Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fireman spins

Went to my first pole dancing class. There the sharp-witted Iina taught various spins, including the fireman spin. At home I had only tried climbing and static holds, so spinning was new to me.

The poles in the studio are static chrome poles. I have a titanium pole, which has both static and rotating mode. The friction is different in different poles. Chrome has linear friction: the harder you grip the better your hold. This makes spinning quite easy from the very first try. On the contrary, the friction in titanium is binary - either the grip holds or you slide quickly to the ground. I just can't do any spins on static titanium pole at home. Luckily rotating titanium pole is the easiest option of all.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Status 4/4: When status signaling utterly and completely fails

A child is not considered competent to evaluate himself if he is thirsty or hungry. He should obey orders from any familiar adult. This true story tells how a group of people used invisible status signals to reduce me to a child's subject position.

Two months ago The Club organized a short forest walk (vaellus). It lasted 4 hours. There were 6 of us. We walked to a sleeping place, grilled some sausage and returned. I'll tell the events from status perpective. Here DHV means demonstrating high value (superior status) and DLV means demonstrating low value (low status).

The only participant which I knew beforehand was Mikko. I had seen him in The Club's monthly bar evening. There he told that Pulse will hold a concert the following day. I joined him there, thus DHVing (obeying) him.

Another participant was Veikko. Since neither me nor Mikko had a car, Veikko took us from the bus station to the starting spot of the forest walk, thus DHVing himself and DLVing me and Mikko.

Earlier, I got drunk at a metal concert. I was hung over and had slept for only 4 hours, which made me very grumpy. This DLV:d me, since I was in no position to play the Game of Talking competently. Already in the car I yapped way less than 25% of the chit-chat.

The first warning sign happened when we left the car and were about to leave. Mikko told me that I should put my jacket to the bag, because we wouldn't stop during the journey. I DLV:d by putting my jacket to the bag.

The second red flag emerged when there was a pool of water in the path. Mikko told me to cross the pool from the right side. This confused me: he acted as if I needed advice in crossing a pool of water! I rejected his offered subject position firmly put politely by using the other side. I thought that this represented only his opinion, to be met with zen-like calm and indifference, not realizing that vultures had already smelled blood and were circling in for a kill.

When we held a pause, Mikko offered me water. Starting to see a pattern, I rejected. Mikko no longer believed my "no" even after I had repeated it 10 times and emphasized that I had done comparable blueberry picking trips many times before. He insisted that I should take some water. After a few more repetitions he believed, commenting that he can't force me to take water and it is my own fault if I dehydrate or get a sunstroke.

In the grilling place the same thing happened again with Veikko and sausages. It ended only when Veikko shouted with semi-angry tone "Take the fucking sausages now!" and I complied. After 30 seconds, I put them back to his sausage packet and he finally understood that he can't force me to take them.

Somehow, Mikko and Veikko had conspired to put me into a child's subject position - of someone whose word is worthless, who should take orders from anyone on trivial matters like crossing a pool of water, and who can't evaluate if he is thirsty or hungry. They reached their consensus with signals which were completely invisible to me.

One reason why I want to learn status signaling is to avoid these kinds of total collapses of social fabric, where all assumptions of normal conversation are cancelled. Earlier, I used to be scared shitless by these incidents and withdraw from social interaction for weeks, thinking that I did something bad to deserve then. After going to gym, my personality changed so that now I am merely angry at people who conspire against me and motivated to learn how to execute the right game moves to avoid these kinds of accidents.