Friday, March 30, 2007

I was dead before the ship even sold out in forty seconds.

Agh. Stupid, stupid me. I had every intention of casting my lot with the rest of the world's mouse-scrabbling ticket buyers and making an attempt to procure a ticket for the Arcade Fire at Radio City Music Hall today. I know that lately, I've been playing the 'Master like the Washington Generals play the Globetrotters, but I figured, what's the harm? Anyway, I totally spaced on it. Absolutely forgot. And since I don't have a cache of blood diamonds laying around to feed Craigslist with...

You know how there's this group of yobbos who used to tour America as Frankie Goes To Hollywood even though there was only the thinnest of threads to the band itself? That'll be the scenario when I finally get to see Arcade Fire. I'll see them fifteen years from now. Music bloggers will have found a way to replicate Second Life poop in the material world and chuck it at each other. The band will be like, the drummer, the glockenspiel player's cousin, and a gaggle of yammering rednecks on instruments they lifted from some pawnshop yammering their way through "Une Annee Sans Lumiere" half-assedly through their noiseholes and their hired douche lead singer will be yelling, "Can I get some more bass in my fricking monitor?" as if he were every Will Ferrell character ever filmed rolled into one.

And it'll be at the Grog. Feh.

DCeiver presents: "Really? Really."--featuring Charles Krauthammer.

First, read: Krauthammer is teh stupid.


Charles! You've been talking foreign policy with, uhm...Martians? Really? What have you been telling them? Because if they've brought the cure for cancer or Martian whores with eight titties, you are so wasting their time.

I get it. Really. You have set up a lame Socratic experiment with these fictional Martian overlords, casting them as neutral observers (and do you think that Martians can be counted on to remain neutral, Charles? Really? Ever read Ray Bradbury? Because, really, Charles. Martians typically bring their own biases to the discussion. They aren't the Swiss. And even if they were, they'd probably launder al Qaeda's gold or something. Really, Charles. Really.

You call Afghanistan: "...a geographically marginal backwater with no resources and no industrial or technological infrastructure."

Really, Charles? Really? No resources? Really. Because my opium dealer just chortled, with this sarcastic edge. Really, Charles. He thinks you are one big dumbass. No technological infrastructure? Really? Somebody better go and tell ZTE Corporation! Last year, they received a contract from the Afghan government to build a nationwide fiber optics network.

Really, Charles. Also: google Unocal. Just do it, Charles. Really. I'll wait.

Back? Really? Good. Charles, isn't it funny how people have been fighting over this worthless backwater for nearly fifty years? There was this nation, Charles, known as the Soviet Union. Really. And they fought tooth and nail and bring Afghanistan under their dominion, and we fought tooth and nail to stop them. We even trained and armed a goodly number of people to fight on our behalf who've now gone and started plotting against us! It's sort of really, really hilarious.

And really, Charles, it's just not fair of you to fail to point out to the Martians that Afghanistan is run by a group of seemingly immortal radicals known as the Taliban. Really, Charles, you should tell them that our strategy against the Taliban has been to pretend to defeat them, constantly insist in the media that they have been defeated, and to change the subject everytime someone points out that those guys are still running that Afghan shit. Really.

Here's how you describe Iraq, and, really, Charles, this is altogether too much: "...with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure that, though suffering decay in the later years of Saddam Hussein's rule, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e., wrong) hands."

Really? Really? Because, I've actually been paying attention, Charles, and what you call mere "decay" could better be called "non-existent." Really. You obviously were out, tracking Martians when we went to war with Iraq for the second time. Let me fill you in: militarily speaking, Iraq did not have to capacity to boil a can of soup. This is why we were able to knife through to Baghdad without opening a Northern front or building supply lines or bothering to install a rear guard as we went North. We faced outgunned and outmanned petty soldiers who mostly abandoned the efforts of fighting us after it became clear that they weren't under any organized command. Really. And Iraq had no nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Really.

So, what's going to fall into the wrong hands? Really, Charles. The insurgency is making do with souped up electric can openers and homemade explosives. OH NO! YOU MEAN OUR ENEMIES MIGHT DISCOVER THE AWFUL TRUTH--THAT THE FIRE...IT BURNSES, IT BURNSES!

Ha! Really, Charles. Really.

When you talk about how Iraq has become important to the war on terror, you make it sound like Osama bin Laden decided one day it should be so. Really! You do! What you really seem to be forgetting is that making Iraq the central front in the war on terror was NOBODY'S IDEA BUT OUR OWN. Our announced intention was "to fight the terrorists there rather than fight them here." Really! That was the essential part of the whole plan! And I really wonder: was there ever a moment where the Iraqi people--who I assume are the good guys because we want to give them democracy and freedom and splash parks--said: "You want to fight the terrorists in our backyard? Hmmm...okay, that sounds good!" I really, really wonder that sometimes.

Really, Charles. When you set up shop in Iraq and then tell the terrorists to "Bring it on!", it's really lame to then act all aggrieved when the enemy takes you up on your offer. Really.

Hey, Charles! As it so happens, I have one of your imaginary Martians here with me! Really! It's awesome! We're drinking Martian absinthe and cooking up S'mores with lasers that shoot right out of his eyes! IT IS FUCKING BANANAS, DUDE! He and I are communicating TELEPATHICALLY! IT IS THE AWESOMEST! REALLY!! He's got a lot to say on the matter, so I'll translate:

"Hey, Charles! It's really good to talk to you! Really. I mean, really. You know, we have a joke on Mars: in a soft voice, we say 'A Krauthammer says what?' And then the other person, who can't understand what you are saying, says, "What?" And then you laugh! Because he's a Krauthammer! Oh, my. Really. It sure turns our faces orange. You should see the kids laugh! I guess you kinda have to be there. On Mars, I mean. And, really, when are you coming here? Your President Bush says he wants to come to Mars in his super-spaceship, right? Really? Where are you going to get the money to pay for that? Because, really, we think China is going to get here first. We're all learning how to deploy the chopsticks! Really!

Let me get this straight. Really. You guys were attacked, so you mounted a major war against people who didn't attack you? Really? And you gave the people who attacked you a big old pass? And you turned Iraq into a giant breeding ground for your enemies? Really? And you partnered with nuke-selling, al Qaeda-abetting Pakistan in this effort? Really? Really. And now you want to attack another country that DOES have massive military infrastructure even though the people that don't are currently playing you to a draw--and really, I'm being charitable calling it a draw because, really, let's be facing it, it's not costing the insurgency all that much money to just sit back and wait to take over! Really. I have had to learn a new word to describe your country's tactics: appeasement. Really! It is as if you think you are fighting a war with some sort of purpose when really, really your nation has already surrendered a long time ago. Really. We do not have a word for this on Mars! LASER BEAM EYES, remember?

What? Oh, my! Really? REALLY? DCeiver is telling me that you had the opportunity to end this Saddam shit back in the early 1990's and you DIDN'T? REEEAAALLLY?!? You all were in charge then, and you had the opportunity to take him out then and didn't? Oh, my. That is really, really hilarious! As your bloggers say: OMG! Ohhhh. I really must pause for the laughter."

Wow, Charles! He is really dying of laughter! Really. Anyway Charles, it must be really, really nice to get paid to say demonstrably idiotic things! You have fun with your imaginary Martians...but, really, you should tell them the whole truth when you engage them in these empty headed Socratic exercises. Because they will really FUCK YOU UP HUGE when they find out you've lied to them! Laser beam eyes, Charles.

What's that, my imaginary Martian friend? Wow. You are absolutely right! Things would be a lot better if the one we call Ghostface Killah was President! Really! All right, dude, let's go show Tom Tancredo what a real illegal alien looks like! And can do with his eyes!

The Interwebs Rescue Your Friday from Dreariness!

Peep the online grindhouse today and stop boredumb in its tracks. Thanks be to Tracy K., who has pointed out that the A/V Geeks have placed many of their finest archvived health and social issues filmstrips up on the Series of YouTubes for all to enjoy. If you paint your room black, stop bathing and allow for six days of chain smoking, you can almost pretend you're watching them at the Black Cat! Some of the titles include:

"Postmark Terror"
"Facing Disappointments"
"Why Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast"
"Inside/Out: But Names Will Never Hurt?"
"Control Your Emotions"
"VD Is For Everybody"
"Discovering Electronic Music"
"The Story of Menstruation"
"Destruction: Fun Or Dumb"
"Soapy The Germ Fighter"
and my favorite: "Despotism!"

Plus there are a couple, "Master Killer" and "Check Your Neck", that were instrumental in paving the way for the Wu Tang Clan. May their deadly notes reign supreme!

Also, from Pyggies: new "Defenders of Stan." Episode 6. Brought to you by the letter "fucktard" and the number "dickhole." But where's my floatin' headz at? And why can't I ever get in one on of those cool Pyggie IM convos?

Why no bloggy until today? Been out at the fine rock clubs. Bishop Allen: we must recognize their essential bestness. Also: Cold War Kids. Here's the short story: I loved them, Leafblower hated them, Squeeze of Leafblower remains amused by this Seemingly Unavoidable Universal Truth. This means all is right with the world. If you want to see an actual good version of the review of the CWK show I wrote that is still slouching toward DCist to be born, go to The Upstate Life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Audiofile: No Need For Modesty

The week:
Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
Ted Leo/Rx, Living With The Living
Low, Drums and Guns
The Ponys, Turn the Lights Out
RJD2, The Third Hand
Adult, Why Bother
Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha
El-P, I'll Sleep When You're Dead

With all deliberate haste, get yourself the new Modest Mouse CD if you haven't already.

