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George Godley: Terrible Pickup Artist, Worse Human Being

Woman fleeing encounter with Godley (on left, in white).
Woman fleeing encounter with Godley (on left, in white).

Well, I have to give the terrible, terrible fellows at PUAhate credit for one thing: it was thanks to a post there that I ran across the videos of the exceedingly creepy pickup “artist” and minor Youtube celebrity that I’d like to bring to your attention today.

Meet George Godley, possibly the world’s worst pickup artist. Actually, I’m being a bit generous in my description here, because there is no artistry at all to what he does, just a gimmick: he carries a small video camera with him as he wanders the streets of London, apparently thinking that this gives him an excuse to waylay every attractive young woman who’s unfortunate enough to wander into his field of vision.

Godley apparently wants us to believe he’s “flirting” with the women he so awkwardly approaches, but flirting, like the Tango, takes two, and all but a few of the women in his videos make it abundantly clear from the get-go that they want nothing to do with him. This doesn’t seem to faze him much, and he plunges ahead, trying his best to keep up with them as they endeavor to escape his presence as quickly as possible.

Take the unfortunate woman who catches his eye at the start of this video, and who finally manages to make her escape a little short of the one-minute mark.

In this next video – skip ahead to about 50 seconds in to avoid some rather pointless wandering about — we see two failed “flirts.” His first attempt, if we can call it that, consists of nothing more than him standing in the vicinity of an attractive woman while surreptitiously filming her. After giving up on her without saying a word he runs smack into the “beauty” of the video’s title, and pesters her for about a minute until she manages to get away.

After a brief and awkward attempt at conversation punctuated by her nervous laughter, Godley gamely tries to convince “Beauty” that he’s “doing a movie for the festivals.” When she asks which festivals he’s talking about he unconvincingly stammers something about “Cannes, Sund – the usual circuit.” Even though she clearly wants to put as much distance between herself and him as she possibly can, he tries to force his card on her and plaintively asks “do you want to meet again?” The answer, a nervous “no.”

This next encounter – in which our hero barges into a restaurant to pester a woman who apparently looked briefly in his direction as he walked by outside — even Godley recognizes is a flat-out failure.

Godley has posted literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of these “flirt” videos. None of the ones I’ve seen have gone well. Once in a while an exceptionally tolerant woman will chat with him briefly without actively trying to flee; that seems to be about as good as it gets. The rest document what is essentially serial street harassment, with Godley approaching woman after woman, none of whom give him any indication that they want to talk to him, and “flirting” with them until they can get away from him. It’s the same story, again and again and again.

Why does he do this, making video after video of these so-called “flirtations” and posting them on Youtube? Is he simply a masochist, approaching women he surely knows have no interest in talking to him, much less “flirting,” and posting evidence of his humiliating failures to Youtube for all the world to see?

Perhaps. But even more disturbing than the masochism is Godley’s obvious sadism. Despite his social awkwardness, it’s clear from the videos that Godley knows full well that the overwhelming majority of the women he “flirts” with just want to be left alone; it’s clear from their body language before he approaches them, and from everything they say and do after he starts talking to them. If a woman literally flees from you, that generally means she’s not into your shit.

But Godley doesn’t really need to be reminded of this. He’s well aware that he makes women uncomfortable — in this video he asks a woman if she’s really talking on her phone or just trying to get rid of him. But that doesn’t stop him.

He’s not missing the social cues; he’s deliberately ignoring the clear “noes” these women either tell him outright or telegraph with their facial expressions and body language as clearly as if they were shouting “no” to his face. Were he to approach random men on the street in a similar way, he would almost certainly get himself punched on a regular basis.

Luckily for him, he’s approaching women, and they’re much smaller than he is. It’s telling that he almost always approaches individual women, not the “sets” of two or more favored by most pickup artists, and that he seems to prefer approaching the supposedly more pliable Eastern European women also favored by so many manosphere assholes and creepy pickup artists.

Godley’s not-so-well-hidden hostility towards the women he approaches comes to the surface at the end of this video, in which he attempts to “flirt” with a woman photographing a tree and then then asks for her phone number as she tries to get away, an all-too-common ending to his videos. SPOILER ALERT: She doesn’t give it to him. SPOILER ALERT NUMBER TWO: He pretends he didn’t really want it anyway.

Even if Godley has managed to collect a few genuine phone numbers or email addresses along the way – and I’ve seen nothing to indicate that this is a regular or even an irregular occurrence – his alleged “success” in this endeavor comes at a steep cost. Not just to his pride – I don’t actually give a shit about that – but to the hundreds if not thousands of women he’s harassed along the way.

