Friday, October 29, 2004

DCeptette: Fielder's choices version

  1. Sean Taylor, the recent rookie acquisition and impact safety for the Redskins, achieved a personal milestone this week when he joined that fraternity of DC athletes who get nailed for DUI. It's been an odd year for the rookie, who went from being nearly blinded by LaVar Arrington in camp, to shining in the preseason, to falling out of favor at the start of the regular season, to finally having an impact on the field of late. DCist notes that he missed part of the NFL's mandatory rookie symposium. After some research, we discovered that two of the breakout sessions the day Taylor skipped were "DUI arrests: sooo passe" and "Hey, Watch Out for the LaVar Arrington Guy, Because He's Crazy." (DCist)
  2. World of Craigslist: I think someone's going to cry themselves to sleep listening to her Cat Power albums tonight. (Craigslist)
  3. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is making Ashlee Simpson jokes. So, now that's played. (Names and Faces)
  4. DC Council entertains the madding crowd on the subject of taxpayer funded baseball stadia. Williams, scheduled to speak late in the hearing, figures he hasn't really shown up for this issue thus far, so why bother starting now. Great Marion Barry quote: "This is the biggest stickup by Major League Baseball since Jesse James was doing train robberies." Ummm, Jesse James did robberies for Major League Baseball? Barry added: "Nobody could refute what I said." That's true, Marion, that's true. (Post)
  5. Some good news: whether they win the election or lose the election, after next week, the GOP will be getting the fuck out of Arlington. (Post)

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Five Question West Wing Study Guide: "The John Spencer Cardiac Explosion"

This week, The West Wing tells us: if the war between the Israelis and Palestinians doesn't kill us, the peace process will. As the DCist pointed out this time last week, the White House is still playing a fevered game of "Dude, Where's my Chief of Staff"--except this time, the results are tragic. Or at least tragic in the sense that we are treated to a death scene that is so over-the-top hack that it makes one yearn for those days when Wells would just drop a vengeful helicopter on you.

And speaking of hack: you have to wonder where the White House Staff who were brash idealists, hopeful and prone to taking risks, who were proud to "let Bartlet be Bartlet" and eager to "write a new book" have gone, and where did the callow, lifeless technocrats that have replaced them come from. TWW used to inspire a viewer to believe that public service was a place for inspiration and possibility. Now it's message seems to be: "Never doubt that a large group of dispirited cynics can keep the world exactly the way it is, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

And now, some questions for further study.

  1. Mary McCormack's bangs: they simply have to go! Is it just me or does her haircut make her face look like it's growing out of the back of a cocker spaniel's ass?
  2. During the rehearsals for the scene where the cast of The West Wing played The Baskbetball Game Upon Which the Fate of the Middle East would be Decided, what is your ballpark estimate for the cast's collective field goal percentage?
  3. A strange thing happened last night while I was watching the show. In this one scene, John Spencer walks into a kitchen area of Camp David and complained of having indigestion. Suddenly there was a knock at my door. At the door, I was greeted by a man from Western Union, who handed me a large box and said: "Here you go. I had to wait till just now to give it to you." When I opened the box, I discovered it was FULL of telegraphs! Did this happen to any of you?
  4. Wasn't the long montage of John Spencer walking through the woods and eventually dying of a heart attack, like, the most depressing REM video, ever?
  5. Wouldn't it have been awesome if the last shot had been of Zombie John Spencer picking himself up off the ground and beginning his season-long shamble back to Washington, culminating in a season finale where he avenges his death by slurping up Martin Sheen's brain?

DCeptette: Sticking it to Dan Snyder version

  1. The Golden Age of Walking to Fed Ex Field is upon us, as PG County lifted the ban for which there was "no precedent", other than the well-established one that suggested Dan Snyder could do whatever he wanted in milking every last dollar out of the fans. One fan describes herself as being "just in awe", a condition that's sure to diminish once she gets to see the Redskins play. (Post)
  2. Apparently, the DC area is heavily populated with political ad voice over artists. Truly, we are the Dawson's Creek of partisan hackery. (Post)
  3. Gordon Peterson leaves Channel 9 news to join Channel 7, where he'll be back together with Maureen Bunyan. Now, can we get these two to deliver the news each night from a hot tub? Because that would be pimped out. (Post)
  4. Stanley Tucci speaks truth to power: "I spoke at the Holocaust Museum last week -- even the Jews let me speak! Only Catholics could make you feel bad for not doing anything wrong." Ohhhh, snap! (Leiby)
  5. Oh, hey! It's Shelly, my Unintentional Comedy Watchdog! What is it girl? Why you barking? What's that? You say Mayor Anthony Williams looked like an idiot trying to make a lame joke about how some people pronounce the store "Target" as if it were "Tar-zhay?" Oh, my. You need a Milk Bone for that! ([forgot to source, sorry] Castor Oil)
  6. Synergize yourself: Blue in the Face has new stuff; The Diner has a daily election digest.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

DCeiver and DCist get their powwow on, plus the things that keep DC from fully realizing its coolness potential.

Last night, The DCeiver had the pleasure of meeting up at The Big Hunt with the illustrious Rob Goodspeed, one of the two editors of the DCist blog and the author of the Goodspeed Update. Over beers and wings (or as those of you who frequent St. Maartens in Charlottesville prefer, "Waaaaaaaaangs!"), The DCeiver and Mr. Goodspeed talked about Washington, DC (we heart it), bloggy goodness (we got pretty theoretical) and how we were the two most totally awesome people in all of life (is that not plainly obvious?). During the night, he and I were both coincidentally interviewed by Reuters television, who were scouring The Big Hunt, looking for comments on the election. Yeah, we brought the poli-sci capital-K KNOWLEDGE, I'm not afraid to admit. So keep checking Reuters today to see if we made the cut.

The DCeiver was glad for the opportunity to hopefully dispel the rumor that I was some sort of reclusive, shadowy crank who preferred anonymity and never wanted to hang out. The truth is that I am a very public crank, suffering through a brief period election-based agoraphobia. I'm usually happy to be out and about, and will answer you quite honestly if you ask me if I am the Deceiver. You know, it's like DEA agents at a frat party, they, like HAVE to answer you. So, if you're out there in the Washington, DC area, and you hate this blog, or even if you're just a member of Rotoscope, feel free to come kick my ass. Just remember, after a period of convalescence, I'll just write about you, and then the joke'll be on you, sucker.

Now, if you check out the Goodspeed Update, prepare to be impressed with Rob's goodly knowledge of blogging and its societal effect. (And, to the Ann Arbor blogging community, I would like to say that we are very interested in obtaining one of those orbital mind-control lasers.) Getting deep into it, we came to a thorough analysis of blogging and cool cities that incorporate the work of the unfortunately named but tres astute social science guru Richard Florida.

According to the data, Mr. Florida, who's deeply interested in the "creative class" and the effect they have on cities and communities, has ranked Washington, DC at #26 on the scale of "coolness." Well, we here at The DCeiver want to stick up for the DC Metro Area, and think there are a number of mitigating factors that could, and perhaps should, drive that rating up.

1. We're essentially an occupied territory. Washington DC is the only city that has to shape its life around what the federal government--that notorious institute of total lame--says we have to do. Were it not for the Feds, we would be able to do all kinds of cool things here in Washington: stuff like cockfights, and gay marriages, and skeet shooting on Embassy Row. It would be totally awesome, but because Congress won't give DC money to have drinking water if any of those awesome innovations were implemented, we don't come across as the trendsetters we truly are.

2. Too many painful haircuts. Self-explanatory. Most members of Congress walk around as if Burma-shave and floppy combovers were the only option. Because they can't seem to hew to any sort of modern day standard, it keeps the bar low for people like Tony Kornheiser and George Michael to inflict their scalp-pubes on the rest of us, in a post-apocalyptic orgy of sartorial mishap.

3. Everyone is too convinced of their own essentialness. This is the only place I've ever lived in where, when the news reports that inclement weather is allowing all non-essential personnel to stay at home, people instead break their necks trying to get to work and polish the policy brief that no ones going to read or talk about. Ugh. Lame! "Coolness" and "essentialness" just do not mix.