I've always loved the band. The Lonesome Crowded West was my first listen--so searingly new and enjoyable that it quickly became a good friend to my ear canal. The band slyly traded on the familiarity I built by strapping me into the passenger seat on the psycho road trip that was The Moon and Antarctica. They dropped the "Float On" bomb in 2004, proving that they could pen an indelible hit--definitely the "Crazy" of its day--thus baiting the hook for middle America to absorb the oddly joyous-yet-death obsessed Good News For People Who Love Bad News.

If they weren't in the pantheon at that point, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank puts them there now. It's a wholesale, beautiful rocker--stacked with songs, brimming with vitality--and while sops have clearly been made to the notion of accessibility, this is not a band operating their way out of a forced-in corner. It hits with their trademarked jagged force, spirals into many an odd left turn, and the full coterie of singer Isaac Brock's multiple personalities get ample room to step out and shake their ass.

For many, the big hook in this affair is the presence of Johnny Marr as a full time member of the band. As an idea, it definitely carries that "can you believe it Peyton Manning has agreed to captain our rec-league team" sort of feeling. I'll admit to wondering if it was going to work. I anticipated the possibility of Marr doing more harm than good--malforming something I enjoyed--or, to a lesser extent, coming off like an odd patch: a Modest Mouse album covered in self-conscious Marr-isms. Happily, Marr's work is fully integrated, subsumed into the whole. You can sense, perhaps, his steadying hand on the rudder in the jittery, melodic "Dashboard" and the cozy guitar filligrees on "Missed The Boat"--but he ably comports himself with the goings on around him. Frankly, he's needed to get work like this on wax ever since the Smiths hit the skids.

The record is chock full of songs you'll want to put on repeat: the maniacal "March to the Sea", the hit-written-all-over-it "Florida", the bent out of shape "Fly Trapped in a Jar." This disc is the mad notes, people. Do not delay.


I must confess that my record collection is more or less devoid of basically anything from the more left-field subgenres of hip hop. I understand historically that labels like Rawkus and Def Jux have been bringing some vital voices to the fore--I've just never committed the money to outlay for the recordings or the time to appreciate them. But last year, after Ghostface more or less effortlessly assassinated the whole of mainstream hip hop, I figured that it was time I expanded myself. So, people: suggestions. My eMusic account is here to help. With it, I was able to get the new El-P record, I'll Sleep When You're Dead, and was pretty fucking impressed. You have to appreciate a guy with a lot on his mind and the ability to hold your attention as he spills. At the same time, there's no skimping on arresting hooks and clatterbang beats either. I'm fully prepared for you all to let loose on me that his new shit is wack or something, so, lead me on the path to some good new-old music, interwebs. I can take it.

Midway through the new LCD Soundsystem record, everything was going according to plan. More or less, anyway. It was less sleazy, less coked-up--and I was missing that trademarked inky smear that more or less defines the DFA sound. It was still delightfully addled--"Get Innocuous" is winningly silly and overwrought, "North American Scum" turns self-effacement into a bitter jibe, and, in general, the beats were slippery and funky. Then, about midway through, we got to "All My Friends", and there came all this mawkish earnestness! WTF! Forgive me, but I don't get my LCD on for the sentimentality--but it was nevertheless there, and it reached it's cheesy apotheosis in "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down"--a shoo-in to take home the prize for the most sickeningly cloying song of 2007. Is James Murphy dead before his shit hits the bank?

I was going great guns listening to the new Ted Leo, as well. Five songs into that motherfucker and I wheeled around in my chair and professed to the Information Leafblower that Leo was back in the Hearts of Oak wheelhouse--ballsy, kinetic. Leo's brand of punk eschews the orthodoxies of hardcore in favor of reappropriating riffage from all over the pop map--sifting through garage trash one minute, then blazing back with a British Invasion style rave-up the next. Leo could probably inspire a coup d'etat with a Journey cover. Over the latter half of the record, though, the thing gets bogged down. "La Costa Brava" crops up, feeling strangely rote, and it's followed by the struggling "Annunciation Day", the dull and dubby "The Unwanted Things", and the slack "The Toro and the Toreador." I still like it better than Shake The Sheets, but it's clear that Leo's best recipe is bomb, repeat, bomb.

It's strange that Andrew Bird's emergence came about with his involvement as an ancillary player with the Squirrel Nut Zippers. He's basically the only person from that fin de siecle mini-boom of swing and...what?--indie-Dixieland?--who's made it to the oughts not sounding like some sort of casualty. Don't believe me? Check out Katherine Whalen's mortifyingly dated solo record from last year. Bird, however, fell upwards into the indie rock genre, and has, for quite a while now, succeeded in making some of the most oddly alluring records out there. He's bounced from Rykodisc to Righteous Babe and is now on swamp-indie blues label Fat Possum Records. Armchair Apocrypha is his first release thereon, and it's got all the qualities it needs to have for me to recommend it to you, even if you're a first time listener: mystery, spunk, whimsy, a melodicism that sticks to you. He can do grandiose, like on "Heretics" and "Dark Matter" and he can wow you with bracing delicacy, like on "Scythian Empires." Mostly, it's his presence that makes his music so affecting--he's got ample vocal skills, a sweet feel for his fiddle, and he just comes across as that weird guy hanging on the corner, promising a mix of delight and danger.


  • A lot of Low fans weren't happy when they decided to try on a fuller rock sound and something other than their inside voices on The Great Destroyer. Pooey on them: I liked the record. But the haters got their wish and Low is back to their trademarked portentious quietude. Thing is, I feel like they only made it halfway back. Drums and Guns kind of feels like a grower. Sorry. I know that's a cop out.
  • The Ponys have this absotively cherrydamn tune called "Double Vision" that leads off their album, but while they work hard to mine the same ingredients--bronzey reverb drench, murky melodies, loose-throated baritonica--they rarely come within sniffing distance of the first song. Well, they manage it once: on "Poser Psychotic."
  • Adult is Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller, and, like basically everyone else associated with the Detroit techno scene, they aren't even remotely appreciated in this country, their sunnier climes coming in the more electronica-mad areas of Europe. I find them to be a blend of Aphex Twin-style tweakery and Alec Empire's radical chic. It has a punky, dislocated soul at the center of the digital whir that's at times ear catching, at times faded against the background.
  • RJD2 is a straight-up genius behind the decks--I know quite a number of people who found their way into his particular subgenre through Dead Ringer and Since We Last Spoke. With The Third Hand, he's gone and reinvented himself as an indiepop singer of sorts, and, frankly, I'm not feeling it. Vocally, he's thin and featherlight, and his instinct for the indie sound isn't the best, in my opinion--the compositions are often hoary-sounding and safe.

THE COLOSTOMY: Collecting your leaked materials.

God knows I have been behind Wilco...really, all the way. Being There and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are Hall of Fame worthy recordings, plain and simple, and right through their last studio release, A Ghost Is Born, it's been clear that their ambitions lay in being an extraordinary band. So, what I've been hearing from the upcoming Sky Blue Sky has me fearing the worst. Sure, the music is pleasant, pretty even, but there's nothing going on musically that would outstrip the abilities of Kevin Bacon's band, and lyrically speaking, Jeff Tweedy is at his tritest, ever. I've often thought that the average band has got about five albums in 'em before the familiarity and complacency of working together undermines the spontaniety of creation that forged the unit in the first place (and that's if the whole operation doesn't go down in break-up flames). Sky Blue Sky's leaks are an uncomfortable sign that Wilco might hit that Album #6 wall with a big, wet, thump.

So, I was making my plans to go see Bishop Allen tonight at the Rock and Roll Hotel when I discovered, much to my delight, that +/- and Say Hi To Your Mom are also on the bill! How on earth did this escape my attention! Probably just complacency: I've had the BA date on my calendar for about three months, now, and it just didn't matter to me to check.

That said, the somewhat unfortunately named Rock And Roll Hotel (or RARH, pronounced "RRRRrraaarrrrRRRrGGGGHHhh!!") has quietly been putting together some strong bills. Next Tuesday, for instance, is a slam dunk: The Long Winters, The Broken West, and The Stars of Track and Field. At $10/$12 a ticket: that's a shitload of quality rock for your buck. Next Wednesday: Xiu Xiu, Shearwater, and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. Again: pretty excellent. Check out their calendar and dig the variety: indie-techno, decent sounding DJ nights, strong local bills--fricking DON CAB!! Me likey.

Tonight, locals Junior League are also part of the offering, and I hope to be there to see 'em all.

THE AUDACITY OF DOPES: McCain grows a plank for passionate females.

Jim Webb's decision to put his Senate colleagues on notice by coming strapped is already having effects:

Aww, yeah! Looks like someone took a long, cool sip of some Goldwater. Maybe Webb's gun-toting ways can put an end to all of Joe Biden's weird racism!

Speaking of passionate females and the Senate, let us just say two words: Landrieu. Herseth. Are you FEELIN' me, DC?

[h/t: Slev, via Catherine]

Vote with a bullet?

