Understanding The Lottery

More stupid objections have been made to playing the lottery than than there have been compliments deserved or undeserved of Einstein’s genius, tears flowing over Whitney Houston, debates over the comparative prowess of Kobe Bryant and Lebron James and insults rightly hurled at Rick Santorum. I mean even when you add all these together.

The fact is that almost nothing ever dreamed up matches the pleasure provided by lotteries. The most disgusting criticism of lotteries comes from the dull witted and pseudo-liberal community. These champions of decency like to bombard us with the utterly trite point that those who play the lottery are the very poor who can’t afford it. They tack on inane and trite truths: a person is 176 times more likely to be struck by lightning in his lifetime; he is 9 times more likely to die from a TV falling on his head in the course of any year. The parade of moronic statistics rolls on.

These liberals never tire of telling each other that the poor have better ways to spend their hard-earned dollars. This, of course, is absolutely false. They sit at their favorite restaurants and throw away 60 to 100 bucks on an unappetizing meal accompanied by vile wine, when they could have bought lottery tickets instead. They want the poor to toss away their money on things that they, the liberals, like but that the poor don’t. How’s that for liberality? They think they are better at mathematics than poor people, utterly ignoring the fact that the average liberal is arithmetically challenged, did none of the calculations himself, and studied the humanities in college, studiously avoiding all courses beyond the required analytic geometry.

The liberal who lives in a hardcore Republican state is too dumb to know his voting for a Democratic nominee for President is far less likely to have an influence on the outcome than a poor man has a chance of winning the lottery. The big difference is this: the liberal is miserable when his man loses and the man who purchases the lottery ticket is a winner no matter what the winning combination is. This is because the purchase of a ticket is only an enjoyable game that does not fool the ticket purchaser. The ticket entitles him to participate in a fantasy that he can nurture for hours or days. If he is an habituĂ© to the game, lottery play is a source of lifetime pleasure. Of course, he prefers buying ten tickets per week to spending 60 bucks on an unpalatable meal in an ostentatious restaurant that boasts of its vulgar ambience. Of course the money is not wasted on the tickets as it would be if, like the middle class liberal, he could afford to take an ugly wife and even uglier children to a movie theater and squander $60 on admission, candy and popcorn. The middle class jerk gets a fat zero of pleasure from his avoidance of lottery tickets. In any case, his main pleasure in life is criticizing poor people for “wasting” their money on lottery tickets. I would like to say he is welcome to his pleasure but he is not. I would like to say he is entitled to his stupid opinion about the lottery but he is not.

Viva the lottery and, before we rush out to follow the advice of Billy Shakespeare, who had one of the characters in Henry VI say, “First thing we do is kill all the lawyers,” let us kill all those who object to lotteries.

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  1. I love the idea of lotteries. But I never play them because I get joy in knowing I’ve saved the price of a ticket. There’s one caveat. In Spain, where I lived many years ago, proceeds from the government lotteries financed various welfare projects. Thus, the wealthy were relieved of paying taxes for said projects. This, unfortunately, is the way it’s gone in Florida. Public education is funded by lottery money, but that money only replaces money formerly gained from taxation. So the poor lose both ways, in the price of the ticket and in funding education that mainly benefits the rich.

    But don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled when some lucky person wins mega-millions–but then saddened to know that the thrill he or she feels upon winning will soon be gone, replaced by the angst caused by all those besieging the lucky winner with pleas for some of the cash.

  2. That was the most wrong-headed post ever. What you prescribe for the poor is the equivalent of prayer: the vain hope that some useless act will rescue them from their lives of misery. You, the comfortable atheist, are endorsing the Church of the Holy Lottery. Thereby, you show contempt for the poor, desperate suckers who, you suppose, get pleasure from the game, but somehow suffer no disappointment when they scratch to reveal the inevitable losing numbers.

    As much as I dislike smug liberals, I “bet” there are many who take their beautiful families out for appetizing meals accompanied by fine wine. Spare us the cliches.

    In New York State, the Lottery proceeds are used, in part, to fund education. That conveniently shifts the tax burden from the Silk Stocking district to Spanish Harlem.

    In Spanish Harlem, The Church of the Holy Lottery is also known as the Storefront Pentecostal Iglesia, where the typical lottery addict gets another dose of rapture speaking in tongues.

    I’m sorry that the odds seem so hopeless. Therefore, I pray to see the following headline: WINNER OF LOTTERY STRUCK BY LIGHTNING ON WAY TO CLAIM PRIZE.

  3. I support most of Al’s post, except the last. The lightning will strike after he/she wins the prize.

  4. These are among the most wrong-headed comments in the history of this blog. Len begins badly by claiming he gets JOY in knowing he has saved a buck. Quite simply, he gets no such thing, and he knows it. No need to debate that one.

    Al is the savior of the poor, but this is a role he is disgustingly ill-fit for. His criticisms are loathsome and I refuse to lower myself to explain why.

  5. Sid is a cannibalistic, serial killer, and this is a role for which he is eminently fit. I can explain all this, but I refuse to lower myself to do so.

  6. One cannot know if every reader understands satire and ridicule. Therefore, I assure you that Sid is NOT a cannibalistic, serial killer.

  7. “Disgustingly ill-fit”? “Loathsome”? Who the hell do you think you’re talking to?

  8. My, oh my. The casual reader may not understand that these exchanges are symptoms of a symbiotic, undying love affair.

  9. OK, so it’s not joy, it”s just a smug, superior feeling. I think I’ve contracted the hyperbole virus from reading this journal.

  10. If so, Len, you could do a lot worse. For example, you could spend your days and nights listening to the singing of katherine Jenkins.

  11. Come to think of it, I probably would prefer hearing myself singing in the shower.

  12. Just as wishing and wanting are not closely related, neither is wishing and hoping. Al thinks I encourage poor in behavior that is not dissimilar from prayer. I do no such thing. Only in an extended sense of the term “hope” do lottery players hope to win. I absolutely deny that those who do not win “suffer” disappointment unless we use “suffer” in some extended sense of the term. Even moderately rich persons like me enjoy occasionally buying a lottery ticket. It proves nothing about what I hope for. The ticket gives me entrance into a fun game. Like the average very poor person who also plays the game, I have no illusions, and I wish Liberals (whether or not they think their righteous criticisms put them in that despicable camp) would quit telling poor people how to spend their money.

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