Tuesday, February 26, 2008

References To Shirley Serotsky Make Me Hot

Congratulations to Shirley Serotsky and Gabriella Fernandez Coffey for bringing down a pair of well-deserved Helen Hayes nominations. It's nice to know that DC's Theatre nominations process did not come down to superdelegates.

That Drugged Up Weirdie Is Possibly The One Man Who Can Save Us All.

Obviously, Gary Busey is straight nutlog. This was never more apparent than last night, when Busey accosted Jennifer Garner, Ryan Seacrest, and Laura Linney outside the Oscars. Actually, scratch that. It did become more apparent when he attempted to explain himself on Seascrest's radio show this morning:

"You captured me...You are to me, when you're working, an innocent champion of honesty. Your heart has a way to embrace the truth in your delivery. Without looking like you are reading from a script...Spontaneity comes from an invisible idea, that is there before the creation begans."
Scary, I know. And yet, with William S. Burroughs dead, he's our most powerful weapon in the war against the Scientologists.
Watch your back, Leah Remini.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dear The Nabob.

I am not usually given to explosive bouts of wild-eyed whimsy over the secret universe that underlies the one that we see with the naked eye, but I have a healthy respect for both the paranormal and the parapsychological. (And the parasol! For all your kicky restoration comedy needs!) So I was moved and impacted by your post today regarding your subconscious informing you of your tax return.

The G. has my number on her cell phone. Learn it. Memorize it. And if your dreams reveal anything, ever, about my fate, call me immediately. Call at 4:30am. I don't care if it's just stuff like from that Christopher Walken "Dead Zone" sketch on Saturday Night Live ("You're gonna be eating...some ice cream. You're gonna get...a ice cream headache. It's gonna hurt...REAL BAD.") - make the call. I believe.

Voted The Second Most Ridiculous Source Of TMFTML Nostalgia

Told you. Silver medal. A question: If, instead of comparing it to Alexandria, I had instead suggested it was "a lost, blog equivalent of the Codex Seraphinianus," would that have put me over the top? I prefer to live with few regrets.

Still, This Is An Improvement Over Last Week's 'No Country For Old Men Who Want To Have Thinly-Sourced, Uncorroborated Sex With Lady Lobbyists"



Via Jezebel.

Academy Award Post-Mortem

This being a year in which I had largely failed to see most of the nominated movies (I've renewed my vow to do better this year), I had very few dogs in the hunt. Happily, I got the two wins I really wanted. First, Marion Cotillard won for La Vie En Rose, which I endorse to the fullest possible degree. And Cotillard was adorable tonight. Keep away from her, Scientologists! Second, I wanted Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova to win for best song, which their song "Falling Slowly" is, and which did. And kudos to Jon Stewart for getting Irglova some time back to address the audience after they were initially played off.

Other than that, I sort of got skunked in my Oscar pool, which is sort of what you expect when you don't go to many movies during the year. I correctly guessed Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Foreign Language Film (The Counterfeiters seemed the most Holocausty), Art Direction, Makeup, Score, Song, Animated and Live Action Short, Sound Editing and Mixing, and Diablo Cody.

I wanted Amy Ryan to win because I am a Beadie Russell fan, but I wasn't surprised that Tilda Swinton won instead. She will go home tonight and fuck both of the men she's currently living with/fucking. I picked No End In Sight to win best Documentary, clearly forgetting that Yglesias would lead a late surge of support to Taxi to the Dark Side. The Golden Compass beat out Transformers, so I guess it was a good year for atheism and a bad year for Satan/Michael Bay. No Country For Hal Holbrook. Interestingly, American actors were entirely shut out of the awards (they went to Cotillard, Bardem, Day-Lewis, and Swinton)...I don't know when the last time that happened was.

Oh, and, as expected, Heath Ledger won the Final Applause During the Death Montage, and Norbit won the Academy Award for Racism. All in all, a good night. I look forward to seeing most of these movies sometime around 2011.

Titles of Academy Award Nominated Movies That, Until This Year, I Thought Were Actually The Names Of Elaborate, Tantric Sex Acts

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Madame Tutli-Putli
Taxi To The Dark Side
3:10 to Yuma
Tanghi Argentini
and of course, Michael Clayton

Explosivo!

So, if you and your North Arlington-based loved ones were without power today, I can tell you what happened because I was at the epicenter of the Brief Blackout Apocalypse of February 2008. Sometime this afternoon, shortly after I had completed my liveblog of the Sunday morning gabfests, the distinct sounds of a horrible Michael Bay movie occurred outside my window. Three teeth-rattling explosions that knocked our power out. I went downstairs to investigate and saw that a transformer atop one of our electric poles had gone kablooey and the whole works were in flames.

Naturally we called 9-11, along with about 30 other people. Our building manager came by to see what had happened. She got the power company on the phone, and told them we were without power. The power company said that they'd send someone round to see if the problem could be identified. She was basically all: "Yeah, well, unless your shit is supposed to be on fire, that should be pretty easy."

