Follow-up on My Previous Post

I'm feeling frisky today, so I thought I would continue my mockery of Laura Sessions Stepp. Stepp wrote that brilliant piece today on wingmen. Please scroll down a bit to see my long and hilarious take on her shoddy journalism.

Toby, a superior blogger and partner in crime, took the time to run Stepp through a Lexis-Nexis search. Here are her topics of choice:

July 8, 1999, A01, 2368 words:
"Parents Are Alarmed by an Unsettling New Fad in Middle Schools: OralSex"

January 18, 2001, C4, 1882 words
"Just Freakin' the Night Away"

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (To be fair, I actually enjoyed this article.)
May 7, 2006, D01, 2383 words
"Cupid's Broken Arrow; Performance Anxiety and Substance Abuse Figure Into the Increase in Reports of Impotence on Campus"

September 16, 2005, A07, 785 words
"Oral Sex Prevalent Among Teens;Majority of Those 15-19 Engage in Practice, U.S. Study Finds"

So, it turns out Laura Sessions Stepp is the worst kind of journalist: The Alarmist. Also, she is really interested in oral sex.

UPDATE: A reader informs me that I missed:

"Fast and Loose; It's the 'Player' Who Gets The Girl (Or Girls), and a Rep That's Good and Bad."


Most Asinine Article Ever

My favorite section of The Washington Post is the Style section. I know it's not hard news, but it's usually the only section I read cover to cover. So imagine my disappointment when today's Style section featured this gargantuan picture:


Oh my. Yes, The Washington Post, one of the premier newspapers the United States has to offer, has decided to devote a feature article on wingmen.

My first reaction was "Whaaa?" Sure, there was the Coors Light wingman commercial that everyone seemed to like. But didn't that come out, like, three years ago? Has there been a new development in wingman strategy? Why did the Post feel the need to devote precious copy space on this subject?

I was hoping that the article would be a sarcastic dismissal of college culture. It doesn't appear to be. It appears woefully serious. That being said, I think we can have some fun with this. The article is long, so I won't be copy and pasting the entire thing. Just some choice excerpts.

In the back of the club, on a bench built for two, a short college guy with a baby face is putting the moves on a miniskirted beauty whose shapely legs, crossed just so, rival Katie Couric's. The only thing between him and his destiny is her girlfriend, squished between the two of them, large lips in a pout...

And we're off! Solid opening paragraph. Katie Couric. Good work. Topical. Also, the girl with the pouty lips is later dismissed as someone who "wouldn't win any beauty contests." Good to know that we have a compassionate author on our hands.

...He's [the wingman's] like the fighter pilot flying beside and slightly behind the lead pilot in a hostile environment -- thus the term. You saw the prototype in the 1986 flick "Top Gun": Anthony Edwards's Goose (who was married!) to Tom Cruise's Maverick.

Moral of the story: wingmen are often killed when they eject themselves out of crashing fighter jets.

I also love the "(who was married!)" aside. All it does is show the limitations of the wingman metaphor. It's also amusing because it reads like Goose married Maverick, which would have been pretty sexy if you ask me.

"A mutual back-and-forth man love" is how Tony Moniello describes wingman camaraderie. Moniello, 22, and two buddies, Jay Jentz, 22, and Philipp Waclawiczek, 21, have been wingmanning for each other from the first week of freshman year at GW four years ago. They're sitting in Moniello's apartment, talking over plans for the party that night on U Street. Grey Goose, Southern Comfort and Everclear bottles line the bookshelves.

Jesus Christ, here we go. These three people are why girls would have to be retarded to go to places like Madhatter. Two of these three imbeciles are pictured on page C8 of the paper. You can almost smell their cologne and desperation.

Exams are over, graduation is approaching and each of them has several young women on his year-end wish list. (Some senior women, by the way, keep similar lists.) Once they start work in the real world, clubbing will become an occasional thing as opposed to a four-night-a-week addiction. They may actually have to ask women out on dates, take them to dinner. Wingman skills will still be needed, but not as often. Bummer.

God forbid you guys develop some maturity. Dating? Non-casual sex? Total bummer. And anyone who has a "clubbing addiction" deserves a debilitating stroke.

At college, a good wingman has been as important as a popped-collar shirt. This is a generation that, in large part, dismisses the idea of courtship. Many move fast through relationships: face-booking, instant-messaging, text-messaging...

Thank you, author (Laura Sessions Stepp), for describing my generation in such hilarious generalities. These are nothing but embarassing stereotypes. Not embarassing to me personally, but embarassing to the author for resorting to such bullshit.

I won't even address the popped collar simile. Suffice to say it makes me blind with rage.

...The wingman delivers the introduction, knowing that his job is to make his buddy look cool.

