There’s this weird assumption that dudes are somehow supposed to make it through life intuitively knowing how to save money and treat women properly and you know…be a man. Like it’s some sort of obvious concept: that males would effortlessly mature and evolve as smoothly as you move from room to room in your home.
That’s…not how life or love works.
The overlooked holes in this popular “logic” include failing to account for how people are raised, the experiences they’ve had (and the narratives they fashioned from them) and most importantly failing to properly manage expectations creates disappointments.
You can do everything “right” and still be rejected, lonely and alone.
You can do everything right and still be unloved.
You can do everything right even as you realize there are no right boxes to check or correct steps to follow.
That grim status has a limited range of emotions notably anger, irritation, sadness and despair. That state leaves you open and vulnerable susceptible to any sort of fancy ideas; anything remotely marketed as hope will generate interest. Which brings us to The Pickup Game by co-directors Matthew O’Connor and Barnaby O’Connor.
Currently screening at Hot Docs The Pickup Game explorers the alpha male culture of successfully seducing women. There are seminars for real estate, money management, cosplay design and much more. Seems obvious that eventually there would be a Tony Robbins type to show guys how to “get girls.”
Because after all if you weren’t taught this at home it requires mentorship. But good intentions are not enough and as we’ve seen in every action movie there is an omnipresent threat that if this falls into the hands of the wrong people it will go badly. This is what the documentary covers so well the slow eradication of humanity, constant emotional annihilation the suppression of value, the seedier aspects of manipulation rather than love and the shock of success.
Remember that old school Mary J. Blige song where she was actively “searching for Real Love?“
The Pickup Game is just a symptom…nobody who starts smoking really hopes to get lung cancer or emphysema. They start smoking because their friends are doing it or they look cool or because they have so much nervous energy and the process of pulling out the cigarette, lighting it, smoking it, I guess gets addressed. Multiple reasons why people start smoking and some of them are not gonna make sense.
And when it comes to dating and love and sex pickup culture is just a symptom. What Minnie Lane the dating coach in the documentary confirms is that people are actively searching for genuine connection; like Mary J. Blige’s real love epic quest.
Our society with social media; our naked indifference to the value of some lives and contempt for empathy is not designed for real love. We’ve eliminated vulnerability and decided it is easier to ghost people that are beneath us. That’s awful.
It’s easy to be critical of Pickup Game and this documentary does a solid job of that. However that doesn’t interest me. It’s where we go from here that the work begins.
The number of men who’ll sign up for these courses and seminars, who read these books indicates a broad dissatisfaction with the current processes we have for finding real love. I don’t know how we address that moving forward; openly Minnie Lane offers some difficult truths on how we many can succeed and become better lovers. I hope what she offers is true and it effectively. Because what she shares is not only optimistic but it’s also inspiring which is like the best kind of love.
The Pickup Game Trailer: