Tuesday, November 9, 2010

get local...please

Maybe it's because I'm leaving work in the middle of the night now at 5 pm, but I seem to be more angry than usual. My head is hotter. My proverbial fuse is shorter, or, as Google translator would say when translated from English to Hungarian to Finnish to Arabic to Vietnamese back to English, "this is still less than ideal." OK.

But seriously. I'm just annoyed -- at the dark, at the cold, but mostly, I think, at the "local" media. When did "local" turn into "outer suburbs" in the DC? I mean, really, it's infuriating when the Post's local opinion columnists write about some stupid sh*t in Gaithersburg, or, as Google translator would say when translated from English to Hungarian to Finnish to Arabic to Vietnamese back to English, "Gaithersburg." (Nice!) And it's even more maddening when so-called "hyperlocal" outlets make the top fold of their front e-page more about Virginia's 11th District than the actual District of Columbia.

The overblown media battle of Fimian and Connelly aside (which, by the way, is taking place in exurbs of Virginia and not even the suburbs), TBD's front page this morning (note: it's since changed) hardly applied to me...or, really, anyone who resides inside the District lines of Washington. Only two (2!) stories out of eleven (11!) were actually about DC. Metro terror and crime on 14th Street. Not to mention, those two stories weren't even written by TBD bloggers/reporters...

TBD's Maryland and Virginia coverage, on the other hand, seems to be superb. If only I was looking for news that didn't apply to my life as a DC resident...

And while I hate to give out free advice, especially since I recently got paid $70 per hour for my consulting skills (suckers!), I'm going to make like a communist right now and give these sites a hand out coupled with a soul-crushing message:

You need to add more filters to your site, otherwise, you're irrelevant. Supposedly, TBD does that, but judging from the above screenshot as viewed by this 20005 resident this morning, their sh*t be broke. I want my front page story on my local news site to actually be local. And I want the other 10 to be the same way. Likewise, I want the Washington Post to hire a someone who understands life in the District proper (Gaithersburg doesn't count), someone who can write a relevant local column for the twenty- and thirtysomethings -- the age groups that compose the biggest chunks of the population here. I know of at least one woman who would be a great addition to the Post's editorial team. And she only charges $70 per hour!

Look Read, I'm not asking for a news outlet to tailor all their coverage to only those subjects I find relevant. (If that were the case, the only things these outlets would need to cover are Internet memes and their own suckage). All I'm saying to these guys is to follow through with what's been promised -- "local" and "hyperlocal" news. (In the latter case, then, even Arlington, which is closer to where I live than many other DC neighborhoods, wouldn't count.) Either hire more reporters to cover undercovered areas (um, like Washington, DC!) or insert a better filter into your aggregator to tailor the front page to the individual reader. If that means all my stories on TBD come from elsewhere, then so be it. If that means the Washington Post needs to hire me as an editorialist and pay me an exorbitant salary, then so be that too. Remember, it's all for the greater good. And my wallet.

Monday, November 8, 2010

post vs. post (affiliates)

I love it when people make fun of the Washington Post. I love it even more when people make fun of it and the Post publishes it. And the best is when the mockers are Post-affiliated bloggers, so that when it gets published on the Post's site, it looks as if the Post paid them to do it. The only thing better would be if Gene Weingarten decided to actually write something funny. Now, that would be real subversion, undermining the Post's credo of being eternally boring, morally offensive and increasingly irrelevant.

Alas, we'll settle for Stage 2, in which David Alpert of the Greater Greater Washington blog takes on Post columnist Petula Dvorak over Montgomery Country speed cameras in the Post's local opinions section.

[Dvorak] cheers the recent vandalism and arson against speed cameras, quoting residents pleased by this destruction of county property. She calls the cameras "vile devices," a "gargantuan gotcha," "horrid contraptions" and "a speed tax." Facts? Who cares.

But then again, when has the Post ever really cared about facts...? And why should they? Welcome to the age of modern journalism, when suddenly only having half the story with a quarter of misinformation you gleaned from Twitter is somehow "the future."

But seriously, sh*t's all kinds of annoying no matter where you look in the media. The Post just seems to annoy more than most because it's supposed to be better. We're supposed to expect more. After all, this is the leading paper in the Capital of the Free World. We should probably be able to hire and retain a slew of local columnists who know what they're talking about.

But no. All we got is the guy in the dumb hat, Mustache McTard and Petula Dvorak, who according to Alpert, would prefer more babies to die than have to stop at a red light.

