Thursday, October 28, 2010

questions of the week

Why does this guy hate Virginia so much? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of the 'burbs either, but I'm not planning to bomb the sh*t out of it. Also, awesome job perpetuating the stereotype, you asshole -- you just made every sane Pakistani's life in this country all that more uncomfortable.

How is it that the biggest start at this weekend's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear is Sam Waterson (that is, besides the two hosts)? Now I don't feel that bad for missing it.*

Why is all the attention on Brett Favre's penis, when the most disturbing image in his "alleged" text are his Crocs? Crocs > Cocks on the offense scale.

Why does John Kelly have a job? His articles sound like they're being written by that guy who relies on his stupid to show that he's funny, rather than substance. Can we please finally replace him with R. Kelly? R. Kelly > John Kelly on the Kelly scale.


This is a two-parter: 1) Why does DC Water have a mascot? And, 2) More pressingly, why does this new mascot roll in a rape van?

True, @mydcwater, it is harder to rape in a midsize sedan...

Lastly, since we're on the Twitter tip, I'll let fake Clarence Thomas (@clarencethomas) ask the last question:

*I'll be volunteering with the childrens for a group that helps kids process grief after losing a parent or other close family member. Yes, I am a saint.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

jesus, i'm f*cking critiquing a corn maze...

A friend and I went to a farm out in Virginia this weekend to buy some delicious gourds. Mission accomplished! (I roast a mean pumpkin seed.) And since we each paid $9 to get into this phantasmaGOURDia (HA!), we decided to stick around to do the corn maze. After all, there's nothing I like more than getting lost in a creepy field after I purchase gourds. However, we all know I'm the Kanye West of the blogosphere -- "I'm so gifted at finding what I don't like the most" (except it usually takes me longer than 35 minutes and there are a lot more giant papier-mâché Michael Jackson heads involved) -- so I'm going to tell you how sh*tty everything was.

Anyhee-hee (shamone!), there were two problems with this weekend's corn maze -- the corn and the maze. Apparently, there was a draught this year and the corn only achieved dwarf status. Seriously, it was so little! Maybe 4 feet high, tops. Some of it lower, all of it sad, brittle and brown. In fact, so fragile was this tiny, dry corn that instead of relying on just the corn to compose the walls of the maze, this corn maze also used police tape. Which, actually, was kind of fitting because that corn was pretty dead.

But even if the corn had been luscious and green, there'd have still been issues with this maze. So, the way it's set up, you enter map-less, hoping to stumble upon the first trivia station where you'll find a question and three answers. Next to each answer is a direction (usually, "Go right," "Go left," or "Go behind"). If you answer the question correctly, you'll be guided toward the correct path, which will get you to the next trivia station and so on. If you answer wrongly, you'll be sent TO HELL! Just kidding. You'll be sent in a loop or something and have to come back and try again.

Anyway, at first we was all about this, as it's so rare that knowledge, opposed to dumb luck or just being dumb, actually helps you get ahead in life these days. But then we saw the first trivia question: Why did the chicken cross the road halfway? A -- So she could lay it on the line (Go right); B -- Because she forgot to bring her egg (Go left); C -- She wanted to see egg-sactly where she was going (Go behind); or D -- WTF is this?! THIS ISN'T TRIVIA, YOU ASSHOLES, IT'S SOME STUPID JOKE! (Go ask for your money back.)

Unfortunately, that last choice wasn't an option, so we ended up choosing one of the other three at random and got lucky. When we reached the next station, we were pleased to find an actual trivia question (something about how many eggs on average a chicken lays per year), which of course we got right (300!) and were able to move on. Next, we found another stupid riddle. Then a legitimate trivia question! Then another stupid riddle. And so on...

The whole thing came to an end with an answer sheet so you could see what you got right and what you got wrong. Unsurprisingly, we got all the legitimate questions correct, including, thanks to the Maury show, what the word meaning "fear of chickens" is:

Alektorophobia for days, bitches! But for real, in total there were only three questions that had facts for answers, which, in my opinion, is what makes a trivia question a trivia question. The other three questions were riddles, meaning there was no right or wrong answer, just a bunch of stupid ones. Do not want. Half the fun of the maze is knowing you can use your brain to get yourself out. The stupid jokes don't allow that. With those, you just have to guess, like an idiot.

So, I don't know. It was a time. It wasn't really that good and it also wasn't bad. The corn maze was corny, but the pumpkin and squash selection was GOURDgeos! (SHAMONE!) I'm really not sure if it was worth the $9 admission fee, but I'm also not sure it wasn't. Sure, it wasn't the corn maze of my dreams (I dream often about labyrinthine field crops AND GOURDS!), but it was still a corn maze, which is pretty cool just by definition. Yeah, OK, I'd go back. And actually NOT to burn it down. Success!

Friday, October 22, 2010

college kids need better protest ideas immediately

Hey, remember when you were in college and your biggest care in the world was the swimming pool? Yeah, I'm looking at you George Washington University...

