The Tax Heist

From pk at Puddingbowl, quoting Kevin Drum:

“So: raise payroll taxes on the middle class to create a surplus, then cut taxes on the rich to wipe out the surplus and create a deficit, and then sorrowfully announce that the resulting deficits mean that the Social Security benefits already paid for by the middle class need to be cut.”

It makes me sad to hear about these things, because I wish I lived in a nation that was committed to using government as a means for the more fortunate to take care of the less fortunate. Now we’re willing to spend any money to use government as a means to hurt people, but when it comes to the government helping people, well, that’s too rich for our blood anymore. Even if we’ve already paid for it — sorry, we used that money to fund a gigantic tax cut for the rich, and wars.

It just makes me sad.

Robin Laws on RPG Theory

Robin Laws weighs in on the Forge community and its RPG theory.

Laws is very leery of theory (bleary, even) but the fact that the Forge RPG theorists have gotten out there and designed so many games and are out there selling and playing and having fun with them, makes him happy about this particular movement.

A lot of commenters weighed in, many of them angry with the “elitists” at the Forge with all their “indie” RPGs.

It’s funny — I see all the elitism, if there is any, on the other side.

We’ve got two groups of people, one of which wants lots of people to be designing games however they want, and another of which wants people to play only the games which are sold and marketed by professional game designers in big corporations.

And the people who think anybody can and should be able to design and sell a game, and therefore talk about principles of game design publically rather than behind closed doors — those are supposed to be the elitists! Because they dare to try to do it themselves, their own way, rather than sitting down, shutting up, and doing it the way it’s already been done, I guess…

But of course there is a truth there — the Forge itself has, according to Ron, Clinton, and other founders — gotten to the point where the weight of its own history has rendered it nigh impossible for someone new to the community to really join and contribute. So they’re going to shut it down soon, and let the movement continue in other venues (various livejournals, the glorious lumpley blog which I always get behind on cause it has no RSS feed, etc), wherever people want to continue it, no longer with one big ol’ centralized uberforum for everybody to butt heads in.

Slogging For A Pittance

As I was chatting with Joe tonight he pulled a Love and Rockets quote right out of some bodily orifice, without warning.

I was so stunned, I was forced — forced, I say — to go buy a copy of L&R’s “Earth Sun Moon” on the iTunes Music Store.

Ah, mid-80s stoner rock. That I haven’t heard since damn near the mid 80s. (No, I wasn’t a stoner. I missed out on all that drug stuff somehow, despite the hippie demeanor.)

when you had to work so hard,
slogging for a pittance in the boot-and-shoe yard,
that’s when you wanted
what you now give away.

Back then I didn’t have access to Google, so I couldn’t take ten seconds and find out that the Boot and Shoe Yard is a neighborhood in Leeds, England, of which Dr. Robert Baker reported in the mid-19th century:

In one cul-de-sac… there are 34 houses, and in ordinary times, there dwell in these houses 340 persons, or ten to every house; but as these houses are many of them receiving houses for itinerant labourers, during the periods of hay-time and harvest and the fairs, at least twice that number are then here congregated. The name of this place is the Boot and Shoe-yard, in Kirkgate, a location from whence the Commissioners removed, in the days of cholera, 75 cart-loads of manure, which had been untouched for years, and where there now exists a surface of human excrement of very considerable extent, to which these impure and unventilated dwellings are additionally exposed.

An unpleasant place to slog for a pittance indeed.