Where's your God now?

Number of season after Joe Gibbs' return to coaching before someone suggested he be fired:


You know I loved this article

Mass consumption of high fashion by teenagers! It's like the textbook example of ghetto rich! If... there was a textbook... um... that dealt with being ghetto rich. Actually, judging from some of these kids, maybe there should be:

His first luxury purchase was a pair of shiny black Gucci pants that he bought freshman year for $450 -- all the money he had received for his 14th birthday.

"I'm trying to do it big," he explained.


"People are always telling me that I walk through the hallways like it's a fashion show," Brandon said. "I tell them: 'Boo, it's my fashion show. It's my runway.' "
What a fine, fine, gay young man he's growing up to be. Seriously, could somebody please sit Brandon down and explain to him that pants shouldn't cost $450? Especially if you're going to outgrown them?

Gloria Baume, fashion market director for Teen Vogue, said girls often tell her, "I am going to put all my baby-sitting money away until I can afford the Louis Vuitton pouch."
Pouch? Umm, she'll be the most fashionable kangaroo girl in school? I guess?

Wow, these kids are spending their entire allowance for the year on Prada, because they just have to impress their peers. It's the same pointless status competition I see... well, among Washingtonians my age who should know better.

Oh, and in a totally unrelated story, this clinical psychologist is finding that the "earn-and-spend" mentality ingrained into her patients is making them feel unhappy and spiritually empty. Funny that this article was publised yesterday, before the one about the kids wearing Prada.

So here we are: a generation of fashionistas and Samurai shoppers with full closets and empty hearts.
Now that's the Washington I know and love... we're all Scrooge and no Cratchit.

One thing I don't hate

OK, I survived Thanksgiving. And if I have to give thanks for one thing in D.C... I'd go with the National Transportation Safety Board.

I think that's the one government agency I actually respect. Whenever there's a big transportation accident, like a plane crash, they're on top of it. They go over every single detail; all the evidence is analyzed, everybody involved is interviewed. And, at the end of their investigation, they spell out exactly what went wrong, and specify exactly what needs to be done to prevent something similar from happening again. The NTSBers the reason I feel safe when I fly; they actually do their job really, really well.

And unlike some agencies, they aren't completely beholden to corporate or industrial interests (I'm looking at you, FDA, EPA), and they haven't collapsed under the weight of their own beauracracy (at least, not enough to limit their usefulness).

So, thanks guys.


Wait, what?

I was mentioned in Washingtonian?

Isn't that, like, the magazine for snobby people trying to convince themselves they're actually important socialites from New York? Isn't there a minimum wage requirement for reading it? I don't think the postal service is even legally allowed to deliver it to my shitty apartment.

At any rate, I'm sure I'll be drifting back to why.i.hate.dc now that football is over, and also because I'm moving back to my old job, where there's apparently still no actual work for me to do. I'll be back to being a full-time blogger.

But's it's going to be hard, because I find lately that I'm happier the more ignorant I am.

In fact, I've decided that ignorance really is the driving force behind Washington. If you shield yourself enough from what really goes on in this city, you might be able to somehow tolerate it without going mad. Metro rail falling apart? Bridges about to collapse? Don't worry about that; it will fix itself. Without more money!

Crime and poverty? Not a problem in my state/county/neighborhood, thus not my problem.

Huge deficits in D.C.? Let's lay off hundreds of public school teachers and build a $600 million baseball stadium!

The problem is, if I actually keep up with local events, as I have in the past, it really starts to weigh on me. I don't even have any control or power over anything, but still this stuff just infuriates and depresses me. The less I pay attention, the less depressed and infuriated I am. This must be Congress' philosophy as well, judging from their D.C. track record.

Meanwhile, I've lamented in the past about D.C. trying to make the rest of the country like itself. And it appears to have happened. Here's what the federal debt looks like:

11/19/2004        $7,497,665,301,236.87

09/30/2004 $7,379,052,696,330.32
09/30/2003 $6,783,231,062,743.62
09/30/2002 $6,228,235,965,597.16
09/28/2001 $5,807,463,412,200.06

Now the whole country is ghetto rich, just like D.C. Why does this not bother anyone? What are we going to do, consolidate all our debts into one convenient low monthly payment? It don't work that way, people!

