In Which I Defend This Stupid City

Sometimes, when bored, I'll troll through hyper-conservative blogs for a good laugh. These blogs tend to be mean-spirited and paranoid and are therefore hilarious. One such blog is Ace of Spades HQ. This one attracts a lot of crazies in their comment threads. However, special hat-tip to Ace for directing me towards this story:

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) introduced the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act of 2007, a bill to restore Second Amendment rights in Washington, D.C.

“The constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens do not end when they cross into the borders of the District of Columbia,” said Sen. Hutchison.

“The gun ban has been proven ineffective by the trend of increased violent crime in the District. The citizens of Washington, D.C., deserve to have the same right to defend themselves and their families in their homes that lawful Americans enjoy.

This puts me in the uncomfortable position of defending DC. Despite my personal belief that the District's gun ban is unconstitutional, I still hope that someone kickes Senator Hutchison (R-Cunt) in the forehead.

"The gun ban has been proven ineffective by the trend of increased ciolent crime in the District?" The only way to describe that statement is as an ugly lie. I know she's a Republican and all, but I would expect just a scosh of honesty from someone in the"great deliberative body." How fucking naive is that? Like, at least have the decency to tell a half-truth.

Senator Hutchison, since you, your staffers, and your interns are too lazy to do a fucking rudimentary Google search, here's DC's violent crime record. Almost all violent crime has been cut in half over the past 15 years. So by "trend of increased crime," you really meant "drastically reduced crime." It's a mistake that could happen to anyone. Ha, just kidding. It could only happen to liars.

My problems with DC crime are that no one really gives a shit unless a white dude is getting murdered in Georgetown. If four black people are killed in one night in Shaw, no one cares. If a dozen or so black people are killed throughout the city in ten days in July, no one cares. But, white dude, stop the fucking presses. And yes I know that the Post is reporting the story that's more shocking, but I still wish people would give a crap about what's going on in Northeast or on the other side of the Anacostia. That's my problem. But I'm not a moron who actually thinks the crime is getting worse. That would be hella stupid.

Readers, if you think me defending DC is hilarious, here's the Ace of Spades comment thread. I like to think of it not as defending the city, but rather as correcting an old antiquated sterotype that people who have never been to the city hold on to. Yes, I know I misspelled Sen. Hutchison's name. It wasn't on purpose, but it's not like she deserves to have her name spelled correctly anyways.


I Can Not Let This Stand

So there's this blog called Life Off Balance. It appears to be written by some vegetarian lawyer who doesn't use capitalization. I find this to be incredibly annoying, but, hey, no one is awarding me any style points either. The author of Life Off Balance lives in Takoma Park. She wrote a post about how great DC is and it got linked to Wonkette. Here's what she had to say about people like me:

i’m so sick of hearing people talk about what they hate about dc. it’s so boring. no one is forcing you to live here. as the post’s j. freedom du lac said to one dc hater in his freedom rock chat yesterday: “don’t let the door to the beltway hit you on your way out.”

Oh man. I just got burned. The post goes on to list the ten best things about the city. I am here to rip those things apart.

1. the diversity, in every sense of the word.

I don't know what senses of the word she's talking about. The enormous gap between the rich and the poor? Because most people would argue that that's bad. The racial diversity? Because the city is incredibly segregated. Hell, any place in Washington that isn't segregated is just being gentrified. This isn't diversity. It's inequality.

2. the people. even when they annoy the heck out of me. was it mark twain who said, “if you don’t like the weather in new england, wait five minutes”? in dc it’s the same with the people. if you don’t like the people in dc, walk down the street five blocks. dc has a reputation for being overly status-conscious and obsessed with politics and power, and among a certain crowd the reputation is well-deserved. but that crowd is just one part of what makes dc. dc isn’t just the hill or K street. if you don’t like those folks, walk down the street five blocks and you’ll find plenty of other people to hang out with. i rarely cross paths with the stereotypical “dc” crowd.

