Tuesday, January 29, 2008

To The 5 Boroughs

Through the modern miracles of motion pictures and digital video discs, I had the pleasure of watching two of the cinema's most essential New York City stories this weekend: the JJ Abrams-brainstorm Cloverfield - which is just as taut and thrilling as they'd have you believe - and the dreamy, moving Jim Sheridan movie In America (finally!), which was simply sublime. The central takeaway, of course, was that everything was a whole lot better before Giuliani. But I'm guessing you probably already knew that.

Still Tippin'

Guess what, Malcolm Gladwell? Turns out you can suck it! Why? Well, according to a recent article in Fast Company, the whole premise of The Tipping Point is, like, totally busted or whatevs.

According to some guy named Duncan Watts one of Gladwell's foundational ideas - Influentials theory - is a crock. "It just doesn't work" Watts says, "A rare bunch of cool people just don't have that power. And when you test the way marketers say the world works, it falls apart. There's no there there."

Sounds like an interesting idea! All we need now is some early adopters out there to make with the early adopting and push this meme into the mainstream thought. That way, a critical mass can form behind this perspective and we can finally look at both sides of this issue and with one voice, at last, speak loudly and firmly, "OMG, FUCK OFF ALREADY, NERDS! CHRIST!"

None Dare Call This 'Hysterical.'

Oh, dear. Apparently Marcia Pappas of the New York branch of the National Organization for Women has lost her ever-loving mind because Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for President. This is the same unhinged spokesmodel who described the Democratic contest as a "psychological gang-bang" because...uhm...because--well, it had something to do with Obama and Edwards and playground taunts and some Jodie Foster movie...Flightplan, maybe? Fuck if I know.

At any rate, Kennedy's endorsement has transformed a "psychological gang-bang" into a full-blown case of psyche-storming ass-nectar bukkake or something, because Pappas is back penning crazy-ass press releases:

Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard. Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills. We have thanked him for his ardent support of many civil rights bills, BUT women are always waiting in the wings.

And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment! He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not “this” one). “They” are Howard Dean and Jim Dean (Yup! That’s Howard’s brother) who run DFA (that’s the group and list from the Dean campaign that we women helped start and grow). They are Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America, democrats.com, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take women's money, say they’ll do feminist and women’s rights issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or America’s future or whatever.

Wow. Just...wow. "Ultimate betrayal?" Calling out Howard Dean's brother? Ending a paragraph with "or whatever?" And how do Kucinich supporters figure into this? None of this makes a lick of sense.

And some of the blogosphere's smarter feminists have sounded off against Pappas. So this isn't just me and the Patriarchy talking. In fact, Wife Of DCeiver, upon reading Pappas' press release, offered what I think was the best response, which was to snort derisively and say, "Sounds like just another fucking Boomer to me." Now, I don't know if Pappas actually is a member of the Boomer generation, but that's OK, because "Boomer" is a household code word for "complete moron."

Anyway, I think it's safe to say that if you are going to write about receiving the ultimate betrayal at the hands of Ted Kennedy's "abandonment," your name better be Mary Jo Kopechne.

You Fundamentalists Truly Deserve One Another

In my opinion, rather than working ourselves into a national paranoiac lather over the existence of Muslim-Americans, this nation should promote itself as the best place on the planet to worship anything. Why not? What's the harm? It'd be a real kick in the eye to fundamentalist terrorists to hear us bragging about our centuries-old tradition of religious freedom and plurality, and frankly, it'd benefit from both American pride and the spirit of capitalist competitiveness.

That's just me. If you're an idiot, like, say Roger Kimball, it's better to get all het up in a juvenile, kindergarten snit. Saudi Arabia isn't a very tolerant place of other religions, he muses. Well, duh, dickcheese. Take that shit up with the Saudi's BFFs in the Bush administration, and leave the rest of us Americans out of it. He seems to think that the spirit of "reciprocity" - a conceptual hijacking he flies into the twin towers of common sense and intellectual honesty - demands we replicate the Saudi's Muslim-only roads to Mecca and keep the Islamoweirdies out of New York City. It's total nonsense, and not just because it's ...uhm...nonsense.

The exclusionist spirit engendered by those signs is alive and kicking right here in the U.S. of A., and it's exemplified in every feverish shit-fit thrown by bent religious ideologues when a shop clerk fails to say "Merry Christmas." It reveals itself every time a science teacher is fired from their job because they refuse to cater to Creationist claptrap. It rears its ugly head anytime someone suggests that it may not be proper for the Israeli military to level an entire apartment building to eliminate the one radical terrorist they suspect might be inside and is labelled an anti-Semite.

Anyway, outside of the utterly mean-minded hypocrisy this assbag promulgates, there's also a raft of essential stupidity: "But I would like to propose a different moratorium: a temporary reprieve or suspension of mosque building in the West until there are, say, 20 Christian churches and 20 temples in Saudi Arabia. That’s only a hundredth of the number of mosques there are in the U.S., but I don’t believe in making grandiose demands."

Oh, certainly. I wouldn't want to suggest that your insistence that Saudi Arabia built twenty synagogues destined to remain empty in perpetuity was grandiose.

[h/t: Unfogged]

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday Night Smashmortion Blogging

Via Jezebel (vote for Jezebel for Blog of the Year in the 2008 Bloggies, pls!), we find this bit of criticism from the Village Voice's film critic:

"There can be no female agency in Knocked Up, Waitress, and Juno -- not because they are comedies, but because, in each scenario, unwanted pregnancy is the joke played (by God?) on the female lead. As the most successful of the preg protags, she who is Knocked Up is necessarily the most smacked down -- the glass ceiling turns out to be Alison's own uterus. Jenna and Juno are less formidable, but unexpected fertility mocks their dreams of autonomy. All three are taught their place by their own bodies--and what's more, they learn to like it."

