Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't Quote me on this...

I love quotes. Like a man loves a woman, a dog loves his master, or Donald Trump loves himself. They can be anything and everything. They are rallying cries, teaching tools, time capsules, prophecies. They can be funny, inspiring, sobering, and even tragic. Quotes tell you a lot about the people who said them, and tell you even more about the people who use them in arguments. I’ve always wanted to be quoted because it seems like the most concrete indication that you were prominent and your opinion was valued for posterity. I tried to write my own quotes when I was younger (12) and I have to be honest, things didn’t work out the way I hoped. I wasn’t aware that before you actually do anything of importance, people don’t give a shit what you have to say. This is especially true when you don’t even have peach fuzz on your balls yet. A tremulous, breaking teenage voice emanating from a hairless prepubescent doesn’t command the kind of respect you think it would. As a result, I gave up on my dream of being a Professional Quote writer. I gave in to all the naysayers who told me “that job doesn’t even exist.” Truly, it stands as one of my life’s greatest regrets.

I intend to change that here by rolling out some of the gems that have come to me over the years. If you like them, tell me. If you don’t keep your stupid opinion to yourself you son of a bitch…

I am going for a kind of Socratic wisdom mixed with some Napoleonic arrogance, and some Kierkegaard (I have no idea what that means but smart people frequently reference Kierkegaard in conversation).

“Life is like a roller coaster. Its very scary, and sometimes you soil yourself.”

“Strip clubs are stupid. Why pay 60 dollars for an erection when you wake up with one every morning for free?”

“There is no such thing as doggie heaven. Only doggie hell.”

“When God shuts a door He opens a window. Unfortunately that window is four stories up.”

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Oddly enough, Success and foolish optimism are one in the same.”

“Before you give way to anger ask yourself a simple question: Can I take this guy?”

“Crime doesn’t pay. Unless you factor in all the money. Then it looks pretty alluring.”

“A cynic always looks like a douchebag until it turns out he’s right. Then he looks like a pompous douchebag.”

“If women ran the world there would be no threat of nuclear war 25 days out of the month.”

“I’m fine with men and women being equals, but women could probably do a lot better.”

(See how I balanced that out? Eh?)

“There is no such a thing as a completely level playing field. If there was everything would end up as a tie.”

“We’ve all made mistakes…but none as colossal as that one you made that summer when you were a kid. You know the one I’m talking about you sick bastard.”

I am going to end with one of my favorite quotes. Its not mine, but that’s the point.

Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.
- Anonymous
(Didn’t seem to work for this guy)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This Week in Feminism...and Poker?

A few days ago I happened to be leafing through the Sports Illustrated 2009 Swimsuit issue (there are some really compelling articles this year) and I came across a two page advertisement for The page on the right was a beautiful woman looking like a hardened Poker junkie with PokerStars attire on with “Strength is Measured in Chips” in bold font above her. Okay, so far so good. Then I look to the left and that same beautiful woman is in a swimsuit, standing in a body of water teeming with sharks. Below her is an interview, and above her is the caption “Swimming with Sharks.”

Well apparently this beautiful woman’s name is Vanessa Rousso (which is odd because in my experience all beautiful women have had the same name: “I’m not interested”), and she is a major poker stud. To top it off, not only is she blessed with defined cheekbones, blonde hair and a statuesque body, she’s also really smart. She received a full scholarship to Duke and graduated in less than three years. I know, what a bitch. Apparently her main course of study was game theory, which allows her to mathematically analyze people’s behavior and has earned her nearly two million in winnings in a few short years.

What pissed me off in this ad wasn’t the poker playing fembot, it was the first line of the interview. “Professional Poker has long been a sport dominated by men. So when Vanessa Rousso came to swim with the sharks, her looks may have thrown the guys off.” I have so many problems with this statement I need a moment to collect myself.

First of all, enough talk about poker as a sport. Yes it requires skill; no it’s not purely a game of chance…I get it. However, chess masters aren’t demanding they get into the Olympics. And you can make fun of ice dancing, or equestrians all you want, but remember that at least their activity requires participants to stand up. I know what you’re thinking: “what about NASCAR?” Let’s make this clear; while I will not watch NASCAR, these guys aren’t just sitting down. If poker players can call somebody’s bluff while doing 220 mph around a turn as fifty other players try to do it too, only faster, then poker requires more skill then racing. At any point during a poker tournament do people crash into each other and burst into flames? I don’t know, I rarely go to poker tournaments.

Secondly, who are these sharks they constantly refer to? I know, I know, its terminology based around the game, but have you seen the guys who play poker for a living? Half of them look like they had to come up from their mother’s basement to take a shower before the tourney. This isn’t Casino Royale, there aren’t billionaire tycoons, secret agents, and criminal masterminds playing for amounts equivalent to the national debt.

Finally, is poker really “dominated by men” or is it dominated by people who like to play poker? There are sports in which gender plays a big part. I have never met a guy who can match the grace, agility, and skill of a female figure skater. They’re better. You know it, I know it, let’s move on. On the other hand, I’ve never met a woman who could hit like Mike Singletary or get off the line like Jared Allen (look on if you don’t know these names). To be fair though, I have always attributed the absence of female football players to the fact that women are too smart to play a sport that requires you to run into another person every play.
Saying poker is a sport dominated by men is like saying “knitting is a pastime dominated by women.” Nothing is being dominated, it’s just something a percentage of the female population chooses to do that men typically won’t. If women decide to play poker its not like they’re Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, they’re just sitting at a table with a bunch of guys who probably haven’t dated in awhile. My real beef here is that Vanessa Rousso may be a woman (a gorgeous woman at that), but it doesn’t sound like that’s the thing winning her poker tournaments. It always seems a shame when a fine intellect is reduced to a pretty face.

p.s. : my apologies to whoever wrote that interview, I’m sure you weren’t loading those two sentence with that much meaning.