Thursday, September 27, 2007

Condi Rice's Awesome 'Power.'

Hey, everyone! Remember a few weeks ago when GQ published a list of the most powerful people in Washington, DC, and then named Condoleezza Rice as the number one most powerful person in Washington, thus proving that GQ basically doesn't have a sodding clue what it's even talking about? Well Condi's POWER was on full display this past weekend, when she once again couldn't get anyone in the news to acknowledge her sad existence.

The secretary of state has always been considered a prize catch for the Sunday talk shows. But when the White House offered Condoleezza Rice for appearances eight days ago, after a week focused on Iraq, two programs took the unusual step of turning her down.

Executives at CBS and NBC say Rice no longer seems to be a key player on the war and that her cautious style makes her a frustrating guest.

"I expected we'd just get a repetition of the administration's talking points, which had already been well circulated," says Bob Schieffer, host of CBS's "Face the Nation," who questioned two senators instead. "We'd had a whole week of that with General Petraeus and President Bush. I thought it was more important to get a sense of where the Senate Republicans were."
Naturally, Schieffer's being polite, because everyone knows that the Senate Republicans are all out cornholing each other in public restrooms.

A State Department spokesman issued a a non-denial denial type statement that just reeks of pity for Rice's lost cachet: "She was happy to have her Sunday morning back. There are lots of weekends where we're getting urgent phone calls requesting her to be on Sunday shows."

By the way, do you remember the last time a Sunday morning political show didn't bring on a guest on the grounds that they'd "just get a repetition of the administration's talking points?" The answer: September 6, 1927--the day before Philo Farnsworth invented the goddamned television!

The Audacity of Dopes: The Audacity of Douchebags!

Everyone knows by now that Rudy Giuliani might be the biggest shitheel to ever presume to lead anyone. This is evident in the company he keeps. But is everyone Giuliani associates with a mobbed-up crony, a pedophile, a drug dealer, a pimp or Bernard Kerik? To his credit, no. Many of the people who pretend to like him are just dyed-in-the-wool, hyena-faced assholes. Like Abraham Sofaer, a supporter who is holding a fundraiser where people have been asked to donate $9.11 because the candidate is bent and determined to be as RIDICULOUS AS POSSIBLE where 9/11 is concerned.

Naturally, everyone involved who can be identified by name in the Giuliani camp is pretending that they are just as offended as you. A spokeswoman (which is just another name for a female Rudy acquaintance he hasn't divorced a wife for yet) says the dollar amount was arrived at without their knowledge. And even Sofaer himself is taking the Peter, Bjorn and John defense--blaming it on the young folks! "There are some young people who came up with it," said this asshole, Sofaer.

So, everyone agrees it's kinda wrong, but they'll be damned if they'll do anything to put a stop to it. Actually, they'll likely simply de damned.

And last week, everyone was worried that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was going to exploit 9-11 for his idiot purposes! Good luck, crackpot! Rudy's not nearly done pissing in the mouths of the memories of our dead loved ones. Not by a long shot!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

DCeptette: Well Played!

  1. Big ups to Neil Epstein and the LLC, for rolling out a comment solution that restricts no one while simultaneously allowing our invested users the opportunity to get a much better signal to noise ratio. [DCist]
  2. As inspired as casting Laura Dern to play Katherine Harris is, we'd have to say that a better choice would have been a Wild At Heart era Diane Ladd. [Variety]
  3. Uhm...despite what you may have heard, they are totes gaying it up in Iran tonight. [Gawker]
  4. Watch out, Creationists...she's back! [Jessaisms]
  5. I can has undisclosed flavor country? [Swampland]

Eli Roth's Hurt Feelings

Eli Roth has a right to be Hostel, apparently. His pictures have been persecuted by Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwartzbaum, who recently wrote a sidebar in the magazine expressing how she'd never go to see a film from the "torture porn" subgenre. You'd think a confident film director wouldn't give the comments of a critic a second thought, but Roth's movies haven't been doing so well lately, so it's gotta be someone's fault! Might as well be Lisa's.

Roth seems to think he's making a point when he says, "Would you not watch Three Kings because there's torture in it? What about Marathon Man?" Because those two movies announced themselves as feckless vehicles for all manner of outre violence, right? At any rate, I think we can all agree that the next time Roth makes a movie of Marathon Man quality will be the first time.

