Thursday, December 8, 2011

here we go again...

I have a real problem with how this town's most famous newspaper represents us. Mainly, I don't think they represent us at all. And who is "us"? Sure, I'm including myself and my menagerie of four-legged helper animals on The Anti DC's staff, but I think it's safe to say I'm including you, too. See, I think we've all found a place over here not just to complain about what's wrong with this place, but to stand up to and against those DC stereotypes that keep this city off the world's map of righteous sh*t. I mean, how can we expect to compete with New York, Paris, Moscow, Hong Kong or, goddammit, even probably Iowa City, if this is what we think this city cares about the most?

OK, so I just linked to the Washington Post's 2011 Influential Tweeps poll. As benign as it seems, I'm not hating on the fact that a contest like this exists. After all, I'm on Twitter, you're probably on Twitter, hell, most of DC is on Twitter. Nor am I bitter I didn't make it. My last few tweets have had to do with my new Tumblr, A Million Pictures of My Cat: Lots of Pictures of the Same Cat. True, I may be a self-important, semi-creepy cat lady in training, but I have no delusions about where my tweeting ranks in the grand scheme of things (hint: rock bottom). Plus, I have friends on that list, so it's not a bad idea, nor bad in its iteration entirely.

What I'm complaining about, here, is the small cross-section of categories the Post seems to think describes DC and what this city cares about. If you'll notice, there are no categories for people who tweet about music, art (although there will be, supposedly, according to an update on their site) or theater... And no, if the argument is that it's bundled under "Nightlife," that's pretty damn lame. Really, the only saving graces are the food and fashion categories when it comes to cultural coverage in this poll. All said now, I can't help but read between the lines. Does the Post not give a sh*t about the stuff that makes life worth living? Or do they think their readers don't? I welcome explanations.

But what's most irritating here is that the Post made sure to include this category:

Yes, you read that correctly. It says, "Favorite government agency." Because who needs art and beauty in this world when you have the United States Department of Agriculture? Oy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

r.i.p. waxed santa

It's regrettable what happened to Bruce Boudreau (he was fired), or as I will always know him, Waxed Santa. In fact, it wasn't that long ago that I timelined the evolution of that jolly former nickname whilst the Washington Capitals rose to glory. Alas, times have changed. And while Bruce still looks every bit a hairless St. Nick, he's overseen the devolution of this town's one winning team into what lately seems more like the Redskins on Ice. Plus, rumor has it this recently fired coach started directing his "sh*tbum" insults to the team's do-no-wrong, Alex Ovechkin. What a shame.

So what happened? Well, if you care about that, you should probably direct your browser to a source of shrewd sports analysis because, here, I'm mostly just interested in continuing to propagate amusing nicknames for hockey coaches. Which brings us to the new guy, Dale Hunter, or as he shall heretofore be known on this opposite-of-inspiring little corner of the Internet, Sober Boris Yeltsin. Behold!

Let's see how this one works out...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

to the drivers it may concern

Dear Assholes,

I'm going to try to keep this cordial. And don't think I already failed just because I used the word "assholes." See, in this case, it's a simple statement of fact. Yes, anyone who actively tries to murder another human is scientifically an asshole. And sure, you didn't come at me with a knife or a gun. Oh no, it was much more deadly! Instead you assholes came at me with several thousand pounds worth of vehicles. How very sporting of you to make it such a fair fight when 1) I didn't know I was going to have to defend myself, and 2) I'm a 125-pound female on a 30-pound bicycle.

It was also great that you were both men. Sure, regarding the first one of you sh*tfaces who tried to kill me last week, I probably would've been able to take you down with my spindly little limbs alone had we actually set up a time to rumble fairly. And not because you were smaller than me. Oh no, your driving habit and high-volume gut assured me that you were, indeed, HUGE. I'd beat you because of your cowardly nature. I mean, really, what adult man is so scared of a skinny bitch on a bike that he feels the need to cower in his bucket seat when politely confronted the same way a kitten does the first time it encounters a bucket of water? All I did when I inevitably caught up with your douchmobile BMW Z3 at that red light at 16th and Irving was ask why it was that you had just tried to murder me. It was a simple question. Maybe you should've just ran the red light and killed the other cyclist on the road, you know, the one who was legally crossing on Irving. Then you wouldn't have had to deal with my completely uncomplicated and straightforward inquiry, while just sitting there looking like such a doofus with your out-of-state plates.

I also asked why it is that you shouted to me, "GET ON THE SIDEWALK!" whilst you were running me dangerously into the curb. See, that's a more than fair question because not only was I fully within my rights as a cyclist to ride on the street, but IT IS AGAINST THE LAW FOR ME TO RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK.

Hmm. I guess I gave you too much credit. I thought maybe you'd understand. I mean, one look at the crowded sidewalk filled with pedestrians, strollers, small children and wolf-packs of teenagers getting out of school, should be enough to give even the dumbest idiot a clue. Alas, you simply said, "Er, uh, derp, duh," until, of course, the light changed. Then you yelled again, "I HOPE YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE." What? A billion dollars? A prize? A toned ass for cycling up hills on the reg? Uh, OK... I hope I get that, too. And I hope you considered my extended middle finger a partying gift.

And while I was mildly annoyed by your cowardly antics, what really concerns me is what your friend did today. Or maybe you're not friends. I'm assuming you are because, judging by the way this second jerkoff also tried to murder me (this time in a delivery truck, no less!), I'm guessing you guys might be in the same club, the Let's Get Deadly Close to Cyclists While They're Doing Absolutely Nothing Wrong Club. Sirs, may I suggest the Hair Club for Men instead? It would serve you both much better...

But I digress. Back to the issue at hand, this time I was on Massachusetts Ave., again doing nothing wrong, unless of course getting exercise while saving money on gas is a criminal offense. (Are you lazy morons just jealous?) I mean, it's obvious you both need therapy because murdering folks just because they lead a healthier and cleaner lifestyle than you is highly deviant. And also highly against the law. I mean, c'mon, you're a fat bald dude in a delivery truck who whizzed by me so close and so fast that the draft that came off your vehicle actually made me involuntarily swerve. Not only that, but your barking command to, "GET IN THE BIKE LANE!" was extra glorious because THERE IS NO BIKE LANE ON MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE. Is your eyesight as dim as your brain power? Because that's really scary then.

And just because there's no bike lane available to me (dear lord, I wish there was), that doesn't mean I don't belong on the road on my bike. What it means is you should be cautious of how you drive. I mean, really, must I remind you babydicks that you're not in Bumblefuck, Maryland anymore? (Both had Maryland plates.) You're in an urban area, a city, where the speed limit runs about 30 mph, and much slower during times of high traffic, like lunch hour, the exact time I happened to be on Mass Ave. today.

Of course, this is probably silly. Trying to talk rationally to you, a grown-up so irrational that you actually started SCREAMING at me at the top of your smoke-encrusted lungs after, again, I inevitably caught up with you at a red light and, again, inquired as to why you just tried to murder me is probably a pointless exercise. And so instead, I'll leave you with just this thought, which should be easier for you to grasp: "Go f*ck yourself." And that's when I fell off the cordial wagon.

Burn in hell assholes,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

not so rosy...

Holy [proverbial] ball sweat, it's been a while since I've put my helper horse Sven to work hoofing out some words for this blog. BUT WE'RE BACK. Kind of. Not on the reg. See, I've been too busy whoring my grammatical prowess out for money (FINALLY!) to work for free over here like a sucker. But truth be told, I've missed The Anti DC. This is and will forever be my e-home, well, at least as long as I live in DC, which at this point seems like it might be forever. *GASP* *COUGH* *COUGH* *COUGH* Well, until the rampant smell of ass, which seems to permeate every breath I take these days here, kills me.

