Archive for May, 2011

Learning Real Slang and Understanding Hilarious Stuff

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

In my opinion, one of the coolest parts of REALLY understanding English is about having more fun in your life and laughing more.

There are so many hilarious TV shows, movies, jokes, and cultural stuff that are only funny in English. Jokes can never be properly translated in any language so forget about subtitles. I’ve watched hilarious TV with friends who need subtitles and they don’t laugh at the parts that are actually funny. Then when their English gets good enough, they start laughing uncontrollably at the same stuff just a few months later. It takes a whole new and deeper level and understanding of English to get there. Good news is that it really can be done, just most people fail because of a terrible study method.

I know that there is a lot of funny things in every culture. I also know that if you learn the stuff we find funny in English, you will be loving life at a whole new level. In any language, the truly hilarious stuff comes from a deep cultural understanding and a great command of the language.

That’s what we’re really trying to do over here in the free lessons and the VIP room. “Laughter is the best medicine” and it’s a lot better to be having fun and laughing a lot than it is to be listening to annoying bosses, husbands and wives, and depressed people in general. It doesn’t really matter how rich you are, if you are laughing a lot each day, you know, really laughing and not the fake kind, you are probably having a pretty sweet life already.

Think about this for a sec. People from all over the world come to USA, Canada, Britain, and Australia and mix their cultures and senses of humor. The western world has been relatively “rich” for a long time. I feel that really good humor comes when enough people in a culture have enough free time to think about the world in new ways. That’s where the jokes come from. People who work too much are never funny at all. Think about the jokes your grandparents find funny. They are funny for them, but come on, what they laugh at is really nothing compared to what’s funny today. It’s not their fault. It’s just the way it is.

People in the past were too busy trying to live a life and earn enough money. They worked hard, raised kids, and became grandparents. I guess they did a bit more in between but you get my point. There wasn’t the time to be “goofing around” and thinking up funny stuff to put on Youtube or whatever. Life was too serious then because it had to be.

Things are different now. For a lot of people around the world, money has been getting kind of boring. Buying all the latest brands doesn’t really make people happy for long. Sure you get a smile on your face when you buy a new Ipad or cool clothes, but it goes away. Some of the richest people in the world think up some of the most boring ways to spend their money. They are too busy working. I’m not trying to judge, it’s their life, but I think there is some truth to it.

The funniest people in the world are different. They enjoy entertainment. They want to make people laugh and lead a hilarious life. As long as there is enough money to live pretty well, the next step is to actually enjoy life. It sounds easy but most people don’t do it. More money doesn’t do anything but sit in a bank and give people headaches after a while.

So, my basic point is, Add and I are really trying our butts off to get you guys to TOTALLY understand every little thing that will help you not only make more cash in your career, but also get you to see what’s hilarious about this world from another perspective.

You already have your own culture and humor and that’s great. Now you can add another one for double the laughs. Trust me on this one. If you can read this blog and totally understand this now, your English is really good already. Seriously. Now you just need to put the finishing touches on it and get the full benefits for your life.

Love to hear your thoughts as always. If you didn’t already check it out, also take a look at my last blog

Difficult to Speak the Truth

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

One of my favorite movie lines ever was from a movie with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. I think the movie was called “A few good men”.

They were in a courtroom and Tom yelled out: “I want the Truth”, and Nicholson replied with “You can’t handle the truth”. The reason I loved that line so much is because that’s how I feel in this world. People can’t handle hearing the truth about stuff unless it’s the truth that they want to hear. It’s unbelievable.

If someone says, “I want your honest opinion, do you think I am pretty?” and your honest opinion is “Actually no, you are one of the ugliest people I’ve seen in my life”, you can’t say that even if they beg you for the truth. Actually, I can kind of understand that one. People have feelings and that would be hard to hear. But in the business world, where people should be less sensitive, they are not. It is so fake.

Add and I were at a conference yesterday in Shanghai. We went there with a company we are consulting for. They are small and super cool. Anyway, the topic was about the internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter) etc. (We have a hilarious podcast coming out next about the real story there). We’ve been sharing more of our “real opinions” in the VIP room because it’s a private place where we don’t have to be shy. We can be free and say whatever we want in there without having to worry too much about weird comments.

Anyway, the conference sucked (The lunch was not bad at least). The speaker was from a large multinational PR company. He was basically saying a bunch of obvious things about the internet and making everyone believe that “viral marketing” is easy if you go through his company. It was a joke, but most of the audience actually thought it was pretty good. Many of the people there were from other large companies that had nothing to do with the internet. They “bought into” his long and stupid presentation and I’m guessing his company will get a lot of business from that.