Frankly, I found the character of Juno to be in possession of a ton of autonomy. But that's besides the point. Had Alison or Juno (I have not seen Waitress yet, sorry) chosen to have an abortion, would that have really been evidence of "female agency" or "autonomy?" No. Of course not. The situation would have been merely a flipped script that described a different set of social inequities. The driver behind Alison's decision would have been her career (inequity: different set of consequences for women who have sex). The driver behind Juno's decision would have been her youth (inequity: Uhm...the same thing).

Anyway, I think abortions should be safe and legal. I'd be interested in seeing a movie about how "female agency" and "autonomy" are affected by the decision to have an abortion. But someone will have to...you know...make a movie about this topic. I'm really weary of critics pretending that Knocked Up and Juno meet these qualifications. The insistence is stupid. It's like saying Citizen Kane is about sledding.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Here Comes A Regular

We missed this Twitter from Ana when she, uhm...twitted it? Twat it? Whatevs. The point is, it's a reminder that the Originals stay original.

"When will someone ask me my opinion on the, ahem, Bush stimulus package?"
On point as ever.

Double Zero What The Fuck?

According to the news today, the next installment of the James Bond franchise has begun shooting at England's famed Pinewood Studios. And the movie is going to be called...uhm...Quantum Of Solace. So there you have it. The people who once brought you the titles of goddamned GUIDED BY VOICES ALBUMS are now in the business of naming James Bond movies.

The Cloverfield Monster, Revealed!

And, as it turns out, Brooklyn's not safe, either.

Bridges, Weddings, Ayn Rand, and Mike Huckabee

So, the weirdest part of tonight's GOP debate was that moment where Mike Huckabee forever lost the vote of every fiscal conservative and pretend-fiscal-conservative-actually-an-antitax-freakmonger in the world by proposing a weird-ass, horrible version of the New Deal in which we add lanes to I95 from Maine on down. Silly Huckabee! Doesn't he know that's the sort of labor that gets done by illegals and Mitt Romnet Big Dig incompetents who drop large slabs of concrete on people?

Anyway, the blogger formerly known as DCSOB was watching it, as well, and remarked: "Also, I-95 goes over the George Washington Bridge in New York, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Washington and any number of other bottlenecks. Do you really think Huck is going to knock down the GWB to build a wider one?"

Trenchant! Because I personally had my inaugural experience with the wonder that is the GWB over the weekend, and my kneejerk reaction is that the bridge is an intractable mistake that nevertheless would only get worse if you tried to "improve" it. Really. It is fucked up and unpleasant and someone really is going to have to explain the three minute limits on idling and the signs that are posted under the apartments about some "Siamese" nonsense. Anthropologically speaking, however, I enjoyed the experience. It remained the fastest way for me to get to my destination, a wedding in New Rochelle, from where I stayed the night, in Denville, NJ.

The wedding was Greek Orthodox and awesome. The reception, was an insane amount of food and plenty of additional merriment, held at a place called the Fountainhead, whose elegant interiors were masked by an austere exterior design that had me wondering if the whole thing was somehow based upon the teachings of Ayn Rand. Was I going to experience my first ever Objectivist wedding reception? Would it be an evening of pulling myself up by my bootstraps? Sadly, it would seem not: our friends Meg and Matt brought their infant daughter to the shindig (adorable, by the way) and the staff went out of their way to ensure her comfort - not at all the way the Ayn Rand daycare functioned in the Simpsons.

Anyway, if Ayn Rand's acolytes can consistently deliver such delicious osso bucco and filets mignons, then I say, let Atlas shrug!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

DCeptette: Short Dose of the Bellicose Version

  1. Mercury in the sushi! Can it happen here? We don't know, but we are officially raising the DCeiver's Mercury Panic Pictorial Threat Index to The Cover Of The Deserter's Songs LP. [Consumerist]
  2. At last! Somebody out there combined our two FAVORITEST THINGS IN THE WORLD: 1. 9/11 and 2. MIMES! Then they combined it with Enya! This could not be more perfect. [Lindsayism]
  3. And in other Lindsayism news, we concur with this as well, and could really make it worth Australia's while. [Lindsayism]
  4. Velvet Lounge will soon be under new management. [DCist]
  5. Amy Winehouse is now fully qualified to be the Mayor of DC. [Defamer]

On the re-arranging of deck chairs.

So, yeah, I think that the decision to axe Megan Carpentier from Wonkette was a mistake, not that anyone asked my opinion. I like Ken Layne quite a bit, enjoy the shit out of his writing, and weirdly, I sort of feel like Carpentier's output would have been a really nice complement to it.

Gawker Media, oy...what a mess. Thank God for Jezebel. That site has been the place to find the sort of writing that went down in the Choire-Doree-Emily-Balk era*: at times fierce, at times righteous, but leavened with a certain degree of humility and vulnerability. It's in those unexpected latter moments that Gawker gets truly subversive. Right now, I think Pareene is doing a good job at their flagship site but that it's otherwise succumbed to rudderless dullness.

Just today, they allowed someone, ruminating on the Fox Business Channel's "Happy Hour" Program, to say things like, "Did you ever see Mel Brooks’ 'The Producers?' It’s a story about a hapless producer and a nebbish accountant who concoct a scheme to make the worst Broadway play ever made," and conclude by citing (and grammatically mangling**) the popular Mencken quote about going broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Something just rang false with me--the Gawker reader doesn't need to have The Producers explained to them, and is not likely to be impressed with a post that tidily sums itself up with an idea that veteran readers likely accept as gospel.

A mess!

* Recreate the magic: Here, here, here, and here.
**They write, "No one has ever went broke..." Jesus wept!


WTF?! Jim Fassel? JIM MOTHERFUCKING FASSEL?! Unleash the interrobangs! Because we are in stunned disbelief. Dan Snyder: DO YOU WANT AMANDA MATTOS TO CRY? BECAUSE SHE WILL CRY IF YOU HIRE SAD BAD RAVEN MAN. Holy POOPSHOOTING CHEESEDOODLES, why did you ever let go of Marty?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Worked Up.