Come on, you know what I'm talking about. This stench in the air this summer... It's that smell that tends to usually come when you're walking outside and a garbage truck rolls by leaving the sent of Satan's butthole behind. The problem I've noticed lately, however, is that this exists randomly and often. Like, I could be biking down P Street, not a garbage truck in sight, when *BLARGH!* there it is. And it's so pungent that I fear the only cure is shoving a couple of pipe bomb up my nostrils to blow up my olfactory system. Either that or become a house cat...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

we're hot!

And it's official! DC is the sixth hottest city in the nation! Duh. JUST LOOK AT ALL THESE FINE PIECES OF ASS!


"But wait. Marissa, hold up. Did you even click the link?"

What link?

"The link you embedded in the top of this blog."

Pffft, no. Why would I do that?


Huh? Are you saying you want me to read something? Interesting... Well, there's a first time for everything so perhaps I will give that a whirl. Just give me a minute to get my helper llama Eugene to move the cursor and give it a little *click* and...

Ahh, OK. I get it now. We're not hot as in physically attractive, but hot as in I want to fashion a line of unfashionable clothing out of Mr. Freeze pops and commute to work in a giant hamster ball filled with dry ice, you know, so the Mr. Freeze pops don't melt. Delicious.

Incidentally, the other cities on the list, in order of fifth through first, include Medford, Ore., Wichita, Kan., Montgomery, Ala., Laredo, Texas, and Yuma, Ariz. To my surprise, Orlando, Fla., was left off the list. That motherf*cker is hot as balls, to use the schmientific term. I learned that the hard way this weekend when I decided to wear pants to the shuttle launch.

Oh, did I just say shuttle launch?! I did! I was there! And it was the most spectacular 24 or so hours seconds of my life. If you want to nerd out with me, please do so here, where I equate my relationship to the U.S. space program to an addiction to black-tar heroin. By the way, I'm in total withdrawal right now. But at least I'm in total withdrawal in the air-conditioned confines of my dry-ice filled hamster ball. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have several hundred Mr. Freeze pops to purchase and affix to my person.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


And speaking of shooting things into the air (I'm assuming you read yesterday's schmasterpiece), this will be my last blog post this week before I jetset off to Florida tomorrow to watch a bunch of astronauts shuttleset off to space on Friday. Indeed, to borrow a term from my newly blogging brother, the bounds of my nerdery are, um, out of this world...

Sorry. That was a galactically dumb joke...

What's even more dumb, though, is not just that I followed a dumb joke with an even dumber one, but that I was somehow left off the list of this "official NASA tweetup" everyone every dork is talking about. And yeah, while unlike @nasa I can't vouch for the scientific accuracy of the 140-character missives I'll be writing during this historical event, I can certainly guarantee you that they'll be entertaining, if not solely because I'll be "waking up" at 1 a.m. to get to the launch site, which means I'll surely be relying on a magical mixture of Jolt Cola, Pop Rocks and rocket-fuel fumes to keep me awake until Friday's 11:26 a.m. lift-off. I predict I'll be going full-Cornholio by 7 a.m.... So yeah, if you like space or simply have a thing for Beavis & Butthead like my cat, you might want to jump on this Twitter train[wreck]. #choicesiwillregret #choicesyouwillnotregret.

However, the space program isn't all fun and games and tweeting ridiculously and eating nauseating amounts of sugar. As you may have been reading from the Washington Post's Joel Achenbach, it's also kinda f*cked. This saddens me because space exploration is cool and unwinnable wars are not, which means we're doing it wrong. Seriously, look at this video:

Any entity that can make an epic clip out of putting a jigsaw puzzle together deserves at least a few billion of our dollars, no?

But politics aside, I'm pumped. Hope to catch you around the Twitterverse...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Congratulations, Virginia! You finally have something to be proud of. But of course I'm joking. I mean, just look at that sentence construction! It ends in a preposition! HILARIOUS! (Laugh, dammit.)

However, even if I did write, "Congratulations, Virginia! You finally have something of which to be proud," it'd still be funny. Not only because that second sentence sounds like it should be read by someone in a monocle and a top hat, but because of the joke I embedded in it -- that the only thing Virginia has to be proud of is the fact that the woman who can hold the most hotdogs in her stomach is from there.

And while, yes, that is quite an accomplishment, it is, in fact, a joke. Obviously, it's not the only thing Virginia has going for it. See, in addendum to being the breeding ground for women who can stuff their faces with five grills full of barbecued meats, Virginia is also noteworthy because it's a great place to explode things. And so, yes, I spent America's Birthday not in America's Capital, but across the river, in America's Weiner-Eaters Birthplace Capital setting off colorful explosives.

Except I nearly regurgitated my sausage when one firework I had purchased from a teenager on the side of a Pennsylvania highway shot not straight into the open air but at a diagonal directly into the power line. OOPS! Clearly, I should've purchased my explosives from Bang-Bang and Boom-Boom (and you're gonna wanna click on that link).

But this wasn't a normal, run-of-the-mill firework that just shoots up and explodes; it was a Sky Banger, which does exactly what it boasts. It sort of thrusts up and down for a bit before finally exploding in a shiny sea of ejaculating sparks. (Ew.) Under perfect conditions, the Sky Banger would do this all at about 30-to-50 feet. But here's the thing about power lines: they kind of f*ck up trajectories, meaning the whole sky-bang process ended up being more like 15-to-who-the-hell-knows-how-many-feet-because-we-were-all-flat-on-the-ground-hoping-we-weren't-'bout-to-die.

But I'm alive! The power lines remained intact and no one even sustained even minor burns. Full success. Kind of. And, hey, I see you're all alive, too, if you're able to read this blog right now, so USA! USA! USA! And most importantly, I'm happy to be back in the District where the power lines are underground.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

the satire of real life

I had a lovely view of these guys' armpits.
Well, I learned where the Federal Election Commission (aka, the FEC, aka "fecal," according to the automatic spellcheck on my phone) is located today. Incidentally, it's at the corner of E and 10th NW, should you ever decide to make a righteous mockery of the dumbest election financing law ever, like Stephen Colbert did this morning.

And it was awesome.

Of course, I'm talking about the SuperPAC Colbert applied for and got, which allows groups and corporations to raise unlimited campaign donations to make the most ridiculous political advertisements you can possibly imagine. "Give me your cash, bitch," indeed. It's exactly what our forefathers intended.

But I'm not here to comment on the politics of said event, but instead on the comedy that it spawned (although, undoubtedly they're intertwined). The main point here is Stephen Colbert did free stand-up outside the FEC[al] this morning! And like always (he's one of my comedy idols), he did not disappoint. The man's a genius and I really do believe he's the most exciting person, scratch that, corporation to happen to American comedy (and politics!) ever. He's amazing and I can truly say that I've never been more proud to live in the city he makes a living out of satirizing more than I am right now because by living here it means I get to see him satirizing this place once in a while in person...FOR FREE!

In closing, USA! USA! USA! Times infinity.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

so about that manscaping...

I expect that most readers of this blog are probably privy to the Urban Dictionary definition of just about everything (although I'm personally still struggling to figure out the correct definition of an Alabama crab dangle...), which means I'm sure you're all convinced from the title that I'm about to bloviate on a man's nether-regional body hair. Well, I'm not. (I'm sorry or you're welcome, depending on how much of a pervert you are.) What I am gonna do, however, is point out one woman's entirely inappropriate use of the term "manscaping," a term she used while giving image advice to new interns on the local news. Fast forward to about the four-minute mark to see what I'm talking about, and don't worry: contrary to all legitimate definitions of what "manscaping" means, this clip is safe for work.

So, yeah. I think the correct term she's looking for is "shaving." Although not as new-fashioned as the puntastical "manscaping," at least recommending an intern shave doesn't make me want to alert Chris Hansen. Just sayin'...