The ACFD showed up, and that's when we found out that electricity was gone from Lorcom Lane all the way up to the Court House district. And that people were being rescued from elevators. That must have been real fun. Anyway, shit was bananas for a long time, but they did manage to restore power (obvs, or I wouldn't be blogging), which on a Sunday afternoon, getting it back by nightfall to such a wide area pretty much counts as great work in my book. Wife of DCeiver made it on the local CBS news tonight at around 6:30, describing the noises and our cats' reactions to them (wild-eyed terror, panicky flights underneath furniture), so once again, our household has upheld its proud tradition of service journalism. So, carry on, electricity consumers of Arlington: today, your carbon footprint was slightly diminished.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ha, Ha! Your Medium Is Dying: There Will Be Abs

Thank you, Paul. You know, there's still plenty of things that print media can do. One of the things it can't do, however, is allow the reader to experience the sound of a couple of nuts rattling around inside a tin can. I mean, sure, online, you can upload a MP3 or something, but it still doesn't convey the visceral feeling of an idiotic rattling sound that might go on forever and ever were it not for a kind editor.

But this comes very close: a meeting of the nimmest of rods. Middle-class prude maven Laura Sessions Stepp and himbo jugger-not David Zinczenko. It's a great conversation. As you might suspect, the word "abs" makes it in really early on. Stepp gets to ask crazy sweeping questions like, "Men are historically uninterested in health issues. Why?" Soon, Zinczenko is talking up the life-saving advantages of vanity, which is hilarious because if we were talking about women getting their vanity on, Stepp would be decrying it. She never questions the double-standard, but then, why would she? As Stepp would say: "Grey rape away, boys!"

This is the best:

We're also behind a big push to help guys consider their mental health. Americans are finally focusing on this as a result of veterans returning from battle. Of the 1.4 million servicemen deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as of November 2006, 30 percent used alcohol to cope. They also reported anxiety and depression in double digits, and 7 percent said they seriously considered suicide. The war is a bellwether for an ongoing mental health crisis among men.
Nice to know that Zinczenko has learned the hard lessons from the Iraq War. In the next issue of Men's Health, learn how to trim your nose hairs while burning abdominal fat at the same time!

Anyway, the only thing left is for Toby from Vividblurry and Rusty from WhyIHateDC to have a panel discussion on the interview, which would probably be the most insightful thing the DC blogosphere has seen in years. Also the most gay.

Something Else That Everyone At The Debate Agreed With

"Obviously, he's not likely to agree, but the truth is, for a lot of bloggers, the loss of TMFTML was the equivalent of losing the library at Alexandria."

I know: needy, much?

Related: Also, everyone thought this was pretty great.

At Last, A Side-By-Side Comparison of the Great Works of Howard Wolfson And Steve Albini

"One thing you can say in Howard's defense, is that at least he listens to good music."

"So fucking what? Steve Albini listens to better music, and he's just as much of an asshole."

"True. And Steve Albini has contributed a hell of a lot more to the world than Howard has."

"Word."

CNN: The Most Trusted Name In Overhead Shots of Banquette Furniture

Hey, debate watchers, tell us: WHAT THE FUCK was up with those weird overhead shots of CNN's set at the debate? I mean, somebody...some grownup, said, "Oooh. Is that an extra camera? I know. Let's rig it from the ceiling, say...thirty-five feet off the ground? Get a nice view of the furniture." And then another grown-up, the director, literally called the show thusly: "Okay...go tight on 3. Good. Now let's get a shot of the audience, twenty....twenty-one. Now, back on four, four, tight on Obama. Good. Good. Now for the coup de grace: HIT EM WITH THE OVERHEAD CAM! YES! YES, MOTHERFUCKER! HOW YOU LIKE THAT SHIT!"

Anyway, if anyone ended up with any decent downblouse shots of Campbell Brown, you know how to email me.

We Are The Change We've Been Waiting For

From The Field:

Texas Republicans have worked overtime to make it harder for key Democratic voting groups to vote and be represented fairly. The redistricting games they’ve played are infamous. And for the Prairie View A&M University precincts, they put the early-polling place more than seven miles from the school.


So here's what happened.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The DCeiver Household Discusses Apligraf.

First, please read for the essential background.

---

Wife of DCeiver: Still, when you think about it, you can make the argument that stem cells are gross.

[pause]

DCeiver: A fair point. However, I'm pretty comfortable making the argument that repurposed baby foreskins that fuse to your body are even grosser.

Idiot Girl And Her Magic Window Take A Ride To Williamsburg

We're making fun of videos of people driving today, like we do every February 19th! But, after seeing this fucking commercial on the air for the 987th time, it finally had to be said: this is maybe the douchiest commercial on teevee today. It depicts some yupster moron who gets so BLOWN AWAY by a FUCKING WINDOW that she drifts off into catatonia. And her asshole friends, who just leave her dumb ass in the car. WAKE UP, MORON. We've got overpriced oysters to shovel into our gullet. "The Funeral" is an awesome song, though--it totally deserves a better commercial.