4. We're totally carrying Silver Spring on our back. Sure, New Yorkers sometimes have to drag Long Island City behind them and L.A. is saddled with the Valley, but it just doesn't compare to the dispiriting, soul-leeching blight that is Silver Spring, which, even as it attempts to upscale itself feels more and more like rusty tin can crapulence. What's that stench from the North? Oh, it's that sprawling slum with the pretty movie theatre!

5. Carling Dinkler lives here. Don't need to say any more.

6. I guess randomly strewn roundabouts and diagonal streets named after states aren't everyone's cup of tea. So sue me. Would it improve your out look to note that the circles throughout the city were designed with cannonade defense in mind? Don't you think it's cool that all our weird streets are laid out in the way they are so as to correspond with freaked out Masonic patterns of mysterious design, that channel the awesome power of occult ley lines right into our city? Yeah, well, don't come crying to us when we send the Devouring Maw of Yog-Soggoth after your punk ass.

7. Kwame Brown still just isn't a consistent enough inside presence.

8. People are hung up about all the murders. Fucking crybabies! So a lot of people get murdered in DC. What's the big deal? Look at it this way--you can only get murdered once. So how's that so bad? In New York City, by contrast, you can run into Chloe Sevigny repeatedly.

Really, I could go on and on--too many people are still going to Lauriol Plaza, most of our local bands need a nail driven through their nutsack, and Sandra Day O'Connor still hasn't heeded John Riggins' advice and "loosened up." But I think we're a town of literate iconoclasts, deserving of some attention, despite the hard-to-penetrate haze of Congressional lameosity.

At the very least, we've got it way over Saint Louis.

DCeptette: Clearly, it's better to jack off together

  1. Craigslist--it practically writes this blog for me. Mr. Whetherunderground@gmail.com, a self-described "disaffected, lonely" youth, is looking for activity partners to start underground magazine filled with "poems..social and political content." Hoo, boy! I bet we all can't wait for that! Look for Cranky Depressive Quarterly wherever somber and overwrought acoustic guitar is played. (Craigslist)
  2. More World of Craigslist: CLister asks the immortal question: "Why do guys want to jack off together?" The DCeiver answers: "Well, why not?" (Craigslist)
  3. Tomorrow's DC Council hearing on the baseball stadium is shaping up to be a session of epic proportions. 170 people will be alternatively pitching the Expos and airing their grievances. Mayor Anthony Williams, showing the get-there-last attitude that propelled him off the Democratic party ballot and into the netherworld of write-in campaigning, will be speaking 157th. The anti-stadium crowd include pro-neighborhood activists from the Washington Interfaith Network, bakers of anti-stadium fortune cookies, and members of the Cato institute, who will be bringing a bookshelf full of dryly worded white papers. (On that note, Mayor Williams groused, "I can't imagine why, with all the things happening in the world, the Cato Institute would take the time to analyze the impact of baseball in Washington, D.C." Mayor Williams doesn't realize that wherever there is a picayune matter to be analyzed, wherever there is a passing distraction to be amplified, wherever their is a topic too incidental to warrant any real importance, the Cato Institute is there.) (Post)
  4. Celia Wren disparages Rorschach's The Accidental Death of an Anarchist for lacking subtlety. Celia--Dario Fo's comedies are about as subtle as a blimp full of jackhammers falling on a Unitarian Church picnic. If you had bothered to, um, read some Dario Fo, you would know that (you'd also know that TADoaA, is traditionally updated to match the current state of politics.) Please, Celia, get a degree in Dramatic Literature or Theatre Criticism. And, Washington Post: please, please, please bring us a theatre reviewer who isn't some illiterate, axe-grinding, crank! You are intruding on my territory (though, it should be noted, I do have the theatre degree Ms. Wren needs). (Post)
  5. And, thus, to grind another axe: remember Big Yawn? The flashy, ostensibly local music tout? Well, I didn't realize that Fiona Apple was an area musician. Or a musician that's on anybody's radar. (The ever-appropriately named Big Yawn)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Redskins and Green Bay

Friend of Deceiver and area turntablist extraordinaire Paul Vodra has alerted us to a news item that may have bearing on this Sunday's game with Green Bay. Quarterback Brett Favre, star of There's Something About Mary and considered by me to be the second-greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL (Bart Starr being the first), is going througha serious bit of trouble in his family--his wife, Deanna, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. This is making for a happy cancer-filled week, huh? The good news: Deanna Favre was released from Sloan Kettering after undergoing a lumpectomy, will undergo a series of chemotherapy treatments, and is expected to make a full recovery.

For his part, Brett Favre has uncannily rebounded from personal adversity with stellar performances on the field. This past week, he passed all over the decent Dallas defense at Lambeau. The Redskins, a good run stopping team that can be stretched down the field, may be at risk from another Favre barnstormer.

The Deceiver will actually be in attendance at FedEx Field this Halloween for the Green Bay game, thanks to the generosity of The Diner's editor, Travis Mills, and his John McCain lookalike father. The Deceiver has only been to two other Redskins games, lifetime. But both times--and feel free to factcheck me on this--we went to the Superbowl and won. One was a 28-0 drubbing of the then Saint Louis Cardinals during the strike shortened season of '80-someting. The second was the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings that led to the Doug Williams/Timmy Smith dismantling of the Denver Broncos. Both times, The Deceiver was proud to wear the colors and lustily cheer for the home sporting concern. This time, for reasons beyond the game, that might not be the case.

DCeptette: Who shits in what woods version

  1. World of Craigslist: Here we go again. Craigslister accidentally pens lyrics, this time to lost early period Nine Ince Nails track. Would fit nicely as B-side to "Closer", but is probably too insipid for a Johnny Cash remake. All the same, we worry that somewhere, out in the District, some high school's about to get shot up. (Craigslist)
  2. More from Craigslist: This poster sidles up beside what could be one of the great existential questions: is Cafe St. Ex a Sartrian black-hole in which all connections are doomed to be missed? And, if so, can market pressure be brought to bear on Cafe St. Ex that would lead to them reducing the price of martinis, just a tad? I mean, I can get one cheaper at the Black Cat, and the bartenders usually overmix. (Craigslist)
  3. After a day-long orgy of killing, Maryland's bear hunt is declared over. Remaining bears to plan guerilla insurgency, intelligence suggests they are receiving help from possums, raccoons. Bear leader insists, "The infidels' trashcans will not be spared any mercy during our glorious overturning campaign." Governor Ehrlich promises a response "as soon as [his] sinuses aren't clogged with tasty bear meat." (Post)
  4. Globalization scandal at the Army Ten Miler: commemorative medals are shown to bear "Made In China" label. Also, American flag thereon missing two stripes, leading some to imagine which "two colonies were left out." Why, Hong Kong and Taiwan, of course! (Leiby)
  5. DC Bus drivers mount sickout, and the Washington Times, needing to give story an anti-labor frame, leads with: "About 600 special-education students in the District were stranded at their homes yesterday morning, when bus drivers and attendants staged an illegal sickout over wage and back-pay issues." When reached for comment, Times editor Wesley Pruden, assures The DCeiver: "Not to worry, we plan on returning to our unflagging refusal to support special education programs just as soon as we're done sticking it to working people." (Moonie Dishrag)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Help turn Virginia blue!

The Deceiver is issuing a call for volunteers to help the Arlington County Democrats on the telephones this week and weekend for a massive get-out-the-vote effort. If you are so inclined, shoot me an email or contact ACD's electoral mack daddy Paul Hashemi at phashemi@yahoo.com.

If you are not so inclined, well, stay at home and enjoy the trappings and luxuries that come from being a member of the master race.

