Caro writes about flawed, vindictive men who degraded democracy but wielded power brilliantly.
You could describe a lot of dudes, very accurately, using only the adjectives and adverbs in that sentence.
Caro writes about flawed, vindictive men who degraded democracy but wielded power brilliantly.
You could describe a lot of dudes, very accurately, using only the adjectives and adverbs in that sentence.
Accordin' to The Feast, D.C. women apparently want this $1,200 Tory Burch "Hiltibrand" vest because "Her looks are classic and well-recognized, and they have a lot of longevity."
Whatever. It needs the Public Enemy logo on the back. That's what it needs:
From behind about 20 feet behind, the dude didn't appear unusual: Maroon coach's jacket, khaki slacks, old sneakers, wispy balding hair, a few white plastic shopping bags in his hands. He wasn't stumbling or shuffling. He could've been a retired cranky pundit or g-man. That's probably why I didn't scrutinize him until he deliberately tossed aside a perfectly good toothbrush and a half-used bottle of hot sauce. This was no accident. After chucking them down, he looked at them for a split second, as if to say, "yeah, that's the perfect spot."
The yup who was walking next to me said something like, "are you fucking serious?" I pointed to my head and half-whispered, "I don't think he's all there."
To be sure, this is probably like the 10,507th most shocking thing I've ever seen. Shit happens, kids. But seriously, a toothbrush and a bottle of hot sauce? If I'm not shocked, I'm at least totally confused. And, goddamn it, I lack the poetic chops to turn this moment into verse. Haiku, maybe, but not right now.
Anyway, when the yup and I caught up to the guy -- we didn't say anything to him -- he heard our footsteps and stopped dead in the sidewalk. I'd like to think that he was contemplating whether the toothbrush and hot sauce actually belonged where he put them.
Seriously, my own sanity is right on the edge here.
He inspires a special kind of neurosis in Nats beat writers. To wit: this piece about Jim Riggleman's role in Kerry Wood's career. It's intended as a sober reflection on how phenoms can crap-out, and it's also an examination of how Riggleman handled another dude who was supposed to Save The Universe From Collapse. Both angles are familiar on the baseball beat: Themes repeat themselves in every generation of players, and a manager's previous behaviors can mean a lot in the sport. Fair enough. But get a load o' these grafs:
Let's stop here: This is not another bash job on Riggleman for supposedly ruining Wood's career by overusing him as a rookie. This is not an attempt to scare Nationals fans by linking Strasburg to Wood, via Riggleman. Two different pitchers, two different situations, two different eras.
If anything, you may come away from this story feeling Riggleman played little or no role in Wood's injury-plagued career -- which includes three arm surgeries and 12 stays on the disabled list. You may come away understanding that sometimes, the difference between a perfectly healthy arm and a destroyed one is as random as a coin toss, as thin as the triangular band of fibrous tissue that connects the humerus to the ulna -- the infamous ulnar collateral ligament.
TRANSLATION: OH GOD, PLEASE DON'T LET SATAN OR EVIL GHOSTS OR ANYBODY ELSE TOUCH STEPHEN STRASBURG. DON'T EVEN LOOK AT HIM WITH ONE EYE. HE'S NOT KERRY WOOD, WE KNOW THAT, DUH, BUT EVEN IF HE WAS MANAGED BY JESUS OR GHANDI AND MADE OF MEGA-CARBON AND AWESOME-METAL AND OTHER IMPENETRABLE-YET-FLEXIBLE SUPERMATERIALS, WE'D BE TOTALLY FUCKING SCARED OF ACCIDENTALLY DESTROYING HIM WITH EVEN OUR THOUGHTS, BECAUSE THIS TEAM IS GONNA BE SO BORING OTHERWISE.
From a WaPost weather chat:
Woubrn, Mass.: Please stop stealing our snow, I getting tried of skiing on man-made Snow in Vt., and it's getting wasted in D.C. where all you do is complain about all the beatiful snow you are getting at our expense. Seriously, what has casued this massive shift of snow to the south?
Ian Livingtson: But we are (or used to be) enjoying it! The southward shift in the storm track this season has had many causes. Both of our blockbuster storms were heavily steered by a large high pressure system in Greenland. This feature can help keep storms that would often drift north targeting our area.
Judging from those typos, it looks like that Massachusetts ski nerd is the only thing "getting wasted."
