No More Games

First of all read this:
source: The Washington Post

Why America fell out of love with golf

No one asking to "play through" here. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
A decade ago, when the golf course was a de facto playground for the professional set and a young Californian named Tiger Woods was the world's best player, golf looked like an unassailable national undertaking, and corporate players were champing at the bit to get in.
But the business behind one of America's most slow-going, expensive and old-fashioned pastimes has rapidly begun to fall apart. TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, the world's biggest maker of golf clubs and clothes, saw sales nosedive 28 percent last year, its parent company Adidas said Thursday.

It’s not golf’s fault, it’s not Tiger Woods fault.  If it's anyone’s, it’s Barack Obama’s fault for accelerating the inevitable decline of our economy and standard of living.  More and more people are realizing that their spare time must be spent doing something productive.

"No more games" - By the time Humongous' world becomes a reality, he won't even need to say it.

To begin with, I don’t take umbrage with anyone enjoys playing golf.  If that’s what you enjoy doing, more power to you.  At the same time, I never quite understood golf, or any activity, for that matter that produced so little tangible benefit for the amount of time, effort, and money invested.  It never made any sense to me to develop a skill that cannot produce anything of value and did not crossover into other fields.  

Imagine if someone decided to devote their spare time to being a machinist rather than golfing.  He could buy a used, small, homeowner metal lathe on craigslist, and after a year, he would be proficient enough to make parts for farmers and hotrodders in his area.  In two years, he would be turning down orders because there would simply be more work than he could handle.  When you add together all the money he didn’t spend playing golf, plus all the money he made making parts, it would be quite a sizable sum.  At that point, he could buy a used industrial lathe, and later, a milling machine.  He could easily make $500 in a single weekend, or even $1000 per week if he spent time on his hobby after work.  

Not only that, he would have the satisfaction of knowing that he actually helped people overcome obstacles of their own, like a hobby farmer who needed an adaptor plate needed to repower his old tractor, a racer who needed some custom made bushings for his hobby stock car, an off roader who wanted some unique suspension parts, or the contractor who needed a part for his backhoe on a Friday night because he was obligated to have a job done by Monday morning.  The skills of the part-time machinist would positively affect so many other people’s lives.

Now that’s just an example.  I’m not picking on golf in particular here, and I’m not suggesting you should become a part-time machinist if that doesn’t interest you.  What I am saying is this:  Take a look at what you do with your spare time.  What is your spare time worth?  It’s worth at least one and one half times more than what you get paid during an eight hour day, and double or triple that on weekends.  It’s one of the most valuable things you have, so use it wisely.

Think about what you are good at (or would like to become good at), what you would enjoy doing. Figure out how much you could make, what it would cost you to get started, and if economically feasible, do it!

Now not everything you do must produce income, but it should produce some benefit.  Maybe you could focus on saving money, like doing all your home maintenance and repairs yourself.  The benefits of a well maintained property will often outlive you and continue to be of value to your heirs.  There was an old man in my hometown who loved trees.  He’s long since dead, but the trees he planted are still there and everyone who has lived there for more than a few years, knows who planted them.  Do you think anyone would remember who he was if he spent his time playing golf instead of planting trees?

Perhaps the wisest and most productive use of your spare time is to spend it with your family.  If there is someway that you and your family can find how to enjoy spending time together while making or saving money, you got things licked.  

Find out what types of wholesome (for lack of a better word) activities your children enjoy doing and encourage them to do those things. Show your children what opportunities exist, but don’t force them into anything.  You had your chance in life already, don’t cheat them out of the chance of pursuing their own dreams, as long as those dreams are realistic.

Let’s face it.  There is less than a million to one chance that your child is going to become a rock star, movie star, or professional athlete.  On the other hand, there is almost a hundred percent chance that your child will make a good living if he or she, early on, develops skills that are required for high paying jobs that are in demand. (STEM majors for students that plan on going to college and skilled trades for those who don’t want to attend college.)

What I am trying to say is that both adults and children should focus on increasing their knowledge and income producing skills rather than playing games.  Our society has devoted too much time to games.  Both adults and children.  The amount of time you devote to playing or watching or playing any particular game should be about equal to the amount of time that most people spend playing Monopoly or chess.  Games just don’t produce enough value to spend any more time on than that.

For those of you who insist that they need to spend ten or more hours per week playing a game for the sake of exercise, consider buying a woodstove and cutting your own firewood.  You’ll become more physically fit than you would playing any sport, save a lot of money, and becoming an expert at using a chainsaw will be just one of the many added bonuses.  

You could also consider taking up hunting.  If you use your head, you can go hunting relatively cheaply and hunting in rough terrain is one of the most brutal physical workouts I ever experience.  If you hunt several different types of game, you can be outdoors almost year around and be in better physical shape than guys who hit the gym several times per week.

I don’t have anything against any games or sports, but I think people have gotten the wrong idea of their proper place in our lives.  Before the turn of the twentieth century, professional sports hardly even existed, and games were something that were played by the fire at night when the work was done.  Daylight hours were simply too valuable not to be used producing something of tangible value.

The past 100 years has been an anomaly, a period in human history of which is coming to an end and will likely never be repeated again.  What is coming is the inevitable return to equilibrium of the human condition - spending the majority of one’s waking hours doing something productive just to stay alive.  You owe it to yourselves and your children to prepare for it.  



  1. Hey Neil;

    this is one of your best post yet!! it was excellent, it so talks about the modern American pursuit of leisure time. This in my opinion contributed to the softness of the average American compared to the rest of the world that is concerned about surviving we care about what the hell the kardashians are shows the shallowness of the American public

    1. It is nothing more than a luxury, and like with other luxuries, they are the first things to be cut out when times get tight.