Since I can’t obsess about Mike’s book anymore, I’ve taken up obsessing about the movie. Part of my obsession has to do with wanting to learn how to write a screenplay. Every writng genre has its own unique challenges. The limitations of haiku are vastly different than an article. An article is vastly different than a novel. And I like the idea of trying to tap into each genre’s strength to unlock it’s unique viewpoint. Although I confess, I’m still struggling with Twitter.
I suspect that most of my disdain for Twitter has to do with it’s relative newness. It may take time for people to realize how to channel it into something more meaningful. Life is a wonderous thing but, as yet, Twitter mostly captures the mundane.
It’s like the underlying tragedy of the play “Our Town” getting played out, day after day, in 140 character clips. Shronk’s last Twitter feed before his death still haunts me in this regard. Although there are signs that people are learning to harness Twitter into something more. For instance, the Royal Opera House recently produced a work called #youropera, comprised of nothing but Twitter feeds.
When I take a break from trying to bend Mike’s story into my copy of Final Draft, I cast the movie in my head. Since my brother suggested Johnny Galecki, I can think of no one else to play Mike (unless Robert Downey Jr. has a younger clone I don’t know about). But if y’all have some casting ideas — including ideas for Scotty Nguyen, Phil Hellmuth, or Daniel Negreanu — let me know.
I recently saw a “titty bingo” bumper sticker (I’ve posted a pic of it and some others I’ve seen in the last few months). When I first moved down to Austin, they were everywhere. I came to learn that titty bingo was a band. But the band barely lasted long enough for the ink to dry on the bumper stickers. [Late edit: Apparently the band still lives. See their comment on this post. Glad to hear it guys - but I still need to use you as an analogy.] Almost no one who had a sticker had seen the band. Yet, the whole city had embraced it, sound unheard.
To some extent, our economic recovery is titty bingo: all bumper sticker and no band. As the stock markets continue to climb on the idea of recovery, more and more people continue to lose their jobs. 42 states lost jobs last month. 14 states and Washington DC have unemployment rates in excess of 10%. We’ve propped up the “too big to fail” banks, but 94 others have failed so far this year. There were 25 bank failures in 2008, 3 in 2007, and none in 2005 and 2006.
Consumers did the heavy lifting to get us out of the last recession, aided by cheap credit and copious amounts of home equity. That ain’t gonna happen this time. And yet we continue to embrace the idea of a full blown economic recovery.
One of the pokerboyz recently wrote: “And for the third time in the past 9 months I was able to avoid being laid off. If I am the last one left standing do I win?” If Mike could bundle a ton of risky derivatives and pay the credit rating agencies to give it a triple-A rating, he’d have much better odds.
The poker world has not been immune to the downturn. Many of my friends were let go from PokerPages (Advanced Global Applications) at the end of last year. There were still a few people I knew, however, who were working there up through July. But last week my emails to them bounced. The phone to the Austin office has been disconnected.
I also came across this in the New York Times yesterday:
“For Lisa Hughes, a mother of two, it was an unexpected layoff that shoved her back in the workforce. A former corporate lawyer, she moved from Montclair, N.J. to California last year, after the World Poker Tour recruited her husband to be its chief operations officer. Then, squeezed by the recession, the tour laid him off, pushing Ms. Hughes to pursue full-time work for the first time in 16 years. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine he would be unemployed a year later. ” She plans to start a solo practice because “it’s hard to find jobs after 16 years.”
That’s a bummer darlin’. Maybe you can sign on Steve Lipscomb as a client. I hear he’s got a pretty big bankroll these days.
I notice that the Shrink interviewed himself on his blog (I think you can go blind if you do that too many times). To mark his exit from poker, he’s turned in a surprisingly candid view of that world. I also noticed that he said that I was right about 50% of the time. While we were writing the book, each of us thought we were, individually, right 80% of the time — and yet we only agreed with each other 50% of the time.