Palme D'Ork Winners: Erik Wemple's Magic Ride

We had previously commented on the City Paper's Erik Wemple making the fascinating discovery that tensions between print and web DO EXIST! I know! The eleven kabillion think pieces already written on the matter weren't kidding! But I didn't realize until a few minutes ago that the City Paper's own website includes a YouTube video simulating Wemple, living out his wet-dream panting fantasy as a Postie, making a commute from the Post's main offices to "dot-com." (hat tips: AMC/Alex Pareene) It's hilariously inane...a real study in Web (-1.5). Some observations:

  • In Wemple's character-imaginings, the typical Post reporter speaks with the dialect of a coked-up Ray Romano trapped in the world's worst David Mamet play.
  • What are you doing in the right lane, trapped behind the D6 bus, asshole? You drive like a fucking tourist!
  • Uhm...cell phone use is illegal, beef-cheeks! [UPDATE: Oh, now that I watch it again, he "gets a ride" over to "dot-com." Huh. I guess there are cars standing by to ferry Posties to Arlington at all hours. Nice perk! Perfect for reporters who lack the stones to walk a few blocks in the snow.]
  • "I gotta figure out this floating-heads thing...all the icons..." WTF?
  • Why didn't you take a left on 19th and use the E Street Expressway? Is this your first time commuting?
  • OH NOES! He's gonna be late getting home to Stephanie Mencimer! Better call ahead and mitigate all the poop-flinging!
  • Seriously? "I don't know what icons I want to use on this thing?" Funny--most of the people I work with are in New York, and we have these things called "phones" and "computers" that help us facilitate our mundane-ass discussions.
  • OMG! Total driving time=15 minutes! Of course, he glossed over the hardest part of the commute, which is finding a quick parking space at Court House. Even when he's trying to be thorough, he's lazy!



On the plus side, the video does confirm to most of the Dogma 95 conventions.

Plagiarism

I don't think very much of this recent, misguided attempt to peg Barack Obama as some sort of plagiarist. This is not to say that a legitimate critique of his speeches on the grounds that they aren't original isn't possible. But plagiarism is a serious ethical breach that shouldn't be tossed around lightly, and since Obama received nothing short of Deval Patrick's explicit consent to use the phrases he did this whole matter simply doesn't rise to the point of stolen words. Besides, as I've endeavored to show elsewhere, a) this Obama-Patrick stuff was well-noted almost a year ago and precisely nobody had a complaint about it then, and b) Clinton herself is the victim of a far more egregious example of biting, and she doesn't seem to be at all bothered.

Part of my opinion, here, is formed in the crucible of my own experience. I have, in collaboration with others, generated bits of content that ended up being used by many, many people - pretty much the exact same circumstance that arose between Obama and Patrick. In those cases, it's never bothered me to see my words used by others - indeed, that was kind of the point. Conversely, I have been plagiarized - copy boosted, placed elsewhere, with another person signing and taking credit for it. That was infuriating, and I wasted no time exposing the fraudster in the most humiliating way possible. So, there's a vast distance between the two experiences.

It seems to me that in order to accept the premise that Obama "plagiarized" Patrick, you sort of also have to be of the mind that when Keith Olbermann used the phrase "I drink your milkshake" on teevee a few weeks ago, that he was plagiarizing somebody. And, frankly, in order to be of that mind, you sort of have to be an idiot.

[Incidentally, the source origin of "I drink your milkshake" is pretty tricky! Bonus points for anyone who knows the correct source of the phrase. Hint: it's not Upton Sinclair!]

Superciliousness Never Takes A Holiday

No rest for the wicked this President's Day! Not from Erik Wemple, anyway, who, in his role as Serious Media Critic, makes sure that the fat-cats at the influential Alexandria Gazette Packet know that he's TOTALLY got they asses IN CHECK. Woo-haah, assholes! That'll take you down a peg!

Tune in next week, when he rips those assholes at the Del Ray Sun a new one. They've got it coming!

I Know What You Did Last Valentine's Day (Actually, No, I Don't)

Amanda's objets de sac a main have a rich history of adventure and mystery. If memory serves me correctly, the good people at the Black Cat sent her home with Sommer Mathis' credit card once, whilst sending hers home with Sommer. This is pretty good luck. When my credit cards go missing, the next thing I know, they're making appearances at Southern Maryland's finer gas stations and liquor stores.

Her wallet has recently returned from some sort of extended walkabout/commercial shoot for Travelocity, and, upon its return, she found nothing missing, and something added: a name and email address. I smell a trickster - and I want to specifically finger the mystery Valentiner of 2007 as the culprit. Why? Just cause I can.

Monday, February 18, 2008

DCeptette: Gotta Stick To Yr Principles Version

  1. Dear me. If I didn't know better, I'd say I was looking at a young Joe Scarborough.
  2. You know, I appreciate the fact that someone went out of their way to prove that some of the Deal Or No Deal briefcase models had something going on other than looks. You got lawyers, Mensa members, people with musical talent, people with a social conscience...and that's all great. But, you know, it's totally okay to just be someone who likes tequila shooters and puppies and playing foosball with friends and shit. [Jezebel]
  3. Just so you know, when I said, years ago, that I would not go to the Nissan Pavillion to witness the second coming of Jesus, I meant it. [The Upstate Life]
  4. The single worst sentence in rock criticism. [Lindsayism]
  5. At some point, do you think someone will say something when the people who are ostensibly in charge of protecting our airports and airplances run up a higher body count than the terrorists? Granted, that time's gonna be a long way off, but it's never too soon to start taking score. [BoingBoing]

The Wrath of Zorn!


From Deuce of Davenport Apparel. $19.99 at CafePress.

To Matt Bourque: Am suggesting "The Wrath of Zorn!" as the replacement for "The Passion of the Gibbs."

Someone really thought they'd just slip this in without comment.

In an otherwise normal story about a Parks employee caught riding around on a golf cart, attempting to chase down and kill birds, comes this sentence:

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe told The New York Times that he couldn't recall anything like an avian Death Race 2000 occurring before, although they did catch a Parks employee scalding monkeys several years ago.

Uhm.

Of course.

[via Gothamist]

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Deliver without signature.