We're getting really tired of all the mixed messages being sent our way from human-dickwad critters that populate our Congress. Why, just last week, GOP members of the U.S. House of Representatives told the citizens of the district that there was no ingredient more essential to having the vote than the feel of the steel in one's hands--and if DC wanted equitable representation, they'd better get busy stockpiling firearms.

But over on the Senate side of Capitol Hill this week, the House's older, greyer, seniler compatriots seem to not share their younger, dumber, batshit-crazier counterparts belief the democracy is best dispensed at the business end of a 9mil. How else to explain why Senator Jim Webb--who, we remind you, was BORN FIGHTING and who will CHOKE A BITCH if need be--has gotten in hot water after an aide attempted to enter the Senate carrying just one lousy fully loaded pistol and two lousy extra fully loaded clips! Today Webb and his executive assistant, Phillip Thompson, will have to explain all this in DC Superior Court. What's to explain? Working in close proximity to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama these days is effing DANGEROUS.

Friday, March 23, 2007

DCeptette: All the girls in the music biz have credit cards and subscribe to Ms. version.

  1. Patrick Gavin: You are exactly right. And if you hadn't said it, I would have. [FishbowlDC]
  2. Big Daddy Drew: You are exactly right. And if you hadn't said it...fuck, who am I kidding. You're a frigging GENIUS. (By the way, I totally hear Tracy Morgan's voice in my head when I read Vick's lines. Do you?) [Kissing Suzy Kolber]
  3. Here's a little exercise for the men on the interwebs. Click the link at the end of this blurb, and just spend thirty seconds with the image, then pop back here. I'll wait. Doot-de-doot-dee-doo. Hey! You back? Good. Question: What did the sign Jenna Fischer was holding say? You don't remember a fucking word, do you? I thought so. [Oh No They Didn't]
  4. Three guess what Amanda will be doing Friday night.
  5. stuff from The National. Life is good. [Stereogum]

Thursday, March 22, 2007

DC Voting Rights: Swallow the Poison Pill!

So, today, Washington DC came right up to the brink of getting Congressional representation--so tantalizingly close!--when all of the sudden, Lamar Smith (R-Hater!) skillfully used a parliamentary maneuver or whatever and got a poison pill attached to the voting rights bill--the upshot: if the District wants representation, they have to agree to lift the District-wide ban on guns. The Democrats, as if staring fearfully into the eyes of a Dementor, panicked, and iced the bill.

Now, look. I understand that Lamar Smith basically made the dick move of all dick moves. I mean, these fucks cry like SIDS babies in their final throes when they don't get the effing straight-up-or-down votes they whine for--we know that. I also understand that there are people for whom it would be hard to pull the trigger on gutting the DC gun ban. I mean, we all know what can happen when the U.S. Government starts handing out weapons to people--just ask any of the people who Saddam gassed!

But this was VOTING RIGHTS, baby! A lot of work and wrangling went into this bill, and the very real hopes of an entire city hung on today's events. But don't sit here blaming Lamar Smith! The bills proponents should have gone ahead and swallowed the poison pill. Here's five compelling reasons why:

1. DC Representation is just too big to walk away from.
Dude. This was about finally enfranchising, at least to some extent, the people of the District of Columbia! This was a momentous moment! A HUGE moment. Pass this bill, and no one's going to be talking about the gun ban being lifted. One of Lamar Smith's bitch henchmen might try make you feel bad, by being all: "Sucker! You had to swallow the poison pill!" But then he's going to see the massive fucking citywide RAGER that's gonna get thrown in the wake of DC getting a vote in Congress. It's going to be the most epic party the District has ever seen! The booze will flow like rain and the streets will be thick with bitches. It's going to be way better than the We Got The Gun Ban Lifted party. Look at it this way...pass the bill, and it's going to be the DC Voting Rights people who get laid, not the gun fucks.

2. Stop and put the gun ban in perspective.
Okay. So we lift the gun ban. Is that really so scary? It's like, what--six people who are raising a stink about the gun ban? If all of them go out and buy guns, it's not exactly a truckload of steel hitting the streets, is it? I mean, DC residents won't be compelled to buy guns they don't want, will they? So if it's true that the majority of DCers favor the ban, then we have no problem, do we? Besides, studies show that when you bring a gun into your home, it is more likely that it will end up killing you or a family member than an intruder. That means as time goes on, the bloodlines of gun advocates will gradually grind to a hereditary end, leaving fewer pro-gun voters out there. And that's not just statistics, that's freakonomics and shit, yo. Recognize.

3. Don't you like sticking it to punk ass bitches?
Because I do. These House Democrats oughtta be feeling like the time is nigh to start choking a motherfucker, and there's no better candidate than Lamar Smith. Dude think's he's so smart--but let's face it: his move was a bluff, not a checkmate! Smith's move was a desperate one, and the last thing he wanted was for his bluff to get called. You just know he was praying his bliff didn't get called. If it had, the GOP caucus would have been thrown in a tizzy: "What? Do I vote against guns? Do I vote to help black people? What do I do? My teeny, penny sized brain no have answer!" Gahh. I can't believe the pro-vote folks even blinked on this one! Of course, we'll be told that they scotched the bill because of their principles, but this is the US Congress! Principles and a buck-ninety-nine won't buy you a Frappuccino. So--fuck principles: instead, win. Winners get to decide what's principled and what isn't. If this bill comes back in a week: don't blink--stick it to them!

4. Some things are more lasting than others.
In considering the consequences of allowing both representation for DC and a lifting of the District's gun ban, we all have the tendency to imagine that once the bell is rung, it can never be unrung. This is not the case. Given another couple years, you may find yourselves with another Congress amenable to undoing what a previous Congress did. But consider this: it would be MUCH easier to re-ban firearms in DC than it would be to take away representation once it has been offered. Much easier. Crime's been down in DC for some time now, but there have been years past where compelling reasons to take guns off the streets occurred several times a night. That bell is easily unrung. Not so the voting rights. I'd like to believe that the guy who'd stand up before Congress and ask that an entire city's vote be stripped away would be vilified to no end. What's far more likely is that once the voting rights door is open, getting more Congressional representation becomes much easier. Especially if DC can prove that they won't elect Marion Barry--I mean, once that hurdle's cleared: game on. The state of the gun ban would be more subject to the ebb and flow of fortune and circumstance--but the vote has a good chance of being permanent.

5. Finally, consider the big picture.
Look. In the end, is it really possible that I am the only one who recognizes the hilarious, glittering stupidity that's right at the center of Representative Smith's desperate gun-ban gambit?

The District of Columbia has long clamored for representation. The city's citizens want their rights. They are demonstrably resolute. Their anger is growing. Their determination to see this through to success is boundless. In short, the environment is full of irate citizens who have proven to be tenacious in pursuit of their liberty--and Lamar Smith wants to give them all guns?! I'm no expert on these matters, but I think that if I were backed into a corner by an oppressive regime and forced to fight for my rights, I might think about getting myself a few guns. And if the regime just wants to hand me one, what's left for me to do but say thank you and, oh, by the way, I'll coming back for some more? With my gun. That you were stupid enough to let me have. Our forefathers would have at least been smart enough to say, " can have the vote. Provided you roll around on these smallpox blankets first! Mwaa-haa-haa!"

So for real, DC. If you want the vote--take the guns. Trust me, dumping a bunch of tea in the water just doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi anymore. And, to you pro-vote forces on the Hill--bring that bill back and don't be deterred by the gun ban amendment. DC's gonna need to swallow the pill in order to get out of the motherfucking Matrix.

Just to clarify...

From 1115: "Lying under oath is perjury. And perjury, sir, is a crime."

As much as it pains me to say it, that's not quite right.

Explicit to the corpus delecti of "perjury" is the concept of "materiality." Lying under oath is at all times prosecutable, but it doesn't rise to the level of perjury unless the testimony offered has material relevance to a case.

This doesn't...uhm--materially alter the point 1115 is trying to make. Just a long standing quibble of mine. People get this wrong all the time. It's like the fucking 21st century! IT DID NOT START ON January 1, 2000, assholes! Your New Years' parties were thus TEH LAME!

This has been yet another generously offered public service.

THE AUDACITY OF DOPES: Politico straight pwned! by MEDICAL SCIENCES!

So, rumors of the death of the John Edwards campaign=greatly exaggerated, and mostly by navel gazing amateurs. Elizabeth Edwards has a cancer recurrence, and for that, seriously...seriously...we wish her nothing but the best. But this new health concern is apparently not going to put the Edwards campaign in dry dock. John will, instead, soldier on..and frankly, do you know how to spell MAD BOUNCE? Because OMFG! Elizabeth Edwards is totally Laura Roslin, and she is going to find the Arrow of Apollo and lead us all home! Lords of Kobol be praised!

So, let it be known, breast cancer shall not defeat the Edwardses! Cancer of the campaign warchest almost certainly will!

THE AUDACITY OF DOPES: Let the bloodletting commence.

Here we are, bitches. 2007. And the campaign for President be ON. Soon, the news will be inundated with reports from the frosty fronts of the primary season. And the pundits will speak the names of those who will vie for the top spot. Names like Clinton, Romney, McCain, Obama. Some of the people running are entirely unqualified to lead the nation. Some of the people running are certifiably insane. Some of the people running are Chris Dodd. And, in November of 2008, you--the American people--are going to set one of these douchebags up the bomb.

