by Paul Chaplin
The writers have this week off, here at Best Brains, so I'm rising late and taking my coffee on the deck next to the pool and catching up on things in the world. I read (were I to tell you what I read you would be very impressed) and I listen to the radio.
Today's topic on a local mid-morning call-in show was gambling.
Here in Minnesota it's a big deal, this gambling. We have a state lottery, with dozens of dollar and two-dollar games enticing you any time you can't avoid a SuperAmerica, like when you need gas or strange food. We have a whole lot of casinos run by the various tribes, and they're big operations, with parking for hundreds of housewives. We have a horse track and a dog track and charitable gambling nights run (and run questionably) by just about every church in sight.
It's everywhere, and I'm against it. At least I'm against this spread, like creeping charley, of legal gambling everywhere. Sure, were creating a lot more addicts. There's no doubt about that. I don't remember many middle-aged single women robbing strings of banks in rural Wisconsin before all this came about.
But that's not my main complaint. The thing that really bugs me about gambling is that it's just tawdry.
It's like we have no pride as a nation anymore.
You need money to fund education? You want to bring "life" back to a riverfront? Hey, it's easy: gambling! Gambling is the answer!
We're giving ourselves over to weakness, is what it feels like to me. Every other ad is a gambling ad, so you can't get away from the stuff, maybe that's why I'm so crabby; and yet even that is a kind of perverse change in the personality of this wonderful state I live in.
The Megamall doesn't help either, by the way.
Maybe I'm just in a bad mood.