As you may know, we loves us some CapitalWeather around the DCeiver household. Wife of DCeiver, especially, has made it pretty clear that meteorology makes her quivery and moist. But when we checked the forecast for tomorrow, we got a little worried.
We did a little more exploring...
Surely this can't be right.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
As you may know, we loves us some CapitalWeather around the DCeiver household. Wife of DCeiver, especially, has made it pretty clear that meteorology makes her quivery and moist. But when we checked the forecast for tomorrow, we got a little worried.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
As you may know by now, during a testy (as in, "TESS-TEE!") interview with Brian Williams, the President is said to have recently finished "three Shakespeares." To which a nation of millions retorted: "'Sblood! Mine ASS thou hast!" But it's true, it's true! And we know which ones!
1. The back of the DVD box for She's The Man.
This was done in the hopes that a playdate might get set up between Amanda Bynes and Pierce, but since the high school cross-dresser comedy is, well, LOOSELY based on Twelfth Night, we say if awkward collegiate horniness be the fruit of exposing Bush to reading beyond the second grade level, PLAY ON, MOTHERFUCKER!
2. A brochure from Jesse Shakespeare's hottub emporium.
Ol' Jesse's been installing hottubs and spa equipment in the Kennebunkport area since Dubya was knee-high to a bloated body floating in New Orleans floodwater!
3. An impassioned dubious email from an even more dubiously named "Ndogo Spearshaker", manager of the bill and exchange of the foreign remittance department of the African Development Bank.
The letter beseeched the President: "In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of $15m US dollars in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family in November 2002 in a plane crash. Unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon this discovery that I and other officials in my department now decided to make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since we don't want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill."
Bush read the letter in earnest, remarking: "See, now here's a chance for me to do something good for those Macacas!"
Oh, yeah! Bush has been served! Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to go toe-to-toe with George Bush, debate-style. This shouldn't be read as a compliment to Ahmadrashadijad, but, PLEASE: America doesn't want to see the man who handed Iraq to Iran get his ass handed to him right back, which is almost certainly what would happen if we deployed the President to use the power of his feeble wittle bwain.
We'd much rather see Bush share the podium with Turkmenistan leader Sapurmurat Miyazov, aka Serdar Turkmenbashi, aka "Great Leader of all Turkmen", aka "makes Tom Cruise look like Increase Mather." Of course, if that came to pass, it would almost certainly give Bush too many additional bad ideas about the nature of unitary executive power...shit, now that we think about it, Bush would probably debate Miyazov in the style of Gore v. Bush II: "I agree with everything he says!"
But we digress. What America needs to see is The DCeiver debate Mahmoud Shayamalanijad. I'm tanned, rested and ready for this shit! Let's get it on, Mahmoud! Here's the format I propose:
STAGE ONE: Arena entrance porn.
The Iranian President knows a thing or two about pageantry and spectacle. I have years of experience watching the starting teams take the court in the National Basketball Association Championship game. I figure we'll get things started going mano-a-mano on the matter of the grand entrance, and base initial scores on the judgements of a panel made up of Ayatollah Al Sistani, Tim Gunn, and the UN Security Council. I'm betting that I could get Pharrell to whip me up some white-hot beats to drop. Mahmoud's got crazy phat graphic designers to draw on. I do worry about his advantage in this category--enriched uranium.
STAGE TWO: Debate!
Here's where I should make up a significant advantage with my patented debate technique: profanity, belittlement, and my ability to make my answers as inscrutable as the weirder songs from Ruby Vroom. Each of us will prepare questions to ask the other. It'll be response, followed by rebuttal, followed by favor-seeking strutting before the audience in the style of The Colbert Report.
Here are a sample of the questions I'll be submitting:
- As a blogger, answer me this: just how many more blogs do you think Matt Yglesias needs?
- Given what we know about what it takes to merely hug a child, do you expect to be able to beat Iranian women for violating Islamic law with NUCLEAR ARMS?
- Do you think the Russians love their children, too? Seriously. I'd like to know. One minute they seem so emotionally distant, and then you turn around and they're smooching up on their kids tummies. Doesn't that shit seem weird to you?
- Don't you think that the blonde Bjork girl from Project Runway got straight up jacked?
- Who does your hair, dude? Don't you guys have at least a Hair Cuttery up in this shit?
- As you walk along the avenue, did you ever expect to meet a girl like you? Meet a girl like you? With auburn hair and tawny eyes, the kind of eyes that hypnotize you through? Hypnotize you through?
- Do you think Snakes On A Plane was a badly overhyped movie, or is it rather something your minions might be trying sometime soon?
- Am I just weird for thinking John Hinderaker probably killed JonBenet Ramsey?
- Dude. Where can I go to get a good khak shir when we're done here? My treat.
Tucker Carlson can moderate, but he has to agree to wear his little ballroom dance costume.
IN THE EVENT OF A TIE:
Both candidates sit down to play expert-level Minesweeper, first one to successfully clear the board wins. This is my secret ace-in-the-hole, as I am quite good at it, having practiced for years at playing the game under the apparently erroneous impression that it was good training to get a job as an actual minesweeper.
Let's get it on, Mahmoud! I'm ready to bring home a victory for my beautiful, infidel nation. Ask yourself: are you man enough to face me? But first, ask yourself: Are you man enough to spring for the ticket to Yalta?
I could really get into this! Hey, Grand Duke Henri Albert Gabriel Felix Marie Guillaume! You are SO on notice!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Tracy: this is too, too rich.
Tracy: Canton, Ohio School Board expands "abstinence-only" sex ed curriculum after learning that one out of every seven female students (13%) at one high school is pregnant
Tracy: thought you'd get a kick out of this one.
DCeiver: Uhm, that's retarded.
Tracy: file it under "reap what you sow, motherfuckers"
DCeiver: Unless they're going to build a TIME MACHINE, it seems ridiculous to teach abstinence to girls who are already pregnant.
Tracy: well presumably it'll also reach the 87% who aren't pregnant
DCeiver: WHO DON'T DEMONSTRATE THE NEED FOR IT? DUH! That's MY MONEY they're pissing away!
Tracy: but it does have a bit of "closing the barn door when the cows have gone" to it.
Tracy: and they're actually canning the "abstinence only" route, since the results are apparently less than stellar.
DCeiver: Oh. Good. Still: The Kids of America need to send the government a memo:
"To Whom It May Concern:
Hi. You need to understand. Some of us like the fucking. We've developed a taste for the fucking. And yeah, we're going to keep doing the fucking.
Please note: we are aware that NOT FUCKING is an option.
But, look: you're the ones that made it possible for my seventy-year old grandfather to maintain a raging chub for an entire weekend.
Surely you didn't go to all that trouble so that he can reproduce. He's SEVENTY. His sperm are all, like...dessicated and shit, you know? Hobbling around on little mitochondrial crutches?
DO YOU GET IT ASSHOLE? MY GRANDFATHER LIKES TO SQUEEZE OFF A FEW LOADS OF DEAD SPERM NOW AND AGAIN.
It's only natural that we follow in the habits of our elders. Of course, you seem to think it's totally cool for septuagenerians to be shooting cum all around the neighborhood, but totally bad when we do it. What example, then, would you, like us to follow. Sorry. You have to CHOOSE.
Tracy: i'd sign that.
DCeiver: I'd sign it with my FUCKING JIZZ, all right!
- So, we heard today that an article in the Post officially stated that Van Ness was an actual neighborhood. But we'll be damned if we can find it, so, for the time being, we're going to leave Mike Grass alone, if only because we bet he'd know what we're talking about when we mention the "Gold Coast." He's got skillz.
- Kelly Ann Collins' latest move? Well, by the looks of things, it seems to have something to do with Kabuki-themed cosplay. Uhm...okay. Heck, we have to admit--didn't see that one coming. [Ask KAC]
- Oooh, boy. The Wilson Bridge got what it had coming to it. Better YouTube up that video for posterity. [Washington Post]
- Oh, Billy. You're talking to the man who cautioned an entire generation: "Don't be that guy." Chicago 1, Los Angeles 0. [Defamer]
- Mad props to KG for his interview with the Silversun Pickups. And as a preview to our forthcoming weigh-in, let it be known that their new record Carnevas, is one of the best that've come out this year. Also: thanks for the shout out (cf. Sly diss of last year's indie darlings.) [Information Leafblower]
- And congratulations to TomCath for four years of Unrequited Narcissism. Surely it's been requited jessalittlebit?
And we're back. Damn, people. That was much needed. We've been down South the past week, floating in the Atlantic, reading a backlog of The Believer on the porch, cooking great food, flying stunt kites with palpable passion, and otherwise lazing away a wonderful week. We barely touched the television (except to watch Jon Stewart and Project Funway) and managed to stay away from the internet almost completely. A sweet and breezy anti-media coccoon.
