Guessing Game

I'm back. Still don't feel like writing yet. Instead, let's play a game.

Walking out of the Chipotle at 19th and M, I ran into an argument. A white man was accosting a black woman. It was clear that they weren't acquaintances. This was made even clearer when they stormed off in opposite directions.

All I heard the man say was, "That's another example of African-American entitlement!" This was, of course, what caused the storm off.

So, in what context is that statement not racist? I'd love to hear the best guesses in the comments. I highly doubt that two strangers decided to have a spirited debate on affirmative action on a street corner.

The best guess regarding what these two were yelling about wins the best prize I can afford: my hearty congratulations.


Still on Cape

I just received a digital camera for Christmas. Expect this blog to be that much more annoying when I buy a memory chip and some rechargable batteries.



Hurray! I of course, will not be spending the holiday in Washington. I'll be back to my old tricks on Cape Cod. You know, the usual. Drinking, eating for free, and seeing all my very dear pre-Washington friends. If you're on Cape too, try and find me at The Quarterdeck in Hyannis. $1.50 PBRs!

I'm not flying up until Saturday afternoon. So, what to do Friday night? Well, if you see this monstrosity on the streets of Washington, please know that I'm on it. It's immature, silly, expensive, and unnecessary. Also, it looks kind of fun.

I'll be back Wednesday. Don't expect much output until then. I'll still be reading The Washington Post everyday in case something wacky happens.

Happy Holidays!


I Have Found My Nemesis

The one guilty pleasure just about everyone shares is the Missed Connection page on Craig's List. Reading them can be the height of hilarity. Receiving one can be the highlight of one's week. It's a scientific fact: everyone loves Missed Connections.

My love affair with Missed Connections ended on October 10th at 1:01am EDT. I didn't know it at the time, but someone posted the worst Missed Connection in the history of lame Missed Connections. It wasn't brought to my attention until yesterday when a friend of mine from college (who was lucky enough to retreat back to the shores of Miami), sent me this link. That's right. Someone wrote a Missed Connection to the city of Washington, DC.

Attacking the text of the "MC" is easy enough. I'd like to first point out that writing an MC to a city is a vapid exercise. A total waste of time. Who are you trying to impress by writing this? Why did you spend that Monday night in October writing this piece of crap? What the Hell were you thinking?

I miss you already, you wonderful, self-important, walkable, sporty, humid, pretentious, kinetic, dazzling, overpriced, overcaffeinated, cobblestoned, self-conscious, self-unaware, popped-collar-sporting, popped-collar-mocking, preppy hipster college town masquerading as the political capital of the world.

How many of these adjectives are totally negative? Humid? Sign me up! The author also damns Washington with some incredibly faint praise. Washington is walkable? What city is not walkable? Cobblestoned? Like, parts of Georgetown are, but, again, that doesn't seem like anything to be especially proud of. If someone sent me this paragraph and I didn't know what city it was referring to (so, eliminate the political capital of the world reference), I would think this was the worst city ever devised by man. What a terrible opening paragraph. This douche has convinced me to hate Washington even more. Bad thesis statement!

I was just 17 when we met. You were my first love, and you stuck with me through thick and then - the years rat-racing through college, that weird time after college when I worked in a restaurant, the overpaid paralegal job, the misguided semester of law school, and then even when I moved down to Virginia I still visited you every single weekend.

If your first love is Washington, you don't deserve any love you ever feel for another human being to be requited. I hope you enjoyed Virginia though.

When the plane hit the Pentagon, I watched the smoke from across the river and cried.

Fair enough.

I thought the scaffolding around the Washington Monument was beautiful.

I dunno. Maybe?

I sat in Einstein's lap.

I don't know what this is referring to. It seems tremendously unimportant.

When I was flush I drank at the 18th street lounge...

Oh, fuck you.

...and when I was broke I went across the street to Lucky Bar.

FUCK YOU! Lucky Bar is neither cheap nor fun.

I could lie in my bed at night and listen to the monkeys making a racket across the street at the zoo, and wake up on a Saturday and sit in my front yard and smoke a cigar with my best friends and watch your young families and your gorgeous, gorgeous young women strolling by.

