Aptly, this is the first Google Images hit for "Spencer Michaels."Are you the kind of person who views dating as an adversarial process, after which "winners" gloat triumphantly over their fallen foes? If so, Dating War will help you turn every encounter with the opposite sex into a merciless gladiatorial confrontation. Spencer Michaels applies the battlefield teachings of Sun Tzu's The Art of War to "a woman's natural defense system," promising to help his students "learn psychological warfare to gain supreme confidence and tap into her subconscious." It's like a date-rape drug, in e-book form! For the privilege of consulting this "new method for conquering any woman, anywhere, anytime," students must pay $39.95, or $19.95 if they take advantage of the indefinitely available "order in the next 48 hours" offer.

In return, they get an MP3 pep talk, a cheat sheet with "emergency conversation topics" to smuggle under their sleeves during dates, and a "bonus weapon." You get a few hot tips for free, such as the "Video Game Theory": "You don't want to be too easy to win, but you don't want to be impossible." Also, smooth jazz comes gratis with every menu item you click. The testimonials page seems stocked with the usual fictional ringers, so it's difficult to gauge the effectiveness of Michaels' system. However, it's safe to say that if this program sounds good to you, you'll probably get the caliber of advice you deserve.



– Andrew "Garbage Day" Miller

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