Of course, returning reminds us of a saying...was it Thucydides, or was it Jarvis Cocker who famously said, "Cunts are still running the world"?* Because they are, my darlings, they are. (Those that aren't are at the very least in charge of server maintenance for certain group blogging concerns--how many more months, Juggz? HOW MANY MORE FUCKING MONTHS, SMART GUY?) Twas this time last year that we learned that Presidential vacation=certain doom for Americans, and at work today, I was up to my editorial asscrack in stories about Katrina: A YEAR LATER. Ugh. Set blood to boil.
And what the fuck else has been going on since I've been gone?
- Oh, wow, what a SURPRISE. The vaunted curfew didn't work!
- The Redskins absolutely shit the damn bed against the Patriots.
- Joe Biden. My God.
- Kola Boof? What, exactly, the FUCK??
- Adam Nagourney pens "36 Hours in DC", including a listless set of sights and activities that allow the ersatz reporter plenty of time to do what he loves most: WHACKIN' IT OFF!
- Someone made a 9-11 comic book? Are you serious? Who the hell thought that would be a good--What? Oh, it was Slate you say. Okay. Well. I guess that's really not all that surprising then.
Some good news, then: Magnificent bastardry was in full flower as the hour of Bauer got showered with Emmy power! That's the hotness, and Salon can suck me. We're very happy because the lovely Mark Rabinowitz works on 24 and can now bask in the warm glow of Emmy. Way back in the day, Mark videotaped the DCeiver wedding (obtaining a more prominent credit than I did for the event** (background/location scout/transportation captain)). How many people can say that they had someone from Emmy Award-winning 24 attached to their wedding. Very few. So, props to Mark. Give the script supervisor some love from me. And thanks for making the end of my hiatus go like this: "Urge to kill fading...fading...fading...RISING!...fading...gone."
*It was Jarvis Cocker, obvs.
**I also was in charge of making sure the DJ didn't accidentally get himself killed, as per our conversation:
DCEIVER: So, do you understand what I am asking you to do.
DJ: Basically, I am not to play any of the sorts of songs that get played at 99% of weddings.
DCEIVER: That's correct. None of those velveeta one-hit douchebags, nothing that comes with it's very own dance, nothing that Casey Kasem ever used for a long-distance dedication.
DJ: Well, if I could just say, there are plenty of wedding goers who enjoy those songs.
DCEIVER: Well, this isn't going to be one of those weddings, pal. If my guests can't suck it up and enjoy the main attractions--that is, my wife and myself--then they can fucking screw.
DJ: I'm just saying, you're taking a lot of crowd-pleasing tunes off the menu.
DCEIVER: I can see I'm not quite getting through. Let me show you something. You see this here? This is what's known as a "cat-of-nine-tails." The British Royal Navy used to use this sucker to sort out insubordinates. I'd hate to buffet you across the face and torso with this thing, but, I assure you, if I need to, I can make the experience very crowd-pleasing.
DJ: Um. Erp. Okay.
DCEIVER: And one last thing. I better not here that "When You Were Young" song up in here either.
DJ: But, the Killers don't even exist yet!
DCEIVER: Fuck that. I'm not taking any chances with you OR the time-space continuum! If you just do what I say, you stand a good chance of making it out of here alive tonight.
That evening, the DJ did slip once and allow to playing of a single Diane Warren penned slab of outsized sentimental caca from a major motion picture about people attempting to blow up an asteroid, but that incident occurred whilst I was out of the room, posing for "tuxedo porn" shots with our photog. Lucky for him.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I just was reading on some jackass blog something that intimated that we shouldn't accept anything less than a unified government in Iraq because 94% of Americans polled want it to be so.
Fucknoodles. I can tell you that 100 PERCENT of DCeivers polled wants gold doubloons to magically and painlessly shoot out of his ass everytime he feeds the fucking cat, but GUESS WHAT BEDWETTERS! If wishes were Iraqi unified governments I'd be some stuck up twat living in an expensive Baghdad condo bitching about how the Trader Joes is 1.6 miles from my condo when I FUCKING deserve it to be 1.2 miles from my condo. I mean, WHAT DOES A GUY WITH A ROOM FULL OF LOOTED ANCIENT ART HAVE TO DO TO GET A MOTHERFUCKIN' SMOOTHIE UP IN THIS CUT!?!
So, as usual, to 94% of America, I say: suck me.
Now, I need to get back to my hiatus.
We are going on hiatus for one week. We thought about getting a guest blogger but at first we were like, "Well, all the bloggers we like are like, writing blogs that we like. So if they spend their energy here, that's not fair to their blog readers." Then we thought about training a person to do it, but we realized that we really don't like most people. Then we thought about training an animal to do it, but it's really cruel to get an animal mixed up in the sordid and hateful world of blogging. Then we ran into our favorite Wonkette guest-blogger, Holly Martins, while we were out Thursday night, but then we got too shy to ask.
So, then, hiatus.
Of course, given our obsessive need to post stuff, you can believe that when you see it. But there is a stack of shit I need or want to read and I'll be damned if I'm going to let you stop me, interwebs. I will be good and goddamned.
So, we'll be back soon. A week, dammit. Okay, probably less. We have music stuff to come, and stuff about the mayoral race, and a transcript of the first meeting of Lieberman's imaginary political party, and the stuff that usually happens here.
And, if you're one of those blogs we should have put on our blogroll a long time ago, like circumlocutor and that Express blog and PK's new blog and stuff, remind us, and we'll add you when our hiatus is over.
Okay. HIATUS, GO!
[peace out, bitches. see those snakes on that plane!]
For real, y'all. Snakes On A Plane worked, dude. They pulled it off. I think that many of the people for whom SOaP has been a minor obsession felt the same way the day the movie opened--after all that hype, the product had to be a let down. But fuck if they didn't manage to put together a fucking enjoyable flick simply by doing what they said they've been doing ever since Sam Jackson bitchslapped the studio into changing the name back to Snake On a Plane--being true to itself.
The movie was more cagey than smart, more fun than good, and more willing to find unique thrills within a formula than try to fuck with the formula itself. It managed to deliver exactly what it promised--personally, I think it managed to edge past expectations. And with an overeager crowd in the house to add its own steady stream of enthusiasm, the whole viewing experience was enjoyable as hell.
I agree with the Governess that the one thing that should have been added is some sort of classic sequel-baiting ending--one of those "The End?" type of endings or some gang of snakes swearing blood-oaths or something. But, for a fun, pretension-free night out, it was megaton superfly. We came hyped, we left hyped. We hope everyone else had as good a time as we did.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Hey peoples. Over at Rorschach, we have ended our sixth season and are gearing up for the announcement of our seventh season, which will probably happen whilst I am on my hiatus next week. Oh--plus we are apparently doing something at the Page To Stage Festival, but I do not know if that was supposed to be a play that is still being written or if it's Grady Weatherford's seminal drama Frank Lloyd Wright is... or if it's just a mistake. Again. Our last "meeting?" Like, OCTOBER. We get by on rumor and sigh. But, we get by pretty nicely. I'm the ad hoc Vice Chair of the Why Not Hire Shirley Serotsky? I Met Her and She Was Really Super Nice and Everything Subcommittee, myself.
Anyhoo, the aforementioned Grady has a play in the Hatchery Festival that he is directing called The Woodpecker. How to describe it? Well, it's scabrous, mean-spirited, profane, cynical, stuffed to the brim with vulgarity, brutal in its depiction of people who are beyond redemption, and it outright takes a shit on many things that ordinary people hold dear. Oh, yeah--it's also HILARIOUS AS HELL, and I loooooved every single minute of it. And the text has been recently updated to include a couple mentions of George Allen's new favorite word.
Go see The Woodpecker, by Brett Williams. At the DCAC, 7:30pm Fri/Sat/Sun, 3:00pm Sat/Sun.
Also, it's another "Best Bet"-esque piece of media frippery, but we'd appreciate your support in WUSA Channel 9's A-List competition. Currently, Rorschach is running in fourth place out of seventeen for Best Theatre in Washington DC. Everybody hit this link and cast your vote for the Schach! And once you are finished, maybe send WUSA an email letting them know that the error that they have made makes them look really really really really really really really really really really stupid.
See if you can spot it:
Although, I greatly admired their production of King Kong last year, that show they did...Episode One: The Phantom Menace was SHIT ON TOAST.
Jesus Channel nine...you're KILLIN' me here!
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/18/2006
Obviously, when you are dealing with a whackadoo cultural phenommenon like Snakes On A Plane, which crushed its way into the limelight on the strengths of a jarringly literal title, a few well placed used of the word "motherfucker," and the psychosis of we bloggers, when you near the actual realization, you begin to realize: you are set up for an epic fall.
Not that it should dissuade anyone from their obsession. But we all know that SOaP could only end in one of three ways:
- A total and unexpected redemption of cinematic glory.
- A total return on the investment in that a certain lovable crapulence is winningly achieved.
