Friday, March 09, 2007

Capitalist Body Snatchers

Do you ever feel like the whole world has gone stark raving mad? Or like the only person the body snatchers haven't caught sleeping yet? Have you ever had a really REALLY simple idea that would make things a whole lot easier for everybody but you are the only one who likes the idea? What did you do? Did you fight to get your point across? In the "body snatchers" analogy, you can fight to stay awake or you can just give up and drift off into easy, comfortable sleep.

Okay, details are needed to set up the object of this week's pointless rage. I play pogo games. A LOT! Go to and have some fun if you don't know what I'm talking about. They have a ton of games and you can play them for free. I pay a yearly fee of 20 bucks and am a member. I don't get the ads. I've been a member for a few years. When you play the games you get tokens. You can't use your tokens for much but it's fun to collect them. You can design a "mini" which is a character and a background. You can make your mini look like you and put him/her in all kinds of locations and outfits. This costs tokens. Also, every week there are challenges in chosen games. If you complete the challenge, (like win 100 hands of poker or sell 50 properties in Dice City), you get a badge that you can display next to your name in pogo game rooms. It's fun to collect the badges too.

This week there was a badge in Bingo. The challenge was to score 3000 tokens. You get tokens for every number you cover and every bingo. Also there is a special number you can cover that will get you a jackpot spin. The jackpot spins in Bingo are usually less than 100 tokens. But if you get a bingo, it's 300 tokens. At least in the room I was in. I went to a room where we had to get a blackout for a bingo. I suggested that we wait for all the numbers to be called and then EVERYONE gets a bingo, a spin and all their numbers. MAXIMUM points for EVERYBODY!! Good idea, right? This way the badge would take MUCH less time.

Well my suggestion was met with hearty disapproval. In fact people were calling me names and criticizing me. They would much rather play more games, take longer to get the badge, not help each other out, and probably never get a bingo than do things the communal way. I think perhaps, "communal" might sound a little bit too much like "communist" for these people to see the logic of it.

If we had done things the right way, the badge would have been completed in less than 10 games. Since nobody liked the idea, I had to suffer through about 30 games. Bingo is one of my least favourite games on Pogo. But what is up with these people?! Are they afraid that helping each other might seem a little unAmerican? A majority of the people in the room were Americans. Before you think I'm reading too much into this little incident, I have a similar example.

I saw on American TV a story about an American teacher who did an experiment in her classes. Middle school classes. She divided her classes into groups of 10 or so and gave each group a jar of about 30 or 40 Hershey's Kisses. She gave the teams random numbers. The person with number one was allowed to take as many kisses as he/she wanted, then pass the jar to person number 2. That person could do the same thing and pass to number 3. At the end, (when person number 10 had had a chance), the remaining Kisses would be doubled and they could start all over again. In replication after replication, the jar was empty and person number 10 didn't get any Kisses. In fact in most cases only a few people per group got ANY kisses.

If they had used their brains EVERYBODY could have had unlimited Kisses. It's not a hard concept to grasp. If there were 40 kisses and 10 students everybody could take two Kisses each time. That would leave 20 Kisses at the end, which would be doubled to 40 and they could do it again. Why did NONE of the groups do things the smart way?

It seems to me that the Kisses kids and to the Pogo people were the kind of folks who don't want to be rich, they want to be THE RICHEST. Even if they are relatively poor, but they are richer in comparison to most, they prefer that to being equally very very rich. Does anybody else see how sad this is?

And to make things even worse, after every game of bingo in pogo, the winner is congratulated and often before the game people wish the others good luck. Could they be any more PHONY??? In fact I have been in rooms where people have won and been congratulated and not thanked the congratulator for his/her phoniness. The results were horrific! That person is slagged for being ignorant, not having good manners, and even, (the height of irony), being selfish!

I wonder if any of the Kisses kids who ended up with zilch congratulated the greedy little bastards who were eating their ill-gotten chocolate. Were they rude for not doing so? I think not. If the exercise were repeated and a kid who had nothing the first time got a low number the second time, even knowing how much it sucks to get no chocolate, would they try to conserve Kisses or would they do the same thing as the greedy kids in the first exercise?

When I'm playing bingo on pogo I never call bingo first. I sometimes get bingo but wait till I can take at least one other person with me. And I don't congratulate single bingos. I only congratulate the second or third etc. bingoers. And for this people think I'm an asshole. Am I a Commie? A jerk? An asshole? Or maybe I should just not waste my time and energy complaining like this, close my eyes and drift into a lovely, dreamy, ignorant sleep and have my body snatched.

1 comment:

edumicator said...

You really struck a nerve with me on this one. I totally get what you're saying and support you 100%. Although the Bingo badge and the issues surrounding that are no big deal to me personally, it's the principle of what you're saying that I so agree with.

Fighting for what you think is right is the only way to advance. Advance what, you might ask? Well, advance in general. The most common examples of this are Galileo and Columbus. These people went up against the world, and as in Galileo's case, were severly punished for their beliefs. Yet they held true to their ideas, if only in secret, and we as a whole are better off for that.

I say give it your all. Speak up and be heard. The things that we ourselves might think are trivial, or stupid, could in fact have a profound impression on someone else.

Take control of your life and make a difference. Speak, oh toothless one!