Why, American people, why? Why will you do this to me? Don't answer that. My research has proved that a great wide swath of you are terminally stupid, and that another, equally wide swath just hates me personally. So I know: in our deadly and delicate dance of political machinations, I am doomed. I'm almost used to it.

This of course, leads me with no alternative than to decry the entire enterprise as a dog and pony show that will inexorably lead to not a thing getting improved in America until our Chinese masters save us from the rampaging terrormonging warriors we've let loose on the world to cripple our hopes and drain away all of our disposable income. I'm already practicing cracking down on Falun Gong participants, and you should do the same.

Seriously. Look at Bill Richardson. Do you seriously think THAT'S the guy who's going to save the cheerleader? Or Mitt Romney? (His name is MITT. MITT!) Gahh. You need your fucking head examined.

DCeptette: All Herrings Red Version

  1. ABC's David Westin, on The Note's Mark Halperin: "So, we've worked out a new relationship with Mark that will transform him from our Political Director to our Political Analyst at least through the 2008 election." Not to worry, though: he'll remain DC's sine qua non of whinging suck-ups. Modern science may never be able to affect that transformation. [FishbowlDC]
  2. If Atlanta really wants to win a Superbowl, they are trading the wrong quarterback. Trust us. We know. [Houstonist]
  3. I saw the title of this post and immediately thought, "Of course! That explains EVERYTHING!" Then we realized that Hegel was not some sort of distant planet. [Yglesias]
  4. If I were to write the SNL sketch, Heather Mills' leg would become disconnected from her body during Dancing With The Stars. But it would be the rest of her body that would fall, in a heap, limp, to the floor. That leg of hers would keep right on dancing, for all eternity. And that one-legged dance would be the most beautiful goddamned thing you ever saw. [PIAB]
  5. It isn't always that Leaf walks over to your desk, eyes afire with the light of something new and good and unexpected. So, when it happens, it's a good idea to pay attention. [DCist]

Attorneys, General.

Last week, amid the widening scandal of the eight fired US Attorneys, George Bush affirmed his support of beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. This means two things: one, the administration would have made a killing if they had trademarked the term "beleaguered" in reference to their own personnel, and two, it's the clearest sign yet that Bush is about to throw ol' Alberto under the bus.

We would of course, welcome the possibility that Gonzalez might soon be thrown busward. What's obvious is that he's been a bad Attorney General and, really, an even worse American. If I had my druthers, Gonzalez would be shaved head to toe, painted with tar, and made to dance the Watusi in the middle of Thomas Circle. Such a punishment wouldn't pass Constitutional muster, so, in a way, we think Gonzalez would sort of admire it. Up until the part I started kicking his balls, anyway.

Still, nothing in the life of the White House runs smooth, and it's probably not safe to conclude that Gonzalez is on the way out. How are his odds? And who will be the lucky replacement? These are the matters we shall now take up as we answer the question: Who Will Be America's Next Top Attorney General? We have narrowed the field to ten candidates.

1. Alberto Gonzalez
Hey. Maybe Bush doesn't make a change, but holds on to executive privilege with all his might. It's not like the phrase "The Power of the Senate Judiciary Committee COMPELS YOU!" has exorcised that many demons since the Dems took over--shit, they can't even non-bindingly agree to not force anyone to enter into their non-binding agreements! So maybe Bush digs in and decides that after eight years of incompetence, he's going to win this ONE battle. Or, better yet, he dismisses Gonzalez on Friday, then turns around and appoints the suspiciously named Talberto Tonzalez during his next recess appointment, and it's just Gonzalez with a thick mustache and a pair of weird glasses.

2. Michael Chertoff
Chertoff, who is best described as a ghoul crossed with a human-sized Pez dispenser, is the incompetent ninny who's been in charge of the Department of Homeland Security ever since Tom Ridge realized that he'd likely be left holding the bag the next time something horrible happened. A consummate idiot, Chertoff was last seen being the only person in America willing to stand up and praise Boston for freaking out over a bunch of Aqua Teen Hunger Force advertisements. At this very moment, he's probably penning his own account of those events, titled Dismantled LED Throwies of Our Fathers, or something.

3. Joe Lieberman
Lieberman makes the list because there's always someone who spins the scenario that Karl Rove wants to retake the Senate by appointing the Democrats' lone neocon crackpot to some cabinet position. This, of course, greatly overstates just how willing and how long the Republicans would be able to stand in the same room with Joe Lieberman and listen to him prattle on like some superpious sundried tomato twatling, but, there are lot of people who think the appoint-Lieberman-to-the-Cabinet scenario is just the pinnacle of beltway intrigue, so, this is for them--the brave idiots of politics.

4. Fran Townsend
Wonkette seems to favor the chances of someone named Fran Townsend, whoever the fuck she is. They further contend that Townsend is some sort of Hottie McLooker, which leads me to wonder if they really, truly appreciate the aesthetic appeal of Liz Gorman the way they should. Standards, people. At any rate, we are led to believe that if Fran Whatshername gets appointed, it might touch off an orgy of self-congratulation over at the Politico, and, as you know, whenever that happens, actual angels in heaven die.

5. Barack Obama
Sure, you're thinking, "WTF?" But follow me here. In the comic books, there always comes that moment where the evil maniac confronts the young, idealistic hero and attempts to recruit him to the evil side. "Join me...and we will rule TOGETHER!" he snarls, and, for a moment, we imagine that the temptation might work. Given Bush's tendency toward acting like he's recently suffered head trauma, this scenario could be in play at any moment, and Rove might encourage it, if only to briefly blunt the morale of the Obamaniacs. Frankly, we're surprised Bush hasn't woken up in the morning, totally convinced he's Magneto or something at least ONCE during his tenure at the White House.

6. Hugo Chavez
Given their past animosities, it might seem odd for Bush to tap the Venezuelan socialist strongman to the top spot at Justice. But if Bush's ideal Attorney General is a Latino dude who likes to clampdown on people's personal freedom, then Chavez is the only hombre more totalitarian than Gonzalez. Bush probably envies the way Chavez has shut down the Venezuelan press. (Isn't it funny? There's probably at least ONE Venezuelan reporter who WANTS to have a free press, while in America, the reporters who cover Bush would much rather be happy than be free.)

7. Harry Whittington
An unlikely candidate, but not entirely without qualities the President is likely to find appealing. He has a strong legal background, for starters. And, heck, we can basically consider the man battle tested! But perhaps the quality that Bush most admires is the simple fact that, through his own actions, Whittington--unlike so many others--has demonstrated that he does not thirst with the need to bring Dick Cheney to justice.

8. Zell Miller
Now we're just being terrifying for no good reason.

9. Saturday Night Live's Will Forte, portraying Zell Miller.
This, on the other hand, would be fun for everybody.

10. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Look at it this way: this dude has already cleared a lot of the DoJ's workload by basically confessing to damn near EVERYTHING: 9-11, the USS Cole, Teapot Dome, the Lindbergh baby, Judge Crater's disappearance, the Mothman Prophecies, spoiling the ending of Presumed can go on and on. With that in mind, it's a great opportunity to cut some government costs and fire even more US Attorneys! And surely the enemy of my enemy is my frenemy, right?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Match Pointless

Unfogged's LizardBreath has become the coach of a little kids' soccer team. And, like a Great American, she's not the least bit deterred by her admitted lack of knowledge about soccer. This: we admire. People, remember: half-cocked is better than no-cocked.

Now, despite my having, LONG AGO, spent many a year on the "fever pitch" (brought home an intramural championship for Dunnington House at UVa., thank you very much!), I really have no advice on how to coach the game. I liked playing defense because the job was easy (separate your opponent from the ball) and a lot of fun (you got to kick people!). So I'm not the person to come to where game strategy and skill drills are concerned.

I'll say this though: globally speaking, coaching is a huge know, I guess. And you might think, "Hey, these are kids. I'll just coast by projecting authority." Well, it doesn't work.

I should know. Several years ago, I needed some extra scratch. Noticing that I lived adjacent to some tennis courts, I thought, "Oh, snap! I'll teach tennis lessons!" I had seen some tennis in my day. I figured I had a good grasp on the game. Just as good as some dumb kid, anyway. And, hey! The balls were free! They were all over my goddamned parking lot, in fact.

Well, I thought I had it figured out. I projected a nice blend of authority and optimism. I wanted those kids to feel like they could conquer adversity and achieve their dreams--but I made damn sure they knew that they had to climb Mount DCeiver first. I tempered my more abusive criticisms with sunny, softheaded bromides designed to make them feel good about themselves. That crap they write on the sides of Starbucks cups really helped. Plus, everybody got free balls.

But nothing I did was evrr good enough for them. You see, I felt that the kids' tennis deficiencies were all pretty much academic. "Hit the ball," I would say. "Back. With the racquet." For the more advanced players, I would instruct, "Inside the lines." I would often add: "Ahh. You see what happened there? You hit the ball into the net. Don't do that."

Pretty top notch, right? As I endeavored to explain to these children, AT LENGTH, I might add, was that in tennis, you run to the ball and hit it back with the racquet over the net, inside the lines, and--preferably--away from the other player. What could be simpler, right? Once you've grasped that, you can play tennis.

