I'd like to teach the world to TAG YOUR MAN... TAG YOUR MAN...

That's it, people. I've figured it out. Two words that succinctly and perfectly sum up What's Wrong With Washington. Here it is. Actually, one word and one number. Are you ready? Here it comes.

Dance 360.

Now, chances are, you don't know what I'm talking about. Well, I'm here to educate you, FOOL. Dance 360 is, and I don't think I'm exaggerating here, the best television program ever created by mankind. Tragically, it is not carried by the only station that could rightfully be showing it: UPN 20.

This is a wrong that needs to be righted. I will start a one-man crusade to bring Dance 360 to the Washington airwaves. It would revolutionlize our lives. The local social landscape would collapse; class barriers would crumble; borders would be rendered meaningless; we could all finally live together in harmony, as brothers.

Allow me to explain further. Dance 360 is presented to you by these fine people (click for official site, and be sure to watch the promos):

That would be Moesha's boyfriend, a hot Asian chick named "DJ K-Sly", and the guy from Good Burger... no, not the one on Saturday Night Live, the other one.

They host what could only rightfully be desribed as You Got Served: The Series. I first got to watch it while visiting my brother in Atlanta; his TiVo TiVoed it for him off UPN-69 (awesome!) against his wishes. Turns out, TiVo knew what it was doing.

As a press release from UPN's Seattle affiliate reads:

Hosted by Kel Mitchell, Fredro Starr, and Dj K Sly, Dance 360 is a fresh new strip for teens, featuring original hip hop music and the most amazing dance moves on TV. Created with an understanding of hip hop as the most influential and trendy phenomenon in pop culture today, each show will feature dancers battling head-to-head for the audiences approval. With its dynamic atmosphere, Dance 360 is an anything-goes party.
Fresh new strip, indeed. The studio audience stands in a round (hence, 360), while dancers picked from the crowd are forced to bust it out on the center stage in the middle. At random intervals, the dancers must battle head-to-head, while the audience helpfully calls out, "HEAD TO HEAD! HEAD TO HEAD! HEAD TO HEAD!" (Hmmm, just like that scene in Requiem for a Dream. Oh wait, that was "ass to ass.") They also would occasionally yell "TAG YOUR MAN!" for some reason. Can't remember why. It's probably not important.

Then, audience cheers determine the winner, who receives... $360.

I'm sorry. Make that $360... and an X-Box.

Oh my God. Could this show be any more awesomer? No, it could not.

Why is there no room for Dance 360 on my television, DAMMIT? "Ohhh, my name is Washington. I'm so important and smart. I only show shows that are political and good for your brain. Here, let's give Tucker Carlson his own show."

Excuse me, but are there any breakdancing battles on Tucker Carlson's new show? Because if there are, then maybe I would watch. As it is, I believe the number of TV shows in Washington that feature breakdancing battles stands at a puerile zero.

("Puerile?" That makes no sense. I've got to stop using these fancy-sounding words before I've looked them up. Oh well, too late now.)

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah... the reason we need this on the air is because it would fix Washington. We need TV that's not good for your brain, but is instead really bad for your brain, to the point of being potentially harmful to it. Political and news shows would be rendered obsolete. Life as we know it would be changed forever. I envision everybody downtown heading home early in the afternoon and lighting up a big fat joint, just in time to catch Dance 360 (in this fantasy scenario, it would come on after either Texas Justice or Girlfriends, not sure which). All those politicians, lobbyists and lawyers would finally loosen up and stop being so Type A. They would finally start to see what's important in life... not money or power or fancy cars, but dance battles. There's no question... this would change the world.

Yeah, my mind's made up. WE NEED DANCE 360. Tout de suite, UPN 20. Only you can rectify everything that's wrong about Washington.

And, also, as it turns out, you must do as I say. I complain about things, and they get fixed. That's just how it is. No need to thank me, Washington, but I'd like to point out that: I complain about not enough art-house movie theaters, and they open E Street. I complain about no baseball, we get the Nationals (63 days until Opening Day!). I complain about nobody carrying Air America radio, and then they start carrying it on AM 1260. (Ummm, can I take that last one back? Turns out it's kinda lame. And turns out I don't need my political beliefs validated by people on the radio.)

