Ask The Fiddler #1: Read My Hips

Filed under: Satire

fiddlerEditor’s Note: We often receive questions on a variety of prank-hoax-scam related topics. Readers want an assessment of the validity of news reports or web site information, or they suspect a received email is a scam. Some are looking for moral or immoral support for their prank ideas. So, we are pleased to announce a new service, Ask The Fiddler, a lifestyle advice column that may remedy more chaos and confusion than it creates. Questions may be submitted to us here at Art of the Prank, and good luck.

Dear The Fiddler:

I”™m going for a job interview and, in this troubled economy, there”™s bound to be lots of competition. Can you suggest any body language that might boost my chances?

Chris in Connecticut

Dear Chris:

How about the headstand, could be a hit, depending on what you”™re wearing under your kilt. You bring up an interesting topic. Thing is, there”™s some suggestion that body language is bunk. However, if your interviewer (prospective employer or, say, a cop) is a true believer, what does it matter if it”™s bunk?

Certainly the advocates have created a big industry, lots of books and seminars.

In your case, how to handle an interview, my always-handy copy of “Body Language For Dummies“ suggests that you “Visualize unzipping your torso and freeing the nervous butterflies in your stomach.” That should make an impression.

PrintAccording to a column in The Wall Street Journal, striking a “power pose” before the interview can make you more calm and confident as it proceeds. The “power pose” is pretty simple: stand tall, lean slightly forward with your hands at your side. That”™s it. Good luck.

Interestingly, reliance on body language as a meaningful signal is so great that TSA has specialists viewing airline passengers for “face-crime,” looks they interpret as threatening. The scrutiny by Behavior Detection Officers involves several additional factors including conversation. There is plenty of evidence that cops make decisions based on body language and believe it”™s a valid way to catch a lie or threat.

But, the “science” of reading body language may be bunk. Karen Stollznow (PhD in Lexical Semantics, ok?), according to Stollznow writing in Skeptic magazine, (scroll down to article), says there is little supportive scientific study. If you look into claims, she says, you”™ll find few facts. Readings are subjective and can be misinterpreted. “The claims in books about body language show that reading behavior is a superficial and unreliable practice.”

It could be that instead of body language you should rely on the standard job-seeker success tactics, like, you know, an inflated resume, impressive monetary bribes or hints of sexual hanky-panky.

Yours truly,

The Fiddler

Remember our motto here at camp: “If you take advice from The Fiddler, you need advice.” Send comments and questions to: Art of the Prank.

The Fiddler is a creation of W.J. Elvin III