George Godley, a terrible pickup artist and an even worse human being.

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BigMomma
BigMomma
8 years ago

deoridhe, that sounds like a good example of the translator’s subjectivity in action. I used to agonise over words when translating, trying to get at the heart and mood of the original. Sadly I am exceptionally rusty now.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Marie — “But I don’t really thing gender are race are exactly comparable like that.”

Yeah my analogy was terrible, I blame the industrial strength psych drugs, and recant my idiocy. The rest of it makes sense without that, and I shouldn’t have even said it, sorry.

As for your guess that I’m not straight or gay, go have a celebratory cookie, cuz you’re right (that isn’t snark, I’m probably coming off snarking than I intend, sorry about that too). But yeah “bi/pan/wtf-ever” is Argenti for “I don’t care what’s in your pants, nor how you present” (I want your BRAAIIINNS…)

Now I really am going to bed, got distracted by twitter, and fish, and BRAAIIINNS! *zombifies the thread!*

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

*zombifies the thread!*

Hey, does that mean if a troll tries necroing this thread in a few months, a zombie will arise and eat their brain? (Could mean the zombie goes hungry, of course, but it’s an appealing image – zombie guardian of the threads.)

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

My theory on what a vampire says when they’re annoyed is “whatever they want”. Who’s going to stop them?

BigMomma
BigMomma
8 years ago

aargh in moderation, I meant snicker, I meant snicker. Ok, try again…going back to vanilla and root beer floats, it made me snicker in context. In Australia, a root is a slang word for sexytimes. But vulgarly so, with no positive connotations.

BigMomma
BigMomma
8 years ago

aaaand that ^^^^ was directed @baroncognito

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

As for your guess that I’m not straight or gay, go have a celebratory cookie, cuz you’re right (that isn’t snark, I’m probably coming off snarking than I intend, sorry about that too). But yeah “bi/pan/wtf-ever” is Argenti for “I don’t care what’s in your pants, nor how you present” (I want your BRAAIIINNS…)

ah now the zombie thing makes sense XD um, and I may have had more to say but my brain is getting more garlbed. Good night all, must sleep.

@ Baroncognito

Ah. thanks for answering 🙂

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

Hey, does that mean if a troll tries necroing this thread in a few months, a zombie will arise and eat their brain? (Could mean the zombie goes hungry, of course, but it’s an appealing image – zombie guardian of the threads.)

zombie dworkin has gifted us w/ her minions

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

BigMomma – yeah, that’s why I was thinking someone trying to float and root at the same time would be an unfortunate experiment! 😀

I’ve been caught by the mod machine on that word too. Makes complete sense, of course, but snicker to me is just not the same sound!

The idea of a vampire who says “Poot!” or “Goshdarn!” is rather appealing. We got onto a whole hillbilly vampire sidetrack with that one.

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zombie dworkin has gifted us w/ her minions

Thank goodness I’d just swallowed my tea when I read that!

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

… bloody zombie blockquotes

Deoridhe
8 years ago

The zombies are here for your blockquoooooooootez.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Aiiiieeeeeeeee!

Now this is a scary zombie.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Deoridhe
8 years ago

*screams and hides under the nearest large item*

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

That prompted me to read the synopsis of Pet Sematary at last – quite different from what I expected (which I think was more Children of the Corn sort of stuff).

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

It is scary, but it’s also pretty sad. King is a much better writer than he’s often given credit for – he knows how to deliver an emotional punch, not just fear.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

I’ve not read much of his work – The Stand, Salem’s Lot, Misery and the book of short stories whose name I never remember. I can see how the deaths and grief in this one would be very sad.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Favourites: Fetch X Roll over X Play dead ü

and “Fuck! They got Pancho!”

😀

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Hmm, okay, so wingdings character map doesn’t work … that u was meant to be a tick.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Gerald’s Game and Dolores Claiborne are interesting ones from a feminist pov.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

I thought about getting Gerald’s Game when it came out, but baulked at the situation.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I liked it. Not perfect from a feminist perspective, but I would say he’s a guy who gives a shit about women, and that comes across clearly.

Pentapus1024
Pentapus1024
8 years ago

I’m curious about the whole “ableism” thing. I read in one of the comments that saying someone is or might be mentally ill is, apparently, a big no-no here, because it’s an “ableist” thing to say. I just read the comment policy and, by my understanding, it is within the guidlines. So, I guess I’m good in the future. But I’m wondering why everyone is jumping on the Time Traveller person for saying “mentally ill” in reference to the toolbag PUA’s relatively crazy behavior.

