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The worst thing about Django Unchained

Ok, so I admit that was just an attention grabbing headline. There’s probably a million things people will or have found to dislike about this movie, from the language to the violence to the racial issues and its treatment of slavery. But personally I liked the movie, so I’m not going to focus on any of that.

No, for me, the worst part of Django Unchained is in the very beginning. A subtitle on the very first scene reads “1858. Two years before the Civil War.” I almost choked on my popcorn. The FUCK? To be fair, my first reaction was “People need to be told when the Civil War was?” 

Then I busted out the old fingers, and counted them myself. The Civil War started in April of 1861. Near as I can tell (and I’m admittedly really bad at simple arithmetic) that’s three years after 1858. I suppose if you want to get technical, if the movie opens in December of 1858 (It’s unclear what time of year it is, although the main characters end up “working through the winter” together in a later montage, so let’s be generous and say it’s definitely late 1858 by the time the movie opens) then that’s two years and four months before the Civil War would start.

But come on, colloquial usage never works like that. If the subtitle had said “1858. Two years before 1861.” People would have laughed. But since apparently nobody knows when the goddamn Civil War was, it doesn’t matter.

I don’t know, maybe Tarantino was making some kind of sly statement. Or maybe the movie takes place in an alternate universe wherein the Civil War starts a year early (that would explain the other historical inaccuracies, anyway!) But in this universe, the goddamn Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865. Three years after 1858.

Posted in Miscellaneous.

I’m still not sure what I witnessed

Last night I saw the craziest thing I’ve ever seen at a poker table. I still can’t tell you exactly what really happened. But here’s how it went down:

For anybody who doesn’t know, a quick recap of how Texas Holdem is played: Everybody is dealt two cards face down to start the hand. The two players immediately to the left of the dealer button (a plastic disc that moves clockwise around the table with every deal, simulating who would be dealing the hand if there wasn’t a paid dealer sitting there doing it for you) are required to put in bets, called the small blind and the big blind, in order to get the action started. From there, play proceeds clockwise around the table until the action gets back to the big blind, who is last to act on the first round of betting.

So here’s what happened. I was in the small blind, between the button and the big blind. The cards came out, and the action went around the table. Two guys folded, the third guy raised the $2 big blind to $10, and two other guys called the $10. The button then re-raised to $45, and the action was on me.

I’m about to look at my hand when I hear the big blind say “Wait, I only have one card.” The dealer halts the action and there is a brief search for the missing card.  Did it go under the rail? Off the table? No. The dealer says “I’m certain I dealt you two cards.” But the second card is nowhere to be found.

Now, immediately I’m thinking this has to be a misdeal. If a player is dealt the wrong number of cards, that’s a misdeal and the cards are brought back in, re-shuffled, and dealt again. The dealer calls the floor, however, and he rules completely differently. He says that since there was significant action behind the error before it was spotted, a misdeal can’t be declared. As it turns out, this is definitely the proper ruling, according to Robert’s Rules of Poker, even though I was convinced at the time that it was the wrong call. The dealer gives the big blind the next card off the deck, and play continues.  I fold my hand, the big blind disgustedly folds his, and everybody else in turn folds back to the button.

Up to this point this is already one of the weirder things I’ve seen happen at a poker table. But what happens now makes it the weirdest thing by far. The dealer pushes the pot to the player on the button, who has won the hand without a showdown. He is in no way obligated to show his hand now, and most people wouldn’t. They’d just toss the cards in the muck and stack their chips. Instead, he gleefully tosses his hand face up into the center of the table, revealing two queens. And a deuce.

Yes indeed, there it is for everybody to see–the missing card, in the winning player’s hand. The button immediately claims ignorance. He say’s “I didn’t know! I only saw the two queens!” Which seems completely impossible to me. It’s basically impossible to have three cards instead of two and not notice. Unless two of the cards were well and truly stuck together, just the way most poker players look at their hands by folding up the corners and squeezing the cards apart would immediately clue you in to the extra card.

