Monday, March 31, 2008

Worst! (Out of Three)

OK. I thought this whole College Basketball Invitational was a horrible idea. I mean, some bubble teams end up stewing in the NIT, so it's not abysmal quality ball there. I can even see the value of the NIT in that it gives some teams that just need a little seasoning a chance to compete in the simulacrum of tourney pressure, so that they can take some criticial extra experience with them in the following season. But the CBI's teams are just BAD (and this includes my alma mater) - they aren't quality teams, they need more than a few extra games to get right...no one should suffer the sight of these teams playing in April. (OK, fine: Sean Singletary gets to perform in front of the home crowd one/two last time(s), but frrrchrssakes!, they ALREADY RETIRED HIS JERSEY!

So, does CBI=bad? No! CBI=WORST. Wanna know why? Because their "championship" game (which will pit Tulsa against Bradley, btw), is not actually a game. It is a BEST TWO OUT OF THREE SERIES. Can you even. Fucking. Imagine? Tulsa playing Bradley two out of three is what plays at the ESPN Zone in Hell.

Here's my favorite. The schedule reads:

3/31 at Tulsa
4/2 at Bradley
4/4 at Tulsa (if necessary)

That has to be the most ironic deployment of the words "if necessary" in the history of the goddamned world.

A Day In The Death Of My Bathtub

Today I awoke feeling as if a venomous egg sac had been broken inside of my sinuses. Attempts to stand, and later, walk, were met by splitting headache and wracking cough. These were the wages, I assumed, of having lived through the Worst Weekend Ever, so, I emailed in sick, brought blanket and pillow out to the sofa, forced the cats to lay with me and I begun a few hours of recuperative napping.

Much to my surprise, after four hours of napping, there was a knock on my door. It was the plumbers. They were here to fix a problem with my bathtub. See, my bathtub spigot has one of those things you pull up upon that shunts the water from the spigot to the shower and it had lately not been working. I suspected that there was a small chance the plumbers might come today to fix it, so I had prepared for them. For reasons that will, sadly, elude you, fixing the bathtub spigot required us to empty an entire closet in another room. This I had done, hoping that the plumbers might come. That I had to empty a closet, and that I had no certainty that the plumbers were coming are all part of a much larger and much more boring and aggravating story that I will spare you, only to say that they played a role in my having the Worst Weekend Ever.

Anyway, the plumbers got down to work and I attempted to return to recuperative napping. Unfortunately, I was thwarted in this hope because apparently, fixing my bathtub required the plumbers to make certain noises that I previously would have associated with the coming of the apocalypse. First, it sounded like they were landing multiple helicopters in my bathroom. Then, it sounded like they were raping a robot. Then, the plumbers took a break and left, possibly to pray to their Dark and Destructive Lords of Chaos. Finally, they returned and produced a noise that sounded like a bicycle, slowing getting strangled.

In the end, my bathtub would be fixed and the plumbers left, taking their diabolical soundtrack with them. Now, I would like to be alone, thank you.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Next Big Thing

Hey everybody! This week, Sommer Mathis is away on vacation. So it's Guest Editor week at DCist! And I will be filling in on Friday, April 4. So, if you've got information, intelligence, questions, tips, or requests, don't hesitate to send them my way. Just do so early, because I'm pretty sure I'll have driven DCist into the ground by noon.
(Other guest editors include: Monday: Heather Goss and Amanda Mattos, Tuesday: Supreme Turkmen Kriston Capps, Wednesday: Martin Austermuhle, Thursday: Heather Goss and Ian Buckwalter, Friday: Me!)

Of Media and Marriages

Holly Martins - you remember Holly Martins, don't you? No? Well, FUCK OFF, then! - sends me this article by Carl Sessions Stepp, who we gather must be the spouse of Laura Sessions Stepp. Seems like Carl has finally noticed that print media is dying! "News organizations have to act much more boldly if they are going to survive!" he says, finally reaching the same conclusion as the rest of the goddamned world. "How can this not presage the imminent breakup of the Sessions Stepp marriage?" Martins asks. True. Ol' Carl seems to be fearlessly contemplating a headlong leap into a the future - that frontier that Laura's spent the better part of her life denying. But, I rather think Laura and Carl will be together for a long while yet. I mean, did you read Carl's forty point plan for the future of newspapers? They include:

• An online information superstructure built around a double home page, with an easy toggle back and forth: one screen for an orderly display of news and other content, the other a portal-type screen offering a master index of anything useful and appropriate for your audience, with more choices, more services and a nontraditional license to experiment

Woo! Or:

• Calendars of events, searchable and easily subdivided by date, location or theme

FUTURESHOCK! Also:

• Real-time online traffic and weather blogs, in intensely localized detail

Yes! Make that traffic blog intense!

• A homework center, where paid or volunteer teachers answer questions and offer advice (without, of course, actually doing anyone's homework)

Yes. This is just what I expect from major newpapers! People doing imaginary homework.

Look, I encourage you to check out Carl's plans to bring journamalism into the future world of the intermanets. I think you'll see that for all his flirtation with the modern world, he and Laura and going to be together for a long, long time, and then eventually die.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Air Ball!

Matt Yglesias seems to think he's taking a purist's stance when he boils his criticism of the NCAA tournament down to a simple matter of talent. Of course, the NBA's players are, by several degrees, more talented than the NCAA's. He wants to see the best play the best. I can understand that. But it doesn't always follow that the most talented people you can put in the same room together always create a product of superior quality. If that was true, we could reliably count on our best actors and actresses to unfailingly make great movies. I think we can all agree that Clint Eastwood, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne, and Marcia Gay Harden are as fine an assemblage as you can put together on paper. In practice, however, they collaborated on Mystic River, and the result was an embarassing, cover-your-eyes awful movie with some of the worst acting I've ever seen (Linney and Robbins, in fact, have never given worse performances).

There's a level where, I believe Matt understands this, and so he identifies the success of the NCAA Tournament as one where competitive drama makes up for the lack of pure talent. "More madness!" he says. Expand to 128 teams! Play twenty-five minute games! And then a whole bunch of stuff that not even he takes seriously*. To my mind, I'd improve the tourney by sending one more major conference team to the NIT, thus eliminating the play-in game, and insist that universities do more things like Davidson did - pay students way to the game - because, ultimately, this is about the lives of college kids and their enjoyment. As far as talent goes, the NCAA talent pool would be a lot better if the NBA didn't poach so much of it! But I think everyone can understand the distinction between "amateur" and "professional" and between "twenty-year old" and "thirty-year old." Matt's insistent negging of the college game's level of talent just seems obtuse. It's a demand to solve a problem that can't be solved - even if we were to all agree it was a problem. Hey! I am better at walking than most infants, so why don't people take pictures of me walking around instead of their inferior spawn, crawling on all fours?

Meanwhile, let's examine what the NBA achieves with its level of "talent." In the first place, as skilled as the NBA players are, the league seems very limited as far as what skills and talents are valued and nurtured. We can see the limitations of NBA players pretty glaringly when they play in international competition and, with increasing frequency, get run out of the gym by players whose pure talents are vastly inferior.

Furthermore, the NBA may have superior players but the league seems actively antagonistic of the superior play that has led to many teams - the Spurs and Pistons, especially - winning titles of late. Good team defense has always been the hallmark of NBA champions - it was for the Jordan-led Bulls as much as it has been for the Duncan-led Spurs, but it's clear that the NBA would prefer an uptempo, free-wheeling, score-happy game that teams like the Phoenix Suns favor, or at least a game played by photogenic stars. Last year, the NBA hyped LeBron James to the point of nausea. We were all WITNESSES, remember? Well, I mainly witnessed his inferior play getting ganked by a bunch of bores who could get their grind on. I get the feeling that the league openly dreads teams like the Spurs succeeding - yet they play to the Yglesias' standard: they are the superior products produced by the best players in the world.