Good fucking luck.

"Hey, you only have a couple of minutes to make an impression," Moniello continues. "So if you have to save a baby seal from an oil spill in Alaska, you have to save a baby seal."

Jentz picks up: "Sometimes you're a lawyer. You may only have taken one law class, but what the heck? It adds flavor, gets people excited."...

"...The girl I'm after will say something like 'I hear he's a player' and he'll [the wingman'll] convince her I'm really in love with her."

No comment.

Well, one comment: This is sick. If I were the parent of one of these kids, I would hang myself. A parent's job is to give your child some sense of right and wrong. Some sense of decency. These parents failed. If I did this shit and it ended up in the Post, my mom would cry for days.

Jentz was Waclawiczek's wingman in just such a situation a few weeks ago. They were at a bar that was about to close. Waclawiczek decided to hit on a freshman and see if he could get her to go home with him. He did fine until it came to the going-home part, and then it became clear she wasn't leaving without her girlfriend. Jentz knew his role: Not only did he bring the girlfriend along, he also kept her occupied once they got to Waclawiczek's place. Both guys were happy at the end of the night.

Again, let me remind you, this is The Washington Fucking Post. How hook-up stories belong in this paper is beyond me.

Well done, guys. You lied your way into getting orgasms courtesy of naive freshmen. You deserve fucking medals.

...Lauren Faust, who is finishing up at GW this summer, agrees that on one level, women know when they're being scammed. "But in context it's harder to spot. I'm sure I've been wingmanned and not picked up on it. I can be completely self-absorbed."

DC college students are sometimes self-absorbed? Color me surprised! You don't have to be self-absorbed to fall for this shit; you merely have to be a total imbecile. Women who fall for lines about baby seals are the scum of the earth. These girls kind of deserve being nothing but a warm place for guys to come if they are impressed by Grey Goose, baby-seal rescue lies, and other such dastardly wingman tricks.

Ok, that's about it. The article ends, praise the Lord, with the boys going home empty-handed. This article left me with one unanswered question:


Worst article ever. I truly believe that someone at the Post needs to get fired for this. All it accomplished was making college students look like lecherous assholes.

And who wants to bet that Lauren Sessions Stepp is a Post intern from GW who considers this her big break? Well, it's not. It's a journalism abortion. Fuck you, Lauren Sessions Stepp. I hope you drop off the face of the Earth.

UPDATE: It turns out the author is middle-aged. Lauren Sessions Stepp is not an inexperienced writer. Just a condescending one.


Who's Excited to Be Back at Work!?

One thing I will not do is write a "New York is way better than DC" post. I just will not do that. Comparisons between the two cities are moot since the cities are radically different. New York has 16 times the population! The cities have different purposes, different wants, and different needs. Saying one is better than the other is like saying a six-course meal is better than a midnight snack.

That being said, yes, obviously, New York is a better city than Washington.

But I will not write about that! I'd rather focus on the Vamoose. The Vamoose is a cheap bus service. What makes it a cut above the rest of the DC-NY bus lines is its location of departure: Tenleytown! Catching a bus four blocks from your house is significantly more convenient than catching a bus in Chinatown or Union Station.

Unfortunately, next time I make a trip to NYC (granted, it could be a while), I will not be using the Vamoose. Taking this bus was a Hellish experience.

To wit: on the way up to the city, they played Shall We Dance. Hellish doesn't even begin to describe this film. Jennifer Lopez, Richard Gere, ball room dancing! How can this go wrong!?

The best part was when Richard Gere was meeting his overworked wife, played by an under-utilized Susan Sarandon, to share a romantic ballroom dance at her office. It was really quite the dramatic and totally unexpected plot twist. Kind of like the end of An Officer and a Gentleman but with more wrinkles.

Anyways, the entire dance is to the lamest song ever. I have taken the time to copy and paste all of the lyrics. Especially egregious lyrics are in boldface. Really, these lyrics are astonishingly bad.

The book of love is long and boring/No one can lift the damn thing/It's full of charts and facts and figures/ and instructions for dancing/But I/ I love it when you read to me/And you/You can read me anything/The book of love has music in it/In fact that's where music comes from/Some of it is just transcendental/Some of it is just really dumb/But I/I love it when you sing to me/And you/You can sing me anything/The book of love is long and boring/And written very long ago/It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes/And things we're all too young to know/But I/I love it when you give me things/And you/You ought to give me wedding rings/And I/I love it when you give me things/And you/You ought to give me wedding rings/And I/I love it when you give me things/And you/You ought to give me wedding rings/You ought to give me wedding rings.

The temptation to put the entire thing in boldface was almost overwhelming, but I needed to find a way to draw special attention to the brilliant line "Some of it is just really dumb." And who doesn't love it when people give me things!? ***

Ok, so, eff you Vamoose for making me watch that.