Will it ever, ever end? I'm talking about the endless rounds of agita engendered by the comedy Knocked Up. It didn't begin with Ann Hornaday's confused column, and it won't end with the most recent thread on Unfogged. My typically sound argument is basically: a) oh, chill, b) if they had decided to have an abortion, the resulting twenty-minute film would have been hard to market as a feature, and c) if Clive Owen had been cast in Seth Rogen's role, just about NONE of these concerns would have arisen.

I remain steadfast on these points, by the way. And I'd like to admit into evidence the fact that Kathleen Heigl herself got married to this. So, sorry, folks: hot girls do get married to barely employed, hairy, awkward schlubs. I'll be happy to reconsider my position if and when she starts aborting all their babies.

By the way, Heigl herself has famously complained that the movie was "a little sexist...It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight." Uhm...gee, Kath. You're one to talk!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When martinis pass her lips, all her quips get razor tips...

This is the sequel to this.

Stockholm Syndrome

As you might know, I'm a big fan of public transportation systems, and one of my favorite things to do when I find myself in an unfamiliar system is to get up to speed on how to get around. Obviously, our own Metro is pretty state of the art as far as aesthetics goes, if you're talking about the United States. Take a gander at these pics from Stockholm, though! Now that's beautiful, and all but unattainable here. But if you listen carefully, you'll hear Ryan Avent cream his pants!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Band Game

Via Cat Andrews, we went and played The Band Game. Do it yourself today! Here's our results.

Yes, brace yourself for Ed (From The Bible), and their forthcoming release, America What It Is.

Live Through This

Stereogum resuscitated this old cover of SPIN, circa April 1993. They make note of how awkward it is to look back at the pop-cultural taxonomies of yesteryear. I think it's just as awkward to look back and see that there was once a time that Bill Clinton was seen as leading something called "the New Optimism." Flash forward, it's pretty clear that he is on the vanguard of "the New Cynicism." I understand that his wife needs to defeat Barack Obama. It's just too bad that entails a dismantling of the same aspirational/inspirational brand of politics that fueled Clinton's rise in the first place. Things were once different.

It should be noted that Ice Cube was, in this issue, interviewed by Bell Hooks! Also, as disappointing as Bill Clinton has become this year, it's far more disappointing that Adrienne Shelley (on the cover, making out with Evan Dando - which is itself a disappointment) is dead. We all had such great plans.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Suck it, OJ!

Dude. I hope that you got a chance to watch Judge Jackie Glass lower the boom on O.J. Simpson in court two days ago. She was downright riveting as she read the defendant for shit and doubled his bail and mandated the non-nautical terms of his bail. OJ was like, "Buh-buh-buh." And she was all: "SHUT THE EFF UP, Dickjuice. Your bail just got doubled, bitch! I can do that! I am gonna get PAID to-day! And guess what else? You aren't allowed to talk to anybody. Got it? And guess what else? You can't get on a boat! Yeah, you heard me right! NO BOATS! In fact, fuck it--bailiff? Bend him over. That's right. That's the stuff. Now take my gavel and shove it up his ass. THAT'S RIGHT, OJ! You are gonna walk around with my gavel hanging out of your ass until your trial date, so you can remember what an arrogant, ignorant, no boating ass you are." Pretty much amazing.

We're Already Sick Of All The Sneaky Chefs

Know what I'm already sick to death of in 2008? The litigious carping between all these self-styled cooking mavens and their books that purport to "sneak" healthy foods like lima beans and asparagus into kids stomachs via iced creams, cake and fellatio. Seriously. STFU! Hey, Jessica Seinfeld! What are you even doing? Isn't Jerry rich as Croesus? What's with all the endeavoring and laboring? It really makes all of us who dream of marrying money and kicking back for a handful of decades look bad. And to both of you: why can't you tell kids the truth? What are they gonna do when they move out and have no fucking idea how it happened that they grew up strong and healthy on three square meals a day of RED VELVET CAKE, only to go off to college and come down with an incurable case of bubonic diabetes by November? Betcha didn't think of that. Besides: sneaking food within food? Isn't that what they did to Rasputin? For shame.

DCeptette: Birds Who Love Blokes Who Love Bobbies Who Love Crumpets Version

  1. Exit Clov. Now with LIGHTNING. LIGHTNING!! NNNNNINNNNG!! [Last Second Thoughts]
  2. Don't taze me, Breaux! [Wonkette]
  3. You remember giving Tom Cruise permission to save us all from the 9-elevens? Of course you don't. HE DOESN'T ASK PERMISSION, ASSHOLE. [Defamer]
  4. Our Special Tonight Is The Grilled Lamb Top Sirloin Wrapped in Applewood Smoked Bacon, With Gorgonzola Walnut Ravioli, Pearl Onions, And A Side Of Death. [A Week Of Kindness]

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: Clinton's Classy Surrogates

What to say about this whole Robert Johnson thing? The founder of BET, shilling for Hillary, was a clown and a defamer when he said, "Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood -­ and I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in the book." Uhm, duh. He's referring to drugs. His later attempts to suggest that he was talking about "community organizing" are preposterous. I hate the cynicism. I hate the substanceless bunk. Mainly, I hate how we've reached one of those points where everyone seems content to sit back and accept all the dumb-sounding excuses and explanations as if it were okay. Hillary got to say in the debate two nights ago that she was simultaneously accepting Johnson's asinine explanation as truth AND decrying it as "out of bounds." And the keepers of your discourse just sat there and wrote it off when what America really needed to see was someone saying, "Sorry, but I'm just not going to let you get away with that. You must think we're all two years old."

Robert Johnson is, simply put, a disgusting man. I suppose that I come to that having been well-informed against his character by Aaron MacGruder, who's hammered him mercilessly from his former perch on the comic pages. But if you want an of-the-moment capturing of the B.E.T. head's hypocrisy, I cannot say enough good things about what Wonkette did to him the other day.