I've been inclined to treat all communications from the Nationals ownership like any other piece of Washington spin. But dang, those motherfuckers are pissed off now. I don't see anything in this piece but truth-tellin'. It's certainly more direct than whatever Sanford or Ensign spewed -- if you wanna go so far as to compare it to contemporary clean-comings. And it retains a little dignity, too. The rest of this lava-hott factual-ness can be found after the jump:
Letter from the Nationals
To Fans of the Washington Nationals,
No one is more dissatisfied in the first half of the 2009 Washington Nationals season than we are. Like you, we had hoped that some of our younger players would have matured faster and that the addition of some of our new veterans would have significantly improved our record from a season ago. Our hope was that solid club leadership would emerge on and off the field and that some intangible combinations would begin to click resulting in many winning streaks.
Posted this comment over at Summer Bleeding:
I'll admit it, I've broken out the "I Got The Hook Up" soundtrack at least once in the last 6 months.
Darrow Montgomery has been quietly digitizing and posting shots from his vast archive of film-and-paper photographs. If you wanted to set a movie deep within the D.C. neighborhoods during the 1990s, you'd be wise to send the production designer directly to his ongoing "Postcards From Home" series on the City Desk blog. Samples:
The mini heatwave, the assy economy, the stupid hippie attacks on otherwise boring bank branches, the anecdotal evidence that D.C.'s petty-crime crazies are getting that much more brazen, blah blah blah ... this easily could shape up to be one of those cranky-old-fart rants about how the world is falling apart. But bear with me for a few seconds, because I've got a feeling that shit is gonna fall apart with style in the '09, like NYC '77, Summer-of-Sam all over again. I'm no fan of spasmodic violence, so here's hoping that the riot gear stays in the warehouse. I'm also past the age where urban decay has a whiff of romance, so I won't be rooting for another crack epidemic or a plague of meth zombies. And I'm definitely not cool with blackouts and other disruptions of utility service, because I sweat more than a 'roid-laden wrestler. So if any of those things happen, don't come looking for me, because I'll be just as annoyed as you are. (Or maybe "cautiously amused.") But I will say this: My spidey sense is tingling & jingling, baby. There might be chaos on the horizon, and a small part of me is thinking, "this is what happens when the game has no reset button."
The tone isn't "Obama," because nobody really knows what Barack will sound like when he has to fire a bunch of people. And it isn't "W," because I don't remember Bush II sounding so resolute when he shook up his West Wing. It might be "Bush I," because the cadence is all choppy and the words are plain: "NOT GON' DO IT. NEW BULLPEN AT THIS JUNCTURE."
It's possible that I'm immortalized via NPR. This was unintentional. Neko talked about The Reaper the rest of the show.
Later I think I also shouted, "THE REAPER IS AWESOME."
People at the 9:30 club were supportive, probably because I didn't yell anything else. I made metallic hand gestures. The show was actually quite awesome. The crowd was excellently quiet. Which is rare.
I did not shout "RED BARCHETTA" or "BIGGIE SMALLS" because Tha Mrs. was vehemently tending to me. I totally wanted to.*
I am not lying about any of this.
UPDATE: Damn, I was loud. The hollerin' comes after the 47-minute mark on the NPR recording.
NOTE: @Counting Stars On The Ceiling: Yup, she'd totally put me in a B.O.C. frame of mind.
* There was a measure of self-control involved, too. I didn't want to become the Clown Who Keeps Yelling Stuff. Been there, done that.
I'm in line at the register. One kid comes inside to buy a Twix. I don't know how much a small Twix costs, but it's possible that the kid was going to buy it for less than a dollar and then sell it as part of the charity hustle -- for like, a dollar. That's a decent markup, percentage-wise, so I won't front on his acumen. (Or maybe he just wanted a Twix.)
Other kid comes inside, starts saying something to the kid with the Twix, who is in line beside me.
Twix kid stiffens up, waves his hands at the other kid and then whisper/screams: GO WATCH THE STASH.
Rule number one of the candy-charity hustle: Don't let the merchandise out of your sight.
Because, dude, if I'm out there on the sidewalk, and your Toblerone is unattended, I'm gonna gank it.
I'm no expert on Billy Corgan, but I've followed his entire career and I've liked some of his music. And if there's one comment I can make about him, it's that he's one of the *least charismatic* and *most geeky* rock frontmen of all time. So when you write that he "dialed back the rock-star charisma -- waaaaay back -- while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday" and he "could have been any old D.C. think-tank geek," you come off as kinda lazy and uninformed. Anyway, I'm here if you ever need me.