DCeptette: Hunters and the Hunted Version

  1. World of Craigslist: Anonymous Craigslister misses connection with the young filly Barbara Bush at the Fresh Fields on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington. As I've said before, I think Jenna is hotter, perhaps only because deep within the inky depths of Barbara's eyes lie the black flames of damnation. Anyway, MC boy, you should have shown Bab's your "O" face. (Craigslist)
  2. It's being reported that Muslim voters are abandoning Bush in droves and planning to cast their vote for John Kerry. The Kerry Campaign, when reached for comment, said, "Hey, everybody, let's just keep it down, you know?" (Post)
  3. The Home School Legal Defense Association are like the Superfriends who fly into action everytime someone dares question the validity of a crazy Christian education in the basement. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be as effective in keeping me from throwing the resumes of the home-schooled in the dustbin. (Republicans Can Read, Too!)
  4. More and more, police are being aided by robots. But can the cops teach the robots how to love, man? Can they teach a robot to feel me? Remember, if robots take over the world, that'll be the end of your fucking emo band. (Moonie Poopchute)
  5. Hey, get on up to Maryland for the first Bear Hunt in 51 years! And if you're a husky gentleman who likes to go to The DC Eagle for fine drink and conversation, please note that this a LITERAL Bear Hunt. We don't want anyone to get hurt. Except the actual bears, I guess. (WTOP)

Life is gettin' EZ in the 202.

Everyone is talking up the news that blessed EZ PASS has found its way to the Dulles Toll Road at long last. We got the news in a helpful phone call from Elissa Ewalt, Provider of the Pixies Tickets, this weekend. Chest cold seemingly on the wane, and with the Sister-in-Law of Deceiver in town, we got in the automobile and headed out for the Fairfax hinterlands.

At the toll booths, SMART TAG is still the advertised means of bypassing the long lines, but you should take note of new signage. It still says "Smart Tag", but the signs are changed--they are purple in color now. Sensing that EZ PASS rebranding was afoot, but uncertain as to whether it had taken place, we paid with quarters. But, as we got off the Toll Road at the Fairfax County Parkway, we were overjoyed to see the gate, which had previously stood in my way mockingly, demanding a quarter, instead bounced skyward in a gesture of respect and abeisance that all seasoned EZ PASS members recognize.

If you are part of the seventeen million person caravan that regularly drives to New Jersey and New York for Thanksgiving, there are two things you already know. One: the package stores stay open later in Newark. Two: EZ PASS makes the trip 900% better. No one should have to stay in Baltimore one second more than is necessary--EZ PASS ensures that you will not. More to the point, I've seen the best of my generation graduate from college and reach AARP membership age while waiting to clear the toll at Port Deposit. EZ PASS can help prevent this atrocity. Now, local residents can get on board, and with word from DCist that a westward expansion is in the works, connecting the EZ PASS system to points Midwest.

Trust the Deceiver, EZ Pass is a great purchase. When you contemplate the possibility of four more years of the Bush adminsitration, remember--there are some freedoms that can't be taken away, so long as those freedoms are mounted to your windscreen with sticky tape.

Friday, October 22, 2004

DCeptette: Crouching Red Line, Hidden Payday Bars Version

  1. Post features profiles of dueling doyennes of domesticity Juleanna Glover-Weiss and Nancy Jacobsen Penn--who elevate their partisan hackery by reinterpreting it for the cocks and tails politico-socialite set. Juleanna's the alkie-Republican, Nancy's a Democrat and has something to do with "lifeboats." Ominous. A side note: we're happy to hear that Juleanna's a snap with a plate of canapes, but when it comes to working on campaigns, we wonder: Juleanna, are you above the Mendoza line yet, sweetie? (Names and Faces)
  2. Peter Marks has shocking news for us in Washington, DC. Brooklyn: The Musical kind of sucks. No shit? Well, you could knock me over with an anvil! Peter, again we ask--What the fuck are you doing in New York City? We're sorry no one would hire you, but you are a DC Theatre Critic! Brooklyn The Musical is not going to be coming to DC, ever, and I can't think of anyone here who was going to see it either! So, either come home and do your job or stay there and work retail! (Post)
  3. The flu-shot hilarity continues. Let me ask you something. Isn't it weird that this came up at the Presidential debates, and now everyone is freaking out about flu shots as if influenza just arrived last week from Mars? What if Bob Schieffer had expressed concern over the shortage of Bjork albums? (Post)
  4. So the WMATA is going to improve Metro service by learning "verbal judo?" All right then! I've trained for years in linguistic kung-fu, East Coast style snark jujitsu, and I have black belt in "Your Mama." Let's get it on, bitches! (DCist)
  5. Fallout from the Georgetown fire and the wave of student displacement has metastasized to the campus of George Washington University--an ominous thought, given GWU's legendary proclivity for snatching up any piece of Foggy Bottom property that's not nailed down. When reached for comment, President Steven Trachtenburg stated: "Mmmmwhaaa haaa haaa haaa!" He then paused and sucked the blood from a live parakeet. (Post)

Calling All Enthusiasts!

SPOTTISWOODE AND HIS ENEMIES
If you're a fan of moody, dark rock, or just like to carry around your Field Guide To the Seven Hundred Bands Kevin Cordt Plays Trumpet In and are looking to cross one off, come out to the Velvet Lounge and peep one of The Deceiver's favorites, Spottiswoode and His Enemies in their first DC show of the year. With Preston Clarke, 9:30pm.

THE ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST
The only thing we love more than Pho, is Fo. Dario Fo. And his po-mo po co's. So go. To the Casa Del Pueblo, that is, to see Rorschach Theatre's production of Fo's best-known work, The Accidental Death of an Anarchist. Director Grady Weatherford channels his unbridled energy into this hilarious farce about terrorism, totalitarianism, and the incompetence of your political leaders. You'll laugh and laugh until you walk outside and realize that this shit isn't funny anymore. Then you'll go buy Moral Politics by George Lakoff and turn off your fucking television.

TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES 10th ANNIVERSARY
Alexandria's Ten Thousand Villages, on paper, looks like the same old multi-culti thrift that cruchy liberals have been flocking to for time immemoriam. But take another look this weekend at their 10th Anniversary Block Party and discover gorgeous artisanship, unique gifts and art, and an informative connection to the world around you. The block party will feature live music, dancing, and a big show and sale of newly arrived crafts and artwork. Plus, the whole shebang is Fair Trade approved, so you won't run the risk of the lead singer of Coldplay gettin' all up in your grill. Saturday, beginning at 11 am, 824 King Street in Alexandria.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Perplexing Event of the Week.

From Arlington Music Scene:

"On Wednesday, December 1, Jon Kaplan of Bicycle Thieves, Exit Clov, and I will be playing a tribute to Dave Grohl,as part of the WAMA/Strathmore Timeline series at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda."

Oh my God! I didn't even know Dave Grohl was sick!

The Five Question WEST WING Study Guide: "President Bartlet Goes to Camp"

DCist does everyone a service by providing you with the means to avoid watching the West Wing. If you want to avoid watching it go read it instead. The DCeiver, in other forums, has already made his position on the disaster The West Wing has become under the guidance of John Wells perfectly fucking clear.

But for those of you who did watch it, we wanted to throw out a few questions for further study:

1. The Donna Moss Medical Predicament--was that not the most pulse-pounding, seat-of-your-pants hair surgery you ever witnessed?

2. There was worry that Donna, as a result of her hair surgery, would "lose cognitive function". After the surgery, the restoration of her brain functioning is demonstrated by her saying Josh's name three times and asking if he was...well, him. While that's plainly enough sentience to go on being Josh's lapdog, it's pretty low as far as cognitive faculty goes, isn't it?

3. My sister-in-law has already dubbed Mary McCormack's character "Mandy II". Discuss: is she totally right on this point, or, rather, absolutely fucking right?

4. Martin Sheen swimming laps: you didn't buy that either, did you?

5. Congressman Haffley shows up at the White House mid-episode and starts acting like a total dick. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the actual White House have like, guards and stuff that will shoot you if you pull shit like that?

DCeptette--Novelty songs for the learning disabled version.