Well, I often cross paths with the stereotypical crowd and it's no picnic. The reasoning here can be summarized as "DC is great because it has both good guys and douchebags." Well, every city has people to hang with. Every city has douchebags too. At best you could say this comes out neutral; a reason that DC is neither that great nor that bad. I say "at best" because I suspect the douchebag to nice guy ratio is slightly skewed in this city. Hollywood for ugly people, am I right?

3. great food from all over the world.

This is a good point. Cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston don't offer any international cuisine whatsoever. I mean, Hell, Washington has a Maggiano's. That is some authentic Italian right there.

4. very vegan friendly. some of my favorite vegan spots include: java green, asylum for vegan weekend brunch and 75 cent vegan soft tacos washed down with shiner bock, ella’s for vegan pizza and sangria, sticky fingers, the black cat’s food for thought for late night cake, and the burrito cart at 15th and K.

Ugh. If I could eat any animal on the planet Earth it would be a vegan human. Just to prove a point. Yes, DC is very vegan friendly. And I could give a crap. Two weeks ago I had a steak wrapped in bacon and topped with shrimp and butter. Fuck vegans.

Also, please take special notice of her choosing Shiner Bock at Asylum. I've been to Asylum enough times (even getting a vegan burger once) to know that the Shiner tap is fucked up. It comes out flat and warm. People who get the Shiner there don't know what they're doing.

I have heard good things about that burrito cart though. Of course, I'll never try it because they don't offer meat. Sweet, succulent meat. Chipotle has four different kinds of meat. Chipotle wins.

(By the way, does anyone think that Chipotle should start serving breakfast? All they would have to do is brew some coffee and replace the rice with eggs. This would be so freaking delicious. Why won't Chipotle answer my calls?)

5. dc has most of the benefits of living in a small town, combined with all of the benefits of living in an international city. in some ways, dc is a much smaller town than its actual size suggests. in part, this relates back to the second item on my list: dc is actually made up of a number of smaller communities, many of which are very tight knit. i see people i know everywhere. everyone knows everyone. i don’t think i have ever gone to java green and not seen someone i know. same thing with the black cat. i go could on and on. on the other hand, when i start to feel trapped i can easily seek out new people and places and visit a completely different city without leaving dc.

I guess. I admit I enjoy how spread out the city is. I'll give this one to you, vegan lady.

6. ease of getting around. for a city of this size, dc is very manageable. i know people love to complain about the traffic and the parking, but i think i have it pretty good. my metro commute (including walking to the metro) is 45 minutes, or if i get a ride home from the metro from trav, only 35 minutes. if i lived in new york or san francisco, do you think i’d be able to live in a single family house with a yard within a 35 minute commute from downtown? moreover, on the weekends, it takes only 15 or 20 minutes to drive down to the black cat or the 9:30 club, and i don’t usually have much trouble parking when i get there [knock on wood].

Oh, well, not everyone has a car. For those of us who don't, there are parts of DC that are dead zones. Like, almost all of Northeast. Lots of Southeast too. Or up 16th Street. And people love to complain about traffic and parking because the traffic and parking are notoriously terrible. The Metro is the Metro. Some days it's the greatest public transportation system in the world. Other days it's a disaster where you're stuck stationary on the tracks for 15 minutes without a damn explanation.

7. tons of stuff to do, often cheap or free. film festivals, concerts, art galleries… i think a lot of folks here take it for granted how lucky we are to have access to all of this stuff. in particular, i appreciate the cheap dance nights. i never pay more than $10 to go out dancing, and often much less. for instance, most weekends i could go to a free dance night at the backstage of the black cat, spend $5 ($4 plus tip) for a yummy red room ale, and have an entire night out with my friends for the price of a cup of coffee from starbucks. i suspect my dancing addiction would be a much more expensive habit in new york or san francisco.

Dancing addiction? Jesus Christ. You had me at film festivals, museums, and shit. But cheap dance nights? The reason it costs you five dollars to dance at Black Cat is because you're only getting one beer. Some people prefer more than one alcoholic drink in one night. Call me crazy, but that's how I roll.