Still, that's not Roth at his most crazy-faced:

"I'm not saying you have to like every movie made, but you do have to see every movie made if you're going to be a critic..."
Uhm...really? Even Kuffs?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Maybe It's the Company You Keep?

So, Ezra Klein said some weird stuff about Portland and DC that rubbed everyone (okay, mainly Ryan) the wrong way. Now, I like visiting cities myself (moreso than beaches or mountains or glaciers...what can I say? I am an urban critter!) and always come away with ideas I'd love to import back home. Of course, everything's a little rosier when you visit somewhere--like Jason Sudekis said on 30 Rock, "If the whole world moved to their favorite vacation spots, then the whole world would live in Hawaii and Italy and Cleveland." And then, there's all that stuff that rubbed everyone the wrong way--something about black people not liking coffee shops...or Mount Pleasant not having one...or how everyone moves to DC for their job (circa 2007, I wasn't aware that this wasn't a widespread phenommenon. I guess all the homeless heroin addicts in the Haight have us beat there!).

Typically, I sort of tut-tut and wave off people who complain about DC because I've more or less come to recognize that you can take the complainer out of the city but not cure the complaint. I've encountered a lot of DC critics in my days (though not nearly as many Richmond critics, and I feel that city's a little unfairly maligned as well) and when I do, I always feel like I'm just staring at somebody useless--how hard is it to either lead, follow, or get out of the way?

But Ezra's no idle whiner, so I went looking for the root of his problem and something in his most recent post on this matter jumped out at me:

What makes DC awesome is the collection of people pulled their for work...Defense wonks and political journalists and Hill staffers and health policy types. It's a city filled with folks I want to talk to.
Uhm...yeah, there's your problem right there.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pimps Don't Commit Suicide.

Oh. Hell yes.


If I Did It.

So, here's news: in October, I'll be making my first trip ever to Las Vegas, Nevada. This is something I greet with trepidation. Kyle Leafblower has warned me that the town has about zero native culture and even less subculture--conditions I'm clearly not at all used to. It's been about a decade since I've bothered to nurture my meager card and dice skills, and I'm not very gambling-inclined anyway. I'm not all that blown away by Cirque de Soleil, not all that interested in participating in a sham marriage or baptism, and, unlike most American bloggers, I frown on killing prostitutes for kicks. Plus, the whole thing is a business trip, and there's nothing more all-dressed-up-with-nowhere-to-go than a business trip.

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm nevertheless looking forward to going, just because I'm the sort who likes to check things off the whole travel-experience list. And maybe next time I catch a break and get back to San Francisco or something.

That said, something occurred to me today--a thought that singlehandedly made the prospect of an October trip to Sin City suddenly very appealing. And after I had the thought, I immediately hit up the interwebs, looking for a hopeful sign. And I found one! Eight simple words that make a big difference:

"Simpson is due back in court in October."
That's right. By fortune and happenstance, O.J. Simpson went loony in Vegas and stormed some hotel suite looking to take adverse possession of some of his sports (and also murder) memorabilia--getting his dumb ass into heap big trouble with the local constabulary. Now, the wheels of justice don't always run smooth (right, Ron Goldman?), but if I get dealt the right hand, I could end up in Vegas at the same time another crazy-ass O.J. trial gets underway! God, let it be so!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Back From My Fake Vacation

Hey everyone. We're back from our fake vacation. It was sort of a last minute decision to take a break from blogging here during that period of time, but we needed some quiet time after racing to such a crazy peak of all-around activity right before fake vacation time.

Because it was fake vacation, we have no memories or pictures or souvenirs, unless you like used, snotty tissues, because as so often happens, my immune system skipped out the door the moment it got wind that we were going to be laying in repose for a week. But all is well. Sommer was in the Wall Street Journal! It's the Summer of Sommer! Matt is the Ringleader of the Tormentors. All pretty much indicative that life is tracking in the direction I want it to. The Redskins are 2-0! 30 Rock won the Emmy!

