Hotel Satire


Lydia Sargent

Recently, we received a brochure in the
mail all about "Communication Skills for Women: Achieving
Confidence, Credibility, and Composure," a one-day seminar
by the Institute for Professional Businesswomen. In a single day
women can learn:

  • 4 negotiating strategies that
    guarantee you’ll get what you need from anyone, in any
    situation!
  • How to "turn down" 4 types
    of communication "noise" that disrupt your
    message!
  • What to do when you’re interrupted:
    you’ll keep the floor and your composure!
  • How to say, "I don’t know"
    and avoid clumsy bluffing and faking!
  • A sound strategy to avoid
    communication breakdowns and the mistakes that come with
    them!
  • Learn the most forceful words in the
    language and use them to multiply your communications
    power!
  • Complainers, hot tempers,
    time-wasters, egomaniacs–you can communicate with these
    people without stress!
  • 10 super tips that will have you
    speaking at meetings, presentations, before large groups
    with new confidence!

Plus:

  • Unique tools to help you communicate
    by phone
  • Two things you can do to buy time when
    you need to collect your thoughts before speaking
  • Utilize a 5-point plan to defend
    against criticism and come out ahead!
  • Tricks to help you stay in control in
    emotional situations!
  • Real life rules about office gossip;
    how to stay tuned in without becoming part of the
    problem.
  • 3 guidelines for successfully
    expressing your anger.
  • Slang<197>find out when you can
    use it and where you can’t.
  • Learn how to say I don’t know without
    compromising your credibility.
  • Office politics<197>how to make
    your way through the political maze.
  • Learn how to establish feedback loops
    and gain a reputation for always being in the know.
  • Decisive actions you should take when
    you’re interrupted (and you won’t offend anyone!).
  • Special techniques for communication
    with chronic complainers and temperamental personalities.
  • Communicating for career success: a
    realistic plan to increase your profile and get
    recognition for your hard work.

Well, I can tell you we rushed right out
and took that course! Because if there’s one thing gals have
trouble doing it’s communicating in a way that doesn’t offend;
and dealing with temperamental personalities. That’s why we gals
should be predominantly in professions where we deal with
children or service men<197>because we are clueless on how
to communicate correctly. The course was wonderful, but we gals
realized after attending it, how incapable gals are of
functioning in this world without the help of a course in
it<197>whether it be one-day or ten; whether it be opening
a can of soup or applying lipstick; whether it be giving birth or
feeding a child; whether it be taking a pill or having an orgasm
correctly.

The gals decided to start a clearinghouse
and referral service for gals. Here’s how it works, gals write us
with questions about stuff going on. We evaluate the
knowledge/skills gap revealed by these letters, and then refer
gals to the proper course, product seminar, etc. We want to
publish some of those letters and our recommendations, so you’ll
see how useful this service can be to all you gals out there.

 

Dear Hotel Satire Gals,

The murder of that child beauty queen,
6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, has really made me question the while
beauty pageant thing where these tiny young gals in mascaraed
eyes, fluttering lashes, hand-stitched clothes, and high heels
singing God Bless America and Tomorrow (from Annie) compete like
trick ponies for cash and validation. Bad enough that it’s the
only way adult gals can get money and recognition<197>for
their beauty<197>why foist it on a six-year-old?

Signed,

A Concerned Mom

 

Dear Concerned Mom,

The sooner and the more we get young gals
to focus/obsess on their looks and body-weight the better. We
suggest sending your daughters to regular six-day seminars in
beauty, makeup, dance, exercise, speech, and singing as soon as
they leave the womb until they are well into their late thirties,
after which no real man would be interested in them anyway. As
for you, Concerned Mom, you need to learn about how to be a mom.
Even though being a mom is innate and your natural God-given role
in life is to be constantly giving birth (and looking good while
doing it), still you know nothing about it. We recommend an
intensive two-week course in How To Raise Your Daughters to be
the Beautiful Sex Objects They Were Born to Be! Learn how to
apply makeup so even your two week old baby girl will look
beautiful–and sexy! Learn how to practice the beauty queen walk
even before she starts walking!Exemplary in this looks obsessing
topic is a recent ad for the Princeton Review: with the caption
"Great test scores make you look better."

