- Well, it figures that Peter Sarsgaard is hosting the National Spelling Bee. After he's done, he and his squeeze Maggie Gyllenhaal should step outside and kick the snot out of those phonetic fundamentalists. [PIAB]
- The former Mr. WhyIHateDC was apparently a huge SuperSonics fan. And so, this is why we're at five till midnight on the launch of WhyIHateSeattle. Also, Segway Mom, the most pathetic human in America, lives there. Also: ha ha. [Seattlest]
- A summer essential: your Fort Reno schedule. Save the date: July 12--it's the only night that Fort Reno will be fortified by Chris Lehmann. [h/t: DCist]
- Oh, Boston... [Wonkette]
- Anyone going to see the Pipettes this weekend? The way I see it, we have a blue moon tonight, and a flash in the pan on Saturday. But, hey, I'm a cynic.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
I was all about to put up a page archiving all the work I've been doing during my ever-extending guest stint at Eat The Press, but they changing the website over the weekend and it's jacked up the archives something fierce. So tell you what, go here and here and scroll, scroll, scroll.
Dobbs: Cultural Learnings of Anchorman Make Benefit Glorious Xenophobic Crackpots
Just to Clarify: Mike Figgis Means the Airplane Pilots of the World No Harm
This Day In Murdochiana
My super boss-lady editrix Rachel is going to be on Red Eye tonight, so if you're up late tonight, and...you know, stoned, be sure to check that weirdie parade out.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Last week, on the Huffington Post, we related how newly crowned American Idol Jordin Sparks had failed to win the affections of uber-bonkers anti-obesity spokeswoman Meme Roth because--according to Roth’s vivid hallucinations--
We were prepared to write this off as idle Idol chat from a supremely deluded individual on whom Neil Cavuto, as is his wont, trained a camera. But yesterday, Unfogged tipped us off to something related to this story that serves to point out the magnificent insanity of Meme Roth. Without further ado, we go to Roth’s website for a key piece of background:
I see staying fit as an obligation to my self and my family. Back in the 80s when I was Van Halen's 'number one fan,' I did get the chance to meet the band. Eddie Van Halen made me promise I'd never get fat. He said I looked like something out of Playboy. Talk about making a girl swoon..."Uhm...talk about making a man vomit! How old was Roth back when she was "Van Halen's number one fan?" Fifteen? Sixteen? I mean, "the 80s" were about fifteen to twenty-six years ago and Roth, by all appearances, appears to be well short of the big 4-0. If you do the math, it would appear that, in all likelihood, Roth drew her lifestyle inspiration from a leering, libidinous, pedophilic rock star who was participating in his own seamy brand of American Idolatry.
Oh, but, perhaps we're just being cynical. I mean, take a look at the image Unfogged found of Eddie Van Halen: the man is just the picture of wellness.
Okay. I saw the latest Spiderman sequel, and liked it. Yeah, the second one was better, yadda blah de blah. I still found it enjoyable, in spite of or perhaps because of the way my expectations were calibrated by the lukewarmy reviews.
Nevertheless, there were five things that struck me as just sort of lame or implausible:
1. Can a construction crane really freak the fuck out like that? Because DC is home to, like, ten kabillion cranes, and I've never heard of one going all whirly like the one in the movie. I'm just going to have to accept that scene as Sam Raimi making an allegorical statement against the Atlantic Yards project.
2. So, basically, there's this black goo...from SPACE! And when it touches you, you become some sort of Conor Oberst/weirdie hepcat. Really? I am prepared to believe that what we know as "emo" is actually the result of a symbiotic relationship between hipster douchebags and evil space slime. More research should be conducted.
3. Speaking of research, what exactly did those scientists hope to accomplish by spinning a bunch of flourescent lights around in an empty pit? I just didn't get that at all! How on earth did they receive their funding? I'd love to read their grant application: "Yeah. We basically want to dig a hole in a swamp and spin some freaked up lights around inside the hole. We hope to study the effects of...uhm...you know: stuff and shit. Give us money!" Having Flint Marko fall in and get all sandified was like, the only thing that could have made their experiments interesting.
4. I found it hard--nay, impossible--to root for Spidey to reconcile with Kirsten Dunst so long as there was an extant chance that he could get it on with Bryce Dallas Hottie. Sorry. I simply cannot accept any counter-argument to this as being outside the provenance of total morons.