We ran Myth-Appropriations the first weekend of my fake vacation and it was really a pretty great experience. I'm pretty sure that the event exceeded our expectations. We sold out pretty much instantaneously, got the six shows in on time (if a little by the skin of their teeth), and entertained what seemed like an all-night crush of humanity. Maybe the best news: we kind of figured the audience would be composed of mostly Friends of the Schach, but were pleasantly surprised by two audiences primarily composed of Normal People, including a ton of first-timers.

Anyway, posting will resume here forthwith. Sorry for the long time away.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Redskins vs. Dolphins.

If there's any interesting minutiae to this game, look for it here:

1st Quarter
Oh, I've forgotten just how asinine color commentary can be. The color guy is going on and on in amazement that the Dolphins have installed a "silent offense." They can run it "with hand signals!" He really is stunned by this commonplace NFL practice. Just wait till he sees the nets behind the goalposts!

2nd Quarter
So, pretty shovel-pass to Betts. Pete Kendall is lead-blocking, only he's got no one to block! Gosh, Pete, where might the tacklers be, if they aren't in front of you? Behind, maybe? If Kendall just stops to pick off Betts' eventual tackler, Betts makes it to the end zone, we get off the field, and Jon Jansen doesn't get injured. It's fun to run down the field, Pete, but do your job. If Jansen goes down for the season (curse of Bo Schembechler continues!), remember that play.

Bad commentary:
"Jansen has suffered a dislocated right ankle."

"Well...uhm...that is...uhhh...a real bad...duhhh...ummm...set of circumstances..."

Gee, thanks.

Wow:
The defense looks like it's back!

This may be stupid:
I am "live-blogging" something I am watching on TiVo.

Bad Commentary:
Apparently, we should all be paying attention to Roger Federer. He just might be doing something extraordinary.

Excellent call by Cam Cameron--on 3rd and goal from the one, the best defenses are completely discombobulated. And even if he hadn't gotten the touchdown, he'd have served notice anyway. That was a really great drive by the Fins. Sucks to be us right now!

Third Quarter:
Slant-restraint watch:
First quick-slant of the season with 14:01 to play in the third.

Fuck, yes!
Nice pass from the Savior. And then, Clinton. Tell me you don't see that moment when Clinton realizes a run is about to get tasty!

Troubling sign:
This has turned into an exciting game, now. And that's too bad, because serious playoff-bound teams aren't going to end up in close games with the Dolphins.

Slant-restraint watch:
Second quick-slant of the season with 3:01 to play in the third.

Fourth quarter:
Feh.

I believe in many of the Redskins players, but if you are counting on any of them to win a "one-on-one battle" in the end zone, leave Brandon Lloyd out of that. Brandon Lloyd couldn't win a one-on-one battle with his reflection in the mirror.

Really questionable commentary:
Antwaan Randle-El, "terrorizing college football." Great.

WTF?
Didn't understand that call, at all. Abrupt movement? You can't move abruptly? I'd understand if the double-shift--which was illegal--caused the offsides. But it looks like Cooley started his shift after the defender committed the penalty. I think that should have been a first down for us. But, it's great that Gibbs went for it all the same.

Angst...
Man, this is not the time for a massively shitty defensive series from Carlos Rogers. When's he gonna prove he was worth the draft pick? TIE GAME. Jesus. A tie game with the Dolphins.

Phew--
Actually, it's a good thing Randle-El got his hands on that ball at all. The Dolphin defender was right behind the ball on that play, and would have taken that back unmolested.

Overtime:
Ugh. Can't believe we're in overtime against the Dolphins. Randle-El gets to pad his receiving stats with that carom-catch.

Well, great playcalling in overtime. The Dolphins needed to bring everyone to get a pass rush of any kind on third-and-seven, and Campbell made them pay, hitting Cooley. That was the stop Miami needed, and they didn't get it. The rest, academic. Washington wins 16-13.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Under the Craplight


Wow, when Cat said she found the newest Rilo Kiley album to be sucktastic, I found it really, really, hard to believe. I'd only really paid attention to "The Moneymaker," and I found it to be quite the hottness. But now that I'm finally listening to the whole record, I find myself in regretful, yet enthusiastic agreement. It's an immense disappointment -- and the immensely disappointing parts are among it's better moments. Seriously: how the band could have heard the playback of the song "Dejalo" and concluded that it was anything other than a Miami Sound Machine-aping embarrassment is one of life's great mysteries. Gads. Awful.