Last time I was in New York I went to a birthday party at a bar on the Lower East Side and danced the night away. (Thank God there are no pictures of this.) There was no cover and the beer was cheaper than the beer in DC (which blew my mind). So your suspicions aren't necessarily correct.

8. the architecture. next time you are downtown, don’t worry about being mistaken for a tourist and look up. there are a million beautiful architectural details everywhere. there’s also the fancy townhouses near dupont, the old neon signs on georgia avenue, union station, the majestic old apartment buildings on connecticut avenue, the old bridges over rock creek park… again, i could go on and on.

Silly blogger. People aren't afraid of looking like tourists because it's embarassing. People are afraid of looking like tourists because they don't want to get mugged on the Mall.

Washington's architecture is a disgrace. The buildings represent the buttoned-up Serious Sallys (Sallies?) who make up this shitty city. It's boring and uninteresting. Except for the Old Executive Building. That place is badass. Naturally the New Executive Buildings a block away are incredibly ugly. They look like they were built soley to keep a wolf from blowing them down. Brick embarassments.

The "majestic old apartment buildings on Connecticut Avenue"? Are you out of your fucking mind? Yesterday I walked home from work. Dupont to Friendship Heights. I took Connecticut Avenue all the way to Nebraska Avenue. The apartment buildings are dime-a-dozen. They're boring.

9. i know it’s obvious, but there is no better place to be in the spring than dc. the cherry blossoms are so beautiful they break my heart. but there’s also the magnolias, the azaleas, the dogwoods, the smell of the hyacinths…

Is this a blog or a tampon commercial?

10. it’s the frickin’ capital of the united states! my office is a couple of blocks from the white house! the original copy of the constitution is just a couple of blocks further than that! although it may not seem like it these days, we are living in the world’s epicenter of freedom and democracy. that’s pretty remarkable.

I am so glad that she ended with this point. This is, my friends, exactly why I hate DC. It's the world's epicenter of freedom and democracy and we don't have a fucking vote in Congress. Hell, legislators from neighboring states don't even give a fuck about whatever laws we try to pass as they carry their guns all willy-nilly. The city is segregated. Crime only matters when a white person is the victim. Et cetra, et cetera, et cetera. This city is the capital of the United States and it's being run like a funny farm.

Lady, you seem nice enough. I'm glad you found things to enjoy in Washington. You seem to be a glass half-full kind of gal. However, I'm sure if you look a little closer, you'll see the same things that I see. Incompetent government, crime, inefficient public services, inefficient public safety, and douchebags (and lanyards!) around every corner. This city is shit.


Crappy Summer Ahead

One of the things I love about the Washington, DC area is Wolf Trap. It's a gorgeous venue that allows you to bring your own booze. Perfection.

I've only been twice. I saw Journey there in 2005. We bought cans of Budweiser and watched all of the obese rednecks in black t-shirts with wolves on them move to the beat of "Lights." My roommate at the time wore a mullet wig, a wife beater, and literally wrapped himself in the American flag. He pulled a girl's number dressed like that.

Last year I saw Fiona Apple and it was an amazing experience for me because, well, I'm a sap. I totally shed a few tears when she played "I Know." Maybe not one of the best shows I've ever seen, but certainly one of my favorites. She played 80% of When the Pawn! If you don't like that album then you really need to reevaluate things.

I look forward to shows at the Wolf Trap because I find the venue so appealing. I know that its acts skew towards older audiences, but whenever they get someone interesting I become incredibly excited. I've been waiting since October to see who'd be playing there this summer.

This year's schedule is so disappointing. What a shit show. The only contemporary act, unless you're counting Travis Tritt (and we aren't), is Joss Stone and Common. My hatred for Joss Stone knows no bounds. That White Stripes cover she did is grounds for eternal banishment.

