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MOST RECENT UPDATE: 10 APRIL 2004
[THE FORM OF THIS PAGE IS IN EXPERIMENTAL STAGE]

RHETORIC and
REALITY TV


THE APPRENTICE 2
EPISODE 1 / BOY TOY [9 SEPTEMBER 2004]
INITIAL RHETORICAL QUESTIONS:

(1) Do you understand why the name "Mosaic" was chosen ... and stuck?
(And do you understand that "Apex" was chosen ... for the same reason?)

(2) Do you understand why "Crustacean Nation" was chosen ... and failed?
(Which toy required more imagination to play with? ... What "story"
were the men captivated by? ... Were the children told that story?
What if most children were like Raj ... and didn't need toys because
they used their imagination? What kind of children does Mattel
want the nation to be populated by? What kind do television
networks want the nation to be populated by? What kind ...

(3) Do you understand why Trump "can't get over" how Raj dresses?
(And if bothers you, do you understand what's wrong with you?)

(4) Do you understand that Trump is bullshit incarnate, and that is WHY
bullshiteating Americans "eat him up?" {serious smile} NOTE: If you believe
Trump is a billionaire, then please go find a page written for bullshiteaters --
you will not be happy here.

(5) If you are Rob LaPlante, do you understand that someone who won
the "Extemp Commentary" award in high school level forensics is not
necessarily
competent in RHETORIC? (But nevertheless I applaud
this selection ... as a good first try. {smile})


THE APPRENTICE 1
[10 APRIL '04] NOW WE SEE CLEARLY...
HOW MISCAST "THE APPRENTICE WAS"
(AND HOW MISDESIGNED THE "COMPETITIONS")

I.E., Why didn't real business people interview
the potential contestants BEFORE -- not near the END
of -- the game? (The current reality-tv casting producers can't cast
a show like this. Their selection process is not right for the job.)

(NOTE: Due to my concentration on making my application video
for American Candidate (SHOWTIME) I managed to completely miss
the episode where Troy was fired. Yes, probably the best episode
of the series. I'll try to get a copy, and comment later.)


AMY, AMY, AMY ... "Got on my nerves...", "Stepford Wife," "No content."
So ran the judgements of Amy by Trump's top lieutenants. Yes, AMY --
STAR player. The player all the other players wanted on their team. The
one Bill (still!?!) picks first to be his "employee" in tonight's near-final contest.
(Let's get this straight: I'd hire Bill to manage a local branch of a bank,
-- i.e., a well-understood business model that just needs steady management --
but not to make strategic business decisions. That's perhaps a bit harsh, but
if he needs an Amy to give him strategic business ideas... Well, good grief.)

SEE how quickly Nick and Amy were dismissed in the light of real business
evaluation
(RATHER THAN reality-tv CASTING scrutiny). Why were they
in the game? AND: What a silly set of challenges to allow them to prevail
so long. What a meaningless set of boardroom firings. yada yada yada {serious smile}

BOTTOM LINE: (1) Get "a new breed" of casting producers who know what to
look for in strategic interactive participants. (2) Involve REAL decisionmakers
in the final casting process. (3) Hire some "game designers" who can create
challenges that would truly let the best (for that context) rise to the top.

CAST FOOTNOTES

OMAROSA - Yep, Omarosa will simply not responsibly do "detail" (e.g. logistics)
work that she feels is beneath her dignity. AND she will lie to cover for not doing it.

BUT CONSIDER {serious smile}: Omarosa came from the projects.
But she's made it up to the White House....
NOW ...FADE IN: Her team is having a delightful dinner. Who gets
called to go handle "detail work" back at the office? The black girl?
"To hell with that." Perhaps that is Omarosa's mindset.
I could understand that. Not the best attitude, but I can see it.

ALSO REMEMBER: Who advised her group against the STUPID choice
of artist. Who had the taste/judgement to know that decision
was bad? AND who was the only one on her team to have the poise
to sell one piece of that art?

Everyone was so concerned about her "bad attitude" about wanting to
eat a relaxing meal "in the midst of a challenge. Concerned about her
"faking" how bad she felt. Disrespect. Yep, Omarosa feels
entitled to being treated like high-status people are treated.

