Category: Thoughts

Thankful

STARTING SUNDAY, 11/29: “Report from the Street” On Thanksgiving Day most of us will eat too much. Many will watch football games. Some will retrieve playing cards from the closet, or a worn mah jong table. If we’re lucky we’ll be among friends and family, basking in the comforting warmth of people who know us well...

Mel Gibson’s Christ Porno

Last night, while most of us slept, the most cleverly marketed movie in recent history opened on thousands of screens across America. Before a single megaplex presented Mel Gibson’s “Passion of Christ,” the film inspired more editorializing, hand wringing, righteous anger, righteous pride, and cocktail party theorizing than every other work of creative fiction composed...

The Privilege, the Honor, the Responsibility

We have a very smart friend, an American, who never votes. He excuses his laziness with an intricate, self-negating argument that equates voting with an endorsement of a broken and fraudulent process. Like many citizens of this great country, my friend hasn’t traveled very much, and never to a place we would call a “third-world” nation,...

Mistaking Commercial Popularity With Artistic Achievement

Not long ago a couple of friends invited us to watch a concert DVD of one of their favorite performers, a woman named Beyonce Knowles. One of our friends, a musician, said that although most fans admire Ms. Knowles for her pretty face, powerful singing voice, and shapely ass, the really impressive thing about her is...

The Magic Formula

AxD – P = M (C+F) Where “A” represents apathy, “D” represents dismay, and “P” represents powerlessness. And “M” represents misery, “C” represents contentment, and “F” represents fulfillment. Thus, our formula expresses the ability of one force — the dismayed and apathetic individual with a perceived lack of power — to inflict misery upon another...

A Gambling Book Worth Reading

The vast majority of books about gambling hold out the faint (and mostly spurious) promise that they’ll help you somehow gamble better. Or smarter. Or longer. They suggest, usually erroneously, that they contain some sort of heretofore unexpressed secret about beating unbeatable games. These books may be safely ignored, unless you’re a hopeless degenerate who...

The Bad Thing About Dying

Except for suicidal people, those desperate souls who wish for nothing more than oblivion, none of us wants to die. Why? Many religions teach us that there is a “better place” awaiting us when we depart this earthly plane. Whether it’s heaven, nirvana, or some parallel universe where Louis Armstrong provides the soundtrack and ice...

Some Free Gambling Advice

At dinner with a lovely couple, a sweet husband and wife of obvious intelligence and clarity of mind, the topic turned to Vegas. One of their favorite pastimes, they remarked, was going to Las Vegas for quick one or two-day trips during which they assiduously avoided the showrooms, much-lauded restaurants, and anything else that might...

The Most Toys

The other day an older friend of ours was describing a trend he had noticed among his acquaintances nearing the age of 60. “They all seem to be increasingly obsessed with things,” our pal noticed. “The older they get, the more money they have, the more stuff they want.” He went on to recount a rather...

Eugene Konik, 1936-2004

My father Eugene Konik died yesterday, August 25th at 3PM, of congestive heart failure. Family surrounded him at his hospital bed, and we held his hands and cradled his head as he passed on. If any death can be said to be beautiful, my dad’s was. His heart gradually stopped beating and his breath slowed gracefully;...