ll get the occasional oddball question about a mess I’ve cleaned up, and I’ll screw with people if I want to have a bit of fun.  Despite this, I’m not lying when I say I’m a “Master of the Custodial Arts.”  That’s essentially what I do. People bring me messes and I attempt to clean them up, for a reasonable fee.

I’m quite a bit more comfortable telling people I’m a lawyer these days, due to stuff like the POWA method and a little volume called “Gorilla Mindset.” I also am very comfortable with telling those people who want to ask me a “question” that “I’d love to talk to you, please call me during business hours and we’ll set up a consultation” as I hand them a business card.

But I still pull out the title “Master of the Dark Custodial Arts” on occasion when I feel like having a bit of fun, because I enjoy life a lot more than I used to.

 

Dean Ambrose Lives the “Wrongless Approach.”

11039189_10152701150953365_483529846207624476_n

Jonathan “Dean Ambrose” Good gets the “Wrongless Approach” better than most people.  He’s been in the midst of some of the strangest angles in pro wrestling history, said “fuck it” numerous times, and became one of the hottest talents in that business because of his ability to play the role of the “Lunatic Fringe.”

Dean was a guy who did Death Matches under the name “Jon Moxley” because he lived the “wrongless approach” to life before it was near a national audience.

When Dean got to the WWE, he decided the best way to get attention was to pick a fight with a really respected performer.  That performer’s real name was Mick Foley. The ensuing debacle was so strong Dean had to disengage from the feud and just say “fuck it.”

Dean Ambrose made so many people uncomfortable that he had to disengage from a “worked” feud to keep everyone happy. 

Dean was a part of “The Shield,” where he did a three man team of such  quality you haven’t seen since the Fabulous Freebirds. I just about guarantee you that if you watch a Shield match today and you know about Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin, and Buddy Roberts, you think of the Freebirds.

When The Shield split, Dean became the “Lunatic Fringe,” and played with that concept like nobody’s business.

He stole a hot dog cart from Coney Island and used it as a weapon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNeARpitAQg

Dean also took the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to a new level.

Dean has managed to get to a point in his career where he can say little and mean something, because he works with a mindset that says “No matter what, I’m going to have fun with this.” 

Flash forward to the February 29, 2016 episode of Raw.  Long story short, he tells the current champ Triple H the champ knows he can’t “Beat” Dean, and challenges the champ to a match for the belt “right here, right now.”  The champ says he’ll take it under advisement and give him a response by the end of the night.

So Dean gets beaten down by a bunch of dudes, then Triple H comes in, stands over Dean, and says “You get your shot.”  There’s a mic left in the ring.

Go to 2:30 or so in this video.

The reaction from that one word “Thanks” caused a reaction most couldn’t with twenty minutes of verbiage.

Dean keeps endearing himself with fans, because he understands that no matter what, it’s important to live life and have fun doing it.

That’s the secret to the “Wrongless Approach” to life. 

You can learn more about how to have fun, no matter what, in any situation too.