What to add? Only that Johnson, who now hearts Hillary, has been only too happy to provide President Bush with political cover for any number of terrible policy ideas, like the ending of the estate tax and the privatization of Social Security. It just goes to show, that as good as Johnson is at whipping up a crowd of voters, so should see him preach when he's alone in a room full of money. That's when he really pulls out all the stops.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Take The Retards To The Daily Show

Jon Stewart doesn't always need his writers.

"Do you feel like you might be hung up on labels and isms? Because I don't know what you're saying."
That's Stewart, responding to Jonah Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism, who went on and on and on, not making any sense at all.

"Explain how organic food is fascist," Stewart asked. Guess what? It couldn't be done. "That's like saying, Hitler had a mustache, so mustaches are fascist."

The whole interview was chopped up like a piece of meat. I gather they did their best to edit it into something sensible. Guess what? It couldn't be done.

Jonah Goldberg is probably the dumbest human being to have ever penned a book.

You know the old saw about how if you give a million monkeys a million typewriters and a million years, they stand a good chance of writing Hamlet? Jonah Goldberg and his book are what happens after the 999,999 smart monkeys give up.

An Elaborate, Moving Brief For This Pair And (Ultimately) In Riffs Dense.

As many of you know, I long ago dropped Home Box Office and the right to demand anything "on demand," so I'm working my way through their library of quality television via DVD. Completed: Oz and The Sopranos. And I am in the progress (hopelessly far behind, but relishing all the same) of making my way through The Wire, which I watch whenever I have private moments.

Wife of DCeiver and I have together started in on the first season of Flight of the Conchords, and holy shit: is it ever genius! Once they had proven their mettle with an initial episode offering of a brilliant Fleetwood Mac pun, I was basically in for the duration. The songs are hilarious and wonderful, the writing is taut, and I was overjoyed that moon-faced kewpie chorine Sutton Foster (who's capable of brightening up even David Simon's Baltimore) got to play along in a three episode arc. It's really, really good. But then, what does it matter what I think, seeing as how I'm the last to see any of these shows. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Wearing these glasses gets you high, but you come down hard."

I'm so glad that LAist included this crazy-assed scene from John Carpenter's They Live! on their top five fight scenes from the movies. It's truly, truly great. And greater still when you consider that this scene is of the two nominal good guys fighting over wearing a pair of sunglasses. If you haven't seen this movie, you owe it to yourself. It's about a world in which nasty looking aliens have taken control of the world through a complicated process of trompe l'oeil camouflage and wackadoo subliminal messages, and it's up to Roddy Piper and his sunglasses (which penetrate the illusion, MAN!) to save the day. Truly the Children of Men of its day.

Also, this movie contains the immortal line: "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum." BRILLIANT.

The Audacity of Dopes: Unions At Each Other's Throats In Nevada

What union to back in Nevada? You have the Culinary Workers Union, who are going to caucus at their casino workplaces and will likely turn out in big numbers for Obama, or the Clinton-backing teachers' unions, who oppose these workplace caucuses because it might make it possible for people to vote for Obama? Hmmm, let's see. The teachers in Nevada are just fine, I'm sure, but they don't seem up to the task of informing people against the widespread practice of cashing paychecks at the casinos. Meanwhile, the culinary workers mix strong drinks and otherwise seamlessly serve an industry that succeeds in carting off millions of dollars each year. Plus, they once picketed the Frontier Hotel for six years, which makes their strike the longest running show in Vegas that didn't involve a tiger mauling. I say: score this one for the CWU.

You Call This A Debate?

CatAn speaks of a "war" between proponents of Potbelly versus similar partisans in support of Cosi. Not much of a war! Potbelly seems to pride themselves on serving reasonable facsimiles of sandwiches with as much alacrity as possible. Cosi has the worst service of any restaurant chain anywhere, seems to hire people to run the store who are maddeningly stupid, and the bread that they seem to think is so damned special has the texture and taste of a leavened roofing shingle. Bah! Cosi pan, you tutti fruittis!


I was just telling Rachel Sklar that there is nowhere in DC to get poutine - and I'm not talking about the non-poutine poutines that they serve at Jimmy's Tavern in Herndon or at the Victoria Gastropub. Has this changed, internets? Where my Montreals at? How did we get saddled with their shit-ass-for-like baseballing concern and none of the cuisine? Those guys from Le Loup must eat that stuff!

Bad Writers Poison The Well

"Trial By Facebook," an article in the Willamette Week describes how students at Lewis And Clark college used Facebook to warn of a student at the school who's apparently a rapist and the sine qua non of collegiate douchbags to boot. It's a rather interesting article, I guess - though it speaks volumes that Facebook is seen as something as a substitute for a proper, institutionalized moral authority. It more or less reinforces all of the ingrained problems we have prosecuting the crime of rape.

And, speaking of, it brings up another ingrained problem that we've mentioned before. Let's look at how the victim describes the events of the evening that led to the rape. Forgive the length, and because this is America, everything is alleged:

On Oct. 10, 2007, a year had passed. Hunter and Shaw-Fox no longer shared a dorm, and they saw each other on campus only occasionally.

That night, Hunter had been drinking beer in her friend’s dorm room and watching movies when she impulsively sent Shaw-Fox a text message. She wanted to know what he planned to do for fall break, which started the next day. It was out of the blue, but Hunter says her intentions were “friendly.”

The two text-messaged back and forth until midnight, when Shaw-Fox invited Hunter to his dorm.

“I whispered to Alexa, my roommate, and I was like, ‘I’m going to go over to Morgan Shaw-Fox’s,’” Hunter recalls. “As soon I got to the door, Mike, her boyfriend, was there, and he was like, ‘Don’t go, he’s an asshole.’ I was like, ‘No, it’s OK, I know he’s an asshole.’

“I was like, ‘I’ll be OK,’ and then I went over there, and it wasn’t OK.”

When she arrived, it appeared Shaw-Fox had also been drinking, she says. He was watching a DVD of the FX television series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia , with Danny DeVito.