The ride up was mildly annoying due to the presence of a Jennifer Lopez movie. The ride back was what really drove me over the edge. First, the bus failed to show up on time. It also failed to be 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or even 59 minutes late. it didn't show up until a full 61 minutes after we were scheduled to leave. The first excuse was bad traffic. The second excuse was the bus's A/C didn't work. So, my friend and I had to stand around Penn Station for an hour twiddling our thumbs. It sucked, but it probably would have sucked less than being stuck in a bus with no A/C.

I was still in a pretty sour mood on the ride back to DC. This was exacerbated when (surprise, surprise) it became apparent that this bus didn't have a working A/C unit either. If you can imagine what it feels like to be stuck in a bus for four hours without a cracked window...take my word for it, it's horrible. Just as bad as I imagined.

So, no more Vamoose. You can't put a person through an hour delay and a non-air conditioned bus ride and expect to keep their business. From now on, Greyhound or bust.

*** UPDATE: Thanks to a reader who informed me that this is a Magnetic Fields song off of 69 Love Songs. I haven't really listened to that album but most of my friends seem to enjoy it. Apparently the song is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. Well, the Peter Gabrie cover used in Shall We Dance is definitely earnest. Which makes the whole ordeal even lamer.


I Hope You're All Enjoying Work, Suckers

That's right, I am enjoying a well deserved day off. A four day weekend! Later today I will be on a bus to New York City (or as Spencer of Goldenfiddle once called it, The City That Looks So Much Like a Flaccid Penis They Named it Twice). Three days and three nights of cleansing myself from Washington. There can't be a more appropriate way to celebrate Memorial Day than to walk over to the ruins of the Twin Towers and gawk at all of the fat, Midwestern atrocity tourists.

(My favorite Ground Zero moment was when this (fat, Midwestern) mother was screaming at her four year old kid. "Nothing is ever good enough for you, you spoiled brat!" Lady, give him a break. You took a toddler to a hole in the ground. He has no context of why there is a hole in the ground. How can you expect him to not be bored?)

Well, since I am not at work, I had a bit of a celebration last night. The Bud Ice was flowing freely. So, yeah, I was a little drunk. Walking home at 2am, I passed the worst thing you can look at when you're drunk...

Steak and Egg.

Oh, Steak and Egg. So cheap, so greasy. One meal sets your bowel movements back a week. What a horrible, horrible place. Yet, so tempting.

Well, and I am ashamed to admit this, I gave in. I ordered my Tennessee Scrambler and got a seat. I was awarded the opportunity to watch the order cooks in action. It was eye-opening to say the least.

Not one person there uses gloves. Not one. It's not like they avoid handling the food either. Cooks were picking up eggs with their bare hands and tossing them onto plates. It was a horror show. The coup de grace was when a cook, without gloves, picked up a pancake, dropped it onto some boxes, brushed it off, and threw the flapjack onto a plate. Within five minutes, it was hastily devoured by a customer.

I tell you this, when they started making my food, I was watching them like a hawk. I am proud to say that they did not touch my food. I ate about half of my eggs and left. I had lost my appetite.

How gross is that place? I know it's a diner and diners aren't highly regarded for being the most sterile environments, but what the Hell? No gloves? Dropped food? This can't be legal.

I am going to take this a step further than usual. Instead of acting like a whiny pussy and bitching and moaning about how I was wronged, I'm going to call the DC Department of Health and whine straight to them. Truth to power, man. That place needs to be shut down so that I'm never tempted to stumble in there again.

Incidentally, the DC Department of Health website isn't helping me out very much. Does anyone have any clue what number I call to complain about this? If someone is bored at work (ha, ha) and wants to take the time to find the number, that would be awesome.


Pet Peeve

I was running late for my scheduled visit to Toby* and Agatha's apartment for a few drinks and some serious Boy Meets World viewing (thank God for Tivo). I am waiting patiently in line at Rodman*s behind a woman with a sack of potatoes and 4 lemons. She'll be in and out.

Oh no she won't.

She was one of those people who had to pay for each item separately. First the lemons, then the potatoes. She paid for the latter with the change from the former so it isn't like she could use the excuse that her friend wanted potatoes and gave her a twenty dollar bill.

I was a cashier for three years. I know that these are the worst kind of customers. It took all of my self-restraint to prevent myself from rolling my eyes and sighing really loudly. After all, those people are the second worst kind of customers. (For the record, next on the line of asshole customers are the people who use a credit card to pay for an order that costs less than a dollar.)

I apologize for this not having any real connection to Washington's suckiness. And, in the big picture, I only lost a minute of my life. But, consider this post a public service announcement. If you're one of those people who insists on paying for each item separately, cut it out. You are annoying your fellow customers and the cashier. No one appreciates it.