Cigars? You pompous asshole. As for Washington's "gorgeous, gorgeous young women," what the fuck are you talking about? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I am from Massachusetts. It's the capital of ugly women. I know ugly when I see it. Washington is an ugly, ugly town.

Georgetown was the neighborhood I loved to hate, and seedy Adams Morgan at 3 AM on a Saturday was the neighborhood I hated to admit I loved. Afternoons laughing out loud at the human circus in Dupont Circle, then getting my butt kicked at chess by some homeless guy. All those weekends we spent Running Against Bush. Man, that seems like such a long time ago. Hitting up Mount Pleasant for real, authentic Mexican food, or crashing with my Hill friends and waking up early to get breakfast at Eastern Market.

I hope people now understand why this blog exists. How can one enjoy a city with these people inhabiting it? What does "human circus" even mean and how does it apply to Dupont Circle? "Running Against Bush"? So confusing.

Running on the Mall. Playing Ultimate or soccer or rugby on the Mall. Flying kites on the Mall. Building a snow sculpture of the Capitol, on the Mall. Worshipping in the temples of Lincoln and Roosevelt and most of all, Jefferson. Taking pretty girls for walks on the Mall and ending up on the top deck of the Kennedy Center, looking out at your beautiful lights and wanting it all so badly.

Ultimate frisbee!? Of fucking course. By the way, I've lived in Washington since 2001 and have spent a grand total of 40 minutes at the Mall. This guy has spent an awful lot of time in tourist traps for someone who claims to love everything this shithole has to offer.

I love the "wanting it all so badly" line at the end. I suppose I should mention that the prose on this Missed Connection is laughably bad. I know that the low quality level of writing should be self-evident, but, just in case, it still deserves a mention. I can picture this guy at his computer writing this abortion of an MC and thinking to himself, "I am so fucking clever." The reality, pal, is that you're about five levels below Carrie Bradshaw in terms of suckage. This overdramatic prose doesn't fit the medium which is FUCKING CRAIG'S LIST, YOU MORON!

All those mornings for all those years, waking up before daylight to row up and down and up and down and up and down the Potomac. Running from the cops under Key Bridge. Drag racing up Rock Creek Park in the middle of the night, and a thousand other crazy stupid things we did together that in retrospect were idiotic but at the time, just meant being young and being broke and alive and full of ideals and most of all, happy.

Crew and ultimate frisbee? Holy shit. I am speechless!

Also, drag racing up Rock Creek Park? As someone who has taken the E bus line two or three times, I'd like to thank you for putting my life in danger. It goes without saying that the author has, at some point, said this to one of his buddies: "Yeah, dude. 'Tokyo Drift' was the shit, man. Next time we watch it we should totally get shwillied in the parking lot so the chicks can check out my Honda, guy."

And now they've finally taken me away from you, and made me come live in this desolate little town in the middle of nowhere where the highest form of culture is the Barber shop/Tattoo parlor combo, and the nearest movie theater is 40 miles away, and the people weigh too much and talk too slowly and I can't complain any more about strangers in bars always wanting to ask what's your job and what's your politics, 'cause around here, everyone's job is the same and people don't understand why a polite person would want to bring up politics in the first place.

This paragraph made me joyful. Total, unadulterated, pure joy. I am so glad this story has a happy ending.

I guess I never really told you how I felt, DC. They say that you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone... only, I guess in our case, you're still there, and I'm the one who's gone, but anyway it works out the same way in the end. But now that I'm gone, I just wanted to tell you hey, thanks for all the memories, all the good times, all the things you taught me about myself and my country and the world.

I'll never forget you, the city of my youth. You're beautiful to me. You'll always be my first love.



I'm Pretending This Is Less Unsettling Than It Really Is

My last post wasn't my best. I mean, some crazy disheveled guy making violent threats on U Street on Saturday night. Yeah, it's kind of scary, but, come on, it's U Street. I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. It's not like someone is going to get shot dead on the U Street strip, right?


