Friday, January 21, 2011

Cutting the Budget

This utterly ridiculous post was inspired by the Lindens' unfortunate decision to rescind land discounts for nonprofits and schools.

If John Boehner Didn't Dye His Eyebrows...

Written 21 January, 2010

Cutting the Budget

Neelix: Neelix Nesslerode here.

Sleezy: And I'm Sleezy Spinoza.

Neelix: Tonight in a special report we update you on actions taken by right-wing Lindens--

Sleezy: And especially the Teabaggers from the Zindra continent--

Neelix: to reform--

Sleezy: And by reform, Neelix means delegitimize and destabilize--

Neelix: -- this virtual world.

Sleezy: We'll be back after the break... Can you believe this idiot, Neelix?

Neelix: And to think I voted for him! And we're back.

Sleezy: Today at a press conference, RepubiLinden spokesavatar JohnBOner Linden announced the elimination for all funding for Second Life arts, health, education, and social programs and a restructuring of the Linden dollar. Take it away, Neelix!

Neelix: The efforts to downsize education were begun in a shocking surprise move several months ago when the Lindens rescinded special pricing for nonprofit corporations, schools, and universities. Before, 501(c)(3) status made these organizations eligible for 50% discounts on sim down payments and tier. When asked about this policy, BOner had this to say:

JohnBOner Linden (on screen):  Educating people teaches them to think and makes them more likely to be Communist leftist baby-eaters. There's no reason schools and nonprofits shouldn't compete against huge multinationals and their buildings full of lawyers, overpaid executives, and secret assassins. Besides, it's been proven that helping people makes them dependent on handouts and corrupts their character.

Sleezy: BOner then shocked the press corps by calling for the immediate end of the weekly stipends for paid Second Life subscribers.

JonBOner Linden (on screen): Research shows that if you give people a handout, they're less likely to go out and get a job. I'm not alone in asking, "Where are the store greeters? Where are the sex workers? Where are the models?" They're sitting at home with a government subsidy instead of stimulating the economy by making $1L an hour. It's not as if the people on stipends are paying for them. I say let's end the dependence on this social welfare program and let the private sector take care of these peoples' needs.

Neelix: BOner refused to acknowledge that residents who receive the stipend DO in fact pay for it in the form of monthly charges to the Lindens for premium membership. Just look at this footage:

Sleezy (on screen): Mr. Linden, don't people get the stipends only if they pay the Lindens a monthly fee?

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): Of course they don't pay for it-- and I'm going to make sure there's a ministry of Doublespeak, Thoughtcrime, Re-Education, and Truth that makes sure they think they don't pay for it. The only way we're going to find strength is through ignorance. We'll find our freedom only in slavery.

Neelix: This is scary stuff, Sleezy.

Sleezy: You betcha, Neelix. BOner went on to propose taxes on Second Life's audio, video, and voice and IM channels.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): Why should the virtual airwaves be free when they could be given away or sold for a few Lindens to huge communication companies that would tax both broadcasters and listeners at every opportunity? Why should speech be free? We're thinking of instituting a typing tax, also. It will be reasonable, of course-- perhaps ten Lindens for every one hundred keystrokes. It will be much like the $10L upload fee we managed to get in place some years ago. You type a hundred words, you stop and pay. You type a hundred more, you pay again. I've detailed it all in my comprehensive 10-page plan.

Neelix: We'd soon be broke, Sleezy.

Sleezy: BOner proposed taxes on both sellers and buyers in Second Life Marketplace transactions, prompt action on JIRAs in exchange for campaign contributions, fees to access or post in the Forums, and the layoff of all Lindens in the support department.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): The Concierge line will be repurposed as a conservative-only donation line and support tickets will be limited to effusive praise for our actions.

Sleezy: BOner announced more cost-saving measures, including the cancellation of all groups not related to conservative causes or repressed sexuality.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): Most people mute their groups anyway. What's the big deal?

Neelix: I mute mine.

Sleezy: Most controversially, BOner wants to decimalize the Linden dollar, cutting each Linden into one hundred centiLindens. This effectively reduces the de facto Second Life minimum wage by a factor of 100.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): The inability of Second Life employers to pay less than $1L per hour cripples the Second Life economic system. Now newbies can earn as little as .01 Linden per hour. This will stimulate the economy, creating new jobs, and improve their morale. We must end these socialist wage supports. The market can take care of itself!

Neelix: BOner promises that money saved by employers will trickle down to residents.

Sleezy: Trickle down? That sounds familiar...

Neelix: I'm still waiting for some of that Reagan money to trickle down, Sleezy.

Sleezy: You know it, Neelix. BOner announced planned new features in Viewer 2.5 to track the activities and communications of residents and promised a future in which Second Lifers will have numbers rather than names.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): Visionary-- that's doublespeak for San Francisco latte-drinking utopia-lover-- Philip Linden never imagined-- not in his wildest dreams-- how easily his dream world could be subverted for private gain and oppression of the larger population. He little realized that every avatar's unique identifier would one day be used to market them, spy upon them, and manipulate, control, and demean them.

