To clarify, I’m not claiming that the very brilliant Emily Riddle is bad at poker, but in this conversation we talk about dealing and playing cards, women’s relationship to recreational fun, and the liberating possibilities of being enduringly bad at something. We also talk about whether casinos, reparations, care work, tech bros, and cake. It’s a good time. Links:
- Last week I linked you to Emily’s piece about Colten Boushie. This week you should read her article “Forms of Freedom,” on Alutiiq artist-choreographer Tanya Lukin Linklater’s engagement with the work of Osage prima ballerina Maria Tallchief.
- I make some passing remarks about reparations, but you should read some more serious thinkers on the topic. Start with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations,” then read about how the Canadian government is fucking up its settlement promises to Residential School survivors, then read this random post I found about how calling casinos reparations is a flawed argument, which reminded me of the need to think in more nuanced ways about the non-identity of anti-Black and anti-Indigenous state violence.
- I’m not a big fan of Vice (duh) but this profile of professional women poker players is worth a read.
- Finally, a link-filled article on why women are afraid to fail (hint: it’s the patriarchy) (warning: it’s going to make you mad).
Download Episode / Read Transcription
The podcast theme song is “Mesh Shirt” by Mom Jeans off their album “Chub Rub.” Listen to the whole album here or learn more about them here. Emily’s theme song is “There’s Your Trouble” by the Dixie Chicks.
One thought on “Episode 2.8 Being Bad at Poker with Emily Riddle”
When you and Emily were talking about modeling mistakes or creating a space where it’s okay to fuck up, I immediately thought that the answer to this is arts education. I’m a music teacher, and that is the number one thing that I try to instill in my students, no matter what their age. I mostly work with elementary school kids, so it’s easier for me to fuck up without having them think that I’m not qualified, but even at that age so many of them are afraid of playing a wrong note themselves that it’s clear they’re headed down the road to shame if not for some kind of intervention. But essentially, not being afraid of fucking up in its purest form is just creativity. I’ve studied a teaching method called Creative Ability Development, which uses musical improvisation to teach students how to make creative choices, and the number one rule in the method for all of the exercises is “there’s no such thing as a mistake.” It takes a lot of care to create a space where people deeply feel that they cannot make a mistake, but it’s astounding how much that attitude opens people up once they experience it. If we as educators prioritize creativity throughout a person’s lifetime education, I think that could be a major step toward removing the stigma and shame of fucking up.
Thanks as always for your wonderful podcast!