Number three is a wide, yawning chasm into which many a hoped-for awesomely bad movie ends up crashing. It's doubtful that number one can be achieved or that anyone involved even really attempted. So, then, the half-court shot represented by number two. Hitting that mark of camp and ridiculousness and over-the-top nonsense squah in the nutsack.
So far, so good! From eminently trustable sources...
Huddle formation, hissy fans!
(I feel like I can promise this: it will at the very least be more enjoyable than that movie where Veronica Mars and Boone from Lost accidentally upload their Snow Patrol MP3's to some dead guys FTP and end up unleashing an angry, yelly version of the Blue Man Group from the interwebs.)
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/18/2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Laurel-based theatre company Rude Mechanicals (not to be confused with the Austin-based company of the same name) are presenting the Shakespeare classic Antony and Cleopatra at the DCAC on September 29 and 30. We love the cheeky ad campaign, yo:
Thursday evening, outside Amsterdam Falafelshop:
DCeiver: I don't know about you, but I'm totally rooting for the snakes.
Wife of DCeiver: Are you? Isn't that shortsighted? You can't imagine that there's even the remote possibility that the snakes are going to win.
DCeiver: Who do you think is going to win?
Wife of DCeiver: Well, Samuel L. Jackson, I imagine.
DCeiver: Well, I think Samuel L. Jackson is going to survive. Given the right spin, he could probably make it look like a win. But you aren't seeing the big picture.
Wife of DCeiver: What's the big picture?
DCeiver: Well, it's conceivable that the snakes will suffer tremendous casualties, and even lose in the short term sense. It's possible, even likely, that the snakes will have to make withdrawals in the immediate region of the conflict.
Wife of DCeiver: You mean the plane.
DCeiver: That's right. But, you see, it's not like Samuel L. Jackson's character is going to be able to root out and destroy ALL the snakes in the world, is he? No. These plane-based losses are acceptable to the snakes. The snakes will be able to say they faced up to no less than Samuel L. Jackson and survived. That's going to make their position in the animal kingdom a LOT stronger, and, as an added bonus, it's likely that the snakes will be able to, for a time, thwart Jackson's long term strategic goals, if not derail them entirely. So in the big picture sense, the snakes could very well win.
Wife of DCeiver: So...what you're saying is, the snakes are essentially--
DCeiver: Hezbollah. Exactly.
Talk about having the veils torn from one's face! This week, the rest of country is learning what many of us Virginians--those of us who don't snidely welcome the brown people to America, anyway--already know: that Senator George Felix Allen is a knuckle-dragging scum-merchant of the highest order. I got to witness Allen's goobernatorial reign from a front-row seat in the Capital of the Confederacy itself, which means I frequently got to experience his antics in juxtaposition with the very sort of people who chortle and haw with shit-flecked lips whenever someone like my man S.R. Siddarth (Wahoowa, reprazent! And by the way, I am hereby officially, and in the style of Marsellus Wallace, revoking all of Senator Allen's UVa. privileges.) gets called...well, let's say, for not wanting to use a worse perjorative, "macaca."
Fingers crossed, this means the end of all that Presidential run nonsense. I mean, it's anybody's guess whether it dooms his Senatorial re-elect hopes. Sanity springs eternal, but those invisible lines where Virginia becomes Vuhjinyuh...they do exist--and while I had any number of cognitive fuckadoo moments in Richmond, I can assure you that I was wading only ankle deep into that cultural swamp. I could take you to towns, far from the NOVA roads where upright homo sapiens walk, where dem Klan boys torture and beat dogs to turn them into killing machines. That shit is pure Allen country, and they wait to vote for him with the enthusiasm of a Star Wars fanatic.
Nevertheless, this macaca incident looks for all the world like Allen maybe won't have the chance to squeeze out some liquid turds in the Oval Office. I hope that's true, and I hope that the end of this fever dream of Allen's is demonstrated by the mind-bending lengths his defenders are taking to defend him. Let's face it, if this toxic egg were on Jim Webb's face, the Hinderfakers of the world would be emitting a steady stream of blue-faced, Mel Gibsonian howls right now, and that's a fact you can take to the bank.
Now, yesterday, or the day before, I'll admit that when I read the transcript of the Hannity and Colmes show, where Alan Colmes appears to simply and succinctly state without any sort of equivocatin that "macaca" meant "Mohawk," I thought to myself--"No, no, no, Alan! I'm sorry, but YOU DON'T GET TO JUST MAKE SHIT UP!" I read the transcript on Wonkette, and, as you may know, I am only too predisposed to believe her sweet little lies. Her sweet little lies paid for many a Christmas present this past year. As it turns out, howevs, Alan did not mean to imply that he believed that macaca meant Mohawk, like, FOR REELS and shit. He was speaking sarcastically, and, from what I'm told, listening to the broadcast bears this out. Though, in everyone's defense, Alan Colmes is typically such a pussified husk of a man that there's really no reason in the world to expect him to be capable of sarcastic inflections. I would have probably assumed that he was sick or he had Roger Ailes' cock lodged in his throat again.
[Of course, we still marvel at Hannity's parting shot during the exchange: "Webb is desperate." How you get from George Allen using a racist slur to evidence of Jim Webb's desperation is beyond me! And I'm taking into account Hannity likely banging a right down "Pretend Macaca Means Delicious Ice Cream Avenue."]
Okay. Anyway. Alan Colmes summons sarcasm from deep within his withered soul. We accept that. Then, yesterday, we run across "A New Explanation for 'Macaca'?" on the National Journal's blog, Hotline, where it is writ:
According to two Republicans who heard the word used, "macaca" was a mash-up of "Mohawk," referring to Sidarth's distinctive hair, and "caca," Spanish slang for excrement, or "shit."
I can't believe I am going to leave aside the fact that this basically translates as "It's totally cool because all he meant to say was that the guy was a shithead." But, with a heavy heart, I am going to leave that aside. Though, in fairness, it is true that to even begin to grasp the concept of George Allen, it requires one to have at least a passing expertise in "caca."
Here's the deal. The very notion that anyone can, in their right mind, advance the theory that "macaca" was a mash-up of Mohawk and caca, and not be immediately and objectively identified as being totally insane is preposterous, and that the authors of this piece (it took TWO of them to wrestle down this crazy train!), Jonathan Martin and Marc Armbinder did not immediately qualify this notion as preposterous is DOUBLY preposterous! Objectively speaking, one can actually say: "That, my dear, is crazy talk." Much has been made of Siddharth's hairstyle, which, by the way, resembles this:
And not, say, this:
...much has been made of Siddharth's hairstyle, but I GUARAN-DAMN-TEE you that if Siddharth had, assaulted George Allen, or carjacked George Allen, George Allen would not have--in a kabillion kerjillion years!--described his assailant to police as having a Mohawk, let alone making up some new crazy mash-up word on the spot to describe him.
And don't even tell me that George Allen mistook Siddharth for a Mohawk Indian, because James Fenimore Cooper wrote about the last one of those dudes back in 1826, and I'm quite sure he's dead by now!
It can maybe be argued that Armbinder and Martin offered a weak paean to balance over the course of this article, but there is no way in hell that these two authors could POSSIBLY BELIEVE these words they wrote. There's no way they could POSSIBLY BELIEVE that the "two Republicans" sourced in the article were doing anything other than shining them on. And so, the above quote should have read something like: "According to two Republicans, clearly perpetrating as fools..." blah, blah, blah. I have no idea what leads a writer to actually lend credence to an idea that they know with every fiber of their being is demonstrably false, but Armbinder and Martin have done precisely that.
And they don't stop there!
Said one Republican close to the campaign: "In other words, he was a shit-head, an annoyance." Allen, according to Republicans, heard members of his traveling entourage and Virginia Republicans use the phrase and picked it up. It was the first word that came to his mind when he spied Sidarth at the weekend's event, according to Republicans who have been briefed on Allen's version of the event. [Emphasis on the truly loonybin mine.]
This is nothing more than intellectual minstrelsy masquerading as thoughtful comment! This doesn't so much defy credulity as it does send creduilty to Abu Ghraib!
As the song goes: "Not what I heard or saw on TV, but what I witnessed entirely: each bend in the road was, in fact, another curve on the monkey track."
There are going to be people who will pretend that they'll never know what Allen meant by "macaca." But, let's be clear: when I use the word, I am referring to writers at Hotline.
We've got macaca on our brain here at the DCeiver, so it was through that lens that we watched this video at Wonkette, and afterwards, all we could think about was how fun it would be if we could get Lonny Baxter to sort of sneak up behind this Tramm Hudson and squeeze off a couple of rounds into the air--seeing how Baxter loves to do that anyway--and after watching Hudson's reaction, step in and say: "My, oh my! Who taught you to jump so high? 'Cause you do it real fine for a middle-aged cracker-ass from Alabama!"
