miércoles, 27 de noviembre de 2013

Talking point: Liars

The topic is this week's talking point is liars.  Before getting together with the members of you conversation group, go over the questions below, so that ideas flow more easily when you meet your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.

What’s the connection between Pinocchio and a polygraph?
Why do people lie?
What do people usually lie about?
Are all lies bad or can you tell a good lie?
Is it OK to tell white lies?
How many lies do people tell in a day?
Do you know anyone who never lies?
Do some professions lend themselves more to telling lies?
In what situations do people tend to lie? (vg., the CV, teenagers lying about their age)
Have you ever told a lie that caused a problem for you?

Quotes. Discuss these remarks.
-    When someone starts by saying ‘To be honest…’, you can be certain they will lie to you.
-    The mouth may lie, but the face tells the truth.
-    Liars need to have good memories.
-    Lies have very short legs.

Work out the contexts for these lies. Where are the people? Who is speaking to whom?
'I can stop smoking whenever I want to.'
'Thank you. That’s just what I wanted.'
'He’s only a friend.'
'I wasn’t sacked. I resigned.'

What films or TV series do you remember where the main character is a liar?
What do you know about the TV series Mad Men and its main character, Don Draper?
Have you ever watched it?
Why is it so successful?
What topics does the series touch on?
Why would Don Draper come up in a lesson on lies?

If you have never heard of Don Draper, here it is a video which shows three key scenes in the first season.

scene 1
Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.
It’s toasted. I get it.

scene 2
But there is a rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash – if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job I was in house at a fur company, with this old pro of a copywriter, a Greek, named Teddy. Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is “new.” It creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion. He also talked about a deeper bond with a product: nostalgia. It’s delicate, but potent. Sweetheart. Teddy told me that in Greek, nostalgia literally means the pain from an old wound. It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a space ship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called a wheel, it’s called a carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Round and around, and back home again. To a place where we know we are loved

scene 3
Client: Is that all?
Don: You're a nonbeliever. Why should we waste time on kabuki?
Client: I don't know what that means.
Don: It means that you've already tried your plan, and you're number four. You've enlisted my expertise and you've rejected it to go on the way you've been going. I'm not interested in that. You can understand.
Client:I don't think your three months or however many thousands of dollars entitles you to refocus the core of our business...
Don: Listen. I'm not here to tell you about Jesus. You already know about Jesus. He either lives in your heart or He doesn't. Every woman wants choices. But in the end, none wants to be one of a hundred in a box. She's unique. She makes the choices and she's chosen him. She wants to tell the world, he's mine. He belongs to me, not you. She marks her man with her lips. He is her possession. You've given every girl that wears your lipstick the gift of total ownership.
Client: Sit down.
Don: No. Not until I know I'm not wasting my time.
Client: Sit down.