5. Hey! Thanks a lot, kindly old butler from the staffing firm of Deus, Ex, and Machina who we've never seen before! The information you provided to Harry Osborn was absolutely key to achieving a happy ending! One question: What the fuck was stopping you from telling Harry two fucking movies ago?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
1. Randy is pretty much correct in his assertion that our take on the Suzan-Lori Parks play cycle was perhaps the strangest thing we've ever staged. Stranger even than Chris Davenport is...NAUGHTY PILATE! I mean, it began with me being anally raped by a puppet, and that was one of the more normal things that went down.
2. It's hard to believe, but there are some people that do not know that "Eternal Flame" is a Bangles song. There are others that cannot seem to accept the bands greatness. People: Susannah Hoffs is in that band. I will not argue this with you.
3. Actress Casie Platt? Really, pretty much awesome.
4. I have a fuller appreciation for the fact that when Grady Weatherford is on the set, one doesn't get hurt as much. Hello, bruised sternum.
5. Randy thinks that if Barack Obama wants to become the President, there is one course of action he could take to all but guarantee victory: reunite Night Ranger. Randy is absolutely right.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Good News For People Who Like Bad News (And the Blogs That Pillage Said Bad News For Your Entertainment).
Special news. The Blogosphere has long needed, craved, and quite possibly deserved the addition of DCist Commentariat All-Star Gabriel Fry to its ranks. It is with a sincere hope for the future that I announce: the day is come. Join Gabriel at his long-awaited blog venture, The Fiery Sword, and blogroll it immediately.
TRENCHANT QUESTION: When Catherine Andrews awoke this morning, were her legs tired? Because, apparently, she's been running through my mind all night.
Aye, verily: I'd have to describe Hot Fuzz in much the same way. For the first three-quarters of the movie, it's merely hysterical. Great premise: The Village Green Preservation Society reaches its final, homicidal apotheosis. Ray Davies apparently only knew half the story! Then, without warning, the shit suddenly becomes real--and the last half hour basically offers the viewer an ever-escalating session of the most fucked-up nonsense you have ever seen in a movie. Seriously. The movie is bonkers.
If you haven't seen this movie...for crying in a bucket, DO SO. And keep your eyes peeled for Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Frank Sennett pretty much nails it in a letter he sent to Romenesko. The highlights:
Just for the sake of argument, let's assume that Lenehan's portrayal of Cherkis as a hot head who alienates people is accurate, and that Wemple and Cherkis' portrayal of Waas as a difficult guy is also accurate. (Again, just for the sake of argument; I don't know either of them.) In that case, you've got two guys with some personal issues basically circling each other for months and months to get to a story that concludes "Waas has produced good and valuable journalism" before wallowing in a lot of personal stuff.They have banner days? Also:
If this episode isn't a shining moment for Waas, it's certainly not a banner day for City Paper, either.
But as a largely disinterested observer, I gotta say this was a bizarre deployment of City Paper's editorial resources.Ha! Pre-cisely.
Ygglz offers his own assessment:
The resulting article is just shamefully bad. I don't like to use the word "fisking" but suffice it to say that the conclusion deserves extensive excerpting plus interstitial commentary...And lo, tis provided. Shorter version, Wemple's "make it up as you go along" journalistic standards are, well, unique, to say the least.
FishbowlDC quotes yours truly, like there was any doubt about that! They go on to offer some additional, important analysis:
Oddly enough, there's been very little chatter about this piece in the blogosphere, which can perhaps be partially explained by Waas' relative popularity among bloggers or the City Paper's potentially false assumption that such a topic (and front cover billing) would generate much discussion.Very true. Interestingly, one thing we plumb forgot to reckon with was the simple fact that nobody reads the articles in the City Paper. Except for maybe us. And clearly, from the feedback we've received from peers, we're making a big mistake. Here's something you can do for fun, anytime you're out in the city: preface a remark by saying "I was reading an article in the City Paper..." and the response you'll likely receive immediately is going to be "Huh? You read the articles?" Historically speaking, I got that response about 70% of the time.
Consider this: when the City Paper ran this article, it contained a lot of humiliating quotes from a kid named Daniel Lubrano, and described him doing some debased shit. Lubrano was only too happy to give his name to the City Paper, but when we, and others, blogged about it, Lubrano came to us, hat in hand, asking to have his name removed. At first, we were like, "Jesus kid! You gave your name to the City Paper!" But of course, we realize now: as long as his name remained in only the City Paper, he was never in any danger of being read about.
