Sunday, March 1, 2015

10 Things I Love About House of Cards

In conjunction with my favorite series' return to TV this weekend, I thought I'd like to lay down 10 reasons why I love House of Cards and what I've learned from this series. So here they are:

1. You're Never Too Old to Play Video Games

As seen on this show, everyone's favourite mischievous guy - Frank Underwood's - way to unwind and destress is by locking himself up in his basement and playing the Playstation 4. Doesn't matter if you're a ruthless majority-whip-turned-Vice-President by day; after office hours is for playing games. Now, who says playing console games is only for the kids?

2. Words Are the Greatest Weapon

Intimidation and to invoke fear don't necessarily need a few punches and kicks. Frank Underwood does it through his flair of words, from blackmailing a fellow senator with substance abuse to vacating the POTUS' seat - all through his tongue. 

3. Power is Earned....by Intimidation

Having said words are Frank Underwood's forte, that's also how he secures his power. He invokes fear and intimidates those obstructing his way towards his goal to solidify his position. So, the next time you need to stand out and make sure people take you seriously, intimidate them with whatever you have to bring to the table - Underwood style.

4. To Get What You Want, You Need to Take a Step Back (Or Two)

The best thing about Frank Underwood's manoeuvre on getting what he wants is, he makes it seems like he's not chasing after it. For example, to secure the VP post, rather than directly nominating himself to the POTUS, he convinces the sitting VP to vacate his seat, eliminates the next possible VP candidates by offering them other attractive posts,  brings out second-grade, sub-par nominees until finally the POTUS chose him as the 'most suitable candidate'. Brilliant, is it not?

5. Unconventional Relationship = Extraordinary Results

I love the dynamics between Frank and his equally conniving wife, Claire Underwood. They work hand-in-hand to achieve their goal which often benefits them individually. Having no children makes it easier, and they both are free to sleep with other men/women (even had a bisexual threesome with a Secret Service). Manipulation, blackmailing and hard-talking are the order of the day. Clever.

6. Symbiosis Works, Until It Turns Into Parasitism 

Being a Capitol Hill and White House insider, Frank Underwood uses his inside knowledge to spill out the juicy, unpleasant details of his enemies to the public. The way he does it is by getting a young reporter, Zoe Barnes to do all the dirty works for him. Frank feeds Zoe the news, Zoe gets it out on paper, Frank achieves his goal, Zoe gets famous. See the symbiosis? 

But when things got a turn for the worse, Frank decides to end it all to save his reputation and avoid further harm - by killing Zoe. Ruthless but classic Underwood style.


7. Never Poke the Lion from the Inside of the Cage. You Get Someone to Do It from the Outside.

This refers to the earlier point #6. To fight doesn't always mean you have to wrestle your opponent head-on. You simply have to get someone to do it for you and save yourself from all the dirt. Most of Frank Underwood's 'achievements' leaping from being a majority whip to the POTUS comes from Zoe Barnes, who leaks out dirty stories and scandals fed by Frank Underwood. 

8. Don't Be Afraid of Huge Responsibilities.

Some jobs are too big to handle and naturally they will scare you. But, having the courage and conviction to grab it by the balls and get it done will reward you with a 'pass' you might need in the future. For instance, the education bill Frank Underwood volunteered to get it ready and passed in 30 days proves to be a solid fallback whenever he tries to argue any controversial plan. Getting a huge project single-handedly done says 'I'm capable of anything'. 

9. You Clean Up After Your Own Mess

If you do something wrong, you own it and clean it up yourself. I admire how Frank Underwood takes care of everything he has done, although how he takes care of it is debatable. Still, if you've screwed up, you own it and make it right yourself. 

10. Democracy is Overrated.

Like it or not, the public actually votes/decides based on what is told, and the content of what is told is controlled by the same people running the White House or deciding in the Capitol Hill. Even to secure presidency itself doesn't necessarily means you have to be elected - you simply must know which button to press to oust the sitting President. Just ask Frank Underwood.

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That's all. Last note, I unashamedly admit that I put into practice some of the things mentioned above in my daily grind. And yes, they worked - so far.

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