Saturday, January 09, 2016

Powerball Fever

People are lining up to buy tickets.

The last I heard it was up over $700 million?  Maybe it's $800 now.  News footage showed people lined up, handing over bundles of money for multiple tickets and reporters asking people what they would do with the cash if they won.  Typical answers were luxury homes, luxury goods and helping out friends and family with lavish gifts.  Nothing wrong with that - except it demonstrates our priorities - luxury goods, luxury homes, boats, yachts, jet skis, and financial success and independence - even Donald Trump-like fame and fortune - seems to be the American dream now.  It seems excessively materialistic to me.  Our values corrupted by greed and ambition and ostentatious consumerism.  I sound as if I'm judging.

I'm not though.

When I was little and we were poor - although I didn't know we were poor - my parents would go to the parish church on Bingo nights - hoping to win enough for grocery money.  My mother made novenas to St. Jude, and when she won, she attributed it to him.  After Bingo they'd stop in at the corner bar to celebrate and what was left over apparently went for groceries or rent.  Those were the days before Indian casinos and legalized gambling, not to mention the lottery.  They bought illegal pull tabs at the bars - which is why they stopped into so many.  I don't know how often they won - but they never got rich - and that wasn't really their goal.  At the time they just wanted enough money to pay the bills and get by, and to have a good time and meet tuition expenses at Catholic school.  Or so they claimed.  If all the gambling venues we have today were available then, I'm sure we would have been poorer.

This morning's reading from the First Letter of John seems appropriate:
"Children, be on your guard against idols." 

Song for this post here.

1 comment:

  1. Watching the news last night and people from Vancouver are travelling to Point Roberts in Washington state to buy tickets. Crazy!


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