So, remember, you can spill your dark secrets to Eric Wemple. His paper is like a PostSecret for douchebags.
Essential to understanding publisher Michael Lenehan is the need to know this: the man is a whinging, crybaby twat, as evidenced in his article, "A Year Without Journalism," from the Chicago Reader. In it he basically bwames bwogs and Cwaigswist for ruining everything and making him feel all sad inside, like every day is the end of Bambi. He proposes that every journalist take their ball and go home, leaving little doubt that if he led the way, journalism would improve 1000%. I dealt with this on Wonkette, and there's even better commentary here.
A side note: You know what I like about Michael Lenehan? I like how goddamned FORWARD THINKING he is in that article. Because nothing says, "I am going to trenchantly decry the state of modern media" than putting out an article that you can only read online if you download it in PDF format. Nice work, Mike! No, no, dude, you aren't some two-bit asshole at all! You're so cutting edge that I need a tetanus shot.
Essential to understanding the full extent of reporter/suburbanite poseur Jason Cherkis' screaming cockishness is an article from Circumlocutor that I linked to yesterday, offering character insight from people just like you and me, who had to live in close proximity to his tiresome douche. Oddly, the article vanished from Circumlocutor yesterday. Highly curious. I managed to recover it, and you can still see it in its entirety through the magic of Google Caching (but you'll have to scroll down).
Appropriately, you can do a find for "You are a parasite," and there's dickwad, screamin' right back at you! Enjoy.
Twas a great day yesterday, as Paul Wolfowitz, the shitty American uber-crank whose passion for Third World investment could be measured one harsh mistress at a time, finally got the hint that everyone in the entire world were sick of him coming to work and stepped down as head of the World Bank. Don't shed too many tears for him, as it's a certainty that whatever golden parachute the World Bank gave him is likely to be rich enough to keep him in enough head-sized paper bags to make the missionary position with Shahi Ali Riza tolerable for many, many nights to come.
About a month ago, we contacted our friend at the World Bank, and were struck with amazement at how brazenly and openly he was willing to diss Wolfowitz over and over again in full voice sitting at his desk. A year ago, the conversation would have been in hushed tones. This indicates to me that toward the end, World Bank employees were probably snickering at him on the elevator and tripping him in the hallways. Their lack of consideration for his feelings proves the essential goodness of mankind. Unfortunately, the fact that there are so many upper level executives at the World Bank whose own scorn-worthiness was eclipsed by Wolfie proves the essential provenance of asshats in contemporary society. No matter: one down, hopefully shitty American Alberto Gonzalez gets a long knife in the back next. Esperance!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
[In deference to a commenter, I'd warn anyone coming here searching for something substantive and free of my own admittedly vacuous personal animus, that you're going to be shit out of luck! You six fans of my snarky ways are invited to read on.]
Well, at long last, the City Paper has published their lengthy diatribe about Murray Waas (a famous fray we got glancingly and tangentially lumped into after receiving word from sources inside the CP that they had placed this blog under scrutiny--and, no, we have NO IDEA how one thing ended up following the other--in some circles, it is assumed that at one point, I was suspected of being the blogger Circumlocutor, it's also possible that this blog was conflated with that one (it's also possible that Wemple and Cherkis are stone morons! and it's also possible that saying so over and over again upsets them!)). It's as damning as promised, but: What does any of it have to do with the goings-on of Washington, DC? A sweet shit-ton of nothing, save for the fact that the terminally self-absorbed editor and writer of the piece both continue to burden the 202 with their presence.
We look forward to reading the whole thing. We've already read Jason Cherkis' self-defense, in which he basically admits to being as Bush-league a reporter as we've always suspected, even as he builds an exclupatory case that would be convincing to anyone who's not aware of the hit piece he penned on his former roommates after they got sick of him. (
Betcha he wishes he hadn't written that now! OH, WHO AM I KIDDING?
Anyway, it's sure to get interesting. And by interesting, I mean "dull."
NOTE: Oh, and yes. What's the practical upshot, should you choose to read the fifty kabillion words dedicated to this self-managed "story?" Well, either Waas or the City Paper are lying, in whole or in part. Take comfort in the fact, though, that none of this has any bearing to your life. None of this is relevant to anyone outside the subject or authors of the story.
