Friday, January 18, 2008
Gambling and "Bad Beats"
Started reading an exhaustively researched, intensely reasoned and gracefully written academic work on compulsive gambling, though I must admit I find it disconcerting when he analyzes characters from literature and movies as part of his analytic, I mean I turn to academia for facts and theory and logical argumentation, not literary and film critiques, that's supposed to be my field; he even has things to say about Tykwer's (sp?) meta-flick Run Lola Run and Mason & Dixon, the latter a work I'll never read, I paid my Pynchon dues with Gravity's Rainbow, The Crying of Lot 49 and Vineland, don't need any more work assignments from him. A punter's adage: "In gambling, the second best thing to winning is losing," a common symptom of pathological gamblers being that they speak with greater emotion of "bad beats" (excessively unlikely losses) than they do of winning. Another adage: "Show me a gambler with a good excuse for losing and I'll show you a loser."