New Rule!

from tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher

And finally, New Rule -- as long as we've got three wars going, America needs to add one more: a class war.

It's time working Americans told Wall Street the same thing that the good people of Detroit told Charlie Sheen last Saturday night. "This is bullshit, and I want my money back."

Now, two interesting things are happening in America right now. Charlie Sheen, a millionaire armed only with a few catch phrases and two porn actresses who smell like ammonia, launched a self pity tour because he can't have a tv show. While the Republicans, the party of millionaires is shutting down the government because they can't have a tax-free world.

As Paul Ryan says, it's not a budget, it's a cause. Like slavery.

Like supporting one of the luckiest guys in the world in his quest to get all that's coming to him.

Folks, if you go to a show and the guy on stage says, "Sorry dude, I got your money already," like Charlie said, you're not in on the joke. You ARE the joke.

You're not his friend, or one of his chosen people. And you're not going to BE him someday in paradise if you drink his tiger blood. That's Jesus you're thinking of.

This is the guy from the sitcom about making dirty jokes to a fat kid.

So, you can know that a rock makes a shitty pet. But if you buy a pet rock, you're still an idiot.

Ask your dentist. A shit-eating grin doesn't change the fact that you've been eating shit.

And that's the difference between being Charlie Sheen's girlfriend and Charlie Sheen's fan. If you're his girlfriend and you're getting fucked, he pays you.

And if you think a guy living large and rubbing your nose in it that you're not is funny, here's one you'll really love: you have to pay your taxes next week, and General Electric doesn't.

That's right. GE, America's largest corporation, employs 975 people just to work on their taxes, which it turns out is a really great way to handle your taxes. Way better than what you have, a vietnamese guy at H&R Block who's using an abacus.

Yeah. GE paid no taxes on $14 billion in profit. Why aren't people mad at THEM?

If I had to pick a phrase that encapsulates the American economy in the last decade, it surely would be "I've already got your money, dude."

There's a law now forbidding credit card companies from screwing you with fine print and sudden unjustified rate hikes. To which the credit card companies said "I've already got your money, dude." Or maybe you lost your job in a recession caused by already rich people who bundled horseshit loans and then took Too Big To Fail pity money from Uncle Sam. "I've already got your money, dude."

Americans need to have a Detroit moment, where they realize they're pooling their money and wasting it on the richest guy in the room. The richest one percent horde an obscene amount of the wealth, while the average American has to save up to eat at Red Lobster on his birthday.

Wake up. Because somehow, they're banging the porn stars, and you're getting the crabs.
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NOM turnabout

Louis Marinelli, who organized the National Organization for Marriage "Summer Of Marriage" bus tour campaigning against same-sex marriage last year, has had a major change of heart.

I'm moved beyond words at his writings about this new position.

Read it. It's an amazing document about one man's evolution.
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Stand Up For Wisconsin

Someone at MetaFilter has put together a pretty good little event map for those with populist leanings who feel the need to stand up against the repression of workers taking place across the country at the moment.

You can find events and register your own event here:

Stand Up For Wisconsin

Pass it on. We're trying to get it all spread as widely as possible. Who knows when the Wobblies and others might actually want to do a full-on general strike?
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Is there anybody out there?

My friends page has turned into just a single person making 99% of the posts, and nothing from anyone else.

Does anyone actually use LJ anymore? Should we encourage each other to use it by posting more often?

Let me know, friends page people, if you even read this. I'd appreciate it.
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    curious curious

Yes, I actually saw Styx this weekend

And they pretty much rocked. I was quite impressed, and I can be a bit of a cynic of old bands out touring like this... But they managed to really make the show feel like a rock show, not just a jukebox performance. Lengthy instrumental solos, showcasing moments by each member, a nice selection of radio hits and deeper cuts...

I have to say, if you were a Styx fan "back in the day" and have ever wondered whether it's worth going to see them? I'd say yes, it really is. They're apparently touring right now playing the entire albums of The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight, which of itself is a fascinating concept...

Styx rocks McCosh Park
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The Ballad of Steven Slater

Okay, Jimmy Fallon did it. Some chick from Sweden did it. But nobody did it better or with more sheer finesse than Max Sparber and Josh Millard, AKA Astro Zombie and cortex over on MetaFilter.

Lyrics, music, and recording all accomplished in under 6 hours. Poignant music video only 4 days later.

It's a pretty great song. I totally recommend you check out the video. Captures the whole zeitgeist surrounding this story, and with a catchy melody!
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Welcome Home

I decided to check in on the Rainbow Family, and at the top of their website was this announcement:

The consensus from the Pennsylvania gathering was for the 2011 gathering to be someplace in the state of Washington.