“His roommate went to sleep, and we went into [Shaw-Fox’s] room,” Hunter recounts. (Shaw-Fox had his own bedroom in the suite he shared with a friend.) “I was wearing a tube top. He just, like, pulled it down, and I kissed him.”

He wanted her to take his clothes off, so she did, she says. She was naked, too.

“And then we were making out, and he started pushing my head down.… He wouldn’t really stop doing that,” Hunter says. “So eventually I was like, ‘All right.’ But I said to him, ‘I’m still a virgin, and I want to keep it that way.’ And he said ‘OK,’ and he was like, ‘You know, I’m not interested in any relationship.’”

Shaw-Fox’s mattress was on the floor pushed up against a wall, Hunter says. “I’m sitting up against the wall on his mattress, and he’s standing over me,” she continues. “It started happening, and then he, like, twisted his fingers around my hair and started pulling it and being just kind of violent. I started choking because he was just, like, pushing my head.… I started gagging and choking, and I couldn’t really breathe.”

She says she started pushing on Shaw-Fox’s abdomen to tell him to stop. “And he was like, ‘Yeah, that’s right, choke on it.’”

Eventually, Hunter was able to get up and put her clothes on, she says, because Shaw-Fox had to leave the room to vomit.

I think that anyone equipped with the gift of reason can accept the fact that round about paragraph ten, an uncomfortable encounter defininitively veers into the area of criminality. There's really no other way to view it. Yet Hunter says: "I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t categorize it."

Huh? The actions described are a clear cut case of attempted rape/sexual assault. Whatever does she mean? I think you know:

Hunter calls what happened to her something akin to “gray rape,” a term she learned from an article in Cosmopolitan written by Washington Post journalist Laura Sessions Stepp. Hunter admits she initiated the encounter. But she eventually withdrew her consent, she says. “The whole thing was very confusing to me, and I didn’t know what to do about it for such a long time,” she says.
I blame Laura Sessions Stepp for Hunter's confusion, because that's what her "gray rape" nonsense does: foster confusion. But once consent is withdrawn, criminality begins. That shouldn't be confusing. But Stepp's revolting, backwards, inane ideas add nothing but confusion, and we can see how the deleterious effects of her writing on the subject of rape has spread itself far and wide.

One day, someone who belongs in jail is not going to end up there because of this "gray rape" nonsense. So now one thing Laura Sessions Stepp can never say is that she hasn't been told.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: Nevada Caucus, Pyggie Style!

We go live to our correspondent, The Governess, reporting from Las Vegas:

I'm going by myself to Toby Keith's "I Love this Bar and Grill" for dinner. You're welcome.

also: hillary and obama are in town and no one gives a shit. they keep running the same footage on local news on a loop of her bus pulling up into a "poor Hispanic neighborhood!"


Thank you, Governess. Back to you, Wolf.*


Although We Are Prepared To Accept Your 'Diving Bells'

We read on Jezebel:

The reason Heath Ledger has been looking a bit unkempt lately is because he appears to be playing someone homeless in Terry Gilliam's new movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Dear The Makers Of Movies--

Look. We are a worn out nation. We have limits. And we can think of no better way to put this, other than to say we are not even remotely interested in any more movies about imaginariums, emporiums, terrariums, bio-domes, or quonset huts. We are begging you, no more.



The Audacity of Dopes: Paul Supporters Begin Their Unduping

So, like you probably know, it's come to light that Ron Paul, in the years before he became the folksy hero for high-toned nonsense, published a newsletter in which he said all sorts of crazy, sick things about the blacks and the Jews and the gays. Via Dynamist (h/t Rox Populi), we learn that this revelation has led some Paul supporters to begin the difficult process of deprogramming themselves:

[Read More]

Dance Dance Revolution

With all the hoop-lah over the New Hampshire primary, I forgot to tell you all about the awesome thing the other day. Yesterday morning, while I was coming to work on the Orange Line, this guy got on board the train with me and started to dance.

Now, you should know, that when I say "dance" I do not mean that he gently bobbed his head, or swayed back and forth, or tapped his feet a little bit. No, no. I mean that the guy got on the train, backed his azz up onto one of the poles, and began to wax that booty like it was his damn duty.

Dude wore a ball cap, brim pulled waaay down low over the bridge of his nose - to the point where I wondered if he could even see. His shirt was frayed and sleeveless, and he had these monster biceps that you couldn't help noticing because flexing them provocatively was one of his big "moves." The guy straight up waggled, grinding that pole, his shoulders moving in wild side to side abandon. He was straight wrecking it. And doing so in front of two seated ladies, who stared on in utter dumbfoundment.

You know those guys on American Idol who are brought on the show in the early episodes just because they're crazy and bound to fail, except you find out they're even crazier because they lack any or all inhibitions and think they're a king cobra and shit? This guy was totally like that. In this weary world, he taught me to believe again in the transcendent power of one man's psychotic, brainpan-melting, Godzilla-stomping, astronaut sexing, fuck-a-doodlerama.

Know hope, crazy dancing guy. Know hope.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: Hasta La Vista, Bill!

So, Bill Richardson didn't win in Iowa or New Hampshire, but because he's not a complete idiot--like Mitt Romney--he's recognized that his campaign is going nowhere and is dropping out of the race. According to the AP report, which is likely ripped right from a campaign press release, he quit because "his impressive credentials could not compete with his rivals' star power." Pretty strong words from a guy whose big achievement has been wrecking Horatio Sanz's return to Saturday Night Live.

Gone In 15 Seconds: President Bush Sums Up His Legacy

On such a momentous day - filled with voting and hope and mavericks and Carvilles and fairy tales and Chris Matthews sexually harassing Hillary Clinton and more change than a laundromat - you wouldn't think it would be possible for George W. Bush to horn in on all the media coverage. But he found a way! Namely, by providing a succinct summation of what his presidency has meant to America.

Click here for the video.


One day, I'll make good on my threats to pen the book, Every Single Thing In The World That Is Awesome I Learned From Pygmalion In A Blanket. Actually, that will probably not be so much a "book" as it will be a "series of lectures." And by "series of lectures," I mean "incomprehensible rants made whilst living under a park bench" or something.

