New Rules to Live By

Bill Maher has espoused hundreds of New Rules to live by on his cable show. I’ve culled through the whole series of them to come up with this short list of gems — well, at least a short list of those that actually made me snort when I read them!

  • New Rule: Not everything is a conspiracy — Black History Month is in February because Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were born in February, not because it’s the shortest month. So here’s the deal: you accept that on faith, and we’ll pretend you didn’t completely make up Kwanzaa.
  • New Rule: After the plane lands, airlines must stop saying, “Thank you for choosing us!” — There is no choosing anymore. I took the only flight that left within eight hours of when I wanted to go by the only airline that went there. Choosing?! Nobody chooses Southwest. Southwest chooses you! If I need to be in Spokane, Washington, by tomorrow morning, I either take the flight I’m given or I mail myself in a FedEx box!
  • New Rule: Let TV shows die a natural death — Fans of the canceled TV series, “Star Trek: Enterprise,” are trying to raise enough money on their own to pay for another season! It’s either that or go outside. So far, they’ve raised $3 million largely by not dating.
  • New Rule: Stop saying anybody or anything is like the Nazis — Republicans aren’t like the Nazis. Even Neo-Nazis aren’t like the Nazis. Nothing is like the Nazis…except for Wal-Mart.
  • New Rule: Parents have to stop coddling their children — The latest is, schools have stopped grading papers with red ink because of complaints that a big, mean, red X is too negative. Why, a kid might even think he got it wrong and learn something. These parents today are so fixated on protection, it’s amazing they ever got pregnant in the first place.
  • Photo © / Olga Shelegeda

    New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the åsshølë — If you walk into a Starbucks and order a “decaf grande half-soy, half-low-fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n’-Low and one NutraSweet,” ooh, you’re a huge åsshølë.

  • New Rule: Someone must stop the Cirque du Soleil — If we hate the French so much, how come we gave them Las Vegas? There are now six Cirque du Soleil-related shows on The Strip. Six! Who wants to spend two hours watching a bunch of French chicks fold themselves in half? You know what? Scratch that. New Rule: We need more Cirque du Soleil!
  • New Rule: If you’re going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what’s playing on the other screens — Let’s remember that the reason something was a television show in the first place is the idea wasn’t good enough to be a movie.
  • New Rule: Oil companies must stop with the advertisements implying they’re friends of the environment — “At ExxonMobil, we care about a thriving wildlife.” Please! The only thing an oil executive has in common with a seagull is that they would both steal French fries from a baby.
  • New Rule: The fortunes in fortune cookies have to be fortunes — “You surround yourself with good friends” is not a prediction. It’s a compliment. Quit kissing my åss, cookie! If I’m going to sit through a plate of MSG-laden, twice-cooked kitty-cat, I want a real fortune like, “That meal you just ate is going to give you cancer.”
  • New Rule: I don’t need a reminder at the bottom of the TV screen to tell me “You’re watching ‘Lost.'” — Somehow, we got through the first 50 years of television knowing what show we were watching by looking at it! If Lucy is on, it’s “Lucy.” If it’s some guys playing football, it’s probably football. Here’s how I know I’m watching “Lost.” I’m bored.