*OK. The real reason I'm posting right now is to refute the story on Toby's blog. I do not in any way support how Topanga tricked Corey into marrying her. It was sexual blackmail and it's a horrible reason to get married.

How awesome is it when Topanga and Corey are having their first fight as a married couple and Corey screams "YOU BROKE MY SPIRIT"? It's THIS aswesome. I can not wait to use that on my future spouse.

At some point, I am going to write 4,000+ words on Boy Meets World. That will give the haters something to complain about.


This is Stupid and We Can Do Better

I've been following the great, big, exciting news that DC may actually get a vote in the House. At first glance I was pretty excited. Surely, one of the suckiest aspects of Washington is not having Legislative representation. Of course, this is all just too good to be true. Earning this vote would be an insult to American representative democracy.

First, the basics (and if you have been following this or bothered to read the Washington Post article I linked to, you can skip the next few paragraphs). After about hundreds of years of Congressional impotence, the House is close to voting on a bill that would give Washington a vote in the House of Representatives. In the past, Republicans had been wary about this since they appear to care about politics more than basic human rights. DC is about 90% Democrat and the Republicans don't feel like giving the opposition a vote is such a great idea. I find this to be spineless, but whatever.

So, for Washington to get a vote, people needed to find a way to placate the GOP. What better way to do that than to give a red state an extra vote? The legislation being considered by the House would do exactly that by giving Utah an extra Congressional vote. Utah is the perfect state for this since they've been owed an extra district for a while and they represent one of the reddest states in the country. Since Democrats are about as spineless as their counterparts across the isle, this Congressional seat will be an at-large vote. Dems are worried about the effect of an extra district on Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT). No one wants to see him gerrymandered into the unemployment line. Of course, an at-large seat in a state with a large population is totally unheard of.

Let me reiterate that I really, really, really want DC to have a vote in Congress. But this plan sucks balls for a variety of reasons:

1. By giving a vote to Utah, it makes it seem like letting DC have a vote in the House is a political issue. For the love of God, this is not a political issue. It's a human rights issue. We have American soldiers (now including my 50-year-old uncle) fighting for the voting rights of Iraqi and Afghan citizens. DC residents don't have those rights. That's something Americans should be ashamed of. It shouldn't matter if DC is 90% Democrat or 90% Republican or 90% Fascist/Commie/Libertarian/Any Other Evil Ideology*. We deserve that vote.

2. House votes don't really matter that much anyways. One DC vote in the House isn't going to suddenly make all of our lives better. This legislation will leave us without two Senators. The Senate is where all the big decisions are made. House members are a dime-a-dozen. If we ever want Senate representation, this bill can not pass. We can't give politicians the satisfaction of thinking that passing this legislation will mean that they've done enough for DC voting rights.

3. This throws centuries of Legislative precedent into the wind. If DC gets merely a house vote, what happens to the other American territories that don't have voting rights? Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands surely all deserve the same rights as DC. Will they get a vote?** Furthermore, providing a House vote without two voting Senators is ridiculous. It puts our entire bicameral Legislature out-of-whack. We can't go giving the House votes all willy-nilly.

4. Utah would be the only state with an at-large Representative where the population doesn't demand it. That may seem like a small point, but I think it's enormous. It would create a Super-Representative in Utah government. He (or she, but probably he) wouldn't be representing a group of people but rather an entire state. This is totally unheard of. It threatens the very foundation of what makes the House distinct from the Senate.

I think those are four pretty good reasons. And I've found the solution!

No, it isn't statehood. DC voters obliterated any shot at statehood in the next century by reelecting Marion Berry for mayor after his crack-cocaine conviction. Anyone holding out for statehood, don't hold your breath. It will never happen in our lifetimes.

Anyone holding out for an amendment that gives us a voting House member and two voting Senators, don't hold your breath either. That would take 75% of the United States' Legislatures approval to pass. I would bet that more than 25% of the states in our union would have a real problem giving voting rights to a majority-minority city. Sure, they let us vote for president, but that was B.M.B. (Before Marion Berry).

My totally awesome solution: Absorb DC into Maryland. We'd get our own Representative due to Maryland's 500,000+ population boost! We'd have our own two Senators! We could still have a City Council, a mayor, and a voice in the Maryland Legislature. Republicans are more likely to accept this plan since Maryland is already solidly blue. I just don't see a downside here. It's pragmatic and it allows DC residents to get the representation we deserve.

I understand that some will mourn the loss of DC's city-state status. But I think that since we've had home rule, DC politicians have proven that they do not have the ability to take care of a city's budget, infrastructure, or educational system. Let's hand over the reins to someone else, someone who knows what they're doing, and enjoy having a vote that matters on Election Day.