But to these kids, it was like shit NEEDED to be more complicated. "How do we play tennis?" they'd ask. "Run over there! Hit the ball there!" I'd say. "How can I get better?" they'd query. "Run over there faster! Hit the ball there harder!" They'd ask me to be more hands on, so I'd stand there, encouraging them: "Good! That's right! Run there! Yes! Hit the ball! Good! Ohh! Look! You better run over there now! Run! Run! Hit it! Hit it! Good!"

But the kids just couldn't handle having something retardedly simple as tennis being distilled down to it's most simple elements. There was a confrontation in which my competence as a tennis coach was questioned. I said, thoughtfully, "Empirically speaking, aren't we really talking about your inadequacies as tennis players? Let's think about it." But all the thinking about it was interrupted by all their parents' demands for refunds and attendant threats of reprisal upon my physical person.

Looking back now, I can see that as a tennis coach, I had some shortcomings. Perhaps I waded into something for which I lacked an "expert" feel. It's possible that there are nuances to the sport that were beyond my understanding. Certainly, I should have purchased some new tennis balls. But life is a two-way street, I'm afraid. And let's face it: in my defense, it's not like any of those kids grew up to be great tennis players, did they? Did they? Well, ha! The answer is, outside of James Blake, noooooooo! They all suck.

Yeah, Like always. I had the last motherfucking laugh. Of course, I don't really know if there's a lesson to be gleaned on how to step in as a soccer coach and succeed while knowing nothing much about the sport. It occurs to me, actually, that my story probably does more to suggest that it's a bad idea than encourage LizardBreath to dive right in.

Well, at any rate, we definitely recommend that LizardBreath develop something more than: Run down there and kick the ball in the net. Because that shit is only going to tide her over for, like, EIGHT weeks. Nine at the most.

Monday, March 19, 2007

ZODIAC: What's your sign?

I read with interest Matty's take on ZODIAC, and, personally, I sort of disagree with his take on it. To wit:

"Thematically, it's also two films -- reflected not just in the script, but in inconsistent theme-setting music and direction. One is a dark tale of obsession in which a not-objectively-important mystery that wrecks the lives of everyone who touches it. The other is a tale of triumph, where a scrappy investigator solves the puzzle that stumped the experts."
Ehhhh. Except the obsession isn't that dark, lives don't really get ruined, nobody really triumphs per se, and the guy who finally "solves" the case isn't a "scrappy investigator"--it's some dude who comes into the film in the final scene who we've never met before, and the only thing he's got that Graysmith and Co. don't is the witness who everyone from the rest of the movie wished they could have run to ground in the first place. I really enjoyed the movie--clearly moreso than Matt, but I am at a loss because I think that David Fincher's clear intent was to entirely avoid the sort of story that Matt describes above.

I perhaps have the benefit of comparing this David Fincher Serial Killer Movie with his Other Serial Killer Movie--Se7en. In Se7en, all of the outsized elements Matt alludes to are in play. Cinematic "darkness", the promise of "triumph", acts of dogged determination--even heroism--from the investigators. But that universe is vastly different from the one presented in Zodiac. In Se7en, for example, the killer is a crazy genius with a grand plan--so much so that his actions breach the border of the plausible (the investigators unearth hundreds of diaries which, in and of themselves speak to much vaster insanity that the killer's deeds suggest). The killings are elaborately staged events, his pursuers fit melodramatic tropes to a tee, and the environment in which everything takes place is an unbelievable urban hellscape that suffers from permanent torrential downpours. Everything is insanely larger-than-life and everything takes on some crazy symbolic resonance.

I mean...Gwen Paltrow's head in a box, people...

The comparison is instructive, because I found Zodiac to be one of the most thematically unified films I've ever seen, and, almost straight down-the-line, it ends up being the anti-Se7en. In the first place, Zodiac isn't nearly as horrific a spectacle. Its characters aren't nearly as gransiose. And finally, while Pitt and Freeman definitely get their man in Se7en, in Zodiac, the movie cannot really make any conclusions in fact as to whether the guy Graysmith ultimately fingers was the killer or not.

So, with that in mind, how on earth do you build something dramatic out of that? Well, when you think about it, the average serial killer movie begins with a hero and a villain, and sets the two on a collision course. In Zodiac, Fincher finds a way to build the dramatic arc doing precisely the opposite--finding newer and more inventive ways to keep his heroes and villains apart. That's one formula neatly turned on its ear.

Nevertheless, if you ask me what really distinguished Zodiac in my mind from other films is how well it illuminates the mundanity of evil by establishing a world in which absolutely NOTHING is outsized: the viewer is awash in the nuts-and-bolts details of the case as they unfold, the chronology is rigidly linear, the camera focuses on characters' small idiosyncracies rather than large psychologies and the environment is oppressively naturalistic.

As sure as those otherworldly rains loomed over the proceedings of Se7en, the entire enterprise that is Zodiac is haunted by that cipher--the weird code that finds its way into the Chronicle's office and, eventually, up on Graysmith's tackboard. The stage is set for the audience to attempt to penetrate something, yet the film reveals that what was truly impenetrable in the Zodiac investigation was the interlocking sworls of the banal and the everyday--the investigation foundered on the obstacles of a missing witness, bureaucratic ineffciency, misinterpreted clues, interoffice disagreements, political wranglings, bad timing and bad luck. And just as the Zodiac was revealed to be not particularly intelligent, particularly competent or particularly consistent, his pursuers were portrayed as generally good men, more often than not persistent, who weren't particularly prone to moments of shocking insight.

Even that cipher turns out to be nothing special. The work of someone with the right library books and a little bit of education.

Here's a term that very neatly defines everything and everyone you happen upon in Zodiac--"garden variety." Everyone and everything in this movie tends to follow a reductive path back to the normative. Graysmith may be an obsessive--but his obsession seems no more interesting that the shit that leads one to blog, frankly. His estranged wife can only describe it and their time together as a first date that never ended. There's nothing "fever dream" about Graysmith, no long dark periods of soul-searching, no amazing character turns. The end of his relationship with his wife transpires with hardly a whimper, and his tensest moment comes in a situation where the audience understands that logically he is in no actual danger (credit Fincher--we know it full and well and nevertheless get creeped out in spite of ourselves).

The only ruined life in Zodiac--besides those killed by him, of course, is Robert Downey Jr's journalist, Paul Avery. But it's not the Zodiac that ruins his's just as easily blamed on his life of vice and excess! And Mark Ruffalo's David Toschi is doing just fine, by the way--the only residual impact the Zodiac has had on his life is his being asked to serve as an advisor on this very film.

One terrific scene exemplifies the movie's obsession with layering the plot in a fog of normalcy--the scene in which the Zodiac encounters a pair of young lovers near a lake. The Zodiac is shown to be a maked man in a cartoonishly silly T-Shirt. Their conversation is downright cordial. One of the victims last words is to gripe about the weather! And the killing itself is anything but vaunted--it's shot in a way that places it almost entirely offscreen.

You also come to admire the film's obsession with tiny idiosyncrasies: Graysmith's almost whinging attempts to ingratiate himself with his higher-ups, Toschi's love of animal crackers, the unspoken bonds between Toschi and his partner (played with a brilliant straightlacedness by Anthony Edwards, well cast and terribly unsung), Chloe Sevigny's quiet recriminations, the way Avery's story arc played itself out most clearly through his a movie about the the little stuff, you sure get a wealth of it as a viewer to sift through.

It's a movie of garden variety people navigating garden variety obstacles where the only thing more banal than evil itself is the task of confronting that evil, and yet the thing that makes it dramatic, creepy, exciting, and ultimately alluring is that we recognize that the characters--locked in a dance with the mundane, picking up and leaving off threads of an investigations like cast aside dance partners--are very much like us...except somewhere within that tangled thicket of strange, off-putting normalcy is the chance to come face-to-face with something extraordinary--real danger, real history, real accomplishment. All we're recognizing is that simple promise of possibility that sends us out in the world everyday--what's unsettling is just how close the seemingly normal path of a life comes to intersecting with something truly dark.

Where's the love, Pete?

From Pete Gillen's bracket. If he had been Virginia's coach yesterday, you can only imagine how much sweat he and Bruce Pearl would have left in Columbus. Check it out, though: Gillen's not showing much love for his former squads! Still, he's got 12 of his Sweet Sixteen still alive.


Success in both of the NCAA pools I have entered now precipitously depends on the success of the oddly-monikered kids from the University of California at Los Angeles, who, somewhat perplexingly, I have picked to win the whole shebang. How did it come to this? Old fashioned prejudice, I'm afraid. I cannot, in good conscience, root for Billy Donovan and Florida. Even the fact that VCU's coach hails from Donovan's coaching tree fills me with worry and regret. I cannot put my faith in Bill Self--I cling to the belief that the Salukis will beat the Jayhawks. Taking Ohio State always seemed a bit too obvious--and by now, even if I had picked them to go all the way it would do me no good, since so many others have as well.

And, yet...UCLA? May the basketball gods forgive me. When the only UCLA graduate I know, Sommer Mathis, has picked the Tarheels--the effing Tarheels!--to win it all, I have to think that I have the stink of death on me at this moment. Still, it's my best shot--with only one person who's chosen UCLA ahead of me at the moment--to win.

