Big Scoop

I wanted to write about this article on Friday, but The New York Times had to go and publish that ridiculous "36 Hours" piece. It's so much easier to make fun of a bad article than a pointless one. But let's give the pointless article its fair due.

Every Thursday evening I hunker down with the newest edition of the Washington City Paper. I usually skip right to the consistently excellent "Loose Lips," and then focus on the long feature article. The feature article is usually centered around local politics or human interest stories. But what happens when a story is neither political nor interesting?

Answer: You end up with "Exit From Eden."

The Washington City Paper has broken the big news that people don't always want to follow in their parents' footsteps. Stop the presses!

Lo-Ann Lai's parents own a Vietnamese restaurant in Falls Church. But she wants to be a hairdresser. How can this conflict be resolved!?

Usually, when I make fun of newspaper articles, I copy-and-paste a paragraph and follow that with my hilarious commentary. These posts tend to be my most popular, probably because it's a really easy way to be funny while staying relatively on topic. It's idiot proof. But I'm not going to do that here. It would be too draining. It's a long article.

Instead, just read every paragraph and say to yourself, "Who gives a shit?" This is not news. It's not interesting. The topic is unexciting and, frankly, old hat. What a waste of time. The City Paper should stick to its strengths: attacking The Washington Times and printing restaurant reviews.

Post Script: Vietnamese food sucks.


  1. "I copy-and-paste a paragraph and follow that with my hilarious commentary". Yeah. Your so funny. Amuse yourself quite often eh?

    So why not just change blogs name to "20-30 year old makes fun of newspapers". Jeez you suck.

    Go [get ready for politically incorrect name] REDSKINS!!!!

  2. Jesus of AustinAugust 29, 2006

    I feel the same way. My parents collect cans on the Interstate and I feel that I should continue with my education, Rusty.

    And fuck the Redskins.

  3. Krystal KlownAugust 29, 2006

    Hey, don't knock it. Howard Kurtz is making a bit of a career for himself by being parsnickety as the media crtic for the Post (I think?)....

    Perhaps the mitzfah (sic) will be the only bar Rusty will pass!

  4. Redskins HaterAugust 29, 2006

    Anyone concerned with the Washington Redskins' upcoming season has nothing better to do and is a complete loser-moron-type person w/ no brain with, instead, a pool of feces inside of their cranium that is slowly leaching out of their ears....

    Um, are any of you morons familiar with baseball--the real American pastime? The thinking man's game? N-gga, please!

  5. Redskins HaterAugust 29, 2006

    September has arrived. I don't know how you people can focus on football at a time like this.

  6. If you think that's pathetic news, look at the Washington Post article my friend emailed me today...

    Do You See What They See?

    "We asked several local TV weather forecasters to set aside their meteorological training and tell us what shapes they see in these three cloud images."

    Well, THANK YOU Washington Post for your clever insight on this bright, sunny morning!

    -Kevin [In The City]
    See what all the effing fuss is about!

  7. Rusty-
    Gotta say, your posts are getting consistently better and funnier these days. The last half-dozen or so have been excellent.
    I try not to be one of the blah, blah, whine, where's James F. losers, because I think you can do what you want with your blog, but secretly I sometimes miss James F.
    Lately, though, not at all. Yer hittin' yer stride, kid.

  8. THE REAL Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)August 29, 2006

    I concur. Randy, you're doing swell. vietnamese food does not suck though. Sorry.

  9. Vietnamese food gets no respect. Screw Thai cuisine with their silly coconut and peanut sauces that everyone gets off on these days. Vietnamese food RULES.

  10. the real krystal koons (aka the pimp daddy)August 29, 2006

    But then again, what the hell do I know? I'm gay.

  11. "Vietnamese food sucks" = racist

  12. Shepherd's pie and a guiness just hits the spot sometimes, eh randy?

  13. I love shephard's pie and Guinness, so, yes.

  14. Yeah, me too.

  15. THE REAL Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)August 29, 2006

    Rusty, I'm afraid I will have to depart from your trusted blog as some dicknose insists of using my name to make posts. I thought two weeks away would have given the shitkicker cause to cease his mockings but alas it has not. To thee then i bid adieu. To the impersonator, i say fuck yourself.

