Revenge of the ne’er-do-wells | AspenTimes.com

Revenge of the ne’er-do-wells

Meredith C. CarrollAspen, CO Colorado

Good news just in time for this weekend’s Winter X Games – slackers rule!Scientific research has finally confirmed what procrastinators, delinquents and couch potatoes have known and stubbornly insisted to parents, teachers and bosses since pretty much the beginning of time: Snap decisions are better than those that have been well thought out, and playing video games is good for you.(Never mind that the geeks and losers behind these studies are most likely Nintendo-addicts who probably barely managed to tear themselves away from their joysticks long enough to do a few half-days of real work before hastily releasing their cockamamy conclusions. Had their brains been less fried and their attention spans longer than Oprah’s most recent skinny phase, they might have devoted some extensive time investigating subjects a bit more meaningful.)New findings in the scientific journal Current Biology assert people perform better when given less time to form their answers. (If only I had known this freshman year of college, I wouldn’t have wasted more than five minutes studying for my Historical Geology class. It’s not as though I could have done much worse than the D grade I received anyway.) As counter-intuitive as it seems, research shows the reasoning of the higher-functioning conscious brain tends to override the instinctive decisions of the subconscious, which tends to be more astute.A study recently published jointly by a Florida-based think tank and some stoners – I mean scholars – at the University of Rochester reveals video games “can satisfy deep psychological needs and, at least in the short term, improve people’s well-being.” Evidently, real life is not always so easy to navigate, making some people feel “ineffective.” Excelling at video games is said to give some people imaginary courage, which they can then transfer over and apply to their real lives.Given these new suppositions, could there be a better time to cue a re-release of Woody Allen’s 1973 classic, “Sleeper,” in which health food store owner Miles Monroe wakes up from a 200-year slumber and finds cigarettes and deep-fried, fatty foods have been deemed wholesome? Really, it fits perfectly with the modern-day theories that eating dark chocolate lowers blood pressure (amen!) and red wine drinkers are less prone to heart attacks and obesity than teetotalers (hallelujah!). And hasty decisions and video games are good for you.The holy grail of slacker studies came out last month and as it turns out, an age-old urban myth has finally been legitimized: Marijuana is, indeed, the top cash crop in the nation, producing a higher revenue stream than corn and wheat combined. In fact, if the United States finally legalized marijuana, a Harvard professor claims the country would save $7.7 billion annually in law enforcement costs and generate over $6 billion in taxes.And just this week an invention was announced that every loafer never knew they couldn’t live without – the caffeinated doughnut. Apparently a molecular scientist with not too much molecular science time on his hands has developed a way to combine caffeine and pastry, saving sloths from the incredibly time consuming steps of chewing AND sipping.The recent scientific revelations couldn’t be more apropos of this weekend’s X Games at Buttermilk. What event befits the slacker lifestyle better, where the biggest competitions are just north of the slopes in the Interactive Village? The majority of the crowd spends their time fighting over time at the video game consoles and lining up for gratis foam taco hats, Jeep lip balm and other swag destined to line trash cans everywhere by tomorrow, instead of watching the flashy, short on-mountain contests where fashion can and frequently does make a bigger splash than the people strapped to the boards and skis wearing it.No matter though, as one of the biggest X Games’ sponsors, Totino’s Mega Pizza Rolls, probably encourages spectators to head home early anyway to catch the games on ESPN. (The ability to channel surf when the action slows down? Priceless.) It’s so much easier to microwave a bunch of mini-pizzas than to have to go through the tedious task of picking up the phone to get a pizza delivered or preheat an oven and wait, like 18 minutes, to bake a frozen one.Could a third installment of “Bill and Ted” be in the offing?E-mail questions or comments to meredithccarroll@hotmail.com.

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