Tagged: thought of the day

Poker.net

The most disingenuous television advertisements of the moment are for online poker Web sites, many of which market themselves during broadcasts of professional poker tournaments, such as the ones I commentate on for FoxSports. The last two World Series of Poker champions, Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, play at (and endorse) a site called PokerStars.com....

Working Hard for Indolence

We’re taught that indolence, if not an outright sin, is an unattractive quality that ambitious strivers should abhor. The byproduct of laziness — i.e., nothing — doesn’t enrich the world in any way, whereas effort and action, even when fruitless or irrelevant, keeps the turbines of consumption pumping. Work: good. Indolence: bad. Yet, for many...

The Chase

Living in Los Angeles, in a neighborhood that’s near Bel-Air and Beverly Hills, enclaves of wealth and luxury that neatly summarize all that is grand (achievement, possibility, beauty) and horrible (excess, vulgarity, greed) about America, one has ample opportunity to reflect on the pros and cons of consumer-driven capitalism. The question that comes to mind...

Awful Acceleration

String Theory, a byproduct of quantum physics that we confess we don’t fully comprehend, holds that this thing we call Time doesn’t really exist — at least not as we generally understand it, as a continuum that moves from past to present to future. If this is true, then we need another word to describe what...

How Good is Ella the Dog?

We ask that rhetorically, of course. But, really: how good can one dog possibly be? Yesterday, she started a gantlet of being subjected to her master’s needs by submitting to a photo shoot for Reader’s Digest at Runyon Canyon, the local dog park. While the photographer snapped away, calling her name for attention — “Ella! Ella!”...

Basic Instincts

The half-dozen or so bird feeders in our back garden attract hundreds of birds. The hundreds of birds attract several neighborhood cats, including our tabby, Sam, who has 24-hour access to delicious cat kibble. (Well, delicious to him and his sister the dog.) Still, he leaps — literally — at any chance he gets to kill one...

The Danger of Relativism and the Grace of Tolerance

As speculation swirls around who will be the next CEO of Catholicism, Inc., Vatican experts have been explaining to lay people the strengths and weaknesses of the papal hopefuls. One of the leading candidates, Joseph Ratzinger, who the press reports enjoys the support of 40% of his fellow cardinals, has been described as a “hard-liner,”...

Never Enough

Strip away the effective marketing campaigns that inspire Acquisition Lust, and what’s left? Remove the cultural conditioning that programs us like so many robots, the script that compels us to want-need-desire-require more, and what do you have? An illusion. Many of us find meaning in life through a maniacal pursuit of money and the things it can...

How Many Books?

Overheard at a party: A young mother complaining that ever since her pre-pubescent son discovered the lurid joys of Playstation video games, he had stopped reading. Completely. Much solemn murmuring followed the mother’s admission. What could be done, everyone wondered? How could this putatively heinous state of affairs be reversed? What we wondered was this: How...

Why We Need Celebrities

During his first visit to Hollywood, a friend of ours wanted more than anything else to see celebrities. He wasn’t interested in any particular person, such as the star of his favorite crime drama or the pinup girl action movie heroine whose poster he has hanging in his garage. Any star would do. “I just...