Mandys t r e t c h: ok, so, last night i received the worst (best?) pick up line of all time

DCeiver: !!

Mandys t r e t c h: are you ready for this? brace yourself. random dude at dc9, closes his tab, looks up at me, and says (very dispassionately, i might add) "Do you work for FedEx? Cause you've been staring at my package all night."

DCeiver: omg

Mandys t r e t c h: it doesn't even make sense!

DCeiver: I don't suppose you had been...

Mandys t r e t c h: no, can't say that i was. shouldn't it have been like, an invitation to handle his package or something?

DCeiver: i'd have said: "yeah...I'm not signing for that."

Mandys t r e t c h: hahahaha. that's really good. i asked him to repeat himself, because i was sure i couldn't have heard him correctly the first time

DCeiver: HA!

Mandys t r e t c h: then i'm sure i wore my disbelief on my face when i said, "oh. cute. reeeal cute." and turned away.

DCeiver: I am sure there is a UPS joke in there somewhere. "what CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?"

Mandys t r e t c h: You know who I always feel bad for? DHL. Who uses DHL as their go to? nobody.

DCeiver: Yeah i think their ad campaign is: "look. just try us once. pls??"

Mandys t r e t c h: and even that would be a more effective pick up than "you've been staring at my package all night."

WPNI Lame-Off

There's not much to recommend the City Paper's recent cover story, "One Mission, Two Newsrooms." I mean it ranges from the "Oh, yeah. Print versus web, eh? Egggghhh. I've been reading Poynter for about five years now, so, uhm...yeah. Call me or something, when you have something new to say on the issue," to the plain ol' dumb: OH NOES! THEY HAS TWO OFFICESES? If only there were cellular phone devices or a rich tradition of separate, international bureaus or something!!

It did have one good part, though! The ins and outs of the battle between the Going Out Gurus and the Weekend Section. Yes, for a while there the social lives of every forty-five year old suburbanite hung in the balance! And then you realized you really didn't even care.

Not even a little bit.

The Audacity Of Dopes: Sir Charles Speaks

Seriously. It's too bad that we have to wait until 20-- for him to run for Governor of Alabama. He already has several decades of experience boxing people out in the blocks and tossing suckers through plate-glass windows! I want him to run for the U.S. Senate! You think motherfucking John Thune or somebody is gonna stand up to him?

Dig Sir Charles announcement on CNN. I especially love the whole "fake Christians" thing. Also: Wolf Blitzer=idiot.

Barkley: In 2014, I promise you...I will run for governor of Alabama.

Blitzer: When will you run for governor of Alabama?

Barkley: 2014.

Me: Ugh...dumbass.

Can Barkley bring people together? Work past racial barriers? I recall a commercial he did years ago for Right Guard in which he leans into the camera and says, "And none of that flaky white stuff." Racial code words? Eliminationist rhetoric? No. It was the consensus of those of us who watched the commercial that "flaky white stuff" exclusively referred to Danny Ainge.

Anyway...here's the video:




Monday, February 11, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: OK, Even I Haven't The Faintest Clue Who The Superdelegates Are

Ryan/TAPPED both mention that Jack Evans, Mary Cheh, and Jim Graham are superdelegates for the District of Columbia. That's not what the master lists at Democratic Convention Watch say. (They list the committed here and the uncommitted here.)

DC's Uncommitted SD's include:
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Michael Brown
Paul Strauss
Kathleen Vick
Christine Warnke
Larry Cohen
Donna Brazile
Anita Bonds
Jeffery Richardson

Clinton SDs:
Mary Eva Candon
Yolanda Caraway
Hartina Flournoy
Harold Ickes
Ben Johnson
Eric Kleinfeld
Minyon Moore
Elizabeth Smith
Marilyn Tyler Brown
Gerald McEntee
Carol Pensky


Obama SDs:
Adrian Fenty
James Zogby
Arrington Dixon

So, I don't know how Cheh, Graham and Evans fit into this. Interestingly, TAPPED has the count right, but they appear to be wrong on the who. Though, fuck if I know. This shit is confusing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We Have Always Been At War With The Oceanic Six

Dude. Didn't you just have to snort sarcastically when you got to the end of last week's episode of Lost, and the ABC promo voice said, "Next Week: You'll learn the identity of another member of the Oceanic Six!!" I was like, "WHOO-HOO, ABC. Great! Thanks for parcelling out the tidbits of information! Can't wait to find out this piddly detail next week! Except fuck that, ABC! You realize that there's a list of like ONE THOUSAND THINGS we want to know that we've wanted to know longer! Like how about answering Locke's direct question about what the effing Black Smoke Stompy Monster is? We've waited on that since the first episode! So spill! Tell us! It's getting so we just ignore the new shit you throw at us. Like: I didn't even bat a goddamned eye when Uncle Junior's roommate turned on that funky-ass dustbuster and started talking to ghosts and shit. Fuck! I just threw up my arms and said, 'Well, don't get excited! The only place we'll get an explanation of what the fuck just happened there will be on a viral tie-in website for 2011's Cloverfield 3: Felicity Eats Long Island City.'"