* Just kidding, Libertarians and Communists. I know that Fascists are worse than you guys.
** For what's it worth, I think the best solution to that problem is gradually granting these territories independence. Key word is "gradually." We all know what can happen when a imperialist country totally abandons their colonies. (Hint: Africa.)


Guest Blogger!

I am feeling lazy and unproductive when it comes to this blog. Also, I'm still kind of swamped at the office, so the time I usually take to brainstorm is now being dedicated to the filing arts. That's hardly fair to my dozens of readers, so I have recruited a friend (and former editor) of mine to rant about DC for 500 words. She gave me 462. A newspaper editor should know better than that.

Her name is Jen Turner (scroll down to the bottom) and she is a far better writer than me. She also has more downtown experience, so I invited her to write about Chinatown. Here she goes:

R[usty] asked this to be funny but it's actually just sort of bitter.

D.C.'s Chinatown is probably one of the more obvious reasons why this city is such a shit sandwich. Anyone who has been to San Francisco's, New York's, or hell, even London's would stand on the corner of 7th and H and curse whatever government charter decided to plop a Chinatown down right there.*

Chinatowns are notoriously grimy but nonetheless charming. Those familiar with the ubiquitous bus systems that affordably connects major East Coast cities know that all too well. Emerging from some bus shared with an old man spitting into a plastic Safeway bag and a woman with a chicken in a cage onto East Broadway at 7:30 in the morning is an experience all should have. Even the Chinatown in Portland, Oregon features a restaurant called Hung Far Low and a dozen seedy drag bars. There are oddities to be discovered and it sort of feels like a foreign country, which I guess can be refreshing when one stops to think about this one for too long.

Yet in D.C., what can our Chinatown boast? Ann Taylor Loft. Legal Seafood. Ruby Tuesdays. Urban Outfitters. Fado. Chipotle. Aveda. The MCI/Verizon/whatever Center and a motherfucking Fuddruckers. All with classy, brushed metal Chinese characters fixed above the signs and centered conveniently around that garish gate. I worked at NPR Headquarters for a while, located mere blocks from this hub of misplaced commercialism, and every day I noticed that the one thing people would take a picture of before sneaking back into the Metro with a couple of Urban Outfitters bags in tow was that technicolor, oh-so-ethnic gate. One gate does not a Chinatown make.

The final straw occurred while I walked to work one sunny afternoon a couple months ago. I actually could not believe this happened. This couple approached me and told me they were doing a tour of the nation's Chinatowns and had just arrived in D.C. -- seeing as how this is our nation's capital, surely we'd have some real treasures hidden in this 5-block radius, right? I pointed down 6th street at the row of about 10 moderate-to-expensive Chinese restaurants, none truly bearing that hole-in-the-wall charm. They asked if there were any Chinese shops to check out. I mentioned the Ruby Tuesday and Quizno's.** Oh man, they were so disappointed!

Love always,

*I don't actually know if a government charter created Chinatown so chill out, nerd. It would sort of be fitting though, don't you think?

** I also realize this was unnecessarily brutal, as there are actually one or two places to buy those Mary Jane shoes and weird candy along H street but I can't resist squashing the hopes of others, y'know?

Thanks, Jen!


Why Pay $13 To Be a Jerk?

Sorry for not updating. I made a deal with myself that unless something really annoyed me, I wouldn't mention it. I figure that my good posts are the ones where I was legitimately pissed off. I would hate to waste your time writing about mere annoyances.

Well, here I am, three days later, with nothing to write about. So, I offer you this story from the Pretty Girls Make Graves/Giant Drag show.

I was there to see Giant Drag. What can I say, they are one of my favorites. So, anyhoo, I was really excited to see them up close at the Black Cat. The only other time I saw them was from wayyyyyy far away in the 9:30 Club balcony.

Fuck that. I wanted to be up close.

Well, Giant Drag, who is fronted by this super-skinny woman, Annie Hardy, walks on stage. And some hipster girl behind me is all, like, "Eat something!" The singer took it well by mentioning her fast metabolism, but, WTF!?

I understand that this was the opening band. That means that there was a super-likely chance that this heckler was there to see Pretty Girls Make Graves. But, why would you do that? Yelling at someone who doesn't have the right image? That's such a hyper-pretentious New York thing to do. Shame on her.

I do kind of agree with the sentiment. I mean, the singer was totally skinny. If I knew her in "real life," I would probably tell her to gain some pounds. But what does heckling her accomplish? Who are other people to judge what this woman looks like?

Anyways, Giant Drag kicked ass, Pretty Girls Make Graves was very good, and the Black Cat continued to not demand $6 for a 12oz beer like the awful 9:30 Club. A pox on the 9:30 Club!