OK, I get the need for college kids to protest sh*t. It's what you do when you don't have real problems to worry about. But a swimming pool rule? Surely (and yes, I'll call you Shirley if I want to; you kids probably don't even get that...), there are better things to spend your time kvetching about. This is 2010! There are multiple wars going on! The economy is in shambles! Global warming! AIDS! KOALA AIDS! I MEAN, COME ON! What's become of you today, college kids? Hell, even when I started college in the late '90s (pre-George Bush!), we found something more substantial to protest than a freaking swimming pool. The war on drugs. (Stop laughing and hand me the damn Cheetos.) Kids these days -- they're all stupid.

And here's another thing that's bothering me -- this TBD event re-cap of Tim Gunn's talk at the Corcoran. The write-up is good enough, but the photos? Well, considering TBD has money behind it, you'd think they'd be able to send their bloggers out to cover events with better technology than what the average 7-year-old carries around these days. Just sayin'. That kind of unnecessary amateur gaffe makes even Vladimir Putin a sad boy.

The only thing that'll make him turn his frown upside down (although in Russia, frown turns you) is this video of a cat farting and hiccuping at the same time. Delightful!

And since it's Friday and everyone's gearing up for the weekend, let me leave you with the only thing that can top that -- a link to Katherine Chloe Cahoon's video, Why Single Girls Want to Meet European Men. I can't wait to see Kristen Wiig reenact that word-for-word. And also, this one about beachwear, in which Ms. Cahoon is standing in the ocean in a dress with a handbag. Now, if THAT was the consequence of a women's-only swim hour at the GW pool, then Erin Pew might've had a point...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

for ginni thomas's sake, i hope she has a drinking problem

I don't think there's another activity in the world that results in a more diverse set of consequences than binge drinking. On the one hand, you have hilarity; on the other, car accidents and death. And then there's that huge swath in the middle. Ask any 18-year-old college freshman and I'm sure you'll here a myriad tales of drunken fights with unmemorable origins, awkward hook-ups, the unfortunate intoxicated text messages...

Or you can ask Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. For those of you just on the cusp of grown-up, allow me to remind you that Clarence Thomas was once accused of sexual harassment by a woman named Anita Hill. And, yes, while today it seems the rest of the world wasn't thinking about this snippet of news that happened almost 20 years ago (after all, we have lives to lead, or in my case, naps to take), Mrs. Thomas was. But why? The only explanation that makes any sense to me is that this she-douche got a little tipsy one day and decided to drunk dial Anita Hill begging her to ask God to grant her the divine guidance to apologize for calling Clarence a supreme creeper.

I mean, how else can you rationally explain why -- after 19 years! -- someone would think it smart to drudge up such an unsavory issue in such an idiotic way? Then again, Mrs. Thomas has started digging her way into the butt of the Tea Party, so perhaps rationality isn't applicable here. Which mean, jeez, maybe she was sober... But even assuming that, did she really not realize the wider consequences of this action?

Not only did Anita, who today works as a professor at Brandeis College, rightfully refuse to apologize, but now another woman, who says she used to date Clarance Thomas, has come out in support of Hill. She confirmed to the Washington Post that Justice Thomas is, indeed, a total letch:

Lillian McEwen, a retired administrative law judge who said she dated Clarence Thomas from 1979 through the mid-1980s, [said]: "The Clarence I know was certainly capable of not only doing the things that Anita Hill said he did, but it would be totally consistent with the way he lived his personal life then."

So yeah. Either Ginni Thomas is an idiot or she really likes the sauce. Personally, I'd rather be known for the latter (hell I'm drunk right now), but I get the feeling that when it comes to Mrs. Thomas, it's the former. Seriously, what a f*cking moron.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

poopin' on groupon

Rarely does groupthink produce anything good. Nazism was probably the worst thing that ever happened due to this phenomenon, but Groupon, and specifically the Washington, DC, iteration, is probably a close second. Yes, I am a hater.

For those of you who haven't heard, Groupon "is an online social network that uses the buying power of its members to negotiate dramatically deep discounts for all kinds of goods and services." And yes, I stole that description from the Washington Post's latest article on this sham because it was a much more neutral description than what I'm able to come up with right now. Seriously, I just compared Groupon to the Third Reich.

But let's get real. While Groupon isn't engaged in the mass murder of people, it is calling for the mass murder of awesomeness. And also, unlike Fascism, I actually used to be a fan of Groupon...until they decided to suck. (For clarification purposes, fascism has always sucked.)

Now, not only is Groupon seemingly in the business of ripping people off (see the above-linked Post article), but the deals with which they are trying to run their con are just plain stupid.

For instance, take today's "deal," for example. It's offering $10 worth of chicken for $5. While that sounds pretty sweet (and delicious), a closer look reveals that there's nowhere I can even redeem this so-called Washington, DC, Groupon in f*cking Washington, DC. To get to "Chicken Out" (which, by the way, is just a dumb name for a restaurant), I have to travel to Maryland or Virginia and that there's only one location in DC and it's at 4866 Massachussetts Ave., NW, meaning if I want to actually use this coupon in DC, I'd have to rent a car and pretend I was going to Maryland. THIS IS BULLSH*T!