Suddenly I have goosebumps all over my body. I'm planning NOW that I'm going to be there next year. I've been to three so far in my life (Taos NM 1995, Thomasville MO 1996, and Springerville AZ in 1998). It's been SO long. I really can use the trip back to how life ought to be.

What the fuck is a Rainbow Gathering, you may ask? You can find out more at Welcomehome.
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I don't watch Glee at all, but I had this scene drawn to my attention last night.

You'll need to load up this episode and then move forward manually to the 25m30s mark. You might have to sit through an ad or two before you can move forward in the time stream, and then again when you select the clip to view.

Anyway. Wow. What an amazing scene to have on one of the most popular shows on national television.
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an open letter to BBC America

Dear BBC America --

You are rapidly losing our household as nightly viewers.

We were thrilled when your channel first appeared on DISH Network. The variety of programming was delightful and unequaled anywhere else on the satellite schedule. Shows such as The League Of Gentlemen, Brilliant! (The Fast Show), The Kumars At No 42, and many others quickly became nightly watching in our household.

Over time, your schedule changed, but we were still thrilled with your offerings. The various incarnations of Graham Norton's talk show, Life On Mars, Cracker, the new Doctor Who shows, Top Gear, Gordon Ramsay's programs, Changing Rooms, Ground Force... There was a lot of quality stuff on your channel.

Then you started your weeknight news broadcasts. Again, very welcome in our house.

Our viewing used to involve tuning into your channel at around 4pm (Eastern Time Zone) and watching through until the repeats started 3 hours later. No channel changes. You had our eyeballs for 3 hours without stopping.

All that has changed. I don't think we watch your channel more than 5 hours a week anymore.

What do I find on your channel? ENDLESS reruns of the same programming over and over. Top Gear airs non-stop, despite most of the episodes being run at least 3 times before. Gordon Ramsay continues to visit the same restaurants AGAIN and AGAIN. Even during your daytime hours, there is nothing new to watch. Perhaps the odd episode of Antiques Roadshow (BBC version) which I haven't seen before, but other than that it is ALL programming we've watched years ago.

And now you've started running Star Trek: The Next Generation. I recently did a search on our satellite program guide, and there are no fewer than SEVEN other channels also running this series. How is ST:TNG even a BBC show? It wasn't filmed in the UK, most of its cast is American. Simply having Patrick Stewart in the series does not pass inspection as designating something as "The Best Of BBC Programming Brought To America", or whatever your slogan used to be.

And your BritMovie series, equally lame.

When I look online to see what actually is being shown on UK television channels, I see so many shows which can and should be shown on BBC America.

For starters, QI. I don't even need to explain why. It's just that brilliant, and you know it.

But why don't you have british soaps running during the day? EastEnders? Coronation Street? Home & Away? Hollyoaks? It wouldn't take long to get people hooked on any of those. You could easily run EastEnders from the beginning 5 days a week and could use that wealth of back episodes to your advantage.

Alternately, why don't you have some of your brilliant children's programming running during the daytime? Shaun The Sheep? Blue Peter? Just to name a couple.

Or some of your excellent cooking shows. Raymond Blanc's newest series, or The Delicious Miss Dahl. Or some of your great documentaries (not those sensational "I married my sister" bits of nonsense you keep showing)...

Why not get rid of that BritMovie nonsense (because they mostly ARE NOT BRITISH PRODUCTIONS) and start running some of the old Doctor Who episodes? Like, really old ones. The global interest is such that it, surely, would find an audience flocking to watch.

There are SO many excellent programs being produced, and yet we get the SAME episodes of the SAME shows all the time. Yes, we get the occasional bone tossed our way. The Inbetweeners -- brilliant. Peep Show -- great stuff. But those are so few and far between, BBC America has turned from being nearly the only channel we watch to being a joke in our household.

Perhaps it needs to be pointed out -- people watch BBC America because they want to be taken outside US culture, broadened a bit, moved beyond our own borders and get a different perspective. Your current programming is not accomplishing that. In fact, it's feeling more and more insulting, as the repeat showings of old episodes of the really pitiful variety you currently carry mount into the dozens.

I will continue to watch your nightly newscast. I will continue to scan your channel listing to see if there is anything you are offering which might be of interest. But if you're truly in the business of delivering eyeballs to your advertisers, you've lost this household's nightly eyeball count. And you will likely not get it back until your channel becomes something more than Top Gear / Gordon Ramsay / Star Trek rerun central.

Thanks for your time.
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