So, all around, good show. I certainly hope that the next awesome show I go to doesn't involve hipsters from the peanut gallery telling people if they're too skinny (or too fat). That's pretty unacceptable behavior...

Unless Nicole Ritchie starts touring. Damn, Girl, she needs to gain some weight!


DC's Baptism By Fire

With the 2006 Washington mayoral race coming up, The Washington Post has taken the time to profile the five major candidates. (Yes, I know this came out in February, but I just noticed it yesterday.) Right now, by the way, I'm leaning Cropp. Though I have been hearing excellent things about Johns.

The profiles are pretty standard and apolitical. Instead of asking what they think of creeping gentrification, parking issues, or the baseball deal/sham, the Post asks questions like "What's your favorite book?" I find these little "get to know your candidate" questionnaires to be totally useless, but let's work with what we've got.

By the far the best question on whatever form all these candidates filled out is "Crime victim?" Every single person running for office has been burglarized or had their car stolen. What a city!

I wonder what would happen if someone had answered, "Though I am acutely aware of the criminal elements of Washington, I have not personally been the victim of any crime." Would an answer like that be used against the candidate? Would it hurt them politically? Is that what happens when the crime victims outnumber the non-victims?

I'm just stunned that five well-off and well-connected individuals can all be victims of crime. Five is obviously a small sample size, but the 100% crime victim rate presented here is out of control. I just don't see how someone can defend this city as a good place to live when crime is this much of a problem. And don't tell me that it's the price to pay for urban living. My friends in Boston and New York all seem to be doing a pretty good job of not having their car stolen.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I personally have not been victimized in DC. However, my office building keeps getting broken into, so it's not like my stuff isn't at risk.)

To Washington's credit, crime is decreasing (and being pushed into Prince George's County). And, I'll admit, city crime is inevitable. It happens. It's when it happens to almost everybody that people should take notice. Can you imagine a presidential election where all four or five major candidates have been mugged?


How Rude!

I took a late lunch today at the Farragut North food court. On my walk home from my Orange Chicken feast, I encountered a homeless man. It's Washington, so I'm used to it.

The homeless man asks the guy walking in front of me for change. To my absolute shock, the man's response was, "Don't worry. The guy behind me will take care of you."


I gave the homeless guy all of my change. A whopping quarter. No big loss, and I am sure he'll find a better use for it than I would have. But, Jesus Christ. I am a 23-year-old in a wrinkled shirt and a baseball cap. You are an older man wearing a spiffy suit in the business district of Washington. You have more money than me! Do not volunteer my money to homeless people. Thanks.


I Have Let This Charade Go On Long Enough

I just read a comment in my last post. You know, the Nickelback post. It's from a fellow named Earl. Here it is, in its entirety:

Rather than worrying about what row he can get at a concert, maybe Rusty should reflect on the central topic of this blog and how completely unrelated his latest posting is.Let's change the blog to "why.i.am.rusty.the.retard"

Another comment read thusly:

Please tell me you're joking. Your satire wasn't strong enough.

Please let me respond to both charges.

First, the central topic of this blog is hating DC. Here's how Nickelback relates to DC. Nickelback is playing the Merriweather Post Pavilion. My celebration of that is just loaded with sarcasm. The joke being that DC-area summer concerts suck. Don't believe me? Check out the concert schedule at Merriweather and Nissan and Wolf Trap. Not a good show to be had. (Except for the Journey/Def Leppard concert and the Fiona Apple concert; both of which are going to rule. No sarcasm intended there. Seriously. I already have Fiona tickets.) So, in pretending to be excited about Nickelback, I was hoping to convey how terrible all the other shows were.

So, in regards to the central topic of the blog:

Q: Rusty, why do you hate DC?
A: I hate DC because the best concert our summer venues can offer is fucking Nickelback.

The joke fails when people take my pro-Nickelback post seriously. I accept fault and responsibility. I tried writing about Nickelback as earnestly as possible. I just assumed that no one proclaiming to love Nickelback could be taken seriously. To hedge my bets, I added that last sentence at the last second. I mean, "rocking Canadian quartet"? No one has ever meant the phrase "rocking Canadian quartet" to be taken seriously in the history of the English language.

So, it wasn't that the satire was too weak. The sarcasm was just too strong. My mistake.

And I am borderline horrified that people might actually think I like Nickelback. Since writing here, I have been bothered by two criticisms in the comments. I have been accused of having an anti-Semitic tone and of liking Nickelback. I take the latter far more seriously. Nickelback sucks.


Incidentally, I Also Had Difficulties "Cutting It" as a Poor Man Stealing

Awwwwwww, yeah. Merriweather Post Pavilion. July 26. Say it with me, folks...