  16. Switch names. Or maybe we can have a secret code so I know it's really you...

  17. the real krystal koons (aka the pimp daddy)August 29, 2006

    A secret code? How delicious! (Sort of like gaydar.)

  18. Vietnamese food sucks? Oh Rusty, but what about pho??

  19. Jesus of AustinAugust 29, 2006

    Their p_ssy tastes good.

  20. Wow, and right here we have an example of what *I* hate about blogging: The proliferation of idiotic, cynical, "where's the beef" criticism that manages to overlook the entire point. Are you mad that nothing bled or exploded in the story? Too bad the hairdresser didn't turn into a giant bat at the end -- now THAT would have been worth writing about.

    Sure, that people don't always want to follow in their parents' footsteps is not news. Neither is the general idea that politicians are corrupt, disasters happen, and people die. Why do such things make the papers, then? Gee, could it be because the details of the story are different every time? Could it be that LoAnn Lai's story is not like that of any other person who doesn't want to turn into her parents?

    I thought that "Exit to Eden" and Huan Hsu's recent piece on the pickpocket cop were two of the better and more writerly pieces I've read in CP recently. Both were concerned with telling in-depth stories about real people than blindly sarcastically schnarking on about why everything/everyone sucks. Obviously your taste runs to the latter kind of writing -- hence, the entire point of your blog, I guess. Here's a tip: For ground-breaking news, check out the Weekly World News! (I hear they found Satan's Burial Ground last week.)

    And as if the rest of your post wasn't dumb enough, the "Vietnamese food sucks" line really took it to the Beavis zone. Congratulations for being not only obtuse, but insular! I will watch your blog for reruns of the Pulitzer-prize winning story "Me Chinese/me make joke/Me make pee pee in your Coke."

  21. Pussy EnthusiastAugust 29, 2006

    Christ, someone's on the rag!

    No, just kidding. Good, intelligent points. You know, it's not a bad thing entirely to weave an interesting story that otherwise has no point. If you enjoyed reading about someone else's life, than that's pretty darned okay.

    I read too many serious scientific and literary journals to waste any time on the City Paper but, from the perspective of a "Master of Journalism," I'd have to give mad props.

  22. I've had my problems with various commenters on this site, but Cheguava takes the cake. He/she went as far as to equate my hatred for Vietnamese food with a ridiculous racist joke.

    Che, you are an idiot if you enjoyed that article. "Idiot" might be too harsh, but you're certainly easily amused.

    Honestly, what did you see in that article that hadn't been covered a million times before?

  23. Please, Rusty, refer me to the recent article that deals with the generational conflicts of Vietnamese immigrants in the D.C. restaurant scene, that really gets at the conflicts and tensions that exist in that community. I would love to see it.

    God knows, of all the things to dislike about D.C., an article that humanizes immigrants and makes them into more than the faceless people who serve Rusty (well, not Rusty -- he hates Vietnamese food) their supper should top the list.

    I'll wait for the referral. But in the meantime, I'll get back to hatin' on D.C., cause god knows it's more fun and easier to schnark than it is to consider, appreciate, and actually think about the experiences of other human beings -- who after all, are not news. Unless they're politicians. Or Paris Hilton. Or other people we can sneer at.

  24. AngryDCF#@kAugust 30, 2006


    Che got you good.

    So I'm going to pile on.

    I will be one of the blah blah whine whine where has James gone folks, because you have continued to lower the bar with every passing day of your supervision of this blog.

    You blow and you are not funny.

    Someone please take over this blog, please.

    I'll raise money.


  25. "Honestly, what did you see in that article that hadn't been covered a million times before?"

    And yet with your weekly complaints about the metro, it's always new, fresh, and none of us have ever experienced the same thing a million times beofre. Yes.

    Rusty, you are an ignorant tard.

  26. James-lovers have had every opportunity to jump ship and find other blogs to enjoy.

    Che, the reason that politicans are in the news is because they have the power to greatly affect our life and, as voters, we are their bosses and have the right to know what they're up to. On the other hand, this Vietnamese family has nothing to do with my life, or the lives of anyone around me. A daughter wants to become a hairstylist? Whoop-de-fucking-doo.

