Articles I want to write at some point soon

Poker & The Power of Bad Analogies
A lot of people seem to labour under the misapprehension that a Royal Flush is a different type of hand to any other Straight Flush. It isn’t. That would be like saying that Ace High was a different kind of hand to any other High Card. The Royal Flush and the Ace High are just the supreme examples of the particular value of hand they represent.

Which is not at all anything like Jesus…

Why I can’t join the “I care more about ending poverty than about the Facebook redesign” group on Facebook
It sounds great, but I’m not sure that I could join and still maintain any sense of being an honest person. Whilst recognising that, in the grand scheme of things, poverty is a far greater problem than the mere irritation of not seeing the three most recent status updates from my friends, I must admit that Facebook intrudes upon my life to a far greater degree, and that my friends talk about it (how far society has come from the days when people would look down their noses at me when I so much as mentioned “chatting online”) much more frequently, and that it’s easier to worry about stuff like how horrible a website looks because, really, it doesn’t matter.

If I join this group, I’ll be setting myself up for getting involved in more than buying fairly traded coffee and chocolate (but not tea, because I can’t afford Marks and Spencers, and the rest is nasty, and anyway, the “we’re ethical, honest” blurb which Yorkshire Tea put on the bottom of their boxes has set my mind at ease), and trying to bring myself to buy the Big Issue (I’m quite happy to accept the Big Issue stance of “We’re a business, not a charity.” since it reduces my levels of guilt for not forking out ever increasing amounts of lolly for an decreasingly worth reading rag – which might the difference between the vendor eating food or gravel that night).

In effect, I’d be saying, “I’m part of the problem too.”  Which is no use at all unless I’m ready to whole heartedly do something about it…

Things Which Are Important in my Life and Worth Keeping Hold of
Basically a big long list of everything I own, and do, in a valiant (yet ultimately unsuccessful) effort to reduce the amount clutter in my life.

This could be followed up with a series of humorous posts reporting on how the sorting is going.

There was another piece I was thinking about, concerning the difficulties in talking to people, particularly members of the opposite sex, and especially giving them compliments without sounding like I’m cracking onto them. But since the long and the short of it is that these problems exist, and I can’t really condense the idea down into a title-sized title, then it’s just going to have to wait here as a footnote to the rest of this ridiculous post.

The Party

There is a man in the street, outside a party. The sounds of the party are spilling out into and washing over him: laughter, glasses clinking, music, conversation – the general sounds of revelry. The only light in the street comes from the party and the man is lit dimly as most of the light is blocked by people inside, enjoying themselves and casting shadows onto the street. In the dim light, the man casts a dimmer shadow as he kneels at the foot of a broken lamp post, screaming.

He has been screaming for a long time and is utterly alone – just the man and his scream. He cannot remember a time when he hasn’t been screaming. Sometimes he curls up in a ball and sleeps and, for a while, there is blessed silence, but he is unaware of this – he is screaming as he falls asleep and the sound of his screams wakes him up.

The party has been going on a long time and he would love to go inside. But he can’t stop screaming and he knows this would disturb the others and he doesn’t know how to stop.

One day, he feels something different. He feels an arm across his shoulders and the warmth of somebody kneeling next to him. He has no more idea of how long this stranger has been holding him than he has of how long he has been screaming. As the stranger holds him, the man notices that his screaming is becoming less intense and is giving way to sobs and tears and sniffles.

The stranger carries on holding him.

Eventually, the man is silent. He has no more tears, no more pain, no more screaming. “Come inside.” says the stranger. The man is reluctant – his clothes are dirty, his trousers torn at the knees from years of kneeling, he can’t face the people inside, his voice is hoarse, it’s all too much for him – too soon. “Don’t worry,” says the stranger, “come in the kitchen and we’ll have a cup of tea.”

Together, they stand up. And, holding each other, they shakily walk inside.