Monday, October 26, 2009

Motivation, the Great Money Maker.

In the land of ever more optimism (see our previous post), here’s an example of American ‘exceptionalism’ - the “Get Motivated” seminars.

Those are clearly uniquely American. They offer a mega-Christian-Evangelical-revival-church-like show mixed with patriotism, inspirational success stories and tips for salespeople, business men and women. “Attend This Dynamic Seminar to INCREASE Your Productivity and Income!" the Web site says. "Your life will be changed and you will leave refreshed, ready to rise to the top of the pack and achieve your dreams," it adds, "Everyone who's anyone will be there! Will you?"

But does the increase of productivity mean happiness? Undoubtedly. At least according to Peter and Tamara Lowe, who run the show and the company, and promote themselves as "the dynamic duo who create and produce The GET MOTIVATED! Seminar, and have been happily married for 20 years." To illustrate this happiness of theirs, they have even posted a picture of themselves online kissing at Getmotivated.com. Seriously!


And the worst part is that they gather thousands of people. According to Lowe, “between 10,000 and 50,000 people attend each "Get Motivated!" seminar”. And if seminars, even in big stadiums are not enough, they also sell everything from CDs, DVDs, inspirational tapes to weight loss programs.
That’s probably why their guest this week is former-president George W. Bush. The official theme being – I kid you not - "How to master the art of effective leadership", it would be interesting to see how one turns miserable failure into an inspiration for America's businessmen and women, if only I could go. Absolutely brilliant!

Other than the fact that Bush can’t speak (as the least articulate ex-president), I wonder what ‘the decider’ may inspire anyone about. How to get a country into an unnecessary war? How to spin reality and deny scientific truth? How to enthusiastically embrace torture? How to turn the Department of Justice into a tool to promote one’s agenda? Well, I suppose one can learn a thing or two about manipulation on greater scale, how to bend the Constitution and use fear to promote a political agenda. Mission accomplished… for a while at least.
Of course, George W. will have a captivated audience anyway that is already won to his cause. (plus, the seminar will be held in Texas). And no pressure for him - there are other no less prestigious guests like former secretary of State Colin Powell, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani – for the body, with Earl Mindell, the “ultimate authority on vitamins, fitness and nutrition” and anti-ageing enzyme, and for the soul, with "inspirational” televangelist speaker, Dr. Robert Schuller.

Europe has tried in many ways to copy the U.S. but let’s hope this sort of thing, will remain uniquely American.

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