On the other hand, considering the recent endeavors of one high-profile former-Hill employee, perhaps definitional manscaping advice should be taken into account. I mean, from one woman's perspective, if I were to ever receive a dick pic (although please don't...), I'd certainly rather it be a dick glamour shot than, say, something closer to a fluorescently lit Walgreens passport photo of your unquaffed uncoiffed sh*t. Of course, best case scenario is that I wouldn't see that sh*t at all (quaffed coiffed or unquaffed uncoiffed) because IT'S A PICTURE OF YOUR PENIS ON MY PHONE. Indeed, in a perfect world, manscaping would not be practical image advice to dole out to Hill employees, but I guess since we live in a newly erected post-Weiner world (ha!)...

But seriously, back to the interns -- it's simple. Don't dress like a teenage asshole. Of course the counterpoint is don't go the other direction and dress like a septuagenarian asshole, which means if you're doing most of your business-attire shopping (or most of your shopping, period) from the Delia's catalog or the Alfred Dunner section of Macy's, you're doing it wrong.

Other things to avoid: anything else that makes you look like you were drunk when you picked out your ensemble. For instance, as the manscaping enthusiast above points out, avoid Uggs (IT'S SUMMER and also, THEY'RE UGGS!), trade the bacteria-covered flip-flops in for a grown-up pair of shoes, making sure to take care that the shoes you trade them in for aren't the same pair you're planning to wear to your zumba workout at the gym later, and finally look in a full-length mirror after you're dressed and ask yourself, "Do I look like Ugly Betty?" If the answer is yes, then 1) congratulate yourself for fooling whoever hired you into thinking you were mentally capable enough to hold down a job/internship, despite that you're apparently not intelligent enough to dress yourself unlike an overgrown toddler; and 2) come punch me in the face because I lost. It's like I'm in a cave stuck with endless unmanscaped Gary Buseys...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

lend me your toots

It was a mind 'sploding weekend. First, taking into account my rudimentary non-knowledge of theoretical physics and a Woody Allen movie, I realized time travel might be plausible, then I learned it actually is!

...Well, at least in mind and spirit.

See, my constant companion Anti DC Creative Director Terry the Tourette's Turtle and I spent our Saturday evening feeling extremely mid-century beatnik tucked into the corner of the dimly lit Twins Jazz club with a bottle of cheap (but delicious) sauvignon blanc and tapping our feet to the sounds of the four-piece band on the cramped, low-ceilinged stage. It was like a scene straight outta Mo' Betta Blues.

Except not really because: 1) Wesley Snipes wasn't on sax 2) Denzel Washington wasn't on trumpet; 3) in fact, no one was on trumpet; 4) the most dramatic thing to happen was we had to wait about 20 minutes from when we ordered our bottle of cheap (but delicious!) wine until we got it; and 5) obviously, we weren't in New York, but right here in DC, which came as somewhat of a surprise considering this is the nightlife stereotype we're up against...Ye gods...

But moving on, I saw Jim Snidero, a New York-based, world-class sax player whose skill is second to none. Or at the least, only second to sexy sax man, whose leather suspenders, tight pants, and molester mustache obviously keep him in the lead. But for real, despite that I'm cracking jokes, Snidero's skills are no joke. And neither are the skills of the three other local musicians (a pianist, bassist and percussionist), who Snidero recruited to play with him at Twins.

And let's talk about Twins. Although it only opened a few years ago in its current location on U Street between 13th and 14th, it has the feeling of an old attic in someone's house that's been there for generations (and strangely endearingly, it sort of smelled that way, too). Situated on the second floor above the jumbo slice with the disco light in it (of course...), the single long, thin room's red walls are plastered with posters and paintings of jazz-inspired images, and the floor is lined with two rows of small, candlelit, table-clothed tables, many of which you have to either climb under or physically move in order to get to. And while a claustrophobe might feel cramped, I was relieved to spot this array of seating options that could accommodate singles, couples, and larger groups alike due to the Tetris-like changeability of the table arrangements.

And while sometimes it's still expected that the table arrangements would perhaps be more interesting than the crowd (I mean, you clicked on this link, right?), in the case of Twins, it definitely wasn't. This place attracted a cross-section of everyone, from the post-college circuit to my generation to older clientele. And in a town that, for reasons I won't attempt to cover now, tends to self-segregate in terms of what quadrant someone lives in (NW, NE, SW, SE), Twins had the feeling of attracting people from all of them. This didn't feel like DC. Or...or maybe this felt like how DC should feel. No nametags, no pretense, no networking, just a healthy love of good music, good libations and good damn times. Worlds collided and sh*t, like a Swedish hair band and Edvard Grieg. The result was mind-blowing.

And so, yeah, I'll be going back for more fan-sax-tootin'-tastic times, especially when Snidero returns, which he told me he does about four times a year since he's originally from here. And his thoughts on Twins? Well, he gave it his professional seal/sax-toot of approval. "This place is a real jazz club, I mean, look around," he said. I did, and I will again because Twins is a welcome, mellow alternative to the U Street dance club scene and, obviously, most everything on a weekend in Adams Morgan, where dodging piles of puke has become the norm there on a Saturday night.

And speaking of piles of puke, to change subjects and negate all the hope I just instilled in you about humanity, if you have yet to roll your eyes at recording [f]artist Michaele Salahi "singing" her [s]hit single "Bump It," then allow this to be your chance because this might be the most horrifying stab at performing to ever be recorded and subsequently broadcast to the world to mock. I mean, really, who is telling this stoned emu singing, "Like I'm so hot and, like, you're so not," that she's talented? And that poor UPS man they recruited to rap with her (seriously, peep his outfit.) This is not what they mean by "What can Brown do for you?"


Friday, June 24, 2011

this is what happens when i go to the movies

I'm gonna be blunt, mostly because by the time we get to the end of this essay I'm sure you'll be assuming I've been smoking one. But before we go there, let me just flat out declare that E Street Cinema is by far my favorite movie theater in DC. Obviously that isn't that crazy of a statement, considering that not only is E Street usually the only cinema showing many of the films I most want to see (i.e., The Room), but it's also located underground, which means film-goers can be assured that their film experiences won't be interrupted by groups of petulant teenagers texting or worse, actually talking on their cell phones about sh*t they're probably way to young to even know exists yet anyway, let alone use their outside voices to chat about with someone actually outside. Hmph. But seriously, shut the f*ck up children and let me enjoy this film whilst quietly sipping on a theater-priced libation.

Oh? Did I forget to mention E Street serves liquor? Yeah, like I said, it's my favorite.

Anyway, the reason I'm bringing this up is because last night I went to see Midnight in Paris, the new Woody Allen movie starring a whole bunch of famous people, including  Owen Wilson who got the most screen time. And let me tell you, that sh*t was tight. In fact, I think I'm pretty confident saying that this film has dislodged Terminator 2 from my list of Top 3 greatest films ever. (The Top 2, of course, shall now and forever remain Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. I'm extremely high-brow.)

Now, without revealing too much about the plot, I will steal a one-liner from my date, Anti DC Creative Director Terry the Tourette's Turtle, who said, "It's basically the art-house version of Inception. Donkey balls!" Hell, it even starred Marion Cotillard as the love interest! However, instead of exploring deepening levels of someone's subconscious mind, Midnight in Paris explores time, among other things like love, literature and happiness. It's amazingly clever and is probably the only film I've seen that's been successful in the magical realism genre, which I tend to favor only in books. I mean come on, Lost (although not a film, it's still something to be watched) tried it and look how that turned out -- it was Hot Tub Time Machine without the laughs!

And so (and this is the part during which you'll start to suspect I've been indulging in the good sh*t), Midnight in Paris got me thinking again (yes, again) about theoretical physics. You know how scientists discovered that atoms only act like we'd logically suspect them to when we're actively observing them? And that in actuality all atoms might be everywhere at once? And that maybe, just maybe, everything really exists on an infinite two-dimensional plane, which means -- holy crap! -- we're living in a hologram that just seems 3D because of the mechanisms that make up our conscious senses allow us to see it that way? Or something! Well then... does this mean magical realism could potentially be really real for real?! Does time solely exist because of our conscious perception of it? If our purported 2D universe were to shift ever so slightly altering every atom, would time then warp, too? Would it stop completely? Most importantly, if we were to discover how to manipulate this theoretical 2D plane and alter our perceptions, would we then be able to travel through time and make all of our magical realist dreams come true?!