Finally, what Matt seems unable to appreciate it that the fundamental difference between the two products - the thing that makes the NCAA tournament more exciting to watch than the NBA, is that it is a single-game-elimination affair. Teams get one chance at each other. Now, naturally, no one in their right mind wants to see Mississippi Valley State play UCLA in a best-of-five or a best-of-seven series, but the audience for the upcoming Atlanta Hawks-Boston Celtics series can't be that large either. More to the point, the NCAA Tourney format keeps the focus on the players, and their passion and intensity. For all the superior talent in the NBA, the playoffs are a coaches affair. No professional sport experiences a more radical shift from player talent to coach talent in the playoffs than the NBA does - it's a product of moving from 82 fly-by-night games to a concentrated series against a single team. Coaches have a much larger impact on playoff outcomes than players do, and, as a result, it can be pretty dull...until we're finally down to brass tacks in the elimination games.

But this is just a technical analysis of the two sports. In general, the superiority of the NCAA Tournament lies in two reasons. The first is a user-friendly format that allows for things like office pools and fan participation in events they normally wouldn't participate in. The second, and the more important, is that illusory or not, we have come to believe that the the college game can bring us, as viewers, closer to the heart of something that is sublime. I enjoyed watching Caron Butler and Darius Songalia lead us past the Sacto Kings last night...it was perfectly fine basketball. I can't complain. But I'm never going to remember it like I remember Hampton knocking off Iowa State in the first round of the 2001 Tourney, or last five minutes of the George Mason-UConn game three years ago, or watching Maynor's jump shot eliminate Duke last year...there are many others.

We expect the best the NBA has to offer to provide us with memories that lift our spirits and amaze us. But when anonymous college kids do the same thing, that's another thing entirely. I mean, hell - I'm of the mind that the invention of basketball served no better purpose than to give the world this video.

So, anyway, Matt: we get it. You don't like watching journeymen who will graduate to careers other than basketball play each other. Milwaukee plays Chicago tonight at 8:30pm. Enjoy!

* Mat sez: "Why not give the previous season's WNBA champions a shot at the big dance? And how about the two high school all-star teams put together for the McDonald's All-American Game. And how about a foreign element? FIBA Europe organizes an Under-20 tournament for European national teams, let's bring some of those on board." Ha, ha, chortle, darling! Hey, for FUN, maybe your god-forsaken New York City Knickerbockers could try it out as well!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Hills Have Whys

Mandymattos notes the debut of Spencer Pratt, purveyor of advice:

"I flipped a couple haters at Benihana just last night."

Well, shit. Guess someone needs to make some room in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, then.

Nemesis

As many of you know, I truly despise those ugly, flying sacks of pure shit known as starlings. These despicable, cursed birds aren't even a native species of fauna. They were brought to this country by some uppity shithead from England who wanted every species of animal represented in Shakespeare to be in the New World, up to and including those bears that always chase us when we are trying to exeunt. This asswipe's first flock of birds dropped dead, but he didn't take the hint, and he brought another bunch of these fecking, pecking disasters over to America, and this time they thrived and went everywhere and have aggressively pushed our real American birds out of the ecosystems that God intended them to have.

Well, I read today that over in Dear Old Blighty, the starling population has begun to wane. Progress! Except that the dotty auld Brits want to save these horrible creatures. It's all explained by Londonist, where we also learn that bird census science is apparently run by bird-watching ponces:

While the Starling is still the most common bird found in London gardens, their numbers have declined from last year. In the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, an annual, hour-long event where bird enthusiasts or anyone with a garden in view
is asked to count the different birds in their gardens on a January weekend, Londoners counted 3.14 starlings per garden, down from last year's 3.65.

More troubling, though, is that since RSPB started the event in 1979, the number of starlings counted has dropped by 76%. To help keep the little birdies around, experts recommend growing plants that could provide food and shelter. Starlings specifically like to eat fruit and bugs.
One commenter writes: "I am inordinately fond of starlings: I love their chatter (and I chatter back)." This person is, apparently, my mortal enemy.

When next I come to Albion, be warned: I am going rogue.

Changes In C-ville

I had no idea that the powers that be had demolished the old Beta House down on JPA. What fraternity will Courtenay residents rush now? I kid, I kid. I don't have a lot invested in the place. It's part of an interesting quirk of UVa. history, and it did play a part of one of the more hilariously inept moments of my life in Charlottesville: at one point, I accidentally locked two friends of mine out of their apartment in the snow (I came by to visit, the door was open, no one was in, and, concerned, I locked the door. Naturally, they were outside, snowball fighting, sans keys). So, I had to track down their third roommate and get her key. The search led me to Beta, where the problem was solved, though not without me having to sit through a long and weepy conversation with another girl I knew.

That was some digression! What I was going to say, is that the news that Fry's Spring Service Station may be closing - now that's sad! I haven't been down there in a long time, so I've no idea as to what's changed on my old street. I wonder if our shitty Chinese food restaurant, Yuan Ho is still there! Yuan Ho was effing crazy. They delivered, but the speed at which they delivered their food did not relate in any way to the space-time continuum. It was insanely fast. The only explanation was that they had paranormal foreknowledge of what their customers wanted and had it ready to go before you called.

True story. I was once at the Student Activities Building when I called the Ho for some delivery. After I hung up the phone, I thought to myself, "You know, it's really nice out, the Ho is five minutes away. I'll just walk down there and bring it back." So I left, and I got there in just a few minutes. But when I walked in the door, Mr. Yuan Ho's wife saw me and said, "What are you doing here? He's already left!"

It occurs to me that there is almost no way that any of you are even remotely interested in this.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Nancy Pelosi Will FUCK You Up

I find it amusing that a gaggle of Clinton donors think that they can send a scathing letter to Nancy Pelosi and expect that the Speaker is going to give two slim millimeters of a damn. Have they forgotten where this woman came from? Before she became the doyenne of San Francisco politics, she was Nancy D'Alesandro, of the Baltimore D'Alesandros, who ran the hell out of that city (and who were likely mobbed up several ways from Sunday). Pelosi may be thought of as synonymous with foofy Berkeley-style liberalism, but she can crush a motherfucker when she needs to. Do you really think she's afraid of Clinton donors?

SIDENOTE: Really? You're new strategy is to try to intimidate the first female Speaker of the House? Well, GO FEMINISM!

Rethinking Gaylaxicon

Northstar and Karma? Hmmm. I guess if Fred Armisen can be Obama then the G. can get away with Karma. But for my money, if I had to recommend LGBT superheroes for you to play, I'd go with Midnighter and Jenny Sparks.

Current Events

Even though it's more-or-less afflicted with the traditional hey-look-I'm-still-two-years-behind-on-media-trends symptom that defines Wempleitis, I rather like this look at the hyperlocal Current newspapers. They are very worthy of profiling: superb instinct for content married to a real gold-standard of writing. I pick up the Foggy Bottom Current at least once a week, and I can tell you, the effort shames the equivalent attempt here in Arlington. I still sort of think that they'd be well-served to have a web-presence, but I sort of just think that in general terms - the quality is too good to insist on too much fuckery that could detract.

