Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gandhi and the Super Bowl

You know what's hard right now? Not laying some easy money on the Patriots. Heh, heh, heh.

I cannot believe how many people actually think the Giants have a chance.

No offense intended to the Giants or their fans, but think about it like this--there has never been a Super Bowl team with 19 victories--there has never been a Super Bowl game in which one team won six games more than its opponent in the regular season (Giants 10, Pats 16)--There has never been a Super Bowl team whose receivers are so exceptional that the great receivers they had the previous year wouldn't even make the cut on this year's roster--there has never been a Super Bowl team led by a 50 touchdown man (Brady) . . . this one looks ugly on paper.

Now, here's why the Giants have a chance. Bloodline, baby. Manning blood. Eli Manning, son of Archibald, is the wild card. If he comes out and plays an excellent game, the Giants have more than a shot--they will win. The kid's main rival and his biggest supporter is his big brother. Of course, he wants to equal and then one-up his brother. And it's kind of cool because the rival plus the poppa are also the kid's brain trust. If Eli is clicking, that means that the power of three mannings will be coming to bear on the power of one Brady. Three Manning brains and one Manning arm should be enough to break the Pats' only real weakness, their bend but don't break defense. You can run on 'em, you can pass on 'em, but somehow you just can't beat 'em.

Of course, something tells me that Eli will not come out strong despite his lofty ambition and esteemed familial advisors. The Pats' rush is going to get to him early and rattle him back to reality. He will need more poise than he has shown all season to overcome the expected cheap shots that he will get early on from the hard-hitting Bostonians. Furthermore the Pats' defensive backs get burned every now and then, but they also pick off passes with snide regularity.

My prediction: Pats 41, Giants 19.

To get my mind off the easy money I could make if I would break my vow and make a bet, let's meditate on Gandhi. This is deep.


Gandhi's Seven Root Causes of Injustice

Wealth without Work
Pleasure without Conscience
Knowledge without Character
Commerce without Morality
Science without Humanity
Worship without Sacrifice
Politics without Principles

Thanks,

Preston

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Editorial Reviews of All or Nothing

New York Times--". . . a cartographer of autodegradation . . . Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu — the chained (mis)fortunes of the players, their vanities and grotesqueries, their quasi-philosophical ruminations on chance. Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict’s daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand."

Florida Book Review--". . . Allen examines the flaming abyss compulsive gambling burns in its victims’ guts, self-esteem and bank accounts, the desperate, myopic immediacy it incites, the self-destructive need it feeds on, the families and relationships it destroys. For with gamblers, it really is all or nothing. Usually nothing. Take it from a reviewer who’s been there. Allen is right on the money here."

Foreword Magazine--"Not shame, not assault, not even murder is enough reason to stop. Allen’s second novel, All or Nothing, is funny, relentless, haunting, and highly readable. P’s inner dialogues illuminate the grubby tragedy of addiction, and his actions speak for the train wreck that is gambling."

Library Journal--"Told without preaching or moralizing, the facts of P's life express volumes on the destructive power of gambling. This is strongly recommended and deserves a wide audience; an excellent choice for book discussion groups."—Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH

LEXIS-NEXIS--"By day, P drives a school bus in Miami. But his vocation? He's a gambler who craves every opportunity to steal a few hours to play the numbers, the lottery, at the Indian casinos. Allen has a narrative voice as compelling as feeding the slots is to P." Betsy Willeford is a Miami-based freelance book reviewer. November 4, 2007

Publisher’s Weekly--"Allen’s dark and insightful novel depicts narrator P’s sobering descent into his gambling addiction . . . The well-written novel takes the reader on a chaotic ride as P chases, finds and loses fast, easy money. Allen (Churchboys and Other Sinners) reveals how addiction annihilates its victims and shows that winning isn’t always so different from losing."

Kirkus Review--"We gamble to gamble. We play to play. We don't play to win." Right there, P, desperado narrator of this crash-'n'-burn novella, sums up the madness. A black man in Miami, P has graduated from youthful nonchalance (a '79 Buick Electra 225) to married-with-a-kid pseudo-stability, driving a school bus in the shadow of the Biltmore. He lives large enough to afford two wide-screen TVs, but the wife wants more. Or so he rationalizes, as he hits the open-all-night Indian casinos, "controlling" his jones with a daily ATM maximum of $1,000. Low enough to rob the family piggy bank for slot-machine fodder, he sinks yet further, praying that his allergic 11-year-old eat forbidden strawberries—which will send him into a coma, from which he'll emerge with the winning formula for Cash 3 (the kid's supposedly psychic when he's sick). All street smarts and inside skinny, the book gives readers a contact high that zooms to full rush when P scores $160,000 on one lucky machine ("God is the God of Ping-ping," he exults, as the coins flood out). The loot's enough to make the small-timer turn pro, as he heads, flush, to Vegas to cash in. But in Sin City, karmic payback awaits. Swanky hookers, underworld "professors" deeply schooled in sure-fire systems to beat the house, manic trips to the CashMyCheck store for funds to fuel the ferocious need—Allen's brilliant at conveying the hothouse atmosphere of hell-bent gaming. Fun time in the Inferno.

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Bio


Preston L. Allen is the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature and the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction for his short story collection Churchboys and Other Sinners (Carolina Wren Press 2003). His works have appeared in numerous publications including The Seattle Review, The Crab Orchard Review, Asili, Drum Voices, and Gulfstream Magazine; and he has been anthologized in Here We Are: An Anthology of South Florida Writers, Brown Sugar: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction, Miami Noir, and the forthcoming Las Vegas Noir. His fourth novel, All Or Nothing, chronicles the life of a small-time gambler who finally hits it big. Preston Allen teaches English and Creative Writing in Miami, Florida.