Wow. It really is embarrassing that I have these types of thoughts completely sober...

But, oh well. It's called #dorkswag and, judging from the fact that I apparently speak in hashtagese now, I've got it in indefinite aggregate amounts. Perceive:


But seriously, time travel would be freaking awesome, right? RIGHT?!

(Give me a break. It's the weekend. Enjoy yourselves.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

reverse haterism: defined, revealed, refuted

There are a few surefire ways to wake the dragon of anger within me. And while that sounds terrifying, it's really not when you consider my anger-dragon is actually a puppy in dragon suit. It's adorable. But moving on, what's got my dragon-costumed-puppy of fury rearing its fearsome (use your imagination) but charming head? An article published yesterday via, in which the author, Jeremy Binckes, attempts to counter hate with more hate:

New Yorkers: They still find D.C. wanting!
So says the Washington Post's Monica Hesse, who today wrote about a gathering of transplanted New Yorkers [TADC note: Actually, I very much enjoyed the WP article], who deliver tired criticisms of D.C. — or any city that's not New York, for that matter: you can't eat on Metro, there's sales tax on newspapers, the bagels, oh gosh, the bagels.
But here's the thing, and I, a real New Yorker, want to be explicitly clear: These people are not real New Yorkers. They're Manhattanites. Even their name, Fellowship of Unassimilated Manhattan Exiles, admits that they're not New Yorkers. Yes, there's a difference between New Yorkers and Manhattanites; there's a huge difference. Real New Yorkers have lived some of their lives in the outer boroughs...

And I think you can see where this is going... The whole thing continues on for another couple of paragraphs doing exactly what Binckes accuses FUME, which by the way Hesse points out chose the word "Manhattanites" instead of "New Yorkers" for the catchy acronym (how very DC of them!), of doing -- generalizing and complaining. TBD is exhibiting a classic case of reverse haterism, which is never effective because of its inherent, unintentional irony.

While Binckes is upset that FUME rags on the lack of delicious bagels in the District (a legitimate complaint, actually, considering this eighth largest metropolitan area in the United States so far boasts just one bagel shop I've found of note and it's in Arlington), or that people talk about their jobs too much here, he has no problem ragging on "Manhattanites" for not being "real New Yorkers" and, worse, being all just a bunch of close-minded, rampant snobs. He writes:

Manhattanites have a tendency to stay sheltered on their little island and rarely venture across the East River, except to get out of town. Ask them where you can find a street littered with excellent South American steakhouses (Northern Boulevard in Astoria) or where to find some of the best Jewish bakeries (Avenue M in Brooklyn), and you'll get ice-cold stares...

While that may be true for some Manhattanites, I know for a fact that's not true for all. I know plenty of people from Manhattan, including my former roommate with whom I lived in an East Village walk-in closet, who is privy to a lot of what the boroughs have to offer. In fact, this particular woman does most of her shopping in Queens because she knows they boast the best and cheapest tailors. Then there's the couple I know who, despite being New York, I'm sorry, Manhattanite lawyers (I guess they must have taken the Manhattan Bar?), still manage to make it out to parties and shows and random warehouse raves in Brooklyn on the reg (and please pronounce that as Kenny Powers would, thank you). Then there's also one of my best friends who lives in Elmhurst, Queens, which is *gasp!* even farther away from Manhattan than Astoria and which also, I suppose, makes him the realest of the real New Yorkers that Binckes opines about. But guess what? This friend of mine complains about DC with a fervor that sometimes even irritates me when he visits!

Look, DC can be a difficult town to move to. Actually, scratch that, any town can be a difficult town to move to because, much like pimpin', change also ain't easy. When I moved from Moscow to Boston I became near-clinically depressed. I was complaining nonstop about all the Ugg footwear and Northface fleece. Then of course, having gone from Boston to New York, I complained incessantly about the high rents and trash-filled streets. And then came my move to DC and, well, you've read the title of this blog, right? Bitchin' and moanin' and droppin' metaphorical bags of flaming dog sh*t on things that are initially off-putting is the human way!

And here's the thing: complaining, whining or whatever you want to call it isn't necessarily even a bad or negative thing. Actually, it's quite enjoyable and often a positive signifier for the organization of a real community. As seen via FUME and this mind-blowingly awesome blog you find yourself reading right now, besides being entertaining (especially if it's combined with humor), kvetching also has the power to bring people together, not only to bitch, but to create community, to allow like-minded individuals in a town that sometimes feels wrong to come together. Now I ask you, is that such a horrible thing? In my mind, as long as no one's going around hurting people or dropping literal bags of dog sh*t on this city, I say it certainly is not. It's good! In fact, a lot of the best ideas are born out of complaints about the inadequacies of others. Take, for example, my post yesterday about horribly outdated, lame and otherwise totally inadequate DC tourism videos. I vow to make a better one. See? It works!

And so I say go for it FUME, as long as you're having fun doing it. And who knows? Maybe while you're at it, you'll all pool your resources together and remedy the dire bagel situation...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

behold the three top DC tourism videos...

I made the mistake of getting curious about tourism promotional videos about Washington, DC on Youtube. I call it a mistake because what I found was not only stupid, but entirely inadequate. I mean, look at this one:

First of all, I'm not sure the airport and Metro count as "fun and interesting places we've discovered" on anyone's list. The airport will obviously go without further comment, but the Metro? This isn't Moscow, where the Metro stations are filled with world-class Commie art. This is DC. If you're lucky you'll find an artfully stuck-on piece of wadded up gum plastered to the wall. Although, who the hell knows, maybe it's a Jeff Koons...

More importantly, however, can we take a still shot of the two ladies, Terri and Bonnie, who are telling us about all these insider secrets?

Oh dear me. I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll first refute the false assumption that when you become a "woman of a certain age" you have to start dressing like one of Hollis Green's more risqué wives. I would seriously punch my mom in the face if she dressed like this. In fact, from my mom's mouth to this blog, when I emailed her this screen capture asking for her very discerning and sophisticated opinion, she said, "what's wrong with them??? they look like tourists who are dressing for comfort." Uh...

Well, that didn't go as planned. (Remind me to make an appointment for my mom with an optometrist.) Or maybe it did. Perhaps, just like daughter, she was relying on dry sarcasm to get her point across and what she really means here is "What were those women thinking?! Lose the black nylon socks, lose the brown/black combo and for the love of handbags everywhere, lose the goddamn fanny-pack! It all an abomination." OK, that's more like it.

But returning to the content, WTF? Half of this video is about Alexandria, VA. While I understand that there's some sh*t to see there, especially at night if you're into douchebag-watching (and who isn't?), is it too much to ask that a video about DC actually be about DC?

Of course, what should we even expect from Delta Airlines? This is the same airline that apparently hated America up until a couple of days ago...

Moving on, here's the most-viewed video to pop up when typing "Washington DC" into Youtube's search engine.

Did you catch it? Apparently, we have an astounding amount of "patrionism" here in DC on account of all the, uh, patrionic symbols, I guess. And as if hearing the narrator totally make up a word wasn't bad enough, she took the time to also let us see it by misspelling it in the subtitles.


Last and least -- literally, as it has the least views out of the Top 3 most-viewed DC tourism videos on Youtube ("Patrionism" is No. 1 and Delta's Fannypack Party is No. 2) -- is one by the InterContinental Willard Hotel. However, despite its bronze-place finish in popularity, this video is actually the best, in my opinion. Of course, when we're working within a sea of outrageously horrible choices, I suppose that superlative really doesn't mean much. Really, let's be honest -- it's the least worst.

