Saturday, April 6, 2013

... Then don't play the game

Recently, I had a friend recommend that I watch this show called The Booth at the End.  We were talking about Urban Fiction, and ...  well never mind, I guess that part's kind of boring.
Turns out, this show is only available on Hulu. Now, call me a trogolodyte, but - although I have  heard of Hulu, I've never used it, and wasn't really sure what it was....   oh wait, this doesn't really matter.

Anyway, what matters is that while I was watching this program, one of the characters says to the main character..  "I don't like the rules."  And the main character replies

"Then don't play the game."

And it struck me, that maybe this isn't a bad philosophy.  If you don't like the rules, then don't play the game.  
Sure, you have other options...  interestingly enough, the show was about options.  But in real life, if you don't like the rules, you can ignore them, you can change them, or you can choose to not play the game.    

Now, ignoring rules, in my book, is never a good idea.  Rules are there for a reason; without rules, there's anarchy.  Oh sure,  if only a few ignore the rules, you don't really have anarchy,  you have rebels.  Although if others see the rebels, and start following their lead and ignoring the rules, now you DO have anarchy.  And even without that concern...  if you're not following the rules -- well then, you're cheating, aren't you?   and you're not really playing the game, at least not with any integrity.

You can always try to change the rules...  but in a sense, changing the rules, changes the game... so you're no longer playing the same game, you've created your own game, and you're hoping that others follow along, leaving the original game and joining your game.

But choosing to not play...   now that's the decision of an individual.  A decision full of integrity.  It neither relies on followers, nor encourages followers... it's a statement that stands on its own.  It says - I acknowledge the rules, I choose to not follow them, and I'm not playing the game.

Yeah, I really like this.  If you don't like the rules, then don't play the game.  Of course, it's not always easy to figure out what the game is,or what the rules are, but once you do that, the rest is real easy.. Either play the game and follow the rules, or if you don't like the rules then don't play the game.

And while it's not a rule that I have a cup of tea after I write my posts, there's no rule against it either.  So I'm off to make another cup of tea.


  1. Nice break down, Laurie.

    I tend to be the type who chooses not to play the game when uncomfortable with the rules. I could point to numerous occurrences of this in my life - but won't. Just it happens. Sometimes suggesting changes in the rules works. I've taken that route, too.

    Your blog got me to thinking where I fit in your categories. That means it's a good post!

    1. Kat! I love it when my posts make people think!! Of course sometimes rules need to change... but it needs to be a well--thought out course of action.. it needs to be something more than just a simple, knee-jerk 'I don't like that'. (I know that's not what you meant.)

  2. Perhaps I am reading this before I am properly awake but It felt a little like There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.
    I don't know all the rules for golf; very few do and worse, even more think they do but get them wrong. I think in golf a lot of people play what they think are reasonable and fair rules regardless of what the RandA say. Which reminds me - I do check on the RandA site about rules occasionally. After still finding one confusing, I used their facility to post a question to them about it. It turns out that my posting the question was against rule 34-3. Only a person authorised by the club can post a question about a rule to the RandA. So, I think rules are not just black and white and come in many colours.
    By the way you are a Troglodyte but then by the rule you spelled out - so am I.

  3. And what's more (echoing your writing-rule breaking), rules need to continually change. If we didn't change, if we didn't have a few 'anarchists' then women wouldn't have the vote (mmmm....hang on). Even rules that are set in stone need to change with the times. For instance, I like a bit of coveting. None of my neighbours have asses (English use of the word), and I don't have a thing for asses, but I reserve the right to have a quiet covet when I feel like it. When my golf partner spanks a good drive (please do not see a link with spanking and asses there) I complement him and quietly covet his ability.
    So, I am going to play the games the way I feel they should be played. And I'm going to continue coveting.
    huh - You lawyer types! I bet when you go into a restaurant you stick with the same meal rather than go thru the menu trying them all. You're all trilobites - or is that a computing term?

    1. You are right, that sometimes rules need to change... but I stand by my position that when the rules change, so does the game. (and those who frequent restaurants with me, are laughing at your post. Yes, I do stick with the same meal!)

    2. I love your perspective, Tim, and the concept of a quiet covet.

      And you know bloody well you made us link the asses and the spanking! Although some of us *la la, no names, I'm looking at the ceiling and whistling here* got there before you mentioned it.

      I will volunteer for the trilobite club! Not a computing term, but one of my favorite extinct critters. Trilobite, troglodyte, or luddite, they're all old fashioned. :-)

  4. I enjoyed your post enough to look up the show on Hulu. We have a Roku and subscribe to Hulu, so it won't be hard to find it. Thanks for the review, and I will be thinking about your post and rules as I watch! I'm sure you enjoyed your tea!

  5. Great post - we either embrace the rules, or we leave. Seems to me nothing really stays the same - the game, the rules, or even our expectations about any of it. Life is too short to be where you shouldn't be, and do what you shouldn't do to keep yourself happy and healthy. Anyway, I'll stop now - I need to go back over Tim's message about asses and spankings...