Why? Because the Washington, DC, iteration of Groupon has three subcategories -- the District, Northern Virginia and Montgomery County. Keep Chicken Out where it belongs, and that is OUT of the goddamn District of Columbia category.

But that's not all. Not only are Groupon's "DC deals" increasingly geographically irrelevant to the people at which they're supposedly directed, but the deals themselves are just dumb. Gone, it seems, are the glory days of mid-to-high priced, non-chain, DC restaurants offering $50 worth of food for $25 and arrived are the days of $9 tickets to Madame f*cking Tussaud's. I don't know who the hell Groupon's staff hangs out with, but I don't know one person in DC who would pay money to go there. Amazingly, however, 5,832 people did.

This begs the question: Who are you people buying this sh*t? Are you the people that the Post article talks about? You know, those people who impulsively buy something just for the sake of getting a discount, even if you have no plans of cashing in on it? Are you basically, as the Post says, "throwing your money away?" You idiots! You've ruined Groupon for everyone by making it profitable for them to offer sh*tty deals!

And sadly, this same fate seems to be coming to LivingSocial, a competitor site that offers similar discounts. Today, that site is offering a deal they're calling shootin' and drinkin', which sure, sounds awesome (I mean, that's a winning combo, right?), but I'm telling you from personal experience that it doesn't need to cost $80 and that's with the discount, mind you. In reality, it should cost no more than $25 for a couple of rounds of skeet and gun rental and another $30 tops to "taste" some scotch at a suburban bar. Trust me, I've done both on my own, and while the scotch may have been moonshine drunk out of a bottle in a paper bag, I can tell you $80 is a rip-off.

Alas, there are some other sites popping up that are hopefully going to stick to what made Groupon and LivingSocial so intriguing in the first place -- discounts at local restaurants. I just bought one the other day for Kaz Sushi Bistro and I am sufficiently pleased. And while I'm reluctant to talk about it lest it starts to suck because a bunch of idiots are willing to impulsively buy anything and everything, thus lowering the quality and applicability of the deals, Groupon and their cohorts need to know. There is competition and your customers are starting to take note. If you don't want to end up being the Friendster of the group discount world, I suggest you reassess your business plan.

Photo courtesy of Flickriver user Javierdoren.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Well, this sucks. I was hoping The Anti DC would get to 600 posts before DC got to 100 murders, but alas, I failed. Counting this post, I only have 595. Counting last night's murder in Petworth, DCist pointed out that DC's already at 103. I hate losing. And while I suppose I could've posted more often, The Anti DC is only one woman and a plastic turtle with a limited vocabulary. Really, there's only so much TADC's team of 'tards can do, while being able to also enjoy life's other wonders, like sleeping in, taking naps and going to bed early. And so here's another idea -- STOP KILLING PEOPLE.

Seriously, stop. And as if the notion of someone's trigger finger mucking up my writing goals isn't disturbing enough, when people go about their murders, they're also prematurely ending people's lives. That's all sorts of f*cked up. Sure, DC is a tough place to live (like New York, the rent is just too damn high), but I and common sense assure you that murdering will not make it better. I don't care how much you hate someone, murder is never the appropriate answer. In fact, it's a solution for stupid people. Really, it's the least funny revenge. A stream of seltzer water in the face or giving someone Exlax® and telling him it's chocolate -- those are much more clever and funny means of serving someone. Yes, it's time to get more creative and ask, What Would Bozo Do?

Certainly, Bozo wouldn't do Baltimore. That city makes DC look good when it comes to crime. They've already tallied 172 murders this year, making their murder rate about 27 per 100,000, compared to DC's 17 per 100,000. But alas, until both cities are zero per 100,000, I won't be happy and, sadly, we have a ways to go, as I believe funny prank statistics are inversely related to the murder rate. That is, before we'll see a decrease in killings, we'll have to see an increase in shaving cream pie-in-the-face incidents.

See? That wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable to watch had Elvira been shot with a bullet instead of a pie. Also, we're all old -- Elvira turned 58 last month. Deal with that.

Friday, October 15, 2010

the dc9 incident = endless gary busey fists

And of course with all my whistleblowing of the Bible around here lately, Jesus has struck me immobile via a stomach kerfuffle. Because that's how it works, right? Certainly, it couldn't be the guacamole I ate last night that had been sitting uncovered in the back of my fridge...

Anyway, enough about all that, mostly because right now I have to take a bathroom break...

Here. Watch this video. I'll be back in a few minutes...

Well, that was fun. And I'm not talkin' about the video! Ew. And while my bowel movements are disgusting (and by "disgusting" I mean "the rainbows aren't as bright as usual"), this story is really gross. According to NBC4, a man got BEAT TO DEATH last night by a few DC9 patrons after throwing a brick through the club's window in retaliation of having been kicked out of then face-controlled (in this case, denied re-entry).

Um, WHAT. THE. F*CK. I don't get it. And while I'll get to the whole beating-someone-to-death thing in a minute, let's start at the beginning because this whole story is one big clusterf*ck of endless Gary Busey fists.

It's scary and I don't understand.