  1. Tales of Craigslist. Woman and her bag gets wedged in door of train, train takes off, no one helps. Woman unleashes wrath on Metro riders. Look, in our defense, we've been through a whole lot lately--Jon Stewart made the people on Crossfire cry, and the Libertines cam to town and apparently stank, and no one knows where their next flu shot is coming from or if Senator Dayton's sitting on documentation that proves we're sitting on a imminent dirty-bomb enchilada. Work with us here...(Craigslist)
  2. Besides, we're all having a little Metro angst these days: Mount Vernon Square floods and no one notices until it's too late. WMATA seems to be quite literally run by the crew from Sealab 2021 (Channel 8)
  3. "I think he's a bit of a jerk, but every time I check his votes, it's what I want." For Jim Moran, this counts as a ringing endorsement. (Post)
  4. The Smithsonian plans to unveil a new exhibit featuring the Space Shuttle. Remember, after the seventeen billionth tourist, the Shuttle Program practically pays for itself. (WTOP)
  5. This is why we need Wonkette: Leiby has items on actual pretty people like Ben Affleck and Paris Hilton, but fronts his column with a totally lame piece on some weak-ass parody of "The Monster Mash" by some crank environmentalist that's sure to just make Dick Cheney weep tears of shame--if not hilarity. We've heard of burying the lede, Leiby makes an art of leading with the burial. (Leiby)
  6. And, more dirty, dirty co-branding: The Diner media family offers thoughts on debates, John Stewart on Crossfire, the Red Sox, and the usual Six of One and a Half Dozen of the Other.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Department of Synergy Department

We hie you, in verse, to the sister, Blue in the Face.

Electoral college skills are honed,
Bone up before we all get boned.
Iraq seems bad--that is the news
Derrida deconstructs these views.
Mary Cheney is super gay,
Ever wonder how she got that way?
Through these pages you'll be leafing
Dont forget your daily briefing.
(Go Red Sox!)

DCeptette: Dorks, dogs, Dayton and Disappointment Version

  1. World of Craigslist: When someone posts on Craigslist that they are seeking interested parties in an activity they describe as "Bad News Bears with paddles", you think pedophilia, but it's actually about cricket--the sport that's not sweeping the nation! (Craigslist)
  2. More World of Craigslist: Who would have thought the lost track from Soul Coughing's El Oso would surface here? (Craigy and his list)
  3. The Washington DC public policy tango tracks it's traditional course: first, the people complain. Then, a movement gathers to fight on their behalf. Next, they announce that they will fight their battle to the death. Finally, they announce that everyone should downplay their expectations. The new tune they're dancing to? The Baseball Stadium Rag. Anti-stadium forces now pretty much admit they don't have a snowball's chance in hell. (Post)
  4. The Hill introduces our buddies over at Dork City, in a desperate attempt to own the stereotype before it becomes impossible. Speaking of dorks, many Hill staffers are jealous of how Mark Dayton's staff gets to stay home from work, apparently blissfully unaware of what panicky idiots Dayton and his fellows look like. (The Hill)
  5. Please note: when you hear about George Stephanopoulos' dog biting a young boy, the press is referring to an actual dog, and not to Ali Wentworth, as many have surmised. Additionally, Wentworth has been spayed already. Repeat, has been spayed. (Leiby)

Theme Song for the DC Music Scene Poseurs

It's as if Here's a Hint commissioned the Deceiver to write their theme song!

They didn't.

But anyway...

[sung to the tune of "Indie Rock and Roll" by The Killers]

Fatuous
Local rock'n'roll is what I want
In lieu of soul, it's what I need
Local rock'n'roll, it's time

Two of us
Flipping through an On Tap magazine
Jerk off on Arlington Music Scene
Bet your, your bottom dollar on me

It's local rock'n'roll for me
It's local rock'n'roll for me
It's all I heed
It's local rock'n'roll for me

At the show
Trying to get a gig with Exit Clov
Or bang the singer in Rotoscope
Making it, faking it, what do I care
Oh why should I care?

Just need a chance to sell out
Another set at the Grog, that'll freak you out
No sex, no drugs, no game, no clue
When I get on the stage

Stay if you wanna hear me play
Oh I might die if I don't make the scene
Like scenesters do to points obscene
Let's grow our egos to extremes

It's local rock'n'roll for me
It's local rock'n'roll DC
It's what I need
It's local rock'n'roll for me

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Redskins--Week the sixth


Posted by Hello

So the Redskins notched a toughed-out victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, and the less said about Soldier Field, the better: I once maintained that the stadium looked like it had been anally raped by a spaceship from a Michael Bay movie, and I swear to you, the description is yet apt.

The big story is that the Redskins defense continues to do most of the heavy lifting for the team, which is no small feat considering they are still without LaVar Arrington, Michael Barrow, mad-tackling freak Matt Bowen and DT starter Joe Salave'a. We're mighty impressed by the week-in, week-out playcalling of Gregg Williams--but we remind you of a piece of Easterbrookian wisdom--big-blitz dependency spells late season doom. The Skins D, did a good job of holding rejuvenated former Wahoo Thomas Jones in check.

And the less said about those Wahoos, the better. Sweet mercy. Lead me not into Doak Campbell Stadium. A UVa squad that was a decent punter away from victory at Scott Stadium looked absolutely lost in Florida as FSU stomped and romped and humiliated the Cavaliers, leading to a Richter-Scale shocking boom as everyone simultaneously leapt off the Virginia bandwagon.

But I digress. Clinton Portis and the running game seemed to get back on track this week, creating the space necessary for Clinton to run all over a usually formidable Chicago defense, tallying 171 yards.

The cause was greatly aided by Chicago's QB, Jonathan Quinn. Since the lucky Jim MacMahon fell upwards to success on the strength of a cocksure smile, snarky headband and hit single, Chicago QBs have been a dispiriting group, usually falling into one of three categories: aging and forgotten free agent castoffs, hyper-needy first round bonus babies, and ragtag reserves prone to shellshocked confusion (I once urged Chicago: "Ride! Ride the Moses Moreno train as far as it will take you!"). Jonathan Quinn, who frequently reminded the viewer of Martha Quinn or Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and sometimes Terry O'Quinn (now featured on ABC's Lost!), did very little to impress, his balls falling limply on the grassy plain.

However, Mark Brunell, our own ersatz quarterback, continues to give cause for concern. Many of his passes began in Chicago, intended for a receiver in Chicago, only to be overthrown to Evanston. It was a performance that rightly called Brunell's competence into question. Ultimately, I see the Redskins future--nine in the box. DCist speculates that the demand for a change may grow deafening very quickly as Patrick Ramsey, who performed gamely and with skill while being sacked mercilessly all last year, sits wasting on the pine.

I, personally believe the answer is not with Ramsey. Think about it DC: we were denied the Babe Laufenberg era, denied the Sage Rosenfels era, denied the Gibran Hamdan era. The district sleeps tonight, dreaming of Tim Hasselbeck.

Speaking of DCist, I would have loved to have been party to any inter-IST blog trashtalking that went on before the game. I'm betting it was pretty subdued. I prefer to imagine DCist and Chicagoist, lamenting the sports-related state of affairs in their respective cities, comforting one another with sympathy, cursing the luck and fortune of their sister Gothamist, and not letting SFist play with them because while they're down--they still talk about Bonds and Montana as if they were minor deities. LAist, of course, doesn't watch football because there's no team, and, even if there were, everyone's too busy trying to staple a tracking device to Mischa Barton's ear to notice.

The Redskins get a bye next week. We're picking the Redskins to win their bye week on a last second field goal. After that is the home game against the Green Bay Packers. If you are an English major/philosophical type who dares to imagine an underlying, if quirky, pattern to the universe, you probably go into this game with the belief that the presidential election, and by extension, the fate of the Western World, depends on this game. If you are a scientist/engineer who prefers to think of the world as bound by statistics and unforgiving a priori causal relationships, you probably think we English majors are tweaking. Fine. Be That way. Just remember, if it weren't for our romantic poetry, none of you gearheads would ever get laid.