    I'm not even mocking the Vietnamese family. Good for them for making it in America. Seriously. I'm mocking the WCP for thinking I should give a shit.

  27. As for "Rantings of a Liberal," did you even read James F.? I mean, the scores of posts about gay marriage and why the war was wrong and why Republican politicians and pundits were hypocrites? Did you really miss all of those?

  28. Krystal BallAugust 30, 2006

    It amuses me greatly that someone thinks Rusty is too conservative.

    By the way, speaking of the Metro, what I hate are crappy old men in their 50s who get territorial and think they're still manly men and look at young women and check to see if their thinning hair is still there. God, I hate crappy old men. Why can't all people over 50 just retire and move to some different state and stop riding those $6,000 funky bicycles on the recreational path and stop running me over w/ their new volvos inside of cross walks.


    Motherfucker's going to whack me w/ his briefcase on the way out the door for good measure. Crappy old people.

  29. Crappy Old ManAugust 30, 2006

    I think we're all just getting a little tired of the American dream story. Where's the story in the City Paper on the need to secure the borders?

  30. and another thing about old people is that they're ugly... and they smell.

  31. Thanks for pointing out the bleeding obvious about why politicians are in the news. And thanks, also, for clarifying what I forgot: That the WCP should constantly seek to appeal to the Rusty Demographic -- an enormous untapped market of one -- rather than catering to the somewhat larger market of readers who are actually interested in other people's experiences.

    Hell, 90% of what I read is about people I'll probably never meet, places I'll probably never visit, and experiences I'll probably never have. I've just realized how many wasted hours all those books, studies, magazines, and newspapers add up to: Why have I bothered, since they don't directly affect meeeeeeee?

  32. Jesus of AustinAugust 30, 2006

    Curious. What do you do for a living? Are you a journalist? Writer? Non-profit person?

  33. Hey, Cheech. I think you mistook this for a serious blog. I know so many people who just kind of lurk on this blog just to read the funny comments from the James People.

  34. Che, it's not like I have anything against human interest or "slice of life" stories. The WCP had an article on a high school robotics team that I thought was excellent.

    I am interested in other people's experiences, assuming the experiences are even the slightest bit captivating. It helps if it's not the same story I've heard a thousand times before.

    You're really defending thhe Hell out of this junk? Did you write it?

  35. Jesus of AustinAugust 30, 2006

    That's what I was getting at. I think she was the writer.

    Here's my editorial meeting pitch: a story about a young white man in his mid-twenties who lives the American dream, surpassing his parents, who were lowly project managers.

    Where he shops. His likes/dislikes. What's on his Ipod.

    A real slice of life story. :)

  36. BTW, since T_S_S admitted to being a troll, he is getting the Formerly treatment. I'm deleting all of his comments (even the incredibly rare pro-Rusty ones).

  37. I am a very angry mime. Silent ranting on the 'net is the only way I can express myself without breaking character. I enjoy full-contact origami. And pina coladas. And getting caught in the rain.

    But I have nothing to do with WCP aside from being a regular reader. As for the rest, though, J of A has me pegged -- I am a nonprofitjournalistwriter, a species as common as subway rats in this city, and about as useful as mimes. And as a member of that species, it annoys the shit out of me when I see the solipsistic drivel of someone who assumes that because he wasn't curious enough to be interested in a particular story, that means it was a bad/pointless story. For every Rusty out there who hates Vietnamese food and doesn't give a crap about the travails of this particular family, there's a Trang, Diep, or Hyung who probably found it compelling.

    Heck, I found it interesting and I'm far from Vietnamese (Pakistani, actually. But that's what you get when your borders aren't secured.)

  38. Yeah, we need to tighten those borders up before we get more angry mimes blowing up our subway stations.

    I recognized you as a fellow rat because I used to be one in a former career. Now, I can afford to subscribe to better-written journals and magazines and don't have to pick up the freebies that have the "missed connections" column as their star attraction.

    I'm just playing. All good points. Since I don't really have the money to travle to foreign lands, D.C. has become the next best thing.