For the record, I myself, unlike Time Traveller Person (Sorry, I’m way down here and forgot how it’s spelled/can’t see the username) do NOT feel sorry for this guy. He is indeed pitiful, but only in that loose, colloquial sense, sort of like saying someone’s “mentally ill” because they’re acting “crazy”.

I also find it ironic that everyone is attacking Time Travelloid, in an actual real-time (albeit via the inner-nest) convo, with plenty of insults (however politically correctthey may be), because TT-Something called (or was it just, wondered?) some JERK mentally ill. Ableism. In this particular context, who is it hurting? What damage is it doing? It’s seems awfully petty.

Several people have wondered, visibly, if The Time Traveller (I am sorry for that, again) is DRUNK because of the content of his/her comments. THAT is so rude! Such a cop-out, too. Damn. ApparentlyTime Traveller said somewhere that only being attracted to one’s own race is racist. I’m not sure I agree, but I myself haven’t experienced only being attracted to my own race, so I can’t understand why that would be the case for someone, unless they were indeed racist, even if it’s just a smidge. Ableist, racist… hmmm.

Here I am, my second comment, and it, like my first, is one were I feel the need to defend another commenter. Someone I don’t know and haven’t followed enough to know much about. But what makes me kind of mad is the various commenters, who seem to be regulars, swinging their dicks around, pardon the expression, because they have eachother to back oneanother up. Both times I’ve commented I’ve done so also out of annoyance, my problem and my problem alone, I realize this. Because I scroll down, expecting some interesting conversations having to do with the article, and see a bunch of petty bickering over things that have little to do with the article.

It’s funny to me, that because of my POV, I’m probably going to be considered a troll. Because my contribution isn’t in line with the majority’s I’m either intentionally or unintentially attempting to stir shit up. That’s not the case, honestly. But then again, fuck it. I’m going to go watch Lost on netflix. I hope the talking peanut has mercy on all y’all’s souls. m/ Please out m/

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

I just read the synopsis of Gerald’s Game – probably wouldn’t have liked it much then (and I was reading a fair bit of fantasy/horror stuff when it came out) and certainly wouldn’t want to read it now. Which is not having a go at King, at all: from what I know of him he’s a decent bloke. I just don’t read gruesome stories these days.

Pentapus – the thing with the ableism (and others here will explain it much better than me) is that the whole thing of “acting like a complete arsehole” and the suggestion that it signifies mental illness plays into the idea that the two things are connected. It turns into a branding and deriding of people with mental illnesses, AND it removes responsibility from people who are acting like total shits. The two things simply aren’t related that way.

TimeTravellingFool is a long-time poster here, and the whole conversation was very surprising. Quite a few of us have drunk posted before, TTF included, so with zir remarks being so unlike what zie usually says, it wasn’t an unreasonable question.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Fascinating oh-no-I’m-not-trolling comment, would get bored and scroll past again.

PsychoDan
8 years ago

It looks like this guy is or was one of those “sovereign citizen” bunch too. Someone posted one of his early videos in that reddit thing that was posted earlier, and as soon as it started what jumped out at me was the bizarre “disclaimer” at the bottom:

It’s got the weird, PA:N(C) style name formatting with (C)geo(rge)godley, and the same strange magical thinking towards legal writing with its self-enacting agreement to never sue him if you ever watch one of his videos. I’m not 100% sure, but it looks eerily similar to most of the other sovereign stuff I’ve run across.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

I’m not, nor ever want to be, politically correct.

nerdypants
nerdypants
8 years ago

I’ve been pondering this thread for a while now, and I’m hoping someone’s still around to answer a question I have.

When is it okay to say that someone’s bad behaviour is or is likely to be the result of a mental illness?

The reason I ask is just the other day, another blog (theantibogan (and we could have a whole other -ism convo about that name)) posted screenies of a woman who said some pretty far-out homophobic stuff. I checked out her page, and she suffers from delusions (she believes she’s a prophet, has magical powers and insights etc.), so I commented pointing out that I think she has a mental illness. Was that the wrong thing to do?

My motivation was partly to go easy on her, and mostly because the point of that blog is presumably to call-out racism, not to make fun of mentally ill people. But now thinking about it, there’s not much difference between what I did and what TTF did.

Is there a good rule of thumb I can use? Is it never okay, rarely okay, something better avoided until I understand ableism better?

PS: I’m asking sincerely because I want to do better, so please don’t stomp on me if I’ve fucked up!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Maybe he thinks that being a sovereign citizen makes him immune to harassment charges?