And ask Dvorak to write a column about Samira Kelly and her 16-month-old daughter in Aspen Hill, or the many other people hit or killed in Montgomery County whose deaths might have been prevented or injuries avoided or lessened had some speed cameras taught drivers to follow the law and ease off the pedal.

Although, wait. A column about statistics and dead pedestrians sounds almost suspiciously like news and, God knows, we can't have that in the Washington Post, especially in the local section. Plus, Dvorak is an editorialist. She's not supposed to write anything useful or enlightening. In fact, she missed the most egregious downside of speed cameras -- they malfunction. I've had one go off when I was legally turning right on a red. I stopped, looked out for traffic, then turned. The camera flashed, and yes, I received a ticket in the mail that I paid because, Petula's right -- it was less cost inhibitive for me to just cough up the $30-or-so than try to fight it. Indeed, I felt a little bit raped by the city that day...

But it gets worse. The other day, one snapped a nice photo of me on my bike. And I wasn't even going through a red light. I guess I just crept up a little too close to the crosswalk. Now, what they're going to do with photos of cyclists, I have no idea, but I'm assuming if this happened to me, it must have happened to others. All this makes me want to do is stop at every intersection with a raised middle finger or make some sort of ridiculous face, like when you're on a rollercoaster and you know you're passing by the in-motion souvenir camera. Hey, if it's Glamour Shots at every corner, I might as well make it interesting.

Which is something neither one of these writers -- Dvorak or Alpert -- seem to know how to do. WHO CARES ABOUT MONTGOMERY COUNTY?! If you're a Metro columnist or a DC-based blogger, write something about the goddamn District. Gaithersburg does not count.

Friday, November 5, 2010

shambles p.i: the get a f*cking haircut/shorts are not pants edition

If you watch the Internet at all, I'm sure you've seen him. This guy:

He shows up on just about every third YouTube video you attempt to watch. And while mostly, I'm just watching morbidly obese cats exercise in Japan, in this case, I was trying to brush up my John Wall-dancing skills by learning "The Dougie" (hat tip: DCist), which I will get to in a moment. First, however, can we discuss this guy's hair?

What the f*ck is going on here? I mean, really, who made this guy, who looks more suited for selling used rape vans, the spokesperson for a political campaign. Oh, you didn't know that? Me neither, until I decided to click through to find out how much a used rape van costs who in hell would hire this guy to be their official spokesmullet. (Surprisingly, his white-board doodles didn't make it clear). Well, it turns out, this is an ad for a group that opposes the bailout of some of America's biggest shipping companies. Being uninformed, as I am wont to be, I didn't even know there was a bailout of America's biggest shipping companies. And after having to view this guy's greased-up coif a million-and-a-half-times (there are a lot of videos of morbidly obese cats exercising in Japan on the Web), I wish I still didn't know. Not necessarily because I don't agree with what he's schilling for (I refuse to give that any deep thought) but because I ask, is being informed really worth the cost -- the cost, of course, being alerted that this guy's hair was deemed appropriate for mass viewing? No. In fact, I think it even had a counter-effect on me. Perhaps, we need more bailouts, and specifically, one for America's haircutting industry. Fantastic Sam's and Supercuts clearly aren't doing an adequate job...

And just when I thought I was over the most heinous shambley assault to my optical nerves, this guy pops up as my online Dougie instructor.

Now, I understand the sagging pants trend. I know about its origin and I even understand it as a fashion statement on occasion. But what we're seeing above is beyond that. This man has turned a pair of shorts into a pair of pants by situating them literally below his crotch. I mean, really, unless his body is twice the length of his legs and unless his femur is actually the shortest bone in his body, this whole look makes very little sense. Not only, I imagine, is it harder to keep pants up when you don't allow them even a smidgen of butt cheek to cling to, but wearing your pants that low makes you look shorter than the shortest oompa-loompa.

I mean, seriously, the fact that even that weird Brown Bailout dude's mullet looks longer than this guy's legs is a problem. In the words of President Obama, "Brothers should pull up their pants."

And before any tea partiers come here again to call me a racist (although they'd probably spell it more like "raysist") and/or tell me how much they wish I would die, let me be clear: If it was a black guy with the oily mullet or a white guy with the sagging pants, I would've said the same thing. Also, my general health is fine and I make it a habit to look both ways before crossing the street, so suck on that, death-wishers!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

so many "events" to discuss...