 

Dear Hotel Satire Gal,

My boyfriend dragged me to see that movie,
<I>The People vs. Larry Flynt<D>. It chronicles the
life story of the publisher of <I>Hustler<D>,
presenting him as some kind of weirdly likable bad boy freedom
fighter for First Amendment rights. Come on. A recent issue of
<I>Hustler<D> features a photo of a smiling woman
covered in blood. Her hands are wrapped in barbed wire and her
throat and temples are pierced with needles. Another spread
called the "Lyle Menendez Wedding Album" shows an
entire bridal party shot in the head and legs, including the
bridesmaid whose head is severed. The caption reads
"Adorable bridesmaid Clara caught the bouquet, even though
she was looking the other way!" A cartoon in the same issue
shows a man standing outside a women’s shelter hiding a baseball
bat behind his back. The caption reads "Come on out,
Earleen! I’m really, really, really sorry!" Now I’m all for
first amendment rights and printing something is not the same as
doing it and all that. But I wonder what would happen if a woman
published a magazine in which a man’s penis was being ground up
in a meat grinder with the caption: "We will no longer hang
men up like pieces of meat."

Signed,

Upset

 

Dear Upset,

Pishtosh. You’re missing the point. It’s
not about what’s in <I>Hustler<D> and whether it’s
degrading to gals, or any of that. It’s about whether gals are
human beings or something else altogether. Since gals are clearly
something else altogether, the issue becomes Larry Flynt’s right
to tell the truth about gals. <I>Hustler<D> and
magazines like it are telling it like it is: that unless gals are
humiliated, degraded, tied up, raped, and so on, who knows what
they’ll do. That’s why a magazine published by a woman with
images of men’s penises being ground up like hamburger would
never work. Any woman who did that is a sick, twisted
lesbian/feminist communist, and should be locked up or forced to
pose for <I>Penthouse<D>. Clearly, Upset, you need
some help. We’d like to take a two-month seminar in "How To
Be A Piece of Hamburger," with classes in Posing for Girlie
Magazines, Exposing Your Breasts at Public Events, so as not to
be taken seriously (like the recent Golden Globe awards), and
Communicating With Rapists For The Best Results!

We hope more movies are made in praise of
men that degrade gals in the most disgusting ways. We were
pleased to see, by the way, that the British have seen fit to
praise Henry VIII by issuing a stamp of Henry and his six wives.
As you know, he annulled wife number 1 when she failed to produce
a male heir; he beheaded wife 2, charging her with
"adultery"; wife 3 died soon after giving birth; wife 4
was beheaded, charged with "adultery"; wife 5 outlived
him. It’s these kind of men<197>Larry Flynt and Henry
VIII<197>that are the proper topics for films. Concurrent
with that, we hope to see many more films and TV specials
depicting gals as murderers, liars, gossips, slugs, and sluts. We
admire also the MCI ad in which they are able to promote a phone
service by reminding us that gals’ are not human beings but
objects who get screwed. Kudos to MCI.

 

Dear Hotel Satire Gals,

I finally went out and bought that book
that’s been on the best seller list for gazillion years,
"Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus," a practical
guide for improving communication and getting what you want in
relationships by John Gray. I hear Hollywood has bought the movie
rights to this book. I read it and couldn’t believe it. How did
such a stupid book, written by a guy who appears to have no
credentials other than that he had a conversation with his wife
that didn’t go quite right, ever see the light of day much less
become a best seller? Here’s some of the stuff he says in this
book. "The most frequently expressed complaint women have
about men is that men don’t listen–. When she speaks to him [and
she’s usually complaining about something], he puts on his Mr.
Fix-It cap and offers her a solution to make her feel better–She
wants empathy, but he thinks she wants solutions–. The most
frequently expressed complaint men have about women is that women
are always trying to change them–. She forms a home-improvement
committee–She thinks she’s nurturing him, while he feels he’s
being controlled. Instead, he wants her acceptance."

So the book is about how to resolve these
two basic differences/problems between men and women. First, he
says, we have to imagine that men are from Mars and women are
from Venus. One day, long ago, the Martians discovered the
Venusians (by looking through telescopes). They fell in love and
invented space travel and flew to Venus. Are you with me, Hotel
Satire? Okay, the Venusians welcomed them with open arms because
they <I>intuitively<D> knew this day would come. The
love between them was magical. They reveled in their differences,
being from two different worlds. For years they lived in harmony.
Then they decided to fly to Earth where the effects of Earth’s
atmosphere took hold, and one morning everyone woke up with
selective amnesia: they forgot they were from two different
worlds with different ways of communicating, thinking, and
reacting.