So yeah, in other words... you have no choice in the matter, UPN-20. You will carry Dance 360. Both you, and then one day, your heirs. End of discussion.

Congratulations, Iraq

You now have a vote in a representative national government. It's a very special gift, and one we spent half a zillion dollars to give you.

To give you an idea of how special this gift is, we don't even let residents of the US capital have a vote in our representative national goverment. That would be stepping over a line. (A line marked, "Black people and Democrats live here!")


INS1PID: Personalized Virginia license plates I have hated (part 15 in a series)



Hey, our team won. That's nice. I suppose then, that it's time, for us, to do the BOOZE UP AND FUCKING RIOT THING!!!!

Ohhh, this is always fun. Maryland beats Duke, and College Park cowers in fear.

Remember when it happened last year? Good times. We got some classic quotes out of that. I loved that like Len Bias loved cocaine. Let's do it again.

Here's the story link. Ladies and gentlemen, start your mockery.

More than 1,500 students swarmed into downtown College Park and Fraternity Row following Maryland’s unexpected defeat of No. 2 Duke, forming multiple mosh pit crowds as students huddled together, many in pajamas, screaming, jumping and chanting “[Fuck] you, J.J.” and “Let’s go Maryland.”
Ahh, Terps fans. Classy to a fault. You tell that J.J. That will teach him to... play basketball... um... against your team. What a fool.

As two helicopters circled overhead, a steady stream of students poured from the campus amid the sounds of honking horns and howls of glee.

One male student knelt to kiss the sidewalk as he left Cole Field House, where many students watched the game on a projection screen. “That’s why you come here! That’s what it’s for!” he shouted.
Riiiight, that's why you go to Maryland. To riot after beating Duke in an ultimately meaningless regular season game. And also, why is he kissing the sidewalk? The game didn't actually take place here, it was... ahhh, never mind. I don't want to know.

On Route 1, two male students brazenly stepped out of the cautious crowd to light a fire of T-shirts and cardboard, as police equipped with clubs, pepperguns and shields inched toward them to extinguish the flames.

“Pandemonium — absolutely out of control,” said senior criminology and criminal justice major J.T. Merryweather. “This is the second best riot I’ve ever seen.” After watching students light a fire at the intersection of Knox Road and Route 1 for a second time he changed his mind. “As of right now, it might be the best.”
A criminal justice major who's into celebrating random violence on the streets, eh? I always suspected that cops got off on this stuff. Now I know.

“This is our first riot, and they pushed us with nightsticks,” said freshman biology major Matt Skalka. “It was the highlight of my night.”
Ummm, OK. Does anybody actually go to this school to, say, learn stuff? Or do they just go in the hopes that they'll have an excuse to unleash their endless suburban rage? UMD should just totally abandon any kind of academic pursuit... go for the violence angle.

Sigh... remember when people used to riot over more important things, like racial tension? Remember when the people who were rioting weren't spoiled, shallow college students? Those were the days.

Come on, kids. Can't you riot when we really need it? Couldn't you have done this last week in the middle of the inauguration, instead? Don't riot over a stupid basketball win. Your peers are dying in Iraq. Riot over that, maybe.

One student standing in front of Wireless Solutions resisted. When two officers tried to push him back, a surge in the crowd sent the student and the two officers into the window of the store, causing them to break the glass.
Oh man. That's got a certain, je ne sais quoi comedy factor to it... I'm putting it in my screenplay for Fraternity Vacation 2, right now. Or maybe Revenge of the Nerds 5. (Are they up to five?)

You really have to be a glutton for punishment to own a business in College Park, knowing you'll have to go through replacing your windows every time the women's lacrosse team takes down UMBC, or whatever. You might as well move to Baghdad, open a Christian bookstore-slash-plate glass warehouse, and put up a "Bomb THIS, Islamofascists!" banner. Same result: you're just asking for total destruction.

In conclusion: Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose, and I think that's funny. Does that make me a bad person? Of course not. Good day and God bless.

The jokes write themselves

"Marion Barry To Teach Chemistry Class."


Blogger ate my post

Here, I'll recreate it...

