Sunday, January 1, 2023

New Year's Resolution: Take on a Fun, Glamorous Addiction that will shred your savings!

I only watched enough of this horror to note that Jamie Foxx, hyped at the "opportunity" to place a bet on a basketball game, is frantically looking for some insider information before doing so- something that virtually none of the potential customers of this electronic drug have any chance of doing themselves.  

I used to wonder how much money was waved in front of people to act like total morons on television in showing the world "what they would do for a Klondike bar."  Now we've got multi-millionaire Oscar winners picking up a few extra bucks- and, I think more significantly, screen time- peddling an addiction that has, not at all mysteriously, exploded into an epidemic at exactly the same time that the economy took the double hits of COVID unemployment followed by a spike in the cost of living. 

Now I feel badly that I ever criticized those attention vampires, just like I feel less animosity toward celebrities who hawk Rent a Center and junk car and home "warranties."  That's nothing compared to what people like Foxx are doing- presenting as glamorous and exciting the opportunity to risk money on sporting events, hyping that rush of dopamine that comes with taking that risk, and never, EVER mentioning the financial consequences of losing the bet.  That's saved for the very small print on the bottom of the screen along with the "if you need help, here's the toll free number to get you the help you need because we sucked you in."  How very, very thoughtful. 

I'm going to start my New Year's by staying away from addictive products with one exception.  I'm going to continue to not indulge in sugar and alcohol.  But don't bother me about coffee.  I like coffee.  I can quit any time I want to, it doesn't negatively impact my personality so LEAVE ME ALONE ABOUT COFFEE!


  1. Amen, John. I live in one of the many states (Ohio) where sports gambling becomes legal today. I've been overwhelmed and disgusted by the advertising that's accompanied this inauspicious event. As a fan, I'm disgusted that winning or losing a game now seems to take a back seat to whether a team covers a point spread, a game goes over or under a certain number of points or a quarterback throws for 300 yards or not. Much more importantly, as a human being, I worry about the implications for the general mental and fiscal health of our populace.

    For me, this is just one more example of the downfall of our way of life. More and more, I feel like I'm living through the equivalent of the fall of Rome. Maybe it's just that I've become the curmudgeonly 63-year-old that I once swore I'd never become, but it seems to me that our society is going to hell in a handbasket between the state of politics (on both sides of the aisle, in my opinion), our collective ambivalence about science as evidenced by our reaction to the pandemic and the reality of climate change, the apparently dominant belief that truth is somehow relative, our addiction to screens and the adverse effect its had on our sense of community, and the endless pursuit of wealth at any and all costs.

  2. This is why I refer to this and its competing forms of separating the credulous from their money the stupidity tax. It's a levy placed on people who are sure that unlike everyone else, they can beat the odds.