Look at the rest of these bands. Hootie and the Blowfish!? Huey Lewis and the News? Chicago? It's like Wolf Trap called up my mom and asked her every lame band she's liked since 1970. Steely Dan was awesome thirty years ago. Now, they are elderly. And no disrespect to Aretha, but I can't imagine her putting on a very lively performance. And, Jesus Christ. Vince Gill and Amy Grant!? I hate to spoil it for all you fans, but I bet they play "House of Love" as their encore. I'm not linking to the lyrics to that musical abortion because they are insipid and the song will just end up stuck in your head and I don't want to do that to you. I'm looking out for my readers. If Tony Snow's cancer was a song, it would be "House of Love." It eats away at the very core of who you are.

But, hey, we can see The Beach Boys minus Brian Wilson. I'm sure that'll be awesome. At least when I saw The Beach Boys in first grade they could offer me Jesse Kastopolis on drums. (He brought out his girlfriend Paula Abdul to slow dance to Surfer Girl. It was awesome.)

I don't look forward to the humid summers here. I don't look forward to the hordes of tourists that will descend upon us like fanny-pack wearing locusts. Summers here suck. But I looked forward to the Wolf Trap and this is what I get in return. Fuck that noise. Is Nissan Pavilion Metro accessible?

What an Idiot

Other than my introduction, the first thing I wrote about on this blog was some Virginia legislator moron who shot his pistol off in the Virginia General Assembly Building. Why for the love of God would you need a gun inside a government office? Those offices are, like, the safest places on Earth.

The title of that post was "Never forget that Virginia borders Kentucky." I was taking a cheap shot at Virginia rednecks. Well now we all know what happened yesterday to Senator Jim Webb (D-VA). Webb's electoral triumph last year was due in large part to sweeping victories throughout Northern Virginia. In other words, the part of the commonwealth that's supposed to have its shit together. Apparently the guy that they (and, admittedly I) supported is not much better than the Republican yahoos who carry in the Richmond buildings for "protection."

Let me be perfectly clear. There is no reason to hold a loaded weapon in the United States Capitol. Getting a gun into that building, or any of the adjacent office buildings, is about impossible. Yeah, there was that 1998 shooting, but the psycho who started shooting didn't even get past the door. Terrorism remains a larger threat, but if Jim Webb thinks he can take down a hijacked 737 with a handgun, he is sorely mistaken. That gun is useless. All it can do is cause problems. At best it will make his interns and guests uncomfortable. At worst there's an oopsie that puts lives at risk.

Of course with Virginia being Virginia, this is probably good publicity for Senator Webb. I, on the other hand, see this snafu for what it is: an embarrassment to the Senate and the Democratic Party. Putting Washington's interns at risk may seem like a good idea, but total chaos and legislative ruin is just a shot away.

*Credit goes to Wonkette for breaking this story first.



The good thing about siding with Republicans is that you tend to win. Winning feels nice.

Ha Ha!

Things That Never Get Old: Late Night Shots

Whenever a presidential candidate announces that his wife has incurable cancer, you just know that some moron over at DC Late Night Shots is going to start a thread calling him a "fag."

And here we are:

"Your wife has bone cancer. It is early on but there is a good chance this could take her life. Stop being a dbag, quite your crappy campaign and spend time with her. Once she is gone you will regret the two years you wondered around the country complaining about how we should care more about lazy poor people.


I mean, this is a perfect storm of douchebaginess. Not only is the author of this little rant imposing himself on what I am sure is an intensely personal and frightening situation for the Edwards family, but he (she?) also resorts to calling poor people "lazy." LOL. And let's not forget the epithet; one of the few words that almost universally qualifies as hate speech. Good show!

Of course it gets better. LNS has its bad apples and its good apples. Some of the good apples rushed to the Edwards's defense. Here's the hilarious response from the author of the above quotation:

"my 8 year old brother had bone cancer and we struggled through 3 years and he finally made it out. does that mean someone who thinks i’m a dbag or a fag can’t call me that?"