The only question is this: Should I get lawn seats or should I spend the extra money to be that much closer to this rocking Canadian quartet?


INS1PID: WaPo Edition (and Other Notes)

1. I totally wrote about this, like, a whopping five days ago. Indeed, those wacky Virginians sure love those wacky license plates. License plates serving as both car identification and as a shout-out to your favorite Phish song? You don't say? I kind of want to get a vanity plate so I can be just like them.

Other ways to be like a legitimate Virginian:

a. Hate gay people. Money quote:

The General Assembly further recognizes that both the United States Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. ___, 123 S. Ct. 2472, (2003), and the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Goodrich v. Department of Health, SJC 08860, March 4, 2003-November 18, 2003, failed to consider the beneficial health effects of heterosexual marriage, as contrasted to the life-shortening and health compromising consequences of homosexual behavior, and this to the detriment of all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or inclination.

b. Hate black people. I think Virginia has that one taken care of. I mean, they keep electing a guy who had a Confederate flag and a hangman's noose in his office. I don't care how many apologetic resolutions he's passed regarding lynching, anyone who defends the Confederate flag is a racist in my book.

God, I hate Virginia and most Virginians. It's kind of unfair that Northern Virginians are more likely to read this than their Southwestern counterparts. I know it's not your fault, Northern Virginians.

Vanity plates and Phish are both lame though.

2. Speaking of lynching, I was ecstatic that Wonkette took aim at Richard Cohen's agonizing editorial regarding the "Digital Lynch Mob" of angry liberals. They did it better than I ever could. Which I guess is why they're actually paid to blog.

By the way, my hatred of Richard Cohen has nothing to do with any liberal bias. Hell, my favorite Post columnist is Charles Krauthammer. He's as conservative as they come. The problem with Richard Cohen is that he serves no purpose. He isn't funny. He doesn't represent a political viewpoint. He isn't a particularly great writer. He just sounds like a curmudgeon. He somehow became the poor man's Dana Milbank.

3. How fucked up was that Blogspot crash? Sorry if you couldn't get to this or the many other Blogspot blogs that are superior to this one.

4. New e-mail address! I changed the link on the homepage, but in case you have me in your address book or something, here's the new contact info: whyihatedc@gmail.com.

Original, eh? I have no idea why anyone would choose to Yahoo Mail. It's terrible.


Five-O Said "Freeze!" and I Got Numb

I've been criticized earlier in the comments for having a "hard-on" for Massachusetts. This is a legitimate criticism. I am constantly guilty of romanticizing my home commonwealth. So, to counter-balance that totally fair complaint, I offer something that is far better in DC than in MA: Cops.

It's true! Police officers in DC have never been anything but kind to me. Cops up in Cape Cod are nothing but trouble. They will pull over anyone who is under 25 or has out-of-state plates. They're vicious and they will get you. They are predators. When I was 17, I got pulled over and had my car impounded for being a designated driver! How does that happen!?! I understand the curfew laws and all, but, I was preventing drunken driving. Come on cops, throw me a bone. Ugh. If only I was Kennedy.

If anyone reading this is planning on spending some time on the Cape, watch out. Especially Dennis and Chatham cops. They're the worst. And never forget that they are targeting you.

But in DC, no problems. I'm sure individuals have their horror stories. It's a big city and bad things happen. I'm only dealing with personal experience, which is fairly limited. But, even in the "bad" parts of DC, the cops have been nothing but helpful to me.

So, the cops here are great. Of course, there's a problem. There's always a problem. While the police have never given me a hard time, I've had to deal with them an awful lot. The problem isn't the police, it's the people calling the police. People here will call the cops at the mere sight of a keg.

Last Saturday I hosted a BBQ. I am a wonderful neighbor and a generally friendly dude, so no one had a problem with our reverie. The party was a total success. Hurray! (Props to my roommates as well. You know, for doing all the planning and stuff.)

A couple of doors down, there was a rival event. AU field hockey girls. Someone called the cops on them. At 8:30pm on a Saturday night. Granted, they were a little louder than us. And instead of the hipster music coming from our speakers, they were playing Kelly Clarkson. I know she's America's Sweetheart and all, but that's kind of asking for it. Still, 8:30pm. On a weekend. To put that in perspective, that's not even halfway through Snick. "Honey, call the cops! Those damned kids are interrupting Roundhouse again!"

(Full SNICK disclosure: I totally cried when I saw series finale of Clarissa Explains It All. I know! LAME! I caught it on late-night reruns when I was a senior in high school. What can I say, THE PRESSURES OF GOING TO COLLEGE AND MAKING NEW FRIENDS WERE VERY SCARY AND REAL FOR ME. Leave me alone!)