UPDATE: "Smoke Detector?" "Give A Little Love?" WTF is this shit?

WTF, Vanity Fair?!

In the clearest sign yet that the End Times are approaching, Graydon Carter put this photo of Christopher Hitchens in the October Vanity Fair.


In related news, I'm off to get the part of my brain that saw this trepanned!

Hawkes and Handsaws.

Recent posts on Pygmalion In A Blanket have forced me to confront my past, deep-seated issues (you know, like they always do!)--this time, about the actor Ethan Hawke, whose filmic adaptation of his angsty bildungsroman of Hawkean weltanschauung, The Hottest State, is about to hit theaters.

My first experience with Ethan Hawke was the same as most people, the movie Dead Poets' Society. This was a film the high-school me LOVED greatly for reasons that make no fucking sense to me now. Once I became an actual literature student, I soon realized that all that bullshit about hiding in caves and getting wasted and reading Coleridge and barbaric yawps and kicking soccer balls was perhaps even a more bullshitted way of approaching the study of literature than charting the emotional impact of similes on graphs or undertaking a socialist-lesbian dialectic on Gilgamesh or anything related to post-structuralism. And don't get me started on the whole, "Waaah. My daddy won't let be an actor so I'm totally going to poetically kill myself!" thing. I mean, grow a pair, Robert Sean Leonard's character! Graduate from high school, move out of your parents' home, get fucked by actual grown girls or boys and if you still want to off yourself after that--fuck it. Be my guest.

While none of this bothered me when the movie came out, Ethan Hawke's character did. Mainly from the way the motherfucker finally stood on his damn desk at the end of the movie, when there was nothing whatsoever at stake, to finally support his idiot English teacher after several of his colleagues had actually placed their academic futures at risk by doing so. Something about that part seemed fraudulent, and, I guess from the get-go, I attached that blame to Hawke.

Of course, after DPS, Hawke went on to play a part in some of the most relentlessly asinine movies in the history of the known universe. And not just Mystery Date, which held back the career of the fetching Teri Polo for a decade. Millions of people positively swooned over Reality Bites, which I experienced as a painful resection of two hours of my life at the hands of the Forces of Stupid-Ass. Such a dizzingly crapulent movie--which still has its defenders today: though I promise you that anyone's spirited defense of the movie is inversely proportionate to their recency of having seen it.

Then there's Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, which sound on paper to be as rigorously annoying as a plateful of taint sandwiches. If one of my friends showed up at my house and told me, "Man, my trip to Europe was great! Let me tell you about how I swanned around with Julie Delpy, just--you know--talkin' about life man, and growing as an individual, dude. Like a bunch of frozen, quotidian moments in which I could just feel the whole universe smiling just for me," I'd smack that guy in the face, feed him a fistful of Roofies, and toss his unconscious body in the bathtub. And when he woke up, groggily wondering what happened and how the last thing he remembered was being about to launch into his Before Sunrise schtick, I'd day, "Yes, yes. You told me all about it. Fascinating. Hey, I know what! How about you shutting up for the next six hours or something?"

Also: Gattaca. Could I be any clearer?

Which brings us to The Hottest State. Ten pages into that fucker, I had to put it down and walk away, mainly because of the way it managed to combine the unreadability of the worst DeLillo with the utter stupefaction of the dullest therapy sessions ever transcribed. I understand that in the movie, which Hawke directed, he also plays the character that's supposed to stand in for his own father, which is such a Moebius strip of fuckedupedness, that the Entertainment Weekly critic described it as "going up his own keister."

And yet, despite it all, I have to say that I nevertheless like Ethan Hawke, because friends of mine who have worked design on some of the theatrical productions he's worked on have reported back that he's an absolute first-rate guy to know and to work for--and if you're out there, treating designers right, then you are a prince among men in my book. So, my advice to Hawke is this--find a good analyst, get over your dad and your divorce, stop trying to make feature films out of psychological minutiae, and good luck with that vampire movie--they are so hot right now.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Spooning!

You know, lost in all the previous weeks michegas over Spoon and cancelled shows and opening for the Shins and then now adding back a show to 9:30 was one vitally important fact: I forgot that I had a ticket to see them! Thanks to Amanda, who gave me the ticket in the first place, and is apparently now Britt Daniel's BF. (Oh, Mandy! What's Hamilton Leithauser going to say when he hears the news?)

