Friday, March 31, 2006

Tonight: Subverting The Agenda @ Cuebar

Hey folks. The Agenda once again risks DJing jumping the shark by inviting me to come play with them. It'll be me and the Information Leafblower soundtracking your billiards sessions and Hennessey quaffing as Natalya seeks irony out of town. I'll be playing genre-appropriate local music where I can, and I also have new things from Morrissey, Phoenix, the Secret Machines, The Cinematics and Hard-Fi. And because it's me, there will also be Pulp, Strokes, and Radio 4. Because I'm a geek for those guys. Sorry.

Come and enjoy. Especially if you want your requests for Bruce Springsteen to get turned down for a third week in a row. Though I'll have Leafblower do the honors.

It all happens at Cuebar on U Street, tonight: 10pm-3am. Maybe I'll bring my foot massager.

And remember: the music we play is specifically designed to induce massive pain in the souls of all plagiarists.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Comfort Women of Disgraced Bloggers Provide Unintentional Hilarity

Ben Domenech's gf, Christine, weighs in:

It struck me today how familiar Ben's story is, and yet I couldn't quite place it. But then it came to me - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In both, a young, relatively inexperienced, and exceptionally idealistic man is accepted for a job in Washington, DC - though he's perplexed exactly how or why he was selected for such a position. Although he is truly put there merely to placate the public, he throws himself into his work, trying to make a difference through what little influence he is given. And yet he is doomed from the start. Lies and accusations are thrown at the innocent man, who had stepped on the toes of those in power.
Yeah. Except for the fact that when Jefferson Smith said, "I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn't have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too," he wasn't passing off something Stephanie Zacharek said as his own words.

For more crippling self-delusion: Adventures of Christine.

Kaloogian Changes His Story

So, 2006 is shaping up to be the Year of Everything Being Someone Else's Fault. Ben Domenech's plagiarism is the fault of P.J. O'Rourke and William and Mary newspaper editors, who pasted huge swaths of other people's work into Domenech's original material, which, I suppose went uncommented on by Domenech because I guess he never read his own articles after they were published or was too stupid to complain. The bad news in Iraq is all the media's fault. President Bush can't figure out what to do about the failure of the Department of Homeland Security to move stacks of temporary trailers to the Gulf Coast (if only he could appoint someone to DHS over whom he would have purview...some sort of "secretary" or something.

Now, after being caught passing off a picture of Istanbul as downtown Baghdad, Howard Kaloogian has changed his website and his story. Apparently, the Istanbul picture was mistakenly placed on his website by his webmaster.

Okay. That's a pretty convenient explanation. It still doesn't explain how the original caption came to rest alongside the picture of Istanbul. Someone would have had to have told said webmaster, "Take this picture and place this caption alongside it." Unless of course, the webmaster fancies himself to be a budding Communications Director.

Well, said webmaster still has a job today, despite his embarrassing mistake, because now there's a new picture up:

With a new caption to accompany it:

Downtown Baghdad
We originally posted a photograph not of Baghdad, Iraq but from Istanbul, Turkey where our delegation traveled on the way home to the United States. We apologize for this mistake. We have corrected it with a photograph we took from Baghdad. We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.

They have "corrected it with a photograph [they] took from Baghdad." Hmmm. It looks an awful lot to me like this was a picture taken "from" nowhere near Baghdad. In fact, it looks an awful lot like a picture taken "from" some sort of aircraft, high above downtown Baghdad.

One is left to pick from one of two possible conclusions.

  1. Howard Kaloogian is a big fat liar.
  2. The person who took the picture was, in fact, in downtown Baghdad, and the odd "from an aircraft" perspective of the picture is because the photographer is several hundred feet tall and the ordinary cities of Earth look like puny miniature towns for ants. Also, despite being a giant, the photographer is too big a pussy to enlist in the armed forces and help fight the war on terror.

I shouldn't even HAVE to comment on Kaloogian's batshit contention that "...many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism." This is what is called a "straw man argument" in which accusations are levelled against people who do not exist.

NON EXISTENT JOURNALIST 1: Gosh, I sure hope we lose the war on terror so that I can be brutally subjugated or killed!

NON EXISTENT JOURNALIST 2: I know! Anything so that I can stop having to be a journalist!

This Makes Me Feel Bad For Suggesting Genetically Modified Pigs Were a Bad Idea

Gothamist says:

Here's a situation we've all faced: you take the train to somewhere and walk out the closest exit. Then you look around, trying to figure out where you are, and which direction you need to walk to get where you are going.
Okay. That's true. We've all faced this problem. It's called "momentarily getting lost." Side effects include occasionally walking a block or so in the wrong direction.

The innovative solution, from what they're told is this: a guerrila graffiti project.

...the idea is that some of us streetart types would print out these stencils [example above, Ed.], and then hit the streets outside the exits of the 470+ train stations.
Okay. I can say without question that this is easily the stupidest idea I have ever heard of. The reasons why are pretty self-evident. In fact, it's self-evident to Gothamist:

Of course this plan depends on the graffiti artist knowing the correct direction to point the stencil, and on trusting that they want to point you in the right direction.
Exactly. The typical "graffiti artist" is lacking the directions out of their own asses. Forget true north.

On the other hand, I have developed a way to conquer the problem of finding your bearings after leaving an urban subway that doesn't involve some retarded graffiti onslaught. It is a simple method that I practice everyday in DC, and I have roadtested it to 100% effectiveness in Atlanta, San Francisco, and New York City.

The system is threefold:

1. Don't be a fucking idiot.
2. Don't be a big pussy.
3. If you get lost, repeat steps one and two.

Here's a simple mnemonic device that you can use to remember this technique: "Idiot. Pussy. Idiot. Pussy. Don't be one." If anyone needs this tattooed to their forearm, though, let me know.

Also, here's the wikipedia entry for these things commonly called "maps."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Pompatus of Lost: 2.16--Sun and her Bun

Lights up deep in the heart of my favorite part of Flashbackistan--the part where Yoon-Jin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim are scantily clad. Okay, seriously: Rowr. My God these are two amazing specimens of humanity. They are mos def a living, breathing advertisement for bisexuality if I ever saw one. Hollywood: where is their Mr. and Ms. Smith? F'real. These two belong franchised in pictures that show off their ineffable, dashing, old-school hotness.

We learn that, in inverse proportion to their attractiveness, Sun and Jin have been having trouble making a baby. They've been trying for a year--one long, hot, sexy year--but, thus far, Jin's seed has found no viable purchase amid the florid fields of Sun's lush femininity. We're geared up for the possibility of attempt no. 459, but, alas, this is Lost, the characters have carry-on baggage, and that's the scene we're treated to. Before long, a discussion on seeing a doctor about their problem becomes a scene strewn with buried resentments and larger worries. "You came home with blood on your hands," says Sun. "It's your father! So much blood!" replies Jin. "I can't deal with the blood!" yells Sun. "I came home with a puppy dog, once!" protests Jin. "A dog that was probably covered in blood!" accuses Sun. "Oh, no fair! Metaphor! Come on!" retorts Jin. "Our baby will be covered in blood!" Sun cries. "That's just amniotic fluid! It's an easy mistake!" says Jin, who adds, "Once we have our baby, maybe your dad will give me a safer job, maybe managing the company health plan for all his ruthlessly violent enforcers! We could use better dental!"

Yes. Having a baby will change everything and solve all their problems. A million billion advice columnists just offered an Edna Krabappel style cackle in response.

Back on La Isla Encanta, Sun sits in the middle of Abduction Gardens, tending to her life giving vegetables and medicinal herbs. Jin approaches, all nervy and a-flutter. He asks her to come away from the garden, because it's where she was dragged off into the woods and attacked. Granted, we know that was Charlie who did that, but still, it isn't entirely unreasonable to wonder why Sun would go back there without a little back-up. Frankly, it's a little weird that the other islanders, who have an acknowledged need for the garden, haven't spared some resources to see to it that Sun isn't unaccompanied. The buddy system, people: it works. But, we forget that these aren't the islanders who were terrified a mere two weeks ago for fear of being slain by the Others. As Sayid says: they have forgotten. Have you forgotten? Not if you read these recaps: I keep reminding you.

Still, Jin doesn't approach this with reason. He's all flailing and yelly, and the fact that he speaks in Korean, which sounds to us like he's saying, "Bibble-bibble, shin yin, jookio fnu fnu!" only accentuates his seeming unreasonableness. Yes, ethnocentricism can be a powerful reinforcer of dramatic themes, but that doesn't make it right. Sun refuses to heed Jin, so Jin jumps around like a crack-mad monkey, flapping his arms and tearing at the soil. I guess we're supposed to come away with the impression that he has "destroyed" the garden, but it looks more like he just launched into some sort of bizarre, teenage performance art piece.