If I have a problem with the CP's article, it comes right at the end, after describing the Washington Post's clear aspirations to get up into the hyperlocal biz:

Nor can the Post cherry-pick the most affluent D.C. communities to cover,
as has the Current. As the city’s paper of record, it’ll have to do its hyperlocal thing evenly across all city quadrants, a manpower challenge that could well prevent it from siphoning readers from strong community publications.

Oh, can't they? This is a pretty naive estimation. Sure, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the Post unerringly chooses initiatives that improve their bottom line, but I don't think they are stupid enough to "do its hyperlocal thing evenly across all city quadrants." It would be the last thing I'd suggest, anyway. I'm guessing that as the Post expands this effort, they will move into target-rich areas, and happily skip over communities as they see fit. I suppose that this could lead to the Post getting criticized for ignoring whole wide swaths of the city in their coverage, but really: what else is new?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Messiah Complex

So, mere hours after Bill "Horatio Sanz" Richardson endorsed Barack Obama for the Presidency, the Clinton campaign was saying - like always! - that the endorsement wasn't important and that it was "too late." Then, days later, Clinton surrogate compared Richardson to Judas! But which is it? Is he Judas, or is he unimportant? Because I recall that Judas' endorsement was, ultimately, very important! And is Hillary Clinton the "Christ" figure in this equation? Because that's a little beyond the pale. Of course, Judas' betrayal paved the way for Christ's resurrection...so shouldn't Carville be glad Richardson endorsed Obama? Argh. Given a million billion years, I don't think I'll ever understand this.

Pointed Post

Former DCist editor/all around higher education gadfly Rob Goodspeed took up the matter of finding out some universal truths about the Washington Post's "Post Points" - WaPo's earnest "earn rewards as you go" program whose commercials you see on the teevee all the time, and, surprise! He discovered that it's largely a bunch of horsecrap:



A quick look at the rewards dampened my enthusiasm. A $10 CVS gift card looked like a useful prize. However, at 3,385 points it would take me 677 days of Express reading or almost one year of reading both a print publication and the website to earn enough points to earn it. If I purchased copies of the Post from newsstands for the $10 gift card, it would cost me $338.50 in newspapers. Taking 1 minute a day to enter the Express daily code would add up to 11.3 hours for the gift card. A $25 Visa gift card was even more out of reach. At 6,325 points, it would take 3.47 years of reading one publication daily to earn enough points for it.


Eek. This basically means that if the Post wanted to fund the media buy for the Post Points program using Post Points, they'd have to commit themselves to reading every single paper they publish from here on to infinity times ten. In short, you could probably earn that $25 Visa gift card faster if you sold shoes made from mud or laptops out of pine cones or something. Still, if Rob wants to get an answer to the most pressing question about Post Points, he'll find out who it was that suggested that they be represented in commercials by chatty, animated diaphragms.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: She said that you gave it to her that night that you planned to go clear

Ahh. There was one journalist on today's conference call who asked for some help finding some specific information in the tens of thousands of records related to Hillary Clinton's schedule as FLOTUS. But there were others that knew precisely to what page to flip in order to give the discourse the sort of elevation we all needed.

One thing that angers me: Would it have killed Clinton to have released these records a month ago? I mean, here we are, March 20th, and I totally spaced on Stained Blue Dress Day, to say nothing of Stained Blue Dress Eve. Together, they are the classiest holidays in all of journalism, if by "classy," we mean "flooded with jizz and regret."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Audacity of Dopes: Oh, Mickey...

I will never really understand how it is Mickey Kaus came to have a career as a writer. Ever! He's come a very long way for a guy who struggles with complete sentences, relies too much on outlines and boldface because he lacks the wit to come to a point without a klutzy clatter and bang, and who clings to a set of tiresome, doctrinaire ideas like grim death. I can only imagine that the Slate office is infested with a million, billion tiny hairs and if Kaus wasn't there to split them, they'd be overrun like a Tribble infestation or something.

His attempt at reaction to the Obama speech is another singularly hapless offering, filled with a thousand "Oh, gawd..." moments. Kaus actually takes issue with the way Obama orders the words "wrong" and "divisive": "Doesn't Obama mean Rev. Wright's comments were 'not only divisive but wrong,' rather than the other way around? Isn't it worse to be wrong than 'divisive?' He actually said this! When my wife asks me to pick up "milk" and "bread" from the store, I don't wonder if I should obtain one of them with greater ferocity or passion. He's one to talk about equivalencies!

Anyway, as you can reliably count on them to do each day, Jezebelles Moe and Megan rip Kaus apart in the name of quarantining this national disease of what-the-fuckington-fuck-itis, but we should mark this occasion in our calendar - because today is the day that Mike Huckabee officially eclipsed Mickey Kaus in the arena of "making a goddamned lick of sense" - and Huckabee doesn't even know how to multiply!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Green Grass Of Home

When his Washington Oculus started showing up in my feed again, I had a feeling that something was up. As it turns out, I was right: Mike Grass is decamping for NYC and Politicker.com. This means that there will be an empty space at the table at many of the finer delis of upper Northwest, and a general increase in the amount of superfluous boldface in New York City. Also: BLOGGING IN SUIT AND TIE. He's done me many a solid, so he'll be missed (though maybe now I can crash at his place whenever I come up to HuffPo HQ? Huh? Huh?).

Anyway, you can all soon return to denying the existence of North Cleveland Park.

Thoughtfulness

My favorite thing about the New York Post's Gallery of Eliot Spitzer's superstar courtesan, is the insistent, happy link below each image that reads "Email this photo to a friend." What to get the friend who has everything? A picture of a whore, of course!

Tune In Next Week For Frank Miller's Version of 'The Night That Minnie Timperley Died'

From Kyle Leafblower comes the glorious news that someone took this blog's theme song and made it into an Archie cartoon. This means that when the aliens come to pick through the ruined remains of our wrecked civilization, there will be at least one part of the internet that I'll be comfortable with them seeing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This Makes All Those Stories From Michael Azzerad's Our Band Could Be Your Life Just Seem Sorta Sad, Y'Know?


Daily Intelligencer reports on how Spitzer's trollop is faring:

Last night, Ashley Alexandra Dupré, a.k.a. "Kristen," told the New York Times she was worried about paying her rent in the fancy Flatiron district building in which she lives. But in fact, in the less than 24 hours since that interview took place, Dupre's personal wealth has increased considerably. The two songs on her Amie Street profile, which each cost 98 cents, have been downloaded more than two million times, and Dupre will receive 70 percent of the total profit.
If you want to give her tracks a listen, head over to her Amie Street profile. That second song, by the way, was hastily added today. Don't expect either to be very good, though Alex Pareene is probably onto something when he says, "Will it become an ironic club hit for a weekend? Probably! At ironic clubs!"

I don't really know where the DI is getting their sales metrics from, but "Suck it, D. Boon!" I guess.

Also...The Free Parking Pot Is For Pussies

Via Balk: "Eliot Spitzer’s dad...'reduced him to tears during a game of Monopoly' when he was a little boy." Interesting. I can tell you, when I was a wee lad, my father sat me down for a game of Monopoly and proceeded to rip my ass out in what seemed to be record time. The whole ordeal was so merciless and so sudden that I was left crying like a bitchling as well. But then my dad taught me the secret to kicking everyone's ass at the game - get the Orange properties (Tennessee, New York, St. James Place) because all three are on the list of the ten most landed-on spaces. Take the Oranges, win the game. It's true, it's true. And then two and a half decades went by where I did not fuck any whores. Fin.

The Audacity Of Dopes: Another Fucking Debate?!