DCeptette: "We get our kicks above the waistline, sunshine" version

  1. Tales of Craigslist. At last, a band willing to describe themselves honestly. For maximum success, though, they need to move to the Lower East Side and troll for talent outside Pianos. We're guessing they already have the black suits. (Craigslist)
  2. The Washington Post today TOTALLY has the inside dope on the kickball-enthusiasm trend, which would be impressive if it wasn't three and a half years too late. Next July, look for the WaPo to thoroughly get into "that flash mob stuff we heard about on CSI: MIami." (Post)
  3. Mayor Anthony Williams, wandering off to Beijing, is impressed by the "brashness" and "vitality" of the place. Notes: "Our police would have totally locked up those Tiananmen Square protestors, too." Plans are made to bring a diminuitive kung-fu acrobat home and team him up with the most incompetent and vaguely effeminate African-American cop at MPD in a crime-fighting partnership rich on "laughs, also collateral property damage." (Post)
  4. Jesus, the Post is making us laugh today! Check out their flu shot story. Reporting would be one thing, Stan Hinden seems to want to pen a purply, triumph-of-the-human-spirit screenplay instead. Good luck at next year's Toronto Film Festival, Stan! (Post)
  5. WMATA announces it will be having a town-hall meeting on November 16, 2004. Dovetailing with other town-hall meeting trends in the news, Metro riders will be encouraged to identify the person who is making the Metro suck for everyone else, after which we will be directed to vote for that person's execution. So, fun for everybody. (DCist)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

You've probably already heard about Jon Stewart's performance on CROSSFIRE today from the delovely Ana Marie Cox--who did, in fact, do the actual reporting and make the actual phone call she speaks of: a friend witnessed her doing so at one of Clarendon's popular haunts for telecommuting wi-fi junkies. (He asked The Deceiver, how, in that setting could he approach her and say how much he enjoys her blog because, after all "she's, um, working." We're no expert, but I would suggest to anyone out there who wishes to approach Wonkette while she's at play in the fields of Nick Denton to do so with vodka. We can't imagine the encounter goes poorly after that.)

Everyone should, indeed, peep the transcript of Crossfire. So revealing...the many ways your press have transformed themselves into marbleheaded animatrons of smug, million-dollar vanity and celebrity-obsessed self-frottage.

I'll have more to say on this matter. More to say and elsewhere to say it, along with the ever ballooning debate critique. By the by, I am sorry if the constant plugs to the mommy and the baby sister are annoying. The DCeiver has a mission that I struggle to keep pure, while simultaneously positioning it in an orgy of synergy that is, I'm afraid to say, eventually going to lead to me trying to sell you some cheap crap.

Calling All Enthusiasts!

TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS
In his later days, Nostradamus' greatest regret was not being able to accurately predict the coming of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. "I just can't get a fix on them," he'd tell me over Appletinis, "I get a whiff of them here, a sight of them here...I just can't zero in. All I can tell you is that they will be crunk as hell, like ya' ass." So don't be a Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Playerhater, get to IOTA, and enjoy the ineffably sweet weirdness. It will be crunk. Like your ass. Friday, 9:30pm.

GOING DOWN TO TALLAHASSEE
It's been a pleasure to discover that there is a small but lively percentage of folks in the DC bologosphere who hail from the fine institution known as The University [of Virginia]. I'll never forget that strange and wonderful week many years ago when we were ranked number one--until The Georgia Tech Kicker Who Must Not Be Named hit his Field Goal of Disaster. Well, I know what my fellow Wahoos are gonna be doing Saturday night--finding out if Al Groh's men are for real as they travel into Tallahassee to face the Florida State Seminoles--a critical game for Virginia as they edge ever closer to BCS consideration.

TONY KUSHNER STAGE READING
Rorshach Theatre will be bringing Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner's new work in progress, Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy to Washington, DC. It's an extremely provocative piece--the staged reading in NYC that featured Patricia Clarkson and John Cameron Mitchell was the talk of the city. According to the website, the 'Schach will only be reading the first act. From what I know, my advice to them is: DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO GET THE SECOND ACT AS WELL. This event isn't happening until October 25, but if you're interested, you should reserve a space now by emailing info@rorschachtheatre.com. Oh! And, it's FREE. Starring Helen Hedman and Rick Foucheux.

DCeptette--Fingernails and Ass Ebola Version

  1. World of Craigslist: Enraged Metro-rider composes highly-charged south-of-the-border beat poetry beatdown, namechecks Aztec Shamans and The Hot Zone and "exploded anal-oil-glands." Holy shit. Holy, holy shit! (Craigslist)
  2. People are outraged that Tony Williams has put city workers to work solicting letters of support for the baseball stadium plan. But who else is going to do it? Adrian Fenty says: "I think [government workers] have other things they need to do with their time." Really? The Deceiver says that if DC government is like most governments, this is probably the first honest work these folks have done in months. (Moonie Freakjob Daily)
  3. Prince William County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Richard A. Conway, speaking on the Lee Boyd Malvo case, says that arguments against the death penalty for juveniles are "psychobabble." Quoth Conway: "Defendants are individuals and juveniles are individuals, and whether something happens the day before or after the day someone turns 18 is hardly dispositive of the appropriate sentence." IN OTHER WORDS: "I see your psychobabble, and raise you a hot creamy handful of legalese, bitch!" (Digest of Republican Fucknuggetry)
  4. Georgetown student Polly Burokas moves into off-campus housing only to discover that the world outside Hoyaland isn't lined up to wait on her hand and foot. So she writes a column about her social ineptitude. And Georgetown continues to tout itself as one of the country's most prestigious universities? Even Jenna Bush is smart enough to strategize a local crash-pad for when she's too wasted to form complete sentences. Tune in later this winter as Polly and her Cracker roommates freeze to death and are carried off by wolves. (The Hoya)
  5. Jon Stewart will be on Crossfire tonight. I tell you this only to satisfy the ninny-ass curmudgeon who thinks I should be crucified for spelling his name wrong. (Hatchet)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Rational explanations emerge.

The 9:30 Club will feature this Sunday at 5:30pm "An Evening of Poetry with Billy Corgan."

Suddenly, Senator Dayton looks like the smartest man in the universe. He's right. Your kids are not safe.

DCeptette: Everyone's missed their connection version.

  1. Tales of Craigslist: A couple of days ago, Hotmail's "Soo Kang" went out on the musicians board at Craigslist, seeking "a pal to talk shop with" and maybe take in some shows. Predictably, Craigslist immediately produced someone willing to beat her to a pulp. Congratulations, Craigslist--through your efforts, we may very well stamp out the disease of sincerity in our lifetime, and replace it with feckless indifference. (Craigslist, with many follow-ups).
  2. More tales of Craigslist: Missed connection poster accidentally authors new Dashboard Confessional song. Ooops! There goes that feckless indifference again! (Craigslist)
  3. More on Senator Dayton's massive panic attack. Bob Ney says: "One could generally say, 'Don't ever some to Washington for the next ten years.'" But, hasn't he heard? Washington's getting some sort of baseball team! (Post)
  4. Leiby gets admission from Graydon Carter: "...I also thought that irony would end after September 11th." It's all in his new book: How George Bush Defeated My Shallow Trendspotting by Transforming 9-11 into a Triple Banana Split of Sweet, Delectable Irony. (Leiby)
  5. Sometime later today, perhaps tonight look for debate coverage on Blue in the Face. In the meantime, Ana Marie saved her best live blog for last. (Wonkette)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Senators are cracking up under the pressure.

Could someone get a bucket of Xanax over to the Russell Senate Office Building? Two of our esteemed Senators have picked this week to go absolutely bonkers for some reason.

Following up on the news that Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota had...well--totally lost his shit over some top secret intelligence that no one else will cop to seeing, we contacted a tipster at the Senate and asked, "What up?" The tipster told us that Dayton has indeed shuttered his office and told his staff to amscray. Moreover, Dayton has stated that he would not bring his children to the US Capitol and has decreed "no staffer was safe" until election day. Apparently, he is referring to people that stay behind as "human shields." Just when you thought it was safe to go back into committee!