We return from commercial to see Ana LuPoopstain running quickly down the beach. Locke remarks that she is running like the "devil is chasing her", and our ears prick up, because we've heard this phrase before. If you recall, as Jack jogged up the stadium stairs in Flashbackistan, a then outside-the-hatch Desmond greeted him with that phrase. This raises interesting questions. Is Locke "becoming" Desmond? He has, since entering the Hatch, began to behave erractically and inconsistently. He's been weirdly violent and easily played. Locke only reinforces this odd feeling by describing Gale as the prisoner "in my Hatch." Oddly possessive. This seems like a good time te remind everyone about the work of Burrhus Frederic Skinner and his "Skinner boxes." A case can be made that Locke has made himself susceptible to behavioral conditioning.

Locke asks Ana to be the next in a rotating series of Gale interrogators. Locke reasons that Ana knows something about the others and she used to be a policewoman. I'm getting a little sick of all the presumption over Ana's mad, real-world, skillz. We know that her process of sussing out the Others in the Mists was to basically accuse people at random until she got lucky. We also know that she wasn't exactly the type of policewoman who rocked the mad Mariska Hargitay investigative steez. She was more of a beat-walking grunt. And, if we recall, she wasn't very good at upholding the law even then. So, another left field stupidity from Locke, but it's not nearly as asinine as jack seeking her help to form an army when a member of an actual army, Sayid, was on hand.

Also, from out in left field, we learn that Rose and Bernard--whose reunion was a touching moment of faith redeemed and love put asunder conquering adversity to become whole again--really don't like each other all that much. Rose, who we've come to see as a cross between some sort of benign Christian stoic and hippy-dip Earth mother, is actually a fucking nag-and-a-half. And Bernard, who we've come to see as a pasty, out-of-sorts whiner, is...well...okay, we had Bernard dead to rights.

Sun happens upon Rose and Bernard, and gets all clutchy and sickiepoo because, as we know, she's totally preggers. Rose and Bernard don't recognize the signs, though, since their marriage is bereft of affection and barren of the physical bonds of lovers. They suggest she goes to see Jack. But Sun says that won't be necessary.

Back in Flashbackistan, Sun is all sneaky-sneaking around a hotel. She uses a key card to enter a room and surprise! It's Baldy! The Korean dude who graduated from college in America who drank orange juice with Sun back when his parents were on the bridal warpath and he was tomcatting around Seoul before zipping home to elope with his American cooze. Sun is totally having an affair with him! Or is she? Baldy is teaching Sun English! That's so romantic! Or is it? It's a fascinating scene, actually, because the characters exhibit a striking level of vulnerability with one another while at the same time projecting any number of reasonable clues that this is just about English lessons. It's impossible to come away with any settled feeling as to whether or not these two have made the beast with two backs--and I say, kudos to Lost! For all the attendant mystery stoked in the plotlines, it's a refreshing reminder that the richer mysteries have always come from the characters. Also: Yoon-Jin Kim=awesome actress.

Still, we'll lay odds that these two have done it--after all, what English teacher doesn't get laid?

In the Hatch, Locke and Jack are totes rocking the Odd Couple schtick, despite being shaded variations on the Felix Unger character. Once again, Locke treats Gale like a problem that Jack foisted on him and His Hatch, despite the fact that it was Locke and only Locke who agreed to pen gale up in the armory at Sayid's request. Jack brushes Locke off, until Locke tells him that he approached Tequila about questioning Gale. Jack, a little peeved that this means Ana won't be off forming his awesome army, asks when its going to happen. Locke tells him, by the way, it's happening even as they speak. And so the Oh-So-Interesting Passive Aggressive Battle of Pissy Unilateral Decisions continues.

Back on the Beach, Sun approaches Sawyer, who is deeply engrossed in reading Judy Blume's seminal classic, Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret. Sun asks for permission to root through Sawyer's medical supplies. Sawyer, naturally, says that's not an option. Sun huffs and puffs for privacy, but Sawyer asserts his property rights. Finally Sun asks if he has any pregnancy tests. We have to wonder what kind of person needs to hoard pregnancy tests in order to feel like a tough guy. Also, Sawyer's reaction tells us that he really needs to finish reading that Blume book in order to develop some degree of sensitivity for women and their "lady business." Lost fans, after this episode, the second in a two-part series on womby-goodness, will be more than equipped.

As Locke and Jack chill out, listening to The Seeds on the hi-fi, looking over the Geronimo Jackson liner notes and secretly loathing each others' worldview along with their own lack of guts to simply have the lover's spat they both definitely need to have, Ana Lucia asks gale to draw her a map to his magical balloon, so that she can go out looking for it and confirm his story. Okay--if that's Ana Lucia's plan, right away we see it's flawed because if Gale is a clever Other, he could simply use the existence of a downed balloon to give his backstory credibility. A smart investigator would recognize that this fails to prove anything. Second, if it turns out Gale is innocent, I can't imagine he'd want to remain with the Losties for a minute after gaining his freedom--what with the Jack/Locke stupidity on full display, a crazy Iraqi torturer, Eko and his detatchable beard buds, and now Ana Lucia reeking with unpleasantness and badly misplaced "moxie" covering up her general lack of competence.

Out in the Jungle, Sun and Hurley have a meet-cute. It goes like this:

HURLEY: Hey! You got Widmore Labs Brand pregnancy test in my Dharma Initiative Chocolate Bar!

SUN: What? You got Dharma Initiative Chocolate Bar in my Widmore Labs Brand pregnancy test!

HURLEY: Whatever. I'm totally eating this.

Back in Flashbackistan, Sun and Jin go to see a fertility doctor. The doc has some bad news--Sun's baby-makin' machinery is all crazy bananas. It's like she's a hot Porsche with the uterus of a Yugo, that is, if, in fact cars had uteruses, which, if you watched the way some men behave toward their cars, you'd totally be inclined to believe. Jin gets all freaky and resentful, accusing her of concealing the fact of her broken down lady parts. Sun needs to correct his ass, and point out that he was a dirt poor bootlicking son of a goddamn fisherman before she came along to lift him into his hot and sexy world of beating the bejeezus out of her dad's enemies, but she chooses instead to lightly mock him, which causes Jin to freak out.

Back on the Island, Ana comes out of the Hatch and tells Jack and Locke that she'll come back again later to continue working on Gale. She doesn't tell them that she actually got a map to Gale's balloon--it's another example of how Locke and Jack's transformation into an eight-limbed beast with its heads up alternate asses have left them susceptible to chump-outs by people like Charlie and Ana Lucia.

Speaking of, Ana Lucia goes running right to Charlie and Sayid, who are busy building what looks to be a massive stage of some kind, so doubt for Bono to perform on and remind the Losties of all the people they've lost since coming to La Isla Encanta. She tells them of her discovery and recruits them to go off wandering in the jungle looking for Gale's balloon. And so, yet another Island Club is formed: Ana, Sayid and Charlie--the Mistrustables.

The Mistrustables venture forth, silently stewing in the visceral dislike they have for one another and how they'd rather be back at their real world pastimes, be they shooting smack, gunning down perps in parking lots, and torturing the enemies of the state. It is revealed at one point that Charlie is strapped, and he is asked by Ana Lucia to give the gun to someone who knows how to use it. Charlie could rightly point out that when he aimed a gun at Ethan Rom, he managed to fire several shots center mass, as opposed to Miss Give The Gun To Someone Who Knows How To Use It, who plugged Shannon, but Charlie gives up the gun to Sayid, which I suppose is his way of sticking it to Ana Lucia--but our way would have been to a) keep the gun and b) tell Ana Lucia to shut her yap and walk.

Sun confides in Kate, who has, I guess, become the island's de facto go-to person in matters of maternity. Kate leans a little to heavily on her contention that it is surprising that someone would bring a pregnancy test on a plane. Methinks the lady doth protestcakes blah blah. Sun asks Kate if she'd ever used a pregnancy test before, the wistful look Kate offers seems to portend a future visit to Flashbackistan. The result of the test is a yes--Sun's wth child. We cannot wait to see the perfect genetic offspring on Sun and Jin--but wait! Is it? Their offspring, I mean? We'll know when the child's born, of course. If it fails to emerge from Sun's body a perfect image of Korean raw sexual beauty--we'll know the truth.