1. DC9 has face control?

Look, I've dealt with face control before. I used to live in Moscow. It was necessary there to keep riff-raff like me out of the same space the oligarchs came to watch DirectTV with their mistresses and mini baby giraffes. But face control in DC is just retarded, especially at a place like DC9. Last time I was there (which I admit was well over six months ago), it was half empty. It also smelled like poop...and not the rainbow kind.

As it turns out, according to an anonymous commenter, the man had previously been in DC9 but was then kicked out due to drunken dickishness. The commenter said the man was only face-controlled when he tried to re-enter the club.

2. Someone gets so mad that they can't get into a mundane DC bar, so he throws a brick through the window?

Clearly, this person has no clue what fun is. I can tell you most certainly, it doesn't happen all that often after dark in DC and it certainly doesn't involve throwing bricks through windows of smell clubs. Seriously, get a new hobby. Philatelist > felon. Although, in this case, I guess it's too late for the vandal...

3. And we're allegedly killing now because someone acted like a dick and broke a window?

If this did happen the way the police say (the five suspects who have been arrested deny they beat anyone), it's like punching a toddler in the face for drawing on the walls. Sure, the toddler is at fault for being petulant (assuming he knows better), but there's a better way to go about teaching someone a lesson than through corporal punishment. Take away his crayons. Or in the case of the DC9 vandal, call the police. (That is, I guess, if they didn't set you up, which is the implication here.) There's a million of them around U Street now anyway since that other senseless killing happened.

4. And the police are charging people with murder before the medical examiner even rules the guy murdered?

We're all f*cked. Seriously, for a city full of people who so often think they're smarter than the rest of America, we sure do act dumb. It doesn't take a graduate degree to learn when enough's enough.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

tony perkins + the washington post = ugly hate child

And while I hate that this happened, the evidence it provides to yesterday's ramblin' proto-philosophical disasterpiece is too good to pass up. Of course, I'm talking about right-wing retard Tony Perkins and the Washington Post's decision to publish what on Monday really boils down to excellent evidence about how being a God-fearing man (in this case of the Christian variety) does not help a person make truly moral decisions. Yes, under the definition that morality equates to increasing actions that elevate people's well-being, there is a definitive right and wrong when it comes to the gays and it's simple. It's wrong to bash them and it's right to grant them equal rights, as we did years ago with black people and women.

Sure, the Bible states numerous times that homosexuality is a sin, but it also states that you should kill your offspring if they talk back to you, burn certain animals as sacrifices to God, only wear clothes made of one material, and, of course, keep a whole bunch of slaves. I guess it's a good thing for the Christian right that most believers haven't read the Bible because the mental gymnastics involved to believe that is the word of God must be next to impossible.

Unless you're Tony Perkins, who demonstrated how far one man could bend the physics of the mind with his Post-published argument about bullying, homosexuality and the Christian faith. To paraphrase, he's not OK with individuals bullying other individuals, but he's more than happy with large institutions holding a large part of humanity down. I ask, what is the difference? Except maybe that the latter is more immoral...

Does boasting that homosexuality is a sin that will send you to the burning pits of hell (or is it "outer darkness" -- the Bible can't seem to decide) do anything to stop individuals who are told they're superior to another from bullying someone else who they're told is the enemy? I doubt it.

In short, Tony Perkins is wrong. At best he's simply ignorant, a person too stupid to understand how unreasonable and illogical his argument is. Individuals bullying individuals won't stop if large swaths of society condone it via what they think is God-sanctioned bigotry. (Seriously, respect God enough to believe it's not an asshole). At worst, Perkins is immoral, a person conscious of the suffering of others, but unwilling to change his behavior to help stop it.

And yes, my above argument rests on a crucial fact: Homosexuality is not wrong. In fact, in a world full of unwanted pregnancies and overpopulation, it's probably a more moral thing to be than being a 31-year-old straight woman with a ticking biological clock. Of course, since we can't choose our sexual orientations, we'll all have to deal with the nudie cards we've been given thanks to evolution.

But that's neither here nor there. Perhaps the biggest immoral act was for the Post to give Perkins another national platform on which to spew his vile idiocy. Maybe it was an intentional stunt to take the heat off vile idiot Courtland Milloy, but whatever the case I think they've managed to set a new low in "journalism."

Since this treatise of 'tard was published on Monday, the Post has justified it as the counter argument to groups like syndicated columnist and gay rights advocate Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" organization, which, in hopes of curtailing instances of homosexual teenagers getting bullied to the point of depression and suicide, boasts the moral message that being gay is nothing to be ashamed of. I don't know about you, but to me, a nation where there's less depression and suicide sounds like a huge gain for the well-being of all.

So, what gives, Washington Post? Why counter an argument when you know the counterpoint is morally wrong? Are you ignorant, evil or both ignorant and evil? What's next, will you give the Ku Klux Klan a platform? With your current logic, apparently there must be another side to the slavery issue. Or what about giving a voice to child molesters? Certainly the issue of sexually abusing kids is open for debate. And hell, who let the women wear pants and hold jobs? Let's find someone to give us the other side of that story, too.