- One of the amazing things about how effing incredible George Felix Allen's "macaca" moment is that if it hadn't happened, we might be talking about how badly another Republican shit the bed yesterday. I'm talking about Mike Conallen, the Chief of Staff for Pennsylvania Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick, who last week apparently took complete leave of his senses and ambushed Fitzpatrick's opponent, Patrick Murphy, on a media conference call to bicker with him over a matter pertaining to debates that Conallen didn't seem to realize had already been decided. He remained on the call after Murphy and his guest, John Kerry had rung off, speaking as if totally addlebrained before a shocked and bewildered group of reporters who were apparently gobsmacked to listen to Conallen come completely off the rails, racking up God only knows how many ethics and election violations as he publicly humiliated himself. If this Conallen guy isn't checked in to a rehab clinic by the weekend, it's only because there isn't a soul in all the world that cares for his well-being. [Fact-esque]
- I have not gotten to hear these tracks yet, but if you've ever wondered what a crunk tribute to Radiohead might sound like, wonder no longer. It's like I told Leafblower: when you really think about it, the only thing keeping Radiohead from asserting total global dominance is the fact that they do not yet own pimp cups. [Stereogum]
- Oh, look! It's Big Head Rob's biggest scoop yet! [BHR]
- There's only one thing left to say when the blogosphere's smarmiest douche starts lamenting the coming of flip-cup to Wonderland: "I want these motherfuckin' unintended ironies off these motherfuckin' interwebs!" [Metroblogs]
- Here's a blog post promising a profile of Feist that does not actually involve any member of Broken Social Scene. This is the first time this has EVER HAPPENED on the blogosphere. [FishbowlDC]
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The blogosphere has already taken the Post's most recent exercise in vapidity out behind the shed and subjected it to a rather entertaining beating. But I couldn't let their most recent article about intern culture pass without comment. And I'm not going to let the fact that I could only get through the first few paragraphs before vomiting all over my laptop stop me.
First of all, no, I do not think that the Style section has gotten to the point where it needs to be blown up. And it's not just because I heart Amy Argetsinger. Indeed, I think the creeping shallowness ushered in by Laura Sessions Stepp (who did not write the most recent story, no doubt because she's off working on her four-part article series entitled "OMG Y'all! Have You HEARD About These Clubs That Have Beds Instead of Tables!? They Make My Yoni Tingle Just Thinking About Them!") works to the detriment of our Reliable Sourceresses, because their column, set against the idiot stories of Wingmen and the Cum Dump they aid and abet, comes off looking like Anna Karenina by comparison.
Personally, I think that the recent uptick in moronic Style section fare has mostly to do with the awarding of a Pulitzer to Robin Givhan. The second lesson Ana imparted to me over at Wonkette is that Givhan ALWAYS provided at least one story that snarked itself (the first lesson was that, yes, Nick Denton really would pay for a story a day about Butterstick). Since the Pulitzer started giving out awards for...vacuousness, I guess--what we've seen at Style are some reporters trying to take the inside track to the race to the bottom.
But enough ill-advised prepositions. The article--at least what I've read of it--features someone named Ryan Holte. Here's all you need to know about Ryan Holte. In fact, this is, for all intents and purpose, just about all you ever need to know about Ryan Holte, unless you are unfortunate enough to one day take out a restraining order on him or end up tangentially attached to his estate. He's an intern. At the time of the interview, he's standing inside Tortilla Coast. And he's in possession of a spreadsheet that purports to document all the area's happy hours.
Now, this spreadsheet has been around a long time. I've seen the spreadsheet. Ryan would be well-served to check the "Modified By" date. The last time I saw the spreadsheet, it was several jobs ago. A recent hire, newly moved to the area, was showing it to me at work, as if it were something that should impress me.
But it did not impress me, because I had learned by then that this spreadsheet was a talisman indicating the presence of a jagoff, and I had learned already that this coworker of mine was a jagoff. He was from third-rate dump town with a BA in Business Administration from some middle of the pack university and he thought the funniest thing in the world were sending out the same old email forwards that have threatened to cripple this series of tubes called the internet since Al Gore invented it. I remember he had this signature at the end of his emails that read "Killin' it as usual in the 202!"
But, like Mr. Holte, my coworker was not, in fact, "killin' it." Far from it. He was mainly doing the absolute drudgery of office work. Filing grant applications, routine data entry, counting out various amounts of rubberbands and staples and placing them in ziplock bags (don't ask--I wasn't killin' it either back then, though I was at least the guy who said what amount of rubberband went in the bag). He was a jagoff with a forty-minute commute, living with two other jagoffs in a forgettable Ballston highrise with a dishwasher and a balcony, and that spreadsheet was not some sort of ticket to ride--it was a survival mechanism. It was the enforcement of an illusion that's so important for jagoffs--the illusion that they had a life with value. That spreadsheet codifies the jagoff existence, gives it the only weight or substance it shall ever have. It guides the young jagoff through the maturation process into a full-fledged collar-poppin' daddy. What happens after that, no one knows about or cares.
At the same time, the depths can be plumbed to a level still lower and more shameful. That's
where Ryan Holte is right now. I mean, first, consider this. Could you imagine having a list of seventy-five bars and STILL ending up at Torilla Coast? Could you imagine having a list of five bars and STILL ending up there?
But, my good sweet god. This asshat has got the spreadsheet uploaded onto his fucking Treo. HIS FUCKING TREO!
My mind sputters and whirrs and gurgles trying to bend itself into something suitably farfalle-like to even begin to comprehend what sort of loser I'd have to be to even bring myself to put the stupid thing on a Treo and go around whipping it out. I mean, checking up on it while you are at a bar already? Telling the reporter that it's "where you need to start?"
Had I been there, with a hypodermic needle of powerful truth serum, I would have reared back and plunged that bad boy deep into his heart, Pulp Fiction-steez. And he would have inhaled, sharply. His eyes would flutter and he'd become briefly disoriented. But then the truth serum would jack itself into his bloodstream. He'd get calm. He'd get quiet. And he'd look up at me and say, "My God. At this very minute, there are people the same age as me...even younger...getting cut to ribbons in Iraq. And here I am with a three hundred dollar piece of equipment that I am using to keep track of two-dollar shots and cheap hot wings. And for what? So I can get my twenty seconds of face time with some dickhead Congressman who could give a rats ass if I live or die? My God, I understand now. I am, quite simply, the single most frivolous person on the face of the earth."
And I'd take him in my arms, comfort his shivering body, and whisper to him, gently, "There, there, Ryan. That's not true. You're nowhere near as frivolous as this reporter."
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/16/2006
In news that's bound to put a smirk on your face, former Maryland basketball player Lonny Baxter was arrested early this morning by the Secret Service after he apparently discharged two rounds from a handgun within two blocks of the White House. It's surprising behavior, especially when you consider the fact that Baxter graduated from that fine research institution known as the University of Maryland. Of course, he's a basketball player, so maybe he didn't graduate...but it's nevertheless very likely he knows or at least at one point stood in the same room as someone who did. You'd think that the research skills you receive from Maryland might lead one to conclude, or at least make the educated guess, that shooting a gun near the White House is frowned upon by polite society.
Anyway, we don't know why Baxter is cruising around popping caps at Washington, DC late at night. He plays for basketball powerhouse Montepaschi Siena in Italy, so, what is there to be mad about? It couldn't possibly be the fact that Jared Jeffries is getting paid the tall dollars to play for the Knicks! I'm sure that Baxter recalls the NCAA Championship he won and knows full well that Jeffries is NBA dynamite.
Gee, shouldn't Baxter be working hard to get in shape so he can lead his team to the Italian championship where the grand prize is a bowl of spaghetti or something? That comes with spicy meeta-ball? Come on, Lonny, I thought Coach Williams, like, prepared you for life and shit. Say, what was your major again?
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/16/2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
So, I tried this new Pepsi "Jazz" cola, specifically the Diet Black Cherry French Vanilla Adjective Encrusted variety. Suffice it to say, like most Pepsi products, it's pretty vile--all the notes are "spicy" when you just want them to settle down.
Like it matters. There's going to come a day when we might all realize that soda is about as tasty as malted battery acid. What's truly dubious about this soda is the packaging. There's something about the image on the label--with foamy brown liquid replete with bouncing cherries exploding out of some unseen sphincter that just says: "This is the most delicious rimjob EVAH!" The true historical triumph here, is that Pepsi may have finally found a way to carbonate goatse.cx effluvia.
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/15/2006
I'm continually amazed at how hoit and toit the Annual Washington Post Best Bets are, because they more or less arrive every year with a thunderous wet-turd splat and leave everyone involved looking like they're only tangentially involved in the life of the city. Every once in a while, there is a winner that feels truly unique, but mostly it's an exercise in ho-hummery. This year's no different. You can pretty much predict each winner as the page loads, and the criteria for predicting is no more than having heard of something that fits a criteria.