Jack confirms the result of Sun's pregnancy test and offers her his congratulations. If she had just gone to Jack back in the real world, he would have been able to use his magic Coldplay powers to fix her junk right up. Or would he? Jack recommends to Sun that she tell Jin the whole truth. That's the title of the episode. Jack then immediately turns to Kate and lies to her. Great, Jack. Just great.

We head to Flashbackistan, where it initially appears that Sun has somehow journeyed into the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Thankfully, she hasn't--it's just the weird reflection of the greying sky against the window she's wistfully gazing out of. She's once again in a hotel room with Baldy, and it sure doesn't look like they're Hooked on Phonics. Baldy wonders why they are still playing at English lessons: she's learned all she can from him, and it's not like you are going to be taught how to write Shavian prose from a guy who's learned the language as a secondary accessory. Sun reveals that she is going to leave Jin--we have the benefit of knowing, of course, that this is largely the reason she worked at learning English in the first place. Baldy tells her that he'd prefer that she stays, though he admits, not for Jin's sake. It's clear that Baldy has a bit of a torch for her, and who could blame him--she's effing gorgeous. Nevertheless, the moment ends before we get any kind of conclusive proof that Sun and Baldy have shagged.

After an evening of small talk in which Ana Lucia largely confessed to being the shoddy, stupid person that we know she is, only to have Sayid largely babble some crazy-talk back at her, the Mistrustables awake and turn down Charlie's offer of papayas in favor of taking up their stupid search for the Balloon That Won't Reallly Prove Anything One Way Or The Other. I mean, the island is littered with damaged vehicles as it is: doomed boats, heroin laden aircraft...what's a balloon worth? It's surprising that the island doesn't inhale balloons and other various zeppelins on a daily basis.

Anyway, they reach the clearing described on Gale's map and there's no sign of any balloon. Sayid, who I guess imagined the fucking thing would just be sitting there waiting for a Re/Max commercial to happen, says he's satisfied and can't wait to get back to wreak some 24-style torture on Gale. But Ana Lucia, in a rare moment of clarity, insists that she wants to be absolutely certain. And so, Sayid consents to lead up an area search for the balloon. Now, I have a message to ABC:

Dear ABC:

Very nice episode. Here's where you fucked it all up for every single Lost fan in the world though: you shouldn't have revealed that the Mistrustables were successful in finding a balloon in the "scenes from next week." If you had left us, believing they could possibly fail to find any balloon, it would have left us wondering about the outcome of their little mini-adventure. And, what's more, given Gale's ominous sounding speech at the end of this episode, it would have stoked a lot of discussion over the coming week as to whether Gale was telling the truth or was being outright nefarious. By showing us the balloon, you up and ruined a lot of the juicy intrigue. Take a note from 24: in their "scenes from next week", they didn't show us any scenes of Jack. Now, we highly doubt that they'll let Jack die in an explosion, but it means a lot to fans of 24 that the network respected the way we like to wonder and worry and ponder and exercise our imaginations a little.

It's called "premature ejaculation," ABC. There are doctors that can help you with that.

Well, except for maybe Sun's doctor. After meeting up with a penitent Jin, who's recently come from hearing Sawyer and Bernard talk backward (so...does that mean Walt is speaking Korean?) and is now found in Abduction Gardens helping to "correct a mistake"--his yelling and slapping at the garden from the opening act--Sun journeys back to Flashbackistan. She's out, walking the metaphorically blooddrenched Shi-tzu of Marital Shame when her harried OB/GYN pulls up in his car, gets out, and tells her that it's not her baby business that's all askew--it's actually Jin that's firing blanks. He lied to her when they first consulted because he was afraid what Bad Sperm Jin would do him if the real version of the bad news was revealed. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Anyway, Jin, initially happy with the news of Sun's pregnancy, hears this for the first time and doesn't quite know what to make of it. Sun swears to him that she's never slept with another man. We aren't totally sure that's true, and if she's following Jack's advice or being more Jack-like in refusing to follow it. But, after carefully trying to ass two and two, Jin puts the calculator away and deems the baby a miracle. That's in keeping with the wonders and mysteries of La Isla Encanta, but I'd be careful before I embraced one of La Isla's "miracles"--they tend to come at considerable cost.

But you know what? It's nice to see them all happy.

Clearly, though, we cannot end on this note. We return to the Hatch. Borne from his need to continually escalate his private little pissing contest with Locke, Jack elects to let Gale come out of the armory and sit at the table to eat a bowl of Dharma Initiative Brand Hatcheeos. Gale takes the opportunity to give some good Gale--that is, up the level of manipulation that he pulled at the end of the previous episode with Locke. When he suggests that his breakfast allowances were won by giving Ana Lucia a map, it only takes a second before he susses from Jack and Locke's dumbfounded expressions that they weren't in the loop on the whole map adventure.

Gleefully mocking their trust issues, Gale launches into a pretty convincing tale of what he might to if he were an Other--draw a map, send some captors on a wild goose chase, walk them right into a trap and then have Team Other bargain their lives for his release. It's such a nifty little knife twist, that we'll once again chide ABC for seemingly eliminating this possibility with their scenes from next week.

Gale's parting shot is a request for milk. Ha. It is a part of every seditionist's balanced breakfast.

TONIGHT: You will have FIVE orgasms as FIVE crazy reveals come at you ONE at a TIME. And Locke gets locked in his beloved Hatch! Serves him right!

Why Kaloogian Changed It, I Can't Say, Republicans Just Liked It Better That Way.

Over at Attytood, Will Bunch has posted about this pictoral curiosity currently placed on the website of Howard Kaloogian, who is running as Republican candidate in San Diego to replace the Duke-Stir.

On Kaloogian's website, the picture reads thusly:

"We took this photo of dowtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism."

Now Kaloogian must think I am like many of the people who will vote for him: idiotic. There is obvious, prima facie evidence that this picture is not one of Baghdad.

  • the streets aren't filled with rubble
  • the buildings aren't ablaze
  • no one is running frantically as if their life depended on it
  • the white people in the lower left foreground are not being beheaded by armed militants
  • uhm...there are white people in the picture
  • the taxicab in the right foreground has obviously been recently washed, which means that there would have to be water available--clearly, this location has not tasted the sweet kiss of Halliburton!
  • also, coalition forces are not shown emptying their clips into the taxi's passenger compartments
  • it just doesn't look like the sort of place where the US Ambassador has told the elected leader that he's not allowed to lead anymore

Thus, I have a crisp sawbuck that says, unequivocally that Kaloogian is a) a big fucking liar and can thus b) eat three square feet of balls.

And guess what, the blogosphere has spoken, and they have ruled that I am correct. Using this little known thing called Google--the same thing used to defeat another Republican sucker with no game, Fall Out Boy Domenech--it has been discovered that the signage in the picture, and it is from Istanbul, Turkey--not Baghdad.

Of course, we happen to know someone very dear to our hearts who has recently returned from Istanbul! So, Kriston, what's your verdict? Did Contstantinople get the works?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A critical response to the critical response on Here's A Hint About the Six Points Music Festival

An Attempt to Reset Our National Priorities.

According to the local Fox affiliate news team, scientists have come up with a way to make eating bacon safer. I wasn't previously privy to the news that eating bacon carried some sort of danger. Wife of DCeiver was there with the rundown: scientists are doing some sort of cloning-slash-genetic fuckery to breed pigs that are richer in Omega Sixes.

Well. Okay, then.

Dear Men and Women of Science:

I applaud your recently announced efforts to make the eating of bacon safer. That's certainly some outside the box thinking. I imagine you've already spent a lot of money developing this breakthrough, and more money is obviously going to be spent perfecting the idea and doing this genetic stuff with pigs on a wider scale. I'm sure that this will, one day, be considered money well spent. However, I have a proposition for you.

Please don't spend anymore time and money on this project. On behalf of the rest of America, I pledge that we will all strive to eat bacon in moderation for the indefinite future. We'll wait to reap the benefit of this breakthrough. In the meantime, we only ask one small thing in return.

Go cure AIDS or something.

That is all. Thank you, you men and women of science.


The DCeiver

He and Catherine "Cockpunch" Andrews would make a sweet ass UVA crime fighting team.

The gentleman who writes the Rock Creek Rambler is among the city's finest--an unassuming looking guy with an agile mind and a wicked side that makes me glad he hasn't fallen into the wrong hands. Plus, he loved him some John Spencer.

From his post today:

I'm sitting at the bar, you come up from behind and place your arm around me like I'm your best friend and start muttering in drunkspeak. Oh, hell no. Dude, that's a good way to get stabbed in the neck with a pen that says "Toledo Lounge" on it.