In other news, we've been following the mental struggles of Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky over on our sister site. Bunning seems to have foundered his cerebral skiff somewhere in the Dementia Triangle. If you thought Bush was unhinged enough to wear a wire and make like Charlie McCarthy, the measures the GOP have taken to protect Bunning from saying something insane are far more severe--he debated his opponent Daniel Mongiardo this past Monday safely cocooned inside the RNC headquarters, where operatives sat him down and made him read things off of a teleprompter. After the debate, however, the broken mind of Jim Bunning let loose with some high weirdness--claiming that Mongiardo's staff (it's not clear whether it was one staff member or the WHOLE staff, based upon the statements) had assaulted his wife at something called the Fancy Farm Picnic.

No idea how the frayed mental well being of Dayton and Bunning is going to play itself out electorally, but DCers should be careful of these two cracked nuts for the time being.

Updated Blogroll

It's been very late in coming, but DCeiver enthusiasts are encouraged to explore the blogroll, newly fortified with many hot DC entries. Please send these fine folks some love.

Mayor Williams Goes To Bat

Mayor Anthony Williams must really want baseball to happen in DC, because last night he wandered out to Ward 7 to do a town-hall meeting--and you know he looks forward to those types of public appearances the way most people look forward to having their eyes dug out by spoon-wielding nuns.

But if this deal for DC Baseball is going to come together, it's going to come together quickly. Already the forces against are mobilizing, and baseball backers face a certain time constraint--the possibility of losing council support is very real as the colorful caucus of Gray, Brown and Barry replaces the ousted and mostly useless Brazil, Allen and Chavous. I say mostly useless because right now, at least two (Brazil and Chavous) of the Tiresome Trio are lockstepping behind the plan for baseball, despite the concerns of the constituents that fired them. You have to admire Brazil and Chavous for their consistency, at least--I mean, putting the needs of the people you serve above your own--why go out on that note?

Mayor Williams seems to be taking his cue from the absentee politicos who back him, however, as he leaves DC for the next 11 days on a trade trip to China and Thailand. He's drawn criticism from baseball supporters for splitting town for the week-and-a-half lead-up to the Council's public hearing--so don't expect to hear Mayor Williams lobby this issue too much during the run up to the October 28 hearing.

But for one night, anyway, the residents of Ward 7 got to register their opinions publicly, and, in their own predictable fashion, lamented the lack of good schools and hospitals. Williams' best defense--somewhat advanced by the mass-marrying-Moonie-mumpheads over at the Times--is that this money isn't coming out of the Hospital Pot or the School Pot. Mmmmmm, school pot. But DCers are rightly taken aback that the city would float a half-billion dollars of bonds to build a stadium when that kind of spending cash is needed elsewhere. Besides, most people know that a bond is a door that smacks the taxpayer on the ass after the fact.

My favorite quote from the Post's coverage: "East of the Anacostia River, Williams has suffered from the impression that he has led a revitalization in downtown Washington but not in the poorest neighborhoods."

That's the impression? Not to worry, Anacostia. Williams hasn't led a revitalization of downtown, either.

Still, questions, and potentially answers, remain.

1. Why has no one, save a smart blogger I can't remember by name so as to cite properly (please come get some props, whoever you are), suggested possibly going the Green Bay route: public ownership of the team.

2. Doesn't the possibility exist that the baseball team may in fact eliminate the need for better schools or a state-of-the-art hospital? Has anyone checked to see if the members of the Montreal Expos are world-class teachers or have magical healing powers? They are from Canada, after all.

3. Again--I'm very curious to know how many fans of this baseball team may exist. Not counting people who will use the DC team as a means by which their actual fave is watched. My guess on this: around 10,000 fans. 20K tops. And remember, this particular team has been unwatchably bad. And also remember, this is Major League Baseball, where the unwatchable stay unwatchable.

4. What's Barry's angle? He's against baseball, but he can't possibly be right. In fact, he being against baseball is probably the single strongest argument for baseball. And why wouldn't he be for baseball? The stadium project alone is probably going to be a lucrative windfall for several contractors, and this is the type of business that made Barry the sine qua non of crony-capitalist facilitator. It's hard to imagine he doesn't imagine how hard his dick's gonna be near all that cash. So, is he using reverse psychology? Claiming to be against something while knowing full well that his being against it's gonna ramp up support for it? My God, Marion Barry makes everything so deliciously complicated!

Still, Mayor Williams did show a little savvy, saying "FedEx is the old suburban model...It's a giant parking lot with a big stadium plopped down like a spaceship."

That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said about FedEx Field.

DCeptette: Aerial view of the cuckoo's nest version

  1. Senator Mark Dayton (D-Minn), gets worried and leaves town with his staff, citing terrorism concerns. We think he was just trying to take a few days off. When you share a state with Norm Coleman, it can, from time to time, feel like you're being terrorized. But, we remind you, the intel the Department of Homeland Security gives us is fake. Fake fakey fake. (WTOP)
  2. Bourgeois dorks miss their Cheesecake Mosque connection--cellphone using boor seeks hot action with pal of Yankees-cap-at-dinner-wearing (gauche, anyone?) diner--once the trans-fat clotting in their bloodstreams have lessened, presumably. If you'd "try just about anything", how about trying an actual restaurant. (Craigslist)
  3. Catholic University allows students to form NAACP chapter on campus as long as the chapter does not take "positions contrary to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church." In a related story, Catholic University NAACP chapter announces R. Kelly as guest speaker. (Post)
  4. Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer continues his onward march into senile dementia, insisting that people with AIDS are "danger[ous]" people who belong on a public registry because they "brought it on themselves." Schaefer's become a celebrity of the incendiary rhetorical variety lately, but is it possible that the man just wants to be loved? In the ass? In Spanish? (Post)
  5. Richard Leiby is officially the last to know what "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" is about. (The Reliable Source)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Best Title for a Pheer.com posting, ever.

"Question for the economists on this board."

Sweet fancy Moses.

Hope THAT worked out well.

Local Democrats must abandon the Redskins for one week in October.


"Whoo-hoo! I am the ultimate undecided voter. Pander to my green and yella ass, bitches!" Posted by Hello

This year, those of us who are fans of the Washington Redskins but who are also blessed with the good sense to be voting for Kerry are in an awful predicament. The Green Bay Packers come to town on Halloween this year, in a game that will decide the fate of the free world.

Many folks don't know this, but were helpfully reminded by The Reliable Source today, that the Redskins play a pivotal role in election year politics. The winner of the Redskins last home game before the Presidential election, has, since the Redskins played their first Presidential-election year game as Redskins back in 1936, ALWAYS been a flawless predictor of the election outcome. So has it come to pass: when the Redskins win the last home game, the incumbent President or party has held on to the White House. By contrast, whenever the Redskins have lost, the electoral college came down against the incumbent.

So, DC area Republicans need only root for a home win. DC area Democrats face a tough choice, as Kerry cannot be elected unless Brett Favre and his Packer teammates are triumphant in Washington.

Speaking personally, I have always rooted for the home team. But what about America? Isn't America the real home team? Indeed it is. Which is why I will be cheering for the team of my mother's youth, Green Bay, on October 31.

Believe me. I do this with a heavy heart and under the weight of great sacrifice--I had been invited to attend that game, but I have a good feeling that invitation will be rescinded once the inviter finds out about my plan.

The match promises to be very close: the Packers, too, are suffering through a painful four game losing streak and have posted a Redskinsesque 1-4 record thus far this season. There's every reason to believe the Packers may enjoy partaking in the beneficial rejuvenation our team seems to provide its opponents of late. Then again, Gibbs may have everything clicking by the end of October. It promises to be a momentous game at the Jack, and I can imagine there will be a lot of fans facing this difficult choice. For my part, my mind is made up.

Go Pack!