Blah blah blah deficit creates illusion of wealth, blah blah blah D.C. public schools have no heat.


I'm going to have to start measuring the indoor temperature in Kelvin

God DAMN my apartment is cold. All weekend I was shivering; there's just not enough heat to warm the building. It hovered around 55 degrees inside all weekend.

It really makes me feel like a chump. I calculated what I've spent in rent on that damn place; it's $43,145 through January. Forty-three grand down the toilet... which, by the way, is not fun to use when it's that cold inside.

I guess that's the nice thing about Washington. If you're not earning enough to be in the upper class, they really let you fucking know it. I'm actually getting poorer by the minute... property values in Arlington have gone up 70 percent in the past three years. Seventy fucking percent! Can you believe that? It doesn't matter how much I save by living in a shitty Revolutionary War-era apartment with no heat; I'm never going to have enough for even a down payment my own house. Really, fucking, depressing.

Oh, and also, I have to do laundry, but the laundry room is in the building next door. Two years ago, I was doing laundry while there was snow on the ground, and I slipped going down the stairs and hurt my shoulder. That was fun.

Damn I hate it here. It's really sad... I've started looking at craigslist for other cities, just so I can fantasize about living in an apartment that has heat. (And a dishwasher. And washer-dryer. And is still cheaper than my place.)



They arrested Handshake Man!

How could you, Secret Service? All he wanted was a handshake!

My traditional post-vacation love letter to the city I just visited starts... now

I had such a good time there last weekend in Atlanta. I want to go back.

Hanging out with my brotha' and going to the Falcons game rocked. And the ATL has so much personality... that's what I miss the most.

OK, I have two examples of Atlanta places I didn't even know existed, that really took me by surprise. First, I took a walk around my brother's neighborhood Saturday morning, and basically bumped into Alon's bakery. OMG it was so awesome. They had a huge-ass dessert case, sandwiches, cheese, wine... it was like heaven. I can't believe my brother lives two blocks from this place. I ordered a sandwich called "Asian BBQ salmon"... and it was incredibly good.

Then, Saturday night after the game, we hooked up with a bunch of my brother's friends at Gravity Pub in East Atlanta. Once again, I'd never heard of the place, but it was everything I like in a hangout: cheap beer, eccentric decor, and I don't have to impress anybody with my wardrobe or pay to get in. (And, you can park on the street for free, easily, without getting shaken down. What a concept.)

I think maybe my brother's friends thought I was weird, just standing on the stairs and soaking in the atmosphere. (Or maybe they thought we were both weird when we sang along to the jukebox playing "East Bound and Down" from Smokey and the Bandit. Apparently, they're thirsty in Atlanta, and, from what I've been told, there's beer in Texarkana.) And I think maybe the waitress was surprised when I tipped her $20 on the side, just because I was so happy to be there.

See, this is what I've missed by being here: I feel like I've missed out on the good surprises that come with city living. Oh, there are surprises here, but they generally turn out to be bad ones (at least for me). I've been in Washington from ages 26-29, and I feel like I've missed my chance to... be cool, I guess. When you're in your 20s, you're supposed to be out enjoying doing stuff; for whatever reason, that stuff I would like to do, in Washington, is either too expensive, too utilitarian, too inaccessible, or just plain nonexistent.

Anyway, this is clearly turning into one of my stupid rants on social stuff that I have no way of quantifying, so I'll stop now. Time to go batten down the hatches for this weekend's impending snow apocalypse (gahhh, two days too late!), which will probably force me to stay inside.

Party party party, and we're partyin'.

Let the eagle soar my ASS

We went out to dinner at our default favorite place last night, and I was hoping that Clarendon would be far enough away from "the shit" (to borrow a Full Metal Jacket term) that we wouldn't see any inauguration ballers.

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, of course. I'm not supposed to have to compete with 60-year-old couples, one wearing a tux and the other wearing mink, for a table at my favorite restaurant. Plus, the room was teeming with yuppies (to be fair, I guess it usually is). Worse, I think most of these were yuppie Republicans: the guys are pasty and often pudgy, usually wearing a dress shirt with the collar out over the sweater and khakis, and the girls all seem to have that fake-blond Jennifer Aniston hair, too much jewelry and makeup, and you can tell their chins are slowly starting to disappear. Scary.