Waas has accusations of his own that demand a response--God knows it won't be long in coming!--but, that said, both parties are on the record now saying things that you have to just take their word are true. Whose word am I more likely to take at this point? I think you can guess, and for my part (the only part that really matters), it's not without foundation. But! Fair is fair, right? Right now, the balance is tipped slightly back to center. But only slightly. Suck up to me, everyone!
UPDATE: Ha. Now I've read the piece so you don't have to. Basically, the pot calls the kettle black, atramentous, brunet, charcoal, coal, dusky, ebon, ebony, inklike, jet, melanoid, nigrescent, nigrous, obsidian, onyx, piceous, pitch, pitch-dark, raven, sable, shadowy, and slate.
An early comment offers some ironic hilarity:
"i'm used to interesting, well-researched pieces from the city paper [ed. You're kidding, right?], usually about the "little guy", and i look forward to reading the paper. however, today, i'm struck by what an appalling slam job this "murray waas against the world" is! murray waas may not be perfect (who among us is?) but he's clearly a better journalist than the "writers" who fashioned this lengthy, supposedly cover-worthy example of character assassination. waas, even wemple and cherkis admit, is after the bad guys, high crimes, that sort of things. so, i ask myself-- where's the get? or to quote wemple and cherkis, "what's the news here?". and seriously, how many of us have acrimonious landlord stories in our past? puh-lease."
Emphasis mine, for the obvious reason.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
So, Saturday night found us in Adams Morgan, rightly celebrating City Mouse's significant accomplishments in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, enjoying the drizzle, meeting cool bloggers for the first time, and generally getting on in a nice way. There was beer, and banjos, and people from Belfast, and Randy was enjoying having other people enjoy his back yard, and, in general, it was a night much like the one that launched this blog, armed with the story of a young man who needed to poop eight times a day.
So, it's getting on to about 2:15, and I figure that it's time for me to fuck off to Woodley Park to catch the subway home. The torrential rains that fell were over, and I made it to the train station without incident. The station was full of people, but not packed, and everyone was blessedly low-key. Earlier that day, I got on a train having forgotten completely about the DC Chili Cookoff, and I swear I have never wanted to get off a train worse in my life. Everything was fugly, tattooed in that "Yes, I shall remain permanently unemployable!" way, and off the typical DC frequency by a country mile. The vibe folks were throwing was straight Gaithersburg. But, now, just after half-past two, everything was more or less serene, with only a hapless pair dragging a drunk idiot around like a sack of lawn clippings providing any alternative to normalcy.
I got to Metro Center, and was momentarily pissed to discover that I would have to wait 19 minutes for the outbound orange. More mad at my luck than anything else--I understand that WMATA has the capacity it has--it's just that 19 minutes is about the maximum amount of time you have to wait, and I usually fare better. As fortune would have it, the train actually ran a couple minutes early, so I got on, reasonably certain that the rest of the trip would fly by.
And, then, like a total schmuck, I promptly fell asleep.
Of course, the "sleep" part didn't feel like sleep. It felt like no time had passed at all. It felt like I had taken one rather longish blink, actually. But, looking around the car, something felt wrong. Deeply wrong. I turned to look out the window, to try to get an idea where I was from the passing streets. That's when it occurred to me: "Streets? I shouldn't be seeing the outside." This meant I had pretty much overshot all of Arlington. At that moment, the train slid into a station, and without thinking, I just got off, strode out and walked right up to the station pylon to find out where I had ended up.
Now, I had only ever in my life been to Dunn Loring once, and that was to play in a soccer tournament. I remember that they had an exquisitely manicured field to play on, a far cry from shit-ass Bordeaux Field in Reston where my team usually played, which was like a muddy gravel pit that occasionally could be tricked into growing small clumps of grass. So, my memories of Dunn Loring are pretty much restricted to being on a soccer team, collectively amazed that we could, at last, pass the ball and have it end up at its intended destination, instead of in one of the many rocky ditches we were used to.
Now, fuck--I wasn't even aware the train always stopped at Dunn Loring. I guess I had always figured that it was like Arlington Cemetary--sometimes it stopped there. To be frank, I had for a long time just assumed that Dunn Loring, with it's vaguely Gaelicky sounding name, was like Brigadoon--some magical place that opened only every once in a while, and then you get off a train and dodge rainbows and ponies and a group of magical Dunn Loringers choir up and sing a bunch of warbly tunes at you--because they want to fill you with SMILES! and UNICORNS!--and they sing and sing and sing until your teeth grind and you think to yourself, "Good fucking Christ! It's no WONDER I never come to this god-forsaken place," and you pray the next train out of there comes quickly before the residents try to sodomize you with ambrosia and four-leaf clovers.