All we get from the article is a hypothesis that the shooting resulted from an argument and the block where the shooting occurred. Of course it's the same block where I heard that argument over the weekend. The Post doesn't have a picture of the perpetrator. If it's the guy from Saturday night, one could say that I actually dodged a bullet. City living is the best!


Things You Don't Want to Hear

Volume 1:

While walking down on of Washington's many unlit alleys, I overhear an argument between two men. The argument is escalating. These guys are really yelling. Finally, one screams, "That's it. I'm gonna put a motherfucking bullet in your ass!" As you can imagine, I accelerated from "leisurely pace" to "quick jog." I like my ass unbulleted.

Volume 2:

I was walking through U Street from Woodley Park to meet up with my roommates and other assorted drinking buddies at DC9. Many drinks were imbibed. My friend and I noticed one such female imbiber who was about to pass out at the bar. We got her some water and helped her out. Our goal was to get her a taxi. Her goal was to throw up on the sidewalk. Mission Accomplished. A cop walks by, notices the vomiting girl and decides to intervene. What is the bouncer doing? Nothing. Well, actually, he did say something to the cop: "Talk to these boys. This girl ain't drunk; she was drugged."

It should go without saying that, no, I didn't drug any girls last night. I just really didn't feel like explaining that to a cop at three in the fucking morning. You'd think a bouncer on U Street would have his seen his fair share of girls throwing up their gin and tonics without throwing around comments like that to the fucking police.

So, I had a Saturday of violent threats and attempted date rape accusations! Whee!


Metro Ragegasm


Ok, here it is: the proposed Metro fare hike. It is as confusing as it is steep. It's a disaster. An abortion. A miscarriage of common sense.

Since moving to Washington in 2001, the Metro has gotten progressively worse. It has been unable to handle the hordes of new riders. Rush hour trains come every four or five minutes now instead of every other minute. There's barely enough room to stand on a platform, never mind a six car train. The Friday and Saturday night trains that annoyingly came every 20 minutes now arrive every 30 minutes. I can't think of one aspect of the system that has improved. Nothing. Even the new "doors closing" annoucements and chimes rub me the wrong way. And they still want more.

I didn't mind the last increase three years ago. An extra dime on the train and a nickel on the bus? It sucks. But it's reasonable. I was expecting a similar increase after Metro announced their $116,000,000.00 budget shortfall. This shortfall was caused by financial incompetence, not by improved conditions or anything like that. As Metro gets worse, the bugdet follows, and now we're in some kind of cycle of ignorance. So it's bullshit that the everyday commuter should have to pay for Metro's fiscal bumbling. It's bullshit, but that's the way it is sometimes.

Instead of the expected nickel and dime increase, we have an increase of up to $2.10. Per ride. And it's not just the commuters who are getting gang-raped here. If this plan ever becomes policy, I'm looking at an increase of fifty cents per ride. Fifty cents more to travel from Friendship Heights to Dupont. Fifty cents a ride. One dollar a day. Assuming someone rides the Metro 300 times a year...that's a pretty significant dent in the wallet, isn't it? This is an iPod's worth of bullshit. It's one percent of your salary (if you're an entry-level worker) being spent on a fare increase caused by ineptitude.

So, let's see who this is going to really hurt:

1. Tourists. The new plan just kills anyone who doesn't own a SmarTrip card. The difference between SmarTrip fares and regular fares is going to be significant. Seventy-five cent difference just for riding a bus. Ouch. I doubt many tourists are going to go out of their way to buy cards, so they'll be hit the hardest. Although DC depends on tourist dollars, I don't think a Metro fare increase is going to be the difference between a family vacationing at Disneyland or in Washington. I'm OK with screwing over tourists.

2. Long-distance commuters. This is just insane. We wanted people to stop driving into Washington. Remember? Traffic around here is a notorious shitshow. So, just maybe charging people an extra dollar a pop to ride a train is not the way to improve the situation on our highways.

Oh, and don't worry. They're considering increasing parking rates at Metro garages. I can't believe Metro found a way to make itself more expensive than unleaded gasoline, but here we are.