Um, yeah it does. I'm willing to bet if someone came up to you and said "anyone with pediatric cancer in their family is a selfish douchebag fag" would get a quick punch in the face. They would deserve it. Other people who deserve it: assholes who pull out the "younger brother had cancer" card to win the right to call someone a "fag" on a Late Night Shots forum. What a fucktard.

Other "greatest hits" from various bad apples in the LNS community:

"He is one slimy bastard. No chance whatsoever of being elected. I wonder how often he cheats on her."

"…if a Republican were running for president and his wife had bone cancer, he would be looked at as a monster."

"Why would he take the high road and opt out of the race when he can use it to garner the sympathy vote?"

"johnny should be ashamed for pimping his wife’s disease.
"hey, my factual story might vaguely remember the American President!!!! Vote edwards!"

"Seriously if this was a Republican all we would be hearing is what a heartless son of a bitch the guy was."

What a combination of paranoia and lack of sympathy. Hardcore Republicans are the worst.

Anyways, if you can sneak your way into DC Late Night Shots, I highly recommend it. These forums are the best.


Even I'm Sick of Writing About This

President Bush has said he will veto the stupid legislation that would give Washington a vote in the House of Representatives. Naturally, The Washington Post, DCist, and Wonkette are having a tizzy. I'm delighted. I've been against this legislative atrocity since it came to my attention in May. Here's the link to prove it. I make a pretty solid case there for not supporting the legislation while still supporting DC voting rights. Good for me.

No matter what the Post editorial board thinks, this legislation is unconstitutional. I'm not even referring to Congress granting the District the vote. That might be unconstitutional. I certainly think it is. But some great legal minds disagree so I won't go around pretending that my opinion is a slam dunk. I mean, who the Hell am I to question them? But there is no way that giving Utah an at-large representative is constitutional. Giving the Utah citizenry two representatives each makes them super-citizens. They have double the say than the rest of the country. Granted it's just two says out of what would be 437, but this is principle dammit.

Our 535 Congressmen and our president both took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Democrats who vote for this legislation aren't living up to that oath. I'll admit that President Bush's sudden interest in the integrity of the Constitution is a disgusting irony that I want to choke on, but there it is. Bravo, Mr. President. Even if you're vetoing this legislation out of political concerns (which is almost certainly the case), this veto is welcome and necessary.

Now let's pretend we've never agreed on anything and move on.


DC's Funktional Eliteracy Problem

Readers have been e-mailing me a report stating that one-third of DC adults are functionally illiterate. In fact, I've never received so many e-mails on one subject (save for maybe Laura Sessions Stepp sightings). DCist and Wonkette, blogs that obviously have a far greater reach than anything on Blogspot, already covered the story. Anything I have to say about it would be redundant.

Except for one thing: No fucking duh.

You mean to tell me a city with such extreme poverty issues and with notoriously shitty schools is having problems with functional illiteracy? Really? That is shocking.


More Metro Chicanery

~Yesterday at 6pm, two of the escalator were down at the Dupont South Metro entrance. Again. This was the third straight day that at least two of the three escalator were down. At least Metro listened to my suggestion to have the one working escalator go up instead of down. When all three were out on Tuesday, there was a huge back-up as old people had to stop halfway up to rest. You have to love any system of public transportation that could lead to a massive heart attack.

~After returning home to change, I planned on taking the Friendship Heights Metro for a night out on the town. I needed to stop at an ATM so I planned on walking the extra block to the Western Avenue entrance. Naturally, that option wasn't available to me. The entire entrance had been closed due to a fire. I have lost track of the Metro fires that have occurred in the past few weeks. There have been a lot.

~Special props to the commuters this morning who closed the elevator doors on a lady in a wheelchair. You know, the elevators that are designed especially for people who can't fucking walk. I don't care how full the elevator is or how late you are. If you can walk, get the fuck out. A full elevator of people and every single person refused to delay their commute for 90 seconds for the exact person the elevator was designed for. I forget sometimes that as much as I hate the DC Metro, I hate the DC people with equal vitriol. I bet one of those douche nozzles was wearing a fucking lanyard.


