A Commonplace

What is a commonplace?



Some Books about Conversational Self-defence/ Conversational Jujitsu (Cojo?!).

MindLines by Michael Hall and Bobby Bodenhammer

Richard Bandler how to have a positive take on any kind of negative observation or objection at the end of a seminar and that resulted in this book by Michael Hall. Yes, this is NLP and I know some people loathe it, but these 26 different ways of looking at a problem are really helpful - this isn't by "hero-shithead" Richard Bandler, it's by one of the second wave. He's a lot less confrontational and makes far fewer claims for the miraculous powers of NLP. Probably not actually very good for in-conversation maybe more of a pensee d'escalier thing (but maybe worth a try as the game that it originated from).

Aikido in Everyday Life

Mmm. Another book by an asshole. Interesting. Terry Dobson is good on giving you ideas about how you might defend yourself from attack in other ways that counter-attack. Blocking, deception, running away and Aiki - combining and redirecting the force of the attack.

Dobson does tell one of the most marvelous stories about conversational Jujitsu that nearly always brings tears to my eyes when I hear it. Dobson was in Japan learning Aikido which has as one of it's key principles protecting your enemy. Like a lot of people who train in martial arts, I'm guessing, he was very keen to actually have a fight to try out his new skills. Dobson was on a train when an enormous drunk guy got on the train and started menacing the other passengers, whilst occasionally taking a drink from a bottle of whiskey. Dobson noticed what was going on and started to think "this is my chance! I'll get to tear this guy a new one!" But before he managed to get out of his seat a tiny little old man started to talk to the drunk.

"Old Man: I see you like drinking? Drunk: Yeah! What of it? Is that any business of yours? Old Man: I like drinking too! I like to sit on the porch at the back of my house and drink with my wife, it is so peaceful. Drunk: My wife is dead! I miss her so much! Old Man: That's very sad. Sit down here and tell me about your wife."

Dobson was totally humbled.

The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defence

One that I probably need to read again. A few things that I remember from reading it last time: *It's very important to realise when you are under attack. *Don't take it seriously, it's just the "game" of work (this is the bizarre trick or simultaneously taking it seriously and treating it as a game which is bloody hard). *"That makes perfect sense to me, I can see why you might see it like that."

George J Thompson - Verbal Judo

There are some very interesting ideas in this book. I'm particularly tantalised by a game called "Dozens" which involves a bunch of people insulting each other's mother until somebody cracks and starts to use voilence (not exactly sure how I could work that into a workshop). I'm wondering if you could do something similar with "you're so bad at your job..." (maybe write a bunch of insults and put them in a hat and then get people to read them to one another). Wow. Just thinking about this makes you realise the truth of George Thompson's assertions that tongues are more dangerous than guns.