DCeptette: Folie a deux, a madness built for two edition

  1. Be on the lookout for a kilt wearing mooch, "completely untrustworthy and a bastard to boot," who may be documenting your wedding. The DCeiver despises people who make the kilted look bad. (Craigslist)
  2. Republican Charles Floyd desperately flails in attempt to unseat Chris Van Hollen--sets up spoof sites with Van Hollen's name. But hey, if this was 1998, that would be wicked tricky. Floyd tells the DCeiver that is he's not elected, he will not hesitate to employ a "Van Hollen is a douchebag" flash-mob come 2008. (Post)
  3. Wonkette finally notices that Votergasm hasn't caught on in DC. Umm, when it comes to the nexis of sex and politics, isn't Wonkette the Gatekeeper? Shouldn't some mysterious dark force be sending the Keymaster to to find her at the Common Grounds Coffeehouse in Arlington to set this sticky mass area-Votergasm off? And wouldn't it be both scorching hot and pleasingly ironic if the Keymaster turned out to be Michelle Malkin? (Wonkette)
  4. The Red Line delays that greatly anger the Wife of Deceiver seem to be continuing. But good news for people trapped on the Orange Line--the 3Y, which runs down Lee Highway from Woodrow Street all the way to Rosslyn, then into DC to K Street/MacPherson Square, is FANTASTIC. Ease the crowded inbound Orange and ride in warmth and comfort for $1.25. (WMATA)
  5. Very quietly, the Washington Wizards lose their preseason opener to the Pacers. (Post)

Can't get off work to get John Stewart's signature?

Hey, everyone out there in the Districism of Columbialand! Are you having trouble getting off work to head over to Politics and Prose to get the new Jon Stewart book signed by the man himself this Friday? Are you worried that the inside cover of your copy will remain unadorned for all time, bereft of autography? Well fear not. Our favorite shayna maidel Shayna has done you a solid: "if they can't arrange to leave work for JS at P&P, they can pre-buy the book and fill out a form and they'll get it signed for you .. but he's not personalizing those or the ones done in-store at the signing."

So, if you cannot get to Politics and Prose in person, this is still a good opportunity to give John Stewart severe hand-cramp. Just as he's given so many of you.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Redskins--Week the Fifth


Posted by Hello

I often have this dream. In my dream, I'm sitting inside the tent of a fortuneteller. I want to know what the future holds for me and my loved ones. The setting: very cliched--old tomes, musty animal skulls fill the shelves. There is a dry ice machine running for effect. The seer looks suspiciously like my high school French teacher--so I, the sleeper, aware but powerless to alter the proceedings, know that mostly bad news is coming. She (the seer) looks deep within the leavings of her tea leaves, all at once sighs and then just as quickly gasps. I sit, bolt upright in my chair. "What is it?" I ask.

"I have good news and bad news."

Of course. "Well, I know how this scene usually goes. What's the bad news?"

"The bad news is that in successive weeks, you will have the occasion to lose to BOTH versions of the Cleveland Browns."

Aaaghh. A cut to my very quick. Haltingly, I ask, "And the good news?"

"Soon after, you will invent a device by which you can travel back in time and unbirth yourself."

So, in my dream, a few quick twists of my umbilical cord and the pain is gone. For The GIbbs, life is painfully different.

For a good portion of the Washington-Baltimore tilt, billed, strangely enough as "The Battle of the Beltway" (and, I guess, since Baltimore won, they can takle responsibility for it), resembled the football game I began my weekend with: Texas-Oklahoma. Powerful defenses and struggling offenses--you waited for one of the two teams to break through and start moving the ball. Up 10-0 at the half, I was naive enough to think that was going to be us.

However, The Gibbs was introduced to a personality trait that has long dominated our team--we're cautiously confident for as long as we play without error--but at the first mistake, we find a way to compound glitch with catastrophe. After Ed Reed bashed in Mark Brunell like a pinata and put himself and the ball in the EZ, I had a bad feeling. Then, to my horror, the punt cover team bit down on a Deion Sanders fake-reverse as if he were a luscious, custardy eclair of deception. We were only down 14-10--but to these Skins and the little green monsters that terrorize their confidence when something goes wrong, I knew that four points was an insurmountable lead.

The questioning of the Gibbs has already began. Last night, the ESPN crew pointed out at several occasions, that they were of the opinion that the game had nevertheless not passed Gibbs by. That means people are wondering: has the game passed GIbbs by? I maintain that the offensive live is like a porous sieve of Belgian girls armed with cottage cheese and few kind words--and because of this, Mark Brunell is not getting the half-hour he needs in the pocket to find an open receiver and Clinton Portis is getting blown up at the line of scrimmage. Until that is fixed, we'll have no idea how good this team could be. But it's not getting fixed anytime soon.

Amazing to think that a month ago, I thought the Giants were the division train wreck. Now they look like the team of the future. For the time being, the Skins are stuck in the present.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

A Tale of Two Internets

When George Bush talked about "rumors on the internets" at the debate tonight, alarm bells went off for me.

You see, deep down I knew it. There's another internet out there. And things are much cooler there. On the cooler internet, Choire Sicha sniffs coke off of Hillary Duff's backside, and there's no Craigslist for Chrissakes, and Wonkette in the cooler internet has Ana on a live cam drinking absinthe while Carling Dinkler rolls around in a ball gag and tutu, performing for her pleasure. And actually, probably none of that is happening, because none of that is probably cool because lame me is talking about it from my lame point of reference on this lame internet that I was convinced was the cool internet until Bush spilled the beans tonight.

As a friend of mine said tonight: "When you think about it, if you're on the same internet as John Athayde, you can't possibly be on the cool internet." To which I replied: "Who the fuck is John Athayde?" Exactly.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Out and about.

We stopped off at the Olssen's at Courthouse this evening to pick up our weekly digest of gripe and bitch (aka this week's Washington City Paper and The Nation), and ran into Bob Schieffer giving a talk. Obviously another whistle-stop on his 2004 Pimping Myself To America Tour. Schieffer looked elfin and spry, and he was practically standing in the laps of the folks in the front row as he discussed the upcoming debates, espesh the one in Arizona, which he is moderating. I think he thinks he gets top billing at that! I would not be surprised if Schieffer ended the debate by appearing in a sequin-covered waistcoat and bowler, singing the titular ballad from Cabaret.

At any rate, Schieffer mentioned how people across the country were tuning into the debates. He said he'd been several places where people are "throwing debate parties like people throw Super Bowl parties."

So, it's not just us, here in DC! That's a relief to know, as the "DCers are dorks" meme has been buzzing the blogosphere lately. DCist remarked how dead the streets seemed during the Cheney-Edwards showdown, and the piss-yourself-it's-so-funny blog DC: DORK CITY has been running with it like a bandit. But if you take Schieffer at his word, it would appear that while we may be the wonkiest bunch of dorks that ever thought K Street was going to be our Sex In The City, debate fever--seen across the country raised to, as Schieffer says, "Super Bowl" level--has dorkified a nation to some degree.

So, the next time you're told those of us in the DC-Metro area are out of touch with the rest of the world, remember what I've told you and know that we're more like regular folks than we get credit for being. Now, someone out there answer me this: what is this "Super Bowl?"

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Department of synergy department.

Here's the scoop on what's going down on our sister sites.

The Simple Macines of Politics return with a full on critique of Kerry's performance in the debate. We know he was the winner--how did he pull it off? And why are we troubled by the way George Bush describes the experience of being President?

The Shortlist Award is down to ten finalists: in a new Junk Culture column, we'll tell you who we believe the winner is going to be.

Breaking. And Entering. The new Six of one and a Half Dozen of the Other.

Plus, more debate coverage and your Daily Briefings, available now and forever.

The Man Comes Around

[reprinted from The Diner]

He's been berated, baited, and playahated. He reached the Vista , only to be brought down, only to be lifted up, only to be left out with the Buzzards. First act. Second act. Third Act? It's coming. This November, redemption's coming to Ward 8. Don't hate. Participate.