Dude. Here's the thing. I have NO DOUBT he carries these pens around with him at all times for this very purpose.

Talk about a calling card. It's the V For Vendetta of Washington, DC.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The 24gasm: 8-9pm

1. Yeah, Department of Homeland Security sucks. Tell me something I don't know.

2. Wayne Palmer?? WTF!

3-24. AUDREY?!?! WTF????

Boring episode, until the end. Sorry, I'm copping out. Later tonight, you'll get tonight's ep to make up for it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

"Connecticut Assassin Association"

Jai Lewis has another gesture in mind for when he meets Billy Packer in Indianapolis.

An Open Letter To Krempasky

From Red State:

"And while they put all their energy and venom into this campaign, it is worth remembering that for all the noise -- they have yet to present a real alternative to an America that rests on the foundation of freedom, free markets and family."

Dear Mr. Krempasky:

As you know, we loves us some motherfuckers who likes to get paid. So...uhm, just so we're clear: in our opinion, plagiarists are among the walking scum.


The Free Market

PS: Freedom and Family also called to say, "Suck it, whiner."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

DCeptette: Ponies for Everybody Version

  1. Congratulations to George Mason! I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but the crowd for the next game is going to be the most vocally pro-Mason crowd in the history of the school. Check out the FG defense stats. Consider how UConn has now wobbled past a third Tourney opponent. If they're scared to death in Storrs tonight, they ought to be. [Washington Post]
  2. Slowly but surely, we're arriving at a scientifically unimpeachable unified field theorem for Clarendon's Mister Days. [Craigslist]
  3. Fest Fulk of Rock? Fest Full of Fav! And that's Fest Full of Best. Satellite Ballroom in the Hook is blowin' up Saturday night. [Tiny Mix Tapes]
  4. We second this nomination! [Wonkette]
  5. It took me about four seconds to figure out the source of this little tiff. Have I ever mentioned that I regularly fuck someone who was in archy and mehitabel? How about that! And, apropos of nothing in particular, I'll name some names: Mike Abdo and Virginia Heffernan. Just sayin'. [Theaterboy]

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fall Out Boy

Okay: I've gotten to sample the cream of some young guy the Post thinks ought to be paid to blog for their website. The Washington Post, which has recently been widely praised for the quality of their blog offshoots, has either taken square aim at their own two feet or pulled off one the wildest, most subversive stunts in the history of political journalism. At this point, it could go either way. If it's the former, well, you can expect the career of this blogger to be over and done with by this time next week. If it's the latter, well...we'll have Little Lord Domenech to kick around for a nice long time. It's hard to take a side. The story in brief:

  1. Domenech apparently worked as a speechwriter . One person who he served in this capacity is lunatic crank John Cornyn, the senator from Texas. It'd be interesting to note if Cornyn's celebratory words for Atlanta Courthouse murderer Brian Nichols, which lauded the way Nichols took his fight with judicial activism to Tarantinoesque extremes, were Domenech's idea.
  2. A Red Dawn discussion? My, wouldn't you imagine Red Dawn to be something of a quaint, pre-911 view of the world? It's stupid of the Post to suggest it as a name for the blog, sure. But it's even dumber to make people think that you forcibly secrete your own body fluids on the poster as well. Where's the central front in the war on terror, again?
  3. Oh, dear. It turns out he's a plagiarist. And he doesn't even have the good sense to have plagiarized me. That's just stupid of him. Here's a hint, Ben: you should at least aspire to the new journalistic standard of just making shit up.
  4. Also, this phrase: "It's a political anchor apotheosized by the founders of leftist websites..." Hmm. Let me ask Ben, slowly and loudly: "DO YOU...SPEAK...ENGLISH...?" This is America, and in America, "apotheosis" is a NOUN. We have some perfectly nice verbs we use in this country, please refrain from inventing your own. Gosh. You make me overjoyed to have not gone to William and Mary.
  5. My overall verdict: meh. With his well-earned reputation for being shrill and deranged, I expected writing of a much higher caliber of loony. I'm frankly disappointed at the tepid offerings thus far. One can only conclude that Ben, for all his criticism of the mainstream media, wants the same thing every mainstream political journalist wants from their career: to be invited to all the right parties.
My advice: Ben, since you love Bush so much, tweak your tone toward something more fluffy and earnest as you recite your Daily Rove script. Before long, you'll be known as the Boy Bumiller. Otherwise, sugar, you're going down!

DCeptette: Car Dealer Desaparecidos Version

  1. Very sorry I wasn't able to make it out to see Georgie James tonight. Hope those of you that did had a good time.
  2. There is a gentleman who works at the CVS across the street from me that looks exactly like Lou Dobbs. But, you know what? For once, I've decided not to let this sort of thing disturb me.
  3. I, too, find that sun-damaged, sweater-vested Crystal Koons to be a source of extreme irritation, but if you ask me, the real question is: What have they done with the blonde Alex of Alexandria Toyota? It's like she's been disappeared! I thought we had 24-hour newschannels for the expressed purpose of tracking down missing white girls! [Why I Hate DC]
  4. Apparently, the guy from the Seabee statue may be a member of the Super Adventure Club. Submitted for your approval, another entry in the Great Statues Of Questionable Intent Toward Children, pictured above. That picture is the statue of Arthur Ashe on Richmond's Monument Avenue, where I used to live. My wife knew the sculptor, so I never talked shit about it for fear that he might be in the room, but, outside of the fact that it does depict someone who actually WON something--a first for Monument Avenue, which otherwise depicts the losers of the War Between The States--it is hideous. It features Ashe, holding books in one raised arm, a tennis racket in the other, standing in defiance before a trio of cowering children. My unofficial title of the statue is "I'm Keeping These Books, Now Get Off My Lawn Before I Whoop You Upside The Head With My ProKennex!" [Pygmalion in a Blanket]
  5. These days, whenever I have to answer the question, I just tell people I'm a minesweeper. [Craigslist]

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Pro-Life Cultural Ethos, Rendered in Sculptural What-The-FUCKness.

As many of you might know, I've been aiding and abetting the uncanny Rachel Sklar in "the cause"--her attempt to bring the world the news of how South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli, a leading mind behind the South Dakota abortion ban, is, as I termed it, "all twisted up and dead inside," owing to his insane-in-the-membrane "sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it" rape fantasies. Sick, sick, sick, is all we can say about Mr. Napoli.

As if we needed another example of anti-choice insanity, The Superficial reports today on a statue, pictured above, that is called "Monument To Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston." That's right. Someone actually thinks that there is no more fitting monument to the pro-life cause than a sculptural depiction of white-trash pop tartlet Britney Spears, on all fours, back bent under the sheer weight of being shot through with Kevin Federline's rampaging, inplacable sperm, ass spread as wide as you could possibly make it, wearing her patented expression of "Red Bull and GHB face." There is so much about this statue that I don't think I could ever possibly understand that right now I'm clinging to the BEAR'S HEAD as my anchor to the world I have come to know. And, no: I have no evidence that this is some sort of satire. Oh, God. I wish I could.

Washington Post: The Reddening.

So, a whole lot of people have upchucked into their tizzyhole over the Washington Post's recent addition to their mini-blog empire: Ben Domenech of the newly minted Red America (which has already exceeded it's bandwidth somehow). Apparently--and I say apparently only because, again, somehow, bandwidth has been exceeded--the raison d'etre of the blog is to provide some sort of baseline understanding of the already well-worn turns of phrase of the right-wing loonypoon blogosphere while simultaneously training Washingtonians in the arts of understanding what makes someone from a "Red State" tick. I guess. That's what I'm told. Bandwidthcakes, yada yada.

Personally we don't see what the big deal is. You know right now that Ben is going to have no trouble exceeding the quality of writing offered by those Heroes to the Unadventurous known as the Going Out Gurus, who persist in the face of total irrelevance to triple-seal area culture for maximum safety. Is it possible to be later than a "late adopter?" In our lifetime, the GOGs will find this out for us. And we will dully intone, "Meh."

But, back to Ben. Apparently a lot of people are tripping at the ostensible, yet unstated purpose of his blog, which is to provide "balance" to Dan Froomkin's WaPo blog. Now, to me, this is indeed a perfect universe, for what better way to balance one blog I don't deign to read than with a second one! Keep adding zeroes, I say. But, from what I know of Mr. Froomkin, he is a) probably only really picking the shots he's offered--it's not his problem that the GOP controls everything in town and b) he is most likely more than ably balanced by the Op-Ed page of the Washington Post, a reliably right-leaning playground.