  39. As a touchy feely social science type (also a dime a dozen in this city), I sympathize with what you say cheguava, but I think you're being too hard on Rusty. I don't think his dislike of Vietnamese food is related to his disinterest in the article. He was simply pointing out that the article was yet another cliched human interest piece, and I think it's going overboard to accuse him of attempting to further marginalize the already faceless immigrant masses that keep our city and our country running. In other words, chill out. I'm a minority and I thought the story was boring too.

  40. That's cool if Trang and Diep liked the article. But the paper is directed towards Washingtonians, not Vietnamese Washingtonians.

    And it wouldn't matter if the story revolved around Irish immigrants, Pakistani immigrants or even Cape Codders....it was not an interesting story.

  41. Jesus of AustinAugust 30, 2006

    Randy calls a spade a spade.

  42. Suggestion: someone should start a monthly publication, written in English, that covers life for D.C.-area immigrants (rather than just "Spanish" immigrants).

    You could be the editor and have three features per issue about the lives of people who are immigrants. This will be of tremendous interest to other people who are also immigrants.

  43. thought experiment:

    I'm a white man living in pakistan, working as a project manager and dating a pakastani girl. What obstacles do i face? Is anyone there interested in my story? Do i face descrimination?

    Oh, wait a minute. Most countries ARE zenophobic and DON'T have sizeable populations of white people.

  44. why.i.hate.cape.codAugust 30, 2006

    Hong Que is one of the best restaurants in the region. The food is fantastic. You're a provincial, close-minded idiot, Rusty.

  45. I think we've been over this. Just because you don't appreciate maple syrup doesn't mean that you're provincial or you hate French-Canadians (annoying as they may be).

    Btw, most Vietnamese people are "provincial." Not everyone can afford to live the kind of cosmopolitan lifestyle you're talking about!

  46. God bless Asian hookers.

  47. hahaha,

    I'm so uncosmopolitan I once ordered a poonami sandwhich at a resturant!

    And they do taste good.

  48. It's a pinini!

  49. You know how I know Rusty is gay? He reads the City Paper for the restaurant reviews.

  50. Krystal BallAugust 30, 2006

    Cal, you make a good point. I can't believe some people think this guy is provincial and conservative.

  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  52. Reading the City Paper for restaurant reviews means you're gay? How am I going to explain this to my wife?

  53. this_feceshole_sucksAugust 30, 2006

    Rusty, are you going to delete every post by someone who claims to be this shithole sucks?

  54. Krystal Koons (a.K.A. Pimp Daddy)August 30, 2006

    Hill Rat, she already knows....

  55. Hmmm, that's interesting. My comment was deleted but there's not even a marker to indicate anything was deleted. What a gyp.

  56. I'm not Chinese, but I'd still make peepee in cheguava's Coke.

  57. krystalkoons (a.k.a. pimp daddy)August 31, 2006

    Rationalism is the focus of the September issue of The Sun literary magazine.

    What's scary about the president of Iran (oh, you'd have to Google it too!) is that he believes literally in winged horses and the like, and tried to find common ground w/ Pres. Bush as a man who believes in a character called Jesus.

    Now, I'm a conservative but I still can't believe that most of the people in our country (Jesusland) believe in god and hold various superstitions. I know we're hard-wired for that all, but c'mon people!

    You might as well say you believe in Zeus... or Scientology.

  58. sue_fromVTAugust 31, 2006

    I hardly ever read the CityPaper but after seeing this I had to get a copy. I think the story is really good! And i'm going to go the restaurant just to check it out. i hadn't heard of HongQue before but it's cool to know more aobut a the story behind a good restaurant.

    I am not vietnamese either.

  59. Kurt VonnegutSeptember 04, 2006

    Sue from Vermont,

    there's actualy a small vietnamese immigrant community in Vermont. I haven't heard of any vietnamese restaurants there though. I did visit one "Chinese" restaurant in Newport Vermont (near the Canadian border) that was owned and staffed by... white people.

    I swear to "god" these guys had just identified a market opportunity.

  60. Rusty,

    normally I'm a racist bastard and you delete my comments but I gotta tell you those litte [expletive] can cook they some fish! Damn. Once you smell you some good Vietnamese fish you'll know what i mean!