The Audacity Of Dopes: We Are All Zoolander

Hi. So yeah. Everyone is goddamned idiot. President Bush made a big deal about how he submitted a budget to Congress "electronically." It was going to save money and the environment! Except he didn't really submit it electronically...he handed Congress a laptop. Good Jesus. He probably uses a Etch-A-Sketch to send text messages. But don't go thinking that all the honey-nut flavored CHANGE that's supposed to coming is going to make a goddamned difference! Oh, no! The Democratic race looks like it's going to come down to a decision made by the superdelegates, only we learn today that apparently most of these superdelegates aren't even fucking aware of the fact that they are superdelegates. It's like the blind leading the nimrods up in here! Plus, what if Clinton starts bitching about Florida's delegates, you know what that might mean? DOING ANOTHER VOTE IN FLORIDA. I mean, Jesus.

Plus, the Redskins hired Jim Zorn today. JIM ZORN! I officially envy the dead! SERIOUSLY. LET'S GIVE IT UP FOR DEAD PEOPLE!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Charity Stripe

It's been a bad year for the tragic heroes who play ball for the University of Virginia, and they got handed another dispiriting loss today by Wake Forest. My brother went to see the game in Winston-Salem today. Prior to the game, I told him that he owed it to himself to study Ryan Pettinella's free-throw shot. He and I used to goof around as kids, imitating the free throw technique of our favorite ballers (he used to love to do Bill Cartwright), and I've long puzzled over how a kid could possibly make it to the ACC with a free-throw shot that looks like a some sort of broken puppet having an abortion. Not surprisingly, Pettinella's percentage from the line is somewhere in the 40's.

My brother said that Pettinella's terrible free throw shooting was on display again today. One shot barely whispered the front of the rim. Another missed the basket entirely, hitting the side of the backboard. At one point, Adrian Joseph ended up with the ball after a miss and just didn't know what the fuck to do with it. Best of all, though, is one occasion where the heroism of Sean Singletary - a great player closing out his career desperately trying to carry a team that offers him no help at all - was on full display: The refs called a foul underneath, and Sean strode to the line to take the shots even though he was nowhere near the foul. Pettinella, my brother said, literally hid. But the refs basically were like, "Nice try, Sean, but you can't take his shots." Oh, well. It's always worth the effort.

My brother, who works at a resort in Boone, NC - home of Appalachian State University - famously spent the summer before the now famous App. State - Michigan game antagonizing Wolverine fans who came to the resort by walking up to them and saying, "Are you nervous, yet? Are you scared? You should be." He's already started doing the same thing to LSU fans.

Punahou

So I guess I didn't realize that Barack Obama went to Punahou School in Hawaii. Everyone I've ever met from Hawaii went to Punahou! It's a little strange, don't you think? Similarly, everyone I have ever met from Delaware is either a male who went to Salesianum School or a female who went to the Ursuline Academy in the same city. It's a little weird, isn't it? Look: if you are from DE or HI and didn't attend one of these schools, introduce yourself to me. I hate for my experiences with people to be so limited.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Bookstore Experience

Allow me to pick up a discussion I've read about in a couple places. The "bookstore experience." It's real. With the housing market swinging back to their advantage, slowly but steadily, my parents are hunting for a new place to live, and easy access to the "bookstore experience" is something they often cite. They ultimately don't care if it's a indie, local concern or a B&N. They just want a civilized place where a person can have a cup of coffee, thumb through some stacks, and grab a paper. And have it nearby. Ultimately, large national chains might muscle out some indies, but I think bookstores will remain.

As for comparisons to record stores, I can see where a facile connection can be made. All record stores, like all book stores, sell essentially the same product. Cormac McCarthy doesn't get better because you bought it at Politics and Prose, the way a hand soap at Body Shop may be preferable to whatever they have at Bath And Body Works. And, yes, brick and mortar record stores face similar problems from internet retailers. But book stores have some key advantages.

Just spitballing here:

First: Bookstores have a much easier time at building an experience through in-store promotions. Politics and Prose really makes its bank by bringing in the best and the brightest authors to meet with consumers. Having worked this beat for DCist, I can tell you, it's standard trade at all levels of book retail - from corporate chains to indies. Now, record stores often do the same thing - instore performances - but they're harder. They're more complicated to do, the set up takes over a lot of retail space, the noise means you have to secure the blessing of neighbors, and while shoppers can tune out a reading from an author they don't like to continue shopping, try doing that when some horrible ass noise collective from Des Moines are shattering your ear drums. Also: having worked at a large chain music store, I can tell you first hand that corporate types are skittish on in-stores because of shrinkage.

Second: I'm not sure the process of buying books online has made as radically pleasant as it is buying records. It didn't take long for me to fall out of love with flipping through CD stacks on shelves. I mean, I've mastered alphabetical order a long time ago...just take me to what I want! Somehow, though, I enjoy the way a book store will present the merchandise. I like seeing the ways in which certain titles relate to others. I can stand for hours in front of a well-stocked case of political science books. I always inspect the new releases table - especially when there's reissues/reprints alongside new releases. There's a certain amount of zeitgeist to be uncovered there.

Third: Don't underestimate the power of tourism. If you pick up any good city guide, you'll be directed to a goodly number of bookstores that are considered worth visiting. I imagine people who come to DC make the trip to P&P for the same reason people flock to The Strand in NYC or City Lights in San Francisco. If I'm making a long stay in a different city, bookstores are something I like to seek out. (Never been to The Strand, though - but Housing Works is pretty fantastic.) Do people, travelling and touristing get as excited about record stores? I have, but I think I'm an outlier.