Poets old and new sing tales of Great Men. Men who stood the test of time. Men who alone lasted against bitter and near unwinnable odds. Men who inspire, perspire, respire, and finally expire. Men who were and are at work, answering the eternal questions, like "Who could it be now?" and "Would you like a vegemite sandwich?" Later, we became enlightened, and the poets sought out tales of Great Women. Women steadfast heroic and true. Occasionally, the poets inspired tales of Men Who Were Not Great, Indeed Who Suffered Mild Forms of Mental Retardation who nonetheless stood out as models for parents to tell their sons and daughters: "Get the fuck out of bed, you jerkface! Even that gimp Forrest Gump ran a shrimp boat!"


I have not come here to write of a Great Man. Or even a Great Woman. Or even a Lovable Dog with Noteworthy Qualities. Indeed, the subject I seek to write about here in these pages could not be considered Great, or even good. His contributions to the edifice of human accomplishments, what meager crop there was, have long faded into memory, eclipsed by scandal and mockery and shame. The chance of this man doing something worthy with the rest of his life, well...I'm not going to shit you: it's not at all likely. The people this man may have inspired to follow in his path--stay the hell away from them. The man of whom I speak is none other than Marion Shepilov Barry Jr., and he'll be considered a Great Man by nary a soul who comes after me, nor by me, thanks to what remains of my good sense. Yet Marion Barry became something that I hope one day I can be myself, something that may be the best I and, most likely, many of you readers will ever make of ourselves. On September 14, 2004 , Marion Barry became not a Great Man, but a Man Just Good Enough By Default. Of he I sing.

Oh for a muse of fire, that would alight the brightest crackpipe of invention! A council for a stage, members to act, and the editors of the Washington City Paper to behold the swelling scene. Then should the warlike Barry, like himself, assume the post of Ward 8 Councilmember, and at his heels, leashed in like hounds, should Allen, Brazil, and Chavous, get on line for unemployment.

For years, DC tolerated and continually reelected spurious popinjays like Harold Brazil, Kevin Chavous, and Sandy Allen. This year, DC Voters rose up and said, about a million years too late: "Enough. We want a change." And so, with a casting of votes, Council layabouts Brazil , Allen and Chavous were done away with, along with their bone-dry lack of accomplishment and the slack-jawed ways they used to comport themselves, and replaced by new blood. Now, in Barry's case, he doesn't seem to be "new blood" at all. After all, he was once, famously mayor, and then, even more famously, mayor again. But, I have come to understand that most people who have a career drug habit of Barry's magnitude usually have to have upwards of six or seven blood transfusions, so, for all we know, that pale share of a former mayor may have the stem cells of the recent stillborn coursing through his veins.

Actually, the truth is, Barry is quite frail and hobbled. He's not as spry as he once was, bouncing from a meeting with cronies to a strip club to a soul food joint to an evening of intimacy with the business end of a one-hitter. He's recently been depicted as doddering and weak, lacking the energy to ascend stairs or even get around. It is fair to say that Marion Barry may have one foot in the grave.

If this is the case, then I think it is a good thing that he is all but a shoo-in to ascend to the City Council once more. The way I see it, it's a good thing to call your heroes home. Washingtonians remember that Art Monk, who spent his life playing for the Washington Redskins, only to get dealt late in his career to the New York Jets, was brought back for one day--the last day of his professional career--just so he could don the burgundy and gold one last time, be saluted by DC, and be allowed to retire in the city in which he made his name.
So too should it be with Marion Barry. Having squandered his fortune and exhausted any alternative means of gainful employment, it should fall to the people of DC to secure his final place of comfort on the DC Council, where he shall draw a generous paycheck to work for Ward 8, and, let's face it--probably do no worse than Sandy Allen did.

Washington owes Barry that. He is owed for the memories he has given us. He is owed for once saying that "The law of gravity of racist." He might have been on to something there. He taught us to look on the bright side, saying once: "If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate." Until the serial arsonist came along, that was probably true. Barry is owed for his wonderful way of looking at the world. Only he, that night owl extraordinaire, could discern the difference between a strip club and an "erotic bar." Among all of us, dissatisfied with our elected representatives on Capitol Hill, only Barry could give voice to what we have all thought from time to time, "What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?" Only Barry could give us the elongated and nonsensical free verse that was: "The contagious people of Washington have stood firm against diversity during this long period of increment weather."

But of all the things Barry taught us, one single phrase stands out. "Bitch set me up." Now, those four words, to some, may sound like the desperate and semi-delusional sputterance of a man in the act of being dragged off by police after being caught on video smoking crack and soliciting sexual witchy-witchy-waaah from one of DC's finest hookers. But read the deeper message! "Bitch set me up" is actually a powerful evocation of man's eternal conflict with the fickle finger of fate. It is a message that particularly resonates in DC, but can be embraced by all people. Did you get caught in traffic? Bitch set you up. Did you fail to get that promotion? Bitch set you up. Do you ever wake up and start your day, only to develop an increasing sense of dread that somewhere out there, perhaps around the next corner, events are conspiring against you, and that a few hours hence, you will be brought low for all to see? That's not paranoia, my friend, that's RECOGNITION that somewhere, out there, the bitch is lying in wait, giggling and grinning, waiting to SET YOUR DUMB ASS UP.

One day, years from now, when DC finally has fair representation in government, they will remove the slogan "Taxation without representation" from the DC flag and from the license plates, and replace it with "Bitch set me up."

But what of DC's suffering and suffrage? What of Barry's legacy in that regard. Well, now we've finally gotten to the real reason we should lionize Barry, hold him close to our bosom and find a cushiony job on the DC Council for him, upon which to fade away. It has been said that the pre-eminent reason the Congress does not give Washington , DC full representation in Congress is three simple words: Senator, Marion, and Barry. Yes. It is widely believed that the minute DC is given the chance to install a full Senator, the voters of the District will elevate Barry to that level, and thus let loose a crack-baked, whoring, Malvolio loose upon the fair maiden that is our Constitutionally-elected guvvamint. Let me assure you: that is PRECISELY what Washingtonians would do. And they wouldn't even hesitate. And yes, the outcome would probably be disastrous--though, I don't know...the Senate has thus far survived Virginia Senator George Allen, and that man has the intelligence of a nosebleed. Indeed, if it fell to me to choose between saving the life of Senator George Allen or buying a cup of coffee, I'd be looking for some half and half within eighty seconds.

Because of the threat Barry poses, DC is made to be chastened. It is that bad decision of electing Barry, again and again, that has kept them at the little kids table of American democracy.

However, where many see a dead-end, I see opportunity and possibility. If you think about it, the stigma of Barry and the way it has affixed itself to Washington means something good for the District: As long as Barry lives, there is nothing that any DC resident could do that would in any way jeopardize the future of DC Statehood any further than Barry has already. Barry is a living license for all who live in the District to act as foolishly and as shortsightedly as they damn well please.

Piss away money. Burn down the monuments. Parade around in hoisin sauce and pull down the pants of summertime tourists. Practice crony politics. Give away scads of tax dollars to Major League Baseball. Be so inept that you don?t even manage to get on your own party's nomination ballot despite being the incumbent and the frontrunner. NONE OF THIS MATTERS IN ANY WAY AT ALL. Barry's legendary sins outshine them all. As long as Barry lives, no one else will ever be held up as the reason that DC hasn't figured it all out yet. As long as Barry sits in a government office, drawing a taxpayer provided paycheck, no one else's misbehavior or wrongdoing will ever be recognized for being the thing that kept DC down. Whether you trust it or not, if you live in DC, you are allowed to act a fool whenever, however, and as often as you want. Barry has absolved you in advance.

So this is the reason it is a mighty good thing that, com November, Marion Barry will be back where he belongs--the halls of power. Not merely because his previous debasement brought the world to our door. Not just because of the sentimental way we forgiving humans are. And not simply because "Bitch set me up" is a pearl of wisdom more precious that anything in Poor Richard's Almanack. Barry deserves to go out on top for one simple reason: he is both the cause of and excuse for all of Washington , DC's problems. Arma virumque cano, motherfucker.