• In response to the claim by AIDS-denying racist Bryan Fischer that bacon proves America was founded as a Christian nation, I’ll just mention that the first meal I ate in Jerusalem was pork tenderloin. (Well, just across from Jerusalem, actually — in a hotel dining room on the Mount of Olives, with a spectacular view of the Temple Mount below.)
Or, possibly, David Crosby. Or maybe Floyd Pepper of the Electric Mayhem.
• When someone comes over to the dark side, they should be congratulated.
• Kevin Sorbo follows up his earlier comments about “Christ-killers” and “animals” by digging deeper: “They never want to deal with the New Testament in Hollywood, because it’s pretty much, you know, run by the world of the, um, Jewish population,” the Hercules actor said recently in an interview with right-wing “Christian” radio host Peter Heck.
First question: Is Sorbo going through a Gibsonian melt-down with these racist and anti-Semitic comments, or is he just saying this stuff to boost his currency with the white evangelical target-audience of the more than a dozen “Christian” movies he’s worked on this year?
Second question: Either way, what does it say about white evangelicalism that Sorbo’s recent racist and anti-Semitic comments will likely have the effect of boosting his favorability with that target audience?
• Carlos Bovell on how questioning [late-20th-century, white] biblical inerrantism gets one labeled “a mouthpiece of Satan.” (“Then I shall be a wicked Child …”)
• Fight the Power: A look back at CEPTIA, the Committee to End Pay Toilets in America.
• I want to see Calvary, John Michael McDonough’s new film starring Brendan Gleeson as a good, therefore doomed, local priest. Mark Silk liked it, which would be another point in its favor, except that he also points out that Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput liked it — subtract a point for that.
Partly, I guess, I’m just happy to see a movie that explores religious themes without Kevin Sorbo in it.
Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, McDonough’s previous movie, The Guard, is pretty terrific.
For email there are two friends that I send an email a week to. One of the them writes back regularly, the other irregularly. I have set days to send the emails. They are maybe 500 words long, and just talk about my daily life. (Sometimes I recycle bits of them into DW entries, and sometimes I recycle bits of DW entries into my emails.)
For keeping in touch emails the perfect really is the enemy of the good. My irregular corespondent sometimes tries to wait until enough interesting things have happened to be worth writing an email. I just try to write one a week. I'd rather get an email more frequently. (Also I generally don't find daily life boring.) I also find writing one at certain time is much easier then replying right away to anything I get back.
I have one friend to whom I write a postcard once a week. Then I send postcards to other friends occasionally as well. Postcards are nice because they are a real physical thing you can hold. I think this makes them Unlike letters postcards to not require replies. I also enjoy collecting postcards when I'm traveling.
I had one friend whom I was writing letters to, but she moved to Mexico where the postal service is quite bad so I've been writing her emails instead. These don't really have schedule, just when I feel like it. Which seems to work ok so far.
Other than DW and LJ I don't use a lot of social media. (And I seem to keep meeting new people here.)
I've given up on never feeding facebook at all, but it doesn't really feel like social connection. More like a news service about people's lives most of whom I'm not very close to. (It is also useful for me for some real news.) I kind of enjoy having a lot people notice things when I post there.
I used to use IM a bit, but now I only really use it for talking with R when we are at computers in different rooms. Even when more people used it I was always shy about starting conversations.
I don't have twitter account. I do sometimes find myself reading other people's feeds, so it might be worth having an account for that. But then again I don't have a smart phone, and I often go for hours and hours with out being online, which doesn't really go well with the twitter mentally.
(This post is based on comments I made on liv's post about conversions and keeping in touch with people. Also if you would like postcard please PM me your address.)
#624: My friends can’t read my husband’s emotions they way I can, so they hurt his feelings by accidWednesday, September 17th, 2014 10:14 pm
Dear Captain Awkward:
My husband is very expressive of his emotions; the problem is, he’s also very subtle about it. I’ve had half-joking chats with his BFF (we’ll call him Adam) about the subtle distinctions between the sigh that means “I’m pretending to be offended because you’re playfully teasing me” and the sigh that means “I’m actually really hurt but I don’t want to make a scene”; it’s as clear as day to me and Adam, but sounds identical to onlookers. My BFF, Evan, is one of those who can’t read my husband at all; recently, he approached me and mentioned that it makes him uncomfortable when I call my husband out on emotions Evan didn’t even notice he was feeling because it feels like I’m telling him what he’s feeling when I’m actually just echoing back what I’m seeing on his face.
