Yeah, yeah. Late Night Whoevers, in this week's City Paper. My take. Well, really, what Rusty said, what Alex said. They've been on this beat for a long time, and they've milked whatever interesting shit can be milked from these LNS people. Let's face facts--it seems that very few people who are in LNS will admit to it without qualifying it or calling it stupid in some way. That's pretty remarkable. I mean, you don't hear the people in the Taliban saying: "Yeah, I'm in the Taliban, but it's actually sort of stupid, you know...don't judge me based on what some of the real assholes in the Taliban do." So, there you have it, on balance, people are prouder of being in the Taliban than they are LNS.
It's easy to see why. At it's core, LNS is pretty clearly a group of people with no particular intellect or skill, a few of whom may rise from the ranks of professional suck-up to become a full-fledged sycophant. A few may achieve crony. None will interest or effect me in the slightest. The LNS crowd aren't people who resonate, if you catch my meaning.
Really, I just sort of feel bad for them. Mom and Dad keep them out of hock, so, point to them. But, these people have sequestered themselves off into four bars, trooping from one pointless date on the social calendar to the other. They show up when they're told to, pay what they're asked, and do only what's expected of them. So, these people aren't exactly sucking the marrow out of life. They're terrified of purchasing pizza in Adams Morgan. That's pathetic. I read that the fallout from this article caused one of them to get in trouble with their parents. That's sad.
Still, is it really surprising that these people found each other? Lame recognizes lame, I guess.
But from what I gather, the City Paper article has got the LNS people in high dudgeon. Chill out, pantywaists. No one (but me, as penitence) reads the City Paper. Those that have read the article on you have been driven there by Wonkette and Rusty, so it stands to reason that you fools are just as anonymous as ever.
As for the City Paper, well, it's not their lamest or their worst cover story. Timing-wise, they're off by, what--a year? And they include very little that is new. But at the risk of exceeding the statute of limitations on a topic few people care about, if you want to read a City Paper article that should been dilated and extracted at some point during its painful gestation, you need to go back and do what about six Washingtonians did last week, and read the cover story "Seven Easy Ways To Screw Your Landlord." And by the way: #8 is "Sublet your shit to Cherkis." Obvs.
Last week's article, a fucking mess of structural and grammatical mistakes, was written by someone named Amanda Miller. Amanda didn't receive some needed help at some point in her life: she really should have been taken aside and had another career choice strenuously suggested. I guess no one loved her. Her piece is thickheaded and torpid--it's like the literary version of a migraine--and the mistakes start coming as early as the third paragraph:
Then the problems started, beginning with the shower. Drip. Drip. Drip. “Some pipe in the shower was leaking, and she couldn’t turn off the water,” Newman says. “We’d meet there, and she would not let us in.”Where's "there?" The shower?
This paragraph is a classic:
In an attempt to collect, Newman filed a nonpayment of rent case against Harris. Harris wouldn’t pay. Newman then filed to evict her tenant. According to court documents, Harris came down Missouri Avenue on June 21, 2002, about seven months after she moved in. In a court hearing, this is how Harris described the experience: “[A]s I got closer and closer to my house, I saw something that looked like it could have been my file cabinet….But I said, ‘No, it couldn’t be my file cabinet.’ And then…I realized that it was my file cabinet….And I was perplexed. I know that they didn’t do this because we had an agreement.”Okay. So, it starts with a simple thesis: Landlord files suit, tenant won't pay, landlord tries to evict. Then, this awful sentence: "According to court documents, Harris came down Missouri Avenue on June 21, 2002, about seven months after she moved in." That shit doesn't make a lick of sense. Are we receiving on the scene narration? No: it comes from court documents. Do we really need the odd reminder "about seven months after she moved in?" No. It's just superfluous. Couldn't the author have said, "On June 21, Harris came home to find the she was being evicted?" Yes. But the author would have to not be a fucking moron.
Do you love all that mounting tension with the file cabinet? I mean, the author REALLY INVESTS her narrative focus on the file cabinet, doesn't she? Bet you really start wondering, "Wow. What's going to happen to that file cabinet?" Well, don't worry! Naturally, you never hear another word about the file cabinet again.
That first section ends. Somehow, two paragraphs that would have served as an introduction to this article end up coming AFTER the first section. Either no one at the City Paper noticed this, or someone at the City Paper is under the impression that this constitutes "style." If I were them, I'd hope it was mere inattention.