NBC4's slideshow proves one thing: Go anywhere in upper Northwest, and you'll see some lame-ass stone buildings, some satellite dishes, and a security camera or two.
Today I was hoping to inhale a whiff of disruption, y'know, like when D.C. is gonna get two inches of snow and everybody buys out the Crystal Geyser shelf at the Giant because they're apeshit-afraid of death. Yeah, maybe there was an uptick of tension and lawlessness here and there -- like the dude who parked in the crosswalk outside my house. THAT SHIT ONLY FLIES ON SUNDAY, AND ONLY FOR GOD'S CHILDREN. Anyway, here's the official audit of how fucking stultifying the day was, relative to its potential: I fully -- but briefly -- entertained the urge of clown-strutting down Pennsylvania Avenue, standing below CNN's set on the Newseum rooftop, and repeatedly hollering, "FUCK YOU, GERGEN," for no other reason than it would make Frozen Wolf jealous. And a jealous Wolf is a thrilling and unpredictable Wolf, obviously.
Hey now, excuse me for not noticing until today that Thievery Corporation has booked five straight nights at the 9:30 in late January, but I rarely look at the club's schedule these days, because it's usually anchored by novelty acts and faux trustafarians. If there's an actual reason to rise from the Cess-Dungeon and traipse over to V St., I'll usually hear about it from a tangential source. Thus, 930.com, I gaze upon you about three times a year, if you're lucky. And today I was looking only because the ol' Christmasburn/Newyearsblood always makes me feel like I'm missing something awesome. So when all of that hoopla dies, the Poppa doth rise.
And there they are, the Thievery dudes, with their XPN-approved album and their unflagging good taste -- and they're blazingly recession-proof, at least in D.C., where lots of youn'ins still apparently have lots of disposable income and want to do things that are more "benignly stylish" than "dangerously interesting." Granted, the Garza and/or the Hilton are known to stretch a little (I'm thinking about their still-nascent garage-rock love and their surprisingly easygoing Marvin), so it would be unfair to slap them with an adjective like safe or complacent. But I'd also never-ever call 'em weird, either. (And, for the record, it seems wholly inappropriate to call Radio Retaliation "angry" or even "cranky.") So what happens when you're tasteful and popular and not weird in Washington? You become an institution, and people will show up every day and pay $40 to see you.
ADDENDUM: Cherkis calls this piece "hate." I suppose in a binary "hate/not hate" construct, it's closer to "hate." But in my mind, I classify it as "grudging respect" or perhaps "jealousy" -- at least as far as Thievery is concerned. The 9:30? Hey, well, everybody has bills to pay, and we all grind in our own way. Cheers.
From my inbox:
This is Nick Prueher writing from the Colbert Report in New York. On Friday, Dec. 12th and Saturday, Dec. 13th, I'll be bringing my national touring show, the Found Footage Festival, to the Montgomery Cinema & Drafthouse and Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse as part of a 2008 North American Tour. My fellow curator Joe Pickett and I, whose credits also include The Onion and the Late Show with David Letterman, are excited to bring our brand-new lineup of found videos and live comedy to the D.C. area for the first time. ... Here's a link to the trailer.The official press release is pasted below. ... Thanks!
Pop Cesspool has a highly unethical payola scheme for promoting this kind of thing. An invoice is in the mail. On good faith, I've provided portions of the press release after the jump:
DCist reports that the Obey Giant dude, Shepard Fairey, did a mural on the side of Logan Hardware yesterday. I know about the mural because I walked right by Fairey and his entourage to get a set of keys made inside the store. And I didn't recognize him, although I did think to myself, "these are probably some famous graf people." On my way out, I had to wait for that Ryder truck to finish backing into the alley. And the woman coming out of the door? She was behind me in line. Actually, I'm kinda glad that I'm not in the picture, because I was lookin' like a mess. Per the usual.
We here at the Cesspool have been rooting for LoveLikeFire, not only because the mighty BK plays bass, but also because the band fearlessly combines '90s alt/indie idealism with plain ol' pop ambition. At The Red & the Black on Tuesday night, it all came into focus. That is, the sense that these songs -- including several new ones that will be part of an upcoming album -- are totally grown-up and self-reflective, but without being painfully serious or freighted with psychobabble. For example, consider the new "Bordeom," which seems like a natural single to me: It has some Pixies stomp, a killer melody, some Brit-pop swing, believable lyrics and a super-sticky guitar lead. Props to the venue, too: The upstairs area is perfectly cozy, not dinky, and the acoustics are spot-on. (And the hosts were graciously aware of the drag that the presidential debate might have on the show's attendance.)
