Opinion

  • Opinion,  Philosophy

    Bread and Circuses

    by I’m simplifying dramatically, but it works: in ancient Rome, to keep the people happy and ignorant, the rich and powerful would sponsor huge gladiatorial games and give away free food. See, all of the amazing entertainments and things I give you. Are you not entertained? Are you not well fed? Am I not awesome? Do you not love me? Try not to think beyond your own immediate contentment. In current days, we have professional sports and other entertainments. Some people might lump music stars, movies, television, and so on, in with this. I would tend to disagree, but only partly. Books, movies, plays, music, all of these are forms…

  • Opinion

    The Rise of the New Neocons

    by Or would that be Neo-Neocons? And does it matter? I keep hearing these weird things, statements that don’t really make sense. We are living in a post-truth, post fact world. Those are alternative facts. I love that one. Alternative facts. Things we used to call wrong, or lies, or even bullshit. Probably, I should recognize that it’s been coming for a long time, or maybe it’s been here for a long time. I’ve long been of the understanding that truth is in the eye of the beholder. Fact, however, is not. But, apparently, both sides of the democratic political spectrum believe that if you shout something loud enough and…

  • Opinion

    Entitlement

    by The casino business is a strange one. And I don’t mean for the usual reasons that you might suspect. And I probably don’t mean just the casino business, but any business that involves people. The casino business just happens to be the one I work in. When a new casino opens somewhere, there’s a great deal of excitement, and not least because of the jobs that generates. After all, who doesn’t want to work in the exciting, loud, brightly lit neon and LED, disturbing carpet environment of the casino? It attracts a lot of different people to those jobs. My experience is in the tables side of things. We…

  • Musings,  Opinion

    Freedom of Expression

    by The concept of freedom of speech, or freedom of expression as we say in Canada, seems to come out a lot in the news and the media and even online lately. It’s a concept that, in various phrasings, in various western societies, we are lucky to have. It’s a wonderful protection, but it doesn’t mean what many people seem to think it means. Freedom of expression only means that the government can’t shut you up, can’t legally come and tell you to stop saying or writing or printing whatever you are saying or writing or printing. That’s all. Because the beautiful and horrible thing about freedom of expression is…

  • Music,  Opinion,  Tech

    Change is Bad, Right?

    by Why is our first impulse for anything different ignore it or try to force it to meet our preconceptions? It shouldn’t be, and I’m not sure why human nature resists change so much. Let me give an example. Earlier this week on Facebook, I came across an eye-rolling meme in my time stream, re-posted from some other source for the mumblety-thousandth time: You can probably guess that most of the comments were just a flat-out agreement, with the occasional stronger agreement for emphasis or an extra word or two to display the importance of the opinion, and once in a while even, gasp, a whole sentence. There was, on…

  • Opinion

    Theocracy Draws a First Breath

    by The US presidential election was last night, and it was a nail-biter in the classic sense of the word, the outcome in doubt until well past midnight. Trump won. That frightens me in a way that no other election results anywhere have frightened me in very long time. His campaign played equal parts fear, hate, and ignorance, and it was just enough. Had the opposing party run a different candidate, it might not have been. In retrospect, perhaps that should have been obvious, but it wasn’t, at least not to me. I’ve been on record since he gained the nomination that he couldn’t be elected, but I was wrong.…