Other are dishing on Domenech's background, which includes a healthy dose of homeschooling and the concomitant social awkwardness that follows in its wake. Wonkette has the eyewitness account today, and yeah, it's a hilarious read, but for my money, Domenech's got nothing on Michael Scanlon, whose adolescent freakery is not to be believed. Let me put it this way: in my lifetime, I've had resumes land on my desk from people who's educational background carry the Domenechian red flags--the home schooling, a Bob Jones or an Ave Maria or a Patrick Henry--and they all went right where they belong: the yawning, cylindrical receptacle near my feet. They used to go on file with the marks from a custom made stamp that read: "Unfit for Real World Duties", but over time, I determined that this was an intolerable waste of ink.'s the Scanlons that get through the process and get hired and end up bringing down your whole operation.

Look. He at least hates Michael Irvin. Okay. So he's not all bad. If we can find gainful employment of this sort of nature for Domenech, then I'm all for it. The only thing I'd tell the Washington Post is this: Guys, the next time you decide to throw an affirmative action bakesale, give me a call--I make a mean Sachertorte.

Bracketology: Day Three and Four

So, every day on ESPN, they joke about how their brackets lay in shambles. "A mostly finished to-do list." Huh. That's too bad. Mine, by contrast, are doing pretty awesomely. I'm cooking at 35-13, with 6 of my final 8 still alive and all of my Final Four. In other words, if i was in your office pool, I'd be kicking the ass of at least 80% of the field.

Huh. Just like ALWAYS.

Right now, though, comes my major period of worry. If I'm going to lose a Final Four pick, it will most likely happen in the next two days, because that's when my guys are facing their most significant tests. So, by this time tomorrow, I'll be crowing or weeping.

Here's something I can't explain. How did Prince get mixed up with Carlos Boozer? Seriously, I want to know. I have always thought of Prince as being pretty fucking cool. I mean, I saw him do his guitar hero thing playing "Fury" on SNL and I thought to myself, "No matter what syrupy nonsense this guy turns out while he's playing out a contract or divorcing his latest piece of background dance ass, in the end, he makes that guitar lay down and beg!" Now I learn that he's all entangled with Carlos Boozer, a weak-kneed punk who got his ass beaten routinely by Travis Watson every time they tussled." He's so soft going to the rim, he makes the stick legs of Manute Bol look like the Iron Giant. And Prince has got him on speed dial? Damn. That sucks. Because anyone who has got Boozer on speed dial is a loser. Except for maybe Carlos Boozer's mom. Though even then, everyone knows that the ultimate dis in the "Your momma..." universe of insults has always been: "You're momma is Carlos Boozer's mom."

That's just fact! Kelly Ripa!

Here's someone else's mom who's got to be disappointed. Billy Packer. Oh, man. He's the whipping boy. He and the haircut known as Jim Nantz. Packer's needed the beatdown ever since he dissed St. Joes back on the Selection Sunday where they got a one seed after essentially winning every game they played. He wouldn't have had the guts to do that with Phil Martelli in the room, I can ASSURE you.

It's plainly awesome to see Wichita State and Bradley step up to forcefeed Packer his ass. It's even better to see them in the next round after dispatching the overrated denizens of the so-called major conferences: two from the Big East (Hofstra stayed home so the Hall could get in? Crazy.), one from the Big 12 and one from the SEC. Of course, in the case of Kansas and Tennessee, they won their conference tournaments, and couldn't be denied their slot.

That's what kinda makes the George Mason story so sweet. Michigan State getting in the field of 64, is representative of the REAL problem with the way Selection Sunday goes down. They are the very model of a major conference team that has its seat kept warm for them despite finishing a season of no real accomplishment. Seventh place finish in the conference, 8-8 record, 22-12 overall...YAWN. A resounding chorus of SFWs. The only advantage I thought they had --and it was a significant concern--was that GMU was benching their second best player. How wrong I was! Michigan State proved themselves to be every bit the college basketball nobody I suspected they were. Mason beat them with one hand tied behind their backs!

And the truth is, if Michigan State had been left for the NIT, I promise you, outside of their students and faculty and staff, NO ONE WOULD HAVE CARED.

And, uhm, don't get me started about Maryland. Lose at home to Manhattan? I think we can all agree now that there never really was a bubble.

If you haven't seen Mason play this year, or in the tournament (where they've turned in, HANDS DOWN, the two most entertaining and invigorating performances of the entire tournament), let me tell you something important. They aren't winning on gimmickry. This is not a team that sets up from the three point line and hopes to longbow you to death. They don't have some freak ass offensive style or bizarre zone or sell-out press. They just straight up play face-to-face roundball, utterly classic and recognizable. They board you and they body you and they avoid fouling and they hit their shots and they don't care about your conference or your accolades or your mystique. They got down early to UNC in the next game, needed a reminder from Coach Larranaga (former assistant to Terry Holland BY THE WAY) that UVA beat UNC this year, so there's no reason in the world to think that the Patriots couldn't simply beat the Heels into submission, which is precisely what they spent the entire second half doing.

After Mason made the field of 64, sportwriters crushed themselves trying to be the first wag to wittily intone "no one outside of Fairfax knows much about the Patriots." Here's some truth: I'm very sorry, but circa this past basketball season, no one outside of East Lansing, Michigan truly gave two tugs of a dead dog's dick about Michigan State. Absorb it. Accept it. And accept the fact that underdog lovers have all got their radar tuned to Mason now.

Of course, we cared about North Carolina. We were forced to care about North Carolina. "Oh, me, oh, my! What will Roy Williams do? He lost all his starters to the NBA! Poor, poor, Coach Williams!" Oh, how awesome it was, wasn't it, the way UNC rebounded from losing all those players to make the tournament! You'd think it was impossible! Well, reality check: I say, fuck Roy Williams. It's not like he had to fashion a new team out of David Noel and the parts from a disassembled lawn mower. He got to basically say: "Okay, who are the twenty-five best basketball players coming to college next year? Good, I'll take seven of them." This guy won Coach of the Year? Jeezy creezy. That's like me winning a Nobel Prize for remembering how to use stairs.

Anyway, next round is the one that'll cut my bracket to ribbons. But if it comes at the hands of a George Mason or a Bradley, I'll grab the scissors with a song in my heart and a smile on my face. Go mid-majors! (Except Memphis!)

The Pompatus of Lost: TK

Tonight's episode was another in a series of ABC's special one-every-three-weeks allotment that had Lost fans soooooo happy. The next episode, by contrast, looks pretty hott. In the meantime, the cool kids will all be Googling "Widmore Labs." They'll be coming away mostly disappointed. So, instead, Google "Widmore Construction."

