Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Annotated Inaugural Advisory

The Congressional Inaugural Committee today released an official advisory that more or less sizes up the coming Inaugurapocalypse and reaches the obvious conclusion: now, more than ever, steps must be taken to dissuade as many people as possible from coming to Washington, DC, lest the city be left a deep crater full of human leavings and 75% off HOPESTRONG bracelets. I hate to interfere with their good works, but attention to detail must be paid. Full text is available here.

In the remaining weeks before the 56th presidential inaugural, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) will be issuing a series of advisories to help people who plan to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

All of these advisories can be summarized thusly: PLEASE DO NOT COME TO WASHINGTON.

While the actual swearing-in will take place shortly before noon, the formal program begins at 11:30 AM and the musical prelude and seating will begin much earlier. Security checkpoints will open for ticketed guests at 8:00 AM, and the committee advises arriving no later than 9:00 AM to ensure that you are through the checkpoints by the time the program begins.

Also? You will not in any way be through the security checkpoint by the time the program begins, because the security checkpoint will be a storied clusterfuck. You will be able to experience, firsthand, one of the things Washington, DC officials do very well: project a heroic level of indifference to your concerns.

We also recommend developing back-up plans in case your original plans need to be changed at the last minute.

"Bitch set me up" seems to work.

Street closures throughout Washington, D.C., will make traveling by car or taxi very difficult.

This is really too bad, because it's really a fucking snap every other time.

For some people bicycling may be an option to get close to the U.S. Capitol.

That would be "people with bicycles," I guess.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is working on a plan with city officials to have bike valet stations available outside the security perimeter near the swearing-in ceremonies and parade route.

This will be a wholly unique way of having your bicycle stolen.

D.C.’s subway system will be running “rush-hour” service all day, but is expecting “crush-level” crowds. Be prepared to wait for space on a train for long periods of time, during which you will have to stand in close proximity to several thousand people.

The return trip on public transportation will be the more arduous portion of your commute, as people's enthusiasm will be diminished, overall body odor will be more significant, and the frotteurs far less frisky.

Many Metro escalators will be closed due to crowding and individuals will need to climb Metro stairs or wait to utilize the small number of elevators at Metro stations.

Won't you buy a commemorative Barack Obama Smartrip card, to support our crumbling infrastructure?

The weather in Washington in January is usually quite cold and often rainy or snowy.

In all honesty, while it will be cold, we're pretty used to snow failing to materialize here. I think the last time there was a sustained period of reliable mid-January snows, the terror alert level was at "What Are You Talking About? I've Never Heard Of This Terror Alert Level System, Weird Spaceman From the Future!"

Other prohibited items include, but are not limited to: Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated)...

Yes, it's a disappointing end to the rich tradition of Inauguration Day simulated gunplay.

Knives, blades, or sharp objects (of any length)...

Cutting remarks at Rick Warren's expense still allowed and encouraged.

Pockets or hand tools, such as “Leatherman”...

Especially the vaguely homosexual sounding hand tools!


Honestly, only a complete asshole would bring a cooler to the inauguration.

Animals (other than service animals), Alcoholic beverages...

Other than service alcoholic beverages.

I Feel I Must Interject Here

Ever wise, Catherine Andrews asks:

zooey deschanel is getting married to ben gibbard. why do i find that so odd?
Well, she's had better vocal training, for starters. Also, one had to imagine she'd move in a decidedly more Paste-y direction, maybe. But mainly, I think it's just because you think of Gibbard singing "Someday You Will Be Loved" to her and think: Ewww.

Another Undercover Glover Lover

I wish we had a secret jute, too! Jute makes a fine rug. Lightweight and easy to vacuum.