I'm afraid so. Maybe even two, because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama hate our fucking guts so much. The first debate is the one that's definite: April 16 in Philadelphia on ABC. The one that's not been agreed to is a potential CBS debate in North Carolina. Clinton hasn't agreed to participate, which is interesting - surely she won't deny Katie Couric her only shot at moderating one of these things!

Anyway, I imagine that this horrible Philadelphia debate could end up being the most substance-free debate yet, since all anyone wants to do is talk about process stories like Florida, Michigan, Ferraro, superdelegates, etc. The one saving grace could be that it's not going to be on CNN or MSNBC, where the on-air talent has long forgotten what it's like to not be pathologically enthralled with the sounds of their own voices.

Anyway, one day we'll all be dead, and these debates won't bother us in heaven.

From The Hook Comes The Hooker Booker, Featuring Amanda Mattos

Awesome. The woman who set up Spitzer's Emperor's Club sessions with hot mess MySpace whores, Tameka Lewis, went to UVA! CLAS 1997! Like Amanda and I and approximately 12% of every single undergraduate class in the history of UVA, Tameka was an English Major. THIS EXPLAINS HER LIMITED EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS. Best of all, she was an alumni of Madison House - they always bring people together!

Naturally, Lewis' family is stunned:


Temeka Lewis' tragic fall into a life of sleaze has left her family heartbroken.

"Her mother is just all broken up," Lewis' 79-year-old uncle said Wednesday at the family's home in Harrisonburg, Va.

"She's just too clean," said the uncle, who asked not to be named. "Even when she does the dishes, she puts on gloves. It just don't make any sense."

"No one in the community can believe that this could happen to her. I can't remember her even getting a driving ticket.

"There just ain't nobody down here can believe it."

Only 11 years ago, Lewis graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a school spokesman said.

"She was an honor student all her life; she's from a good church-going family," her uncle said. "It's just unbelievable."


Yeah, well, she should have gone to Comm School, I guess! (And really, I don't know what her cleanliness has to do with anything. She was booking the whores, not ankle-deep in their leavings.)

Anyway, time for Mandychatting! (Which is almost as fun as Redskins-related Mandytexting.)

Amanda Mattos: it appears that it was the lady who booked her whory appointments shares our English degree from The University

DCeiver: That says an awful lot about the quality careers UVA English majors can expect to have.

Amanda Mattos: before we look to Tameka Lewis, let's first examine Amanda Mattos and _______________. But, I'm happy to know I have career options outside of blogging.

DCeiver: word. Frankly, you put me, you, __________, purple velour, our diplomas and a pimp cup in the same room, that wouldn't be a half-bad business model. It would be totes classy, tho!

Amanda Mattos: hopefully our families wouldn't refer to it as a "tragic fall into a life of sleaze" as Tameka's has

DCeiver: a "fall into sleaze" for me would be viewed by most of my family as a lateral move, at worst.

The Audacity Of Dopes: Surmounting The Caucuses

As far as I know, the caucus process, while weird, never really bothered anyone too unduly until this year, when the Clinton campaign started putting down the process, declaring the caucus practice as undemocratic and too easily won by hopemongers who, as for as they know, aren't Muslim. If you listen to their camp expound feverishly against the practice these days, you'd almost think that the whole nature of caucuses caught them off-guard somehow. Thirty-five years of experience should have taught them differently.

Funny thing, though: back when this primary process was but a glint in the eye of the state of Iowa, the Clinton campaign had an altogether different point of view where caucuses were concerned, which they communicated to their supporters in a little bit of viral video. Watch the attached clip, and count the number of times that the Clinton team warns of the difficult process and the intrinsic unfairness of the caucus process. Here's a hint: you will need all of none fingers to do this counting.

The Next Big Things

Uhm, so, yeah. We used to do this shit where we marked up y'alls calendar with awesomeness. Not sure why we stopped. Brief touch of agoraphobia, maybe? Who knows. Promise to do better, and lets start right now.


So, we went to the second DCist Exposed show on its opening night, and, what else is there to say? Lines around the block, big crowds and feathers in caps all around. The work - what we got close enough to see, anyway - was even better than our inaugural show at the Warehouse. I'm going back to finish it off this weekend. If you haven't been, avail yourself of the opportunity. At Civilian Art Projects, 406 7th Street NW. Take Green/Yellow to Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter. Hours 2-6pm or by appointment.




For those of you who are SXSWing this week, there's no better way to spend your Thursday in Austin than supporting your hometown heroes at the DC DOES TEXAS show, which DCister/Yellow Stereo-er Val Paschall helped to organize. It's a GREAT lineup: Georgie James, Le Loup, These United States, Pash, Middle Distance Runner, Jukebox The Ghost, Samantha Murphy, and Exit Clov. At Cream Vintage, 2532 Guadelupe, ATex. Noon-7.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer Impacts The Local Whoring Market

The Washington Post sent some reporters out to get the skinny on just what a person can expect to receive at the hands of high-end escorts for around $4300, which is the amount Spitzer spent on his Mayflower shiksa fantasia. It's good work for the most part: they basically find out that $4300 will get you quite a bit here in the city, up to and including 430 ten-dollar blowjobs in the alley behindthe H Street Theatre. Still, the Post misses something big, which is that Eliot Spitzer's reckless actions, profligate spending, and disregard for local fare add up to a looming market crisis for DC's whores.

The truth is, Spitzer was probably overpaying, regardless of location. And the publicity his case has received could have serious ramifications for whoring across the board. As the NY Magazine's Daily Intelligencer puts it:

The preferred escort service of former governor Eliot Spitzer, according to the complaint, charged between $1,000 and $5,000 an hour. And, as one potential prostie was heard to complain, that didn't even include dinner. Inflation affects even the oldest profession, and according The Wall Street Journal, the "wealth boom — and the explosion in the number of multi-millionaires — has created entirely new pricing levels for escorts." Of 661 people who own private jets, a survey from Prince & Associates, a Connecticut-based wealth-research firm, found, 34 percent of males and 20 percent of the females had paid for sex. And that's just of people who owned private jets. If you apply those percentages to, say, people who own BMWs, that's enough to skew the numbers for everyone.


What worries me is that Spitzer, while not lean in the bankroll department, isn't exactly rolling with the sort of wad that gets you a private jet. Yet, here he is, spending top dollar on escorts. Factor in a crowded and competitive market, typical male oneupsmanship, and a economy that encourages debt, and you can see that the prostitution industry could be headed for a housing-market-like bubble economy, where hookers charge well beyond their intrinsic value for customers who grow ever more willing to pay for it. Soon you got a lot of overpriced inventory in the marketplace - three whore-diamond whores charging six whore-diamond whore prices on the basis of frippery like granite countertops and GFE.

The looming Spitzer bubble is bad enough, but if we get close to home, you can see that DC is about to get hit with the backhand whammy of devaluation. See, Spitzer, for all his pretension to the national political stage, was actually quite parochial, choosing to import his hookers from New York to rendezvous in the 202. With the news out on this, DC's own thriving prostitution market has taken it on the chin, publicity-wise. Having it known that the most high-profile whoremonger in years would rather book out of town, overpay and risk taking a Federal charge just to avoid the local trim is going to depress our market at the same time the bubble blooms everywhere else. Concomitant price drops locally might seem to be a boon for the consumer, but as whores stretch themselves thin in order to maintain profitability, the overall quality of the product declines.

In short, we are facing a whole host of external exacerbations that could pace a serious downturn in the whole local pimpeconomy. I'm not sure what the solution is, either. It's probably too late to negotiate some out of town price controls, and I feel that it will be hard to enforce some sort of protectionist control at the DC border. My one hope is that DC's annual festival of Asian Erotica and Monument Stalking, the Cherry Blossom Festival, is coming up soon, and a concerted effort could be made to harness the influx of tourists as a way of stimulating the market and restoring our brand.