Anyway, today we have a post that finally, at long last, answers the question of how I've come to be so aware of AIDS. It all makes perfect sense. You got to PRAY just to MAKE IT to-dayyy!

SIDE NOTE: I, personally, have never even had a single Gusburger, owing to the fact that I am hellaciously allergic to its signature ingredient: the egg. Were I to consume one, I would quickly find myself vomiting all over the White Spot. Though, in this way, I would not be distinguishing myself from those who consume Gusburgers in perfect health.

Now...the super-secret hot-wings you can order from St. Maartens are another story.

The Audacity of Dopes: Sari!

The people have spoken? Maybe those nice midwestern folks were just joking! Wow! Didn't see that coming, and from what I gleaned coming out of the Clinton campaign today, they didn't either. I mean, Bill Clinton was griping about how crappy it was that there wasn't enough time between Iowa and New Hampshire to stave off the bounce, but then the split of people who had made up their minds in the past 72 hours split 50-50 between Obama and Clinton. Which means the bounce never happened, or it's happening at a much slower rate than conventional wisdom suggests. Or neither. Or both. Or some third thing. Whatever. This afternoon, the Clinton camp was talking end-stage strategy, and now they don't have to. Maybe this surprises them. Or maybe they are crazy geniuses and this was the M. Night Shyalamadingdong ending they had scripted all along.

Also, crying: it works! So we'll be seeing more of that, I guess. Won't Gloria Steinem have to retract the entire premise of her op-ed in the New York Times today? And how much of this really has to do with Chris Matthews just being an inveterate douche? Probably all of it. Anyway, primary fever: Catch it!

Nostalgia And Realizations, Gawker Edition

How nice it is to see Layne and Pareene, at it again:

Ken says:

It is just like the old days when Pareene & Layne would spend Election Nights typing horrible things to each other over G-Chat. But this time, it’s apparently about John Edwards refusing to ever concede to anyone, because of the Mill, and Pareene works for Gawker in New York.
And then I thought: "Ha ha. Pareene works for Gawker. Meaning one day, Pareene fils will be able to say, 'I am the son of a mill worker,' too." Cleft catbags for everyone!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Whoops! Sunday's Print Run Of Parade Intimates That Benazir Bhutto Is Still Alive

In a moment worthy of 'Dewey Beats Truman,' Sunday's Parade Magazine went out in newspapers all across the country with a blaring cover headline: "'I Am What The Terrorists Most Fear': Is Benazir Bhutto America's best hope against al-Qaeda?" Uhm...we sure hope not!


The Media And The Military: A Tale Of Modern Love

Are you a fan of the NYT Sunday column "Modern Love?" Well, in today's New York Times, there is an article titled "For Pentagon and News Media, Relations Improve With a Shift in War Coverage," in which we learn that the press and the Pentagon are back in love with one another. Such good news! And really, it's a story that deserves to be captured in a more lofty manner. A story of reconciliation and romance. A story that would fit well as the paper of record's Sunday overshare, the "Modern Love" column. We have thus rewritten it for consideration.

New York Times Discusses 'Fair' Tax, Promotes Innumeracy

The New York Times' Tom Redburn asks, "Huckabee's Tax Plan Appeals, but Is It Fair?" A good question. A better question: "Tom Redburn can write an article, but can he do basic math?" Or maybe, "Has the need to be 'fair and balanced' made it impossible for a reporter to simply admit to knowing things that were once eminently knowable?"

The offending passage is this one:

It is not the same as a normal sales tax, however. Under the proposal, the tax is included first. That means a $100 item would cost $130, or 30 percent more. The plan's supporters say that works out as a 23 percent rate because $30 is 23 percent of $130.
What? Has the field of mathematics ceased to exist? Are numbers no longer the sum, total, count, or aggregate of a collection of units? Unless a new style of algorithm, founded on pixie dust and horse manure, has just been invented, there cannot be two answers to this calculation!


The Audacity of Dopes: Clinton Readies America For January 2009 Terror Attack

On the stump today, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton borrowed a page from the Rudy Giuliani playbook by intimating that within hours of her inauguration, the terrorists will be opening up a six-pack of jihadi whoop-ass all over us, because that's what they tried to do in England:

"I don't think it was by accident that Al Qaeda decided to test the new prime minister," she said. "They watch our elections as closely as we do, maybe more closely than some of our fellows citizens do.... Let's not forget you're hiring a president not just to do what a candidate says during the election, you want a president to be there when the chips are down."

You just have to love the optimism! And how about that buried message about how ignorant the American electorate is! Why, if "some of our fellow citizens" would just put forth the same amount of effort as the terrorists, they'd TOTES realize that "Obama" rhymed with "Oh, bomb ya" and that he was educated at some sort of Terror Madrassa For Biracial Change Agents.


Kristol's NYT Debut Reaches Unsupportable Conclusions

There are plenty of laughs to be had reading Bill Kristol's debut column in the New York Times. There's his silly grab at the Obama bandwagon. There's the way he uses Michelle Malkin, of all people, for foundational support. There's the way he mistakenly misattributes that foundational support to Michelle Malkin! And of course, there's what Matt Yglesias points out: "You need to read his work with a decoder ring to try to figure out what's happening."

But what about the nonsensical conclusions Kristol reaches?

Burn This Shit Down, Too.

Dude, I can't tell you how hard it is to know about all the crap going on in the world today and watch that commercial where a bunch of illiterate goobers lose their shit because Burger King has stopped selling the Whopper. Got an Iraq war raging, you know? But fuck it. Let's expend our motherfucking passion on microwaved goat patties. Well, via Gawker, it's nice to see someone out there making fun of that commercial.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Adventures in Pop Cultural Tangentiality

Wife of DCeiver: Wow. How about that? Is it weird for you to have your boss sent up on The Simpsons?

DCeiver: Ahh, how quickly you forget! I used to work for Thomas Pynchon!