Seriously, I think this is the kind of thoughtless drivel that Sam Harris spoke of on Tuesday and that I wrote about yesterday. Morality is not relative when you measure it via reason with the goal of making a more just society that increases well-being and lessens suffering. The Washington Post's decision to publish Perkins' insane and dangerous views did neither.

Yes, Washington Post, kudos to you for becoming a grand abomination among those of us smart enough read. I hope you enjoy your new role of being kindling for the bigots to use when they set flame to the crosses they've built on innocent people's lawns.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

sam harris drives illiterate blogger into philosotard

Before we begin today (and it's a doozy, trust me) I feel obligated to tell you I'm under the influence of a couple of Vicodins, which I had left over from that one time I got a concussion from slipping on my goddamn hardwood floors. (It's a rough life). See, I climbed Old Rag Mountain on Monday and because I'm so coordinated, today I'm dealing with a twisted elbow, two scraped knuckles, a hand gash, a bum ankle and a severe case of chapped lips. Indeed, I'm in the perfect state to wax philosophical.

Enter Sam Harris last night on the stage of George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. For those of you unaware of who he is, such as the emcee of last night's event, Harris recently released a book called The Moral Landscape. Note to last night's emcee: He did not write a book called The Moral Compass. That book, a treatise on "traditional family values," was written by right-wing pundit William J. Bennett in 1995. They're different.

Very different actually, because unlike Bennett, Harris doesn't believe morality is a gift from God. Morality, he says, is an aspect of humanity that can be scientifically quantified by measuring well-being. This means that, unlike über-politically correct cultural relativists on the left, there is a "moral truth" -- a right and wrong -- that can be derived from reason, totally apart from the Bible, the Quran, the Torah, etc.

In fact, he argues that religion can even be immoral. His most famous claim is about slavery. He said last night, "The Bible got slavery wrong." (Seriously, Exodus 21, really?!) And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg (that God created?). There are some 100 verses in the Quran that call for killing nonbelievers (and if you kill yourself in the process you're rewarded) and the Bible's Old Testament orders that women who stray from their husbands are to be stoned to death. Really, there's a million other contradictions and truly quite horrific/insane orders in religious texts that are supposed to be the direct wishes of God.

Yet here is the problem with religion somehow being the beacon of morality: If that were true, there really should be a lot more dead ladies on the street.

But who am I to talk? According to many believers, I'm just a lost little secularist over here. I'm immoral under the strict definitions of many of the world's organized religions. Yet still, unlike just about all the Catholics who've gone unstoned that I've ever met, I've never cheated on anyone. I've also never killed anyone, never stolen anything of value and I hate intentional deception. If I don't believe in an anthropomorphic God, how could this be? I argue that it's because God, as I had come to know Him growing up a baptized Russian Orthodox and confirmed Episcopalian, seems a lot more confused about life than me. In the Old Testament, God is a huge dick and in the New Testament he's the benevolent father of a long-haired hippie. How are these two God's one and the same? To admit He changed is to admit His faults, isn't it?

I'll admit, growing up I never gave it much thought. I was a Christian by default, as both my parents decided to make me attend church. And I was cool with that -- every Sunday I got free cookies. As boring as Sunday School was, it actually seemed like a pretty fine deal at the time. But then my dad died when I was 16 and suddenly, for lack of a better term, sh*t got real. After that, I stopped being blinded by Snickerdoodles and began to contemplate the meaning of my inherited beliefs for the first time.

At first I found comfort when people told me, "Everything happens for a reason, dear," or "It was God's will, honey." It's a nice thought to think that someone as important as God and Jesus wanted the company of my 51-year-old father so badly. But then I thought, "Hmm, if that's the case, why not just take him peacefully in his sleep, rather than give him cancer and make him suffer an excruciatingly painful deterioration of health for three months?" For that, I couldn't find a satisfactory answer in my religion and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the Bible couldn't be the actual word of God, unless God was so stupid and lazy as to let editorial errors like the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke can't figure out what came first at the last supper, the water or the wine? Uh, really? I guess I'd like to give God more credit than that. I also came to the conclusion that the Old Testament God, who honestly reads more like a vindictive Real Housewife of Heaven than a righteous divinity, isn't worthy of my time. At this point, evidence leads me to believe that the Bible is less divinely created and more schlocked together by a few powerful and persuasive, but fallible men. And that goes the same for the Quran and the Torah. Really, if God wanted to intervene on Earth, why not do so without playing a giant game of Operator, in which the message will most certainly become mangled by the time it reaches those of us who didn't get it firsthand. Surely, if God wanted to speak to us, God would speak to us all directly by doing something more awesome than sending down a couple of stone tablets with some weird mountain man. The God I'd like to believe in would make it rain champagne or something. Seriously, let's give God some credit here...