Sleezy: BOner praised the implementation of  Second Life's new Display Names and called it the next step in controlling the Second Life populace.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): Names indicate individuality, and that's not a good thing unless you're wealthy enough to copyright yourself. By giving the last name Resident to all new citizens, we have effectively done away with last names. First names will follow. And Display Names? A diversion. They'll be depreciated in Viewer 2.6. Did I mention we're going to privatize the Linden roads and railways and, in exchange for a one-time payment of $50 U.S., lease the teleportation system to the Royal Online Sheikdom of Dubai? We'll no longer be hindered by infrastructure costs.

Sleezy: I would have paid more than that....

Neelix: Not included in Boner's list of items to be cut were subsidies for big business.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): What motivation do our most productive citizens have if they're not financially rewarded? We need to subsidize our big-name sellers and hype artists-- the creative types who have branded the content of this world. They toil endlessly and then have to give $1L an hour to no-talent workers. How can merchants contribute to my campaign if we don't give them the money to do it? I am, of course, influenced in no way by those donations. In no way. Nope, not a bit.

Sleezy: BOner justified planned increases on policing and military spending as well, claiming Second Life needs a strong police presence to quell resident unrest and a large and well-supplied military to defend its borders.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): We never know when Blue Mars might attack. Face it, in every science fiction story ever written, Mars attacks. The price of freedom is eternal virtual vigilance! We will find our peace only through war!

Neelix: BOner even suggested invasions of Blue Mars and the OS Grid are in the planning stage.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): Blue Mars thinks it can deter us by depreciating its PC version and hiding on hand-held portable devices. Fat chance. We will never give up-- never!--until James Wagner Au is safely back in Second Life with his virtual DNA restored. And the OS Grid-- who knows what virtual terrorists are hiding out in their virtual mountains. We'll soon be deploying scripted grid-crossing drones to track down and kill rogue avatars. We know from machinima sent to our offices that Au is still alive. A special ops team is already on its way to apprehend and return Au. Wait! I wasn't supposed to say that! Nevermind!

Sleezy: Although BOner would neither confirm nor deny it, rumors are that Second Life megasellers and his financial supporters will be given special exemptions from all fees, up to and including region purchasing and tier costs. New fees and taxes will be levied on ordinary residents to fund vital military and merchandising initiatives.

JohnBOner Linden (on screen): I have no comment on that.

Neelix: BOner promises to insert one or more of his spending cuts in every Linden blogpost.

Sleezy: Do you read those things? The Linden blogs?

Neelix: Me? Never!

Sleezy: The overall package will be known as the Spending, Education, Health and Social Program Fast! Easy!Fun! Act.

Neelix: After the break, we'll have JohnBOner Linden with us live to answer questions from callers. Back in sixty seconds.

Sleezy (in a stage whisper): You guys have BOner out of makeup? No? Why not? Oh... I see... the crying... and the skin tone.. yeah. Get him to turn those tear particles off and get him out here. We're about to go live.

Neelix: Welcome, Mr. Linden.

JohnBOner. Thank you, Neelix, Sleezy. I'm happy to be here to show my concern for working class Second Life residents.

Sleezy: Our first call is from Cheyenne Palisades.

Cheyenne: Hey, John, why are you orange?

JohnBONer: Next caller.

Dakota Burns: Hey, jerkwad, why are you orange? WHY ARE YOU FUCKING ORANGE? You look like a fucking oompa-loompa, okay?

JohnBOner: Next caller, please.

Neelix: Yeah, that Burns woman is known to be an out-of-control alt of Ms. Palisades. Here's a woman named Sweetie on Line 2.

Sweetie: Good evening, Mr. Linden.

JohnBoner: Ah, at last a constituent!

Sweetie: I appreciate the difficulty of your situation.

JohnBOner: Oh, thank you.

Sweetie: I understand your many problems, and empathize.I know you have in mind only the protection of the super rich and privileged and utter disdain for the downtrodden and unfortunate and out-of-work.

JohnBoner. Exactly. thank you for understanding.

Sweetie: I know your unhealthy skin color comes from too much time spent on tanning beds and your overtanning is a defense against your feelings of inadequacy.

JohnBOner. Yes, thanks. Uh-- wait a minute...

Sweetie: I appreciate the patriotism shown by your frequent on-camera tears in gratitude for the chance to harm so very many people in favor of the very few.

JohnBOner: Yes! Exactly!.

Sweetie: I know your self-righteousness is armor against your sexual inadequacy and many perversions.

JohnBOner: Can we go to commercial, please?

Sweetie: You were bullied when you were small, weren't you?

JohnBOner: Yes. That bastard Bitch McConnell picked on me all the time! Can we edit out that last line, please? If he hears that he'll beat the shit out of me again.

Sweetie: So I feel for you, Mr. Linden. I sympathize.

JohnBOner: You do?

Sweetie: Of course. May I suggest you immediately check yourself into our robot sanatorium for a brain transplant?

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