Virginia went down in a game that must have been fantastic to watch if you had no rooting interest. A game of huge runs boiled down to an intricate little matchup of strategy and coaching. By the end, both teams had been totally taken out of their comfort zones and were operating from the seat of their pants. The Vols were one shot better yesterday--I wish them my heartiest best against the Buckeyes! Losing was very sad, especially for the sake of JR Reynolds, who for one and a half games played as if he intended to eat the entire tournament alive. Reynolds rolled his ankle late in the first half, and his shot was never the same again after that.

We'll miss Reynolds badly next year, and it's not a good sign that Diane and Soroye only managed two points between them. We lose Jason Cain and his awesome porn-stache next year, as well, and that's a lot of points to be made up by a lot of guys who show only passing interest in scoring. If we don't want to end up back in the NIT, Sean Singletary needs some help!

Here's who I have alive in the Sweet 16: Florida, Butler, Kansas, Southern Illinois, Pittsburgh, UCLA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgetown, Ohio State, and Texas A&M. Easily the worst I've done in about five years. I picked the wrong team from Nevada to beat the wrong 2 seed, I thought Kevin Durant had one more round in him, I wanted an all-DC matchup in the next round WAAAAAAAAY too badly, and I am just naturally predisposed to take teams like the Oregon Ducks out early. I rue my decision-making process, even though it typically nets me better results.

Basically, to win, I've got to thread the needle pretty delicately. Luckily, I'm cheered by how awesome Georgetown looked this weekend--I think they're a good match for UNC. I wish Texas A&M had played better, but maybe they'll get Tennessee instead of OSU--I really do believe the road will end for Memphis once they meet Acie Law. I'm probably pickled in crazy juice to take the Salukis over the Jayhawks, but my bed is made now.

Ahead of me in the pool, just about everyone has Florida, Kansas, or Ohio State. So, I'm praying for trainwrecks and hoping that blazing my own trail instead of being part of the herd helps me. There's one dude ahead of me who's picked UCLA to win it all, but he's got Oregon in the Final Four, Virginia Tech in the Sweet 16, and Washington State in the Elite 8--in short: he's even more Pac 10 crazy than I am. Frankly, I'm more worried about the woman ahead of me who's got Georgetown winning the whole thing. What's sort of cool is: is everything goes according to plan, she and I will leapfrog the masses who've picked Kansas and OSU to set up a winner-take-all Georgetown vs. UCLA matchup (we both have that final). There's no better way to win an NCAA pool than that!

Not that I'd know: in the three times in my life it's come down to the Final game to make me the pool winner, I've lost every single time. Don't even get me started on the Maryland-Indiana final of a few years back...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Who is Mike Green?

Damn, folks. I've been yelling, "Win, Butler!" so loud and so often that my neighbors probably think I'm getting boned by the lead singer of the Arcade Fire.

I imagine that everyone at the Washington Post is very very weepy right now. They've done a good job at sublimating their biases of late, but yesterday's Sports sections brought them all back to the surface. To wit, here's how the Post prioritizes their local hoops coverage:

Cheering on the Terrapins
Cheering on the Hoyas
Cheering on the Colonials (when they're feeling the bandwagon)
Cheering on the Hokies
Cheering on whoever the University of Virginia is playing.

Any Wahoo who grew up around here will recognize. And, yesterday, it was really, really obvious. On one hand, the Post wrote a lengthy article on the UVa.-Albany game, with a gooey creamy lede that basically painted the Great Danes as the closest thing we have to heaven sent angels on earth, brimming with passion and love for the game and each other, while the UVa. players sulked in a quiet funk. Fully two-thirds of the article focused on Albany, and one of its primary theses was to mount the RIDICULOUS assertion that Albany's point guard, a man whose name I have obviously forgotten, forever by now, was the equal to Sean Singletary in terms of talent and ability--a premise so demonstrably retarded that we didn't even need to stage a game in which to prove it. Though, now, that game's been played, so suck it, Post and, gee--so long, whoever you are from Albany! Nice try!

Meanwhile, the Post's coverage of Maryland was collegial and "aw shucks" and as homer-bung-licking as it could possibly get. Gary Williams facial expressions mean specific things to the sportswriter because they're both old-buddies who've been through a lot together--and hey? "Isn't this the first time...EVER? that a 4 seed has defeated a 13 seed? No? You say it's pretty routine? Well fuck it: Let's run our coverage as if it had NEVER been done before, because Gary Williams: he's like some crazy ASTRONAUT POPE or something, and me and Mike Wise can't wait to mow his lawn."

Anyway, Butler's in, there's a better than even chance Virginia's going to get sent home tomorrow (despite the fact that I cannot put my finger on anything Bruce Pearl actually does as a coach besides a). sweating* and b). turning the whole Tennessee basketball experience into some huge Cirque du Psychotique art project), Greg Paulus sucks bilge, and the early end to Maryland's season means that the Post will have plenty of unspent groundless praise to heap upon our shitty, shitty baseball team.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In 2007: State of Virginia 3, Duke 0

Uhm...ya BURNED. When I saw Maynor bringing that ball up, fully aware that he had nothing in the world to lose if he took that shot, I knew the game was over. Downright Singletaryesque.

But, before we close the book on Duke's season, let's take a moment to reflect and remind Greg Paulus that he sucks canal water.

Greg? You suck canal water. See you next year.

Pray for J.R. Reynolds' hip.


Ugh. Would you look at that? I obviously have a lot invested in this game. Because Duke can suck it, and VCU is the Other Alma Mater ("A" university of Virginia--like, say, ODU--versus, *ahem* THE University of Virginia, who'll probably get stomped to death by Great Danes tomorrow) and we like to see the VCU Black and Gold...Uhm, THINGIES do well. But I said before this game that Very Cruisy University might just go out there and put up some straight MASONRY, and look what's happening!

And, yeah, G-Dubs...what happened? At one point, y'all were 2-17!

I have to take the train/bus home now. Hope they have this turned around by the time I get there. Fuck Duke and Davidson...Davidson...what was that? I give your performance a "Gaaahhhhh!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Attempt Made to Explain Mash-ups to Decrepit, Out-Of-Touch Members of the House of Representatives.

We read today that Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) recently endeavored to coax his colleagues into the 20th century by namechecking Girl Talk at a Congressional hearing. Surely it won't be long before Pelosi orders the House Armed Services Committee to go on a fact-finding mission to MisShapes.

In attempting to point up the chilling and retarded gestapo tactics deployed by the RIAA against Atlanta mix-tape artist DJ Drama, Doyle said:

Mr. Chairman, I want to tell you a story of a local guy done good. His name is Greg Gillis and by day he is a biomedical engineer in Pittsburgh. At night, he DJs under the name Girl Talk. His latest mash-up record made the top 2006 albums list from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Spin Magazine amongst others. His shtick, as the Chicago Tribune wrote about him, is "based on the notion that some sampling of copyrighted material, especially when manipulated and recontextualized into a new art form is legit and deserves to be heard."

In one example, Mr. Chairman, he blended Elton John, Notorious B-I-G, and Destiny's Child all in the span of 30 seconds. And, while the legal indie-music download site took his stuff down due to possible copyright violation, he's now flying all over the world to open concerts and remix for artists like Beck.
Leaving aside the whole "local guy done good" angle--which weirdly suggests that without his DJing outlet, Gillis might be out on the streets, creeping around in the seamy underbelly of biomedical engineering (where the Bush-banned human-animal hybrids are the ultimate mashup!) , we'd just point out that it's not everyday where combining a homosexual superstar with a dead crack dealer is touted as a good thing in Congress.

Anyway, we hope that there's a conference committee hearing on the matter in the offing, because we'd love to see someone try to explain all this to Ted Stevens: "Huh-wha? What's this about a pitchfork?"

[h/t TechDirt]