That said, ironically, one of those brick and mortar booksellers that I'd travel to - Applause Books - has gone out of business. So what do I know. None of this could save or forestall the demise of your local small bookseller, I'm afraid, but I think there's still demand for that bookstore je ne sais quoi. Wouldn't it be ironic, though, if the smartest thing Barnes and Noble ever did was simply partner up with Starbucks? That's a thought that kind of sucks. At the same time, it sort of proves that this stuff isn't rocket science.

Rat Kings Are Real!


OMG! This is disgusting. And horrible! Was Dennis from 30 Rock right about everything? Are half the twenty-year-olds actually sixteen? Is technology cyclical? Holy shit. Looks like I need to go buy a pager from somebody.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

There Is A Fine Line Between Retro and Obsolete

Via Fimoculous. Uhm, both in concept and execution, this is really embarrassing. I don't know exactly what they were thinking over at Spin when they designed - really, when they even conceived - this website, only that most people stopped thinking this way about the internet around eight years ago. Maybe Doug Brod will let us know in his next .PDF or something.

Still not as bad as the Chicago Reader, though.

Whereas My Coffee Table Sort Of Celebrates and Discovers Kansas

We're totes impressed with this DC themed coffee table. It offers many distinct advantages over the regular coffee table. If you're Ryan, for example, a stack of Richard Florida books, becomes a "light-rail adjacent infill development" of Richard Florida books. Also, the table is coaster-optional so long as guests know where Sheridan, Dupont, and Logan Circles are.

But, wow! The high cost of quality jigsawry! This table runs you upwards of $600. And if you're me, the jagged edges all but assure that the table becomes known as "that thing that cuts my shins to ribbons as I stumble around half-asleep in the dark." Pre-Virginia retrocession tables will probably cost you about $59 at Ikea. [DCist]

DCeptette: Logan Circle Liberation Front

  1. Also, Julia will be on hand to take your phonecalls in re how Fort Greene got so "big." [IN/TUM_BLRS]
  2. Adrian Fenty, we salute you. Gone are the meters. Allowed are the DCPS firings. Now, liberated shall be the residents of Logan Circle from Sunday morning ecclesiastical out-of-towners and their double parking. It's sure to cause quite a row from people who insist that they deserve special rights because of their roots in the community, but unless they've not a tepee or a Native American sweatlodge on their goddamned Maryland lawns, they can officially STFU. Also, they have no vote in DC, so it's about time a DC mayor stopped cottoning to interests that have no electoral impact and only make DC residents irked. [DCist]
  3. Super Tuesday's Big Winner, Canada Division: Feist! She takes home the Shortlist 2008 Award on the strength of Brian Williams endorsement. Also: blogs may have liked her. We're just happy it didn't go to Mitt Romney. [ProductShopNYC]
  4. This is where a bunch of asshats and skanks walked, swam, hunted, danced and sang. Take a picture here. Puke a souvenir. [Pygmalion In A Blanket]
  5. We found out California really is for the Clintons. Missouri is full of late voters that love Claire McCaskill like their mother. West Virginia caucuses hard with redoes, deals and Huckabee. American Samoa is tres beady but they make such yummy cookies. Super Tuesday almost killed me. [HuffPolitics]

Like It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia If Philadelphia=The Parts of DC Nobody Goes To, and Sunny=Filled With Douchetoasts.

PLEASE MAY THIS BE TRUE. Some reality teevee outfit has proposed some sort of LAGUNA BEACH-esque tone poem to the vacuous, STD-ridden, attention whores who populate Late Nite Shots. We wish these terrible, soul-destroying, culture ruining mavens at PB&J Entertainment godspeed, because we can think of no greater entertainment that watching these fools on a weekly basis, at play in their Potemkin Social Scene, hard at work pursuing Capitol Hill Stepin Fetchitry and fingerbanging each others browneyes in a mad attempt to stave off the clear ringing anvils of reality that clatter around them, attesting to their pure and unadulterated uselessness.

Oh, teevee, if you love me at all, you bring me the sight of these nozzles. In truth, I despair - because the prospects of the LNSers being able to pull off fifteen consecutive seconds of being interesting on camera (even with "interesting" lowered to The Hills standards) are exceedingly dim. Should this Union Of Dumb Motherfuckers pull it off, though, I'll be watching. And I call DCist liveblogging rights and request Boundary Street to provide me with a rotating cast of co-byliners.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Official Amanda Mattos/Futurama Mashup

Via Mandy.

AMANDA: I used to watch Nip/Tuck. I watched this season's premiere. Let my DVR record the next few, never watched them, then decided to let this one go. It's always been completely off the meds, but it's gone from edgy and compelling to pure shock value in the past few seasons.

They're in Los Angeles.

AMANDA: For some reason I just decided to read some recaps of this season so far, and my sweet holy god. Topics covered in the 3 episodes I've read about: a woman defecating in a hot tub, scientology leading to meth addiction in a couple with a new born baby, said meth addicted father doing gay porn to make drug money...

Exactly. They're in L.A.

AMANDA: ...straight to lesbian to straight to lesbian to i have no idea, a high school girl who is an evil sloot who lost her virginity to a horse and got her hymen reconstructed and is coaching a younger girl in how to be bulimic...

That's L.A. for you!

AMANDA: ...a wealthy plastic surgeon deciding to turn tricks for L.A.'s wealthy and batshit nutty older women, an eagle attacking Rosie O'Donnell's face while she hanglides, yet another person switching between sexual orientations like it's a hair color...