Oh, and I know I've harped on this before, but would it fucking kill you people to wear a color other than black during the winter? Yes, we're all very impressed that you own a black leather jacket and/or expensive trenchcoat. Just like everyone fucking else. Let's try some different colors here, people. Stop being a wardrobe zombie.

I've got this retro Seattle SuperSonics jacket, bright green and yellow, that I've owned since 1991. (It was uncool when I bought it, then somehow lapped itself and became cool earlier in the '00s, but is now again uncool.) It's the warmest thing I own and is extremely comfortable, but it really makes me stick out here... because I'm the only one not wearing black. (Anyway, if you see an angry looking man wearing a green and yellow Sonics jacket, it's probably me, just FYI. Don't piss me off, because I'll probably blog about you.)


The Bush inauguration: Ghetto Fabulous

Here are the gory financial details concerning the President's $40 million fellatio today (link via Gene Cowan).

$40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs.

$2,000: Amount FDR spent on the inaugural in 1945…about $20,000 in today's dollars.

$20,000: Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural festivities by D.C.'s Ritz Carlton.

200: Number of Humvees outfitted with top-of-the-line armor for troops in Iraq that could have been purchased with the amount of money blown on the inauguration.

$10,000: Price of an inaugural package at the Fairmont Hotel, which includes a Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon reception, a chauffeured Rolls Royce and two actors posing as "faux" Secret Service agents, complete with black sunglasses and cufflink walkie-talkies.

400: Pounds of lobster provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the exclusive Mandarin Oriental hotel.

3,000: Number of "Laura Bush Cowboy cookies" provided for "inaugural feeding frenzy" at the Mandarin hotel.

$1: Amount per guest President Carter spent on snacks for guests at his inaugural parties. To stick to a tight budget, he served pretzels, peanuts, crackers and cheese and had cash bars.

22 million: Number of children in regions devastated by the tsunami who could have received vaccinations and preventive health care with the amount of money spent on the inauguration.

1,160,000: Number of girls who could be sent to school for a year in Afghanistan with the amount of money lavished on the inauguration.

$15,000: The down payment to rent a fur coat paid by one gala attendee who didn't want the hassle of schlepping her own through the airport.

$200,500: Price of a room package at D.C.'s Mandarin Oriental, including presidential suite, chauffeured Mercedes limo and outfits from Neiman Marcus.

2,500: Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office

26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40 million.

$290: Bonus that could go to each American solider serving in Iraq, if inauguration funds were used for that purpose.

$6.3 million: Amount contributed by the finance and investment industry, which works out to be 25 percent of all the money collected.

$17 million: Amount of money the White House is forcing the cash-strapped city of Washington, D.C., to pony up for inauguration security.

9: Percentage of D.C. residents who voted for Bush in 2004.

66: Percentage of Americans who think this over-the-top inauguration should have been scaled back.
Oh Biblical plagues, where are you when we really need you?

If you helped fund the inauguration, expect kickbacks in the Twinkie's second term.

That includes you, Washington Post Co. Look at you, donating $100,000. Adorable. And completely not sketchy or against journalistic standards at all. Nope.

Misty, shit-colored memories

When I leave Washington, whenever that happens, I'm going to leave with a lot of bad memories. First, we were ripped off by our movers. Then, I was here for 9/11, the anthrax, the sniper, our invasion of Iraq, a nasty car accident, four consecutive winters of freezing my ass off. And now, the final insult. I get to watch the re-inauguration of this man:

As all the super-rich, cowboy-hatted homophobes descend on the most powerful city in the world, I find myself wishing for a tsunami or other such disaster to hit. It's everything I hate about the social divide in Washington, magnified a thousand times: motorcades and SUV limousines containing people apparently much more important than me crowd the city; hotel packages including amenities such as alligator boots (?) are selling for tens of thousands of dollars. There are dinners and balls and such, each more mind-blowingly expensive than the last. It's what Washington does best: rich people flaunt their wealth to unprecedented levels of excess, while surrounded by one of the most extremely impoverished and dangerous cities in the country. You always know where you stand in D.C.: either you're dining on the finest sauteed clubbed baby seal, or you're fishing half-eaten fried chicken out of the trash.