So, for example, if you are currently aware that there are businesses that sell, say, coffee, or hamburgers, or furniture, or shoes, you are going to nail the winners with incredible accuracy. Seriously. If I put a gun to your head and demanded you guess and maintain an 80% accuracy, you will come out of it pretty much unscathed. This level of obviousness, however, begs the question--why go to all the trouble of soliciting votes, counting them, writing copy, publishing HTML and printing little badges for the winners if the whole thing is over and done before the process even begins? Wouldn't it just be simpler for the Washington Post to give Ikea a windowsticker, set a pile of money on fire and call it a day?
The hilarious addition to this year's non-event comes courtesy of DC's own purveyors of lame, the Going Out Gurus, who have actually documented their worthlessness on every page of the Best Bets. Each category has a winner and something like ten runners-up, and the Gurus advertise their bet-hedging fraudulence by tagging about six or seven in each category with "Guru's Pick." Christ. They make the bar to make the NHL playoffs look discriminating. My guess is that the Post included their opinions so that the voters had somebody to whom they wouldn't suffer in comparison.
On with the highlights:
BEST BAKERY: Cakelove.
Yeah. Shock, horror and amazement there. Actually, DC is quite polarized by Cakelove. It inspires antipathy that's far more passionate than the worship. My experience with Cakelove is limited because I am allergic to eggs and they are egg-crazy. At a going-away party for a coworker, an old employer had a Cakelove sampler for everyone to share. Knowing how allergic I am to their wares, I was relieved at first to see German Chocolate Cake--not many egg whites therein, so a safe bet. Unfortch, it turned out that type of cake was the guest of honors fave, and there being two slices, it would be immensely gauche of me to not let dude take it home with him. So, I had chocolate cake with some rich icing and the next four hours of my life were exactly like Requiem For A Dream, followed by the worst hangover in eight years. Anyway, at least Cakelove kept Panera from winning.
BEST BRUNCH: Carlyle
Sure, if you wipe your ass with one dollar bills, it's fantastic. To me, brunch is about getting together with a mess of friends and not worrying about how the bottom line is going to affect everyone's pocketbook. Whitlow's is sketch central at night, but my out-of-town guests, from all walks of life, really seem to enjoy brunching there. When it's just me and the WoD, we likes to go to the Four Courts--good smoked salmon and Guinness.
BEST BURGERS: Five Guys
Yawn. Why is it that whenever I eat a Five Guys burger, I feel like, "Cool. It'll be six months before I'm craving this sort of lunatic excess again." And then, not surprisingly, that six months has become a year. Poor forgotten Elevation Burger deserved better than fourth.
BEST CHEAP EATS: California Tortilla
The people at California Tortilla and the people at Chipotle must have sat down to sign a treaty to determine in what ways their cuisine would distinguish itself from each other, because left to their own devices, you just know they'd mass produce food without any dissimilarities. Again, when I have people who really appreciate inexpensive food that's capital-G Good, it's pho at Nam Viet.
BEST COFFEE SHOP: Starbucks
This is, annually, Exhibit A on why this whole enterprise needs to be scotched. Now, I am not one of those type whose definition of cool is hatin' on the 'Bucks. The people at the one in my neighborhood are first rate and friendly and they feel like neighbors. But, seriously, the Post should just toss out all of Starbucks votes. The chain has enough tact to never tout themselves as a Best Bet, and it's not like they're going to either cede market share or have some sort of problem with public awareness of their existence if they don't win. So throw the votes out. I know that the Posties could make some kind of case for telling the truth, but, you know what, convicted felons truthfully have opinions on who should be President. We still chuck their votes.
Over on H Street, the Atlas is soon to open as a performance space. H Street Playhouse and Joy of Motion Dance Studio share the block. And wedged in between is a place that escaped the Post's mention, R&B Coffee. With Joe Englert building his after hours Disneyland out there, little R&B won't stay off the radar for long. They'll make this list next year. In the meantime, did you know that there is some sort of law in DC that forbids the roasting of coffee beans? R&B wanted to roast their own beans, but they can't. So, remember, their product would be even BETTER were it not for this stupid ass law.
BEST CRABS: I'm just surprised that the Capitol Hill interns weren't nominated. Wife of DCeiver snarks: "It's been harder to get crabs in DC since Polly Esther's closed. Zing.
BEST ICE CREAM: Coldstone Creamery
Jesus wept, y'all. Coldstone is like cool, molten suck.
BEST ITALIAN FOOD: Maggiano's
The Post says that you can "find a little piece of the Bronx" at Maggiano's. If so, we're guessing that the piece was probably some sort of cyst that the Bronx had surgically removed.
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD SPOT: The Lost Dog
Here's one we emphatically agree with. The Gurus, of course, would have been hospitalized with scenester-douche withdrawal if they didn't pick Cafe Saint Ex.
BEST STEAKS: Ray's The Steaks
Okay, soooo, people have heard about this Ray's The Steaks place? Because we've been worried that the owner hadn't yet jackhammered it's existence into our subconscious yet. Good, good. Maybe, you know, the beatings will stop. If you want good steaks without the attendant melodrama, drive another half mile up the road from Ray's and discover the Boulevard Woodgrill, which didn't make the list because not enough asshats eat there.
BEST COCKTAILS: Tallula
Here's one the voters got right. But it's really more of a wine paradise.
BEST DANCE CLUB: Clarendon Ballroom
Also, one of the best places to see idiots standing in line at 1:48am on a Saturday night. Hey! Dimwits! You wasted your entire evening!
BEST GAY BAR: Not wanting to offend any gay people, because one day they might actually meet one, the Guru's basically picked every single bar except Remington's and Nation. I'll state firmly that I do not believe--not even for a second--that any of them have ever set foot inside the Green Lantern. No love for the Eagle, though? Tsk, tsk. It's a vibrant subbacultcha.
BEST HAPPY HOUR: The Front Page
I wouldn't call it a particularly happy hour. Not unless the definition of happy has been expanded to include crippling self-delusion and rampant brain rot.
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR: Sigh. Tonic should have won, and Toledo Lounge and Tunnicliffs should have made the list. But this is speaking as someone who only goes to bars that start with the letter T.
BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT OF TOWNERS: We love that one of the finalists was "The Monuments." I mean, no shit, genius! It's surprising that it wasn't listed as "Derrrrrrrrrrr, uhhhhmmmm, uhhhhhh...duh Monuments! We likey monuments!" I just imagine a room full of drooling man-children, clapping their hands and crapping their pants. The Gurus picked this, which means they actually gave "Derrrrrruhhmmmmuhhh Monuments" some "thought." They crunched their little faces up, wondering where they might, maybe...just maybe take someone from out-of-town. Then one of them said, "I know! What about those mon-yoo-ments!" Then the room erupted into gasps of relief and they all cracked open some Pabst to toast their ineffable fucking brilliance.
BEST PLACE TO TAKE KIDS: The Zoo.
What many people don't know is that the Zoo is also not a half-bad place to leave children to die. The National Aquarium makes the list, as well, but the link fails to specify whether it's the one in Baltimore or the one in Washington. Trust me, you don't want to take them to the one in Washington unless you aim is to punish said children.
BEST PLACE TO SEE THEATER: The Kennedy Center
Here's the truth. If the people at the KenCen went on a ten-year commitment to not include any programming that was even remotely related to theatre--indeed, if they dedicated themselves exclusively to hosting mahjongg tournaments--we don't doubt that they'd nevertheless win this category again and again and again.
BEST LOCAL BAND: As voted on mainly by people who go to one show each year, and haven't purchased a new album since that "dope Steve Winwood joint" from 1988.
BEST MOVIE THEATRE: WTF? How does the AMC Tysons Corner 16 get voted into 9th place? Don't get me wrong, it's a perfectly serviceable movie theatre, but what is there to get passionate about? It'd be like, "Dude! When I want Doritos, I go to the 7-11 on the corner of 7th and Rhode Island! Holy shit! I'm telling you. You just have to try it sometime! That is just the best fucking place to buy Doritos!"
BEST PLACE TO HEAR LIVE MUSIC: How does the Nissan Pavillion at Stone Ridge even make this list?! I can promise you, YOU DID NOT HAVE A GOOD TIME AT THE NISSAN PAVILLION AT STONE RIDGE LISTENING TO LIVE MUSIC! No one EVER has, and no one EVER will, until a band named And You Will Know Us By The Way We Fucking Burned Down The Nissan Pavillion at Stone Ridge goes out on tour in support of their debut album Seriously, We Are Going To Fuck Up The Nissan Pavillion at Stone Rich Something Awful.
BEST BOOKSTORE: Barnes and Noble.
Oh, COME ON NOW! Poor little Trover Shop finished TWELFTH?? And how does Books-A-Million get on this list? Has anyone in the past calendar year walked into a Books-A-Million and NOT said to themselves, "Sigh. Well, I guess I'll see if there's anything interesting in the Books-A-Million. Sigh. I'm bored as fuck."
