Friday, September 23, 2016

Playing the Cards You're Dealt


"We play the cards we're dealt."

"Just play the cards you're dealt."

"You can only play the cards you're dealt."


Interesting, yes I get the intent of the aphorism. No, not a metaphor, a simile or an analogy. Can you tell I've been immersed in editing the last few weeks?

Anyway, the meaning is simple. We get certain plusses and minuses in life and we make the best or the worst of them. Usually somewhere in between for most of us. But that's not how card games work. 

A single hand is not a lifetime, it's a moment, an opportunity, a chance. You play or not. Folding your hand is always an option. It isn't like life, you don't commit everything to a single deal of the cards, unless you choose to. 

In any card room or casino, these words are always spoken: 

"There's another hand just around the corner, 
you don't have to play this one."

That feels more like real life to me. We are presented with circumstances, sometimes of our own making, other times not. Free Will intervenes and allows us to play or pass. Yes, I know sometimes you feel like your choices are limited or non-existent, but so many of those situations are of our own making.

Most of the time, as adults, we have options. In this First World society, we have gobs and gobs of options. Sure, some things are fixed, even immutable but others not so much. Take your health for example. Can't change your DNA or not eat all those years of burgers and ice cream. But you can intervene now.

You may be holding a poor five card hand but the rules of this game allows you to discard and draw new cards. Your choice, play the hand you're dealt or step up and change the content of your hand and perhaps your life.

Voldemort Death Card image first found on Deviant Art

Friday, September 16, 2016

It's Just Wrong



I've let this simmer for over two months now. I tried to let it go, I really did.

Back in July, The Secret Life of Pets was released. There was a two week blitz of commercials prior to the release date, gotta hype up those Ritalin kids. You might have missed this animated blockbuster. I mean the story was compelling.

Max is a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in a New York building until his owner adopts Duke, a giant and unruly canine. During their walk outside, they encounter a group of serious alley cats and wind up in a truck that's bound for the pound. Luckily, a rebellious rabbit named Snowball swoops in to save the doggy duo from its captors. In exchange, Snowball demands that Max and Duke join his gang of abandoned pets on a mission against the human who've done them wrong.

I have nothing against "G" and "PG" movies, they have a viable audience, which I do not associate with ever. But to each munchkin, their parents, grandparents and guardians; I hope the experience was epic.

Here is my issue. One of the aforementioned commercials was of "Max" strutting his stuff to the Rolling Stones song: Sympathy for the Devil.

Where do I begin.

The Stones??? They really needed more royalties???

The Devil??? This is a animated film aimed at children???

Is nothing sacred? Is nothing holy?

Think I'm kidding, read the lyrics.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long years
Stole many a man's soul and faith

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the Blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made

I shouted out,
"Who killed the Kennedys?"
When after all
It was you and me

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!

Tell me baby, what's my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, you're to blame