(Also, I wonder what Sam is doing right now. I hope it involves ladders.)

The number of times that I've been to a party interrupted by the police are countless. Almost every single time, there was no warning from neighbors. No courtesy call to keep it down. Just an immediate call to the local fuzz. It's an interesting combination of rudeness and cowardice.

The police are always cool about it, telling us to break it up and file out quietly. I get the feeling that there are other things they'd rather be doing than dealing with rowdy young adults. I thank them for their patience and understanding. If only the neighbors with the quick trigger-fingers would extend us the same courtesies.


INS1PID: Genitalia Edition

Obviously, anyone who buys a Hummer has a very small penis. You'd think that with a small penis, you would deflect any and all attention paid to the aforementioned body part. So, why would someone put a license plate that does the exact opposite? A license plate that actually makes you think about their small cock?

Why would a Hummer driver choose "HUMONIT" as their license plate?

I am amazed that Virginia allowed such a ribald plate. I mean, blowjobs are called "hummers" for a reason. Because someone is humming on a penis. A penis referred to as "it" here because penis is a funny/dirty word that wouldn't get past the Virginia DMV. "It" is code for penis. Get it?

What a fucking tool. I am amazed that someone actually turned their pick-up line at Madhatter's into their car's identification.

P.S. penispenispenispenispenispenispenis

Zacarias Moussaoui Gets Life

Well, my earlier prediction was wrong and I couldn't be happier about it. My favorite quote comes courtesy of Peggy Noonan. Noonan really wanted Moussaoui to fry. Anyways, check this baby out:

How removed from our base passions we've become.

Yes, Peggy. That's the point of a trial. To not let base passions have an impact on the result. You fucking idiot.

And, for fun, here's a bunch of reactions from conservatives. A lot of the pro-death penalty arguments are relatively reasonable (well, for conservatives anyways). Then there's this:

Raped first, multiple times, I'm hoping. Not a joke. I do in fact wish him to be gang raped, and then, at some later point, murdered.

Oh, you conservatives are so cute when you're angry.


A Final Verdict on the New Metro Voice

So, I finally heard the new Metro chimes. I know I'm the last one.

Final verdict: Ehhhh.

I don't really like the "boop" sounds because my brain isn't used to them yet. And the new voice seems weirdly human. I keep looking over my shoulder expecting a stern woman telling me to "stand back" since the doors are about to close. But, overall, hearing the new "door closing" announcement filled me with a profound sense of "whatever." I know I'll get used to it.

Also of note: It's been three straight weekdays with a Red Line Metro delay. Metro is so incompetent that I now have to set my alarm clock 10 minutes earlier just in case the trains switch to one track.

If the Metro messes up again tomorrow, they can expect a strongly worded letter.

That'll show 'em.


Question: What's More Depressing Than a Blogger Trying to Make It Big?

Answer: Someone putting their political commentary up on YouTube in hopes of becoming as popular as Wonkette.

Dethroning Wonkette is a pretty lofty goal. Let's go to the numbers. Wonkette averages 2,907 hits an hour. That's damned impressive. Terry Turner, on the other hand, averages 35-120 hits per week. Well, to be fair, Wonkette posts 97 times a week (according to their Kinja card) and Turner is putting up a weekly video. So Wonkette averages 5,034 hits per post while Turner stands at about 77.5 hits per post. So, Wonkette is 65 times more popular than Terry Turner. That seems like an uphill battle, Mr. Turner. Perhaps you should aim a bit lower and not sound like a total jackass.

(Wonkette numbers courtesy of their Site Meter link. Terry Turner's YouTube numbers courtesy of The Washington Post. It should also be noted that, using my methodology, Wonkette is only five times more popular than why.i.hate.dc. That is obviously inaccurate since Wonkette is a very big deal and I am, um, not. SO, my methodology is probably totally misleading. But not on purpose.)

And, here's the kicker, he's calling these YouTube things "vodcasts." That's just sickening. I wish the Internet would stop forcing people to invent retarded words.

One of the things that drives me crazy about Washington is the attitude that people assume that other people should care about what they think. As if there is a shortage of opinions in this particular city. Sorry, Mr. Turner, but I don't think people give a shit. If I don't care what Pat Buchanan or Richard Cohen think, you clearly don't stand a chance.

By the way, I admit that we're all a little bit guilty of this. Hell, I'm giving you my opinion right now. I would hate to imply that Terry Turner's opinions should be immediately dismissed while my opinions are as airtight as the Word of God. Both Turner and I are just dudes writing what we think.

Of course, there's a fine line between posting your opinions just for the Hell of it and posting your opinions to be famous. Turner appears to be guilty of the latter.

And you know what, that isn't a fine line. It's a fucking chasm.