Welcome to the Thunderdome: You might as well play the lottery

If there’s one thing that I want you, fellow comrades, to take from my article this week, it’s that I love gambling. I love it. Poker? Sign me up. Gambling on football? It’s the way God intended. Well, God or the Mafia. “Magic: The Gathering”? The more interesting the stakes, the better. I’ll gamble on just about anything.

Knowing that you could win or lose money, and therefore respect and power and happiness and all those things that people tell you money doesn’t really buy but does, can turn the simple, beautiful act of watching a butterfly pollinate some flowers into a raw, entertaining gladiatorial spectacle. You’ll find that losing five bucks because a butterfly flew onto the wrong flower will give you what psychiatrists and other paper-holding deciders of human nature “irrational hatred.”

Those fools. What’s irrational about wanting to murder the thing that loses you five dollars? Money is money, no? Aren’t we at war with like three or four countries because they stand in the way of us making more money? Aren’t we killing the planet so we can work at one place that makes us money and live in another that requires a lot of money to purchase and therefore fulfills our natural human desire to embarrass the eff out of the Joneses? What are we, animals?

Let’s not pretend like we care. Oh, sure, we’ll get sad about some of the side effects of our way of life right after we watch this video of kitty cats playing basketball and, “oh man look at dat wittle kitty.” We all love cat videos. I adore cat videos. What I’m arguing for is for us to go all the way. Let’s not stop at just watching cat videos instead of learning or doing something about the ills of the world. Let’s gamble on them, too. Ignorance is a pretty bad vice, but we can supplant it with gambling and at least form entertainment, the most American virtue of all.

That’s not to say that entertainment is the only benefit of gambling. It really does make things more interesting, but there’s also the added value of it possibly improving your life situation. This has never been more important. By all accounts, social mobility is at an all-time low in America. The top little bit of the country owns more of it than at any point since the twenties. We still speak of the Gilded Age with hushed reverence. Remember the good old days?

Believe it or not, as a gambling addict, I’m actually a fan of the banking industry. They’ve figured out the highest stake game of all. They’ve convinced our politicians after years of rigorous debate (and literal garbage bags full of cash) to subsidize their gambling addiction, and as one con man to another, that’s a heck of an achievement. The banking industry operates with an implied government subsidy. They know they’ll get bailed out, so it frees them to make riskier and riskier bets.

We can learn from our overlords, fellow Scots. We all believe we’re displaced millionaires, but our current social structure has placed us tearfully far from the money bags that are rightfully ours. There’s only one solution: gambling. Go forth and power that ball.

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