3. Anyone working downtown. There's a thirty-five cent charge for anyone who gets off at a downtown station. "Downtown" also includes the Court House, Rosslyn, Union Station, etc. This is total bullshit. Metro wants to make these stations less busy? Good luck with that. This is where the jobs are. Commuters shouldn't be penalized for going to their fucking jobs. I mean, do you really want people to work in the city or not? If you want us to work in Tyson's Corner, fine. Good plan.

(I already mentioned this once, but I feel the need to reiterate that "reverse commuters" can just shrivel up and die for all I care. Your trains are empty and you miss out on this bullshit surcharge. You motherfuckers. I need a job in Rockville or Silver Spring.)

4. Drunk people. "Rush hour" is being extended to Fridays between 2 and 3am. Ok. Fine. If you want to send trains every five minutes in that one hour period, that's awesome. I don't think that's going to happen. Trains are going to come every 25 minutes and drunk people will be charged extra just because Metro feels like they can get away with it. There is no reason for this increase other than to pick on people who spend money in DC establishments. I mean, do they want us to just drink at home? Because I have no problem with that. Seriously, it's like Metro is daring me to get hammered on a Friday night by myself while I'm playing Guitar Hero II. I've done it before and I will do it again, you fucks.

5. Anyone with a job. I love how Metro wants discounts for people riding between 9:30am and 3pm. If I had a fucking choice, I'd "get up at 12, start to work at 1, take an hour for lunch, and then at 2 we're done." But I don't have a fucking choice because I have a fucking job. The only way this will help ease congestion is if the people who can go to work whenever the fuck they want (rich people/higher-ups) decide to start coming in at 10am. Wow, a discount for the people who don't need it. DC is the best.

By the way, if you work downtown at a 9-5, you are doubly fucked. DC will leave no orifice unfucked. If you work downtown at a 9-5 and you're commuting from Vienna? Oh man. I would just give up. Move somewhere else because DC clearly doesn't want you.

Ok. I'm probably missing some key demographics, but I'm starting to hyperventilate and I need a break from this garbage. I can't believe how many times I've typed a derivative of the word "fuck." So, let's end with the best quote from the Post's coverage of the story: "Riders have reacted angrily to any proposed fare increases."



I'm going to keep going with this as long as I can. Send suggestions to me via comments or e-mail.

6. The homeless. Whether we like it or not (and let's be honest, we all hate it), the homeless have every right to ride a bus or train from one line to another. Busing is especially important for the homeless because, well, I don't know why. But there's always a homeless dude on any bus I take after 8pm. Anyways, you know who can't afford SmarTrip cards? Homeless people. They're going to have to spend an extra 75 cents to get from part of town to another. 75 cents buys food. It buys water. It shouldn't have to buy a stupid fare increase.

I guess this is really only a small concern. It's not like Washington has a shit-ton of homeless people or anything. I mean, if we did, this kind of fare increase would seem really insensitive, wouldn't it?

7. People who don't live anywhere near a Metro stop. So, you need to get a SmarTrip card to avoid the buggering you're going to get if you pay for public transporation with a proletariat fare card? Well, I hope you live near Shady Grove, Metro Center, or one of the few Metro stations that actually dispense the damned things. And if you don't live near a Metro station or if you exclusively ride the bus? Well, then you're fucked. Enjoy running the thankless errand of getting to a Metro stop and riding around DC all day just for the opportunity to spend five dollars on a card.

This would especially suck if you're one of those Ward 4 people who live nowhere near a subway stop. Can you imagine catching the S line, hopping on a subway, transferring to the Red line, paying five dollars, and then doubling back. All to avoid paying an extra 75 cents per bus ride. That sounds like a soul-crushing experience. Way to improve city morale, Metro!

Creepy Asshole

So I'm getting off the Metro yesterday at Friendship Heights. I take the Jenifer Avenue exit. Unlike most Metro stops, this exit does not feature a disorientingly long escalator. Instead, I have to deal with four elevators. This is phenomenal if you're lazy. I qualify.