And maybe the Willard recognizes this, too, because for whatever reason they've disabled embedding. Now, if you really hate yourself and want to watch it, click here, although I assure you despite that the Willard narrator looks like a legitimately jolly guy with whom to enjoy one of the hotel bar's objectively exceptional mint juleps (on second thought, the video would have been a real winner had they just shot five minutes of delicious mint julep close-ups), like the others, this video only occasionally ventures into territory that anyone with the intelligence of a mentally impaired pigeon couldn't figure out on his or her own. (What?! Go to the Smithsonian? What a novel idea!) It's also really outdated, as it talks about cabs working on the old zone system when in fact we're now on the regular fare system. Although beware, the more dishonest cabbies still try to find ways to rip you off. Or they'll try to have sex with you.

And so, damn...

I guess the only remedy to this sad state of e-ffairs is to embark on a new project -- The Anti DC Promotional Tourism Video or, more likely, Videos. If you have any ideas about what I should include (don't worry, the lovely graffiti on the side of the Logan Circle hardware store that reads "Cat Aids" will definitely be included), email me...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

we are ready

Washington Color Schoolist, Alma Thomas.
I know a lot of creative writers in DC. And I'm not just talking about the menagerie of imaginary helper animals under my employ. I think I'm up to 10 now, counting my latest invention/hire, a camel named Timothy, who types by spitting very accurately at the keyboard. And while that's both disgusting and unbelievable, what's not anymore is the idea that DC actually has a creative community living within its borders (and outside, sometimes, if we go ahead and count places like Silver Spring and Arlington).

Anyway, one of these members of this emerging society of creatives is a music writer named Marcus Dowling, who's not only great at his craft, but still manages to look cool even when photographed next to a gigantic weiner [note: no Congressmen were involved in that link]. And I'm mentioning Marcus specifically not solely to reminisce about the most inoffensive weiner photograph I've ever taken (actually, the only weiner picture I've ever taken, thank god), but because he wrote something that piqued my interest yesterday on his blog, True Genius Requires Insanity. Specifically, it was this paragraph:
Washington, DC is now a city where it is possible to party in a multitude of world class venues with world class performers, seven days a week. It is also a city where people can make a living in the non-white or blue collar world, solely powered by their personal inventive impulses. Artists and writers share space with CEOs and electricians in increasingly greater percentages. When the convergence of independent, corporate and government economies becomes an even game of tug of war, in a never-ending multitude of historical examples has been a harbinger of positive development... DC needs permanent and accessible creative space because DC now has shown itself as adequately prepared for a place that welcomes diverse community...
I'm going to go ahead and step out of character for a minute here (i.e., give my helper camel Timothy a much-needed mouthwash break) and comment on this assertion myself -- I agree with him.

The evidence that Marcus gives in his essay points to the success of the month-long vitaminwater® uncapped LIVE event put on by, well, vitaminwater® (duh) and DC's very own creative culture pushers Brightest Young Things. While that evidence is fine enough, despite that it was part corporate marketing scheme, which actually in spite of my grunge-era coming-of-age instincts doesn't actually connote anything negative in this Facebookish time of our lives, I think the uncapped event was just one rather specific facet of the festering creative volcano that's been seeping its metaphorical lava slowly and steadily out all over this city.

Don't believe it? I didn't for a long time either, but now after working in and around the art world in DC, I know we have something here, albeit kinda still too damn small, especially because the rent is too damn high (shout out to Jimmy McMillan!), which means it's becoming too damn expensive for some really great galleries to operate in prime real estate. It's also important to note that creative types often still hold down more square day jobs. The owner of Industry Gallery, which has hosted several contemporary decorative arts exhibitions that even New York would be jealous of, is owned by a lawyer. I know another lawyer, an artistic photographer, who participates in Art-o-Matic, which will hopefully rear its awesome head again soon. (Seriously, where's it been?!)

Really, there are countless other right-brained folk in this city who use their left-brains to make a living. Economist-by-day, food writer-by-night, Hill staffer/contemporary dancer, non-profit fundraiser/designer and probably an incomprehensible number of other combinations. Judging from the turnout at the art exhibition I curated that opened last month, even if they're not a part of it, an astounding number of traditional DC professionals are still interested in this creative, less-buttoned up still-kinda-underground world. And if you still have your doubts that any of that exists at all, allow me to point to some exciting items that exist in and around our city, many of which have sprung up in the last couple of years:

  • Remaining on the art tip, there's a large scale art fair (the same type you usually have to go to New York City to attend) coming to DC this September.  
  • There's tons of great theater here. Although not new, I believe we have the only Georgian-led (the country, not the state) movement-based theater company in the nation with Synetic, which awed me last year with its interpretation of my favorite novel in the history of ever, The Master and Margarita
  • Also, if you party at the Black Cat or U Street Music Hall ever, you've probably heard that a DC-based DJ created a new genre, moombahton, that's poised to blow up worldwide. Hell, NPR even did a report on it!   
  • We now have the wonderful 826DC space for aspiring writers. 
  • And did you know there's a salon in DC (Immortal Beloved) outfitted with entirely home-crafted furniture, made by the owner? That's f*cking redonk-awesome! 

Additionally, DC boasts talented novelists, photographers, graphic designers, shop owners, musicians, non-fiction writers (OH HAI!) and far too many other no-collar professionals to list concisely and specifically in this essay. (The linked people are just a few examples off the top of my head). The bottom line is people are interested. More importantly, people are creating.

However, people are fragmented. As Marcus pointed out in his essay, we don't have a Mission District or Wham City Collective or a Lower East Side, places where the virtual beating heart of the creative class resides in San Francisco, Baltimore and New York City, respectively. We're scattered. We have certain spots in Dupont, a few clubs on U Street, a writing center in Columbia Heights, a shrinking string of galleries in Logan Circle, a coffee shop in Adams Morgan, an amorphous conglomerate on H Street, and our individual homes, where I think the seeds of most creative endeavors are born and unfortunately mostly remain. It'd be great to have a common space in this city, where the sole purpose was to give amateurs and professionals alike a platform and, more importantly, a common place to exchange ideas.

Adult Kool-Aid® vitaminwater® uncapped did that for a certain sect of this much wider population, but it still had the appeal of showcasing a series of events opposed to creating a culture all its own. Of course with just 30 days to work with, perhaps expecting more is a bit unfair.

That said, I think given more time and a motivated and wide-ranging set of organizers, we can do it. We can create and promote a culture that values more than what nametag you wear during the day. I mean, come on, lest we want to be known forever as the people who socialize like this, goddammit we owe it to ourselves. We owe it to the world. We have a lot to give.

If nothing else, my helper camel Timothy is prepared for a Coca-Cola® uncapped LIVE event...

So, who's on board?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

yeah, it's about my cat

You know what the Internet needs more of? Cats. Obviously. And this is coming from a person who doesn't really even like cats, except for my own, Humphrey, because 1) he isn't one of those sneaky, stare-you-down-and-steal-your-soul cats, and 2) his idea of a good time is being passed out in hilarious positions. So, while his lazy ass has proven rather dismal for my viral video aspirations (he refuses to give me human hugs, jump in and out of boxes like a fat little ninja, play the keyboard, fly off a ceiling fan for lolz, or really, even move), he's least has accidentally posed for some wonderfully hilarious photos, like this one:


Incidentally, I'm pretty sure this picture would not only serve as the cover of my cat's memoirs should he ever grow opposable thumbs and learn to write, but also its entire contents, which is awesome because it's cute.

And to think, at one point Lil' Humps was livin' on the mean streets. I KNOW! Luckily, however, somehow last January he ended up in the Humane Society out on New York Ave., where I saw him and thought, "Yup, today's a good day to save an animal's life." And while I'm convinced I obviously adopted the best one, there are surely (and sadly) some other abandoned, lazy, fat adult cats waiting for their shot at Internet fame.

Oh, and also a good home.