The folks what are in charge of tourism need to put together a robust campaign, but there's a role for all of us to play. When you encounter out-of-towners, greet them with a warm "Hello," and add, "Gee, fella, you sure look tense!" Keep a copy of the City Paper's comprehensive whore pages on you, and be prepared to make some recommendations. DO NOT ALLOW the tourist to confuse the prostitutes with the "Crafty Bastards" - that could lead to a lot of confusion and recriminations. And push the local fare for the unique experience that it is, in the same way a vineyard might tout the sea air or the temperate climate. With a concerted effort, we can help to undo the damage done by Spitzer.

We've taken our local whores for granted for a long time now. We've just assumed that they'd always be there for us, ensnaring our NBA players, keeping Thomas Circle "edgy." When it comes to DC and prostitutes, we too often remember only the hilarious Marion Barry, "Bitch set me up" line. Well, it's time we all helped to set up those bitches in kind. Will you answer the call? If so, Visa/MC, 10am-2am. Incall/Outcall avail. Serious inquiries only.

'Yeah, suck it, I do read the paper.'

We welcome Hulu to the crowded marketplace of embeddable media players like YouTube, BrightCove, RedLasso, and probably some other shit from Denmark or something. For those of us who rue the coming of the stupidly named web products, it's dispiriting. On the other hand, there's the CRAB AND THE WORM!!!

The Audacity Of Dopes: Corkscrews Over Bosnia

The Clinton campaign is now battling with the comedian Sinbad over the correct characterization of a trip to Kosovo that the two took together (along with Sheryl Crow) to Bosnia back in 1996. The Clinton campaign wants to make the trip out to be a tense, high-wire, nail-biting journey into the dark, beating heart of mortal danger. Sinbad, has a different recollection of the trip: "I think the only 'red-phone' moment was: 'Do we eat here or at the next place.'" But, of course, all the dicking around overlooks the macro point - which is that the very fact that Sinbad accompanied HRC on this trip is more or less proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the trip was of limited importance. Still, I'm sure Geraldine Ferraro has a lot to say about how lucky Sinbad was.

The Audacity of Dopes: The Audacity of Math

Working from Chris Cillizza's numbers, Obama came into tonight with a lead of 1579-1473, and those numbers include pledged delegates and committed superdelegates. He'll take the larger share of Mississippi as well, so that lead will widen slightly. His wins in TX, VT, WY and MS pretty much offset HRC's big day last week. And there's another factor to consider: in the week since the OH-TX-RI-VT primary, Obama's won the endorsement of 14 superdelegates to Clinton's six. (Plus she's going to lost Spitzer, and we can all but pencil Pelosi into the Obama column as well.) Should he continue his current pace of attracting SDs, there's a chance that he won't even be trailing in this category by the time Pennsylvania hits. From there, delegate apportionment alone should secure the nomination.

If Obama wants to net himself a potential game-changer in the meantime, he ought to respond to the challenge thrown down by those Ohio superdelegates who want a "concrete plan" for job retention from each candidate before they commit an endorsement. I have to say, I admire the proactive stance of these superdelegates: when you consider that the reality is that most of the SDs are likely waiting out the process to see what sort of political cover the primaries will afford them, the fact that there are some SDs who are willing to stake some political capital in getting a good deal on paper for their constituents is laudable.

UPDATE: As Matty points out, as the numerator diminishes, so does the denominator.

On March 1, everyone thought Clinton was going to lose this race for the nomination. With no further contests left in March there's been no net change in pledged delegates but there are 400+ fewer pledged delegates still at stake. Clinton was drawing dead on March 1, and she's drawing dead on March 12. Even the 12 point win Clinton's probably looking at in Pennsylvania can't genuinely turn this around for her.
The opportunities to close the gap disappear faster than the votes that actually close it. Clinton could win the PA delegates by a 36 point margin, but David Axelrod will whistle and skip and say goodbye to 151 delegates and watch the proportional share HRC will need to take go well beyond that which is possible. By the end of this, Obama might be in the position to simply accede to the FL and MI votes as they stand right now.

Celebrate The New Dark Age

Drew McD noticed that something wonderful was coming to DC. A reunited Polvo, motherfuckers! At the Black Cat, May 9, with Sir Arthur and His Royal Knights. Clear your calendars, with lethal force if necessary. Tickets are on sale now.

[MySpace | d/l: "High Wire Moves" from Sneakmove | d/l "Enemy Insects" from The Culture Of Me]

The Saint Elsewhere Paradox

Scott McCormick, many moons ago, was the first to introduce me the theory of how the ending of Saint Elsewhere, in which the entire show was revealed to be the dreamy glint in the eye of an autistic child named Tommy Westphall, was something of a mammoth tesseract of the fictional space-time continuum that manages to suck in a shit-ton of other television series into its dream-of-an-autistic child reality. It basically begins with a connection between Saint Elsewhere and Homicide, which cuts neatly into the entirety of Tom Fontana's milieu and into the Dick Wolf Law And Order series, with a detour into the world of Chris Carter's X-Files. I think that he's about to flip, though, because someone actually did the legwork on just how many shows were affected by the Saint Elsewhere paradox, and the answer is 282. And while I may have missed their mention on the grid - there may be three more shows to add: Mulder and Scully show up on The Simpsons, which connects to both Futurama and The Critic. Perhaps more.

The connections go back decades and span continents:

280 shows are connected to Homicide: Life on the Street and St. Elsewhere, for a grand total of 282 series.

There are 15 non-US shows in the Tommyverse. Most notably the Candian teen series "Degrassi Junior High" and its spin-offs, "Doctor Who" and its spin-offs, as well as the only non-English language series "Paris Section Criminelle" - a French-language version of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent".

The shows span from 1951 (I Love Lucy) to the present (23 shows are still on the air).

All told, this is awesome. This means that the only moment of truth we were ever told on teevee was that the entire universe of television was contained in the mind of an autistic child. But here's where this shit gets deep. We are told that Homicide is based on a non-fiction book by Wire scribe David Simon. And we, ourselves, live in the same world as David Simon. Which means that we are all, every one of us, the fantasy of an autistic child. But what if the autistic child is also a figment of the autistic child's imagination. Who knows how deep our own non-existence goes? Perhaps we were annihilated in the existential void before we were even created!

All I know, is that this means Baltimore doesn't exist, we've all a reason to feel relieved.

The Audacity Of Dopes: On The Transient Nature Of Luck

So, Geraldine Ferraro is convinced that Barack Obama is "lucky" to be black. Well, good on ya, Geraldine. I mean, here I thought you were dead, but your were just forgotten, and you've re-emerged in your dotage, thinking you know something or other about good fortune. What can I say? I'm reminded of the time that Barbara Bush opined that the residents of New Orleans were lucky because they got to live on a cot at the Houston Astrodome. Yes, sir, that must have been like winning the goddamned lottery. Of course, the drowned and deceased of post-Katrina New Orleans were the luckiest, because they got to meet Jesus.

Anyway, luck's a funny thing. Lately, I've been musing on Obama's luck myself. His bad luck, though. Consider what awful bad luck its been for Obama that Ross Perot existed! Why, if Ross Perot hadn't come along to run for president, you'd be hard pressed today to find five people in your life who even knew what a Hillary Clinton was. One can only hope they keep shoving microphones near the piehole of Geraldine Ferraro, wizened philosoph.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March 6: Yes We've Already Forgotten

Look, if whore-loving monger of whores Eliot Spitzer can be credited with performing a great service to the nation, it is this: that dude who opened up a can of terrorist whoop-ass on a single pane of glass in Times Square is gone from the news cycle. That guy is now the Representative Gary Condit of the Spitzer meltdown. He's probably basking right now, thinking to himself, "Whoo! The heat's off me, now." IT WAS NEVER ON YOU JAG-OFF. You broke a fucking window.

