Apprentice
Hollywood Walk Of Shame

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Jacob Clifton: B- | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Three: Finite & Infinite Games

Lessons learned: Any cultural system, whether it be language, sex, marriage, business, or game shows, has rules. Those rules derive meaning from context; it's the audience that decides the meaning and enforceability of those rules, and the audience always includes the players themselves. In the shifting and sometimes labyrinthine sets of significance that attend these games, it's sometimes hard to remember who and where you are without relying on the context clues of your fellow audience members. The only reason Michelle would falter in that boardroom is because the other people in the room were either actual brand-holders whose legitimacy depends on not calling bullshit on the venture, or coked-up-acting wolverines in a cage whose desire to be on TV and whose mistreatment on the show has made them crazy enough to forget reality ever existed. In a position where you're being martyred to consensus reality, and you start to think you're crazy, remember where you're standing: the square foot of ground underneath you, that belongs to you. Take a breath and anchor there, and not in the lunatic priorities of people who to this point have shown their character, for good or ill or Tim, pretty obviously. Not that games are stupid, quite the opposite: everything is games. But there are two kinds of strength at play in any game: the strength to stay in the game, and the strength to leave it. Michelle's weirdness and inability to get on board with the game the rest of them were playing was the thing that made her suck at this game show. It's also what got her out of the mud.

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Apprentice

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