Crappy Hour: There's No Culture There's No Spies

Well, it's getting to be the end of the Crappy Hour era. In case you missed it, today I did my last stint as Megan's guest IM correspondent for Jezebel's long running/soon ending daily feature. But, take heart! The plan is to have one massive clusterfuck series finale ending to Crappy Hour on Friday, with Megan and Moe and all of us who've been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to commune with the Jezebelles in their natural habitat. But as always, keep in mind, those plans are tentative. I think I'm probably the most responsible one of the lot, and that's saying something.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The End Of Sparks

Sparks is a drink made up of "malt beverage" and "citric acid," which, when combined with caffeine and a bunch of herbal crap for people who won't suck it up and do actual speed, creates a taste sensation that one might refer to as "jizz vapor." The drink, chiefly popular among art-damaged, ambisexual urban poverty tourists, never really took off in Washington, DC, to Washington, DC's eternal credit. Yet I still remembering the first time I spotted this shit on the grocery shelves, fittingly, at that goddamned Giant in Columbia Heights, and felt the horror of what the city might become. According to Gawker, the drink's manufacturer, MillerCoors, will not be producing this shit anymore. We'll believe that when Brightest Young Things change their name to Respectably Well-Lit Young Things.

[term "jizz vapor" by Sommer Mathis, used under a Creative Commons license.]

Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out Of Control: Your Next Existential Crisis Will Be Twittered

"It's starting to feel like if an event was live Twittered, it didn't really happen."
This is better than saying it's starting to feel like if an event WASN'T live Twittered, it didn't really happen. But not by much, and, I assure you, that is the slope we are on.

Inaugurapocalypse Downgraded To Mere Inauguruination

Sommer reports that the estimates for the crowds coming for Inauguration have been cut in half - from four million expected attendees to a less calamitous two million. What's up America? You mean you don't want to stand around in the frigid fucking cold amid piles of frozen shit to get nowhere near the festivities? Discussing the city's capacity for handling the crowds, City Administrator Dan Tangherlini said, "It's more of an art than a science." We nevertheless urge Tangherlini: PLEASE USE SCIENCE ANYWAY OKAY?

Anyway, I guess I should thank Saddleback pastor-hack Rick Warren for successfully offending two million people enough that they now plan to stay home and get gay-married to one another.

The Bit With The Boxes

The bit with the boxes proved to be a rather hard nut to crack, despite the fact that it looked like the simplest thing in the world on paper. But an intricate bit of physical business, the need for alacrity, and dialogue that was basically the three of us spitting rapid-fire, repetitive, non-sequiturs at one another seemed to conspire against us again and again. I think that between the three of us: Hugh Owen, Shane Wallis, and myself, we were collectively the sort of people that would hardly be described as being overly disciplined by anyone unfortunate to chronicle our exploits, but still, we should have nailed the scene a lot earlier than we did.

With Randy's patience starting to wear and the the feeling like we were all going to get detention or something starting to loom, the three of us sequestered ourselves to quietly nail the scene down. In the end, we hit upon a plan: a "safe-word" - "Kalamazoo," actually - which, by agreement, we would say if we went in the weeds as a cue to cut the losses and cut to the end. Naturally, by according ourselves this tiny thread of safety and assurance to live in that part of our brains that produces lizardly doubts, we never went in those weeds again. And almost immediately, we had it right to the level of reck and abandon we wanted it. And in a play full of things I just couldn't wait to do, it became one of the things I really looked forward to doing each night.

Anyway, I just wanted people to know that about my friend and colleague, Shane Wallis. And also that he worked very hard to make life interesting for the people he knew, and never seemed to have an unkind thing to say about anybody. He's gone on, now, to a far better place, and as a warning to the people there, let me just say: y'all are about to get up to some shit. Enjoy. I shall miss him greatly.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nice Reflexes For A Lame Duck, Actually!

Mark Twain was slightly wrong. Though a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes, if the truth manages to get its shoes off, odds are even they can at least tag the lie in the face.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I think it's a bit odd for German Finance Minister Peer Steinbr├╝ck to be "lambasting the 'vulgar Keynesianism' of Gordon Brown." I mean, as Keynesians go, they don't come much more vulgar than Adolf Hitler.