"But the economy is doing so well!" Yeah, if you pour $1.6 trillion of borrowed money into our economy, all of a sudden it looks like it's doing really well. It's like magic! And clearly, since that worked so well, instead of paying it back, what we need to do is increase the fucking debt ceiling. BRILLIANT. FUCKING. IDEA. It's tantamount to maxing out our credit card, and now, instead of reconsidering buying that $900 massage chair from Brookstone, we're calling the bank to ask them to raise our limit. I now refuse to have kids, just so that they don't have to be around when the economy collapses under all that debt.

But back to Washington. I know there are a lot of otherwise smart people here. People who finished near the tops of their classes at Yale and whatnot. And, after moving here, they use that clout to get into junior positions of power and influence; be it in politics, law, journalism etc. Then, once they've done that, they start to use their powers not to help others, but to lobby for themselves. They find very intelligent-sounding ways to absolve themselves of social responsibility. Translation: "I'm looking out for #1, bitches! You're not getting any fucking lunch money from me! Fuck all a y'all A-rabs."

So, when I think about who a "Washingtonian" is, this is who I picture:

A smart 31-year-old who just missed out on being a Rhodes scholar. Working for a Congressman, perhaps lately trying to backpedal for inserting Orwellian passages into the latest budget bill. (Yes, I'm talking about my old friends Istook and Micha.) Sitting in a party, wearing a sweater vest and sipping on a Smirnoff Ice. Laughing at how diners at the Cheesecake Factory are eating "mangy waste." Dreaming of the day they can make $300,000 a year lobbying for the pesticide industry or something.

But enough about Washingtonians. I'm going to try to think about them as little as possible, because they're just going to bring me down. Instead, I'm going to get the fuck outta town and enjoy Thanksgiving. The hard-core hating can wait until I get back. As a wise man once said, "All these pussy niggas putting money on my head? Go on get your refund, motherfucker. I ain't dead."


The best of both worlds

Oh man... a couple of priceless articles in the Post yesterday.

Did you see the profile of my man Lee Van Cleef? I mean, Philip Van Cleave?

Something of a night owl, Van Cleave likes to take walks around the lake in his subdivision around midnight. When he does, he "double carries" in case an assailant knocks one weapon out of his hand. It's not about fear, he said. "Who would do that if they were afraid? The word is preparedness."
I nearly had a heart attack from laughing so much. He double carries in his subdivision. In case someone knocks the first gun out of his hand And I'm sure his subdivision is a war zone at midnight. Where does he live, A-Team Piney Forest Lakes?

The man has never even fired a gun outside a firing range, and has never been the victim of any crime worse than car stereo theft. And yet, he insists on getting open carrying of firearms legal everywhere in densely populated Northern Virginia, including airports and legistative chambers. Even the NRA thinks he should dial it down a few notches. Does that not tell you everything you need to know about the man?

Or, put another way...

DEAR FUCKING LORD. I can't believe this INSANE PARANOID FUCK-JOB is deciding this state's gun policies. Thank you, Philip Van Cleave, for putting the fear of God into me. Now please don't come shooting up my apartment.

Also putting the fear of God into me: the crowd at Big Ben Liquor in Northeast D.C.

"Why would you go over there and get a pack of potato chips when I said mints? He got a [expletive] bag of potato chips when I said mints. Why would he try to give me a pack of potato chips when I said mints?"


"Give me two packs of Dittos," another woman says. "No, I didn't say pickles, damn it."
Wow, these people get really cranky when they don't get their pickles. I mean Dittos! [BLAM BLAM] ARRRRGHH!

Singh bought the business -- not the building -- for $300,000 plus inventory from a man who was shot in a bloody robbery that left him paralyzed.


"Hey, mister," a drunk man says, trying to maintain what is left of his dignity. "Please let me go to the bathroom. I'm about to piss on myself."

A woman in a red coat who wants a $75 money order looks at the man, who races out of the store. "He done already peed," she says, like a narrator.
Who says comedy and horror don't mix?

They also talk to a man named RasD who captures the mood of the city perfectly.

He walks south on North Capitol. The Capitol's dome rises in the distance, looming like a mighty mecca, so far away from this corner and so close. RasD motions to the cars that whiz by. "The traffic flows through without any connection to the spaces and places," he says. "They just pass by. They would rather not see the obvious, the displaced, the homeless, the confused, the hungry. . . . There are brilliant minds at that vortex: incredible mothers, fathers. The homeless are no longer scorned and they are not faceless at that vortex. They are only a blur and an eyesore to those passing through."
Yep. Brilliant people; powerful people; they have the power to change the blight they see around them, but choose not to. They choose to ignore it. D.C. is what happens when good people do nothing.


