On Risk: The 2010 Cast List

Hanukkah is supposed to be a joke holiday. Semantically and pedantically, it’s not even a holiday; it’s a festival. A festival that celebrates the pre-modern Israel Israelites not being slaughtered en mass (just kinda sorta slaughtered) by an occupying army.

A brief history lesson for you. After Egypt (in which country we were, quite possibly, not slaves but contract laborers or the people who did the whipping, and left because we weren’t getting paid enough), the Israelites wreaked havoc across what would be today the Sinai Peninsula, Israel, and Lebanon. And then, after settling down a bit after a few plagues that may or may not have been sent to crush the uppity Israelites by a somewhat bi-polar God, Israel had a kingdom.

And then, because if you put three Jews in a room you’ll have four opinions, the kingdom split and became extremely weak. And then, because this is the way the world works, the area was conquered several times by empires that had their shit together. One such Empire was the Hellenistic Greco-Syrian empire, the head of which decided it’d be a neat idea to sacrifice pigs in the Temple.

If you know anything about Judaism, you know that we, as a religion, have a thing about pigs. We don’t like em. They think they’re smart, they’re dirty, and I hear that they are working on the power of flight. So, after learning that pigs were about to bleed in their Temple, a group of Jews lost their shit, holed up in the mountains, and attacked armies. And, surprisingly, they won.

And so today, that’s why we have Adam Sandler’s SNL skit as the theme song for Hanukkah for everyone under the age of fifty.

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On Risk, Pt. 2

You can't hear it--because this is a picture--but there's the sound of a hammer striking an anvil in this.

As I talked about before, Risk is something that’s… well, not important to me, but one of those things that I… well, not “couldn’t do without,” but…

I enjoy Risk a good deal. Bending the world to my will (depending on the age, my “will” would include owning an X-Wing, the Millennium Falcon, and, now, just paying off the student loan debt) has been at the heart of every decision I make. This blog? I foresee it becoming the pinnacle for online non-sequitur entertainment–so much so that I earn millions off of pageviews alone, and, from there, construct an X-Wing.
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On Risk, Pt. 1

aaronlewis.wordpress.comMy infatuation with this game started several years ago, when I was nought but a nerdling, convinced that the world only extended to the expansions of WarCraft 2 and Diablo 2. Every year, Brad’s family would rent out a couple of camp sites in a state park and a whole bunch of us would retreat into the woods for a weekend full of bacon, doughnuts, awkward moments, and thanking God we weren’t actually camping.

See, the camping we engaged in was camping in Easy mode. There were tents, there were sleeping bags and, from time to time, there were camp fires. But there were also showers with hot water, electrical outlets, trash pick-up by park rangers, and a playground on a hill just across from the sites. The usual things that go down in camping trips didn’t go down here, since we were all civilized people and appreciated the outdoors just enough to be slightly uncomfortable for a couple nights a year.

During the days, we’d all do whatever we could think to keep us from missing things like TV and the Internet. For the kids, we’d mess with the dogs or heave rocks into the lake and cheer like Neanderthals. The adults… I don’t know what they did. Something boring. Like reading or some shit.

But at night, we’d all come together for one, massive Hate Fest. There’s nothing like these things, and, chances are, you’ve experienced them yourselves. What corn-fed American family hasn’t played Monopoly, thinking it would be a great way to rip the kids away from the TV for a few hours and actually talk to their parents, only to find, after Rick Jr. keeps buying up all the fucking orange properties and not fucking trading them even though someone’s offering the goddamn green properties and Susie, for whatever reason, doesn’t grasp that it’s in her best interests to just buy her fucking way out of jail instead of rolling, and Dad, that shit head, keeps double-dipping in the bank like some investment banker, and Mom guilts you into not buying Park Place.

[clears throat] Sorry. Monopoly, as you’ve probably grasped by the above, is the perfect entry into American Hate. A baptism of resentment that won’t fully blossom until higher-level board games like Balderdash are played. But there’s one game that rules them all, and in the darkness binds them: Risk.

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