Were it not for Spitzer, though, who knows? We might deep down the Times Square IED rabbithole by now! Consider the reaction of Retro Dickshit Oliver North - a guy who aided and abetted an arms sale to hostile regime and yet hasn't been waterboarded for shit yet!

Last month, of course, the U.S. House of Representatives at the direction of Nancy Pelosi went on vacation rather than voting on the Protect America Act, which provided for wiretapping of terrorists making phone calls into and out of the United States to foreign places. And I note that it would have been a lot easier, perhaps, to find out who did this, or even to know that they were planning it, had we been able to intercept those communications.
Intercept communications? Is Oliver North kidding? See: this is why these wiretap fantasies are such bullshit. We just cannot tap the phones of every window-breaking motherfucker in the country. What a waste of time that would be! And could you imagine what would happen if we put every hoodie-wearing, erratic bicycle-riding fuckstain in Manhattan under surveillance? You'd have agents worried about how they were going to avert the coming Vampire Weekend and shit.

It should be noted, though, that 1115.org caught the guys from ThinkProgress losing their minds on the matter as well:

North’s comments are a sad attempt to politicize a tragic bombing.


Jesus. Look, I think we can all agree that incidents that result in the sorts of inconveniences that can be solved by $75 and a trip to Home Depot are not tragedies.

So, thanks to Eliot Spitzer and his need to be waist deep in poon. Otherwise we would have ended up with Bono at the Superbowl, singing with an American Flag sewn into his jacket lining, as the casualties of this "tragic bombing" are projected onto a screen: "Pane of Glass. Door Frame. Our National Sense of Perspective."

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Here Be Monsters

See, Barack Obama! That's what you get for making a big deal about this whole "new kind of politics" bullshit! If you had just stuck to the old style of politics instead of insisting you hold yourself to some sort of high standard of niceness and civility that someone had to fail at meeting sooner or later, then your surrogates would have been allowed to wildly allege that your opponent sold drugs on the streets of Chicago!

Anyway, we hope you learned your lesson! Hillary Clinton has been called a monster before, and has been pursued by monsters (like Ken Starr, ironically enough) and she doesn't like being called a monster now. If you are going to call the Clintons names, it's better that you use a name that they've historically never registered any offense or concern at hearing. Something like "genocidaire."

On The Cover

This Month:

  • Britney Spears loses her goddamned mind: A deontological examination by Julia Allison
  • Is America prepared to accept Adnan Ghalib slaking his thirst within Spears' sugar walls? And what does it mean for the Middle East peace process? Matt Yglesias is forced - probably at gunpoint - to explain
  • Andrew Sullivan wrote a song for Barack Obama that is so twee it makes Belle and Sebastian sound like Motorhead. Do you want to hear it? Well, DO you?
  • FROM LAST MONTH: So which religion won? Not Mike Huckabee's, that's for sure!

PLUS: OMG, OMG The Wire, Y'all!
and much, much more in this month's ATLAR!

Of All The Things We've Made

We're glad so many of you enjoyed yesterday's trip, deep into the world of the Leonard Cohen song, "Hallelujah." Want more? Well there's this article in the Guardian maybe, except that instead of a song with massive cultural penetration from artists still dearly loved today, it's about an album that nobody listened to from a band that only the Governess and I care about (though deeply). ALSO: Laugh at the notion of being ridiculed by the guy from Aztec Camera. So enjoy.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Florida and Michigan

Yesterday, I argued that there is a fallacy to the thinking that the prolonged Democratic Primary process represents an opportunity to keep getting their message out there. I think that's wrong, for many reasons, mainly owing to the fact that the media wants to report on process, which will leave little room for the Democratic "message." Neither candidate is going anywhere soon, but I believe there are some things that the Dems still have control over and can resolve quickly so that some of the process stories can get put to bed.

For this reason, I'm disappointed that the Party has not resolved the matter of Florida and Michigan. The best option they have is to seat those delegates, perhaps by revoting. The Dems can't afford too many more days of media figures asking about it, and allowing the revote will eliminate any need for continued conversation as to whether democratic principles mandate that these voters have a voice.

Look, I can appreciate that rules were made in advance and that everyone was aware of them. I can respect Governor Dean for sticking up for principles. But this is one of those instances where taking the high road doesn't lead you anywhere. The Dems will win no medals, receive no political capital, and secure no public good by standing up for obscure intra-party regulations. If Dean wants to take the state party leaders in those two states out to the woodshed and beat them up, then, by all means, lower the boom and dole out some punishment. But, clearly, the best option they have is to seat those delegations.

160 Feet High And Rising

I've never understood why so many DC residents mourn the lack of skyscrapers, let alone allow themselves to become "frustrated" over it. But many do, just because they feel like without them, the city can't impress people. That seems odd to me. Why is it important for this place to look like every other place? Maybe if we got more hot air balloons or more streetside haggis vendors, we'd be laying claim to something unique.

But, still, best to defer to those who know more about the topic than I do. So if you want to hear the Sensible Case For The Rosslynization of DC - here's Ryan and here's Matt. They cut a course toward a future where our sons and daughters might one day sit in cubicles and be connected to printer hubs that are sixty...perhaps even eighty!...feet higher in the air than the ones we enjoy now.

The Audacity Of Dopes: The Krugman Ouroboros, Part Deux

Paul Krugman reports that poll numbers from Rasmussen reflect declining marks for Obama's "electability." Funny thing, considering he's been frantically manning his megaphone in an attempt to influence these numbers!

He later updates: "A new WaPo poll shows both Dems beating McCain, but Obama by more." OH WELL, PAUL! I guess that means you better get back to work!

The Audacity Of Dopes: Who You Gonna Call, 3/6 Terrorists?

According to the news, the dastardly terrorists who broke a window at the Times Square Army Recruiting Center where Rudy Giuliani had placed his pirate gold and broken FDNY radios sent emails to eight House Democrats, all of whom will now probably vote to have your phones tapped by the NSA. The Politico says that they all went to members of the New York House delegation, and some others. But don't these terrorists watch the teevee? Because the teevee says there's no need to send emails to Jerrold Nadler when you can just call Senator Hillary Clinton's 24/7 terrorporn hotline! Why didn't they call her at 3AM? Maybe they did, but they got the voicemail message: "Hello, no one can take your call right now. If you're from Pennsylvania, leave some money after the beep."

The Next Man On The Moon Will Be Chinese

Faith Salie combines Sunday pundit host John McLaughlin with I Get Wet's Andrew WK. The result is your new ring tone.

Give Me A Leonard Cohen Afterworld

Because of this guy, I ended up here: a rather comprehensive accounting of the ways in which Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" has changed over the years and it's peculiar tendency to end up in the "sad montages" of films and television. All of which left me with one nagging question: What storyline or plot point could they possibly have cooked up on the short-lived Blair Underwood/Heather Locklear show LAX ("An aggresive runway chief and a cocky terminal manager compete with each other over running the famous Los Angeles International Airport and the various characters who work for them.") that would have warranted the earnest use of Jeff Buckley's version of the song?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

3/6

Hey, country singers! Just wanted to let you know in advance that, no, I'm not gunna remember whar I wuz, when the homemade gunnysack bomb rocked Times Square and destroyed some or all of one of our bravest windows. I don't care how mournful yr pedal steel solos are! Anyway, Marion Cotillard called and told me that it was an "eenside job" - so tell America the TRUTH, Dick Cheney! Too soon for LOLs? Not soon enough for Rudy Giuliani, I guess!

