As a teenager it became apparent that getting boys to make out with you required a substantially different strategy than getting girls to.
With girls I would just add wine use my ears.
Straight(ish) boys required a delicate balance of
- Demonstrating your own non-threatening awesomeness while
- Sufficiently loosening their reality bonds so as to be amenable to (or groomed into) doing something they initially weren’t planning on.
Now, stop me if you’ve heard this one or if it precisely describes your own awkward, fumbling teenage years but I found magic to be particularly effective with that second part.
It was like a cold reading. Ask open, innocuous questions and then move down whichever rabbit hole appeared in the conversation. Could be tarot, could be ghosts, could be whatever got the best reaction. The goal was to get to the point where you could start using words like “socially conditioned identity” and “culturally constructed personality” and then provide helpful suggestions as to how to loosen those shackles. Muggle teenagers are idiots. They will rebel against anything and do whatever you tell them as long as their parents or The Man doesn’t like it.
And for me the best results seem to come from, over many drinks, outlining a broadly Hancockian vision of Ice Age civilisation. (If you start with Atlantis/Ancient Astronaut theory you inevitably land on the realisation that we are luminous beings and not this crude matter. The meat suit is just temporary. So really “it’s all just about feeling that inner connection like I’m getting from you.” *GAG* What a douche!)
One such successful target got really into the Atlantis stuff. I had moved to Sydney to start university a year after we’d hooked up and it turned out his father had a pied-à-terre “that was free that night if I wanted to come over and talk ancient history” about a six minute walk from my own.
“Well, all right,” I say. “But I’m going to need some whisky and some old naval maps.” (Love me those maps.) He laughed. Boom. Fish in a barrel.
And you know what? I did bring over some maps photocopied from the library and a bunch of books and some whisky and we did talk Ice Age civilisations. We talked excitedly till 2am. Whereupon he declared he was really tired and took himself off to bed, leaving me to walk home in the dark clutching my maps and books.
I had got distracted and lost the mission. Outplayed by those stupid muggle teenagers. So ended my days of using magic for grooming. (I was now old enough to get into clubs, anyway.)
My Atlantean obsessions, combined with my high school passion for Old Kingdom Egyptian burial customs, positively fizzed when I encountered Michael Foucalt during university. His work gave me the psychological framework to understand how power creates rather than suppresses knowledge. It was plain to see how power could create a dominant historical narrative that supports its own needs.
And I would get a little ranty about it. From that moment ‘whisky rant’ became the umbrella term that held my pseudohistorical studies, Forteana and all the little pieces of the orthodox story of “us” that falls away from the main edifice, neglected and ignored.
It is, in lieu of a meta-narrative (still a chaos magician), my account of magic and mankind, beginning with the emergence of the first modern humans and extending into our furtive explorations of space. This may take some time.
So… bring me some whisky and some old naval maps and we’ll get started.