The way my husband and I work, it helps tremendously if I stop and question him when I’m getting signals that he’s not okay, so we can resolve the issue immediately and not let it fester. I’m very grateful Evan said something, however, because I suspect other friends are also uncomfortable. How can I address my husband’s emotions when I’m the only one who can tell them apart without making people think I’m making things up, seeing what’s not there, or generally neurotic and anal?
For example: The three of us (Me, my husband, and Evan) were out to lunch and Evan and my husband were playfully teasing each other. Evan said something that actually bothered my husband, and he went into his (subtle) withdraw-and-sulk routine. I knew he’d feel bad all lunch and barely participate in the conversation, so I tried to comfort him, but he rebuffed me, so then I felt kind of bad myself. Evan was highly uncomfortable, but he characterized the event as my making a big deal out of nothing and making both of us upset. I pointed out that my husband was upset by the teasing first, and Evan was shocked to realize that he’d hit a nerve at all, and immediately apologized. That ended well, but I feel like I handled it badly. It’s like the three of us were in two totally different conversations: my husband and my perspective, and Evan’s perspective. I really don’t want to come across how I do in Evan’s perspective, but I’m not sure how to clue him in without sounding like a control freak.
I’ve been around a lot of babies lately, since my friends have been creating cute new life left and right, and there is a thing that new parents do where they closely read and translate the various expressions that babies make. Is she sleepy? Is she gonna barf? Is she pooping? The parents must become fluent in Baby because the baby is on a years-long-time-delay for becoming fluent in Adult, and it’s a matter of the baby’s comfort or even survival to get it right. And since Auntie Jen can’t reliably tell the difference between a “I’m bored” cry and an “I’m staaaaaaaaaaarving” cry (among other things), having the actual parent step in and say “You better hand her to me, that’s a barf-y sort of face” is pretty invaluable when we’re all hanging out together.
Reading your description of your lunch together in the example you gave, it seems kind of like you are translating your husband to other people the way parents translate their babies to non-baby people, and I see why your friend “Evan” is a little weirded out by it. If Evan accidentally hurt your husband’s feelings, you may have been the first to sense trouble, but I’m not at all sure it was on you to translate, and I’m not at all sure that a “withdraw-and-sulk routine“ from an adult man at a lunch with friends deserves your translation or mediation.
You may be trying too hard to control the situation (and I think there is something in here where you like that he’s so inscrutable to everyone but you) but in a world where a man just has to sigh, or pout, or sulk-and-withdraw (in a barely perceptible way) to have all of the corners of the world smoothed to his liking by his spouse, maybe the “control freak” here isn’t you. I have so many questions:
- Was Evan supposed to pick up on your husband’s discomfort? How? When? Does Evan have trouble picking up cues in general (your cues, for instance)?
- Do you think it would be a good thing if Evan, and others, could read your husband as well as you can? If the multiple variations on a sigh sound identical to onlookers, can they not be forgiven for not being able to distinguish them?
- What would the likely consequences have been if you did not intervene or translate? What if you just ignored your husband’s behavior until such time as he wanted to jump back into the conversation?
- Does your husband expect you to smooth over troubled waters often in social spaces? Do you often assume the mediator or translator role? Has he asked you to? Are you sure that he wants you to? Are you comfortable with it? Have you ever talked about this?
- Do you ever read your husband wrong? It seems like he was not that into your attempts to smooth things over (for instance, when he “rebuffed” your attempts to comfort him).
- What does your husband do when you’re not there to translate – at work, for instance?
It’s really great that you speak Eyebrow As A Second Language, and I’m sure it makes you and your husband formidable partners at Charades and Time’s Up and well able to re-create the Kuleshov Experiment. But my suggested script applies to your husband. “Evan, you couldn’t have known, but that hurt my feelings. New topic, maybe?”