I hate Reston

Included in the topics of conversation between my co-workers on the drive over to a meeting:

How MFing Reston is so great, because the landscaping is so pristine.

Yes, these were all men. Go figure.


Maybe an obstructed view is the best view, after all

Daniel Snyder. Owner of the Redskins. Nobody else embodies what I hate about Washingtonians more than this man.

The latest article is a laugh-riot. After a loss:

"I was so depressed in the locker room," [head coach Joe] Gibbs recalled Wednesday at Redskins Park. "And [Snyder] walked right up to me and he said, 'Hey look, I just want to encourage you. It takes a while. Maybe you can't see it; you're too close to it. We have improvement. We're on the right track.'"
Funny thing, this new definition of "improvement." He'd better hope nobody tries to make any "improvements" on the Danny-copter.

"Joe has final say on everything. Period," Snyder said. "I've taken my lumps. I've come a long way. I think I've got incredible patience and understand things now that I didn't have when I first came into the league. I've learned a whole bunch."
(Said the man who's on his fifth head coach in six years.)

Patience, you say? Learned a lot, hmmm? Let's recap the quarterback situation:

- Last year, they drafted Patrick Ramsey in the first round. This was a huge stretch; he wasn't projected to be drafted until much later. The team got poor value out of the pick.
- This year, they sign Mark Brunell to a huge contract. Now, I like Brunell, and it was fun watching him on those good Jaguars teams in the late '90s, but let's face it: he's old and busted. He was at his most effective when he was mobile and a scrambler; as a purely pocket passer, he's hasn't exactly been on the A-list lately. Thus, they got poor value again.

But the biggest problem with signing him is that they've benched Ramsey. If you're going to reach for a QB in the draft, and bank on him as your future, you've got to play him. By signing and starting Brunell, they compunded the draft mistake. Brunell would be a good addition to a team in need of a veteran backup QB; he's a bad signing for a rebuilding team that supposedly has its eye on the future.

Despite having some of the worst stats in the league, the Redskins continue to start Brunell. And every game is more potential lost for getting Ramsey some more experience (and getting a better look at him). Apparently, since Brunell is Gibbs' evangelical Christian bunk-mate, he's in pretty much forever. (Where's your God now, NASCAR-boy?)

In other words, in terms of being unable to see the shortcomings in your own decisions, Snyder appears to have a friend in Gibbs. And that's what being a Washingtonian is, in a nutshell: you have to have an overblown sense of self-importance, coupled with an inability to do any self-evaluation whatsoever.

Now, foreseeing this awfulness, I didn't buy tickets this year! Pat on the back, me! Of course, I still have to watch this crap on TV tomorrow, instead of the superior Eagles-Steelers matchup, so I lose either way.

So, who's up for some baseball?

Oh wait, that's not happening either now.



INS1PID: Personalized Virginia license plates I have hated (part 14 in a series)

2B U -2B (e.g. the logical equation, "2B or not 2B"; i.e., NERD!!!)
On a Ford Mustang: LUSTANG
THRU F8H (Also, fuck the gays)

OK, so now I'm in a bad mood

It's Thursday. It's cold, it's raining. My football game this evening is doubtlessly going to be called off. And, to top it all off, America proved it really, really hates gay people.

As if to celebrate that fact, a couple Metro trains bumped uglies yesterday:

Turns out one train lost it brakes, and simply rolled backward into the station. (Safety systems designed to prevent such an occurrence didn't activate.)

Meanwhile, Metro CEO Richard White gave us the understatement of the forever:

"Lately we've got a serious perception and credibility problem about what it is we're doing and how hard we're working on behalf of our customers," White said.
Oh my God... they're finally starting to admit their suckitude! Eat that, "Lisa Farbstein"!

The weirdest thing about this story is that it kept getting worse as the day went on; the first reports talked about two trains "bumping" and injuring four people. Obviously it was a lot worse than that, and scary too; the driver yelled for everyone to "get off the train, run if you have to!"

Twenty people were hurt, and travel's obviously going to be delayed all week. Good times!