BEST DAY SPA: Elizabeth Arden Red Door
This award should have probably been rescinded after it was learned that they can't, won't or don't color black people's hair. But I guess the Post would have had to read their own effing newspaper to find that out, wouldn't they?
BEST HOME FURNISHINGS: Ikea
Oh, good. I really hope that scrappy Swedish company makes it to the big time.
BEST MEN'S CLOTHING STORE: Nordstrom
Oh, good. I really hope that scrappy Seattle company--ooops, hold on, I think I'm having a seizure.
BEST WOMEN'S CLOTHING BOUTIQUE: Ann Taylor Loft
This year, give her something that says, "I'm not a woman anymore, I work for the Federal Government."
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/15/2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Argh. So, 1115 has a brief item from USA Today that mentions that while terrorists in England were bottling their latest vintage of terrorist juice, the Bush administration was quietly attempting to move monies OUT of explosives-detection technology. For fuck's sake. Bush and his band of dipshits have all the prescience of a broken magic 8 ball wedged up a dead hooker's ass. Is anyone else getting pissed at the fact that the fucking meerkats from that show take their security more seriously than we do? Hey, Mr. President: STOP LISTENING TO MY PHONE CALLS, ASSHOLE! IT'S NOT HELPING!
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/13/2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
- After yesterday's near terror attacks, I can't help but wonder: when is someone going to comment at the palpable, cheerful, giddiness emanating from the White House at the news that terrorists still want to kill people? I mean, when they hear about people aspiring to deal in death, when they witness the destruction they cause, this administration starts slapping five and cooking up s'mores! There's this general sense that there is a totally acceptable level of killing, damage and generalized anti-American/anti-Western mayhem that the Republicans are willing to tolerate--and that somehow, even after all that's happened, we haven't past it yet. This is why Bush's non-response to Katrina was so revealing: is it surprising that he evinced so little concern over the hurricane's destruction? To Bush, dead Americans have always been a good thing. At any rate, we're relieved that Scotland Yard and some old-fashioned pre-9/11 law enforcement procedures managed to thwart this attack (as they so often do, at least when you LISTEN to the people who've uncovered the plot!), and if you know a Brit, give 'em a hug today. Maybe even fondle their ass. But just a little.
- Today, we were in Caribou Coffee. A woman standing by the bar picks up her iced tea, looks at it, and proclaims it insufficient. "Could someone put some more tea or some more mango in this, because it tastes like water!" Mind you, she never tasted it. Anyhoo, baristabou takes her cup, dumps it out, pours tea from the exact same receptacle back into the cup, pauses for five seconds, and then hands back a cup that does not differ in appearance from the previous cup in any way whatsoever. Of course, the exact same tea now meets the customer's satisfaction. Oh, you dumbasses...you have no idea how precious you are to me.
- I don't know who the Circumlocutor is, or how he or she has managed to open this window into Eric Wemple's bottomless well of crapulent hypocrisy--BUT WE LIKES IT! [Circumlocutor]
- The Steven Colbert "You're On Notice" Board Customizer: simply the best thing in life. [DCist]
- I think that the winner of the "Who Wants to Blow Up the Wilson Bridge?" contest should be determined by the quality and complexity of the proposed means of blowing it up. Our entry: "We are going to make sure the Wilson Bridge makes it to paradise where it can consort with seventy-two virgin bridges for all eternity by covering it in its entirety with deadly-ass motherfuckin' snakes and then blowing it up by detonating our bottles of PAKISTANI TERRORISM JUICE!" [Washington Post]
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/11/2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Today, Joe Lieberman and his magical, imaginary political party issued the following
statement awkward attempt at pandering:
"If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain*, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again."
Yeah! And, naturally, if Connecticut sends Joe back to the Senate, where he'll fight to keep us doing what we've been doing--staying the course and never setting a benchmark for troop withdrawal, the people who want to blow up those planes in that plot hatched in England will...uhm...continue to hatch plots to blow up planes. Like they...uhhh...did today. With us staying the course. And stuff. Uh-huh.
I guess that's the sort of critical thinking that comes from having all that Senate experience.
*"A date certain...?" Is speaking in dactylic hexameter part of Lieberman's strategy now?
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/10/2006
I don't know if you think, as I do, that cooking show A-lister Bobby Flay is vastly overrated, or, more specifically, that he's the preening face of televised jackassery, but if you're like Wife of DCeiver or I, then the promos for his new show, Throwdown, have probably left you with a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Basically, the premise of the show is this: Flay identifies people who are known for being hot-shit cooks, then shows up unexpectedly and tries to lay down a culinary cockblock by out-cooking the person at their own game. The promos have shown Flay pulling this shit at like, big parties and family reunions. Can you imagine it? You're at home baking a chocolate cake for some friend's birthday or something when Flay wanders into your kitchen, says "Hmmm. Chocolate cake, eh? You should try my chocolate cake!" and the next thing you know, motherfucker is pulling out wisks and shit and rocking out in your own kitchen.
I mean, WTF, y'all! Why is this show not called Bobby Flay's Dickhead Move?
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/10/2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
[Lights up on The DCeiver and little Billy, who is warbling out a song and playing his toy guitar.]
BILLY: (singing) ...be-cause they can't get up!
DCEIVER: Oh, great, Billy. "The Waiting Room." Just great.
BILLY: Gee, DCeiver, do you really think so?
DCEIVER: Oh, sure, Billy. I can't see how anyone could be bored of that song. (notices cameras) Oh! Hello there. I didn't notice you come in. My name is the DCeiver, and this here's little Billy.
BILLY: Hello, folks!
DCEIVER: You know, no matter what changes here in the city, there are always people who really care about the DC rock.
BILLY: Sometimes, even the Arlington rock!
DCEIVER: Ha, ha! Right, Billy. But only sometimes. And for people who care about the rock, there's no better place to appreciate it than summers at Fort Reno. On Mondays and Thursdays during the summer, rock fans can see the best in local music play in the evenings in a relaxed, low key setting.
BILLY: And they can see them for free!
DCEIVER: It's a great deal and a Washington tradition. Let's clear up a few misconceptions. First, not all of the bands sound like Fugazi.
BILLY: Some of them, in fact, sound like the Dismemberment Plan! And you don't have to be a fan of DC's legendary humidity...
DCEIVER: ...But it sure helps!
BILLY: And as always, remember: no glass bottles!
DCEIVER: That's right. For just as the Taliban ban women from attending school and/or soccer games, so too do the people behind the Fort Reno concert series hate those glass bottles.
BILLY: (turning serious) But now, Fort Reno needs your help.
DCEIVER: You see, the Fort Reno concert series is sponsored by the Northwest Youth Alliance, and they really need your help to ensure that the series continues.
BILLY: For a donation of just five dollars, the price you might pay to see just one of these bands, you can help fund the concert series for years to come.
DCEIVER: Of course, no one's going to turn down a larger donation, but if all you rock fans out there chip in, you'd be going a long way to keep this wonderful facet of the local rock community alive and kicking.
BILLY: It's a great way for fans to give back to the musicians that inspire them.
DCEIVER: And, of course, your donation would be tax deductible. You'd be helping out the closest thing the city has to its own rock festival.
BILLY: But what about the Six Points Music Festival, DCeiver?
DCEIVER: Exactly, Billy. What about it, indeed.
BILLY: Make your check payable to the Northwest Youth Alliance.
DCEIVER: And send said check to: Northwest Youth Alliance c/o Beth Baldwin, 3351 Highwood Drive SE, Washington, DC 20020.
BILLY: Gosh, Mr. DCeiver, do you think that one day, I might be playing live rock at Fort Reno?
DCEIVER: Ha! Ohhhhh, Billy. (tousles his hair) Let's sure hope not.
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/09/2006
Okay. The exciting conclusion from last week's Sleater-Kinney story was that the band rescheduled the gig, they played and were wholly awesome. Of course, you already know this, and, if you don't you should head over to NPR and download that shit. I feel really very lucky to have finally...on my last possible chance!...seen them play live. Criminal, I know--but in my defense, I spend long swaths of each year going on stage at the same time as your average rock band. I miss bands often. Sometimes I miss whole careers. You'd be gobsmacked to learn how few times I've seen Fugazi, for example--and each time I have, it was only because of heroic logistical planning. That's why when I get free for a while I go a little manic as far as concert attendance goes.
Well, Sleater-Kinney, at long last, proved worthy of exceeding the Stars-standard of live performance. It was an absolutely kick-ass show, loud and bold and brash guitar rock, a great blend of the bands uptempo, danceable punk and their later, more sinuous cock-rock. Corin wailed and Carrie leapt around like a madwoman and Janet punched a hole in he snare. Explosivo, people. Made you forget all about another alt-rock trio from the Pacific Northwest that garnered 1000x the press and praise for an output that rarely approached Sleater-Kinney's discography in terms of quality.