That Was Fun

I, like every other red-blooded American, didn't want to come into work today. I wanted to emulate my roommate by skipping out of work and spending all day drinking $8 pitchers of beer with $0.25 hot wings. It's 12 straight hours of sports and sports related gambling. It's the tits.

(Speaking of which, if anyone wants to compete against my solid picks, please join the DCist bracket pool. You have two hours before the games start. Hurry.)

So, yeah, boo for work, hurray for basketball. But I don't play hooky. I am dependable. Well, I try to be. Sometimes circumstances beyond my control make it so that I'm an hour late to work. The delays were so bad that I just gave up and walked a few blocks to Western Avenue to catch a bus. It had been over a year since I commuted to work via bus and I forgot how slow it was. But at least I got a seat. And a window. And it gave me time to catch up with my main squeeze, Laura Sessions Stepp. I got to read about a Muslim Marxist feminist battling depression who has meaningless sex under her Che Guevara poster. Seriously. If I were that insipid I would be depressed too.

Am I angry at the Metro? Well, always. As soon as I saw the almost inconceivable horde of commuters waiting for a train that wouldn't arrive for another nine minutes, my blood began to boil. But I wouldn't let it get the best of me. Not today. Today is for basketball.


Constitutional Gloating

The Washington Post, Washington Times, and DCist have all taken the time to address the U.S. Court of Appeals decision overturning the District's ban on handguns and assembled shotguns and rifles. I thought I'd take a shot at the issue, so to speak.* I mean, who better to discuss weaponry than the proud of owner of both the Rifle Shooting and Shotgun Shooting merit badges?

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I am on the side of the Washington Times. Naturally, their editorial board was super-psyched that they can start packing heat again. The Washington Post was predictably incensed by the decision. Their editorial board should be ashamed of itself. The Post has always taken pride in being an advocate for equal rights for District residents. However, it appears that the Post is only interested in equality if it meets their agenda.

The District's Constitutional argument to maintain the handgun ban was that the District wasn't a state therefore the Second Amendment, and the rest of the Bill of Rights, doesn't apply to its citizens. Holy Fuck. Whether or not that's Constitutionally accurate (which is, unfortunately, debatable), that is the very last thing that the District's attorney general should be arguing. Regardless of your feelings on handguns, winning this case would have set a horrifying precedent for District residents. I don't know about you, but I'd be pissed if Congress started quartering soldiers in my group house. So, the Post, in supporting the legal arguments for the handgun band, are endorsing extreme inequality for the District's citizens. Unacceptable.

Personally, I'm against the handgun ban. It would be one thing if it actually prevented crime. Protecting innocent citizens is a legitimate citywide interest. But there really isn't any proof that the ban works. Crime spiked dramatically after the ban was instituted and has since dropped off considerably. The ban probably had little to no effect. Trampling a Constitutional right for a law that doesn't advance the government's reasonable objective is unacceptable to me.

Of course, my readers (including myself) skew liberal so I expect quite a few people to disagree with me. That's fine. Reasonable minds can differ. The Second Amendment is certainly vague enough to allow different interpretations and the Supreme Court hasn't touched the issue since 1939. Agree to disagree, right?

Surely, however, we can all agree that the District's legal reasoning for continuing the ban is a slap in the face to the District's 580,000+ residents. No matter how much you hate guns (and, despite my merit badges, I despise them), putting the Bill of Rights in jeopardy to maintain a ban that may or may not work is disgusting.

*I apologize for the unfunny joke.


People Who Are Better Than Me

It would be impossible to make a list of people who are "better" than me. "Better" is pretty subjective. Does it mean nicer? More handsome? Wealthier? Smarter? More charitable? No matter what definition of "better" we use, it's safe to assume that this list would be very, very long. I am honored to reserve a spot on this self-imagined list for the Rosenbaum family.