I can't believe I have to fucking swallow this fucking bullshit. This retard sent thousands of people to their deaths unnecessarily, but won't go to their funerals. He sent the national debt spiraling, essentially mortgaging our future. He's destroyed our standing in the international community. Etc., etc. You know the rest.

What am I supposed to do? I can't even joke about making threats, lest I get a visit from the Secret Service. And joking about threats is like my bread and butter. Ahh, but there is a loophole. Dubya is, let's see... 58 years old. If he lives out the rest of his natural life, he'll probably get to age 90 or so. There will be a big funeral, and weeping in the streets, and we'll, I don't know, name an airport after him or something. Then we'll bury him in a grave somewhere sacred and solemn. Maybe Arlington cemetary, maybe a library (and I really hope he does get a library, as that would be the most ironic thing ever). Whatever. The point is, I now make a solemn promise to the world, today:

I will pee on that grave.

That's right. I don't know when I'll do it; I don't know how. Probably under cover of night; perhaps after bribing a security guard. All I know is, I'm peeing on it. And I could be in my 60s by then; peeing on command could be difficult by that point. But I don't care. Mr. Bush, your grave will be peed on, by me. This is my pledge to the world.

How do you like that, Secret Service? Bush will no longer have you to hide behind. I will be peeing on his grave, and you can't stop me!!! BWAHHH HA HA HAAAAAA!!!! IN YOUR FACE!

I could see this turning into a grassroots movement. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go see if peeonbush.com is registered.


I am back

My plane was filled with Bush fans headed for the inauguration; sadly, it did not crash. (I would have sacrificed myself for the greater good.)

Oh hey, I thought of another reason why I hate D.C.

Snow I can handle. Snow I can tolerate. What I cannot handle are the one-of-two attitudes I have to deal with when it snows.

Attitude #1:

"I'm from the North! Poppycock! This isn't snow! This is a mere dusting, old chap! Why, it's positively balmy out! In fact, I'm walking to work naked! So stop complaining!"

Attitude #2:

"I'm from the South/a Hispanic country/a tropical Asian country. I'm going to assume that I can drive the same way on snow that I do on dry roads. Here, enjoy me crashing into you."

To avoid both these people, I'm at home where it's safe. I've already lost one car to someone with Attitude #2, and I don't feel like losing another. And Attitude #1 makes we want to murder these people, and send the various body parts back to upstate New York, where they came from.

Meanwhile: I'm freezing. My apartment lacks any heat of any kind, whatsoever. I checked a thermometer we have lying around; it's 55 degrees inside. COLLLLDDDddd-dddd-d. For a fourth straight winter, I'm freezing my ass off.


Vacation time

Headin' to the ATL for a few days. It's gonna be great... a little Flying Biscuit, a little Club One-Tweazy, perhaps some 88.5, throw in the Falcons-Rams game... I'll be as good as new.

Unfortunately, I'll be back in time to for Twinkie the Kid's big hootenany. I'm sure we'll have a good time then.


The thing is...

As much as I can appreciate that people like XM and Sirius, those services are expensive. The receivers are all at least $100, and the service itself is $10-$13 a month. Granted, there are no commercials, and there are a hundred stations tailored to every interest. That sounds nice. But I used to be able to listen to decent radio for free.

Rampant deregulation has destroyed any semblance of creativity or local flavor in large markets. I'm sure Infinity will do well with "El Zol," where, I'm told, it's siempre de fiesta.

(By the way, I had fun picturing the switchover this way: a dour, Goth-looking DJ spins a Cure record and talks dully into the microphone; the clock hits noon; the DJ suddenly puts on a sombrero and starts broadcasting in upbeat Spanish.)

Everyone has been saying good riddance, because they hadn't been listening in the past few years anyway. But WHFS might have survived if it hadn't become so watered down by corporate ownership. The station's ratings have tanked pretty much in conjunction with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, surely the worst piece of legislation ever crafted by man. It allowed companies to own more than one station in a market; now competition is out the window, playlists are overly researched and repeat every two hours, and the on-air personalities could be broadcasting from company headquarters in Hackensack, N.J., for all you know. It SUUUUUUUCCCCKKKSSSS.

