Monday, February 25, 2013

Waking up to paternalistic jackassery

If you're like me, one of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning and get your caffeinated beverage of choice, is roll on over to your computer and log on to find out what you've missed in the last eight hours. The other day I encountered a post called 13 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day. Among the 13 suggestions?

Set the Inner Conversation
[B]egin your day thinking on a positive and productive note. Skip the computer, TV, radio, and even the newspaper. Do you really need to start the day with news of 3,000 dead in an earthquake? There’s plenty of hours left to inform yourself.
Not a bad idea, I thought. So today instead of immediately logging on, I grabbed my caffeinated beverage, took a stroll outside and breathed in a little fresh air. Then I came back to my Twitter feed. What greeted me there?

The first notable tweet was from poker media personality Jess Welman who tweeted a link to this article:
N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg bans 2-liter sodas with pizza delivery: report

Say goodbye to that 2-liter soda with your pizza delivery, pitchers of soft drinks at your kid’s birthday party and some bottle-service mixers at your favorite nightclub, The New York Post reports.

The mayor’s new rules prohibit restaurants from serving or selling soda in containers larger than 16 ounces.
Awesome. Just awesome. This is some of the most paternalistic bullshit ever.  I don't eat pizza and rarely drink soda. And even suggesting that I have a favourite nightclub is amusing. Oh yeah, and I don't live in New York or have any plans to.  But if you're in any way a principled person, you see how fucking ridiculous this is. I mean you know how the story goes. First they came for the carbonated sugar water drinkers, and I did not speak, for I was not a carbonated sugar water drinker...

But then I scrolled down my feed a bit more, and found something that hit closer to home: SD Senator seeks to ban MMA, calls it 'child porn of sports'

Within the article, a blog post by a state representative is copied:
MMA Cage Fighting is the child porn of sports. The psychological community will tell you that desensitization to violence works exactly like desensitization to porn. You know how porn progresses... a peek at topless isn't enough, it all has to come off, then a pic is not enough... it goes to video then to virtual and then to the devaluation and mistreatment of women, human trafficking and sex crimes against women. Violence works the same way. Boxing wasn't enough so they took the gloves off, then they allowed kicking, kneeing people in the head, then elbows to the face, then they put a cage around it. The point is to knock the other guy unconscious while pay per view crowds cheer it on. Why not nunchucks? In Rome they'd gather in colosseums and bring out prisoners and entertain themselves by making them fight to the death. That wasn't enough so they brought out the helpless and the hated and brought in the hungry lions. Crowds cheered.
No, really: someone competent enough to use a computer and put together grammatically correct sentences actually wrote the above. *HEAD EXPLODE*

I care passionately about MMA, but the New York soda/pizza law won't ever affect me. Pretty much the only thing they have in common is paternalistic, vote-pandering politicians.

So a big "fuck you" goes out to both Mayor Bloomberg and State Representative Hickey. I was having such a good morning before I had to read about you two jackasses being jackasses.

(I guess the walk didn't really help. Oh well, it was worth a try.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

A personal announcement

Effective today, I would like to announce that I am no longer a sponsored pro for Hero Poker. Hero Poker has treated me extremely well and I am very proud to have represented Hero over the last two years.

I would like to make it very clear that my departure from Hero Poker is not in any way a reflection of how I feel about Hero Poker’s future. Rather, I have a bit of a personal project that I am focussing on which will conflict with my ability to be a member of the Hero team. I will make an announcement about that project when it becomes official and I can discuss it, but I want this post to be about Hero Poker.

David Jung, Hero Poker's CEO, has been tremendous to me and the other Hero pros. He has asked very little of us and given tremendously. This is a man who, when I complained about being hungry at 11:30pm one night at the Aussie Millions, drove to the supermarket to cook me a steak at his house. He also accompanied me on a 6-hour train ride through South Korea to assist me in my second amateur MMA fight. I don’t know many poker site CEOs who would do that for one of his pros. And I know he carries this extra-mile attitude towards his customers as well. Despite the challenges that have faced Hero (such as Black Friday occurring three months after launch and the issues with their former network), I’m confident that upon their relaunch, Dave and his customer-first attitude can navigate his ship to prosperity.

So, I would like to close by thanking Dave for bringing me aboard the team, and to the Hero Poker players who signed up due to my endorsement. Good luck to Dave, my former teammates on Hero Poker, and of course, the players for playing there!