So, if you think you can handle the stress of owning a pet, which for me has mostly meant keeping his fat ass away from my dinner, I suggest you all visit a shelter near you. And why not today? In honor of Humphrey's third(ish) -- no one knows for sure -- birthday! That's right, it's apparently Lil' Humps' birthday, which I only remember because CityPaws pet clinic sent my cat a personalized e-card this morning. (By the way, if you need a vet, I highly recommend CP because, holy sh*t! They remembered my cat's birthday!) In response, my cat said, "Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

In closing, save lives, post funny cat-related material on the Internet and be merry, or hairy, as is the case with Humphrey. Have a sweltering hot weekend, snooze-filled weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

make it stop

Have you ever felt like you were being watched? I do all the time. But that's probably because I practically beg for it (see all the episodes of The Anti DC Show...please, please, please!). However, if I'm going to be peeped upon, I like to make sure it's on my terms, so when it's not -- that is, when I get the feeling that someone's watching me who I haven't invited -- things just get awkward. Which is why I'm scared to read the Washington Post online today. I just can't after what I experienced yesterday...

Ahhh! Why is there a creepy Stepford wife watching me attempt to read the e-paper? And moreover, why does she think I probably own an oil company? Why does she smirk whilst asking such silly questions? Why is she dressed all in black like an undertaker? WHAT IS GOING ON???

I have no idea. In a case lesson in ineffective marketing, all this ad made me do was mix up a Molotov cocktail and throw it at the screen. Luckily, however, my cat with his, well, cat-like reflexes, was able to catch and extinguish the homemade weaponry before any personal property damage could be done. (He really doesn't want to lose his window to the e-world.)

Meanwhile, witnessing the kerfuffle, Anti DC Creative Director Terry the Tourette's Turtle exclaimed, "BIG SWEATY BALLS!" and shot me with a tranquilizer gun (this is why I didn't blog yesterday) before taking the above screen capture of this most disturbing ad for, um, something. Clearly, I didn't dare click on it.

While perhaps I overreacted in my trying to eradicate this ad from my life through violent weaponry, I'm apt to think others probably felt a bit violated by this ad, too. It's just weird. The woman looks like an alien abductress and she's staring at you from three angles! This is quite an untoward disturbance. Can't I read about "Bach-mania" in peace?!?! On second thought, perhaps this failure of an ad actually saved me. I mean, do I really want to read about "Bach-mania?"

But here's the scoop: I've come across creepy advertisements before. And every time not only am I confused about what's being advertised, but my belief in the goodness of humanity is tested. Why do such bad ads exist? Who are the idiots who come up with them? Who are the idiots who OK them? Most importantly, are there morons out there who've actually found these ads effective? If there are then I guess that explains why "Bach-mania" exists in the first place... In either case, it just doesn't make any sense. It's like telling a Dalai Lama joke to the actual Dalai Lama.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

it really is a dream

I woke up feeling great today because I have a new understanding of our reality thanks to quantum mechanics. For those of you not as nerdy as me, quantum theory suggests that reality only exists the way we see it because we can see it. It says, theoretically, once you get down to the n[minus-one]itty-gritty, sh*t basically disappears. Hmm.

And so really, our world is an illusion and everything is nothing. While ordinarily, this thought would be somewhat horrifying because it gives meme-y questions like, "THEN WHO WAS PHONE?" scientific gravitas, this thought becomes extraordinarily comforting after having subjected myself to the CNN-led Republican debates last night.

While it may have appeared like the debaters were saying a lot, the more you thought about it -- that is, the more you delved in deeper -- the less substance you realized was actually said. I mean, how else can you explain that Tammy Faye Baker Michelle Bachmann apparently won? For the sake of our remaining brain cells, sh*t better have been an illusion...

But enough about all those perceived holograms, can we instead look at the equally ridiculous illusory reality that is DC souvenir T-shirts? Why are they pretty much the equivalent of Rep. Bachmann's crusty fake eyelashes? In both cases, less would be much, much more. I mean, look at this:

Photo courtesy of Flickr user londondan
These shirts look like the bottom of Rainbow Brite's toilet bowl after a hard night out. And they look even worse on. I really don't get why tourists buy this crap. I mean, I know for a fact you can tie-dye clothing in garrish colors anywhere in the world -- you don't need to purchase it in DC. Any child who's ever gone to summer camp knows that. *sigh* But again, all hope is not lost because if we divide these sartorial obscenities into small enough pieces, they'll disappear. Ahh, to be a quark...

And speaking of disappearing, it's Planck time for me to venture out of doors, so allow me to end this post with yet one more item that will make you thankful our perceived reality is only an illusion -- a new episode of The Anti DC Show! The still capture from the video should serve as an apt warning to you about the substance (or not-even-theoretically this time, lack thereof) of its contents. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some additional nerding to do.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

dick 'n' dirk jokes!

Although not necessarily related to Washington, DC, besides the fact that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is tangentially involved, I wrote a fine essay about America's love of a good dick joke that I probably should've tried to sell for money to a real publication over at my other blog, my professional site,

If you're at all interested in humor and why we laugh at and embrace certain things (i.e., dicks) over others, then I invite you to click over there and enjoy the read. And a few dick jokes because you're a good citizen.

And if you don't give a sh*t about humor analysis (and for whatever reason hate dick jokes), then at least enjoy this humorous Dirk joke. It's a video dedicated to Dirk Nowitski aka German Moses. I hope I'm not the only one here who's been sucked into the NBA Finals...


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

shambles p.i.: the sunglasses politics retrospective edition

You know, it's not often I feel lucky to live here. But after yesterday's performance by former mayoral candidate-turned Mayor Gray hypeman-turned unemployed douche Sulaimon Brown, I can't help but smile and say, "Good job, everyone." Why? Certainly not because of the contents of the hearing (nepotism). Nor because of its tone, which even managed to shock the likes of Marion Barry. No, I feel lucky to live here because Sulaimon Brown showed up and sat through the entire hearing dressed like a total asshole.

Photo courtesy of Washington Post
While it's possible Sulaimon is either a huge fan of Men in Black or stuck in the Matrix, it's more likely that he's just a weirdo. But I'm not here to analyze the reasons why Sulaimon chose to wear sunglasses indoors throughout an entire government hearing (we'll chock that up to pure crazy), I'm here to analyze the aesthetics of his choice in eyewear. I'm here to Shambles P.I.

Photo courtesy of Washington Post
Hmm. Not very flattering for his face shape. For one, the glasses don't sit flush on his face. Nor do I think they are large enough. While I appreciate a good reflective lens, I think a classic "What we have here is a failure to communicate" mirror-finish aviator would've been much more suitable, as would've that line...

Yet while Sulaimon might be the only DC-based political figure to wear sunglasses during official indoor business, he's not alone. Let's take a look at some of our other favorite shaded shady political figures and see how their indoor aesthetic choices compare.

Kim Jong-Il

Probably the most famous UV-safe bespectabled face to ever say and do some pretty stupid sh*t in the name of politics, Kim Jong-Il's futuristic sunglasses certainly beat out Sulaimon's in both form and function. With a head the shape of a beat-up orange and hair higher than Snooki's the square shape of the frame and ombre shade of the lenses serve two purposes -- they hide most of this guy's hideous face, while giving him ultimate retina protection from the sun's harmful rays. Verdict? He looks cool and crazy, opposed to Sulaimon's just straight crazy. Kim Jong-Il > Sulaimon Brown.

Muammar Al-Gaddafi

My, oh my. Not only do Muammar Al-Gaddafi's shades fit his fat, indented face perfectly, but the slight curvature of the single laser-cut rimless lens gives him a sleek enough finish that if he wasn't a heartless dictator, I'd think he was about to ask me to do the conga in Miami. Of course, I'd have to decline because his chocolate milk stubble of a mustache makes him look like a child molester. At least Sulaimon doesn't have that going for him. However, on a purely shades-based basis, Muammar Al-Gaddafi > Sulaimon Brown.