Because I know what train to get on and because of my strappingly long legs, I am the first one to reach the elevators at about 5:45pm. There's one other dude right behind me and a bunch of fellow commuters a few paces behind.

The elevator arrives, I step in. I'm followed by the dude. The dude then starts frantically pushing the "doors close" button even though there are about 15 commuters right behind him. The doors close just as they arrive and suddenly I am by myself in an elevator with this creepy mouthbreather. I do not want to be in the same elevator as him.

Who the Hell does that? Like, was he in some kind of rush that necessitated inconveniencing a dozen people so he could save himself a maximum of, what, 20 seconds? That's an asshole move. Either that or he was petrified at sharing an elevator with 15 people. But if being surrounded by 15 people presents that much of a problem, perhaps the Metro during rush hour isn't the right place for you to be.

I assume it's just another guy in Washington who assumes his convenience is more important than the convenience of others. Another person who thinks of himself first and foremost. This city certainly seems to have its fair share of these cretins.

On that note, I'm going to look into the gigantic Metro fare increase being proposed by the WMATA. I don't expect to be happy with it.


Scary Town, Confusing Headline

My predecessor wrote something a ways back about the creepiness of Great Falls, VA. For those not in the know, Great Falls is a rural area that happens to be smack dab in the middle of Northern Virginia. It's right over the Potomac from, uh, Potomac.

Unlike Potomac, MD, which is of course developed, some rich folks bought up the land in Great Falls and have since refused to let their 20 acre lots be disturbed by nuisances like sidewalks or black people. Seriously, I bet that Clinton Portis and Gilbert Arenas (who is now on my blog roll) are the only two black dudes living in the area. They can certainly afford it:

The median income for a family in the CDP [census designated place] was $170,618 and the median income for a household was $250,000.

That's a very rich census designated place. Also, so it doesn't appear that I am plagarizing, I got that statistic from Wikipedia.

It must be nice to live only twenty miles from a city while completely ignoring the crime emergencies and stadium deals.

Again, this is old news. I bring it up as reminder that Virginia is weird. I also being it up because The Washington Post ran an article on how some blasphemous Great Falls community members are asking for amenities like sewer lines, sidewalks, restaurants, and, yes, even a Starbucks. All things that will attract more black people to their quiet town.

Again, creepy, but nothing new. What I don't get is the Post's headline: "Questioning Growth on the Q.T."

I have no idea what "Q.T." means. I've read the article three times, and it's never explained. I know that headline duties are usually relegated to the editors, so what the Hell happened? Did they edit out a "Q.T." reference then stick with the headline. I mean, Virginia is a really bad place, but awful journalism is just as much a thorn in my side.

I'm also aware that I'm probably missing something.

No. I read it a fourth time. It's not me. I even Googled it. That only exacerbated my confusion. What the Hell does "Q.T." mean? I always used "Q.T." as an abbreviation for "quality time" when I wanted to guilt my father into taking me mini-golfing or to a baseball game. I don't think that's what the Post was going for. Can someone please help?


Drunk on Hat-Tipping.

A rare double hat-tip today to Read Express. The first is for the their question of the day. It reads, "Are you getting your money's worth from Metro?" You all know what to do. Click the link, find the poll, and answer "No."

I try to avoid writing two Metro posts in a row, but, a $116,000,000.00 budget shortfall? Jesus Christ. Now fares may be increasing and weekend service will be trimmed. But, to make up for all that, Metro is considering discounts for "reverse commuters." Eff that. Those motherfuckers should be paying more. They actually get to sit down on their trains. Hell, they have enough room to stretch their legs. Today on the crowded Metro, some moron was using my back as support for his Sudoku game. Fuck reverse commuters. Riding to Rockville in the morning is like riding on a cloud of luxury.

If DC had any extra money to spend on Metro to prevent a fare increase, that would be nice. But, as we all know, DC money is tied up by stadiums and lawsuits. So, the second hat-tip to Read Express is for leading me to this pleasant story: Judge Lets Abuse Claim by D.C. Prisoners Go to Trial.