Well, Saturday night, at 3:40am, there wasn't anything like that going on in Dunn Loring. It was just empty and desolate. So, I had jolly well screwed myself. I wanted to avoid a $12 cab ride, and for my trouble, I was going to have to take an $18 cab ride. So, I went up to the station manager and asked her for the number of the local cab company. She went into her kiosk and didn't say anything for a long while. Then, she asked me for my name. Oh, great. She called the cab for me. Which I hate. I much prefer to make my own arrangements because it eliminated the confusion. After a few minutes, she came out of the kiosk.
"They'll be here for you in about 10-15 minutes."
"Okay...thanks. Just wait out front?"
"The cabs pull up in the parking lot, not on the road right in front of the station."
"Also, there's a woman out there waiting for her own cab. She's a deaf-mute. Could you make sure she gets where she has to go?"
Sure! You just unload your responsibility right onto me, lady! "What? She's deaf-mute? Are you sure about that?"
"Yeah. Can't hear? Can't speak? That's deaf-mute."
Yeeeaaah. If that was true, I was in for a real treat. The truth is, one rarely encounters a mute. This was going to be interesting.
I got outside, and there was nary a deaf-mute to be found. Just a large group of people yakking it up over under the 4A bus canopy and me. I walked out to the cab area, and immediately, a cab pulled up. I couldn't believe my luck! In fact, I didn't believe my luck. And, as it turned out, it wasn't my cab. Why didn't I just get in the cab while the getting was good? Sigh. Probably because I read the Blank Top Chronicles, and have learned that you should never jack someone's fare or leave another cabbie in the lurch. It's a great way to be thought of as a shitty customer or get blacklisted, and you surely don't want to end up as a blacklisted customer the next time you are stuck in Dunn Loring in the middle of the night, dying of unadulterated boredom.
The cab, as it turned out, was for the group moronically waiting at the 4A canopy. I called them over to get in their ride, and noticed that one woman didn't come with them. My deaf-mute, I presumed.
Figuring I was in for at least a penny at this point, I walked over to her. Too late did I realize the folly of using my life to only master a few select sentences in sign language, phrases like:
"I want to fuck you."
"You crazy, dancing turtle."
"I want to have a three-way (the cool kind), with you and maybe another deaf lady."
None of which were likely to prove useful. Fortunately, Wife of DCeiver was taking ASL, so I had learned a few more signs and how to fingerspell. Hopefully, we could keep our conversation simple. I walked up to her and waved.
"Hello. I'm deaf," she signed.
"I know." Hoping for the best, I spoke aloud, "Can you read lips?"
"A little," she said aloud. See...I knew she wasn't mute!
So we got our stories straight, bonding over my broken fingerspelling, which luckily, I didn't have to deploy to any extensive extent. As it turned out, she had fallen asleep on the train as well. Time passed and the waiting for the cabs continued. At one point, one pulled up that I assumed was hers, so I walked over to the driver to get things sorted out. Unfortch, it was just a random pull-in, and the guy could take neither of us to our destinations because he'd miss a scheduled fare. Argh--then don't tease us by showing up.
It was confusing as hell, and I found myself able to deploy another sign language sentence I had long mastered, "Sorry, I don't know what's happening." It's a pretty useful phrase to know, especially since after your three-way with the two deaf ladies, one of them is likely to ask you why you're crying all of the sudden. "Sorry...I don't know what's happening," you can say. The more you know.
So, at this point, it was getting to be about twenty past four, so I figured I'd better make one more diplomatic call to the cab company. I figured that there might be a fuck up on their end, but it was best to play it off--the station attendant, who called the cabs for the two of us in the first place, may have screwed up herself, and besides, I was the douchebag who fell asleep on the train in the first place, so it wasn't like I has some sterling track record to fall back on. The dispatcher told me that two cabs would be arriving in short order.
I explained all this to the deaf woman, secretly hoping that her cab would show up first. But, don't you know, it didn't. I really didn't want to abandon her after we spent the better part of the hour waiting all by ourselves in this leprechaun villa. Could this guy take her instead of me? No--his next fare was set up based upon where I was going. Could we ride together? No--it'd fuck over the other cabbie who was presumably on the way. However, the guy was really accomodating: I told him I was really nervous about leaving the woman there by herself, so he checked his onboard and then called his dispatcher, and waited until the dispatcher got verbal confirmation from the other driver that he was three minutes out. So, bravo, random Fairfax County cab company. You truly are the heroes. It just goes to show, as CVS, Starbucks, and gas stations go, so go cabs--once you cross the Potomac, the customer consideration increases by about a thousand orders of magnitude.
