Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fry on gambling

I am watching a TV show (on blu-ray disk no less) called Stephen Fry In America.
At one point he visits a casino and learns to be a dealer. His parting shots while wandering around between the blue-hairs and the slot machines, though, are about how more and more states are making gambling legal, to get part of the huge profits. He comments on how addiction to gambling can be as devastating to a person as any drug habit, and he calls the whole thing "vulgar, tasteless, and desperately sad".

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, August 18, 2009   11 comments links to this post

11 Comments:

At 18 Aug 2009, 20:13:00, Blogger ttl said...

He's shooting a documentary about Richard Wagner at the moment. Judging from his tweets he is a big fan of opera. I can't wait to hear his take on RW.

 
At 19 Aug 2009, 03:57:00, Anonymous Bruce McL said...

It is sad that here in California the money from state sponsored gambling (lottery) goes towards education.

The more gambling addicts the schools produce, the more money the schools receive.

 
At 19 Aug 2009, 16:06:00, Blogger Jimbo said...

I watched that series. It was pretty good. I've seen a few others by him, like one he did on Gutenberg. I can't understand the attraction of opera, though, but Stephen Fry might find a way to make it interesting. The best thing about doing stuff like that is that he gets private tours of a lot of places, and gets tours of places that the public probably can't go. Like Angola prison.

Btw, no one should feel it necessary to try to convince me of the greatness of opera. Usually those arguments fall into the old "If you were smart enough you would like the same things I do."

 
At 19 Aug 2009, 18:26:00, Anonymous terry said...

"vulgar, tasteless, and desperately sad".

Those are rather vstrong words for a gambling addiction, but look at what it cost THE HALL OF FAMER SHOULD BE PETE ROSE while other players have been inducted while being on drugs and sleeping with whores. To me thats pathetic. Keep a man out of the Hall of Fame because he had a gambling problem? Bud Selig won't live forever.

 
At 19 Aug 2009, 18:33:00, Blogger eolake said...

"Those are rather vstrong words for a gambling addiction"

I think he was including the whole blinking, glittering system feeding on it.

 
At 20 Aug 2009, 20:34:00, Blogger BaronessBlack said...

Back in the mid-nineties I worked for a while as a croupier (yeah, I know, I have had a lot of bizarre jobs!). While we were waiting for our gaming licences to come through, they put us to work in the bar or the restaurant in the casino. This meant we got to talk to the punters (which you don't usually on the tables) and hear both the big winners and the hard-luck stories.
I heard plenty of stories from people (usually men) who'd lost everything; a business (sometimes two!), their wife, children, house, car, etc. But I also met people who budgeted a small amount of their weekly income to dress up and come out to the casino, have a meal and a drink, and play the tables. If they won, it was a bonus. But if they lost, it was money they had budgeted to lose, so they weren't bothered.
Anything can be abused if people have the mindset for abuse. Vulgar and tasteless, yes. But not always sad.

 
At 20 Aug 2009, 20:38:00, Blogger eolake said...

Very true.

 
At 25 Aug 2009, 03:57:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"Scratching lotteries" are very popular in France, where there are no legal casinos (that I know of; maybe just a handful). But the French are getting increasingly concerned because, indeed, experience and scientific studies have shown that it can turn into as hard a gambling addiction as hard drugs. Same for horse racing.

On a slightly related topic, concern is also growing for the "vulgar, tasteless, and desperately sad" fad of binge drinking in teenagers. THEORETICALLY, they can't legally drink or buy alcohol, but YOU try and keep them all in check. France doesn't like very much the idea of ID a-checking for all alcohol purchases...
Not that *I* would mind, I'm all for THAT American habit.

"Anything can be abused if people have the mindset for abuse."
Exactly. Like alcohol. SO many people don't have the tiniest problem with it.
Me, I have this chocolate thing perfectly under control. Really.

Oh, and Jimbo?
Like, if you were dumb enough, you know, you would like the same things I do. See, like, monster trucks an' mud russlin', sh'yuh!
Oh, an', an', bullfightin'. Ah luvz bullfightin'. 'Spechully when da bull wins, hyuk!
Oh, an', like, don't you go dissin' Oprah, man. Show sum reese... riss... ries... don't insult the lady, now, y'hear? Go watch Springer or sumpin'!

 
At 29 Aug 2009, 13:03:00, Blogger Jimbo said...

Oh, and Jimbo?
Like, if you were dumb enough, you know, you would like the same things I do. See, like, monster trucks an' mud russlin', sh'yuh!


Who doesn't like watching a couple of hot chicks wrestle naked in the mud?! As for monster trucks - hey, who doesn't love to see Truckasaurus do his thang?

 
At 29 Aug 2009, 13:05:00, Blogger Jimbo said...

I've got to say, though, about any Casino - they would not exist without the problem gamblers. The sensible ones who budget a certain amount and don't go over that...well, those people wouldn't keep the casinos going. That's what Fry's talking about. The whole gross spectacle is designed to exploit people's weaknesses, to suck them dry and move on to the next person.

 
At 31 Aug 2009, 02:16:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"Who doesn't like watching a couple of hot chicks wrestle naked in the mud?! As for monster trucks - hey, who doesn't love to see Truckasaurus do his thang?"
YEE-HAW! Now yer tokin, cuz'n!
Pass de moonshine, woudya?

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Website Counter