But if he really did know he had three cards, why on earth would he show them when he didn’t have to? He could have easily mucked the cards and nobody would have ever known. The dealer would have counted the deck, found there were 52 cards, and the mystery of the missing card in the big blind’s hand would have gone unsolved and been forgotten. But turning the cards face up ignites another shit storm. The players who invested money in the pot want their money back, claiming they lost to an illegal hand that should be killed. They want the entire hand nullified and all money returned.

The floor comes back over, and again rules that nothing can be done. The action was completed, and the pot awarded. One hand being illegal apparently makes no difference at that point. If the hand had gone to a showdown and the illegal hand was revealed, then it would have been disqualified and the pot awarded to someone else. But since nobody called his $45 raise, nothing could be done, even though he revealed the illegal hand afterwards.

I still don’t know what really happened. I was sitting between the two players, with probably the best view of the situation, and didn’t notice anything. How did the big blind’s card end up in the button’s hand? Which card (first or second one dealt) was the one that ended up in the button’s hand? I don’t know.

But most importantly, why on earth did the button show the illegal hand? Did he really not know he had three cards? I find that almost impossible to believe, and yet it’s nearly the only thing that makes any sense. Why would he reveal his illegal hand otherwise? There’s no reason at all to do so, and it could have resulted in a different ruling from the floor–there’s an obscure rule in Robert’s Rules of Poker (which is the rule book a lot of casinos have adopted) which says that any player who knows the deck is fouled and yet acts anyway, without saying anything to anybody, can have his hand ruled dead. Play is then stopped and that deal is ended. Any money already in the pot is then held over to the next deal, and only players who were dealt into the previous hand are eligible for the next hand. I have never, ever seen this ruled invoked and didn’t know it existed, but this seems like a place where it could have been invoked.

So either the guy is the dumbest cheat of all time, or that was one of the wildest sequences of unlikely events to ever occur. I guess I’ll never know which it was.

Posted in Miscellaneous.

The end of the world, Part II

So… still here, huh? Guess I jumped the gun on that whole world ending thing. Stupid Mayans were wrong.

Actually, as it turns out, the Mayans never predicted a thing anyway. December 21, 2012 was just the end of one cycle of their calendar, known as the long count. That’s all. Just a calendar period coming to an end, no different than what happens with our calendar every December 31st. Why did we think the world was going to end anyway? Answer: Because a lot of us are still stupid, frightened primitives who don’t get how freaking calendars work, apparently.

We also love to predict the end of the world. Here’s a nice, long list of untrue end-of-the-world predictions for your enjoyment. Notice the one common denominator they all share: They didn’t happen.

So here’s to another b’ak’tun, fresh with new promise! See you again on Mon, Mar 26, 2407, when the long count rolls over again. I’m sure we’ll all be wise and rational by then, and nobody will predict THE END OF THE WORLD ACCORDING TO THE MAYANS on that date.

…yeah right.


Posted in In The News.

The end of the world

So, the world ends tomorrow. Finally! Now I can stop pretending like I like you people and care about anything or anybody other than myself and my own hedonistic wants and needs.

In short, screw you all, I never liked any of you anyway. DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH LOSERS!


Posted in In The News.

Dear Republicans: Some tips from me to you

We just had one of them elections here in the US, and the blue team won again. Now it wasn’t too long ago that the red team won all the time, so it’s not like team red is a bunch of gormless nitwits who can’t get anything right. I mean, I assume so, at least.

Anyhow, from my place on the sidelines, being neither affiliated with team donkey nor team elephant, I see some disturbing trends and repeated mistakes coming out of the red team’s camp and figured, hey, why not lend them a hand? Clearly they keep making these mistakes because they don’t realize how harmful they are to their cause, right? So maybe if I help them out by pointing out a few things, they’ll be like “Oh wow, we didn’t realize. Thanks!” Not that I’m particularly eager to see them start winning elections or anything, but I figure helping them out with these few things will only serve to make things better for everybody.

