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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo thought his updated remark below on his objection to gambling commercials on the teevee perhaps bears a little more fleshing out.***

You see, although I think gambling is pernicious and would rather such ads didn’t run, I can’t quite bring myself to say that they ought to be banned, not in a free society, anyway, because before you can answer the question of what ought or ought not to be allowed, you first have to ask the question who gets to decide?

I think that question becomes eminently more important these days, given how polarized society has become and how weaponized media and even our very language. (Wrong pronoun? Off with xer head!) Also, all the talk on social media about censoring “misinformation” or “disinformation”, plus the nooz of DHS’s semi-shadowy Ministry of Truth (which is far from dead, by the bye) fills Ol’ Robbo with misgivings. I sure as heck doesn’t want some politickally correct Carrie Nation coming after me for wrongthink.

Twenty years ago I’d simply have favored banning gambling ads without giving it much more thought. The times, though, they have changed, and if for no other reason than the protection of my very own ability to express myself, I take a more libertarian view about such things. So as far as such ads go, then, I’ll just grumble a bit here but otherwise ignore ’em.

The lovely and talented Sleepy Beth mentions in the comments having to deal with kids being exposed to objectionable ads, which brings to mind an anecdote from my own past. Ol’ Robbo gave up on watching pro football in the early 2000’s, in part because the Dolphins sank into obscurity after the retirement of Dan Marino, but also because the Gels were beginning to achieve awareness at the time and I had no desire whatever to have to explain the Viagra commercials to them. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

***I have a colleague at work who, when she means “flesh out”, instead says “flush out”. I find this endlessly amusing.


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June 2022