Like Team Aniston, Coached by Isiah Thomas

Defamer fittingly reminds us that while she's out, ostensibly promoting a family film about a lovable dog, Jennifer Aniston is filling the usual magazines up with a lot of snark talk agitation at her ex's new wife and doing photo shoots with all this bonkers nudity. I mean, look, I'm not complaining, of course, but when I saw Aniston's spot for the Ronald McDonald house on teevee tonight and it didn't end with some kind of simulated orgasm, my first reaction was to think, "What a relief!" My next reaction, of course, was to think, "Too bad." I guess this is just a really confusing time for all of us, what with Somali pirates and all.

Crappy Hour: F Silvestre And All His Friends

Today's Crappy Hour was plagued by the fitful NYC wifi connection Megan had to work with, but eventually, we worked it out. Now what's all this about Hayden and McConnell equaling the continuity America needs right now?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hot Housewives...for Science!

You gotta feel for the cover layout artist for German science journal Max Planck Forschung. All the dude needs to do is find a nice patch of stately looking Chinese text to make the cover of the latest issue. You find something that looks perfect and you run it and the cover looks great. And then you find out that what you've slapped on you science journal is actually the text from a flyer advertising a brothel.

There were red faces on the editorial board of one of Germany's top scientific institutions, the Max Planck Institute, after it ran the text of a handbill for a Macau strip club on the front page of its latest journal. Editors had hoped to find an elegant Chinese poem to grace the cover of a special issue, focusing on China, of the MaxPlanckForschung journal, but instead of poetry they ran a text effectively proclaiming "Hot Housewives in action!" on the front of the third-quarter edition. Their "enchanting and coquettish performance" was highly recommended.

The use of traditional Chinese characters and references to "the northern mainland" seem to indicate the text comes from Hong Kong or Macau, and it promises burlesque acts by pretty-as-jade housewives with hot bodies for the daytime visitor.

According to reports, the magazine had consulted a "German sinologist" who is now saying that he missed the "deeper levels of meaning" in the text. I have a feeling that "German sinologist" is something you tell people you can do when you need a job in a down economy, figuring, "When the hell is this ever going to come back to haunt me?" Well...boo.

Anyway it's a pretty great cover, but this is still my favorite.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Ein, Zwei, Die.

Here's the latest bit of cinematic insanity that's been passed my way from the Nabob. Looks to be at least as good as Dragon Wars, maybe better. It's from Norway, and it's got snowmobiles and sexy teens and...well...you'll figure it out.

Yeah, that'll basically do it.

Our Unimpeachable Expertise

Spencer reminds me that I am in this book too, and should be telling you about it! Go buy The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging! For fun and stuff! Or for a parent or aunt who's terrified of the modern world and who maybe needs an entree into one small aspect of it so they won't be some kind of stupid shut-in. It's an enjoyable read you won't regret. And check out pages 93 and 94, where I tell the incredibly true story of how I parlayed a few dick jokes and regrettable personality quirks into some kind of bonkers career. Anyway, makes a great stocking stuffer, provided you have very wide stockings.

Crappy Hour: What We Did In Our Pants

Today, Megan Carpentier and I discusses matters of national import on Jezebel's "Crappy Hour." An excerpt:

JASON: Look, I'm just glad that someone has a definition of "extreme lengths" that stops at "making him wear nothing but underwear" and doesn't involve the sort of things that make Mike Mukasey jizz in his pants. "I hook electrodes, to a brown man's balls and I JIZZ IN MY PANTS."

MEGAN: You know whom else I'm betting lets loose with a couple of teaspoons-full now and again? Michael Chertoff, when he's listening to illegal wiretap tapes. Also, a ton of liberals when Bush said "Welcome to my hanging" this weekend.

JASON: Oh, no doubt. Though Chertoff mostly spews graveyard dust out of his dessicated ghoul-cock. You know Chertoff is a guy that Baby Jesus hates the most. "Waaah. Living-dead abomination! Jizzing graveyeard dust!"