Anyway, I guess if you're going to forget about something, best that its Spoon tickets. As opposed to say, pants.

Deers are the New Wolves

As most of you know, I'm no fan of animal collectives. Or, indeed, Animal Collective, who reign supreme over the crapulent wing of the indie-rock universe. During the siege of Wolf bands from two years ago, I was struck how the Lupine banner seems to wave over an onslaught of dizzying suck--Wolf Parade, AIDS Wolf, Wolf Eyes, etc. There were others, but not even the blogs that rallied for them can remember them now. Recently, I feel this trend has been reversed--Patrick Wolf and Le Loup have done what they can to redeem the species.

Once this distrust of wolf bands was launched in me, however, it began to spread into other sub-taxonomies of rock. This trend may well become a problem as my mind gets more and more addled and the rock bands of the world run out of possible names. (Ask Leafblower to update you on his current list of band names he can no longer tell apart.) This has impacted my judgement on other bands, perhaps unfairly. For instance--I think we can all agree that Deerhoof is like listening to the death throes of a stillborn hyena, and because of this, I've been disinclined to give the band Deerhunter a chance. Luckily, after seeing this picture, I've grown a legitimate reason to not listen to them:


Jesus Christ! Did there ever come a Deerhunter so malnourished looking? Holy shit! Would somebody at these guy's label put the fucking bong down for a minute and HELP THIS GUY?

UPDATE: Well I stand corrected! He's got Marfan's Syndrome! And that means he's actually making most indie rockers look wussy by comparison.

At least the Wolves all look to be appropriately well-fed.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A few further notes on App State-Michigan

1. My brother runs the recreation department of some high-toned resort in Blowing Rock, NC called Chetola. According to our dad, ever since the Woofereens got put on the schedule, he has greeted visitors from Michigan to Chetola by asking them, "Are you scared?" I guess now they know what he meant!

2. One thing I'm wondering about is this: with a first down at the Michigan 5 yard line and 30 seconds left on the clock, why did App. State kick a field goal and leave time on the clock? Surely it would have made sense to run a play, moving the ball to a less steep angle and bringing the clock down so the Woofs had no time to mount a last-second drive. As I said before, I didn't get to see the game...were there extenuating circumstances? WHY DID THEY DO THAT?

3. You know, it occurs to me, both Michigan and App. State are no strangers to big games. Michigan begins each year hunting for a national title, and has big-time, lights-on-the-marquee games each year with Notre Dame and Ohio State. App. State's won national titles the past two years. Still, I'm guessing Michigan fans were a little surprised that the Mountaineers didn't wither under pressure as the game reached its conclusion. Here's what they didn't account for: when Michigan takes the field, they know their season is riding on the opinions of sportswriters and the results generated by a computer. When App. State takes the field, they know that their season is riding on winning the game on the field. Food for thought.

4. And, in other news, UVa rolled over and played dead at Wyoming yesterday. WYOMING!! What the HELL? I officially have no fucking idea what's going on there anymore, and I expect to hear from all the people who thought we should have never got rid of George Welsh/running the ball up the gut on 3rd-and-19/while helmets/the tradition of wearing ties and Laura Ashley dresses to games/the tradition of not having a Jumbotron/the Tree House/the Pep Band.

Actually, we should have never gotten rid of the Pep Band. Our marching band blows.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

HAAAAA! SUCK IT, Wolverines!

Ouch!
Damn! Game winning figgie, stuffed! Crazy!

At least one person I know, called this upset. Brother of DCeiver, who called it and, it should be noted, picked App. State to win the day this game was put on the schedule. He's in Boone this very minute. He was at a bar--the FIRE MARSHALL was there--and was on the phone with my dad when they blocked the try. Dad says there was this unholy screaming noise and then the phone went dead. I cannot imagine what's happening to my brother right now.

App. State thus bounces back from the news that Miss Teen South Carolina Wordpower and her maps fetish will be attending next year.

Oh, and fuck ESPN for not breaking away from the crap they were showing to bring us the end of the game. I had to watch on the interwebs.

Oh, well, off to see how the Deadspinners are taking this.

Wow. Nuts! Suck it, Michigan!