Thursday, April 06, 2006

The evils of poker

Okay. I’m on my way to work this morning and the CBC radio show The Current is all about the societal implications of the Texas Hold’em poker craze.

After work the CBC goes back on of course and the Here and Now show is featuring – the societal implications of Texas Hold’em poker.

I listen for a while and when I can bear it no longer I switch to a music channel and sing happily along to Elton John’s version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and other popular favorites...

Then the news comes on and somehow – slow news day I guess – they get to talking about the societal implications of Texas Hold’em poker.

This poker craze is all so insidious, you see.

They’re glorifying gambling! Making it out to be a sport! Getting kids hooked on it so that they will blow all their tuition money on on-line poker and ruin their lives!

Vile bastards.


There’s nothing wrong with poker. I’m not into it especially but a lotta people are. And why shouldn’t they? It’s a fun game with intriguing dynamics. And if folks want to play for money they have every right to. It makes for more excitement. We’re a wealthy recreation-intense society. Poker suits us to a T.

Poker is just an activity. It’s not a drug. It doesn’t seduce people into becoming stupid about it. People – some people - get stupid about it. It is the initial getting stupid about it phase that precedes the so-called addiction stage.

The first time you bet money that you can not afford to lose – that’s stupid. You know damn well that in poker – as with any form of gambling – there are more losers than winners (and if you don’t understand that then the stupid factor came into play long before you even heard of Texas Hold’em).

The problem ain't TV or gambling or poker, honey. The problem is stupidity. And that’s been around since the garden and the apple – and will keep proliferating in this nanny society of ours. Because we’re all so busy trying to protect stupid people from themselves – and graciously excusing everybody – and I mean everybody – from taking responsibility for their own actions. Societal phenomena get the blame for everything. Personal accountability is the target of the biggest witch-hunt in all history, my friends. It scares me more and more every day.
Beam me up, Scotty.

Is this a shock – me speaking this way? A self-proclaimed socialist? My socialist agenda is based on finance, not intelligence. It stems from the inherent flaws in capitalism that would turn every democracy into a land of a few elite billionaires treading over endless heaps of dead and dying peasants – if not for the moderating effects of taxation and social programs. Moderating effects – far from full compensation for the perversions we’ve allowed to the monetary system – Okay. Just stop me now. We’re not ready to get into this!

Let’s just cut to the chase. How’s this for theory?

Stupid man starts betting money he knows damn well he shouldn’t. This becomes a habit and then an addiction (if you go out for that sort of thing) and he spirals out of control, loses all his money and winds up living in a cardboard box in a back alley.

Perfect. Mr. Stupid will not father a litter of stupid kids in his cardboard box – and thus – less stupid people in the world

It’s called natural selection, people and it ain’t cruel. It’s natural!


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