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

nerdypants – was that the woman speaking in the US, in a state rep (don’t know the right term) situation? She caused quite a stir, if it’s the same person. Didn’t her family say that yes, she has mental issues?

I don’t know any more than you on this issue generally – only that the sort of asshats this blog is about don’t get any out from me, and that the whole “oh but he might be on the spectrum” blah blah line is used to tell women we’re expected to be NICE to men whatever they do.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

Now, where could one ever find out about Ableism? If only there were some sort of search program to help us…. or people who posted things like:

Actually, I don’t think a huge number of mentally ill people go around harassing random strangers with a camera and posting it on youtube. There are probably some mentally ill people right here who had to read the shit you just typed, and I’m pretty sure they don’t appreciate the comparison. Like, seriously?

And no, “selfish” and “too sexist to care about the fact that he’s making women uncomfortable” aren’t mental illnesses.

Yeah, the guy in the OP is an asshole, not mentally ill. C’mon, TTF, you’re not new here, you know better.

Marie nailed it – the whole “mentally ill” veers way too close to the “Oh but he might have Asperger’s! He doesn’t know what he’s doing! Why can’t you be niiiice to him?” line that gets trotted out every time some selfish, can’t-be-stuffed-thinking-of-women-as-people creep waves his sense of entitlement around.

Speculating on the mental health of a stranger you don’t know and using that to try to explain their behavior, especially when their behavior is criminal or assholic, is ableism. It feeds the stigma against people with mental illnesses, where they are isolated, insulted, and mistreated because people assume they are criminals or assholes. Contributing to this by attributing manipulative, assholic behavior as an unspecified mental illness is flaty wrong.

But that couldn’t possibly have happened.

nerdypants
nerdypants
8 years ago

the whole “oh but he might be on the spectrum” blah blah line is used to tell women we’re expected to be NICE to men whatever they do.

Yes, I’ve forgotten who it was up-thread who pointed out that all the women were forcing a smile despite him obviously making them feel very uncomfortable. Our society does not need more of that kind of message.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

When is it okay to say that someone’s bad behaviour is or is likely to be the result of a mental illness?

Honestly, pretty much never. Mental health should be private between a person and their closer acquaintances, not something applied to people you don’t know well (and even with people you know well, this is a very sensitive area – accusations of mental illness are a common way of devaluing what someone says and who they are).

Were I in the position you were in, I’d be inclined to say, “I checked out so-and-so’s website, and it seems like a lot of the things they’re posting about aren’t reasonable or rational, like “give example”. While that doesn’t excuse her homophobia, I’m not sure targeting her specifically makes much sense.

The thing is, though, just because someone has delusions doesn’t mean that they aren’t responsible for not saying offensive things. I have a number of clients who are also bigots, and they do not get a pass on that stuff (though how I respond to it varies widely from person to person).

Saying “They have a mental illness” as a way to excuse bigotry is implying “Mentally ill people aren’t responsible for anything they say,” and in my experience that’s both inaccurate and it sets up a situation where… this is a difficult thing to express, so I apologize if I word it badly, but it implies the person shouldn’t be taken seriously because of their mental illness which is not only damaging in terms of the bigoted things they might say and how that hurts others, but also reinforces that they aren’t a normal person and don’t deserve equal consideration in a really pernicious way.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

And… my uber comment of links to threads on ableism is in moderation, so shorter Deoridhe – Google is your friend.

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There’s a whole thing in there about how the idea of mental illness is used both to dismiss people and to bolster/excuse those in a position of relative power (ie. men harassing women). Not sure there’s any correlation but it does seem striking.

I’ve had jackasses proclaim I’m mentally ill/delusional/whatever because of Mr K. It makes me laugh ‘cos the two psychologists I’ve had dealings with take the opposite stance! 😀

I think about half a dozen links go through without falling into the Moderation Trap.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

I went link-overboard. It’s a weakness.

And yes, it’s like how “men can’t control themselves” is used as a reason to restrict women’s activities. It’s less the rhetoric you have to watch, and more who has to limit their behavior.

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It’s significant, isn’t it? Excuse for the power group to do as they like and restrict others still more; but when it’s applied to those ‘others’ it’s another reason to restrict them. Definitely heads I win, tails you lose stuff.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

Absolutely.

I hate it with mental illness in particular, though, because 1) so few people are actually educated on mental illness beyond “Homeless people and Hannibal Lector, right?” 2) It’s trotted out almost every time someone disagrees with someone else, usually in “so and so is off their meds” sort of jokes, 3) people don’t seek help or limit the help they can accept due to the damn stigma which just perpetuates suffering, 4) mental illness is used as distancing language regularly even when there is no actual evidence of a pathology.

