Low-tech entertainment that doesn't involve electronic beeping.
Let's hope Corvallis is starting a trend: People meeting face-to-face for high fun, low-tech entertainment that doesn't involve electronic beeping or even the 21st Century. Instead, the new thing is a refreshing blast from the past: low-stakes poker for social purposes.
Everyone from Oregon State University students to bar owners, firefighters and some non-desperate housewives showed up Tuesday night to ask the Corvallis City Council to support legalized public poker playing. That would clear the way to organizate some poker tournaments. The Council was unanimous: Social gambling could be a welcome addition to the Corvallis social scene.
Thanks in part to the resurgence of professional poker on television (featuring everyone from actor Ben Affleck to regular folks) more people are finding out just how much fun it is to get together for a casual game of social poker - something our great-grandparents already knew.
of course, the comparatively short history of poker-playing in the West also led to some infamous quarrels. Legend has it that Wild Bill Hickock was shot during a poker game in Deadwood, S.D., in 1876. Too bad, too; he was reportedly holding two pair of black aces and eights.
The Council's human services committee plans to meet March 8 to set rules designed to discourage any high-stakes games that could re-ignite such Old West saloon passions.
The cheering here isn't so much for the gambling part of this trend as the social part. For too long, the predominant way that many people spend their free time is holed up at home in front of one sort of flickering screen or another. Part of the fallout of all this television/video game/computer veg time has been increased social isolation and an epidemic of loneliness. The art of conversation has suffered as well.
True, social gambling alone is no cure-all. But any wholesome activity that brings people out of their "cocoons" for get-togethers is a welcome return to people seeking out people - not microchips - for their entertainment. After all, people who need people are rumored to be the luckiest people in the world