Monday, March 12, 2007

The 24gasm: 5pm-6pm

  1. Sorry about the previous omission and the eleventh-hour inclusion here. We've had little time to blog. Projects at work, NCAA basketball, and activity out in the real world has pushed back our TV viewing considerably. But we're caught up, now. If you still remember last week'd episode: here are some lame jokes!
  2. POTUS' nickname is "Citadel?" Methinks they are either ascribing rock-hard, firm descriptors where none seem to exist, or the writers know something I don't about Mr. Wayne Palmer. Anyway, we're about to put the White House Bunker medical facility to the test against CTU's.
  3. When Jack's hanging with someone he doesn't like, the pissing matches that ensue can get nutcake over the most mundane details. For example, when Logan suggests, "We should leave now," Jack grits his teeth and spits, "Get in the car!" You see, it had to be Jack's idea to leave.
  4. Meanwhile, back at the bunker, everyone's all, "Where's Tom Lennox? Where's Tom Lennox?" Tom lennox is the new Carmen Sandiego. And yet, on a day of crisis, no one suspects a thing. And, on a day of crisis, no one calls Chad Lowe on the carpet for how squirrelly he's being. And he's being mad squirrelly. He's hidden his nuts, but good. Or Hilary Swank has hidden them for him.
  5. These allegedly patriotic terrorist-abetters are fucking weird. I mean, they just attempted to off the President, but killing Tom Lennox is a matter that requires furtive, angsty discussion? "We're not killers, we're just President placement-next-to-deadly-bomb administrators!" We don't kill people, explosives tied to electronic circuitry kill people!
  6. By the way, Tom, as a rule of thumb, you never say, "You are going to have to kill me" to a killer and then turn your back on him. I mean, this is just common sense.
  7. Wife of DCeiver wonders: Why is it that after "Dmitri", the go-to Russian name for television characters is always "Anatoly?" What about a nice Piotr? Or Nikolai? Aleksei, anyone?
  8. What I wonder is this: I am one of the educated and cultured elite in this nation. I'm not saying that boastfully, it's a simple fact. And you can add to that the fact that I know more about Russian naming conventions than I know what to do with because I hung out with Russian ex-pats on a regular basis for about three years of my life. So, when I hear the word "Anatoly", my brain instantly registers, "Russian name." I can't imagine though that most Americans know that. I wonder what it's like to hear a word like "Anatoly" and not know what the fuck it means? Maybe I am just giving the hoi polloi too little credit. But then, that's just me: I fucking hate people!
  9. The actor they got to play Anatoly, by the way, is simply the finest upper-lip actor I have ever seen! He doesn't need to do anything but jiggle that sweaty, thick upper lip, at the screen to register a panoply of emotion.
  10. Chloe's "Working Under The Radar." Finish your beer!
  11. Damn: Even Logan is aware of CTU's lousy track record of sending agents into foreign consulates on clandestine missions of violent information extraction! Jack must figure that the Chinese are the ones with the cutting edge gulags these days, and not the Russians. Of course, he's wrong on both counts. It's America that has the finest concentration camps in the world nowadays.
  12. WTF? Dave Matthews is going to be on HOUSE? "It's like, ants are marching all over me, doc! This is not a typical situation! What would you say if you just made the best of what's around? 41! 41! Crash that hypo into me! Oww! Not my Jimi thing! Ahhhh. Oh, yeah. That's the morphine that Jane likes. Why don't you...hike up your skirt a little more..."
  13. Hey--did everyone notice how clear the picture was as Karen watched television news on HER SPRINT PHONE?
  14. Jack speaks a mean Russian. I haven't kept track of Jack's language skills, but I am glad he doesn't have Sidney Bristow's "total vocabulary awareness/shitty sounding dialect" syndrome.
  15. Karen is headed back to Washington to rescind her resignation, which is good for the country, but bad for those of us itching to see a little Silver Fox coitus in Prime Time.
  16. I love how Jack TOTES soft-pedals the fact that he's broken into the consulate and beaten the crap out of Anatoly! "Well, Bill. There's a little bit of situation here at the consulate and I don't want to freak you out but I just really really really wanted to talk to the consul and he just wasn't being totally forthcoming and I really thought that he deserved another chance to make himself clear, and one thing led to another and my fist ended up violently juxtaposing itself with his face and before you say anything I know that's not always the best way to proceed when you are illegally on foreign soil and yes, everyone outside the room is concerned about what's going on in here and I totally understand that, okay? I totally understand their concerns and I just want you to let them know that it was never my intention to add to their frustrations--I think that good people can agree or disagree on what appropriate behavior is and what isn't and look, Bill, if I could go back in time and take back what I did I really would and I promise that I will try to mitigate, if not alleviate their concerns about me being in here beating on their boss. I know it's nto fair to them, and, golly, Bill, it's not fair to you either. You've been really understanding today and have done nothing but do your best to put me in a position to succeed--that's good managerial skills, Bill...really good skills, and, as an employee, I really couldn't ask for much more. It's just--crazy day, you know--what with the nuke going off and me just getting sprung from a Chinese gulag and all. Maybe I'm back in here because deep down, I want to punish myself for some reason, or have other people punish me for my inadequacies--we can discuss this another time Bill...and I hope we do. Let's get drinks one night next week! We can get drinks, just the two of us, and really hash this all out--get to the bottom of it and get me pointed in the right direction in life. You've come a long way, Bill, in your life and I value your opinions and cherish your guidance and I just know that you can have a ton of good advice for me--and I want to make USE of that, Bill...I really, truly do. Let's just let me resolve this situation and I promise, we can meet up and I promise to listen and do more things that enable me to be a good and productive member of the CTU team. Okay, Bill, I--oh...Bill, I'm going to have to call you back, this asshole is conscious again."
  17. You can see Powers Boothe mulling it: "Just how Cheneytastic do I want to be?"
  18. President Subharov will retaliate with "forceful diplomatic measures?" OoooOooOoOoh, no! Not forceful diplomatic measures! What, are you going to stop serving FINGER SANDWICHES when you have the U.S. Ambassador over for tea?
  19. Dude. This whole time Jack is sweating this Russian dude, trying to find out where Gradenko is, weren't you all: "Jack! Press REDIAL on his motherfucking PHONE!"
  20. Gads. Like America doesn't have ENOUGH problems with cigars...
  21. Have I mentioned before how weirdly not of this world the whole Fall Out Boy VCast commercial is? Who is this roided up weightroom bitch? Am I to believe that this dude listens to Fall Out Boy? This aint a scene, it's a gun show!
  22. Oh, fuck yeah. CTU is going to storm the consulate. It's ALL IN time now, BITCHES!
  23. Oh my! That poor Russian guard! I had high hopes he'd be this season's "sons of a Middle Eastern gun-shop owning immigrant" instead of this season's "doomed bank manager."
  24. Folks, tonight we got Martha Logan, in the house, and emoting up a storm! Will we also have Aaron Pierce, who should be totally hitting that? Tune in tonight.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

He understood about indecision. Brad Delp, 1951-2007

We note with sadness today that Brad Delp, the iconic voice of the band Boston--performers of "Perhaps The Greatest Song EVER" nominee "More Than A Feeling"--stopped living free, and thus died today in New Hampshire. He was 55.

While the cause of death is so far unknown, foul play is not suspected, though authorities are taking a note that read: "Try to make your Presidential primaries earlier, and more of your classic rock heroes shall get it" very seriously.

Goodnight, sweet Brad Delp. May you take many angels by the hand, and, in so doing, make them understand.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Gingrich Makes Least Shocking Confession Ever.

Everyone in DC is feigning surprise over Newt Gingrich's recent admission of an extra-marital affair. Why, even Gingrich seems surprised with his behavior!

"There were times when I was praying and when I felt I was doing things that were wrong. But I was still doing them. I look back on those as periods of weakness and periods that I'm... not proud of."

Hey, Newt? Would you call those occasions when you would retire to the parking garage to pump Calista Bisek full of baby batter (and blow out her car's transmission in the process) a "period of weakness" or a "period you're not proud of?"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Next Big Thing: DCist Exposed

Every day, a posse of really dedicated photographers take to the streets of the DC Metro area with their digital cameras, looking to capture something cool about life in the city. They place those photos on Flickr and very generously tag the shots with a DCist tag. Their work helps bring vibrance to the site and helps take our readers to the nooks and crannies of DC that our mostly office-bound writer staff can't get to--even if we had that shutterbug radar for shots off the beaten path.

Such generosity should be rewarded, so, from our pool of regular contributors, we selected a bunch of their best work and we're going to place these photos into a venue where they can truly be appreciated--not on some blog, but on a gallery wall. It's called the DCist Exposed Photography Show and it's running at the Warehouse Arts Complex (which Gridskipper calls DC's "clearinghouse of alternative culture") from this Friday, March 9 through the following Friday, March 16. Especially consider coming to the opening night reception on March 9--the photographers will be on hand and we'll be raffling off some truly phenomenal swag from Crumpler Bags. Plus music and cash bar.

It all goes down beginning at 6:30pm this Friday. The Warehouse is located at 1017-21 7th Street, NW. Take Red Line to Gallery Place Station, Green/Yellow Line to Mount Vernon Square. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Friends on Panels.

We want to let everyone know that DCeiver friend Kriston Capps will be speaking on a panel tomorrow "about visual art and the media" at Provisions Library, Connecticut and Q NW, starting at 6:30pm.

We'd like to remind you all of the necessary protocol when addressing Mr. Capps. Remember, when addressing him, it's customary to preface your question or remarks with either the honorific "My liege" or "Good, sweet, God! You are a WONDER!" When using the latter, smile giddily and blink your eyes rapidly.

Also, during the panel, everytime Kriston finishes speaking, it is proper to loudly declaim: "And so the Supreme Turkmen has spoken!"

Failure to follow these instructions could result in this panel not being the BEST PANEL EVER IN LIFE!

The Aspens Have Turned.

Well, it looks like Patrick Fitzgerald has got his man! Scooter Libby is found guilty in the Valerie Plame case! Let the civil actions commence!

Frankly, this has not been a story we've been paying a lot of attention to except on certain occasions where Gawker Media has given us money to muse about Scooter's prison name, Patrick Fitzgerald's home life, all of Fitz's baseball metaphors and the weird way he seemed to be buddy with Isikoff. We're glad one of Cheney's goons is going to need a Presidential pardon, but this story has always been a couple of lifted-from-Eisenstein baby carriage scenes short of The Untouchables. Though now we can imagine what it would be like if Firedoglake live-blogged a Brian DePalma movie.

If anyone does what should be done, however (i.e. put Judy Miller in the stocks for a month), by all means, wake us up.

From the Annals of Background Casting

Hey, people! Have you ever dreamed about doing actual blow with Hollywood mogul Jerry Bruckheimer? Or do you simply harbor modest dreams of getting paid $50 to sit around for fourteen hours grazing on craft services, hoping to meet Diane Kruger? Well, you're in luck, because the Hollyweirdoes will be coming to DC to shoot National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, which will combine the oddly beloved National Treasure movie with...Harry Potter...I guess.