I’m gritting my teeth right now on another example in a place it’s significantly less safe to call it out than here. Grrrrrr.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Too right about not being educated. I’m sure in that category. I do know that homeless people very often are dealing with mental illnesses, because here (and I’m betting it’s no better in the US) we’ve had twenty years of there being hardly any facilities available for care – they were closed down under the cost-cutting, idealogically-opposed-to-governments-doing-anything Kennett state government. That meant “care in the community”, ie. nowhere for people who’d been in care to go, and no support for families trying to help and not knowing how. So the most vulnerable people often enough do end up out of a home, whether that means transient shelter or literally living on the street.

BigMomma
BigMomma
8 years ago

*pops hand up* homelessness worker since mid 90s

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Contributor!

Did I get anything horrendously wrong in what I said above, BigMomma?

nerdypants
nerdypants
8 years ago

Thank you Deoridhe. The second paragraph was especially useful. It gives me a way to achieve that objective (e.g. get the blogger to see this person wasn’t the kind of thing they were after) without playing armchair psychologist or implying that people with mental illness aren’t responsible/aren’t equals.

I’m going to check back for when your links appear. I can see that, even with my difficulty writing the last half of that sentence above, I don’t have clear in my head how responsibility works when it comes to mental illness. I have a relative with schizophrenia, and I had always dealt with it by saying to myself “she’s not responsible”, so I wouldn’t act in anger towards her, and so my choices could be more neutrally in everyone’s (including my) best interests rather than motivated by baser reasons. But, while I think I found a good pragmatic solution, I never really figured out the truth of the matter.

… also reinforces that they aren’t a normal person and don’t deserve equal consideration in a really pernicious way

I think I understand what you’re saying. You mean that, if a person with mental illness isn’t responsible for the bad things they do, they can be disregarded when it comes to, say, their opinions about other things that they’re fully qualified to talk about and really matter to them.

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Okay, I’m off to watch The Dust Bowl and Dr Blake. Catch you later! 🙂

Great American Satan
Great American Satan
8 years ago

Deoridhe at 3:33 AM, interesting post. I know from the people I’ve met that fell through the cracks of our horrible mental health system that some conditions cause people to latch onto frameworks to express their fear, like conspiracy theories and religion. And those conspiracy theories are often racist. A homeless schizophrenic lady in my city likes leaving xeroxed messages on lamp poles about what the different races are up to. “The white man is in the Gold Car driven by the pet Asian,” and stuff like that. I saw one guy screaming at the top of his lungs about the jews down on 3rd avenue. Does he hate the jews or just want to be arrested so he has somewhere to sleep?

Schizophrenics are interesting in that some of them feel compelled to share their views with anyone who will listen – to self-publish. How many are blogging these days?

And what do we say about that, to whom, and how? I really wish we had better ways of getting help for people in trouble before they can hurt themselves or others, but the U.S.A. is a cold cold place.

Disco
Disco
8 years ago

I spend my evening yesterday to dig deeper in GGs “work” and came also to conclusion that he is mentally ill. At least a bit.
Well, before you go mad, listen. This isn’t an excuse. It is an explanation. When you see something like that, you want a reason, and explanation why this guy is doing this. That’s is perfectly human I guess and doesn’t take away his responsibility for his actions or indicates a sympathy towards the guy.

And really it isn’t the harassment, that drove me to the conclusion, that he might be ill. Perfect sane men sometimes do unfortunately the same. It is the fact, that he doesn’t seem to realize, that he fails. I one Video he say for example, he gets thousands of phone-numbers. A believe clearly not grounded in reality. And there are other hints that indicates, that he lives in a fantasy world.

Is this an excuse? No! Is this sympathizing with the offender? No! Did I think, he isn’t responsible? No!

So please don’t think, that the search for an explanation is the same as a defense.

cherabushka
8 years ago

did anyone already post this?

BigMomma
BigMomma
8 years ago

@kitteh, nope, it’s pretty spot on. I also work in a rural area so services are non-existent. “Care in the Community” was trotted out in the UK too with the same predictable results.

cherabushka
8 years ago

and, of course, his blog…

http://georgegodley.com/

it seems to be one huge page full of videos and pics, so beware of the loading time.
i like how he points out the “sexist dress code” in pics of his mom and dad, apparently his mum is “half naked” in a sleeveless, high-cut, knee-length dress while men are put to the torture of wearing jackets