In case you forgot or if you aren't religiously checking my archives, David Rosenbaum was a New York Times journalist who was assaulted by some muggers in January, 2006. This injured man was thrown into meatgrinder that is DC's total incompetence and ended up dead as a doornail. Here's a quick rundown of all the whoopsies that sealed Rosenbaum's fate:

-Murderes had previously mugged a cop and stole his cell phone. Though calls were made by the criminals, this lead was ignored. Yes, in DC you can mug an off-duty cop and get away with it.

-The EMT crew that arrived at the scene thought that Rosenbaum was drunk. They missed the massive head wound.

-The ambulance came from across the city even though there were others nearby. When the ambulance finally picked up Rosenbaum, they drove to Howard University hospital (instead of Sibley Hospital which is almost walking distance) because the driver had personal business to attend to.

-When Rosenbaum arrived at the Howard University Hospital, he wasn't treated as an emergency case. He was left untreated with a mortal head wound for 90 minutes. He didn't receive a neurological exam for four hours. That is shithouse rat crazy.

In other words, the lawsuit that the Rosenbaum family had on their hands was the most open-and-shut case imaginable. The family should be 20 million dollars richer. Lord knows if this happened to my Dad (Hi, Dad!), I would take the money and run. Let someone else deal with DC's sweeping and total neglect.

The Rosenbaum's went another route:

David E. Rosenbaum's family said it will give up a $20 million lawsuit against the city -- but only if changes are made within one year. Under a novel legal settlement, the city agreed to set up a task force to improve the troubled emergency response system and look at issues such as training, communication and supervision. A member of the family will be on the panel.

So, instead of taking the cash and flipping Washington the bird, the family of the unfortunate victim has decided to use their considerable leverage to improve the city. They have had to endure an egregious wrong, and their response was to fix the problem. I am embarrassed to say that I wouldn't have been so altruistic. Good for them for helping the city that basically ensured their father's death.

Of course, if positive change isn't made in one year, the Rosenbaums still get their money. It's like they're taking the excellent public relations now while betting on DC to continue fucking up. That's a solid bet. The Rosenbaums will probably end up with their cake and they'll eat it too. They deserve it.






Bad Journalism

So you know how Ann Coulter called John Edwards a "faggot"? Of course you do. You're surfing the World Wide Web right this second so you've probably seen some mention of it somewhere.

I could really care less about anything Coulter says. She's outrageous for the sake of outrageousness and it should be no surprise to anyone that the conservatives who applaud her, buy her books, and make her a multi-millionaire are hateful and bigoted people. The only reason this is a story is because she was sharing the same podium as some presidential nominees. Those nominees later criticized her. Big whoop. What I care about is The Washington Post's treatment of this story.

To wit:

At the end of her speech Friday, Coulter said: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word [expletive], so I'm kind of at an impasse."

The emphasis is mine. There's more:

...The most prominent newspaper coverage was at the bottom of a Los Angeles Times story (which used the word) and a mention in Dana Milbank's Washington Post column (which did not). Post editors decided then, and again for this story, that the controversy could be adequately explained without using the offensive word.

The Post editors are completely wrong. I'd go so far as to call them cowardly. Their decision to make a word unprintable regardless of its context is poor journalism. For people unfamiliar with the story, it makes the column a guessing game of slurs. The only hint is that the word is six letters. Granted that's a pretty big hint, but let's not overestimate the intelligence of the American public. There's a reason that papers are supposed to be written at a 4th-grade level.

Guessing that some people won't be able to guess the word may be a bit cynical (it's not like 4th graders don't know the word "faggot"), but omitting the word is an insult to the Post's readers. Who is going to be insulted by the word "faggot" in the Post? I am glad that the word is now so taboo that there's even a question of its prinatbility, but that doesn't mean that the Post can censor itself at the expense of describing a story in the clearest way possible. There are plenty of people who aren't even aware that "faggot" is now on the very short list of things you just can't say. The public scolding of Coulter could go a long way to make sure that the word remains out of bounds in public discourse. That is unless Coulter isn't even connected to the specific slur. The Post isn't making that connection.