So here we go, in no particular order:

1) Stop being douchebags to latinos.

Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic minority in the country, and that’s not going to change any time soon. And unlike, say, blacks, who decided a long time ago that they’re never voting for your team based on how you continually fuck them over, they don’t tend to vote as a block. Many are in fact what you might call “natural” Republicans in many ways, being devout Catholics and big on traditional Republican issues such as family values.

But they’re not going to vote for you as long as you keep insisting that they don’t fucking belong here! As long as you continue to fan the flames of intolerance and insist on blocking any attempts at meaningful immigration reform, you’re going to continue to lose the latino vote. This is something the much maligned George W Bush actually had right–he tried to get the rest of you guys to accept immigration reform and embrace the latino vote and you told him to go pound sand. So he was the last member of team elephant to poll even moderately well among latinos. Good job, guys.

Listen, if you’re going to continue to insist on Reagan’s vision of American as the “shining city on a hill” you can’t fucking act surprised when people outside the city want in. And you can continue to make up reasons why letting them in is wrong, but in the end all you’re really doing is being douchebags. So find some form of immigration reform you can live with that doesn’t involve further douchebaggery and get behind it. You’ll probably never be ahead of the blue team on this subject, but you can at least stop being the party of “go to hell, brown person.”

2) Stop acting like women can’t make their own decisions.

We know you’re morally opposed to abortion. You know what? I am too! I think in almost every case it’s the wrong choice. But, I further recognize I’m a dude, and will never have to make this decision on my own, for myself. So I see no reason why my opinion should carry any weight here. There’s lots of things I’m opposed to that people do on a regular basis, and I don’t see any reason to stop them from doing it.

I know, I know, you’re going to start screaming about saving the lives of the innocent unborn. I get it. You know what? I think you’re right. At some point during a pregnancy, a fetus stops being a fetus and starts being a living human being. I too would personally consider abortion past that point to be murder.

But third trimester abortions are already illegal in almost every state, usually with a “life of the mother” exception in place. Even in states where it’s legal, third trimester abortion is very uncommon. The significance of this is that it is during the third trimester that the fetus becomes “viable,” as in, if it were to pop out today, it would be considered a baby and not a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. Babies “born” in the second trimester or before aren’t babies.  They’re tragic miscarriages. So stop pretending like they’re anything else. Up until the point where they’re viable outside of the mother’s body they’re nobody’s business but hers, I figure. Is that such a bad compromise?

So please, stop trying to overturn Roe v Wade. You’ve lost that fight. You lost it years ago. Stop being dickbags about it now. Seriously, we’ve got an economy in the shitter, wars costing us billions, a debt the size of the moon, and you’re worried about women making decisions about shit growing inside them that’s none of your fucking business?

3) Stop being outright hostile to homosexuals.

This one is seriously getting old. You’ve lost this fight too, you just don’t know it yet. There’s literally no argument you can make against issues like marriage equality that don’t boil down to “I don’t like it because it’s icky” or “Jesus said it isn’t right.” Neither of which are valid reasons to withhold certain rights from an entire segment of the population. Seriously guys, you’ve got nothing here. So stop being assholes and just let it go already.

You may be tempted to think “Hey, gays only make up about 10% of the population, so how much can this really hurt us?” Well, that’s true, depending on which statistics you believe. But here’s the thing–the rest of us who aren’t gay aren’t neutral on this topic. We see you being douchebags to our friends and family and don’t think very well of you because of it.

So there you go! Three easy tips from your pal Dave to maybe get you back on track to electability. Take it from me, a guy who used to self-identify as a Republican–your ideas about how to solve the economic crisis, how to govern in general, and your foreign policy aren’t exactly popular either, but at least these are issues on which I think you actually have ideas. On the above stuff, you’re just being dicks for no good reason. So cut the shit already!

Posted in In The News.