Monday, March 20, 2006

The 24gasm: 7-8pm

  1. Riddle me this: CTU goes to all the trouble of specifically designing rooms in which personnel can cower from toxic gas, and then they put all the gas masks somewhere in the middle of the kill zone? Your government at work, people.
  2. Also, what's up with this gas? It has some sort of caustic element that eats through rubber yet leaves dermis and other connective membranes totally intact? Is the gas just stupid, or is our skin secretly tougher than rubber?
  3. Meanwhile Chloe is freaking out. We knoe that she is taking the death of Edgar Stiles hard because she had her eyes opened all the way as she watched him die. Luckily, it's clinical psychology to the rescue! God, I hate this clinical psychologist character. Especially because the only tricks up his sleeve are "Hey, calm down" and "Just breathe." You need a degree for that?
  4. Chloe is upset that her last interaction with Edgar was all yelly and negative. I think that when she delivers her eulogy at his funeral, she should accentuate the positive, like his love for Red Vines and the way he could absorb an inhuman amount of browbeating without much complaint. Also, Chloe, remember: he lived for your abuse. He died minutes after receiving an erotic thrill. His life was complete.
  5. Red shirt dude is sort of sticking it to Agent Samwise. Yeah, Agent Samwise fucked up, but Red shirt dude, you don't have much room to lecture him. You guys make the TSA look like geniuses.
  6. You know, I want to take a moment to appreciate how well CTU trained all of its personnel how to transfer calls and conference people in. Everywhere I've ever worked, there was usually two people in the whole office who knew how to do that shit, and one of them was usually me. It's a real surprise to see how well versed everyone, from Bill Buchanan on down, is in the vagaries of their complicated phone system.
  7. Tony, meanwhile, wants to kill Robocop to get vengeance for Michelle. Jack's all trying to convince him not to do it, but we know that he will try eventually because Tony loves him some TREASON.
  8. It's a little disconcerting how the Vice President has this big ol' hardon for declaring martial law. It's like his life won't be complete until he gets to do it at least once. He makes me glad that we have Dick Cheney, who spends most of his time tucked away in his hyperbaric evil chamber, eating unborn souls and coming out only occasionally to hunt drunk quail and gun down his friends.
  9. So after watching clinical psychologist struggle to chill Chloe out, Jack one ups him with his own therapeutic skillz. It's a little game I like to call "choke the clinical psychologist." I recommend it for groups.
  10. I like how when Bill Buchanan learns that the gas is eating through the seal, he plaintively reaches out and touches the seal on his door, like touching it somehow is going to help: "It's okay, seal. I'm right here. I believe in your gas stopping powers."
  11. By the way, somewhere across town, those garage mechanics have just returned from their lunch break, and they are now deciding whether the presence of two dead bodies means they get to take the rest of the week off.
  12. So, Jack's bright idea is to use his awesome CTU breath holding powers to save the day. They should bring up the clock just to mock him.
  13. One thing I'd say to Jack right now: "Look. Do it because you need to save the day. Do it because in the end, we've always depended on you and have learned to trust you. Do it because your country needs you. But don't do it to impress you daughter and make her love you."
  14. So, tell me, people, should I have been watching Prison Break all this while? Because I haven't. And I don't feel the least bit bad about it. I mean, Catherine from Zunta has been all "Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars" and I'm like, yeah, call me when the DVD's are out and I've got nothing better to do, but Prison Break just looks kind of stupid. Care to enlighten, PB fans?
  15. I'm am officially over the whole President side plot. It's gotten to the point where my heart just sinks everytime he comes on. This is part of the natural progression of every 24 season, though.
  16. Hooray for duct tape! Jack builds his very own airlock. Mind you, the gas, which totally caustically rips through rubber seals, has got no answer for duct tape.
  17. Also, it appears that Jack has got one powerful hoodie. He won't go running around the gas unless he's got it pulled up over his head.
  18. So it falls to Samwise to save the day and die doing so, and Red Shirt Dude is all totally kvelling at having to also die. You don't get it, Red Dude. You're in the Fellowship of the Gas now. You have to die so that Jack can destroy the One-Terrorist and save Middle Earth and shit. That means, of course, that Samwise isn't Samwise. We learn too late that he's actually Boromir--totally smart to begin with, then going through a prolonged period of crazy-ass dickitude, only to die doing the right thing.
  19. Agent Boromit nee Samwise arrives at the computer to turn on the HVAC system and flush the gas, and all I can think is: "Wouldn't this be a shitty time to have to do a Windows update?" Think about it. Microsoft is going to be our undoing one of these days.
  20. Chloe's last words to Agent Boromir nee Samwise: "Good luck, and, uhhh...thanks for doing this." There's Clooney's sequel!
  21. Kim doesn't want to make all nicey-nice with Dad. She's apparently not ready to welcome him and all the killing that comes with him back into her life. What she doesn't seem to remember is that all the death that travels in his wake only obscures all the living free that everyone else gets to do because of his efforts.
  22. Agh. Who is this femme fatale woman working with the terrorists? I've got no patience for new characters!
  23. Meanwhile, the CTU's new leaders are on their way over. As a veteran of three corporate re-engineerings, I can tell you that this shit NEVER WORKS EVER and that everyone is going to either get fired or will bring CTU down from the inside from all their bitching and moaning. Luckily for CTU, these dumbasses have no idea what it's like to fuck with Jack.
  24. Holy God! Tony's dead? I can't take all this tragedy. This is easily the deathingest season ever.

The 24gasm: What we missed part deux

All hail the keycared carrying terrorist--the true star of the 6-7pm episode. He's poised to deliver the final blow to Agent Samwise's career. He's offed the two least likeable and least useful characters--Samwise sister and druggie bf. He's marching into the plot headstrong and undeterred by the fact that his very ending up with the keycard is an epochal plot implausibility. I even like the way he KICKED the gate he walks through at the beginning of the ep. He's not the type to just WALK THROUGH a gate. He's got to kick that motherfucker--so vast is his terrorist rage! That hinge felt the anger and disaffection of every Soviet republic!

Back at CTU, Bill Buchanan is planning the tell-all book that will define his career as Kim shows up--the harbinger of total doom. She shows up with C. Thomas Howell as some clinical psychologist fuck who is WAAAAAY outta her league. Clearly, the nature and order of the universe is in disarray. Some nimrod VP is trying to convince President No Spine to order martial law--you know, JUST CUZ! Things are truly headed down the crapper for our noble heroes.

Meanwhile, the Red Shirt guys are just letting Keycard Terrorist into CTU. How is it that on a day where multiple threatdowns have already transpired that the Red Shirts are letting in some dude they've never even met. Here's some basic security procedures I'd implement. 1) Talk to the guy. 2) Notice his Russian accent. 3) Search his bag, maybe, for a canister of nerve gas. 4) Ask him some questions, like: "What's with the accent?" or "What's with the nerve gas?" or "Hey, I've never ever ever seen you before?"

Jack brings Robocop back to CTU to give him the old multiple injections of whosit torture that CTU specializes in, and runs into Kim. Right away, we're thinking a) how long before he kills clinical psychologist dude and b) what's with all these shows having characters that are clinical psychologists? Tony Almeida is awake and walking around despite those horrible, life-threatening SCRAPES ON HIS FACE. And Edgar Stiles watches as Carrie leaves her station to go to her doom down in the CTU basement. Poor thing, she was better off fired!

Soon, everything goes batshit, and as you know, the gas gets released, sending everyone we care about to conveniently placed sealed room where the gas cannot penetrate. Except someone seems to be missing. Uh oh, it's the gentle giant of interpersonal annoyance, Edgar. Doomed by CTU's bureaucratic incompetence, he'll never live to see the season I'm writing about the CTU Christmas party. And he was going to figure prominently--let's just say it involved Jagermeister, Chloe, and the copy machine. Poor Edgar. May his trip to heaven be on gossamer wings, to sit by the right hand side of CTU Jesus, and send Him satellite intel to his screen forever.

In Memoriam: Castle Fun Fun

Mark Sullivan pens a fitting obituary for a DC institution, Castle Fun Fun, which for years has been a second home to a shifting coterie of arty-slash-non-profity types. It owed its existence to their certifiably crazy landlord, who long charged a ridiculously low rent for a townhouse withing shitting distance of the posh snobs at the Ellington, their fishbowl windows and bad Mexican food. One of the major contributions made by CFF to the world was, of course, this blog, as well as its tirelessly pursued mission: to create a blog that Marybeth Fritsky would like. We continue on. May Castle Fun Fun begin again.

This, of course, creates a high likelihood that living in a similar group house becomes a key criteria for the next great Rorschach company member. Someone call Lauren Hyland and Grady Weatherford--reality show possibilities abound.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The 24gasm: What we missed part one.

So, I wasn't able to give timely gasms for the two hours leading up to the 7-8pm hour. Here's what you missed.

Tony woke up and was all: "Where's my wife?" as CTU employees by the dozens used barely audible whispers to say to each other, "Don't tell him his wife's dead, whatever you do. Tell him she went to a totally different hospital where, unlike here, people live long and happy lives." They do and he buys it for a minute or two. At the same time, the Subarov's looked shaken and pissed off, having been attacked by terrorists, terrorists who are shown to be in the midst of soldering something. Those guys are always soldering something.

Meanwhile Samwise's sister and her cokefiend boyfriend are apparently going to sell Samwise's keycard to the terrorists. I have no idea how the terrorist plot could have POSSIBLY hinged on the entirely coincidental event of these two idiots ending up with the keycard. I have no idea how these two idiots could have POSSIBLY known to call terrorists to sell the keycard. It makes NO sense. But because Joel Surnow gives me all this wonderful beauty for free every week, I'm going to swallow it and make that "MMmmm...delicious!" hand signal--you know, where I rotate the palm of my hand over my stomach while smiling and nodding my head?

Anyway, Samwise's sister calls the key card, "your precious keycard" as a shout out to the Lord of the Rings.

CTU is told that the next attack could happen "in the next hour." I imagine that when Bill Buchanan sees his therapist, he tells her: "It really seems sometimes like my life is a series of crescendoes that climax every sixty minutes." Anyway, CTU lets their guard down for a second, and now Tony knows all about his wife dying. Pour one out for Reiko, kids.