Wife of DCeiver: What did you do for Thomas Pynchon?

DCeiver: Erotic services, mainly. Some gardening. At any rate, I'm sure you'll agree that this is familiar territory.

The Audacity of Dopes: Predictionfest!

Well, there's less than an hour to go before the first votes are cast in Dixville Notch - New Hampshire's most homoerotic town - and in Hart's Location. It seems pretty obvious what's going to happen, but for what it's worth, the results will be:

1. Obama
2. Clinton
3. Edwards


1. McCain
2. Romney
3. Huckabee

At this point, these results are a fait accompli, if by "fait accompli," one means, "total fucking duh."

Douches on the Rebound

Amanda takes issue with some dicktery over at WhyIHateDC today, but leave Rusty out of it. The offending column was penned by the site's former purveyor, James, whose latter days at the site were a festival of hack, crybaby fabulism, which allowed me many opportunties to light him up with mad pwnage. His long braying whine for someone--anyone--to do his sorry, inert, impotent ass some sort of favor was finally answered by effing Microsoft of all people, and he decamped to Seattle, causing our air to smell sweeter and the birds to sing louder.

Amanda, do not fret. His beloved Seattle Supersonics were bought by a high-toned, megalomaniac confidence man named Clayton Bennett. Bennett will either blackmail the city into giving him a new stadium, Washington Nationals-style, or he'll take the team to Oklahoma City. Either result for James will feel to him like a long, cold lick of his own damp, chapped ass. Funny thing, has the game gone the other way, it would have never occurred to me to rub his dumbassed face in it. But, then, that's because I'm just a better human being across every conceivable dimension. And so are you, Amanda, so think to yourself, "Oklahoma City SuperSonics," and allow yourself to feel superior.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: What If John Edwards and Mitt Romney Worked For the University Of Virginia Sports Information Desk?

CINCINNATI--After Thursday night's game with Xavier, John Edwards and Mitt Romney addressed the press.

"Whoo! All right! Second place!" Edwards exulted. "Not bad! Sort of feels like first place, in a way!" Edwards captured the evening's game as just a part of a larger picture: "Folks, we sent a strong message tonight. We came, we participated, and we can see this as a repudiation of the corporate interests that sponsored the Orange Bowl."

Mitt Romney played up UVa's successes in terms of the team's humble beginnings. "You know...we've come such a long way. When this season started, we were told that our opponents were too tough. Our competition included household names, like the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tarheels. Well, neither of these 'household names' managed to beat us tonight!"

Edwards followed Romney's remarks: "You know, it's often said that the ACC is the best conference in college basketball. Well, I think we can all agree that UVa. was the best ACC team here on the floor tonight!"

Romney then spent the next several minutes attempting to place silver medals around the necks of the UVa players. His efforts were thwarted, however, when Sean Singletary punched him in the scrotum. Romney is listed in stable condition.

The Audacity of Dopes: Campaign AdWatching

Hillary Clinton: Color Us Seduced!

Rudy Giuliani: Now Playing At the Giuliani Terrorporn Grindhouse.

The Audacity of Dopes: Iowa In Retrospect - A Celebrated Mind-Changer Changed Her Mind Again

A glimpse of the Iowa voter, in microcosm. Once upon a time, there was woman named Susan Klopfer, who lived in Mount Pleasant in her picturesque, middle-class home and with her pictureqsue, snow-covered lawn. She was a precinct captain for Hillary Clinton with a studied background in presidential politics. For a long time, a Hillary sign festooned her aforementioned lawn, and Klopfer happily "licked stamps" and "stuffed envelopes" for her chosen candidate. But then, "the negative stuff" started, and "that wasn't going to work here in Iowa." So Klopfer turned! Toward Hope! And became a Barack backer! And the Obama campaign even made a YouTube video about it! Which various media outlets picked up and promoted.

Guess what happened next?

DCeptette: Transparent Sluts!

  1. So, basically, we like Ellen Page. She played our favorite X-Man (Shadowcat) in what was, admittedly our least favorite X-Man movie (3). She's in Juno, which we think is pretty great. And we have every hope that we'll never see her have a mental breakdown, shame us with celebutard antics, or flash her catbag in public. She lives in Nova Scotia, fer crying out loud. That's pretty much the best. Even better, she and her roommate live in a haunted whorehouse. Ellen, don't ever change. [Jezebel]
  2. John McCain is rolling with the scum of the earth. [Yglz]
  3. George W. Bush's sense of medical ethics tells him that he must avoid the future shocking nonsense of sci-fi novels, unless of course, there's a way to achieve his party's ultimate goal--reducing women to the machinery of high-tech uterine farms. Brave new world, indeed. [1115]
  4. There's a lot to be creeped out/saddened/mystified by Theresa Duncan's death. I'm having the hardest time, however, trying to surmise what Spoon's Girls Can Tell had to do with it. [The Wit Of The Staircase]
  5. If you've not done so already, go get yr golden opportunities!

Games, Damn!

Look who's back! Chicago's brill Neo-Futurists bring their high-wire act back to Woolly Mammoth after basically making everyone at the Fringe Festival cream their skivvies last summer. They're actually here, right now. Maybe you are too. How's the pizza? Good, great, that's nice to hear.

Anyhooway, we are on for next Saturday, 9pm. Join us why not! Details for blinding your own baby can be had right here.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: It's A Bad Year, The Hardliners Say.

In my grand mal seizure of an Iowa summation, one of the points I brought up is that a Huckabee victory portends a bad year for "kingmaking, ivory-tower conservative elites." This is only compounded by the probability of McCain being the white knight that will have to save the GOP from the Huckabeez. As Pat Buchanan points out, conservatives don't like McCain. So what are the tragic heroes of the right who pound on their keyboards and sit on their editorial boards to do? For the moment: cry, cry, cry. Via Loop:

Take a look at what the other members of the GOP coalition are saying. Stephen Green, who was one of the more popular hawks when I started reading blogs about five years ago, goes into sputtering rage:

Dear Iowa Republicans,

I’ll put this in language even your tiny little Iowa brains can understand: What the f*** is wrong with you people?