Since you are the one who wrote to me, I would encourage you to do some thinking about this pattern of hyper-attenuation and translation you and your husband have going on. I read my boyfriend’s face very well, and he reads mine very well, and I’d guess that many or even most spouse-level partners can read their partner’s face very well – what’s so unusual about that? What’s unusual here is the habit of translation that you have. Honestly I am having a hard time imagining a situation where I’d want my partner to translate me for others or tell them what I “really” feel or want or need, when I am sitting right there and can do it myself. It sounds like you and your husband have a different sort of deal with that, but what’s the harm here if he had to do his own translating and make his reactions and wishes clearer when you socialize with others who don’t have that same kind of agreement with him? In Evan’s shoes, I’d be like “Hey, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, but can’t you just tell me that? I feel weird having your face narrated to me by the Husband Whisperer when you’re sitting right there” which I think is sort of what he said, only he said it to you instead of your husband, which is again the problem. Basically, I have an anti-script for you: What if Evan can make a mistake in his teasing, and your husband can feel some kind of way about it, without you doing or saying anything at all? Misunderstandings can be cleared up between friends, right?
Here's the thing, though: on the walk home from the train, almost every day I find myself thinking about my dad. Not that I don't think of him all the time, I mean, he's always with me even when I'm not specifically thinking of something he used to do or say, but for some reason the walk home brings him to the forefront of my mind more days than not. (I'd guess it was because I'm going past the big hospital, but I go past it in the morning too and I'm not aware of this happening to me in the mornings.)
And of course thinking about him makes me sad.
Other times, I'm sort of generally tired and worn out and feeling sort of fragile because of it; and feeling that way is like having "sad" on speed-dial.
And being sad makes me think of my dad.
I can't win.
⌈ Secret Post #2815 ⌋
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The replies to my last entry actually made me REALLY HAPPY, as did taking my painkillers, and lying around a lot on a heating pad. Also today I decided to take the kid to the Beacon Hill Children's Farm, and it was AWESOME. There's a free petting zoo, and then an entire park full of delightful walks and several large sculpture/fountain/spray-park installations where kids press the button and ginormous jets of water shoot out. It is the PERFECT place to take that kid. The only problem is that xe really really wants to feed breadcrumbs to the ducks, which the park discourages (I didn't know, so when the kid was distracted with a fountain I surreptitiously dumped 3/4 of our bread crumbs in a garbage bin).
Tonight we're going to see Emily and go swimming. My supervisor suggested that some of the kids might like to meet my cat and consequently they'll go "Can we see Emily?" and I'm like "TWIST MY RUBBER ARM also I need to pick up a jacket from my room." So now I'll take some of them by in the evening to feed, pet, and play with her. She's not a therapy cat for me yet, but she is in a way for some of them; she's very responsive to good things and very direct (though gentle) about expressing her displeasure. They're learning the basics of cat behaviour (one kid now quizzes me all the time, "If her ears are like this, she unhappy? She gonna use her claws?") and attuning to another animal's emotional state to decide how to act (as I coach, "she's biting you, time to stop petting her").
Something I've learned: If you join OKCupid and say right at the top of your profile, "If you are a guy I am going to ignore your message, I'm only here to meet ladies" it is actually a really nice experience! OKCupid lady flirting actually happens and you meet cool people and if someone messages you on Sunday and you don't reply until Wednesday and explain you've been swamped with work she's like "Cool, I understand," and you get on with talking!
It was a little vexing at first because I signed up as "bisexual, only here to meet women" and they kept suggesting me to men as a match (GRR) but that disclaimer has kept things cool. I wanted to note the bisexuality because some people have Stupid Opinions about bi people, but if I want to meet men I will not do it through a dating website, where the very air around them reeks with desperation and shattered hopes.
Meanwhile here are a bunch of stoats.
Not Sims related: I took a long break from Who pretty much as soon as I heard Eleven was leaving because I was not ready to say goodbye to him yet (did the same thing when I heard the Ponds were going). I wanted my goodbyes to be bittersweet but not resentful, with the edge of excitment that comes from goodbye always meaning 'hello' in the Whoverse. Finally felt ready and marathoned up through The Time Of The Doctor. Cried buckets. Oh Eleventy...you will always be my Doctor in a way I'm not sure can ever be replicated, much as I may love your other selves. I will try to be in a headspace to actually post about it soon, and before I start Twelve (I need a bit to collect myself, though I am indeed ready to say hello).