BOTTOM LINE: There are things that Omarosa is perfect for. I would hire
her in a moment to fill a job that "fits her." I would never hire her for
detail work. NOTE: Kwame picked her first. And no, I don't think it was
just because she is black, too. I believe he remembers how RIGHT she was
when then team would not listen. Unfortunately Kwame didn't SEE he should
not give her a "logistics"/details job.

KWAME - Great education. Great calm. Poise. Very appealing.
BUT little evidence of strategic judgement and certainly not good
jugement in personnel assignment. Needs a "creative thinking" bootcamp {smile/no joke}
go break him out of "conforming to whitey groupthink" {grin/no joke}.

TROY - Wouldn't we all have LOVED to see Troy be interviewed by
Trump's team?
Amen. Yes, Troy needs some "summers at Harvard Business School"
to have all the "frames" he needs for true stategic business leadership...
BUT, God, is that boy perceptively smart ... tuned perfectly for interacting
with people (except in an art gallery {smile}).

SAM ... Sam could lead an innovative company. He needs to be amidst
more "creative types" and not a group of "group-think" sheep.

TRUMP {smile} ... yes Donald. Celebrity kingpin of the tacky. This man
is not a strategic business leader. He's a fortunate son... who's
smart enough to market himself well. I've visited one of the casinos with
his name stuck on it. Bad location. Dispiriting design. Incompetent staff.
No evidence of "Trump" meaning anything ... except maybe "Beat the chicken
and win 10,000." Yep, that's Trump. ... Oh, and he beat the chicken. {smile/no joke}

Now, why does Troy want to work for him? yada yada yada {smile} ###


[28 MARCH '04] IF AMY IS THE BEST
BIZ STRATEGY THINKER OF THIS BUNCH ...

THEN TRUMP SHOULD FIRE THE UTTER
INCOMPETENTS WHO CAST IT.

Let's name names. Rob LaPlante : Casting Producer : Incompetent.
MTV's "The Real World" ... "Road Rules" ... THESE ARE NOT
preparation for casting an interactive strategic competition.

LePlante doesn't have the conceptual frames for this. This is how
we get the ridiculous situation where an Amy can be "most valuable
player." He doesn't have a clue what to look for ... no idea how
to evaluate it during a casting process. ENOUGH SAID: You're fired.

AS FOR KATRINA vs AMY : Since there's not a rhetorically competent
bone in any of this bunch {serious smile} ... pure, arrogant force
of will (no matter how stupid) is the key to prevailing in this
boardroom for babies. (Yes, that includes Trump and
the "Terrible Two." Mothers will get that joke. {smile})

Katrina, you were a wimp. What's to say? {smile}

OK, KATRINA, here's what you should have said:

"MR TRUMP, it was AMY'S MORON IDEA to raffle off a car rental.
That is NOT the negotiation I set up. That is what AMY turned it into
in the midst of the negotation.

SHE WAS THE LEADER FOR THIS DEAL. In what bizarro world should
the designated leader be undermined in the midst of a negotiation?

The leader has the authority ... in the midst of client negotiation
to make a command decision.

At the dealership, Amy lacked the salesmanship to achieve a deal
we needed. Perhaps her ego demanded she take control. Based on
what I've observed for these past few weeks, I'd say so...
THAT'S FINE if that ego backs good business judgement.
BUT THE RESULTS of Amy's judgement in this deal is evident.
Can you imagine anything stupider than raffling off a car rental?

However much of a "hero" she may have led you to believe she is,
would anyone but a complete business moron have made that decision.

That wasn't what I went to negotiate. I advise you fire the moron.
Raffling a car rental? I rest my case."

Amy and Nick ... neither of which ought to be in charge of
anything ... are not going to win, but they'll likely be around
around to see Troy get the prize.

Troy is an interactional treasure ... but not strategically
talented. (None of these people are. Did I mention, WRONG CAST.)
And {smile} even in his yearbook (apparently) he was aiming for
a job with Trump ... THE DREAM. I say, let him have it.