I want my old radio back. The kind where I could leave it on for hours while working on something, and not hear the same song twice. The kind that didn't make me want to shoot myself after having to listen to another 10-minute block of commercials. ("We're in the middle of another no-music hour!") The kind that would, occasionally, play something obscure or new or fresh, just because the DJ felt like it.

Instead, today, the DJ basically pushes a button and a computer plays the next song on the company-approved playlist. It's killing radio in larger cities. And Washington, being, as it is, an anti-creative juggernaut, has nothing in the way of a college radio or otherwise independent rock-type station (at least nothing I can pick up).

Sadly, once you deregulate, you can't re-regulate, can you? Legally it would be possible; after all, these are the public airwaves we're talking about. We own them, not the corporations. The FM and AM spectra have to be divvied up the way Congress says.

Oops, I forgot: they own Congress. There's no way our legislators, stuck as they are in a perpetual sixty-nine with corporations, would ever reverse the Telecom Act, and force the Clear Channels and Infinitys of the world to divest themselves of stations.

Oh well. It's just reason #243 why we need a violent, bloody revolution. Oooh, and also sexy. A violent, bloody, sexy revolution.


Hmm, there goes another preset

According to DCRTV, WHFS 99.1 FM just got killed off in favor of... espanol?! "It's now Spanish language 'El Zol,' with a mix of salsa, merengue, and bachata."

Umm... weird. Anyway, here's DCRTV's tribute to the old WHFS.

Our city is not like other cities

In other cities, people have jobs that are productive and useful to society. People can manufacture goods, or be plumbers, or maybe artists. But they don't have what we have: the bullshit trade.

You heard about Armstrong Williams, right? You probably did, and I don't have to link it in. Brother got $240,000 from the DOE to spin up No Child Left Behind.

Two hundred and forty thousand. In taxpayer dollars, no less. To simply talk up a piece of legislation that had already passed. $240,000. That's more than Congressmen make in a year. And he didn't even have to write the damn law.

Oh, and the main criticism of NCLB? Is that it's underfunded. You couldn't make this shit up.

$240,000. Oh, how I would love to have that money. I have got to get on the take. I can't compete with all these motherfuckers who are on the take. Housing prices are going up 15-20 percent per year. You know what my raise was last year? Four percent. I'm never getting a house, and my main financial problem appears to be that I'm not taking any funds to produce covert propaganda.

Uggh. And, predictably, Williams doesn't think he did anything wrong, and certainly won't be paying back the money, of course. And the administration hasn't said a thing about the situation. You know there are others on the take like this. This town is surely lousy with "commentators" who are being paid off by the government (Williams admitted as much). They don't even have to do anything, really; just use their influence to spin up government policy. That ain't workin'. Lookatthat, lookatthat.

I had always wondered how black Republicans could justify being black and Republican simultaneously. Now I know how it's possible: they're getting fucking bribed. Williams even got his start as an aide to Strom Thurmond, and we know how much he loved black people. (Hmm, "loved black people" can mean so many things in this context.) When you willingly work for a man who believes your race is inferior, there's got to be some kind of graft going on.

Anyway, so that was a hoot. The other excruciating thing that happened in the past week was when Bush told D.C. that it would have to dip into its own funds to pay for securing his inaguration. The District's going to have to divert $12 million in homeland security funds to cover it.

Can you tell I'm trying to restrain myself? I can't even use any of my trademark hyperbolic violent threats, lest I get a visit from the Secret Service. Stupid country.

"Hey, black people! You didn't vote for me, huh? Well, how about paying for my little party? BWAH HA HA HAAAAA!" said the President.

I give up. I wash my hands of this entire affair. This country fucking blows. After living here, I really hate it now. And I used to like it. I promise. After seeing how it really operates, I'm planning on moving to a shack in the Yukon, curling up in the fetal position, and sobbing to myself quietly.