I explained all of what was going on the deaf woman and departed. All told, it was about five am when I finally got to bed, two and a half hours after I left Adams Morgan and probably two and a quarter hours later than it would have been if I just got a cab on 18th Street. So, lesson learned: never leave the party in the first place. You only get stuck in Brigadoon. Sunday was more or less shot because I had to sleep so damned late, but at least I got my karma laundered.
One regret: we never encountered any crazy, dancing turtles. Maybe next time.
Yay! Congratulations to Georgie James, who have gotten all mutual with Omaha and signed a deal with Saddle Creek records, home to Bright Eyes, Eric Bachmann, Cursive, the Faint, et al. Their proper debut record, Places, will be out in the Fall of 2007. Also: US/Europe tour in the fall. GJ are good people, and from very early on have generously shared their news and music with this blog, so we toast their success and wish them all the best!
Georgie James will be performing Saturday, May 26th, 7pm, at St. Stephen's Church at 1525 Newton Place, NW along with The Beauty Pill and The Epochs. Tickets are $8, and proceeds will go to benefit Books For America and OneDC. If you haven't seen them yet, then...seriously: what's wrong with you?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
It's usually gauche to be so quick after someone dies to lead a chorus of children forth to piss on their grave, but tonight, we ride for Lynchburg, and everyone's getting seven liters of water for the trip.
Enjoy Hell, Jerry, you made yourself quite a bed to lie in.
Monday, May 14, 2007
So, I'm only a week late in doing so, but I'd like at publicly express my gratitude for Catherine, who hooked me up with a much-coveted Arcade Fire ticket for their DARCH show.* I kept on believing, man. I never lost faith that I'd be attending. And, they were, in fact, pretty awesome. I was surprised how much some of the lesser fare on Neon Bible got elevated in the live setting. I was not suprised by the fact that the best stuff from Funeral remains their most awe-inspiring music. It was a great show throughout, but when they finally got to "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," the band just got fucking stratospheric, and they remained that way through the end of their encore. By the way, their decision to switch out "Antichrist Television Blues" with "Wake Up" was good. Word is bond: I have experienced few things as crazy awesome as the entire room singing that opening hook.
My opinion on the matter coheres with surreal exactingness with what The Upstate Life** said about the show--right down to the exact moment we finally arrived for The National (and missing the bulk of their set was criminal of me--based on what I heard, though, appetites for their 9:30 Club show should be significantly whetted).
And speaking of 9:30 Club, I know, I know...I missed Arcade Fire when they came and officially anointed DC-based citizens with the promise of immortality in the Canadian section of heaven. I hear you people that say the DARCH show wasn't in the same order of magnitude. Yeah, yeah. Well, guess what: I can only have my good time, and I had a fucking great time at DARCH. Yes. DARCH is a deeply flawed place. It is the place that no trains go. And no cars go there either because the cars that already went there took all the parking spaces. Even still, at least the folks that run DARCH didn't say...beat the shit out of someone like the sick fucks that work at Radio City Music Hall. Washington, DC: where venue employers DON'T work out their Abner Louima fantasies on concert-goers.
And, anyway, I think that as far as trenchant rock experiences go, we are all, apparently, expected to be jealous of those who say The National and Final Shittasm and Beirut in NYC later that weekend, when they apparently got every trumpter player within 250 miles of the 49th parallel and the Rochester border together on stage to collectively spell out a workable set of benchmarks for the fledgling Iraqi government, which was immediately followed by Sufjan Stevens using a five-song acoustic-folk cycle about obscure Prussian generals to finally explain what the fuck the Dharma Initiative was. Yes, yes, whoop de fucking doo.
Anyway, I remain grateful for the fact that DARCH hosts concerts. If they didn't, God knows those Daughters would only have free reign to continue planning whatever Revolution they are working on, and I'm surprised that their plans sit well with so many of you. I, for one, greet them with a good deal of skepticism, and I want to know what they are up to.
Anyway, it looks like I'll be taking in the dulcet tones of Be Your Own Pet and the Arctic Monkeys later this week. Kyle will be taking pictures. Did you see his snaps of the Chili Cookoff? Damn. Leafblower is officially running this city. Deny that at your considerable peril.