There was a question and answer period at the end of the conference. Anyone could ask the speaker anything. I started getting nervous and my heart was racing. I wanted to say my honest opinions. I wanted everyone in the room to know they were being tricked.

There were probably about 150 people in the room. About 95% were wearing suits. I was wearing jeans, a golf shirt, and a pair of sunglasses to give you an idea of what was going on.

Everyone was polite, in a fake way, and it was so annoying. I get this feeling every time I’m in one of these situations. Time moves slowly. I hate it. I have so much to say but I end up saying nothing. I feel like I’m cheating the world or something. Even if people don’t agree with my opinion, I somehow feel it’s evil if I don’t at least share my true feelings.

One thing I hate about business is that so many businesses just try to sell their stuff to everyone. There is just so much lying involved. The truth is that most people should NOT buy most products. When I look around at the English learning market for example, I see a lot of businesses just trying to sell rather than teach. Of course they teach something, but they don’t care if a student pays $2000 USD at the beginning of a course and either learns nothing or doesn’t go to class. Actually, them paying and not going to class is the best situation for the school. They just get free money and can get another paying student to fill the classroom. It’s sick.

It’s really funny when it’s B2B (Business to Business sales). Huge companies pay so much money for the weirdest things. A friend of mine who works for a major market research company says that many of their business clients pay over 10 million USD every year for their market research. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad product, but he told me that they will sell it to any major company who wants it.

His job is to wear a suit and make the research sound a lot better than it is. A lot of the business is about creating an image that you think the other person will like to hear. It should be about making great products and services but it’s just not like that in the “real world”. Small companies can be different. It really depends on who is running them. Huge companies need to make sure they are making money for their investors though. They don’t care where the money is coming from. They just want more of it.

Of course we are “free” to say whatever we want, but the reality is that people don’t. Anyone else who felt the same way I did just kept silent. We knew that if we said what we wanted to then we would look like terrible people.

The honest question in my mind was, “Do you know that you are selling services to many companies who don’t need them or do you actually believe every word you are saying?” I really wanted to know but I couldn’t ask.

I’d love to hear your comments on this and about my last blog about a cool kind of high def video camera sunglasses.

New Tiny High Tech Video Camera

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

I love really cool technology.  Sometimes it seems like a lot of cool new things come on the market at the same time, and then other years it seems like not much is happening in technology.

Who cares when a new camera comes out that is just a little lighter and better than the last model?  It is ok but it isn’t really worth talking about.  I love when I see something totally new and creative.

I remember when the first Ipod came out.  It was amazing.  Before those days, if you wanted to listen to portable music, you pretty much had to walk around with a “diskman”.  Some kind of portable CD player.  You could only play one CD at a time and you couldn’t go running with them or anything.

When my close friend, a music lover, showed me the first Ipod I couldn’t believe it.  I was so amazed that you could put thousands of songs into one little portable box and find the songs easily.  The songs never skipped and you didn’t have to worry about CD’s.  The Ipod changed people’s lives in a huge way.  They really made making listening to music and podcasts even possible.  If it wasn’t for Apple, I have no idea what Add and I would be doing now.  The “Ipod” was a game changer for both people and the Apple brand.  Amazing.  Now we all forget what life was like before Ipods.  At least I do.  Think of all the cool apps and all the other creative stuff that happened just because of the Ipod’s success.  If the first Ipod failed, then maybe we wouldn’t even have apps, podcasts, or anything that the new Ipods and Androids can do.  Who knows?


Copy Cat Culture

Friday, May 6th, 2011

The business world is so interesting. Most people are smart enough to realize that a TV commercial is trying to somehow “trick” us. We at least know that the whole point of a TV ad is to make people somehow want to buy whatever product they are trying to sell. We know the company is paying for the advertisement and this makes us very skeptical. We don’t even want to watch TV commercials because we can see the trick from a mile away. Maybe the product will help our lives, but we see so many bad advertisements about stuff we don’t want or care about that it makes us sick.

Commercials are usually seen as just an annoying interruption of what we are trying to watch. We use this commercial time to get something to eat, go to the bathroom, or at least see what else is on TV. If we are watching TV with a friend, we use this time for talking and not paying attention. Companies pay so much money for these commercials and many of them don’t work as well as they hope. They might work a little bit, but often not enough to justify the cost of the ad. Companies have been doing this kind of advertising for so long that they have become addicted to it. Smart companies are doing something else that you might not even be aware of. This is the best kind of advertising. Pay attention to it next time you are watching a TV show.