When the men and women behind DC's blue line aren't hog-tying innocent bystanders watching a protest, they may be withholding prisoners' food, water, toilet privileges, and medications. It's nice to have a second hobby. Unfortunately, this hobby also leads to class-action lawsuits.

I say "may" because it's not like anyone has been found to have a preponderance of guilt or anything like that. Some correctional officers are merely accused of being dickheads of unconstitutional proportions. It's an accusation from a particularly litigious set of prisoners, but it's not exactly something that the city wants to deal with right now. I would be more inclined to dismiss the accusations as rubbish if Washington weren't involved.


WMATA Masterpiece Theatre

A big shoutout to the fellow who sent me this video courtesy of the WMATA. A warning to all of you worker bees: there is audio here. Turn down the speakers or throw on the headphones.

This is sublime. The photography is top-notch. The acting, scrumtrelescent.

Seriously, though. Every time you swipe your SmarTrip card, remember that you're funding this ridiculousness.


Voting Rights Update (Don't Worry, I'll Have Something New Up Later Today)

This morning's Post had an editorial that was just overloaded with disdain towards Republicans for not pushing this legislation forward. Between this and the Post Editorial Board's eagle opus, I'm starting to think that the brain trust on 15th and L isn't quite all it's cracked up to be.

Just look at how this clunker starts:

DON'T BELIEVE...that the decision was put off because of worries that a D.C. voting seat would not pass constitutional muster. At this point, the only plausible explanation for the demise of the bill is that Republican leaders in Congress and the White House oppose democracy for anyone who happens to live in the nation's capital.

I really hate to defend George W. Bush, but leave the White House out of this. I am confused at how this can be blamed on the Executive Branch. Can Bush float from the clouds deux ex machina style and make Congress do his bidding? Maybe two years ago, but not now.

And the Post is being dishonest by claiming that Constitutional worries are implausible. I certainly have my Constitutional worries. Granted there are some scholars who believe this legislation would pass Constitutional muster, but I doubt they're in the majority. Any doubts are legitimate. Please don't call those with gripes anti-democracy. It's hardly fair.

The beauty of the compromise crafted by Mr. Davis and Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's Democratic nonvoting delegate to the House, was that party politics was taken out of the equation, as two new seats would have been added to Congress -- one for the mostly Democratic District and one for predominantly Republican Utah.

So, the "beauty" of this compromise is that it doesn't really give Washington a vote. It will immediately be canceled out. Brilliant! The simple act of voting does not mean that Washingtonians are fairly being represented. Where else can a people only get the right to vote if its canceled out by another?

So, Post, what advice do you have for the incoming Democratic leadership?

They should make clear that they won't countenance any talk of stripping Utah of its seat, which would kill the deal.

First, would it kill the deal? I mean, Dems will have a majority in the House. It's not like Republicans can filibuster in that chamber. Why wouldn't they want to give Washington a vote while stripping Utah of its phantom extra representative. I'd still be peeved that we wouldn't have any senatorial representation, but it would represent a fair start.

(By the way, some people left comments mocking me for advocating two votes in the Senate for the District. I don't get it. Why is that laughable? Wyoming has less residents than the District and they have two senators. Alaska and Vermont are just barely ahead of us. Each of those states has two Senators. It's crazy that a set of islands in the middle of nowhere has more senatorial representation than the District. So, why can't we have senators?)

The Post continues to act as if democracy only works if it preserves an even fight. That is ludicrous. People have the right to be represented regardless of what balances it maintains or destroys. The Post is not nearly as interested in the District's welfare as it would have you believe. Shame on them.


Legislative Hurrah

I'm not going to have the Republican Legislature to pick on for the next two years. Hurray for that. So, to celebrate the upcoming Democratic takeover of both houses of Congress, I'd like to send some lovin', touchin' and squeezin' to the Republican-held 109th Congress.

Republican congressional leaders decided yesterday not to bring to the floor a bill giving the District a full voting member of the House, dooming the measure's chances in this legislative session.

That's right, folks. DC's quixotic attempt to secure federal voting rights has again ended in failure. And I couldn't be happier.