So, I went to the hometown opener of the Washington Bullets Wizards the other night and realized two things: 1) I'm not really a basketball fan (too many fouls make basketball a very dull game!); and 2) I'm a John Wall fan. And while that might seem counterintuitive, it makes sense if you take basketball out of the equation. I'll be honest, I don't really care about how good John Wall handles balls (OK, that phrase just made me like basketball more). I care about his ability to make an intro.

Now, THAT is worth cheering for. Kudos, John Wall. I will attend more basketball games just to see your dance moves.

What's not worth cheering for, however, is the portrayal of Washington, DC, in "The Event." For those of you too hypnotized by John Wall's "Dougie" (that sounds unintentionally dirty), "The Event" is a new television show that combines all the absurdness of "24" with all the 'tardness of "LOST." (I can't wait to find out it's all due to a Hot Tub Time Machine in a cave again...)

Sure, the mystery, sci-fi storyline may seem enticing at first, but a closer look at how this show handles details makes me automatically lose faith. At one point in the last episode they make reference to the Metro. Someone gets on the Metro at Farragut North and sets off east. The next thing we hear is, "She just passed the Van Ness station. The next station is two miles, Metro Center." Uh, really? I mean, just a quick Google and the writers could've avoided that amazingly illogical statement. Why would someone get on at Farragut North, then travel WEST to Van Ness before then traveling east to Metro Center and eventually Chinatown?

Also, this is what the Metro car looks like:

I mean, really, if they can't even get something as simple as the order of the stations or the design of a typical DC Metro correct, how am I going to believe they're going to be able to resolve such a complicated storyline?

But that's not all! Didn't you see? Chinatown looks like this now in TV land:

Look, I wish Chinatown looked like that. I would LOVE to see a legitimate newsstand in this city, but alas, that doesn't exist. I mean, really, who did the research for the set for this show? A toddler? An intoxicated toddler? A blind intoxicated toddler? Because it's just wrong. And like I said, if a multimillion-dollar production crew can't understand that, at the very least, a few thousand dollars worth of stock footage would've been a good idea, then I really can't see how this show expects me to care about it. As far as I'm concerned, a more interesting storyline would be for a scientists to harness the aliens' anti-aging gene and market it to the public-at-large. How would living five times as long as we do now change our way of life? Now, that's a show. I'm going to set it in Miami and use footage of Anchorage to portray it. Now, all I need is a intoxicated blind toddler to ignore all the important details. I smell an Emmy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

even the diapers are probably dowdy...

We're gonna start off today's post with a game. I'm sure you've heard of it. It's called marry, f*ck or kill. I'll give you a moment to get over the unusual display of vulgarity I just used on this f*ckin' goddamn blog. Sh*t. OK, ready? I'm going to name three things and you have to choose one to kill, one to, um, remove your pants around, and one to marry. A zombie, a chupacabra, and this 'tardy "discussion" about DC fashion. Man, this is a hard one...

As for me, I think I'd marry a chupacabra, do a zombie and kill that stupid Washington Post discussion. After all, the discussion's leader, Robin Givhan, already rendered it half-dead when she decided to forego the shift key and make like an illiterate by typing in all lowercase letters.

Also, I have a low tolerance for stupid ideas and attempting to rationalize and defend the fact that most of DC dresses worse than your average diabetic middle American is near the very top of the idiot zenith. (The only thing higher is attempting to play kill, f*ck, or marry with a zombie, chupacabra and an Post-led online discussion about whether DC is dowdy or not.)

Really, isn't this a moot point by now? I mean, all it takes is a few steps outside and you'll know instantly -- people (in general, of course; I understand there are exceptions) don't try to dress fashionably here. The culture doesn't allow it. Now, can we please stop debating that? It's a waste of e-space and, honestly, a little boring to blog about. Moving on...

So, how 'bout that election? Wait, what? You didn't get to vote for anyone because you live in DC and don't have Congressional representation either? Yes, f*ck the elections...like a zombie. As far as I'm concerned, I'm kind of sad Christine O'Donnell and Alvin Greene didn't make the cut because bat-sh*t crazy is much more fun to mock than boring. (See above for a prime example of yawn.) But alas, we'll have to make do with the lot we've been given. At least David Vitter got re-elected! And you know what that means! IT'S DIAPER TIME! A-A-A-A-A-AHHH!