[Image: Gawker]

Pitchfork Shows Their Ass

Always a joy when the ersatz tastemakers of Pitchfork get caught with their dicks swinging in the breeze, and Eric Harvey's "review" of the new Ghostland Observatory record is a fine example. Jeff Baum notes, "This is not a review of the record, it’s a hype audit." It's even worse. It's a reviewer that doesn't let obvious contradiction stand in the way of his own egomania:

In addition, the first time I heard of Ghostland Observatory was from a DVD sent to me of their December '07 "Austin City Limits" gig, coming on the strength of two completely-ignored self-released records on a self-created label (it doesn't hurt that they're from Austin, but c'mon). And: They've already played Lollapalooza twice and appeared on freakin' Conan.

Uhm...their two previous releases, especially Paparazzi Lightning were hardly "completely-ignored." The most obvious evidence to the contrary being that they were booked on the Conan O'Brien show. Pretty embarrassing, and frankly, worse than Maxim's recent "review the new Black Crowes album without actually hearing it" scandal. At least that Maxim review was ostensibly about the band. This review is about the reviewer.

Why Are We Still Debating What Should Go On The DC Coin?

The first design was the best:

At Play In The Fields Of The Dorks

Awesome. Remember when we told you that story about how Reed Landry, leader of twit-gaggle LNS, was a big-ass spaz? Ha ha! Consider it confirmed. But OH NOES! Apparently his Lady Of Perpetual Antagony, Angela Valdez, is a spaz, too (but delightfully so, and bitter to boot). Also: Wonderland figures into this somehow, which sort of makes sense. Reed and Angela probably need to just give in, already, and fuck...or whatever it is Reed can manage to do with his boner. These two are totes heading for their own Wuthering Heights moment. Which reminds me: do we have any wuthering heights I can be thrown from? Get back to me.

The Audacity Of Dopes: Do I Detect A Steely Glint In My Eyes?

Marc Cooper:

Who am I to predict that the Democrats are too smart to self-destruct in what should be, by all other measures, a watershed year? The more steely-eyed amongst us, then, would do well to psychologically prepare for the nomination going, somehow or another, to Hillary Clinton. Which means, in turn, that Democrats ought to simultaneously prepare to be beaten by John McCain.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Idiot Outliers: How My Graduate School Sorta Explains Why Charlotte Allen Is A Dipshit, Featuring Amanda Mattos

[Also: see here and here for another round of Charlotte Allen bashing. I am on this bitch like she was the new black.]

-----------------------

Amanda Mattos: have you seen the post's chat with charlotte "queen of all things stupid" allen?

DCeiver: NO!

Amanda Mattos: it's just as enlightening as you'd expect it to be.

DCeiver: "Women aren't a historically oppressed minority." ?! Give unto me a break! That is a craZy worldview.

Amanda Mattos: i keep having to take breaks reading in it, because I'm ODing on crazy. "Charlotte Allen: I'm not sure which articles you're referring to. Isn't it obvious what's funny and what's not?"

DCeiver: Comedy, strictly defined, is the justaposition of the less-than-ideal against a collectively-agreed upon ideal. There's no juxtaposition here. She begins with the premise: "Women aren't a historically oppressed minority" and then juxtaposes her own prejudices. This is not funny.

Amanda Mattos: charlotte allen as Ron Burgundy: "My friends are highly intelligent and read highly intelligent novels. Sure, a lot of women lead tough lives and run themselves ragged--I'm very sympathetic to their plight. But I don't see what that has to do with my article."

DCeiver: the whole thing is preposterous. Women are "oppressed" even still, in many ways. Oppression doesn't have to mean footbinding.

DCeiver: An example:

DCeiver: When I was at VCU, our acting pool was a pretty constant 75% women, 25% men. But when you counted up all of the available mainstage roles, the ratio was flipped. Around that time, I became a teaching assistant to our Voice teacher. My responsibility was to coach the students and evaluate their progress. I had a say in what grades they received. And time after time, we were giving high marks - A pluses - to women who had NO SHOT of getting on stage. So here's the hypocrisy in Allen's "opportunity" argument. These women were getting the "opportunity" and they were doing well on paper, but their gains were not reflected in any practical sense. There was something false and hypocritical about it. I felt that this was, by definition, a sort of soft "oppression." And how did it benefit the men? They were winning a competition that was stacked in their favor! The whole thing really did not sit well with me, so I began lobbying the program for a change.

Amanda Mattos: Wow! That is so great.

DCeiver: When I presented my argument to the chair of our department, his response was: "Look, it's very hard out there in the marketplace for women. They benefit from learning this now."

Amanda Mattos: wow.

DCeiver: To which I said: "Due respect, but I think you are being really naive if you think that YOU are HERE AND NOW teaching that lesson to these actresses. I feel that they come to this program aware of this, and are seeking an opportunity from us to give them some sort of advantage. Even if the outside world is hard, if we can do better, shouldn't we?"

Amanda Mattos: PREACH ON

DCeiver: I said: "Just this season, we had an actress get a role at TheatreVirginia, a professional gig. She was going to get paid for that role. She was going to get that credit on her resume. But one of the graduate students wanted her for a show here, and this department insisted the rules be enforced and she had to forego doing that show. THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. You passed on the opportunity to give one of our actresses a pro credit, AND passed on an opportunity to give a role here to another actress!"

DCeiver: I felt that I was using very precise, penetrating logic, but as you might expect, my words fell on deaf ears, except for our voice teacher, A WOMAN, who suddenly started submitting her name direct shows so that she could call some more shots. Which was awesome in a limited way. For my part, I used what leverage I could. When one of the grad students asked me to be in his show, I said, "Sure, but you have to cast my scene partner in the female role." The actress in question was a very shy but super-talented sophmore who just needed some exposure. She did the part, everyone loved her, and she straight BLEW UP and got a ton of roles after that.

DCeiver: All of which speaks well of my judgement, but the sad thing is, IT TOOK THE PATRIARCHY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. And that's why you just can't win with dumb motherfuckers like Charlotte Allen.

Amanda Mattos: And, hey, Charlotte Allen? Just so we're clear, what Jason just wrote -- not comedy.

DCeiver: No. That's tragedy. Have yourself a fucking catharsis on me, asshole.

Let's Not Recall Them Quite So Fondly

Random American Idol thought: It's interesting, when those of us who lived through the 1980s recall them, we more often fixate on the superficial froth of that decade. But these kids have curated a set of 1980s-themed performances that are largely a downer. Lots of sadness, loss, and Phil Collins.

In this case, of course, the kids are absolutely correct.

The Audacity of Dopes: Why Oh Why Oh Why Oh. Why DId I Ever Leave Ohio?

Basically we had four contests tonight, with latte sipping Vermonters breaking for Hope and Ohio and Rhode Islanders opting for Hopeless and Texas probably called for Clinton but yielding more delegates to Obama because that's what Texans do: MAKE SENSE ALL THE GODDAMNED TIME. Anyway, Hillary has got total momentum now and is on the comeback trail and is, I guess, going to pretend that this matters, even though the delegate disadvantage she has is basically insurmountable even with Florida and Michigan and superdelegates. Maybe there's other things she can win with all the important momentum? Like some nice door prizes or a gift certificate or the President of Saturday Night Live? This time next week, by the way, the delegate deficit she's facing will be larger than it was before tonight's primaries but FUCK IT IT'S ON THE PENNSYLVANIA AND PUERTO RICO and certain oblivion.