Starring Marc Fisher as Everyone's Dad

From Marc Fisher's latest column:

My new toy, called TV-B-Gone, is essentially a universal remote control that does one thing only: It turns off TVs.


At the food court during the auto show at the Washington Convention Center, four guys were watching CNN Headline News when my kids and I sat down with our sandwiches. We zapped the TVs, and the guys immediately turned their heads from the screen to each other and commenced a conversation. A victory for social discourse!

On the other hand, when I dared to zap a couple of screens at the ESPN Zone -- yes, I know, this was an irresponsible risk of life and limb -- I did hear a couple of miffed heys. But it had to be done -- all in the interest of social science, of course.
UGH. This man is walking around town, turning off TVs that people are watching. Oh, but it's for their own good.

Somebody please, please, punch this man in the face. I'm begging you.

Mayor for life

[Marion] Barry (D-Ward 8) said he wants to be called "Mayor-Councilman Barry." For convenience sake, people could shorten it to "mayor."
Wow, that is convenient!

Sadly, so is "Cokehead Barry."

A history lesson for FedEx and UPS

John Adams and Grover Cleveland were two different people.

Granted, they were both presidents in the 19th century. But still, really, almost 100 years apart. One had to deal with the French and Indians and whatnot, and the other had to deal with railroad robber barons, or something. (You can really tell that three out of my four parents are history professors.)

Even their names were different: ADAMS has five letters, and CLEVELAND has more than five. That's probably why, when whoever it was who laid out Arlington was naming streets, they figured that putting Adams St. a block away from Cleveland St. wouldn't seriously confuse anyone.

So, FedEx and UPS, I have a question: why have you each delivered packages addressed to me, who lives on Cleveland St., to an apartment building on Adams St.?

ME: Hi, I'm tracking a package that says it's been delivered, but I don't have it.
UPS: What's the tracking number?
ME: q84790547824275nuir20574890275420h5749-01jd90903692758h0vb2n57802314.
UPS: OK, I'm showing that was delivered to Adams St.
ME: I live on Cleveland St.
UPS: Oh yeah. Oooops.

They eventually retrieved and re-delivered the package, this time to me. And then, the exact same thing happened with FedEx:

ME: Hi, I'm tracking a package that says it's been delivered, but I don't have it.
FEDEX: What's the tracking number?
ME: 324j453920754890735027435-vn03295740235342570143124j321432143-214326547-65489764874365/2-6546354365436753l62^347543.
FEDEX: OK, I'm showing that was delivered to Adams St.
ME: I live on Cleveland St.
FEDEX: Oh yeah. I'll bet that's why you don't have it.


It's not like the two buildings even look alike; the Adams St. address is a nice modern high rise, with a convenience store and security guards. (I know this because I went over there trying to retrieve a package.) My building, in contrast, is a Civil War-era piece of crap, and instead of security or a front office of any kind, we have Tony the Disgruntled Landlord.

Tony's an interesting guy. He's a former cop, and works as the resident manager of our building. He's brusque and grouchy, goes hunting every weekend, and clearly would be more comfortable in a less urban setting, like, say, No-Darkies, W. Va. I had the following phone conversation with Tony after the first package went missing:

ME: Hi, this is James in apartment 2B.
TONY: Yeahp.
ME: I had a package that was supposed to be delivered to me, but the Internet says it was signed for by someone named "Chung." Is there anyone by that name in our building?
TONY: Well, I know there are some Orientals next door to you.
[EDITORS' NOTE: Their name isn't Chung. Not even close.]
ME: I already asked them, they don't have it. I was just wondering if you knew anyone named "Chung" who lives here.
TONY: Mmmm.
ME: Thanks, you've been a big help.

James vs. red America: always a good time.


So it's come to this

A fence will be erected between D.C. and Prince George's County. Coming soon: the Great Wall of Bethesda.

James shrugged

Who cares if we're the worst sports city? People need to find a better form of civic pride than routing for a bunch of overpaid steroid abusers.

-- Libertarian Girl, why.i.hate.dc comments section
Ugh. This has to be the absolute worst thing about Washington: libertarians are allowed to survive and even thrive like normal citizens, and nobody goes to the trouble of making them suffer public humiliation. (Sorry, Libertarian Girl; looks like you're this year's Lory Levitt.)