Despite all my doubts, however, unlike Harris, I'm not prepared to say there is no God at all. While I reject Christianity's and other religions' depictions of God as humanlike, I cannot discount the possibility that there's something bigger than us we can't see out there. Like Harris, though, I don't believe we should conduct our lives on Earth via any other means than by the reality in which we live. That means that, yes, science rules. In the words of a Michael Jackson documentary, This Is It. (That was a good documentary, by the way.) What you see is what you get and the most moral thing for us to do is be open to discovery and seek answers not through blind faith, but through tangible evidence. Just like physical health, says Harris, morality (the idea of maximizing well-being) is no different. It can be refined and benefited via empirical inquiry. For a better explanation (one I'm not capable of writing right now, as I'm starting to hallucinate -- hi, unicorn!), watch this:

And on a different religious topic, despite the title, the The Astronomical Kid's hit single, "Stop Lookin' at My Moms" is not about polygamy.

Also, that song just elevated my well-being by, like, a million. And since I'll be singing it nonstop, all day because it's so catchy, if you run into me today, it is sure to elevate yours as well. You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

it's official -- i'm brandon banks's no. 1 fan

And I know absolutely nothing about footgame! Which means my No. 1 fan status is even more meaningful. Or something. But whatever, let's review: As all three of The Anti DC's regular readers know, last week I pointed out Mr. Brandon Banks as the next big little thing on our local footgame team. And on Sunday, I believe I was proven correct and now everyone is boarding the Banks train. However, not everyone is as creepily obsessed as me. Here are just some things I said about him in the last two days:

  • Brandon Banks is so fast, he can run up an avalanche.
  • Brandon Banks is so fast, he can run across the Potomac without getting his feet wet.
  • Brandon Banks is so fast, he'd stop time if he ran counterclockwise around the earth.

The rest of the stuff I said about him was mostly brainstorming ideas for Brandon Banks fan fiction. I mean, really, he's a great inspiration, and to think! His name is just about two weeks old in my mind. Clearly, anyone who moves metaphorically that fast, as well as literally, has no choice but to have the workings of a legend. I bet:

  • Brandon Banks could find the missing children in the woods before the police can even gather a search team.
  • Brandon Banks could rescue a toddler from the burning house before he even started playing with matches.
  • Brandon Banks could stop the armed bank robbers before they got their Nixon masks on.

Of course, after thinking up these ideas and more, I realized any prose I wrote would be pretty boring. See, Brandon Banks is so fast, he stops the plot from thickening. His running skills would stop the action from even happening. There'd be no nail-biting moments. More likely, Brandon Banks would be able to stop by and trim your nails before you even got the chance.

And so I'm not sure fan-fiction, as ridiculously awesome of an idea it is, would be such a good plan. Instead, I guess I'll just hope I don't blink the next time he takes to the footgame pitch and gets the swine epidermis in his magic hands. Although I know he'll make it to the end area to score some points (or get close enough to allow the rest of the squad to do so), I'd like to be able to follow the blur of burgundy that got him there.

And please, Mr. Banks, no need to worry about a restraining order. As uncannily obsessed with you that I am, certainly you can outrun me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

human interaction, commuter fail

I've never hidden the fact that I'm a bit of a dick when it comes to human interaction. However, I'm never a dick without cause. Really, I'm anthropomorphic karma. If you're pleasant to me, I'll be pleasant to you, but if you act like an ass, well, I'll let you know, which brings me to today's essay. We'll get to the assholes in questions soon enough. But first, here's the set-up:

So, TBD discovered that there's a Metro employee (Willita Wright) who spends her shifts being nice to people. Shocking, I know, but in a good way. Customer service in DC is notoriously horrendous, so this blip in the sh*t-radar that is DC's transportation system is fantastic. Perhaps, even, it's a sign that Washington is becoming a civilized place to live, ignoring, of course, the deadly hit-and-runs.*

And while I personally didn't have an interaction with this employee, I wish I did. Not only would I have reciprocated the politeness, but I probably would've asked for an autograph, taken a photo, then waited for the UFO to come back and suck up this strange life form in a giant beam of righteous light. Really, anyone brave enough to take on the job of "Metro Greeter" has got to be from another world. Why? Because not everyone gives back what they get. Some people -- no matter how well you treat them -- will always just be mean.

For proof now let's turn to TBD, which observed the greeter for a bit and chronicled the crowd's reactions. While five out of seven people reacted like human beings by either reciprocating the greeting or at least silently enjoying it, two people (that's nearly 30 percent!) acted like complete douches.

Exhibit A: "Some passengers uncompelled to return greeting," writes TBD. "'It was interesting,' says Rachel, who declined to give her last name, but she did not return Wright's hello. "'I'm in a hurry. I'm trying to get to class,' she explains."

OBJECTION! Class? REALLY?? Are we talking about college here, high school or grad school? Oh, no matter. Because it doesn't. Not only would saying "hello" have taken only about a second-and-a-half out of the oh-so-busy and important schedule of being a student, but also -- you're a student! No one cares whether you're in class or not and if you haven't figured that out by now, then you're an idiot and probably shouldn't have gotten into college in the first place.

Exhibit B: "Jo remains unimpressed," TBD says. "One Virginia woman did not look favorably on Wright's cheerful greetings. 'Standing in the middle of the aisle doesn't really do it for me,' she sniffs."