*Catherine got a press upgrade, so we didn't get to sit together, which would have been fun. I have lingering questions over the whole drink-seven-liters-of-water-a-day thing, mainly that if I were to decide right now, to drink sever liters of water a day, I'd be having conversations with my boss like this: "Hey, Jason, how come you didn't get X, Y, & Z, done?" "Oh...sorry about that. I've been drinking seven liters of water a day. It really cuts in to the time I have to do everything else. I'll see if I can use Outlook to come up with a better schedule."
**Oh, you and Tommy and your beloved Woof Parade! Here's a prediction, from me to y'all: the Woofers will indeed, suck much less at their next gig here. But then...THAT'S BAD, isn't it? Seeing as how the best thing they do is SUCK OUT LOUD, right? Oooh, snap!***
***Sigh. In all honesty, my failure to enjoy them is probably based on my own pernicious genetic abnormalities. But I cannot like everything! At least I am not like Ygglz, a huge Avril Lavigne fan!****
****Fuck. Who am I kidding. I am too a huge Avril Lavigne fan. God: I have no redeeming qualities.
Midnight. Party in Adams Morgan. Friend of DCeiver, JG, walks out of the kitchen. Strangely, her grey shirt has been dampened in the area over her left breast.
DCeiver: Oh, my God, J--you're not lactating, are you?(Later: More on how the DCeiver came to be in some magical, imaginary town in Fairfax, Virginia just four hours later. It will not be that interesting.)
JG: (laughs) No. It's sangria.
DCeiver: Ho-ly shit. That is the most awesomest fucking thing I've ever SEEN!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Via the always fine Fimoculous, I got to this fine article on Daily Film Dose, documenting the great long tracking shots in film history. Touch of Evil, Boogie Nights, Good Fellas, The Passenger...this is as fine a sampling as you are likely to see collected anywhere. (I nominate the opening shot from Prospero's Books by the way!)
Anyway, it's reason enough to enjoy this fantastic scene from Alfonso Cuaron's vastly underrated Children of Men. It's not even the most bravura shot of its kind in the movie, and still, it packs more geeked-up filmic punch than most of the crap at the cinemaplex right now. And, apparently, the whole thing was pulled off with a simple camera rig and a lot of patience (though, at the end of the shot, you'll see that whatever camera rig sat atop the car is gone).
Oh, by the way, this scene contains a fairly HUGE SPOILER. So, don't watch if you haven't seen the movie and plan to:
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I should have maybe mentioned that I guested for Ken Layne over at Wonkette on the 27th and 30th of April. Apparently I left readers with the impression that my name was David. I guess that's cool. Next time, I'll do more to, you know, promote myself and manufacture the "bluzz" that Amanda is always talking about. I'll update my catch-all Wonkette contribution page and post it so you can enjoy retroactively.
To that end, I should let you all know that I am continuing my tenure over at The Huffington Post's Eat The Press section, though I have scaled it back to a more manageable three posts a day. Charmingly, and with my full approval, Rachel Sklar has not set a timetable for my withdrawal. She's like the President and Iraq except she's nice and smart and capable and the troops don't get fed to a charnel house and no one gets stoned to death in the street by Kurds. Did you hear about that shit, by the way? Those guys are supposed to be the ones who have a semblance of democratic institutions and who can be counted on to not act a fool like the freaking Sunnis and Shia. And there they are, stoning some poor woman because she dated outside her religion? WTF times infinity! WE DONE GONE FRESH OUT OF GOOD NEWS IN IRAQ, ASSHOLES!
[coyly discussing a Wonkette entry]
DCeiver: Okay. This is a New York Time crossword clue. Seven letter word. "Something that's always nice to be on the receiving end of."
WoD: Hmm. "Present?" Uhmmm.
DCeiver: Here's a hint. This is from the puzzle that Bill Clinton wrote the--
WoD: "Blowjob." Blowjob.
[commercial break of SNL in the 90s Special]
NBC News Tease: Tonight, tragedy in Northeast tonight as a child dies after accidentally shooting himself with a handgun. We'll have more at eleven.
WoD: Oh, no! If only that child had a second gun in his other hand...he could have defended himself!
WoD: Do you think that there is a place where Schrodinger's Cat, Pavlov's Dog, and Occam's Razor could all be found together.