Sims related: Wow, the various sims forums/boards make the worst of fandom look like a puppy playground, y'all. I wouldn't participate with a ten foot pole, but just skimming them is like drowning in toxic waste. Would not recommend. Was curious in the wake of the epic wars going on with the release of 4, and decided to play 2 and 3 again today after having spent so much time in 4 to form comparison. 2 is still everything, and I immediately got sucked into losing my entire morning and had to make myself stop. I think 4 may overtake it eventually (more on that in a second), but until it does 2 remains the reigning champion, making up for it's limitations and what it lacks on pure WTF charm.
What surprised me is that upon booting up 3, I had...absolutely no desire to play it. None. Surprising because 3 has the most stuff to do and places to go, and I love stuff and things to do with my sims. But I realized that actually I had spent most of my 'playing' time in it building stuff. And rearranging stuff. And setting stuff up. And very little with the actual sims. Because they are cold. I'm all for projecting on to my sims (obviously), and half the fun of the game is what you bring in your imagination to the party. But 3 lacks intimacy in a way I'm not sure I can put my finger on, other than I didn't realize just how much it was a one way street until I was away for a bit. Felt like I was pushing around dolls instead of forming a relationship with them. The world is great. The stuff is great. And...I realized I don't much care if I don't feel like my sims are playing with me, rather than me playing them if that makes any sense at all.
Which is why I will firmly plant my flag in the 'fuck the haters' camp regarding 4. It lacks stuff, yes. It even lacks stuff that isn't excusable even for a base game, and it's a bit buggy in places. I don't care. These sims are so full of life and charm and personality, and the way the world is set up puts me up close and personal with them in the same way they are in 2, only with even better sims themselves. Stuff can be added. Places to go and things to do can be added, and no doubt will be in the billionty expansion packs I'll probably go broke buying. A sim who gets me emotionally invested is priceless. And the mere thought of what it's going to be once it's expanded beyond the base game. I really, honestly, and truly think it could not just reach but surpass the epicness that is 2. And quickly.
[S]ci-fi history actually has featured ahead-of-its-time, female-identifying authors and creators who have challenged conventional notions of race, gender, and sexuality head-on for centuries. Their contributions are so essential (some are by far the most out-there in the canon) that without them, the genre could not possibly have grown into the blockbuster behemoth it is today.
Eventually got out the door, only to immediately go back to get a pair of working headphones. Got to the lecture on time though, it's Stephen Crane today. I like him, I've read a few of his short stories by now. My favourite is a short poem though, partly because I can usually remember it by heart:
A man said to the universe,It's just so true, and written with this wonderfully dry humour. We also talked about Westerns a bit. Some series had names that are much funnier today... I think "Deadwood Dick" is my favorite. :~D Yes, I am that immature.
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"This has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
After that there was the writing group, where we talked about historical contexts, connections to other works, etc. I almost missed the first hour, because I looked at tomorrow's schedule where I have a one-hour break. Thankfully I invited another student (I say student, he's about old enough to be my dad) for lunch, whereupon he was very surprised and set me straight. I had my lunch after the group instead, and then sat in the cafeteria doing grammar exercises for a while before meeting mum and getting a ride home with her.
When I came home I did some more studying before dinner (and the next episode of NCIS), then I did some more work on the songs for the party. I also had to clean my hair out of the bathroom drain, which was incredibly gross. I gagged, but I stopped before anything worse happened. I can do more in a week or two, it'll be fine. Bleh!
However, if you really think about it, this is anything BUT unequal. Sure, it can't last forever, but... well, I have a metaphor that will explain:
On one of the episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Ferengi bar tender Quark is dividing the profits of the bar (in the form of "latinum" strips) between himself and his brother, because it is payday. Being the greedy, exploitative Ferengi he is, Quark goes "one for you, TWO for me" with every count. The brother, Rom, points out that this is unfair. Quark agrees, and goes "two for you, THREE for me."
Now imagine that Ferengi law somehow changed, to say that this practice was unfair. Now the law says that, because Quark had been doing this for, let's say, 20 years, he now had to do the opposite for 20 years - give two to Rom for every one he gave himself. To Quark's mind, even "one for you, one for me" is unfair to him, and this is doubly unfair to him.