Um, and so ends our list of indoor-sunglass-wearing political figures because, as perhaps it tellingly turns out, the only fools foolish enough to wear tinted shades indoors (do they not have Transitions® lenses abroad?), are crazy cruel dictators. However, for the sake of ongoing sunglasses-related discussion, I'm going to now open the e-floor up to those political figures who choose only to wear their sunglasses in the actual sun.

Vladimir Putin 

While in Russia sunglasses usually wear you, in Vladimir Putin's case, he wearing them and doing it well. Not only do these expensive-looking shades defend Putin from the penetrating gaze of the sun, but the mirror effect on these bad boys help to defend us from getting lost in the baby blues behind the lenses. Putin is a fine piece of autocratic ass. Vladimir Putin > Sulaimon Brown.

Nicolas Sarkozy

Ooh la f*cking la. C'est chic. C'est magnifique! Fin. Like I said, if Sulaimon wanted to look like a bad ass, the mirrored aviators would've been a fine choice. Nicolas Sarkozy > Sulaimon Brown.

Sarah Palin

Unsurprisingly, Palin went for the trashiest overpriced brand around, Juicy. Not only are these marketed more toward teenage girls who dress like prostitutes, but they're also just plain cheesy. Remember, this is the same brand that made its name by selling velveteen sweatsuits that spell J-U-I-C-Y across the ass. I can't help but think there's a metaphor in there for Palin's political ambitions... But despite her poor choice, at least she's keeping it real. A tasteless lady in tasteless shades, whereas Sulaimon's just confuse me. Sarah Palin > Sulaimon Brown.

Barack Obama

The penultimate member of our list of regular outdoor-wearing sunglasses wearers is our president. While the tie, pointer finger and smile all say, "Bow down to my coolness," the Ray-Ban sunglasses say, "Meh." While they're not bad, they're also nothing notable. I'd like to expect more from the leader of the Free World. However, at least they fit squarely on his face. Barack Obama > Sulaimon Brown.

Jackie Onassis

Last and greatest, we have Jackie O., who while not directly involved in governing our country, certainly had a hand in governing our sunglass style. Favoring dark-as-night lenses as big as half her face, Jackie knew how to make black and white photography look way cooler than color. Sulaimon, on the other hand, would still look just as silly. And in sepia, I'm sure he'd look downright moronic. Jackie Onassis > Sulaimon Brown.

And so, I hope we've learned something here. Sulaimon Brown's sunglasses suck. They're worse than most everyone else's. I mean really, if you're going to wear sunglasses indoors, you better be ready to make a bold fashion statement, for better or worse. Don't be stuck with ill-fitting, child-sized plastic lenses that look like they came from the discount bin at a Kum'n'Go along I-80 in Iowa. So, step it up next time, Sulaimon Brown. I think you have what it takes to be just like Kim Jong-Il.

Monday, June 6, 2011

wapo's lifestyle section strikes again...

If you're not a total square whose life revolves around flag pins and campaign buttons, DC can be a rough place to live sometimes. But not because you're often surrounded by people who wear flag pins and campaign buttons. Hell, I haven't seen a flag pin up close and personal for months. No, the reason it's so hard for some of us is because we're constantly bombarded with the idea that everyone here is walking around wearing flag pins and campaign buttons.

This is no surprise. Considering DC is home to all three branches of government, by moving here, you're pretty much condemned to this stereotype from outsiders: DC was, is, and will probably always be viewed as a political town. While that reality sucks, it becomes even suckier knowing that this city's flagship publication seems not only to thrive on this stereotype, but to actively perpetuate it, and not just within our own community, but to the world. Behold this sh*t, via, of course, the Washington Post:
Here, on a red-brick block of Capitol Hill, are the people who want to steer the country after their bosses have worn out the clutch. Here are the people who let their livers and libidos lead them to the like-minded, who pursue connections that become coalitions that become movements that become presidencies. (After a mini-pitcher of sangria, anything seems possible.)
Separated by a salon, a sushi place and an ideological chasm are the dueling happy hours. One conservative, one progressive. One long-standing, the other brand-new. One in a hey-bro, populist pub, the other in a mod, sunken lounge.
Leave your prejudices at the door.
Find new ones inside.
Overheard at the conservative happy hour First Friday at Union Pub: “I’ll be over at the Faith and Freedom conference tomorrow. . . . They beat Notre Dame this year. . . . When Snowmageddon happened two years ago, I had a reservation at Minibar. . . . The Weiner jokes are overwhelming me right now.”
Overheard at the progressive happy hour First Thursday at Lounge 201 the night before: “I’m also a PhD student. . . . I’m a lawyer by day but . . . We lost the message war! . . . Libertarianism doesn’t make sense. How can you abolish everything? . . . How drunk do I have to be to say, ‘Hey, Ron Paul intern’?”
What the f*ck is this? Is it news? Certainly not. It's widely known (and easily Googled) that political and partisan bars exist around DC. Is it funny? Kind of, but only because of the cherry-picked Onion-style quotations chosen by the article's author Dan Zak. But it wasn't written for laughs, it was written to be somehow insightful about DC culture! Is it? Hell no, which is probably why this article made such easy fodder for Gawker, the New York City-based blog that easily concluded from the combination of the above article and this previously published one that DC's social scene sucks.

And Gawker's right! I mean, who am I to disagree with their analysis when the serious Post articles written by serious Post reporters already make it sound so stupid? For the love of God, in this latest debacle, the Post not only wrote about the party habits of a guy named "Rich Counts," an aptly named Republican, but they also attached an accompanying photo essay, featuring a liberal thinking this is a good time:

Look, I'm not one to defend DC -- especially its bar scene, which I think usually sucks a fair amount of balls. And so, I guess, if Zak's editor asked him to do a story on drinking in DC, perhaps the above was the only straw he could grasp. Even so, this is no excuse because, really, what the hell kind of purpose does this article serve? Well, besides making it easy for outsiders to mock us, that is.

I, for one, can't see any. Sure, perhaps it illuminates another hair in the crusty buttcrack that is DC's social scene, but do we really need to see it? All the ass hairs the Post seems to spot seem to look the same so far, so until they find one of those hairs that grows really long for whatever reason, I suggest everyone just stop writing about how political DC's culture is. It's not f*cking news. Maybe the real news story should be how DC's most famous paper has about as large a scope of interest in and understanding of this city as a tourist from Idaho.

Friday, June 3, 2011

there's hope!

I got a most delightful email the other day from an editor at a local magazine. I won't say which one exactly, but the title includes the letters "inaasgwntiohn" (damn, that's a good-lookin' word scramble). Anywhatevers, the letter came not because they want me to be a contributor (shocking, I know, but I'm sure one of those letters will come one day when hell freezes over), but because they want to use a photograph that's been published on this blog before as part of my Shambles P.I. series. What's that you ask? Well, it's an extremely bitchy public service, in which I and camera-equipped readers take to stealth photographing people on the street who don't yet know how to dress themselves.

And the our re-education efforts are finally working, it seems, as evidenced by the editor of said gianemza (another fine word scramble!), who revealed that she wished to use the photo in an article directed toward incoming interns. The title? Well, I don't know, but I hope it's something along the lines of How to Dress Yourself Without Looking Like an Asshole, Asshole.

Rejoice, indeed fellow P.I.'s! The word is finally spreading!

"But, wait, didn't you once wear sandals and socks...together?" 

Um...that was a dark and lonely time...

"It was last month."


"Yeah and remember when you bought that pimp coat? That was awkward."


"Yeah. 'Cause you looked like an asshole. Yup, and then there was that time when you decided to tight-roll your pants..."

OK, OK. I get it! Who am I to ever tell anyone they're dressing like an asshole? But at least I never wore nylons with flip-flops! Yet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

so, you know you can't dance...

I've refrained thus far from commenting on the Jefferson Memorial dancing bullsh*t story because, well, I think it's a bullsh*t story. Really, I'm not sure what the big f*cking deal is except it reveals that there are a few douches who misinterpreted the meaning of a simple and reasonable regulation on the First Amendment via their fundamental misunderstanding of the very purpose of the First Amendment.