Back in the rapidly borifying Presidential sideplot, Ms. Logan is all pissed that her husband didn't stand up to the terrorists. Minutes later, he fails to even stand up to Useless Governmenrt Drone, Evelyn. Later, superstud Secret Service guy Aaron comes into her room and for a second we totally think that he's gonna get some--and he totally has earned it! But Mike Novick comes in and totally cockblocks him! Ugh! What a dick!

The terrorists plan to release some gas in the hospital. Vladimir tells his underlings to adjust the settings for "maximum casualties." I don't know what that means. It's a can with gas. You open it. The gas floats out. What is there to adjust of maximize? Does he want someone to shout encouragement at the gas? Get the gas mad? I know that dramatically shouting, "Release the gas!" isn't the most exciting Villain Moment in the world, but you have to understand some basic physics here.

Meanwhile Jack has broken into Robocops house and has his wife at gunpoint. She says, "You won't shoot me, Jack." My ass he won't. There! There's a little slug in your leg, for you! How'd you like that, Ms. "Trust me, deep down I'm the person who knows Jack Bauer the best." You don't know him! You don't know him at all! Quit kidding yourself! No one can know the glory that is Jack. And now your leg hurts! Bitch, you're lucky he left you able to walk.

And, over at the hospital, CTU is looking all over for the coffee urn that contains the gas, which is totally where you'd think it is--in the basement where nobody else is hanging out, near the HVAC system, DUH. They finally figure it out, and find the urn, only now they have to run with it upstairs and outside through a crowd that isn't even dispersed to put it inside a lightweight plastic aquarium thingy. Which they do, just in time. Years from that moment, the Department of Homeland Security will hold their annual meeting in Washington, DC. One of the breakout sessions will be called: "Hey. Those Lightweight Plastic Thingies. Why Don't We Carry Them To Where The Gas Is?" It will be sparsely attended.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bracketology, Day Two

So, I think I'm definitely going to live to see a 16 beat a 1. The average scoring margin between the two seed was 14.5, which I think is the lowest ever. One of these days, one of these teams is going to stay hot down the stretch, make one or two more threes, get one or two more calls, and the favorite is going to make a couple ill-timed mistakes and it's going to happen. There's enormous parity in the NCAA right now. There were five or six game that were straight up blowouts, but most came down to the final moments. Last night, the spread was UConn-Albany, UNC-Murray State, Bradley-Kansas, and Penn-Texas, and all looked tight at halftime--all got down to the last few minutes.

I ended up 7-1 in the first round here, with all my Sweet 16 picks intact. And I'm totally happy to have lost the pick I lost because it was Northwestern State over Iowa. Deadspin said of Tennessee's last second game winning shot that it was the kind of shot that the underdog is supposed to win on. Well, NW State stole that shot back. Jermaine Wallace's J was one of the sickest things I've seen in a long time. Just beautiful.

Texas seemed to play the whole game at Penn's speed, which is why Penn was in it up until the end. The Salukis got killed as expected by West Virginia, and NC State made me look smart for beating the frankly overrated California. Cam Bennerman really stepped up and shot the lights out. Apparently some think Herb Sendek's job is in jeopardy. I think that's CRAZY. His team had a great year! They always play above their seed in the tournament, and this game was another example of how well coached his players are. They get down to those critical moments and make great decisions and maintain their composure.

Bill Self has got to feel like tha Basketball Gods have got a laser trained right on his scrotum. Last year, he got to watch his old school and they guy he replaced at Kansas battle in the Championship game while he handed the Patriot League it's first NCAA Tournament win. This year, he loses in the first round to Bradley--not just lose, but get largely dominated from pillar to post. Two first round exits in a row! Ouch. Billy Packer can officially go and suck it now, too, can't he? Between the MVC hating and his diss of St. Joe's in the recent past, is there any good reason to listen to Packer anymore? I think he's a fucking bonehead.

Not that I have room to talk. I picked Kansas to win. I also picked Bucknell to win, though. That pass at the end of the game from behind the ten-second line to an open man under the net was CRAZY, by the way. I think we may as well get used to the Patriot League not being the reliable pushovers they once were. I went 5-3 in this bracket (losing Kansas, Marquette and SDSU), but all four of my Sweet 16 picks are alive.

Michigan State is a Big Ten team, and I like to get the Big Ten out of the tourney early unless they've got a squad that's just blazing good. If GMU's Mike Skinn had played this game, I would have picked the Patriots without even a second thought. Shows you what little faith I have! GMU, even without Skinn, were awesome! What a great job the rest of the team did in stepping it up and filling in the shortfalls. Hands down, this was their best game of the season and and they couldn't have picked a better time or venue to unload. This was also probably the most fun game of the tourney so far to watch. So congrats, Mason!

UAB-Kentucky was the only one of the four 8-9 matches I didn't call correctly. I also picked UNC to win. I thought Albany played great against UConn. Had they won, it would have made my bracket totally useless, but I still was rooting for them. I'm not sure, but I think Albany is from the America East. If so, when you get back to success Vermont's had, we may be looking at a small conference that's close to emerging. You could tell the UConn players really appreciated the way Albany went after them. I think, frankly, that the Huskies are pretty lucky to still be playing. Calhoun, like, HUGGED their coach afterwards.

I went 5-3 in this bracket also, with all my Sweet 16 intact.

And Monmouth didn't look to shabby against Villanova, either. But, Nova and Georgetown both won, and the Big East can breathe a sign of relief after Thursday, where their cohort was dropping left and right. I smartly followed the Big Ten rule in the 8-9 game between Arizona and Wisconsin. I would have loved for Davidson, one of those schools that's submerged in college hoops passion, to beat Ohio State, but in the end, I had to take Ohio State to win that one. I'm 6-2 in this bracket, and it's the only place I've lost a Sweet 16 so far. Sigh...Pacific.

So after one round, I'm 23 and 9. On to the second.

The Agenda@Cuebar

Last night, Natalya and I DJed the evening away at Cuebar as I filled in for the vacationing Leafblower.

Agenda-izing was a lot of fun. The people that run and work at Cuebar are all really nice, it was fun to hang with Natalya, and watch all the NCAA action. Cuebar is drawing a nice, diverse crowd and I was really thankful that I was somewhere on St. Padraig's Day that wasn't devolving into the usual Amateur Night shenanigans. Outside of two bro-ish types who had gotten badly lost on the way to McFaddens, one of whom wore muttonchops, the other incongruously requesting Bruce Springsteen (and, hey, I like to chill out and listen to Nebraska as much as the next guy, but a) you're in Cuebar and b) I want the owner to pay me, and getting paid, on some level, involves convincing the person with the money that you haven't lost your mind), that is. We rebuffed them with politeness they didn't deserve and they soon departed. The rest of the commenters/requesters were totally positive. As for our hackysacking friends, I think Natalya and I summed it up perfectly in conversation:

Natalya: They guy had muttonchops! I can't listen to anyone with muttonchops.

Me: Unless they're a historical re-enacter. Then you had better pay attention.

My sets were:

Stars, "Elevator Love Letter"
Le Tigre, "TKO"
Jay-Z vs. the White Stripes, "The Doorbell Encore"
Dan Bern, "Tiger Woods"
Rihanna, "SOS (Rescue Me)"
The Strokes, "You Only Live Once"
Tegan and Sarah vs. Mylo, "Walking With A Ghost In Paris"
The Killers, "Mr. Brightside (Thin White Duke Remix)"
The Spinto Band, "Oh, Mandy"
Pulp, "Common People"
Maximo Park, "Apply Some Pressure"
The Sounds, "Painted By Numbers"

Annie, "Me Plus One (James Iha Remix)"
Bloc Party, "Banquet (Phones Disco Edit)"
Bravery vs. New Order, "Honest Monday"
LCD Soundsystem, "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House"
Crazy Girl, "Kick Yo Booty"
Ninja High School, "It's All Right To Fight"
Fugazi vs. Destiny's Child, "Independent Waiting Room"
M.I.A., "Bucky Done Gun"
Mia, "Heroes"*
Kaiser Chiefs, "I Predict a Riot"
The Caesars, "Jerk It Out"
Blur, "M.O.R."
Arctic Monkeys, "Dancing Shoes"
Julian Cope, "East Easy Rider"
Kasabian, "Club Foot"

Cibo Matto, "Sci-Fi Wasabi"
Mike Doughty, "Busting Up A Starbucks"
Scritti Politti, "Smith and Slappy"
Nellie McKay, "David"**
Johnny Boy, "You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve"
Ride, "Vapour Trail"
The Cardigans, "I Need Some Fine Wine, And You, You Need To Be Nicer"
The Arcade Fire, "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Giant Drag, "This Isn't It"
Mylo, "In My Arms"
Doves, "Black and White Town (Dave Holmes Remix)"
Arthur Russell, "Is It All Over My Face?"
The Postal Service, "We Will Become Silhouettes"
The Strokes, "Ask Me Anything"

*Mia is not to be confused with M.I.A. Mia is some German electropop singer whose cover of this David Bowie song is burning up my iTunes. I think you can see the little four song DJ "pun" I was amusing myself with at that point in the night, though.
*"David" was a mistake. A keystroke error, for all intents and purposes. But it went over very well, so I'll chalk it up to kismet.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bracketology: Day One

So, I got to watch a lot of today's Tourney action. My bracket, still largely intact in the deep stages--where it counts. So much for all those sexy upset picks, though, huh? I think I rolled the dice on many of them, and came away wanting. (Though, my irrational exuberance only cost me on one occasion.)