Now consider, blacks and other people of color (and women, too) have been treated so poorly for the last few hundred years at least (more for women) that at first, even paying non-whites for a job at all was once considered unfair by the people who were used to using slave labor. They consoled themselves, though, by paying POC a lot less than whites, and being much less likely to hire them for many kinds of jobs. (For a long time, they wouldn't have been considered for many kinds of jobs at all.)
Then things change again and they're told they're required by law to give preferential treatment to POC in their hiring, to make up for the hundreds of years of discrimination against POC. So in terms of the metaphor, they're being told to do the hiring equivalent of "two for you, one for me" to make up for having done "one for you, two for me" for decades or longer.
And in terms of the recent Republican vote against wage equality for (white) women, the Republicans are all basically Ferengi saying that they have the right to say "one for you, two for me" to white women and "one for you, THREE for me" to POC, especially POC women.
The thing is, we not only need Affirmative Action for POC and women, but also trans women as well, because as far as these Ferengipublicans are concerned, trans people shouldn't exist and therefore should not be hired at all, and if they're hired, they should be grateful for slave wages.
I'm not saying that, wage-wise, "Quark" should be giving "Rom" two for every one he gives himself, but hiring-wise, it's a good idea. Affirmative Action should be the law nationwide, it should apply to POC, women (especially POC women), transgender people, and gay/bi/pan people. Because the hiring system has been geared so heavily toward straight white cis men for so long that the only true equality at this point for minorities being discriminated against is to turn the tables for a while. Sure, it can't last forever without becoming just as problematic as the current system is, but in the meantime, it must be done.
And for those who say that they'd be forced to hire people just because of their skin color, gender, gender identity, or sexuality, I ask "And how is that different from what you've already been doing? Oh that's right, the tables have turned."
Woke up late but still managed to get to get to university more or less on time. Started with grammar, which was entertaining as usual. Today we analysed the lyrics of "I'm So Excited", because it contains several modal verbs and future time. We got to listen to some of it on YouTube as well. Afterwards I had the American Literature and Culture seminar, which was mostly on Emily Dickinson. I like her poems, so going through some of them was fun.
Then I had my lunch (semi-)rudely interrupted when mum rang and asked if I was home, because they had bought the drinks for my grandparents' wedding anniversary party on Saturday and we needed to get them out of the sun quickly. She'd forgot about my seminar, so I wasn't really in a position to help. I quickly finished my lunch and hurried home, only to get a phone call while in transit telling me that I didn't have to hurry, they were finished. Of course, this was after I'd decided to skip the library where I needed to hand in a book and borrow another.
When I came home I did some job searching before dinner, during which I watched the second part of what was really the pilot for NCIS: New Orleans. I'm looking forward to the series, even though they killed the character I liked the best. Also, several familiar faces!
After dinner I sat down to decorate the songs, guest list, front page etc. for the anniversary party. I enjoyed doing it, fiddling around with clip art, colours, and word art until it looked nice. Then mum and I watched Stjernekamp (let's call it Battle of the Stars), in which already known singers from several different genres compete in different genres, including folk, opera, and hip hop. It's really cool to see people taking on genres they haven't sung before. I wonder if other countries have this concept as well, it would be fun to watch with for instance British singers.
Got up, got to the lecture almost in time. Had lunch afterwards, then went to the allergy doctor for a checkup. Was back at the university in time for my next lecture. As usual for Global English it was both interesting and entertaining, courtesy of our lecturer. We got a discussion going about different rules for greeting people, it was fun!
When I came home I just had time for dinner before I had to go to band practice, and had to do job stuff when I returned. Thankfully there wasn't much I had to do today; there will be more tomorrow. I didn't get the job at the Forbidden Planet equivalent, so I'm still stuck looking for jobs. I'm quite bummed by that, really, both because I very much wanted to work there and because it has been my best chance of actually getting a job so far. Ill just have to keep looking!
That seems like a sweet, jangly bit of pure pop confection from Veronica Falls, until you listen to the twist of the blade in the lyrics: What’s your excuse, baby … For standing in the middle, waiting for something to happen?