Now, for those of you lucky enough not to know what the hell I'm referring to, here's the shortish version: Last weekend, a handful of jagoffs seemingly suspended in arrested (pun intended!) intellectual development thought they'd demonstrate on the Jefferson Memorial against a recently upheld court decision that bans demonstrations on the Jefferson Memorial. More specifically, they did this by dancing (badly, I might add), which is what also caused the original issue.

But f*ck it, we're not talking about Footloose here, Adam Kokesh, this latest demonstration's Head Douche In Charge, certainly isn't Kevin Bacon and standing up for dance rights wasn't even this crew's point, as I it's been made clear. No, instead it was to make sure "the Man" would step up off our First Amendment rights and let the people demonstrate, whether it be dancing or protesting, wherever the hell they please. Well, that's just stupid, but I'll get to that in a couple paragraphs.

Returning to the summary, here's the rest: Eventually the park police approached the dancers and warned them repeatedly to stop or face arrest. So what did HDIC and crew do? (And yes, that'll be pronounced h-dick, thankyouverymuch.) They starting talking sh*t to the cops. Never a good plan. And so the police arrested them. But of course the dancing demonstrators couldn't let that happen either without putting up a fair share of childish drama. Instead of following Civil Disobedience 101, these idiots resisted, meaning the police then had to subdue the demonstrators to get the cuffs on. You can see the whole thing here spliced together to make it look worse than it was for the aptly juvenilely named "Adam vs. The Man" program that airs on -- wait for it -- Russia Today television.

OK, important sidebar: I was living in Moscow when Russia Today became an actual thing opposed to a rumored hilarity. I, along with several English-speaking friends, were tapped to work for it, some as writers, others as anchors and a few as show hosts for programs similar to HDIC's. All of us declined because we considered working for RT, despite a well-to-do promised salary, an embarrassment, especially if you considered yourself a journalist, as it's pretty widely known that the Kremlin runs RT and, therefore, would control all programming on it. Needless to say, it's slanted heavily against the West. Basically, it's the Russian Fox News. Undisclosed but clearly evident bias -- it haz it.

And so, already, considering the RT co-signature of the organizers of this event, HDIC and his friends' motives should be viewed with at least one Prince-inspired skeptical side-eye:

Actually, maybe two:

But questionable motives aside, let's break down the reality behind the First Amendment and why knowing more about what this amendment actually means makes HDIC's quest to legalize demonstrations on the Memorial even more idiotic. Let's start with a legal definition:
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees Freedom of Speech. This guarantee generally safeguards the right of individuals to express themselves without governmental restraint. Nevertheless, the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment is not absolute. It has never been interpreted to guarantee all forms of speech without any restraint whatsoever. Instead, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that state and federal governments may place reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of individual expression. Time, place, and manner (TPM) restrictions accommodate public convenience and promote order by regulating traffic flow, preserving property interests, conserving the environment, and protecting the administration of justice.
The emphasis is mine as I think the emboldened sections clearly spell out why depending on the time, place and manner it's sometimes appropriate to outlaw the right to demonstrate -- either via spoken language or body language.

See, there are two types of public space in question here: public forums and non-public forums. On the former, which makes up the majority of public space in America, including most any street corner or sidewalk, you can do whatever the f*ck you want, from dancing to being a member of the terribly misguided Westboro Baptist Church. On the latter, however, which includes the Jefferson Memorial, neither is welcome. And thank God because think about the consequences if they were...

Sure, perhaps a few intellectually limited people dancing on the Jefferson Memorial isn't a big deal, but look at that in the larger scope of this law. The First Amendment doesn't discriminate, so if we allow the Running Man as a form of demonstration in nonpublic forums, what's then to stop gay-bashers from rallying at these places? Or the KKK? What's to stop someone from simply getting on a soapbox and repeatedly screaming the word "FUCK" to protest censorship law or whatever? Not only would this make visiting the Jefferson Memorial -- and all other nonpublic forums -- exceedingly unpleasant, but it would reassign the entire purpose of why the Jefferson Memorial exists in the first place. It's not a demonstration space or a stage for morons to reenact their high school proms to make a illogical point -- it's a memorial, a place to reflect in peace and tranquility.

And thankfully, the courts are filled with enough people to want to preserve that environment for those of us who possess the ability to act like grownups. The irony here is that it's people like HDIC and his friends who make it necessary to make stipulations like the "time, place and manner" one attached to the First Amendment in the first place. Either all demonstrations are OK or none of them are. I'd rather not be allowed to dance if it also means I don't have to dodge ugly women and brainwashed children holding up "Thank God For Dead Soldiers" signs, while I'm trying to imbibe the life and legacy of Thomas Jefferson at his memorial

And no, banning demonstrations (again, even if it's just a few people dancing) in designated nonpublic forums does not signify that the United States is turning into a "police state," an idea that some have incredulously floated in the discussion attached to this post on the We Love DC blog, which was also critical of the demonstrators. (God, it makes you wonder whether some people even understand what the term "police-state" means...) Nor does it mean this is the beginning of the court and government stamping out the First Amendment altogether. It's quite the opposite, actually: By continuing to ban demonstrations in nonpublic forums, the courts are upholding the First Amendment as it was originally intended, not how some short-sighted disillusionist on the Russian government's payroll thinks it should be. You're still free to dance in the street, HDIC and buddies! No one's trying to take that away. Hell, make yourself useful and dance so wildly it disturbs the Westboro crew!

And although I'm ready to be done with this post (I'm on something like my 18th Prince skeptical side-eye and it's starting to strain), I need to touch on all the unfair hype about the park police's reaction to the demonstrators as shown via Russia Today. Look, I'm no fan of authority, but even through HDIC's RT lens, I don't see how the park police acted inappropriately. They gave fair warning and when the kids didn't listen the police followed through on their promises -- they started arresting the demonstrators, who of course, resorted to acting like children through whining (and that's what repeatedly asking "WHYYYY? in a bratty voice is) and flailing around.

Now, if HDIC & Co. were smarter and more learned about what their demonstration would result in, 1) they'd have realized that this would end in arrest, and 2) they would know better than to resist. All resisting arrest ever does is get you thrown on the ground because they have to get the cuffs on you somehow, which is what happened here, not police brutality. You put your own lips 2 da floor.

I mean, how dumb are these demonstrators? Had they done any research at all before their little outing you'd think they'd have at least gleaned a cursory knowledge of civil disobedience guidelines, which clearly state DON'T RESIST ARREST. In fact, it might be the biggest (hence, the caps lock), most powerful tool one has when it comes to presenting your civil disobedient cause to outsiders. I mean, look at the empathy Rosa Parks created when she didn't resist arrest when she knowingly broke the law to sit in the front of the bus. Had she started backtalking to the cops or had a friend try to pull her away, I doubt she'd be as legendary as she is today. Silent, non-violence is a powerful thing.

Of course, Ms. Parks was also fighting a law that desperately needed changing since it was based in racism opposed to reason, so if she had smacked a cop upside the head, I wouldn't have blame her. And so I kinda take back mentioning Rosa Parks' name at all in this post since there's no comparing the civil disobedience associated with civil rights that she stood for in the 1960s and the stupid disobedience associated with the dancing demonstration on the Jefferson Memorial that HDIC stood for last weekend. Hell, I wouldn't even compare HDIC to Mayor Gray when he got arrested for defending DC self governance. Not only did Gray not resist arrest, but he was disobeying the law for a damn good cause.

Which brings me back to my original point. This whole dancing on the Jefferson Memorial story is dumb. And if you're planning to go to the dancing demonstration on the Jefferson Memorial scheduled for Saturday to demonstrate against HDIC's arrest for demonstrating against the original dancing arrest (this is just getting into rabbit hole territory now), go get a real cause.