Wow. You just won't stop with the social commentary!

AMANDA: ...and much, much more.

And the people are all phonies. No one reads. And everything has cilantro on it.

The Word Is Fucking "Use," You Goddamned Shitstains! Am I Getting My Bastard Ass Dicking Point Across?

Via Alex Balk, who sagely points out, "I’d be a little more concerned that my local news organization doesn’t know how to properly punctuate the possessive "its," but, you know, maybe community standards are different there," but he missed an even less excusable error.

It’s language and us of the "F" word has some parents like Gabriel Miller outraged. She is concerned that tax dollars would be used for it’s purchase. “A good piece of literature in my opinion does not need to contain all that vulgarity in order to get the point across.” said Miller.

Repent!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Eve Of The Election

I share, at least to some extent, the fears of peers that McCain's tendency to warmonger at the mouth and to embrace the stupidest Bush policies w/r/t Iraq and the world beyond these shores. Nevertheless, now that Rudy has been utterly vanquished, I find part of myself totally enjoying the prospect of Mitt Romney going down in flames tomorrow. Because he's a total joke and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

As tomorrow will likely bring McCain to the brink of the nomination, he was in Massachusetts today, getting into Romney's head (plenty of space, after all). The Democrats, however, are all said to be downplaying expectations. Unless of course, you're Terry McAuliffe, who will likely stand in front of the flaming maelstrom of the End Times and declare the sight to be a net win for humanity. Clinton's likely to win in California, but it won't be by much, so she's trying to set herself up for an upset win. Obama's downplaying his chances there, too. And they all should, because tomorrow's not likely to decide anything in the Democratic race - if you've modeled it, you probably already know that the delegate count is, at the end of the counting, not going to reveal the winner. Frankly, neither candidate is likely to seize a formidable lead. That said, the advantage is to Clinton, if only because Obama has to come off message. Face it: "Yes we might! (But probably not.)" isn't much of a rallying cry.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The DCeiver Top 20: January 2008

Yes: more music blogging in 2008. No: it won't be very interesting. On with the tracks that tripped through my ear canal the most in January. Key lessons include: No, you really cannot go wrong with Nada Surf. Yes, British Sea Power have returned to form after a crappy record. Neimo is a neo-new-wave band from France, and they are quite good. The Fox Hunt are the best Americana band you've probably never heard of. I worry that next month, EVERY SINGLE TRACK from the new Cat Power will be on this list. IT IS THAT GOOD.

Oh, and: American Music Club! Yay!

------

  1. Nada Surf, "See These Bones" [d/l: I Am Fuel, You Are Friends]
  2. Wale, "W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E." [d/l: The World Forgot]
  3. American Music Club, "All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco" [d/l: BrooklynVegan]
  4. British Sea Power, "No Lucifer" [d/l: Salad Days Music]
  5. Cadence Weapon, "In Search Of The Youth Crew" [d/l: The Leather Canary]
  6. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, "Bubble Pop" [d/l: QuarterLife Party]
  7. The Felice Brothers, "Frankie's Gun!!" [d/l: Feeling the Moment]
  8. Femme Generation, "Orlando Bloom (RAC Mix)" [d/l: Panda Toes]
  9. Fjord Rowboat, "Paragon" [d/l: Eardrums]
  10. Foals, "Hummer" [MySpace]
  11. The Fox Hunt, "Lord, We Get High" [MySpace]
  12. Jay-Z, "Success" [d/l: Stop Okay Go]
  13. Neimo, "Echoing Pixels" [d/l: My Old Kentucky Blog]
  14. Revolte, "Ironical Sexism (We Are Terrorists Remix)" [d/l: Data Sapiens]
  15. Vampire Weekend, "M79" [d/l: The Catbird Seat]
  16. Wild Sweet Orange, "I'm Coming Home" [d/l: Hero Hill]
  17. British Sea Power, "Waving Flags" [d/l: Clover's Anthem]
  18. Cat Power, "Metal Heart" [d/l: The Culture of Me]
  19. Kate Nash, "Foundations" [d/l: Shoes Are For Work]
  20. The Mountain Goats, "Sax Rohmer #1" [d/l: WiredSet]

Summary of the Summary Judgement: January 2008

Because we felt that the last post, which summarized the previous month of posts in the hopes that it might be short enough for those of you who haven't followed the exploits of this blog to nevertheless enjoy yourselves, might ITSELF be too long for some of you to enjoy, we are also offering this Summary of That Summary of the previous month, in the hopes that it might be short enough for those you who don't have the time to read the summary of this blog and its exploits in the previous month to nevertheless enjoy yourselves.

___________

Right now.

Yeah.

For the moment: cry, cry, cry.

Dear Iowa Republicans, Toward Hope!

All right!

Edwards exulted.

Wife of DCeiver: Wow.

There's his silly grab at the Obama bandwagon.

Pareene works for Gawker.

The people have spoken?

Wow!

Also, crying: it works!

Know hope, crazy dancing guy.

America.

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. Guess what? Uhm, duh. Dude.

Uhm...gee, Kath.

Jim Fassel?

Silly Huckabee!

Fuck if I know.

Summary Judgement: January 2008

It can be hard, sometimes, to keep up with your favorite blogs. Also: maybe it's not worth it. But there are solutions. Recently at HuffPo, we've been playing around with the "Auto-Summarizer" function of the new Microsoft Word. We've found it can be used to condense the State of the Union into a bite-size chunk. Also: it can make Glenn Beck sort of make sense. Sort of. Well, if you haven't the time to revisit what's been going on here at DCeiver for the past month, why not simply enjoy a summary? So here you have it: in summation, January of 2008.