(Photo from Flickr user Dots, Lines and Polygons.)
|Whoo-hoo to the Szechuan Gallery menus that are scattered around Shaw every few months. The weird picture of Bill Clinton is a nice touch, especially because it looks like a third-generation thing: an official presidential portrait, defaced electronically with something scrawled on Bill's forehead, then retouched lovingly in Microsoft Paint for use on a Chinese takeout menu. (Click on the image to get a big ol' PDF, so you can see what I'm sayin'.)
And I'd like to think that the reproduced Washingtonian cover is more "resourceful" than "clumsy."
|Architects and designers and real-estate nerds probably could give you a deep, thoughtful analysis of condo buildings like 1407 W St. NW. I belong to none of those professions. And I will never live in a place like this, unless somebody gives me an apartment for free, or I take over the building as a command post when Earth faces an onslaught of irritated extraterrestrials. I haven't been inside, and I haven't given much contemplation to the style of the facade. But there's something I noticed right away: This fucker is unintentionally sloppy-looking, because all of the bathroom, kitchen and laundry vents are sticking out of the wall that faces the alley. They're haphazard. I'd be totally annoyed every time I walked up to the front door. Click that shit to see what I'm talking about. (Photo by yours truly.)|
In the broadest sense, I came close to "seeking comfort" in a prostitute, just once. It was the winter of '95/'96, and I had been in the D.C. area for less than a year. I slogged to the Black Cat on a wintry evening to see the New Bomb Turks. The small crowd included a large, unintentionally dangerous punker. At one point, his spiked leather jacket opened a shallow-but-painful gash in my thumb. Later, he inadvertently smashed my toe. I stumbled out into the street, after the show, to find that about 4 inches of snow had fallen. The streets were dead. My plan of catching a cab home to Alexandria looked futile (this was back before Metro started running its trains later). I had at least $30 in my pocket, believe it or not. I started walking toward downtown on 14th Street (which was still pretty bleak in those years), and I soon noticed that there were still two or three hookers strolling the sidewalks, aimlessly. I passed one; she acknowledged me with one of those are you OK sugarbear? kind of comments; I said, "I'm alright" with a grin. With my foot and thumb throbbing, I walked at least another block and realized, "maybe one of them know where to fetch a cab." I almost turned around and asked for a hooker's help; soon after, a driver in a ramshackle taxi spotted me and pulled over. He greeted me with a mixture of sympathy (it was cold out), gratefulness (I was a paying customer), and suspicion (what was I doing on 14th Street at 1 a.m.?).
That I love the City Paper's neighborhood map? I'd even argue that it's better (albeit more parochial) than the "stan" map that ran on the cover of the New Yorker a few years ago. (The CP's neighborhoods issue, as a whole, is a classic example of "workin' well with what you got when the bossman orders somethin' up.")
Somebody is gonna get killed one of these days at the intersection of Connecticut Ave. and N St. NW. Read on:
If you're on the south side of N and the east side of Connecticut , and you're crossing Connecticut in a westerly direction, there are two crossing signals that you must watch: The one closest to you, in the median , and the one all the way across Connecticut .
Here's where it gets dangerous: The far-away signal often says "walk" about 20 seconds before the closer one does. And the closer one is easy to ignore, because it's much higher off the ground -- and thus not in the typical line of sight for a pedestrian.
So if you're not watching the closer crossing signal, it's very easy to stumble into the high-speed northbound traffic on Connecticut. You think you can walk, but you can't.
I almost saw a woman and three kids get hit by a car there today, and it wasn't the first time I've seen somebody be seduced by the far-away walk signal.
Here's the dumb part: The median on the south side of N is really narrow [as you can see in the photo], and people rarely stop there. So there's absolutely no reason for the far-away signal to say "walk" before the closer one does.
Yeah, OK, hooray for the NYT and its article about the calculated proliferation of military brass on teevee. But you're an idiot if you really thought those ex-fightingmen were providing untainted and uncoordinated analysis. We've all seen enough shows and flicks of the "thriller/chiller/killer/exploder/Bauer" variety to know that Pentagon big shots hardly ever leave it all behind when they retire.