Man, I never wanted it to end. The audience got to vote for S-K to play "Turn It On"--which was both adorable considering how little DC gets to vote for, and instructive. It proved how great democracy is without an electoral college. We coaxed them back out for a second encore despite the club turning the lights on and turning on the Get The Fuck Out Of Here Music, and if there was any doubt to the excellence of their performance, it could not have survived their final song of the evening: when they tore into "Dig Me Out", they played with such ferocity that you might have imagined that they had just started the show.
Fucking amazing. Here's the so very bestever set list:
"Not what You Want"
"#1 Must Have"
"Burn Don't Freeze"
"End of You"
"What's Mine Is Yours"
"Let's Call It Love"
"Buy Her Candy"
"Turn It On"
"Dance Song 97"
"Words & Guitar"
"Dig Me Out"
Next on the social agenda for the weekend was The Wedding of the Year between Randy Baker and Deb Sivigny. The cute couple proposed right on the Rorschach stage, so the company rolled massive to the Tregaron Estate--current home to the Washington International School and former stomping grounds of Marjorie Merriwether Post. Given that it was a marriage between a director and a designer, aided and abetted by two other directors with cameras, one producer from Small Space, Big Style, a lighting designer, a sound designer, more costume designers than you could shake a seam ripper at, the vocal prowess of Scott McCormick and the watchful gaze of Jenny McConnell Frederick, you can be damn sure that the whole thing was mega-fun and a beautiful sight to behold.
One of the highlights of the wedding for me was that I finally got to meet the person who inspired this blog. It was, many moons ago, Randy Baker's darn-near-Chekovian tale of a Richmond friend who got mugged and subsequently shot in the stomach, rendering it necessary for him to make an inordinate number of bowel movements in a single day and making it possible for him to eat the yellow pages for breakfast and fully pass it before sundown that made this blog necessary by teaching me the lesson that some stories needed to be told! And some people needed to tell those stories! It was a great chance for me to pay respects to the person who caused the birth of the DCeiver, which in turn directly led to many other writing opportunities and, best of all, a huge and permanent upward tick in my income. History, like me unfortunately, might not be able to recall this man's name, but there should be no doubt that Randy's shot-in-the-gut friend is one of the heroes.
By the way people who don't know much about the city talk about it, you'd think that Washington DC practically invented the idea of transience. Nevertheless, just as people come to the city, other people leave--and August seems to be the month to do it. This weekend, the DCists will say goodbye to the bound-for-London Ryan Avent, who proved that you could go from being a snarky DCist commenter to the site's Editor in Chief in less than a year. This past weekend, however, we gathered at Perry's to bid farewell to one of my fave actresses and people, Liz Chomko before she returned from whence she came: California. She'll be greatly missed as a colleague and friend, and we want to ensure her mother that she never participated in anything remotely pornographic or shameful while she was here in DC. TRUST ME. Sort of trust me, anyway. Sad news, but if there's one thing that makes me happy, is that Liz is the only person I know who's left DC to be nearer her family that wasn't just saying that because they had fucked up the country as a part of the Bush administration and had to flee before anyone found out about it.
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/09/2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
- More movie geekery. Check your Reuters during the next few days, because yours truly was solicited for many comments on the upcoming Snakes On A Plane. Hopefully I gave decent copy and won't come off sounding like an idiot. Though readily admitting that you planned your vacation around the release date may end all hopes of that.
- So, Mike Grass is gone for a couple weeks to deal with some family matters, leaving Kriston Capps in charge over at ReadExpress. I tried to give him advice based upon what I learned subbing for Ana Marie Cox, which mainly boiled down to--"Dude, if you can, expense everything." I think, though, if Kriston is going to maximize his Mike Grass subbing experience, he's going to have to go full-tilt: that means not just providing copious content. It means living the Grass life completely: waking up at 5am, tending to the needs of Mike's great-aunt, hiring and then later firing Rob Goodspeed, insisting on the existence of a "North Cleveland Park," and eating Saturday breakfast at Krupin's.
- GogBlogger Jen Chaney, in
re/previewingcutting-and-pasting from a press release for Little Miss Sunshine, says "Soon, the phrase 'He's in the trunk of our car' will set off seizures of laughter among your in-the-know friends." Uhm, yeeeeeeaaaahhh, I've got a crisp dollar bill that says not even your friends are that stupid. [Goobs]
- So glad this piece was written, because it's true: Harvey Danger is indeed "better than you think." A good trip through their body of work that will almost certainly win the Information Leafblower's approval. [T-Sides]
- DCist had a story on the tatty little "video communique" and hundred-person rally in support of Borf/John Tsombikos. Apparently, it was a lot of marginally sustained pooftery as Borf's little band of suburban rubes, armed with their nonsensical amalgamation of anarcho-politics and the desperate need to go to trade school or something, struggled to not get lost marching through the big city. The Borf-politik continues to be the most laughable part of the whole dipshit experience: a giant Eric Hoffer parody of bourgeois kids who bought their ideology retail and wouldn't be caught dead employing the discipline it takes to master it. Anyway, there's one Tsombikos in the phone book, the address is readily available, so why not give back to his family's private property what he has so generously bequeathed to DC? His mom's investment is our playground. [DCist]
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/04/2006
In the wake of Mel Gibson's latest instance of public buffoonery, Matt Yglesias quite rightly suggested that recent acts of anti-Semitism do not necessarily deepen or recast or beg the demand for a re-evaluation of his movie, The Passion Of The Christ. That shit is in the past now--he's now working with dust stained Latin Americans on some movie about Mayans or some shit now anyway. Howevs, I must take issue with Matt on one idea that he advances, namely, that POTC was a "good" movie that demonstrated "recognizable quality."
Nothing could be further from the truth. When I saw POTC, it wasn't the anti-Semitic content or the gratuitous violence that shocked me. What blew my mind was just how awful the movie was. That movie may as well have been titled Plan 9 From Nazareth. It was not so much a movie about Christ as it was the most depressing Skittles commercial in the world.
So, in the interest in delving into the film's crapulence (and not to delve into Gibson's recent extralegal woes), I am posting the review of the movie that I wrote when it came out two years ago...and has it really only been two years??
Please to enjoy.
The only thing more shocking than The Passion of the Christ's depravity is its indifference.
I met Jesus on my way to the theatre to see The Passion of the Christ today. Not our Lord and Savior, but a sweet, middle-aged Hispanic man who greeted me warmly, tore my ticket (which itself read "The Passion of the Chris", making me wonder if I really was going to see the guy who invented the Chris Steak get nailed to a cross), and beamed a broad smile in my direction as I noticed his name tag, clearly reading "Jesus." I didn't know at that point if it were a sign from above or pure ironic happenstance, but if you are wondering if I was moved more by the Jesus inside the theater or the Jesus standing outside, let's just say this. You truly can trust in Jesus.
The theatre was pretty empty for the 12:30pm show. Maybe 35 people in all, in a theatre that usually can pack in close to 200. I guess the hard core Jesus freaks were sleeping one off. The crowd was pretty diverse. I got a sense that it was a pretty good mix of the curious and the certain. For my part, I'd have to say that I came in to this movie with certain expectations--and I can say that the movie I saw was not what I expected at all. I don't know if I saw the passion of the Christ, but I definitely say the lashin' of the Christ and the slashin' of the Christ. I saw the teeth gnashin' of the Christ. At one point, I saw the mashin' of the Christ, and I saw Jim Caviezel model the fashion of the Christ.
But this was mostly about the cash-in of the Christ. For all of us gathered in the theatre, The Passion Of The Christ had been sold to us and we had bought. Over the past half year, Mel Gibson has tirelessly marketed this movie, first framing it as a movie Jews should be afraid of, as secret screenings were presented to audiences who would shill in return. As the opening approached, the brand identity changed. Now the movie was a gory festival of over-the-top ultraviolence, with Gibson as the ringmaster touted for his tendency toward graphic cinematic self-abuse. This was the two-headed reputation of the film as it opened wide on Ash Wednesday, and those memes had so permeated the atmosphere that nearly every critic who went to see this movie to write about its opening framed their discussion on the Search For Anti-Semitism and the Shock of Awesome Violence.
Let's briefly dispense with these two facets of the film. Is the film anti-Semitic? Oh, lordy, yes. The Bear is on Line One beseeching you to watch where you walk in The Woods today, because he made an awful mess of the place. Oui, monsieur, the Sanhedrin are more or less depicted as brutish Semitic ghouls who gather at night and are wisely disdained by the Romans--who are at least as brutish in places, sometimes more but more often shown as empathetic and noble--who at least do their dirty work in the light of day. Nevertheless, the anti-Semitism is clownish and lacks much authorial conviction. Moreover, Gibson builds himself a number of escape clauses, such as characters pointedly depicted or referred to as Jewish who assist and defend Christ. Gibson's intent on playing the game of blame, but he knows that if he can be all things to all people, he makes more bank. He gets to heap his fury on the Jews while maintaining a veneer of inclusivity. It's all marketing. Gibson brilliantly allows himself a free hand to stoke the flames of anti-Semitic fear while having, on the other hand, room to freely declare that it's all a canard.