________

Things look pretty good for UVa. right now. Defense is playing great also. UPDATE:. Sigh.

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. Wife of DCeiver shall now settle them.

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. Yeah. Fuck that. Anyway, I'm from Dunnington House.

As Pat Buchanan points out, conservatives don't like McCain. For the moment: cry, cry, cry.

Dear Iowa Republicans: All my love, you corn-sucking idiots,

Aren't "limousine liberals" the ones who berate Middle America when it votes "wrong"? 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.

Look who's back! Good, great, that's nice to hear.

Details for blinding your own baby can be had right here.

Ellen, don't ever change.

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.

There's a lot to be creeped out/saddened/mystified by Theresa Duncan's death. If you've not done so already, go get yr golden opportunities!

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. So Klopfer turned! Toward Hope!

CINCINNATI--After Thursday night's game with Xavier, John Edwards and Mitt Romney addressed the press. All right! Second place!" Edwards exulted. Edwards captured the evening's game as just a part of a larger picture: "Folks, we sent a strong message tonight. Mitt Romney played up UVa's successes in terms of the team's humble beginnings. Romney is listed in stable condition.

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.

Wife of DCeiver: Wow. DCeiver: Ahh, how quickly you forget! I used to work for Thomas Pynchon! DCeiver: Erotic services, mainly.

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. Let's expend our motherfucking passion on microwaved goat patties.

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."

The New York Times' Tom Redburn asks, "Huckabee's Tax Plan Appeals, but Is It Fair?" A good question. The plan's supporters say that works out as a 23 percent rate because $30 is 23 percent of $130.

What? 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! A story of reconciliation and romance. A story that would fit well as the paper of record's Sunday overshare, the "Modern Love" column.

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!

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."

The people have spoken? Maybe those nice midwestern folks were just joking! Wow! 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. Whatever. This afternoon, the Clinton camp was talking end-stage strategy, and now they don't have to. Also, crying: it works! Anyway, primary fever: Catch it!

It all makes perfect sense. Pretty strong words from a guy whose big achievement has been wrecking Horatio Sanz's return to Saturday Night Live.

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. The guy straight up waggled, grinding that pole, his shoulders moving in wild side to side abandon. 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.

Dear The Makers Of Movies--America.

also: hillary and obama are in town and no one gives a shit. *Note: AN ACTUAL FUCKING WOLF.

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. 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. The two text-messaged back and forth until midnight, when Shaw-Fox invited Hunter to his dorm. (Shaw-Fox had his own bedroom in the suite he shared with a friend.) "So eventually I was like, 'All right.' Shaw-Fox's mattress was on the floor pushed up against a wall, Hunter says. I started choking because he was just, like, pushing my head.… Eventually, Hunter was able to get up and put her clothes on, she says, because Shaw-Fox had to leave the room to vomit. The actions described are a clear cut case of attempted rape/sexual assault. 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. I blame Laura Sessions Stepp for Hunter's confusion, because that's what her "gray rape" nonsense does: foster confusion.

CatAn speaks of a "war" between proponents of Potbelly versus similar partisans in support of Cosi. 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!

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.

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. If you haven't seen this movie, you owe it to yourself. Truly the Children of Men of its day.

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.

Jon Stewart doesn't always need his writers.

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

Uhm, duh. 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. Robert Johnson is, simply put, a disgusting man. 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.

LIGHTNING!!

Besides: sneaking food within food? Dude.

OJ was like, "Buh-buh-buh." You aren't allowed to talk to anybody. Yeah, you heard me right! NO BOATS! Pretty much amazing.

Stereogum resuscitated this old cover of SPIN, circa April 1993. I understand that his wife needs to defeat Barack Obama.

Obviously, our own Metro is pretty state of the art as far as aesthetics goes, if you're talking about the United States.

I'm talking about the endless rounds of agita engendered by the comedy Knocked Up. 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!

Jim Fassel? JIM MOTHERFUCKING FASSEL?! Dan Snyder: DO YOU WANT AMANDA MATTOS TO CRY? BECAUSE SHE WILL CRY IF YOU HIRE SAD BAD RAVEN MAN.

Gawker Media, oy...what a mess. Thank God for Jezebel.

Silly Huckabee!

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. Anthropologically speaking, however, I enjoyed the experience. The wedding was Greek Orthodox and awesome. Anyway, if Ayn Rand's acolytes can consistently deliver such delicious osso bucco and filets mignons, then I say, let Atlas shrug!

The people who once brought you the titles of goddamned GUIDED BY VOICES ALBUMS are now in the business of naming James Bond movies.

Whatevs. The point is, it's a reminder that the Originals stay original.

On point as ever.

Jenna and Juno are less formidable, but unexpected fertility mocks their dreams of autonomy. 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. I'm really weary of critics pretending that Knocked Up and Juno meet these qualifications. What's the harm?

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. It's total nonsense, and not just because it's ...uhm...nonsense. I wouldn't want to suggest that your insistence that Saudi Arabia built twenty synagogues destined to remain empty in perpetuity was grandiose.

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. 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 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." Wow. "Ultimate betrayal?" Calling out Howard Dean's brother? 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."

Guess what, Malcolm Gladwell? 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!