Three decades later, and along comes Mike Huckabee. Same moral pretentiousness, same gullibility on foreign affairs, only-slightly-less toothy idiot’s grin. Then you so-called Republicans took a look at Carter’s clone and said, “That’s our man, too!”

And by a pretty wide margin.


So I repeat the question: What is wrong with you people?

All my love, you corn-sucking idiots,

Aren't "limousine liberals" the ones who berate Middle America when it votes "wrong"? The comments are even more entertaining - there's nothing more appealing than when folks who strive for seriousness end up ranting about the coming socialist regime like cranks on the street. This apoplexy isn't limited to Green. NR is trying to explain the victory away. This popular hawk hurls the ultimate tired insult: it's good for the terrorists. Richard Viguerie, who basically invented the conservative direct mail machine, sent out a blast email calling Huckabee a socialist.

Deary me. This isn't a good time to be a partisan hack, I'm afraid.

Put On Your Sorting Hat!

It seems that Amanda and Kriston and Josh got into a Harry Potter-related tiffaroo today over whether it would be better to be from Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw or Gryffindor...yeah, yeah, EVERYONE wants to be from Gryffindor. There were many contentions made, some erroneously. Wife of DCeiver shall now settle them.

"I've always found that the Hufflepuffs get a bad rap. They come across as the nice ones. They are fiercely loyal to their friends. And Hottie Cedric Diggory is in Hufflepuff. Amanda should not at all be insulted by being thought of as a Hufflepuff. 'For Hufflepuff, hard workers were most worthy of admission,' says Rowling, who adds, 'You might belong in Hufflepuff where they are just and loyal, those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil.'

As for Ravenclaws not being charged with saving the world, don't forget that Luna Lovegood - one of the foremost members of Dumbledore's Army, was in Ravenclaw. Plus Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem was a crucial part of saving the world in Deathly Hallows. If you want to chill, smoke cigarettes, and not worry about saving the world, you should be in Slytherin. That said, I'm totally in Gryffindor!"

Yeah. One of the things that never made sense to me is why they kept Slytherin around. To me, it's a violation of common sense akin to staying in a house occupied with homicidal ghosts. Know what? Fuck that. It's not for me. If I had gone to Hogwarts, and been told that basically every wizarding shitheel had come from the same house, I'd have been like, "Come on! Let's go over there right now and introduce these jerks to some Muggle concepts--like a molotov cocktail or my boot up their asspipe!"

Anyway, I'm from Dunnington House. We have a laundry, and our rooms always smell like clean sheets. And we don't have to walk nearly as far as the Courtenays.

Everyone's a Critic and Most People are DJs.

But only one has managed to combine these pursuits with aggravated assault. And whoring.

RE: her "DJ set," I don't know whether to be apprehensive about its "specialness" or relieved by its "rarity." One thing's for certain: it's another nail in the coffin of New York City.

Matt Hasselfug

I think it goes without saying that I'll be disappointed if the Redskins don't beat the Seahawks this weekend in the NFC Wild Card game. Frankly, I'll be disappointed if we don't shellack them beyond recognition. They play in the worst division in the NFC, have precisely one win over the entire post-season field (over Tampa Bay back in Week One! And they've only even played one playoff team since: they lost 21-0 at Pittsburgh), and our rushing defense has vastly outperformed their rushing offense in just a side-by-side comparison. But beyond the statistics, there is this picture of Matt Hasselbeck:

Now, Hasselbeck has since shaved this monstrosity off, but the very fact that he once thought it was acceptable to look like this makes the need to beat the Seahawks less about advancing to face Dallas and more about an imperative to advance the cause of civilization and good taste.

The Downward Descent of the Handbasket

A funny thing happened as I was reading (and largely agreeing with) this article on Gawker about how the world is composed of eleventy kabillion attention whores slouching toward YouTube to be be born. A man on the teevee said that Priscilla Ceballos, the mother who "coached her 6-year-old daughter to write a pack of lies about losing her father in Iraq in an essay contest for tickets to see a Hannah Montana concert" was going to appear on the Today show to "explain" herself. Seeing as her previous explanations have been to assert that it's perfectly natural to do whatever it takes to win contests, and anyway, there was nothing in the contest rules that specifically forbade lying, this does not bode well.

Sure, I guess it's not fair to prejudge. Maybe this woman is going to fall on her sword tomorrow. And surely, earning the wrath of Ann Curry is a bleak punishment in itself. But didn't there used to be a time where people who were caught out in public behaving like utter, craven embarrassments at least have the good sense to slink shamefacedly into the background in the hopes that the process of becoming estranged from their scandal-plagued identity could begin in earnest? Now, there seems to be no infamy alienating enough to warrant the avoidance of a public spectacle. It's getting to the point that every perv caught jacking it on the subway will be pricing media buys. Idiocracy.

New Frontiers In Journalistic Obsequiousness

This is just embarrassing, I'm afraid. File under: "We're all professionals here!"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Some Dopey Audacity Of Our Own

Laugh all you want after none of this comes to pass, but here's the prediction.

1. Obama
2. Edwards
3. Clinton

1. Huckabee
2. Romney
3. Uhm...Paul?

Time for a drinky!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Wahoos Are The Crunkest.

So, you are supposed to be able to run on Texas Tech all day long. But what happens when they give up a 96 yard touchdown on one play? Things look pretty good for UVa. right now. Defense is playing great also. Still a half to go.

UPDATE: 4:47pm.


UPDATE: 5:09pm.

And a most uncrunk finish. Score one for the forces of darkness. Sigh.

The Year In Highlights: December 2007 Edition

Well, by the time this goes live I'll be on the downside of something I'll likely regret in eight hours or so. Fuck it. 2007 ended up being a pretty good year. Amazing, really. Thanks for coming along for the ride. With special thanks to Rachel Sklar. See you next year!

The Year In Highlights: November 2007 Edition