OBJECTION! Oh, Jo. You are a miserable, unhappy soul. And yes, I can glean all of this simply from reading just one snide comment about someone "standing in the middle of the aisle." Look, God forbid you need to add a step or two to your commute -- we don't want non-taxable commuters extending their M-F, 9-to-5 hours in the District any longer than they have to (no really) -- but the least you could do is give something good back. Money would be my first choice, but smiles are a close second (awww...).

Seriously. Even if your teeth are gross or missing or encrusted with Extra Value Meal, I don't care. There's no excuse to feel annoyed when someone goes out of her way to be nice to you, especially when you probably don't even deserve it. So please, think twice (or even once) next time before you rudely retort, Rachel and Jo. If you do, one day maybe you'll understand that when you drop a giant deuce on the street and don't pick it up, you have just as good of a chance of stepping in it as anyone else. And I mean that metaphorically, too. Good day!
*Commuters from Maryland are also a problem.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

who am i?

I'm not sure when the hell this happened or why or even who I am anymore, but I've become somewhat of a footgame fan. And specifically, a fan of the village squad, the Redskins. Sure, the electric gold pants probably have something to do with it, but the real reason I think I've been roped in is Brandon Banks. I'm his No. 1 fan. "But how?" I ask. "He barely even plays!" I say. "I don't know." And then I talk to myself more. Finally, I settle on the answer that he must just have some sort of X factor that intrigues me.

Perhaps, it's because he's about four inches shorter than me, yet still goes toe-to-toe with dudes who are built like Shrek.

Of course, size doesn't matter (that's not what she said) when you can run like Brandon Banks who runs like my other favorite athlete, Usain Bolt. This is probably why I'm such a Banks fan. I mean, they've got the running fast connection; they've got the gold accents in their respective outfits connection. Really, besides the height and, well, the gazillion other characteristics that define a person's personality, Bolt and Banks are pretty much the same person. Indeed, when it comes to athletics, they both have the stuff of champions.

Banks just hasn't had the chance to show the rest of the world besides me yet.

But it's not his fault! He needs more support from his coach and team, who both don't seem to understand his greatness like I do. He's the underdog for now, but I predict that'll change. And considering my great wealth of sporting games knowledge, particularly when it comes to foot game, I'm sure my predictions will come true. See, I'm well-versed in all the main strategeries, such as pointing out when someone's littler than the other players, noticing when people run fast, and most importantly, commenting on the the uniforms. It's all very nuanced, and so I hope all you season-ticket holders and "rules" understanders can keep up. Brandon Banks is the sh*t. Period.

And speaking of periods (and non-sequitors)...ew!

And speaking of fishiness (double ew!), I saw the documentary Catfish last night. Go see it. It's a mind-blower. That is all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

get arcimboldozed!

To my dismay, I still can't get the horrible time I had at the anachronistic shambles that was the Maryland Renaissance Festival out of my mind. Really, it was the human version of a hoarder's garage sale there. Pirates, gimps, silk leisure-suited creepers, lingerie-clad not-Victoria's Secret models, vikings, furries, devils, and the list goes on. The only thing missing was something actually from the Renaissance...whoops.

It's as if the organizers and attendants had no idea when the Renaissance occurred, what it was, or why. The Renaissance was a rebirth, a time of great human curiosity. It was an epoch when people got their heads out of the pope's ass (I don't think I mean that literally), and started drawing it instead.

Oops... I did mean that literally!

Alas, what I'm getting at is that the Renaissance was the tits (also literally), at least where art was concerned. Enter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a Milanese painter who later worked for the Habsburg Empire. Not only was his sh*t anatomically tight, but so was his imagination. Ages ahead of his time (maybe he's even still ahead), Arcimboldo combined tromp l'oeil, surrealism, still life and portraiture to make some of the most fascinating paintings that I think ever existed.

The fauna is entirely flora! Really, to dissect every fruit, vegetable and plant that went into creating this portrait Rudolf II, otherwise known as Vertumnus, would take hours, or a least some dozens of minutes because the detail is amazing, the proportions are impeccable and the idea? Well, I think Arcimboldo puts some of his contemporaries to shame with his genius. Seriously, given the choice to stare at the Mona Lisa or one of Arcimboldo's works, I'd easily opt for the latter. Sorry, Ms. Lisa, but your self-satisfied smirk just doesn't do it for me.

However, what does it for me even less is the fact that most of us have never even heard of Arcimboldo. Why? Because people are generally stupid. Although society was smart enough to recognize his talent while he was alive in the 16th century, after his death in 1593 he blipped off the proverbial radar. Idiots... And it wasn't until the early 1900s when more modern surrealists like Salvador Dali started to find value again in Arcimboldo's work. Today, the National Gallery's East Wing is doing the job of making people less blind to genius via a pretty solid exhibit of Arcimboldo's work. The New York Times wrote a pretty good review of it. And as for me? Put simply, this is the real Renaissance Festival. No pirates, no gimps, no teenage anime characters looking to pick up vampires or werewolves. Just pure, fun, interesting, relevant art.

Monday, October 4, 2010

monday morning mayhem!

