May 14, 2004

The Wonderful World of Poker

Posted by Ed

Over the last few years, The Washington Monthly has changed its reputation completely: it used to be known as a boring and stodgy old magazine for policy wonks, but since it changed editors a few years ago, it's become much livelier and more interesting. Now the magazine even features articles on American culture--touching on themes like "addictive allure of Home and Garden Television" and "the contempt of courtship" in contemporary American life.

The current Washington Monthly features an article that may interest some of this blog's regular readers: it describes the new poker craze among 20-something American males. I'm not convinced that this is good cultural criticism, however: given how behind the times I am, does the fact that the magazine is commenting on a trend I've noticed mean that it's in tune with the times--or that it's as backward as I am? Given the people I know who seem to love playing poker, however, I think the article's characterization of the game as "baseball for the unathletic" (and of poker players as "five-card nerds") is dead on. I'll never understand the appeal of the game, I'm afraid, but, then again, I also can't understand why movies like Rounders and Ocean's Eleven could become "cult films on college campuses." Is the article even right about that? If so, then I'm worried about the future of American movies!

Posted by Ed at May 14, 2004 01:18 PM

A new species of cactus was found: Spanish Cactus. Reports can be read in or in and also at - read and learn.

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