I’ve decided to pass on attending this year’s American Poker Awards, to be held in Los Angeles this weekend.
There are a number of reasons for this, which I won’t get into at the moment. I do want to express my support for the idea of handing out awards to those who have improved the game and for recognizing players and insiders who have made significant contributions over a certain period of time.
Are awards like this frivolous? Perhaps they are. But since just about every other business, sport, and art form honors its super achievers and icons, then so too should we. Even science, mathematics, economics, and literature indulge in their very own annual awards ceremonies. Poker, which is played by about 100 million people worldwide, rightly deserves a special night of spectacle, and the APA’s creators and organizers — Alex Dreyfus in particular — deserves our appreciation for making this happen.
Every so often, I’m afflicted with “writer’s block.”
From what I hear among other writers, this is fairly a common condition. One cannot write consistently for several years without faithfully going to the well and occasionally coming up with an empty pail. Sometimes, the source runs dry.
“Writer’s block” is mental state. It’s debilitating and can even be depressing — especially to a writer! It’s like trying to speak, only the words won’t come out. Call it a literary stutter.
My past bouts with writer’s block were almost always sprung by a bombardment of way too many thoughts all at once. It’s not as though there’s nothing to write about. To the contrary — I always find there’s far too much out there that interests me — including things that make me go ballistic, or provide tremendous joy (and everything in-between). Most writers like to share their discoveries, experiences, and emotions, and I’m no exception.
The late conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr., founder of “National Review” — worthy of both admiration and loathing
What troubles me most when discussing important issues is close-mindedness. Call it a cancer on communication. This seems to be an epidemic right now.
People who insist their minds are “already made up” and can’t be changed annoy me. Surely, unexpected events and unforeseeable circumstances may come about that should make us re-evaluate what we think. The acquisition of knowledge isn’t finite. One’s personal belief system is more of an evolution. What we believe is true today might prove demonstrably prove false tomorrow. People and institutions we trust at this instant could violate our confidence later. If history has taught us anything, it’s that unpredictable events can (and do) alter the way we look at ourselves and the world. Just think of revelations in your own life which changed your perceptions about things. Recall those you once trusted who later turned out differently than expected. Indeed, our most profound memories are not necessarily confirmations of beliefs we think to be true. More often, enlightenment stems from unexpected discoveries of something new.
Capitalism has kidnapped Christmas, blindfolded it, and stuck a sock in its mouth.
Indeed, we’ve become hostages to crass materialism, wild spending sprees, and ultimately end up as slaves to crushing consumer debt.
So, how did we stray so far adrift from the intended spirit of holiday tradition of earlier and much simpler times? What happened to sharing? What happened to caring? What ever became of goodwill towards all? Those noblest of virtues were trampled weeks ago, the moment all the stores opened up on Black Friday.
The single constant reminder of the true meaning of the holidays remains the enduring spirit of our most beloved Christmas carols. Music fills our hearts with joy. Songs bring us good cheer. But hidden in between the lyrics, might there be something far more profound?
Consider some of our favorite holiday songs, which are posted below. Might these lyrics have have messages that were inspired by none other than Karl Marx? Check it out. My theory isn’t as crazy as it sounds:
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
— George Orwell (“1984”)
An astonishing thing happened in Las Vegas, Nevada this past week. The largest newspaper in the state, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was sold off — to someone.
Trouble is — no one knows who.
Not even the writers and editors on the news staff know who they’re working for, right now. A number of reporters have even taken to Twitter the past few days, speculating publicly on the media mystery of the great unknown.