The Lottery Question
by Nic Olson
The lottery question. The most dominant rhetorical question of a culture reflects what that culture is based on. Ours is, ‘What would you do if you won the lottery?‘
I avoid being a part of this specific question because it always involves the same inane answers and money hungry dreaming, nor does it encourage healthy, rational, purposeful thought. When I do find myself indulging I usually answer, ‘Half savings, half travel.’ We watched Fargo the other day and wondered together about who found the suitcase of money under the snow covered in Buscemi’s blood, which inevitably led to the culture’s general rhetoric. Laundering was the answer.
Wishing for lottery wins is fine and nice. Playing the lottery once a week is an investment, a time-pass, a necessity, a habit which is great. The desire for the security that money brings is based on falsities, because money doesn’t bring security, because security doesn’t actually exist. I can’t say that I wouldn’t love to win last week’s LottoMax, but not for financial security and not to mark things of my ‘to buy’ list. Dreaming in nonexistent money is a huge cause for hating your life.
I have come into contact with a real life version of our culture’s rhetoric. A brilliant and beautiful friend offered me an interest-free loan of $2000 to travel to South America with her and some friends. I would leave in a week, I would love every minute of it, and I would see things I might not otherwise have the chance to see. I would be a sucker to turn it down. This offer didn’t only entail a decision about travel and finances and potential good times, but also commitments, realities, and future. I wish myself to be open and free to hit a plane with a week’s notice, but maybe I’m not quite the man I thought I was. I believe that I could take advantage of such an offer if the right circumstances existed, but now I fear what I would become with yet another decision in the realm of selfish decisions I have made in my life.
It is irresponsible to dream in the fictitious which you cannot have. It is necessary to dream for the tangible and present.
I am a sucker.