Now, I want the opportunity to have an elected voting member in the House of Representatives as much as the next guy. I really do. But not at the price being asked by Representative Thomas Davis (R-VA) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). That one vote in the House is meaningless. As American citizens, DC residents deserve their cake so we can eat it too. We want the same representation as everyone else. That includes two Senators. Passage of this compromise legislation would mean that DC would have that one shiny vote, but we would still be less represented than every other American.

Furthermore, the Utah compromise vote is total bullshit. Let me explain to Rep. Davis and Del. Norton how representative democracy works. The people elect representative to vote on their behalf. It's not meant to preserve political balance. If an area that's 90% Democrat is having their human rights trampled on, giving Republicans an extra vote to offset that new vote is not an appropriate solution. Someone explain to me the purpose of having a DC vote when Republicans in Utah get a new vote of their own. Everything cancels out. DC residents are no better off.

I won't even attempt to take on the blatant unconstitutionality of this proposed law. I covered a lot of this stuff here anyways. But, seriously, thank you Republicans. You probably didn't strike down this legislation for the right reasons, but, whatever. Now Del. Norton and the new Democrat 110th Congress can work towards getting Washington its representative and its two senators. I don't care if it takes absorption into Maryland or a Constiutional amendment, but something has to be done. Not letting a majority-minority area have the voting rights its deserves is the worst kind of disenfranchisement.

Bravo, Republicans. You did something right while in the majority. Good luck in 2008.


Oh God, They're Actually Doing It

Metro is going to propose that music be allowed at subway entrances. My feelings on this have been quite clear. Please see here and here. The Metro proposal will involve auditions to make sure that all the music is appropriate. There will be no "mudbucket music" allowed. So, Asian dude playing that one string instrument at the Dupont South entrance...FUCK YOU. You have not been approved. Metro is going to sanitize the street performers so as not to offend anyone's sensibilities. In other words, it will be completely soulless and lame. They are taking music and destroying its soul. Why would we expect any less from DC?

And it wouldn't be DC if someone didn't inject politics into the whole matter:

John Butterfield, 52, who works in publishing and commutes on the Orange Line from Court House to McPherson Square, welcomed anything "that brings a smile rather than dead silence and boring people walking." But he doesn't want musicians who win an official "seal of approval" to "squeeze out current musicians."

"I worry that we end up with elevator music," he said. "That rubs my libertarian bent the wrong way."

OK, John. No one asked you about your "libertarian bent." No one cares. Although I share many of the same worries as you, I get the feeling that you're a bit of a pretentious asshat.

Just in case you're inclined to support this malarky, there's also this:

...the Metro Performs! program would include music, theater, literary arts, mime, magic and dance.

The horrible emphasis is mine. I don't think anyone supports magic shows or, God forbid, mimes. Mimes! When you're accosted by a creepy man in clown make-up who is stuck inside his make-believe box, I want you to think to yourself, "Rusty is always right."


Losing My Religion

My hatred for Virginia continues to grow strong. First, some personal history:

I was baptized Catholic. I went to a Catholic school. That's as far as my Catholic experience goes. Since I was a wee toddler, I was going to Episcopalian masses at St. Mary's Church in West Barnstable. I was confirmed Episcopalian. I was an Episcopalian acolyte. My first experiences with public oration came when I would read long Biblical passages for the Sunday morning mass. I met my first girlfriend through church. Our moms were Sunday school teachers. Norman Rockwell, eat your heart out.

Beyond personal history, St. Mary's was also featured in a few Kurt Vonnegut works. That's pretty sweet. Admit it. Like many disaffected high school and college students, Kurt Vonnegut was an absolute savior. Surely many of you feel the same way.

The church parking lot was the setting for a scene in his 1959 novel The Sirens of Titan. The first passage in Vonnegut's collection of short stories, Welcome to the Monkey House is titled "Where I Live." It's a short non-fiction story about how great Cape Cod is. I don't imagine it being very popular with the people who are annoyed by my insistence that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the bestest place ever. Regardless, I speak of the story with pride since it claims that the St. Mary's church garden is the most beautiful spot on Earth. What author can make a similar claim about a spot in Washington?