The shittiness continues:
- "Three items on the punchlist were for..." Uhm, what the fuck is a "punchlist?" DEFINE YOUR TERMS, PLEASE.
- "Hessler says the case is still tied up in court because Linen has filed tenant petition after petition with..." NO. Either drop the word "tenant" or write "tenant petition after tenant petition"
- If you are going to name a section "Stubborn Windows," maybe the article should focus on, uhm...stubborn windows, and not give equal mention to rusted sinks, a bad refrigerator motor, peeling paint, an un-weatherproofed front door, a sticking door, cracks in the walls, and a broken mailbox.
- "When a water heater burst shortly after the complaint was filed, the tenant, an attorney representing herself, counterfiled a complaint..." I don't get it. Did the tenant, in this case, choose to represent themselves in the complaint, or is the tenant rather, as your sentence explicitly states, in an ongoing state of constantly representing themselves as an attorney?
- "The latest listed phone number for the tenant has been disconnected." Darling...can a phone number be disconnected? No, it cannot. You mean to say her PHONE has been disconnected. Her PHONE.
- "Andrew Zimmer says his tenant was doing more than residing in an upstairs apartment on A Street NE. He had, according to Zimmer, a half-dozen bulky computer-processing units stored inside the apartment for the computer-repair operation he was running there." This is like, the fourth time you've ended a sentence with a preposition already. And, I know...all the cool kids are doing it, now. Fine. BUT YOU DO NOT EVEN NEED THE WORD "THERE" THERE!
- "But when the installation guy came with the new stove..." OMG. "Installation guy?!" Amanda? Are we in the SECOND GRADE? How about the word "installer." INSTALLER.
- "According to Swann, she settled with the tenant and her family to get them to move. Meanwhile, says Swann, the tenant claims her grandson got lead poisoning from the paint and is suing for $5 million...'My wife’s mother was an immigrant from the Dominican Republic,' Michael Swann says. 'She scrubbed toilets to get that house….It shouldn’t be like that.'" When you say, "it shouldn't be like that," are you referring to the injustice of having worked so hard just to get screwed? Because it sound to me like you mean the grandson shouldn't have gotten poisoned because she scrubbed so damn much.
- "There was, both landlord and tenant acknowledge, a rat problem. Schaefer called Brier to tell him a rat had come in through a hole in the wall. When Brier went over to take a look, he saw bags of garbage accumulating in Schaefer’s kitchen. 'The rats had nothing to do with the hole,' Brier says." Aside from being a shitty writer, Amanda is also a shitty reporter, allowing Brier's contention to pass without criticism. She's got a landlord, willing to admit there are rats, but that hole has nothing to do with them? I wonder what Amanda thinks caused the hole! Poltergeists?
You know, what though? All of this would be par for the course, and even less worthy of mentioning that the silly LNS article from this week, if ersatz editor Eric Wemple didn't spend every week scouring the entirety of the Washington Post, hoping, praying, that they make a piddling mistake for which he can jump up and down on their heads. Last week, he takes a poor Post intern to task for asserting, in a moment of poorly drawn "color" for an article on the police, that it doesn't rain that often in DC during the summer.
Now, knowing that he's writing for and editing (ostensibly) the WASHINGTON (emphasis mine) City Paper, you'd think that Wemple would know that his audience is well aware of the silly mistake, having lived through any number of summer monsoons. But, a gentle nudge to a knowing, agreeing audience isn't enough. To Wemple, why just bury the intern for the infraction when he can piss on the corpse and then desecrate the grave for good measure. Doofus dumbass fucking gets the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the case, and then bothers some poor drought specialist for the National Weather Service who must have had about ten thousand better things to do that day than to provide Dipshit with confirmation of something that everyone knows already anyway. And by that point, if you're still reading this, you're probably thinking, "Jesus, Wemple, WE GET IT. Christ! Do you think your readers are morons?" Well, of course he does.
Unfortunately, many of his readers, like me, can, uhm, read. And it's clear that the morons, where the City Paper is concerned are all supply-side. So, Erik, the next time you feel like teeing off on the Post, consider this advice: EDIT YOUR OWN FUCKING PAPER, ASSHOLE.