There will be liveblogs! Here's mine, and here's Ana's.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

LNS Leader Has Total Spaz Attack

Toward the end of this video, this guy named Reed Landry - the emasculated duffeldouche leader of a gaggle of two-dollar attention whores that call themselves Late Night Shots - grabs and apparently smashed the video camera of roving Wonkette camera-wielder Liz Glover. With any luck, this will be the audition tape that will cement his participation in the rumored LNS reality teevee show, which, as we've said before, if there is a God, will end up on television very soon. Very, very soon. Landry makes for a good Spencer Pratt-type figure to center the show around. More the prat than the spencer, obvs.

Tongue-in-cheek.

Hey, did you hear about that time some dumb, past-her-prime, femme-hating lady penned the worst single opinion piece in the history of the Washington Post? Yeah, we thought you had. I've already had a couple of riveting things to say about it elsewhere. And, recommended: Jezebelles Moe and Megan give it the point-by-point takedown it deserves.

Obviously, compounding the stupidity of the original piece is the lame walk-back attempt made by Outlook editor John Pomfret this morning, who defended the piece on the grounds that it was a "tongue-in-cheek" attempt at humor. That would be a decent enough excuse if Charlotte Allen was some sort of noted humorist, but so far as I have been able to ascertain, she's only notable for misogyny.

Still, this "tongue-in-cheek" style that Pomfret describes sure is intriguing, and sounds like an enjoyable milieu in which to write. So if I were to attest to the fact that Outlook Editor John Pomfret was a dumb son-of-a-whore who lacks the common sense that God gave a wet bag of grapefruit husks, and whose lack of evident competence at his job points to the sad truth that his upward career trajectory has been earned mainly on the strength at how willing he was to blow his bosses with the eagerness and aggressive enthusiasm of a rabid raccoon ferreting through a dumpster for tiny scraps of spoiled food and thus is in no way deserving of a post of responsibility at a major daily newspaper, I would certainly hope that Mr. Pomfret takes it in the "tongue-in-cheek" spirit of this wretched Charlotte Allen piece that he continues to champion.

Hope I've "packaged" this piece with sufficient clarity, asshole.

Summary of the Summary Judgement: February 2008

And, as a service to readers who lack attention spans or who just like drivel, here's a summary of the summary of the past month's offerings on this here blog:

____________

If you're Ryan, for example, a stack of Richard Florida books, becomes a "light-rail adjacent infill development" of Richard Florida books.

OMG!

Holy shit.

The "bookstore experience." All record stores, like all book stores, sell essentially the same product. Do people, travelling and touristing get as excited about record stores?

SERIOUSLY. LET'S GIVE IT UP FOR DEAD PEOPLE!

Great! Fuck! Seriously.

Barkley: 2014. Can Barkley bring people together? Work past racial barriers?

DCeiver: omg

DCeiver: HA!

Nice perk! Total driving time=15 minutes!

"Word."

Naturally we called 9-11, along with about 30 other people.

Summary Judgement: February 2008

A lot of stuff was written on this blog in February. Leap Day, after all! Anyway, in case you missed it, here is the executive summary of the last month in the life.
___________

Obama's downplaying his chances there, too. That said, the advantage is to Clinton, if only because Obama has to come off message.

AMANDA: I used to watch Nip/Tuck. I watched this season's premiere. Wow. No one reads.

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. Oh, teevee, if you love me at all, you bring me the sight of these nozzles.

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.

Super Tuesday's Big Winner, Canada Division: Feist!

Missouri is full of late voters that love Claire McCaskill like their mother. West Virginia caucuses hard with redoes, deals and Huckabee.

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. The high cost of quality jigsawry! This table runs you upwards of $600.

OMG! Was Dennis from 30 Rock right about everything? Holy shit.

Allow me to pick up a discussion I've read about in a couple places. The "bookstore experience." All record stores, like all book stores, sell essentially the same product. First: Bookstores have a much easier time at building an experience through in-store promotions. 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. 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. Somehow, though, I enjoy the way a book store will present the merchandise. I always inspect the new releases table - especially when there's reissues/reprints alongside new releases. 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? At the same time, it sort of proves that this stuff isn't rocket science.

So I guess I didn't realize that Barack Obama went to Punahou School in Hawaii. I hate for my experiences with people to be so limited.

Prior to the game, I told him that he owed it to himself to study Ryan Pettinella's free-throw shot. My brother said that Pettinella's terrible free throw shooting was on display again today. Pettinella, my brother said, literally hid. Oh, well.

Hi. So yeah. Everyone is goddamned idiot. President Bush made a big deal about how he submitted a budget to Congress "electronically."

Good Jesus. JIM ZORN! I officially envy the dead! SERIOUSLY. LET'S GIVE IT UP FOR DEAD PEOPLE!

Dude. Great! Except fuck that, ABC! We've waited on that since the first episode! 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! Seriously.

Dig Sir Charles announcement on CNN. 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. Can Barkley bring people together? Work past racial barriers? Racial code words? Eliminationist rhetoric? It was the consensus of those of us who watched the commercial that "flaky white stuff" exclusively referred to Danny Ainge.

There's not much to recommend the City Paper's recent cover story, "One Mission, Two Newsrooms." Print versus web, eh? Egggghhh. I've been reading Poynter for about five years now, so, uhm...yeah. If only there were cellular phone devices or a rich tradition of separate, international bureaus or something!! Not even a little bit.

Mandys t r e t c h: ok, so, last night i received the worst (best?) pick up line of all time, “Cause you've been staring at my package all night."

DCeiver: omg

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

Mandys t r e t c h: hahahaha. DCeiver: HA!

You got lawyers, Mensa members, people with musical talent, people with a social conscience...and that's all great.

Granted, that time's gonna be a long way off, but it's never too soon to start taking score.

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.

Woo-haah, assholes! [Incidentally, the source origin of "I drink your milkshake" is pretty tricky!]

We had previously commented on the City Paper's Erik Wemple making the fascinating discovery that tensions between print and web DO EXIST! 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. You drive like a fucking tourist! Huh. Nice perk! WTF? OH NOES! He's gonna be late getting home to Stephanie Mencimer! Better call ahead and mitigate all the poop-flinging!

Seriously? 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!

We're making fun of videos of people driving today, like we do every February 19th! WAKE UP, MORON. "The Funeral" is an awesome song, though--it totally deserves a better commercial.

DCeiver: A fair point.

Now, back on four, four, tight on Obama. HOW YOU LIKE THAT SHIT!" Anyway, if anyone ended up with any decent downblouse shots of Campbell Brown, you know how to email me.

"So fucking what?” "Word."

Related: Also, everyone thought this was pretty great.

Thank you, Paul. Middle-class prude maven Laura Sessions Stepp and himbo jugger-not David Zinczenko. 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. 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!

Three teeth-rattling explosions that knocked our power out. Naturally we called 9-11, along with about 30 other people. The power company said that they'd send someone round to see if the problem could be identified. 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.

First, Marion Cotillard won for La Vie En Rose, which I endorse to the fullest possible degree. And Cotillard was adorable tonight. 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. Oh, and, as expected, Heath Ledger won the Final Applause During the Death Montage, and Norbit won the Academy Award for Racism.

Silver medal.

Learn it. 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.”) - make the call.

Obviously, Gary Busey is straight nutlog. Watch your back, Leah Remini.

It's nice to know that DC's Theatre nominations process did not come down to superdelegates.