I'm a little disappointed, though, with the sartorial choices of those talkin'-head former officers. If we all know you're still part of the machine, then why, for the love of Jeezus, would you wear a Brooks Brothers suit on TV when you could get buck wild and drag out your old dress uniform, the one with the epaulets and ribbons and medals and saber and buttons and pistol and embroidery and boots and pocket watch? You earned that gear, man. Put it to good use!
What, exactly, did that dude say to the Big Aussie Ego during the shooting of State of Play in Mount Pleasant? Well, we can safely ascertain that the initial salutation was indeed "Fuck you!," but the WaPost was conveniently vague about the other expletives (scroll down to "Sorely Tested Crowe Keeps His Cool").
But, thankfully, we do have some wonderful options, people. And thusly I present to you ... the handy-dandy Pop Cesspool "Fuck You, Russell Crowe, X my Y!" Generator. (I'm shitty at writing scripty Web thingies, so it's merely an HTML table. Live with it.)
Pick a verb from Column A, and match it with a noun from column B!
|COLUMN A||COLUMN B|
Personally, I'm partial to "Fuck you, Russell Crowe. Eat my dick!"
This week's City Paper cover story made me recall this verbal exchange from the life of yours truly:
SCENE: It is 1999 in a crappy rental house in Arlington. A man (POPPA CESSPOOL) and a woman (THA MRS.) are tidying up a bedroom. The hip-hop song "The 4th Chamber" by Genius/GZA plays in the background.
[Making a cameo in the Genius/GZA song, the RZA raps these verses: "A hit was sent from the president to rage your residence/Because you had secret evidence and documents/on how they raped the continents/And it's the prominent dominant, Islamic, Asiatic black Hebrew/The year two thousand and two, the battle's filled with the Wu/Six million devils just died from the bubonic flu."]
POPPA CESSPOOL: I'm the prominent, dominant, Islamic, Asiatic black Hebrew.
THA MRS.: Uh, you're actually none of those things.
I got off the Metro at Chinatown today and breezed past a reporter for NBC 4 who was asking passersby, "ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH THE TOURNAMENT FROM WORK TODAY?" (I think it might've been Megan McGrath.)
I gave her the answer that I give to just about anybody who shoves a clipboard, a notebook or a microphone in my face: "I work for a media company." (The PIRG kiddies outside of the grocery store are the most common recipient.)
She was like, "OH, OK." But I realize now that I blew a great opportunity to respond with something provocative, such as:
• "Are YOU going to watch the tournament from work?"
• "Basketball violates the laws of Christianity."
• "Are you happy?"
• "Can I have a quarter?"
A note to the "Flophouse" bloggers in my backyard: If you're already putting most of your life online, and the New York Times wants to do a story about you, don't be so lame about it. Preserve a little mystery. Be total cocks next time. Act like you're running some sort of pseudo-revolutionary cult, and when the NYT reporter points out that you're behaving like sophomoric jackasses, you say: "Just kidding! We're actually really nice, intelligent, well-meaning youths. But no, you can't come inside. Here's a beer and a cigarette for the road." And then blog about it. Everybody wins!
Burton and the other metalmen over at The Bag probably could offer some insightful critiques of the WaPost's story about Jaxx vis-à-vis black metal. My problem with it is mostly technical: It's really two stories jammed together: "Jaxx is an unusual music venue" (which every DC publication has done at one time or another, for various shades of metal) and "black metal is so hot right now" (which is, like, y'know, so true). I suppose such an amalgamation is inevitable in a publication that will interview any Hollywood star who comes through town as long as her publicist calls ahead, but only writes about awesome/weird shit unless the topic has a tight local angle. Sigh. At least they didn't wait to delve into the blackness until some kid misguidedly committed some sort of dumb violent crime in the name of the music.
My pals at the Washington City Paper asked me to distribute this:
Starting this week, we're featuring a new advice column by legendary musician and D.C. resident Bob Mould, who'll be fielding readers' questions about D.C. life, music, U Street gentrification, touring tips, workout tips, relationships, etc. The idea is to draw on Bob's expertise as somebody who knows the District and is a good storyteller: for an idea of where he comes from, check out his blog at modulate.blogspot.com. Nothing is officially off-limits, but he's not interested in addressing Trekkie-type minutiae about his past. ("I have a question about the microphone you used to record the vocals on 'Hardly Getting Over It'...")
We'll set up a dedicated address soon. In the meantime you can send questions to
Washington City Paper
UPDATE: The official address for questions is email@example.com