FOOTNOTE: TRUMP'S GAMES
These challenges are TV-challenges ... NOT the way to determine the talents
of a "president." Even a Trump company -- all of which survive as a bountry
of Trump's talent for celebrity, not stategic business competence. {serious smile}


[5 MARCH '04] THE DEFENSE OF OMAROSA
(which she wasn't rhetorically competent enough to give
i.e., what she should have said ...instead of
bawling like a
Rhetorically Incompetent Baby)

Mr. Trump ... while I acknowledge and admire your business acumen ...
I have no knowledge of your possessing medical expertise to the
level of diagnosing the injury to my head. {smile} And if I were to
drop dead here in this room, this moment. I doubt you would be so
injudicious as to say, "Well, I've had things fall on my head, and
I've never died from it." {smile} So let us agree, that no one here
except me, knows of the symptoms I am experiencing. That would be
arrogant, presumptuous, and dangerous legally in a business context.

SO LET US MOVE ON to the real issue here -- of tactical business failure --
which had absolutely nothing to do with the speed with which I eat lunch.

(1) The team did not collectively understand the art market
sufficiently to make a business decision in this matter.
The choice of artist here made all the difference.

One role I held on the team was art adviser. The team ignored
the art advisor's advice. So be it. But I am not responsible for that.

(2) I made the only sale. Does that matter? I think it does. These are
tactical business challenges. The only points scored were mine.

Fire me another day if you like, Mr. Trump. For good cause.
And most certainly not for a trumped up reason {smile} like
my need or desire to eat lunch ... when I am not feeling well
due to an injury that was incurred as part of this process....
... which I will not sue you for, in any event... because I like you. {pointed smile}

FOLLOW-UP (re: insubordinate/disrespectful)
Mr Trump, if this were the real world, and not television, I would have
resigned on the spot for the disrespectful manner in which you dealt with
the matter of my injury. You have called my integrity into question. Without basis.
Where I come from -- the projects -- you would not be alive now if you had
done precisely that. But I forgive you for your insensitivity today. As they say, Next.


[1 MAR] TROY McCLAIN : master of
interpersonal interaction

Ah ... the rhetoric of interpersonal interaction.
And Troy is a true artist. Perhaps sublime. {smile}

From what we've seen, Troy can anticipate
points of connection and "adjust in the moment."
While keeping his eye on his agenda ...
he never fails to keep (his perceptive read)
of "the customer's" needs/desires as
the guiding light.

CONTRAST WITH Nick ... who believes in
his force of personality to bend the customer
to Nick's agenda.

Confident "interactional morons"
like this are often hired (and Nick survived
the last Boardroom because businessmen can
better deal with cool dumbass arrogance,
than "emotional" types) but usually,
interactional incompetents destroy value.

RHETORIC? [ROUGH NOTES]

The rhetorical situation
for an interpersonal interaction
(for the initiator of the interaction)
begins with your best understanding
of your partner in interaction.

The more you know, the better.

The more you can empathize
the better.


HOWEVER {smile}
Strategic considerations
may -- in some circumstances --
be best pursued by a nearly
complete disregard for the
past-focused (head-up-ass)
mind-set of your partner in
interaction.

IN THOSE SITUATIONS
Troy might not be
the person I'd send in.

yada yada yada {smile}
(imagine book-long ellaboration)

BOTTOM LINE:
tactical vs strategic.
I believe Troy to be a
supreme interactional
tactician ... but there
is little evidence he
is strategically competent.

i.e., rhetorically competent
beyond the carefully constrained
(pre-specified) situation.


[FEB] Rhetorically Defenseless Babies in the Boardroom
(I'm not sure there is anything else to say
since all the "challenges" are one-day tactical play-toys
which might tell you something about hustle, but nothing
about competence in strategic business thinking).

I.E., it is only in The Boardroom that there is a clear
opportunity for rhetoric to effect the outcome...
and what's to say but ... Some are more helpless
than others.

5/5/04 -CORRECTION: Osmorosa -> Omarosa (oops) {smile}


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