Is this film violent? Beyond belief. The Passion of the Christ is the most abundant and indulgent display of ultraviolence and corporal terror that I have seen in years. If this film was sent into space on DVD and found by an alien race without any preknowledge of Jesus Christ, those aliens would go out of their way to stay the fuck away from us. Within a quarter hour of the start of the movie, the viewer is launched on a journey of stultifying depravity and wanton cruelty. It's almost pagan in its bloodletting--I guarantee this film will be thesis fodder for a generation of Paglia acolytes.
But I don't need to tell you about the treatment of the Jews or the mistreatment of Jesus' body. Every critic you'll read for insight into this film is going to tell you all about it. I've spent three days sampling the reviews myself. What I am going to tell you about this movie is the one thing that Mel Gibson has gone out of his way to ensure will not be discussed as this movie opens across the country, and based upon what I have read, I am certain that there are few critics beyond me that are willing, if not able, to share the real ungodly truth about this movie.
The Passion of the Christ is a poorly directed and deadly dull piece of cinema. If God truly wrote this movie, then I am offering my prayers to Alan Smithee for the time being.
In short, it's a very bad movie. Plain and simple.
It amazes me that this can be overlooked, with all the press this movie has gotten! Sitting in the movie theatre about an hour and fifteen minutes into the movie, it hit me all at once: "I'm bored! I am bored out of my mind!" This is a movie filled with bad directing, worse acting, inept scenework, leaden dialogue, stunted momentum, wooden characters and nearly no cinematic dynamic of any kind! The movie is not moving, not captivating, not inspiring, not interesting. You don't believe any of the characters at all and you care even less about them. It is a film that fails to improve on a series of poorly shot Polaroids on the same subject.
Begin with the dialogue; so much ink has been spilled over the use of allegedly authentic Latin and Aramaic. The truth is the device doesn't amount to a hill of beans. The actors forced to speak Aramaic fare the worst--when people speak naturally, there is inflection and intonation and vocal devices we subconsciously employ to pepper our language and illustrate our thoughts in a festival of denotation and connotation. It's perfectly clear that the actors speaking Aramaic have no facility with the language--they may know what they are saying but they clearly have no idea how. The result is language without rhythm or color, most frequently revealing itself through plodding monotone. When the actor attempts to suggest the emotional context behind their words, the lines of dialogue take on an unreal flatness of attitude. Jim Caviezel, when expounding on Christly principles, can do little more than beam widely and attempt to infuse each syllable with as much beatitude as possible. Or, alternatively, during the last supper, with as much portentiousness. The result is that he sounds either like a sluggard or a simpleton.
The Italian actors speaking Latin fare somewhat better, but only because they take broad license and badly mispronounce the words. When I'm told that the languages are deployed to heighten the linguistic authenticity, there's only some many times a character can mispronounce the word "veritas" (here pronounced with the Italian "v" sound as opposed to the"w" sound used by the Romans) before you lose all credibility with me. One imagines that if Pilate were to order his centurions to always keep their underwear on, Gibson would translate it as "semper ubi sub ubi."
The subtitles are of little use, and unintentionally reveal anachronistic phraseology that has no business being in a piece of writing for which historical accuracy was an intended virtue.
Beyond the flat, meaningless language, there is a surprising lack of authentic human behavior in this movie. It's revealed in the way the Roman guard, pounding a nail into Christ's feet, is neither holding the hammer correctly no using enough force to pierce the bone or the wood of the cross. It's in the way that the Marys soak up Christ's blood after the scourging, as if it's an activity they do every single day. It's in the way the actor playing John participates in every scene he's in--he's witnessing a terrible tragedy, the killing of a man he considers to not just be a friend and teacher, but the Messiah, but the best the actor can give is a constant look of dull bemusement, as if he's watching his soccer team lose and it's a real bummer. Mary asks early on, "Why is this day different from any other day?" Watching this movie, you'd have no idea.
Frankly, the directing is as close to inept as any movie I can remember. There is a stunning lack of creativity in composition or shot variety, and there are many moments that look like Mystery Science Theatre fodder. When the Marys and John are observing the Stations of the Cross from amid the crowd and Mary says that she needs to get closer, the three actors turn and jerk to the side to move as if in lockstep. It's like a shot from Three's Company. There's a painful transition scene that awkwardly and amateurishly handles the departure of Simon the Cyrene and the arrival of John and the Marys. Other scenes seem as if they are meant to be funny. When Gesmas finishes mocking Christ, a crow flies into the scene, atop Gesmas' cross, then a quick cut to Gesmas glancing up, bug-eyed, practically saying "Whaaa-whaaat?" and then the crow plucks his eyes out. Mel Brooks would have used that as a bit! (Later, a shot of Gesmas reveals his eyes, intact.) Caiaphas and Annas and the rest of the Jews spend so much time carting Jesus from place to place, when Herod remands Christ into Pilate's custody, the only thing missing from the reaction shot of Caiaphas and Annas is an eyeroll and an "Oy."
Gibson's inept direction, the lack of believable human behavior and the poor use of language all come together whenever there is a crowd scene. And, unfortunately, that's like, the whole movie. The scourging scene is played like a bad high school improvisation game, with each character playing broad emotions and attitudes without any gradation or variety. The scourgers maniacally enjoy their work, the Roman administrators look bored, and the onlookers look stricken. Everyone picks their expression and hammers it over your head for the duration of the scene. The worst part, though is the noise the crowd makes. It does not sound natural. It sounds like a bunch of actors half-heartedly making generic crowd sounds. I fully expected to hear the actors repeating "Rhubarb...rhubarb..." to one another. The overall effect, I swear, is the sound of one note wailing, a general hubbub of partisans shouting things like "Oh!" and "Yeah!" over and over, with the particularly viciously inclined essentially yelling "Rrrraaahhhh!!!!" again and again and again and again.
None of this is Jim Caviezel's fault. For 85% of the movie he's simply dragged from scene to scene and beaten within an inch of his life. Indeed, it would seem that it was completely possible for Caviezel to have been asleep or unconscious during the majority of the scenes he was in. The fault lies with Gibson, who breaks every single dramatic commandment, including the most important one: Show, don't tell.
The thought behind the movie is royally confused. Gibson spares no expense or detail at the brutality visited upon Christ, but he seems categorically unimpressed with Christ's teachings or his sacrifice. There are flashback scenes throughout the film, zapping back to moments in Jesus' life. All are set up ineptly (Jesus looks at some water, and he remembers water! Jesus sees a sandal, and he fixates on--a sandal!) and all seem utterly perfunctory, like Gibson had to check them off a bingo card before he could consider the movie finished. He begins the movie with Isaiah 53, and makes sure to give Caviezel a line about laying down one's life for one's friends, but that's as much of that aspect of Christ's life that Mel wants to consider. When we flashback to his defense of Mary Magdalene, we see Christ depicted as a faceless tough drawing his line in the sand--but we don't see any of the tenderness. We're given no clue to what he sees in Mary. At the Sermon on the Mount, Caviezel may as well be reading from a shopping list. The Last Supper is no more remarkable than brunch at Denny's. Gibson seems hopeful than a few sideways glances at Christ's deeds and few saintly uttered bromides will explain all we need to know about Christ, so that Mel can get back to the business of breaking him in half.
However, none of this would be that much of a shame if there didn't happen to be one scene in the movie that Gibson gets absolutely perfect. It's a simple flashback to a time in Jesus' youth, where he is shown fashioning a table as his mother offers him some food and drink. It's a wonderful scene, played with a specificity and an economy that every other scene is devoid of completely. Caviezel gives you an idea of what a fantastic Christ he could be, given the chance--in this small scene, he successfully communicates in one moment Jesus' nuturant care and precision, his determined work ethic, and his steady, magnetic charisma, while in the next turning playful, creative, sweetly tender. In that scene, you see a budding leader of men. You see a man with dynamism, and personality whose certain of every gesture. You see all those qualities that equate to saving grace, passion and compassion, courage and mercy. It's a wonderful moment--the only time I was truly transfixed by the movie.
Gibson is fully invested in what was taken from Christ, but strangely indifferent to all that He gave. I'm left to speculate that Gibson either lacks the capacity to show his audience the depths of Christ's sacrifice, or else he simply doesn't care. Ultimately, this is not a movie that depicts a man laying down his life for the good of anyone. This is a movie that depicts the taking of a life, bit by bit and shred by shred, and if it were not for the loving attention given to the details of the otherwise ponderous and repetitive scenes of violence--the dripping of sticky blood, the fetishistic rending of human flesh, and the constant beating and stoning and mocking and spitting--this movie would have no sense or sensibility at all. As it is, though, it's a diabolical Grand Guignol of cartoonish violence and surreal behavior. An execution and desecration presided over by the Three Stooges.
Posted by The Deceiver at 8/04/2006