DCeiver: No. Pavlov's dog would not want to be around Schrodinger's Cat, seeing as how that would mean he'd be trapped in a box with a radioactive isotope by a bunch of quantum physicists.
WoD: He could use Occam's Razor to get out.
DCeiver: True. Then he could use it to cut some motherfucking quantum physicists who think it's funny to fuck with cats.
I appreciate, and largely agree with, Matt the Eponymous Superstar's defense of John Edwards, against those who claim he has no "fresh ideas" to combat poverty.
"No, Edwards hasn't uncovered the Magical New Idea To End Poverty -- rather he's assembled some old-but-not-implemented good ideas, is pushing for increased efforts on some old-and-effective ideas, etc., all in recognition of the fact that despite some difficulties the country has consistently shown itself capable of significantly reducing poverty whenever we're really cared to try."
Yeah, exactly. Only Edwards does have a fresh new idea that, in my opinion, is going to sink his efforts to combat poverty: running for President.
Edwards is a lot like Al Gore in this respect: both men sat in public office for a good long time. Both men have causes they're passionate about. And in the case of both men, the evidence strongly suggests that their ability to promote and advance their pet causes was never stronger than after they left elected office. And it's easy to see why: they were freed of all the sundry mischegas of public office, disconnected from the skin of K Street and the distractions of consensus building, liberated from the warped standards that constitute success on Capitol Hill.
Gore's advancing of enviro causes has been the more dramatic--he's got old political opponents on his side, pop-cultural ascendancy, and all sorts of vital industries (building and construction being chief among them) taking up the selling of green like never before--but Edwards has had his successes, as well. I especially admire the work he's done at UNC-Chapel Hill--establishing the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity directly led to the school taking a fantastic new approach on bringing students from poor backgrounds into the University fold, and their model is replicable. That's vital change occuring at the nexus of education and income.
So, it's a mystery to me why Edwards wants to turn his back on this work and suffer the burden of revisiting the cheapened exchanges of public office, let alone run this country. In public life, advocacy has time to percolate and allow for reflection and experimentation. As President, the demands are all "FIX THIS NOW! WE WANT RESULTS IMMEDIATELY!" And the level of scrutiny is 1000% more intense. The mis-steps that are essential to pursuing perfection in the real world become toxic taints on the Hill. One screw-up and no one will tolerate you fucking about with pet projects anymore.
Besides, I'm not even sure if Edwards fully understands the game he's asking to play in seeking the nomination. I'm sure he sees the Katrina aftermath as a moment he can occupy, and I'm betting he thinks he can use the Presidency as a launching pad for all sorts of important change, but that's such a facile, simplistic grasp of contemporary electoral reality that it make you want to hug him for being so adorable. How many months into his presidency is he going to get before begging someone to find him a Poverty Czar?
Besides, he's tried this before, with his "Two Americas" campaign agenda from the last Presidential Election, and as a theme, that was about as unserious as it gets. It conjured up images of adversarialism, pessimism, pity, and added a constant reminder of a deeply entrenched problem to what was already going down as a 9-11 terror and sorrow election. And appropriately, "Two Americas" didn't even survive the convention. After Barack Obama delivered his keynote--which may as well have been titled, "No, ONE America, Actually"--the reaction left little doubt as to what version of America was more salable.
Still, the electoral outlook is crazy volatile at the moment. And Katrina might yet play very well in the next year or so. It'd be foolish to count Edwards out. Still, I'm not at all afraid to admit that I don't think Edwards is a serious candidate. And, funnily enough, Katrina has a lot to do with it.
It's clear by Edwards actions--e.g. kicking off his campaign in the gulf--that Katrina is going to be a centerpiece of his campaign. And I'm equally sure that we're going to hear a lot from him about how Katrina--and, stop me if you've heard this one before--exposed the shameful way the poor in this country have been treated.
Don't get me wrong: it did and they have. But this is the provenance of true believers and armchair sociologists, not Presidents. To conclude that the main thing Katrina exposed was our treatment of the poor is to miss the point entirely: if you aim to change the situation through governance, you have to correctly identify the problem. And the problem is this: Katrina exposed the tendency of our government to institutionalize the state of neglect. The failed levees did not fail because the subcommittee in question wanted to stick it to the poor. Those levees failed because they were just another can too easily kicked down the road. If Edwards could seize on that, then he could use it as a springboard to address a host of other issues in the same state of decay: Social Security, Medicaid, legacy liabilities...the list goes on.
But that would require him to be a pretty serious candidate.