Then we learn about life on Mars and Venus.
It seems that Martians value power, competency, efficiency, and
achievement. A Martian’s sense of self comes from his ability to
achieve results. They pride themselves in doing things all by
themselves. Any unsolicited advice assumes that a Martian doesn’t
know what to do or that he can’t do it on his own. Meanwhile,
Venusians value love, communication, beauty, and relationships.
They spend their time supporting, helping, and nurturing one
another. Their sense of self is defined through their feelings
and the quality of their relationships. They are very intuitive,
a trait developed through centuries of anticipating the needs of
others.

Without understanding these insights, says
Dr. Gray; things will never work between the genders. For
example, Tom and Mary are driving to a party. Tom is driving,
being a Martian. After 20 minutes, he is lost. Mary suggests he
call for help. Tom gets upset and offended. She thought she was
saying, "I love and care for you, therefore I am offering to
help you." He thought she was saying, "I don’t trust
you to get us there, you are incompetent." Mary had no idea
that when Tom became lost, it was a special opportunity to love
and support him. After learning about Martians and Venusians,
Mary learned to support Tom at such difficult times by not saying
anything.

Another example, Mary comes home from an
exhausting day. She wants to share her feelings. She says,
"There is so much to do, I don’t have any time for
myself." Tom says, "You should quit that job. You don’t
have to work so hard. Find something you like to do." Mary
says, "But I like my job. I’m not always unhappy. Can’t you
just listen to me?"

Without knowing about life on Venus, Tom
didn’t understand how important it was to just listen without
offering solutions. When Tom heard about how much Venusians need
to talk, he gradually learned to offer empathy and a hug.

This is the most idiotic book I have ever
read. Gone is the work of feminists. Gone is any analysis of
sexism and the oppression of women which I believe is the result
of a partnership between patriarchy and capitalism, patriarchy
being defined as a set of social relations which has a material
base and in which there are hierarchical relations between men
and solidarity among them to enable them to dominate women. Can
you explain, Hotel Satire Gal, after years of maligning and
ridiculing the important analyses feminists have made, how can
such an idiotic analysis about Martians and Venusians get
published, much less become so successful?

Signed,

Mystified

 

Dear Mystified,

First, you need a course in how to write
short, concise letters about stupid things, not some nonsense
about patriarchy "that has a material base, etc." We
can recommend such a course to you. Second, we feel that the
assertion that men are from Mars and women from Venus is right
on, not to mention new, even though it has no basis in anything,
reinforces stereotypes, contradicts itself, and is basically
crap. Why? Because it is not about trying to discover the truth
about the genders, it’s about whether gals are human beings, or
something else altogether. It’s about whether gals need to attend
seminars on a daily basis to help them function in the world or
not. It’s about preserving men’s egos no matter what.

Also, in spite of the fact that Gray says
that Venusians, i.e., gals, are into communicating, clearly you
need a seminar in how to communicate. Take the one mentioned in
the beginning of this column. Also read the Hotel Satire gals’
latest book, <I>Men Are From Earth, Gals Are From Outer
Space<D>, which can help you understand John Gray’s
penetrating work.

 

Dear Hotel Satire Gals,

I am all for the basic women’s movement
demand that women control their own bodies, but I think when this
demand is co-opted by capitalism, it is out of hand. Now, I can’t
get away from my crotch. Everywhere one turns, even on the TV
national news, I’m hearing about women’s menstrual cycles, breast
problems, and crotch rot. Can’t we stop this?

Signed,Enough

 

Dear Enough,

Get yourself to a seminar of some kind as
quickly as possible. Here are some we highly recommend:
"Control Your Skin Through High Tech Micro Bubbled
Plastoderm Full Service Skin Care" one-day skill seminar;
"Control Your Eyes Through New Soft Lenses That Change Your
Eye Color With Your Mood" two-day course; "Control Your
Lips With Brushes That Say What You Want When You Want"
one-week course; Control Your Nails" with courses in
polishing pens, identifying stunning new colors, and more";
"Liberate Your Hair," a one-day refresher course in the
best way to apply mousse; "Control Your Monthly Flow,"
with classes in scented pads, stay free protection, and stopping
that unsightly in between monthly staining; "Control Your
Crotch Order," with classes in spraying vs. plunging vs.
douching vs. shoving it up; "Control That Orgasm," with
courses in how to fake not having to big an orgasm; how to focus
on a vaginal orgasm so he can get more pleasure than you, etc.