MEGAN: He is, without a doubt, the creepiest-looking guy in Washington. You'd think that he'd look less creepy in person, that maybe it's the TV lights or something. But, no. He really does look exactly that frightening.

JASON: Yeah. And you know, he's not scary-looking? Like we don't even get any sort of terrorist deterrence out of the fact that he's the creepiest fuck in the world. He'd actually be better off if he drew a mad face on a paper bag and wore it around Washington. I guess after Obama takes office it's back to the Jim Rose Sideshow with that guy!

MEGAN: Nah, his wife might get mad if he wore it outside of the bedroom.

JASON: Does he have a wife? I naturally assumed the man fucked mummies, like Dick Morris.

Things sort of degenerate from there.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Other Kate

According to the Facebook status message of Tricia Olszewski (who we love, even as we fail to spell her name correctly), the movie The Reader "only if you'd like to gape at Kate Winslet's extremely large nipples." So, basically, this holiday season enthusiasts of large, exposed nipples will have an alternative to Frost/Nixon.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Via Soup comes the reminder that even as financial institutions sputter and fail, there's one that hasn't come to Washington looking for a punk-ass bailout.

I remember back in Richmond, when we were working at the tatty-ass mall record store, there was a persistent rumor that they were going to open up a Wu Wear in Portsmouth. We'd dream about working there, because how awesome would it have been to have Raekwon as your boss? Then Wu-Tang Forever stiffed like it was Batman Forever, and it felt like a part of our innocence had died. But we all had Radiohead and Spiritualized to fall back on, so it ended up being an all right year.

Did You Ever Get The Feeling That Pandora Was Maybe Complicating Things?

Highlighted box mine. Because for Ludacris fans, it's all about the elocution. [Via Ana Marie's Twitterpics.]

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Really, Open and Honest Communication Is The Cornerstone To Every Successful Marriage

DCeiver: So! Guess what!

Wife of DCeiver: What?

DCeiver: It looks like I might have the opportunity tomorrow to meet someone from my List Of Five.

Wife of DCeiver: Oh! That's right!

DCeiver: Have any concerns?

Wife of DCeiver: Not really! But best of luck to you!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tina Fey in Vanity Fair

Even though Maureen Dowd's approach to interviewing Tina Fey frequently achieves the trademarked high level of shallowness that Dowd is known for, I'm very excited to see Fey get the Vanity Fair cover, if for no other reason than the fact that it finally puts to bed the Story of the Scar. People are very, very interested in that, for some reason. I cannot tell you how many times it's come to pass that someone finds out that I knew Fey in passing at UVa and they ask, straightaway, about the scar. I'm always very honest about it - I tell people that I honestly do not remember if I had ever had a conversation about it with her. My instincts tell me I might have, but my memory contains no recollection. What usually happens next is that the person gets pissed off at me for not knowing and remembering this detail! This has always flummoxed me: I mean, we're talking about someone who I barely knew back in 1992! There wasn't a moment where Tina Fey cautioned me: "Jason! In about a decade, I am going to be crazy famous! Whatever you do, do not forget the exacting details of our handful of interactions." To me, she was just a student who graduated and went to DePaul for grad school, I think.

Anyway, Vanity Fair has relieved me of that burden. Now I can tell people to watch 30 Rock and root for the Fey I do remember: a very funny, very modest, very warm-hearted person, who as far as I can recall, worked very diligently and never let anyone down. I think those memories are rather nice, and shall suffice.

The Pattern

I am risking a thorough cockpunching for saying this, but I've never been able to get through an episode of Fringe without imagining how much cooler it would be if it starred Catherine Andrews. Actually, I think it's precisely because Anna Torv hasn't yet convinced me that yes, she will cockpunch the shit out of some paranormal stuff if need be. Anyway, it's a pretty uncanny resemblance.

Next Up: ICELAND, starring Bjork and Magnus Ver Magnusson

Pretty great! But left unanswered is who helms this? Depending on whether its Guy Maddin, David Cronenberg, or Atom Egoyan, this could go in a bunch of different directions. [Via.]