September 14, 2006

Our Free Time Flushed Out To the River

As you might well imagine, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are a busy bunch. Whether it’s attending various important meetings or taking in a Hall & Oats concert at the local mall, we basically haven’t a jot of free time.

Which is why, dear reader, we’re deeply upset about the pathetic ways in which we use the few hours a week allotted to us for leisure. To the German philosopher Josef Pieper, leisure is “the basis of culture.” Well, if Herr Pieper took a look at the way we fritter away our time, he’d surely say that culture was in for some very dark days.

Now, in our postmodern world, lots of odd things can turn out to be inveterate time wasters. Like, say, video games. Or cellular telephones. Or Michael Moore.

But certainly one of the most vexing of all leisure black holes is to be found on ESPN. No, we’re not talking about Stewart Scott: A little more of his “I’m so darn hip” routine, and we’ll come close to throwing our set out the window. That ostentatious moron.

Rather, we refer to something called “The World Series of Poker.” It’s sad to admit it, but, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterely,” are addicted to the stuff.

Let us clue you in to how spine-tinglingly pathetic this is. For crying out loud, we don’t even know how to play poker. We mean, we understand the general principles, but we’d have to write out a handy list of what-beats-what in order to play a hand ourselves. Even so, our complete ignorance of poker somehow doesn’t stop us from watching hours and hours of this crap.

Further, we fully recognize that the whole poker craze is a fad. It’s the frickin’ cigar fad for the Noughties. In a few years, people will be mystified as to why anyone wasted their time watching a bunch of hormonal goons play a card game. And yet we still keep our stupid eyes glued to the set.

It’s beyond wretched. Numerous members of the crack young staff have taken to arguing about Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Freddie Deeb, et al. Can you even believe we know who these sleazy people are?

What’s worse, glorifying professional poker players is pernicious. These television shows fail to show us the great dangers of high-stakes card games—those who lose thousands, those who become hopelessly addicted, Bill Bennett.

As if that weren’t bad enough, many players at “The World Series” drop out of college to pursue lives of Texas Hold ‘Em. It’s a fine career if you can make it; if not, that little degree might come in handy.

If we keep watching this deleterious garbage, we’re going to have to take away our own TV privileges. That may mean an end to our enjoyment of tasteful teenage lesbian dating shows on MTV, but, if it stops us from obsessing over Phil Helmuth, it’ll be worth it.

Posted at September 14, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack