Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You Shouldn't Bully With Improper Grammar

So, sometimes I watch poker on television. I like to play the game, and I like to see how others play it, too, even though I hate the machismo and, at the same time (though they don't know it), nerdiness (exemplified perfectly here) of most of the players. Ever watch Phil Hellmuth lose a hand? No? Head on down to your local playground, steal a toy from a two-year old, and see what happens. There. You've just seen Hellmuth in action.

They've been airing the World Series of Poker main event for the last few weeks on ESPN, which will culminate with the final table on November 11. A couple episodes ago, this one kid, Nick Sliwinski, felt like he was being bullied by another player. Sliwinski made a tough call that turned out to be the correct move, and then his sister (who he sure likes to hug and kiss a lot) started yelling, "who's the bully now?" And Sliwinski liked that, so he said it, too. This is not surprising, since the guy liked to yell the results of every hand over to his family and friends. Not annoying at all to the rest of the players, I'm sure.

Cut to the episode that aired last night. Sliwinski ended up being knocked out in twelfth place or so, and he went over to get hugs from his family. At some point during the few days that had passed since the "bully" incident, these people had gone out and had t-shirts made. I suppose you can guess what they said on the back. That's right:

"Whose the bully now?"

Sigh. Sliwinski won somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000. My only hope is that he will spend just a tiny portion of that on some English language books for his family.


Bruce Paine said...

People don't know what words mean anymore because people that don't know what words mean get on TV a lot or people intentionally misuse words for various reasons. Somehow "contractor", which is a term most Americans relate to their neighborhood handy man, is the word we use instead of "mercenary". Is it because the hiring of mercenaries will be viewed by most Americans as beneath our honor? Perhaps that is why the people that hired them changed the word we used for that type of person. Then they repeated it again and again until it took root. Then they called the people who called the "contractors" mercenaries un-American and those voices were shouted down, in many instances by an under-educated populace, because someone had carefully crafted an error in language. We shouldn't be surprised, they were writing books about how to do this very thing about a thousand years ago.

Words make all the difference, and we make celebrities out of the dumb mother fuckers they put on Survivor.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree Erin, but just so you know, where you typed "At some point during the few days that had past since" it should actually be passed, not past.

Erin said...

Ha! How hypocritical of me. Good thing I didn't print it on a t-shirt.

It has been changed.

Anonymous said...

Annonymous back again. I just don't like signing up for these sites. Sliwinski was so annoying and his family was almost as annoying. I'm glad they looked like ignorant fools on TV with those shirts. I also liked how he was trying to blame someone for the hand that knocked him out. He had an inferior hand the entire way, and the other guy flopped a king high flush. Don't blame that one anyone but yourself kid.

I used to like Hellmuth, but his act is tired now. He will raise and steal with awful hands and on those plays he says he is the better player. Then when the exact opposite happens, he calls the player terrible. He says he'll sucker the players in and he is being perfect. I love when people raise him and he folds with a speech about how they don't respect his raise and they should just lay the hand down. If he came back over the top and reraised maybe they would. If he keeps folding, then either the cards are better or their reads are spot on. You can't blame a guy for raising and then you fold your cards. That's poker.

I wonder how much of Phil's act is truly an act, or if he really feels that way.

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog, Erin. I agree completely.

KempKershaw said...

The most ridiculous part of him telling his family what's happening in the hand is that his sister is a poker player herself, if I remember correctly, so she knows full well what is going on in the hand. I seem to remember her telling him something to that effect at one point.