Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mystery Musings and Brandy Bombast

Okay. I must take a moment to discuss psychology, a discilpline I am profoundly unqualified to discuss. Which brings up another point. The specialization in a culture that exposes so many ineptitudes. Like. Before Psychology became a discipline it was a late night tilt of a wine bottle filling a glass while the question "what the hell was she thinking" was asked. Or was it brandy. I forget. (You know, those scenes of Charles Dickens are so wonderfully flexible. Read Tale of Two Cities, listen to a couple of BBC newscasts, and your life will never be unscripted.)

Back to Psychology. A funny thing happened on the way to a lottery ticket. Today I scooped 51 cents off the streets, which gave me a buck to buy a powerball ticket. Immediately I felt accomplished. Well, I do have a crow's eye. But. Intellectually I am totally aware that the vast overwhelming likelyhood that I'd win is less than zilch. One in a million ten billion whatever. The idea of paying off debts, going to the dentist, and buying fine wine is a fantasy. I know that. I know also that the whole reason the lottery exists is Americans do not want to pay taxes. They do not want to pay for roads or schools, and definitely not healthcare. So they call the lottery a "stupid tax." I've heard that so many times and it really is not cute. The lottery is a tax on the poor. Pure and simple. It is a regressive tax. A tax on those that think a one in a million ten billion chance is better than none. It is an easy tax to levy. A tax on dreams.

The reason I buy lottery tickets with the change I find on the streets is in part protest. (see the 22 cent entry.) And in part.... what the hey. I find the money anyway. I could never countenance paying for a lottery ticket from earned money. If it were within my power, I would organize a nationwide boycott of all lottery sales. The politicians would then have to find a way to raise the money elsewhere in a more equitable manner. They would have to stop grubbing THE MONEY OFF THE STREETS. I am litterally doing what the politicians are doing and what americans are doing.

I think what bugs me most is calling a dream or a fantasy stupid. (Which, you know, like, well, where's that leave me?) And what interests me is how I so oddly and knowingly buy into the hope. Eh, think I need to read a Tale of Two Americas.... er... Cities... again.

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