Seriously, there's nothing worse than libertarians. For those who are unfamiliar, they're kind of like communists in reverse; instead of worshipping the worker, they worship the CEO. Libertarians hate government involvement in our affairs, especially the spending any tax dollars. They think the free market should be allowed to solve everything without the oppressive yoke of government regulation. Because we all know how great corporations are at looking out for the public welfare.

Any inefficiency on the part of the government to protect or help its citizens is seen as a crime against humanity. If libertarians ran the show, all drugs would be legal and unregulated, and the resulting health problems would be seen as an unfortunate side effect. There would be no subsidized health care, welfare or social security of any kind. In their world, property is sacred; government is Satan; workers have no particular rights; the oppressed deserve their oppression. (Think I'm exaggerating that last bit? Just wait.)

Wait, did I say there's nothing worse than libertarians? There is one thing worse: young libertarians. Young libertarianism is what happens when spoiled rich kids grow up and decide the world should continue to spoil them. They've managed to come to the conclusion that the suffering of others is tolerable, and that the powerful have no particular responsibility to help those in need. It's elitism at its worst... which, of course, makes Washington like Libertarian Disneyland. Every time I go to a party or some kind of social event here, there's always at least one tool who describes himself as libertarian.

That brings us to D.C.'s own Libertarian Girl. (In the interest of social Darwinism, I did not fix the broken link she posted in her comment. That is left as an exercise for the reader.)

First of all, it should be illegal for libertarians to lecture anyone else on civic pride, since their whole reason for being is to completely eschew caring for one's neighbors in favor of unfettered greed. And secondly, the "steroid abusers" comment is interesting, considering that in a libertarian society, steroids would be legal and unregulated, and athletes would basically be encouraged to take them in order to score the biggest salary possible on the free market. (So, yes, the world would be just like Major League Baseball. Yecch.)

Then, I surfed over to her blog (after fixing the link in my browser). And then, there before me, lay... The Most Awful Post Ever.

American taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay for Tsunami relief. It's not our responsibility to help those who refuse to help themselves. The reason why the countries hurt by the tsunami are too poor to afford their own tsunami relief is because their governments are corrupt and they don't allow free markets to flourish and create wealth. Sri Lanka especially is considered one of the most corrupt governments in the world.
OH MY FUCKING GOD. What kind of person talks this way about disaster victims? Un-fucking-believable.

And yet, people allow her to just go on living, letting her walk right on down our taxpayer-funded sidewalks without administering any kind of beatdown or re-education. This needs to be corrected. Fortunately for our community, as a blogger and co-Person of the Year, I have decided that it is my civic duty to perform said re-education. So, grab an OSHA-approved chair, Libertarian Girl, and pay attention!

You are an awful person. In normal society, people care about whether other people live or die. When you don't care, that's called psychopathy. And, as a personal rule, I refuse to take the political ideas of psychopaths seriously.

I'm obviously no fan of Bush and his cadre of neocons, but even they (eventually, after some gentle prodding and name-calling) saw the need for $350 million in federal disaster relief. Yes, there will be some problems helping out. No, not all the aid will reach the intended victims. Doesn't matter; 150,000 people died. You do it anyway.

I haven't even gotten to the best part. Click on Libertarian Girl's profile, and you'll learn that... wait for it... yes... SHE WORKS FOR THE FUCKING GOVERNMENT. Little Miss Fuck-The-Man is employed by the very government she wishes to see all but dismantled. Her entire lifestyle is funded by taxpayer money.

Oh... my God. I have, like, a million questions. Does nobody take her to task for this? Is there a Nobel prize for hypocrisy? Could this happen anywhere on the planet besides D.C.?

Wow. That's it. It's over. I can't handle this. I will no longer talk to libertarians. Any of them. And let us never speak of this incident again, under penalty of torture.


Got a couple shots off before the buzzer

Looks like D.C. had a couple homicides come in under the gun on Dec. 31, bringing the 2004 total to a svelte 198.

That's not including the human skull discovered along a path in Georgetown. Ewww.

(Turn around... turn around... there's a human skull on the ground...)