Anyhoo, the good people at Carlyn Davis casting--who to this day are probably relieved K Street got cancelled--are looking for a coterie of extras from among you serfs. Do any of the following describe you?

  • Dog walkers with dogs
  • Bomb detection units (also with dogs)
  • Real bike messengers (a hint: before arriving on the set, why not try BATHING?)
  • "Cigar smokers to play Senators" (think equal parts pushy and mentally infirm)
  • George and Martha Washington lookalikes (cf. bike messenger bathing suggestion)
  • Lots of GOOD drivers with cars ("GOOD" requirement=Marylanders need not apply)
  • Park Rangers (?!?)
  • Hot Dog Vendor with cart (but no dogs)
  • College aged skateboarders and hacky sack players (Hacky sack? Must be for a flashback scene, so, dress like a Soundgarden roadie)
  • "18 and older who look 15-17" (MPAA: hates the gays, loves the jailbait)
  • "real sting [sic] quartet"

If you are dying to meet Nicolas Cage--STAR OF GHOSTRIDER, Y'ALL!--and perhaps angle to get into one of his cousin Sofia's better movies, now's yer chance! Send your glamour shots to Carlyn Davis and get ready to experience the Hollywood magic of waiting, waiting, WAITING first-hand!

According to the notice, "Shooting will begin in the DC area late March and go through mid April." This refers to shooting with cameras. The shooting with guns will continue in DC through mid-April, long into the summer, and in perpetuity until Duncan Hunter finally obtains a suitcase nuke and takes matters into his own, crazy-ass hands.

DCeptette: Yes, I walk around somehow version.

  1. Gradydubs is absolutely right in his answer to a lingering Katrina question: Why did so many people remain in the path of a hurricane? Frankly, we're not surprised by what his father found out. But there's another question I often hear people asking, and that's: Who in their right mind buys/rents a dwelling that's below sea-level, in a flood plain? It's always asked in this aghast voice, the subtext of which may as well be, "Don't those dumb ol' blankety-blanks have any common sense?" Well, I would posit the better question is, "Who in their right mind decided to build the lion's share of New Orleans' affordable housing below sea-level, in the middle of a flood plain?" Face it: some motherfucker zoned that shit, some motherfucker developed that shit, and some motherfucker built that shit. There had to have been a time where someone running game on the motherfucker circuit had to think to themselves: "Damn. This is a pretty dangerous place to be putting some housing!" This is, frankly, a moral failing on the parts of all the motherfuckers named above, and one of these days, I'd really like to see some of them called on the carpet for it. [Secure Your Rights]
  2. Too perfect. For all the liberal bias I'm told the media has, I still feel like I'm not getting enough of this sort of stuff. [Wonkette]
  3. Yglesias thinks it's "fair" that many conservatives have "distanced themselves" from Ann Coulter after her halfwitted "faggot" remark at CPAC. I don't know. I think "distancing yourself" is the same thing as "being a coward." Wake me when someone actually throws an elbow. [Yglesias]
  4. They can't be serious about adopting these as actual basketball uniforms, can they? I have one thought when I look at these and this is it: "Kazaam!" [Deadspin]
  5. The new editor of the Village Voice will be Tony Ortega, leading many to wonder just who will be making our delicious taco shells. Oh, we kid. Ortega is actually the former editor of Village Voice Media Hobgoblin Behemoth Holding Company's Broward-Palm Beach New Times. Sadly, going from the Broward-Palm Beach New Times to the Voice is now considered a lateral move. [Gawker]

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rock Critics: Break out your Neon Thesauruses!

So tomorrow, or, if you're insufferably dorky but not dorky enough to already have the whole thing from the interwebs, tonight, we will see the release of Neon Bible by the Arcade Fire, whereupon this series of tubes will become clogged wholesale with music blogger jizz.

Pitchfork, who subsist on an all jizz diet, have already thrown down the gauntlet, giving an "8.4"--whatever the holy fuck that means--I am not fluent in dipshit, people. They have deployed, however, a number of the English language's most expensive words. Like: magnitudinous. Incantatory. Compartmentalize. Cathartic. Like woah: This ain't a scene, it's a spelling bee! A lotta graduate degree frontin', in other words. (I sorta love how Pitchfork speaks of a "transition into extroversion" as if it were finally being achieved, which is something only someone who'd never heard of the Arcade Fire could possibly say, but I digress.)

Clearly, the bar has been set. So all of you who will, tomorrow, take on the task of putting your Neon Bible experience into words, you need to bring your "A" game. So to help you on the way, we have provided you with some perfectly applicable vocabulary words to use in your review. Mix and match, pick and choose, or even work your ass off to use them all...either way you slice it, you will have the tools to craft a searingly trenchant examination of this album. Also: do not use "searingly," "trenchant", or "examination" in your review. They're all played out. Same goes for "dichotomy," okay?

snackytime junction
Steven Bochco-esque
zyphoid process
...or any lengthy quotation from Cicero's Oration on the Catiline Conspiracy

Anyway, we hope that many of you are up to the challenge. Esperance! To you all!

(Please note: With regard to a sliding scale of standards, we are happy to furnish Big Yawn with a five-dollar bill if they manage to spell "fire" correctly and use the word "goodest" only once in their review.)

I am typing "WTF!" just as HARD as I can.

So, I just read on Yahoo that the Dallas Cowboys signed a dude named Leonard Davis to the largest contract in the history of the franchise. And Leonard Davis is an offensive lineman for the ARIZONA FUCKING CARDINALS. If there's been one truism since the day Neil Lomax walked off the gridiron for the last time, it is this: the Arizona Cardinals always, UNFAILINGLY, employ AWFUL offensive linemen. I will not even argue this with you.

So this guy, for the money that could have been spent to mine Troy Aikman's stem cells to create a race of Super (But Slightly Concussable) Uberquarterbacks, is going to play for Dallas. This does not bode well. For Dallas fans anyway. I think it's great. If Dick Cheney, Satan, David Caruso and my high school guidance counselor former a football team, I would root for them if they played Dallas.

Anyway, in other news, Dallas re-signed kicker Martin Gramatica, center Andre Gurode, and a fucking dragon from the flop movie Eragon to help set the rest of Jerry Jones' money on fire.

Live! From a Conference Final You Couldn't Possibly Give a Shit About!

Like most people from around these parts, our heartstrings were tugged upon mightily last year when George Mason went on their impossibly crazy run through the NCAA Tourney to reach the Final Four. We marvelled, we cheered, we witnessed things that we thought were nigh on impossible--like several hundred Mason students actually gathering together at a campus location that was not the Dharma Coffeehouse or TT Reynolds or Planet Nova. It was a moment for the underdog, the little guy, or, if you like, people who just think Billy Packer is an ill-informed douchebag. And he is, friends, he is.

Well, I'm here to tell you, with hours before Mason suits up to play in the CAA Final, FUCK ALL THAT NOISE.

a. Virginia Commonwealth University is the DCeiver's OTHER alma mater. The red-headed stepchild of an alma mater. I didn't even go to my graduation at VCU. Probably, me and the other recently minted MFAs got plowed at Matt and Tommy's house. (Holla if you know the pleasures of Matt and Tommy's house, y'all.)

b. My brother is pining away for a second bid for whatever conference Appalachian State plays in. He was prophetic in his desire that they not meet the hometown College of Charleston in the semis. Davidson won the automatic bid.

See, if App State is to have any hope of getting to the dance, teams like VCU have got to step up and take care of business and make their #1 seed count for something. So, Mason students and alums, to you I say: suck a nad. You're going home tonight.

Hopefully, anyway.

And, should VCU win, I will immediately start my Selection Committee lobbying, wherein I send everyone on the committee a postcard that reads: "Old Dominion University? Really? Really."

Go VCU Rams! Or whatever the fuck animal you guys are!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Holy God, that was painful.

Okay. At first I was like: "Jesus. Why does UVa. have to make this interesting?"

Then I realize: "Oh, crap. I am watching a historic choke job." Fuck. Fuck a dee fuck fuck fuck!

What a memory to be left with after such a fine season.

Zach Galifianakis better bring his A game tonight.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Dismemberment Plan B

9:30 Fora say that the Going Out Goulashes say that DisPlan is adding a second date after the 4/28 show sold out in, like, negative 7 seconds. Since I can't find the news anywhere else but Gog-hell, I felt it was my civic duty to blog something about it, if only because now there's a fighting chance that an actual, real-live Dismemberment Plan fan might learn of this news. Tee hee zing-a-dee!

Anyhoo, the new date is the night before, April 27. No onsale deets yet, but, just a suggestion: Black Cat, let's roll old-school and line up on 14th for these babies, 2 ticket minimum. I bet people would be only too glad to pay five dollars more to avoid Ticketmaster and their increasingly inscrutable scalper defense screens.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Far too many of you are just randoming through the street!

I remember when I was a young man. Boy, was I a hellion. I was always chucking trash everywhere. Always expectoration everywhere. And don't get me started on public property! Man, I would attaint that shit to a fare thee well! But, man, you do not want to pull that shit in Shanghai! They catch you smoking in the public concourse and you are off to have whatever they did to Jack Bauer done to you. And then, I'll tell you what: you may have no fucking idea what virescence is, but you'll sure as shit not ever destroy it again!