I must apologize preemptively. The first thing I did this morning was read the Glenn Beck profile in the New York Times magazine so I'm a little depressed. And not just because the character "Glenn Beck" exists, but because I just found out he makes $2.5 million a year at FoxNews (soon to be bumped to $2.7 million, and which, by the way, is only a fraction of what he actually makes) for saying the most ridiculous sh*t he can imagine. Now, I don't know how long you've been reading this particular blog, but I like to think I say some pretty ridiculous sh*t, too (I've mentioned the word "Nazi" a total of eight times!), yet here I type, making only dozens of pennies per year. Either I need to start mentioning Nazis more and associate them with something not very fascist at all, such as President Obama (like Mr. Beck did 134 times in the past year), or I need to get more readers interested in clicking on ads for Men's Speedos, Meeting Senior Singles, and, uh, supporting DC's Republican party. Hmm...

GODDAMMIT, Google Ads! Don't you have an algorithm in your system that takes context into account? When I went to the Restoring Honor rally in August, I didn't go because I believed in Glenn Beck's idiotic prophecies. I went because nine out of 10 suckers who attended that deep-fried American jamboree were dressed like the kids on the short bus.

But alas, that doesn't matter because I guess the old wive's tale is true. If you say Candyman type Glenn Beck three times in your mirror blog, he will appear. Or at least his Google-generated ads will. Which means, because there are maybe three registered Republicans in this town, all of whom I'm quite certain don't read this blog, the maximum sum of money I could make from these right-wing ads is about $0.79. Really, it's an unsweet irony -- Republicans and capitalism, apparently, don't mix.

And so, for that reason, from now on, whenever I want to refer to Mr. Beck, the GOP or the Tea Party on this blog I will use the following code names in hopes of generating better, more money-in-my-pocket-friendly ads. Glenn Beck will heretofore be known as Gladd Bag®; the GOP/Republicans will get the title of Smirnoff Ice®; and the Tea Party will now be named Poopy-Time Fun Shapes®.

And speaking of Poopy-Time Fun Shapes, they recently released a coloring book for kids. The publisher and copyright page describes it as: "A wonderful book of the Poopy-Time Fun Shapes for Kids! Teaches children (and parents) about the origins of the Poopy-Time Fun Shapes and what it involves...the Poopy-Time Fun Shapes Movement of Current Day is inspired by a protest that happened in Boston, Massachusetts in 1773.” It sounds wonderful.

But let's move on. Let's talk about a more local polarizing figure -- Michelle Rhee. I read the article about her in the NYT Magazine, as well, and I was a little confused by it. And no, I didn't grow up in the DC public school system, so it wasn't a reading comprehension problem. (ZING!) What I didn't get was how the author said that those who didn't like Michelle Rhee are just like those in the Poopy-Time Fun Shapes who don't like Obama. "[E]ven people who seemed destined to most benefit from the work of a committed reformer like Rhee...don’t like to get the message that their communities are on the wrong track." The author goes on: "This sentiment...runs through much of the chorus of opposition to President Obama and his reformist policies -- health reform in particular -- and it's easily tapped into by candidates who position themselves as plain-talking 'real people,' alternatives to the powers that be. Which explains, perhaps, why so many primary elections this year left some outside observers reeling, as was the conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, at the 'reckless and irresponsible' decision of key Smirnoff Ices to endorse Christine O'Donnell, who was backed by Poopy-Time Fun Shapes members, as the Smirnoff Ice Senate candidate in Delaware."

So, this author is saying Michelle Rhee is to Obama as Vince Gray (and anyone he might appoint who isn't Michelle Rhee) is to Poopy-Time Fun Shapes darling Christine O'Donnell? Really?? Because, whether you believe in Rhee's tactics or not, that's ridiculous. It's like saying a regular six-pack is to the Situation as a slight paunch is to this beer gut eating EZ-Cheez. (Holy sh*t, that is gross.)

And on that messy, messy note I'll let you carry-on with this rather dreary, slow Monday. I've got Google ads to click. And Nazis to mention!

Friday, October 1, 2010

urban intellectual fodder friday

It's not often I see something in DC that makes me want to look closer, opposed to running far, far away, but something caught my line of sight yesterday that made me do just that.

Say, "Oh hai, [sidewalk] mark!" to Washington, DC, street art. You can find this thought-provoking motto at the corner of 9th and I, inscribed on curb in the southeast corner. And I don't know. Maybe it was yesterday's rainy, gloomy weather, or maybe I'm just a sucker for Urban Intellectual Fodder (that's a link to a very interesting article, by the way) but I found something about this inscription completely beautiful. Just tryin' to live, indeed...

But on the UIF front, is this really art in the grand scheme of art for art's sake? Ironically, I had just come from the National Gallery, which is currently has a great exhibit in the West Building of a whole slew of Chester Dale's collection. I saw great works by Matisse, Manet, Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Dali, etc. And while those works touched me, this random sidewalk graffiti molested me. I stopped, stared, crossed the street, stopped, decided I wanted a picture, crossed the street again, waited for people to walk by, got out my camera and snapped the photo you see above. Like I said, there was just something about it...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go turn the Arcade Fire up. (Did you LOL? No? Well, then you didn't read the article I linked to! Go do it! I'm actually interested in other people's thoughts for once...)