Went 4-0 in the ATL. Duke pounded the unremarkable Southern. If you're looking for a sign of doom where Duke is concerned, I'd say worry about the fact that Williams and Redick basically scored every point. In fact, the two of them shot 37 of Duke's 49 points. Maybe that's just how they drew it up, but you have to figure that you'd like more than your two superstars to get some offense in against a 16 seed.

GWU went waaaaaay down to UNCW to begin the second half of their game. The Seahawks didn't miss a single shot they took in the first four minutes of the second half. And they took some doozies. You could have mistaken it for CGI trickery. Just when you thought it was over for the Colonials, though, they went on a comeback run the likes of which I have never seen. They covered 18 points in what seemed to be two minutes. It included two series where Dubs scored, stole the ball before UNCW could advance, and scored again. Foggy Bottom is sleeping happy tonight, but man, those guys had better not decide to catch some z's of their own this weekend, because Duke won't get run back on like THAT.

LSU handled Iona and Texas A&M pulled away from Cuse toward the end. I figured the Orange to be out of gas after their crazy ass Big East run, and I was right--G-Mac: 0-6 from the field, 2 points.

Went 2-2 in Oakland. Picked sexy upset fave SDSU against my better judgement (which is to basically hate on smallish Cali schools). Also wrongly picked Marquette. CBS kept looking in on that game, and, to my eyes, it always looked like Alabama had waaay more intensity than Marquette. Marquette just looked lost, and Bama was jacking over 50% from three. I'm stunned this game was decided by only 5 points.

UCLA pounded the snot out of Belmont and Gonzaga won, but had trouble, of course, because they play in a shitty conference. Why is it everyone remembers GWU's shitty conference but nevertheless thinks Gonzaga's shit doesn't stink? Don't know. Anyway, I had them beating SDSU in the second I think they'll have trouble against Indiana.

3-1 in the DC bracket. Illinois may as well have had the second round giftwrapped...I'm surprised they didn't trample the AFA underfoot. Washington won as well...a YouDub/Illini second round matchup is about as inspiring as a reenactment of the invasion of Grenada.

Naturally, I went straight sexy on the bottom bracket's two games, and went one for two. I got Wichita, far from this opera for evermore. But I couldn't work the Winthrop. I picked Winthrop to win this game simply because of the fact that the opponent was Tennessee. Tenn is a weak 2 seed--they really shouldn't be seeded that high. But I figured, if you know a team is going to go out early and they're a two seed to boot, then have some balls and just pick 'em out from jump. I came close to getting it, too. That shot Lofton took in the corner was Un Bee Leev A Bull. No way should that have gone in. Winthrop had it defended perfectly, and Lofton had not been shooting well prior to that shot. No shame when you lose to a shot like that. I still feel pretty comfortable with Wichita in the Round of 16, though.

Minnapples was killing me today. I went only 2-2 here, getting the upset-that's-not-really-an-upset pick--UWM--right and also betting correctly that this would be the year the Florida got out of the first round. Florida can suck my balls though. I drink deeply of the Gatorhaterade, I have them going fairly deep this year but will root against them nonetheless. Billy Donovan is a scumbag, low-rent clone of the Original Scumbag Pitino. If Donovan ever went back to Ireland, St. Patrick would rise from the dead to drive him right back out.

Paul has a rule that's so perfectly sensible that you should be allowed to roll it into your 401K: if you got beat by Virginia this season, you are not going to the Final Four. So, if you picked UNC or Boston College--too bad for you. If I recall correctly, you've got 62 other choices. I thought BC was more than ripe to go out. I've actually seen Pacific play this year, and I thought that a) BC's a frontcourt team in a guards' tourney and b) Maraker was going to give them all sorts of defensive fits. Through much of the game, I was right--but Pacific succeeded without Maraker in the first OT and were a victim of that success in the second--they had gotten so far away from him offensively that they never got back to putting the ball through him when they really could have used his in and out game. A pity, because Pacific played really well up until that second period. I also lost Nevada.

Pacific won my irrational exuberance pick this season, and, like most years, I took them too far. So, I'm down one team in the Sweet Sixteen. Everyone in my field after that round is still alive, though, so I'm happy. I'm feeling pretty good about my chances tomorrow--the 8-9 tossups notwithstanding, my only iffy pick is NCSU over Cal. But 10s advance to the Sweet 16 with regularity, and I'm pretty disposed to giving the ACC the edge over a Pac-10 team within three seeds. We'll see. I have a bias toward the Patriot League that usually hurts me, but I think I'll get at least 12 of tomorrow's 16 games.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Notes From The Living Room

Very eventful week, and it's too bad I've felt so under the weather here at the end of it. Alex and I had another fun day today, and this time we weren't slowed by any sort of epic Gawker outage. Hope you guys got out in the beautiful weather.

  • Hey. UVA finally won an ACC tournament game! Suddenly I'm totally glad the conference sold out and added all those teams. Suck it, Virginia Tech! The guys are putting up a valiant fight against the Tarheels--our D is straight-up all OVER Taylor Handjob. But man, we're gonna lose...we need some more offensive players on this team. Diane should NEVER be jacking threes unless it's the last five seconds of a game against Longwood. It's all Singletary and Reynolds right now, and you can tell how flat-out tired they are.
  • Car is not starting. Gotta wait ten minutes or something like that. Starter...battery...I don't know. Got no time to deal with it.
  • I should have maybe told everyone about this know...ADVANCE, so you could have heard it, but I was interviewed by a radio show called The Young Turks, who wanted to know more about this. I'm not sure when they'll have the March 9 show posted, but if you've got a dollar laying around not contributing to your personal microeconomy, you can spend it and listen. I come in about an hour and forty-five minutes into it, I think. If you want to give it a pass, that's yr biz. Just assume I was brilliant, 'cause I totally was.
  •'s the difference between how you feel when you lose to UNC versus how you feel when you lose to Duke. When you lose to UNC, it's because guys like Rayshawn Terry make INCREDIBLE shots like that dangling-in-the-air layup. When you lose to Duke, it's because the fucking ref didn't start the clock when Wojo inbounded the ball or they just let one of their players assault you when you're going up for a shot. OH WELL. Redick is great, but he'll never be as loved as that autistic kid who jacked those six threes in garbage time. They are going to make a movie about that kid. Ang Lee will fuckin' direct it. Redick can buy a ticket.
  • Speaking of: congrats Ang Lee! First NON-HONKY to win Best Director!
  • Also, mad thanks to Rachel Sklar! She sent the South Dakota strategy piece to Salon's Broadsheet, and while I don't think I ultimately managed to convince Farhad Manjoo, he gave it a pretty fair hearing, so respect. Shayna'll be happy that her legal architecture withstood the scrutiny of Tim Grieve. We did it man! You're the best lawyer I ever sort of retained!
  • Also shocking: no woman has EVER even been NOMINATED for Best Cinematographer! Is DOP-land some sort of sausage factory or what?
  • The Mai, Wife of DCeiver's directorial debut, is straight blowin' up--like I done said it would. Peep some love from the WaPo!

Oh well. Gonna try to sleep the sick away. Later: Delaware. So, Bluestate and Martin, sorry that I won't be seeing you. Kanishka, you be careful in Islamabad. Expect Wonketry through Wednesday with only light DCeption. I may find a quiet place to do nothing Thursday. Friday I'll be filling in for Kyle in support of he and Natalya's Agenda.

Finally, one last bit of conversational goodness.

"Besides, fucking Biz Markie is THE SHIT. I want him at MY FUNDRAISER."

"Tell me about it. His job is his credit."


"Actually...Biz Markie gives me an idea..."


"Actually there's one that's better: 'Biz Markie is in the next room, making pancakes.'"