Tuesday 12 August 2014

How to become a maverick leader in the movies even though you have no real qualities

So, you're young, white and male but your redeeming features end there? You also lack impulse control, anger management, discipline, common sense, empathy, respect, knowledge, experience, morality, social graces and personal hygiene... but you want to get the starring role regardless? Fear not, for Hollywood shall come to your aid!

Here's how to do it:

1. The first half of the movie will be spent exploring your character. Viewers will be left in no doubt that you're a total jerk, with every available minute being committed to displaying your overall worthlessness. Just in case the audience is particularly dense, the other characters will confirm your stupidity explicitly by insulting or reprimanding you as you stagger through the plot like a drunken bull in a china shop.
Chris Pratt as Star-Lord poster.jpg
"Bonus points for calling yourself
". Via Wikipedia.

2. Now, here comes the magic part. While you were busy, one of the secondary characters has been slowly emerging as a person of exceptional qualities. They are intelligent, disciplined, honorable, bursting with physical and technical prowess. If they are female, they should be attractive and it should be obvious that you have the hots for them, probably because you made an unsolicited pass. If they are male, they're the kind of friend any guy would be proud to have. Until now, this secondary character has been content to insult and reprimand you along with the others. It's time to spring into action and correct that.

The half way point of the movie is where you make your big speech, in which you advocate an ill-conceived, dangerous and illicit course of action. But even if you only manage to be incoherent, it doesn't matter. The important thing is to sprinkle magic Hollydust in the clever dick secondary character's eyes without the viewers noticing.

The secondary character will then rise to his or her feet and announce, against all credibility, that he or she truly believes in you and is willing to follow you to the ends of the earth/galaxy/universe/into death. If she is female, she will also most likely indicate an interest in sleeping with you. Impressed by the almost supernatural qualities of the secondary character who has just laid themselves at your feet, the big dumb guys and most of the audience leap to the conclusion that you must be even better than said secondary character. They too will rise to their feet and say 'Me too!' The cynical little bastard in the corner will continue thinking you're a total jerk and say so, but he'll admit he's going to go with the flow. And that's it! You are now the maverick leader!

ChrisPineatCampArifjan cropped.jpg
Chris Pine who played James T. Kirk
in the last but one Star Trek
. I can't
resist mentioning that according to
Entertainment Weekly, Pine said his first
audition was 'awful' because he could
not take himself seriously as a leader.
Licensed under Public domain
via Wikimedia Commons.
NB: it's best to let the more boring, non-mavericky leaders in your society, presidents and generals and suchlike, be adult men and women. That way. they can play the disapproving parent role for you to rebel against, right up to the moment when they're forced to recognize you were right all along and give you a medal.

So that's the secret boys*! If you want to look good when you're not, line up the most superheroic secondary character you can find, sprinkle some of that magic Hollydust in their eyes and voila! As an added courtesy, the Hollywood script writers will usually arrange for the outrageously ridiculous plan you devised at the halfway point to succeed at minimal cost to anyone the audience deems important. You're not just a leader, but a winner!

* Girls, older people, people who aren't white and quietly competent young white males: I'm afraid you're out of luck. Magic for Skeptics may conceivably deign to address your movie starring needs and ambitions at some point in the future, eventually perhaps, but in the mean time, your best bet is to get in a movie that doesn't contain any of the, you know, really obvious leadership material.

... Yeah, some movies have been pissing me off lately...

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