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Cynique

Here's The Deal

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Well, here I go again, filling a void. Guess I just can’t resist taking advantage of a silent forum. If nobody is interested in what I have to say, so be it. My musings will be in cyber space forever and when the ruins of this civilization are discovered, archaeologists of the future will come across my computer hard drive and upon translating its hieroglyphics, will learn something quirky about an ancient culture.

Along with everything else that is mercurial about my life, I spent a lot more time than I should playing cards on line; mostly the game of Bridge. When I discovered POGO, which is a free computer game app that includes Bridge in its selections, I was ecstatic. I regularly grieved about how much I missed the monthly bridge club I belonged to for 30 years before it disbanded as the members either moved away, descended into dementia or - died. I should add here that Bridge, itself, is a fading game played nowadays mostly by senior citizen retirees, although there does seem to be a slight influx of curious young gamers.

For those who aren’t familiar with Bridge, it is similar to all the variations of whist, once the bidding for what will be trumps is over. How it differs is that players name the suit they are bidding in and the bidding keeps going around and around, finally going to the highest bidder after everyone else has passed. Then the partner of the winning bidder becomes the “dummy” and lays his hand down so the declarer can play both his own hand and the exposed hand.

Those who the computer assembles for a 3-game match are from all over the country. So, four strangers come together to engage in a competition calling for shrewd card sense. Chatting is allowed, and teammates simply address each other as “Partner”. Partners are not supposed to communicate with each other during the time a hand is being played but once it’s over, one partner can compliment the other on a game well-played, or point out why a bid was missed. All of this is done in text-like shorthand.

During my participation in this activity I’ve had partners with whom I have had great rapport, and others with whom I didn’t click. It was uncanny how I could usually tell if I was playing with a male or female, or another black person. There was just certain subtle clues that cued me, all of which contributed to how much fun and fascinating this pass-time can be.

To make things more interesting, each player has a screen name - some choices outrageously creative, others totally unimaginative. Everybody has a standard avatar but you can personalize and embellish your avatars, choosing skin tone, sex, hair color, glasses, and facial expression.

I finally got around to giving my neuter avatar a makeover, coming up with a “mini me” which among other things showed my skin color to be beige as opposed to white, and - a most interesting phenomenon began to emerge!

Suddenly, when I entered a game the tension became palpable. My partner would often abruptly disappear or take a long time to play while other players would complain if I didn’t play fast, even booting me from the game. When I scored a coup making a high bid or was responsible for cleverly setting my opponents, I could sense their resentment before one or both of them very often left without completing the match. This rude behavior not only amazed, but amused me, as once again I was reminded how much can be deduced about people by playing cards with them. Faced with the choice of not being held accountable for their actions, under the cover of their anonymity, many people showed no reluctance to display their racial prejudice.

Just to see if I was being paranoid, I changed my avatar again, making it hard to determine my ethnicity, and once again I played without incident other than the usual sprinkling of poor sports implicitly blaming their partner for getting set.

What is the lesson to be learned from all of this? That Cynique must be smoking something? No. That she’s been drinkin again? Maybe. Actually, it’s that political correctness hides a multitude of sins, and that if The Tea Party was a secret society, its members would don the white robes and hoods of their role models.

Anyhow, I'm back to enjoying my daily Bridge games, even though my avatar is hiding behind huge sun glasses that make me look like a glamorous ol babe with a Florida sun tan. And so it goes.

Don't forget to vote! Keep those Republican Elephants from stampeding and making asses out of the Democratic Donkeys. Give hope a chance.

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My musings will be in cyber space forever and when the ruins of this civilization are discovered, archaeologists of the future will come across my computer hard drive and upon translating its hieroglyphics, will learn something quirky about an ancient culture.

(And SHE calls ME a Megalomaniac!)

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First, I have called you many things, Chrishayden: stupid, idiotic, narrow-minded, clueless, irrational, myopic, hypocritical, obnoxious, - but never megalomanical. I always figured even YOU were not deluded enough to think you were anything other than a nonentity.

Second, EVERYBODY'S on-line musings will remain in cyberspace forever.

Third, it's entirely possible that computer hard drives will be among the artifacts of this doomed civilization, and who can say whether or not one such relic might have belonged to me?

Fourth, your insipid retorts to my comments are never on point, you mindless ol coot.

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Hey Cynique I, as usual, found your musings interesting. Off hand, I can't think of anyone that plays Bridge. It makes me think of Leave it to Beaver or one of the other 50's sitcoms where the Mom's sat around playing Bridge when they were not in the kitchen or cleaning.

I used to play Spades and Whist for hours. But even those games don't seem to be played very much by people my age or younger.

The last time I played Whist was at a family reunion in Raleigh, NC this past July. Me an a similarly competitive cousin spanked a couple of other cousins who had been running the table all afternoon and talking much shit. Made for a great win!

Folks in Philly play Pinochle -- I play that game so infrequently I have to relearn it each time I play, plus you need a funky deck that only seems to be available in the south (anything south of Newark NJ to me).

The only card game that I play regularly is poker, and I enjoy that much more than any other card game when money, alcohol and friends are involved (or in a proper casino sans the friends). I can play for 6 hours straight without even thinking about it. I played on-line but I find it boring as the personal interactions make all the difference to me.

Sorry to hear about the breakup of your Bridge crew. If I lived near by I would, take 5 minutes to earn the game, find a partner, come by and spank you on the regular!

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Second, EVERYBODY'S on-line musings will remain in cyberspace forever.

(Oh really? When they turn off the power, take out the hard drives, where does it go?

Did you have any floppy disks? What happened to what was on them?

Face it, Cynique. You are destined for Palookaville--

Unless you heed my words....

More to follow

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Chris increasingly storage devices do not require power to retain their data.

The meaningful or valuable data on floppy disks has been migrated to newer media.

My 8mm films weere moved to VHS, then CDs and now they are on digitals files on my flash drive, youtube (and God knows where else).

Most people read Cynqiues musing, as well as yours, and can rememeber them, and relate those musings to others. That is what was done before electronic media, or even books.

And if it hits the fan, we can always fall back on those techniques -- griot style.

So if you have no voice, opinions or you choose not to share them you will be headed for palookaville.

That is one reason you writers are important you not only carry your own stories you carry the stories of the voiceless. I'm just glad I've provided one forum.

I like Cynique's musings because she is my mothers age. I get some insight about my mom's generation from her. Most people my mothers age don't or can't share so easily.

I find it fascinating.

Walking history, cyber-griot style -- you go girl!

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I know some folk might think I'm hatin' on Cynique--

Their suspicions would be correct.

I am one of them crabs in the barrell negroes. But I agonize about it sometimes for hours with my girlfriends.

Never fear, Neeky poo--

Like Kat Williams say

If you ain't got at least a dozen people hatin' on ya you ain't doin' nothin'!

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Who gives a fuck if you're hatin on me, or think that I'm destined to join you in Palookaville, Chrishayden??? I certainly don't. Haven't you figured out by now that your opinions don't rate wth me??? BTW, when mental musings go into cyber space, the only power they require to remain perpetual is the electric charge a thought wave creates in the universe.

Sorry, Troy, I know your mother would never use the F-word. But for me, that word comes with the territory of musing... Ah, those were the good ol days. LOL

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