So, the general theme of all this is that I was raised Episcopalian and I love it. I'm not the best Christian anymore and I have almost completely stopped going to mass, but, damn it all, Episcopalians are the greatest. I have a vested interest in the strength of the Episcopal community.

Virginia doesn't. Virginia wants out. The Episcopalians in New England are too nice to the gays. Nothing riles up the Virginia folk more than being nice to the queers. It gets their blood boiling. The 2003 promotion of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, an unprecedented position for a gay man within the Church, was the last straw. Virginia will not stand for such tolerance!

Two Fairfax County congregations have certainly had enough. It looks like the Falls Church and Truro parishes are going to vote for secession from the American Episcopal community. Instead, these knuckleheads plan on becoming members of...wait for it....the Nigerian Episcopal community. It came down to whether Virginians would continue their long-standing intolerance of gays or their long-standing intolerance of blacks. Congratulations blacks, you're off the hatred hook.

It's probably very comforting to these Virginian Episcopalians that Nigerian Archbishop Peter J. Akinola is pretty tough on homosexuals in Africa:

...there are questions about a suburban Washington congregation technically under the leadership of Akinola, who has supported a new Nigerian law that penalizes gay activity, whether private or "a public show of same sex amorous relationship," with jail time.

Um. What? That's some Taliban-esque shit right there. Actually, to be fair, the Parable where all the gays are incarcerated has always been my favorite. Fuck the Prodigal Son. Many Biblical historians believe that Jesus himself went door-to-door in Galilee to speak of the homosexual threat.

"They're in our schools and in our churches and they will convert your children," spoke Jesus of Galilee on the Sabbath.

The irony is, I kind of agree with the Virginians that having a homosexual bishop might not be theologically sound.* Of course, throwing gays in jail isn't theologically sound either. And it's not like a bishop in New Hampshire is going to have any effect on Virginia parishioners. Those parishes are like night-and-day. That's one of the things I like about Episcopalians. There are liberal branches and conservative branches, but they're still united for social justice. But now Virginia doesn't want a part of that. They'd rather blindly hate gay people. The gay bogeyman is their new serpent in Eden.

I mentioned the Prodigal Son earlier. Much like the the titular character of this parable, Virginia has lost its way. If these parishes do indeed decide to hitch their wagon to the Nigerian Church, I guess I have to wish them the best of luck. But when they come crawling back, I'd like to think that, much like Jesus's teaching, the Virginia congregations would be welcomed back with open arms. It's the Christian thing to do. Hopefully Falls Church and Truro will live by that example.

*I'd love to debate this in the comments. Hopefully with other Protestants. I'm really on the fence about it and would love to hear what others think.


Jilted by a Metro Area Blogger

What's a man to do when the love of his life won't return his e-mails? The hurt just runs so deep that you end up paralyzed and staring at a computer screen waiting for some kind of contact. The misery is overwhelming.

I've had this problem with the apple of my eye, Michelle Malkin. Every e-mail I send her is unanswered. Every single one! I e-mailed Paul Mirengoff and got an immediate response. Mr. Mirengoff is clearly above Mrs. Malkin in the "Montgomery County Conservative Bloggers who are Nice to Rusty" power rankings I keep in my head.

I was hurt by Mrs. Malkin's decision to ignore me, but yesterday I thought I had her. She would have to respond to my hot tip.

Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that an illegal alien obtained a driver's license, kept the driver's license despite refusing Breathalyzer tests in the past, and then killed someone in a drunk driving accident. The kicker: the unfortunate victim was a Marine on leave from Iraq.

This has every element of a Michelle Malkin ragegasm. Authorities not protecting the public from drunk drivers? Check. The needless death of a soldier? Check. The presence of an illegal alien? Big check. Surely my hot tip would at least get a response.

No. Nothing.

That's it. I am through with e-mailing Mrs. Malkin. This unrequited love can move no further. If we're at the point where she won't write a column or make a comment about an illegal alien killing a Marine, well, that's just not the Michelle Malkin I fell in love with.

She is totally not getting another Valentine e-card next year.