Well, one excuse — probably more common than commonly admitted — is “I was afraid.” That’s what Servant No. 3 offers as his reason for standing in the middle, waiting, in a parable Jesus tells in Matthew’s Gospel. “I was afraid, and I went and hid your [money] in the ground,” the guy says.
He was playing not to lose. He was, above all, afraid of taking any chance that might get him in trouble. He was being civil and nice so as not to offend.
That didn’t end well. Standing in the middle, waiting for something to happen rarely does.
Briallen Hopper addresses this same fearful, noncommittal standing in the middle in a terrific essay at Killing the Buddha called “White People Problems.” Hopper’s first hook involves the recent Facebook-beloved advice column from Andrew W.K., which epitomizes the way that irresponsible timidity gets repackaged as a lofty, above-the-fray, “Third Way.”
“The world isn’t being destroyed by Democrats or Republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist,” W.K. wrote, “the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world.”
I hated Andrew W.K.’s response, even though (like the almost quarter of a million people who shared it) I found a lot to agree with in it. I have a 63-year-old father with whom I deeply disagree about LGBT issues and abortion, and I still love him, respect him, and learn from him. My friendships with people across the political spectrum are important to me. And it’s hard to argue with Andrew W.K. when he says that that no one is perfect; politics are complicated; we should see each other as persons, not monsters; and love should be able to bridge barriers.
More than anything, though, what struck me about Andrew W.K.’s response was how white it was.
I don’t know anything about Andrew W.K.’s background beyond what an Internet search can tell me, but as a white American I do know this: It is a privilege to experience political differences as differences of opinion rather than differences of power. It is a privilege to be able to view all political issues in indistinguishable shades of gray. And, as I’ve been realizing in the month since Michael Brown’s death: It is a privilege when loving your political enemy means loving your father, not loving the man who killed your son — or the man who killed someone who might have been your son, or who might have been you.
Hopper sharply notes that Andrew W.K.’s formula starts to smell bad once you begin factoring in all the history, reality and power it neglects. Should we tell protesters in Ferguson, she asks, that “The world isn’t being destroyed by racism — the world is being destroyed by non-violent protestors believing that racism is destroying the world”?
The enthusiastic response to Andrew W.K.’s article doubtless speaks to some likable qualities in the citizens of Facebook: our recognition of our common humanity with people who disagree with us (or at least with people who disagree with us and are also related to us), and our desire for closer relationships with them. But it also speaks to the desire of so many of us privileged people to avoid all tension and conflict while still feeling like we are a force for good in the world. It’s a way of letting ourselves off the hook; of lulling ourselves into inaction by making neutrality into a positive good.
According to Andrew W.K., we don’t need to challenge our friends and family on the things that matter to the planet or to our less privileged neighbors: In fact, we probably shouldn’t. We can even label this evasion “love.” And we don’t need to sacrifice anything for our political beliefs — not our lives, not our time, not even a peaceful family dinner.
LA school police get free grenade launchers, rifles, armored MRAP vehicle from DoD. They'll return gWednesday, September 17th, 2014 01:20 pm
MADAM SECRETARY stars Tèa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State who drives international diplomacy, battles office politics and circumvents protocol as she negotiates global and domestic issues, both at the White House and at home. A college professor and a brilliant former CIA analyst who left for ethical reasons, Elizabeth returns to public life at the request of the President following the suspicious death of her predecessor. The President values her apolitical leanings, her deep knowledge of the Middle East, her flair for languages and her ability to not just think outside the box, but to not even acknowledge there is a box. McCord's team includes her Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver, speechwriter Matt Mahoney, press coordinator Daisy Grant and her charming assistant Blake Moran. When McCord debates third world problems, finesses foreign dignitaries at work and does battle with the President's combative Chief of Staff Russell Jackson, it's just a warm-up for when she goes home to her supportive husband, Henry, and their two bright children, where "politics" and "compromise" take on new meaning.
MADAM SECRETARY @ CBS
MADAM SECRETARY @ IMDb
MADAM SECRETARY @ Facebook
With 'Madam Secretary' Tea Leoni returns to series TV after 16 years
What say you?
I plan to watch this.
I’m curious enough about this to look into it more.
I’m considering checking this out at some point.
I have no plans to watch this at this time.
I've never even heard of this show before today.