To put it bluntly, which one of these totally hypothetical news stories is more shocking:

"Ann Coulter Calls Former President Bill Clinton a 'Nigger.'"


"Ann Coulter Calls Former President Bill Clinton a Taboo Slur Directed Towards African-Americans."

One of those headlines makes it clear how ugly and hurtful Coulter was. The other is useless. Same situation here. The Post's refusal to accurately describe how ugly and hurtful Coulter was to John Edwards and to homosexuals in general lessens the impact of the story. The Post is doing a disservice to its readers.

So Long! Farewell!

...Now I want to buy a Kia.

I'd like to take a minute to offer my congratulations to Schuyler from A Ton of Bricks for escaping Washington, DC for greener pastures in, um, Detroit. Schuyler, when he's posting regularly, is my favorite blogger in the land and it's a shame to see him leave for Canada.*

I highly recommend you check out the July 2006 archives. Schuyler was my guest blogger between the 21st and 28th while I was on vacation in Massachusetts and he blew me out of the water. Not only is he funnier than me, but he also took the time to make graphs and charts and shit.

This is the second local blogger that I'm a fan of to leave Washington (Irina preceded Schuyler). My response to the constant criticism of "If you hate DC so much why don't you just leave" has been "It's not that easy." Oh my God. What if it is that easy? What if I'm just lazy? Questions to ponder while I drink my cyanide-and-tea cocktail this morning.

*Joke stolen from Schuyler.


Politeness and Denial

Sometimes, on weekends, I make the mistake of going to Adams Morgan. I'm not a fan. Unfortunately, last Saturday, my new housemate wanted to go out to some bar called Nolan's in the heart of 18th Street. A chance to bond with someone who I share a bathroom with. My attendance was required. I would hate to come off as the house curmudgeon.

I was wearing my usual dopey outfit: khakis, sweater vest, and Red Sox hat. It's the Red Sox hat that always gets me in trouble. As a rule, I try to take my hat off whenever I'm indoors. That's just how I was raised. But in the crush of people inside a sweaty bar, who cares if I'm wearing a hat? Apparently the bouncers do. No hats allowed.

Is the hat rule, which I've run into at a few establishments in Georgetown and Adams Morgan, an attempt to make the bar seem classier or fancier? If it is, it's a woefully misguided one. Here you are, two doors down from a place that sells pizza slices bigger than my head and in front of a sidewalk that's just plastered with vomit from end to end. You're overserving Miller Lite to a bunch of dumb broads trying to slut themselves out so some moron will buy them a round of shots. Oh, and you're playing Bon Jovi and 50 Cent at over 100 decibels. I would hate for my Red Sox hat to drag that experience down a few notches.

Kurt Vonnegut writes a chapter on politeness in his "autobiographical collage" Palm Sunday. Vonnegut believes that people act polite in order to cover up some of the more disreputable aspects of their lives. After all, who will have the courage to tell Queen Victoria that the working class is starving when you're not even allowed to make fart jokes in front of her. I think Vonnegut's hypothesis fits at Nolan's and any other crowded bar that's concerned with hats. The owners can customers can tell themselves that they're at a classy establishment. Of course, they're really at 18th Street in Adams Morgan. It doesn't get much less classy than that.


Another Post That Has Nothing To Do With DC

Ok, remember last year when I had to beg my way into an office NCAA tournament pool? Well, I'm doing something similar here. I want to play fantasy baseball. I do not have enough guy friends interested in sports to make this happen on my own. I am sure that someone out there reading this could use one more player. I've never been in a league before, so you could use this opportunity to make me look stupid(er).

Come on. Someone help a blogger out. Contact me at whyihatedc (at) gmail (dot) com


Still Not Letting It Go

The New York Times has printed a positive review of the book. Well, it's more of a puff piece than a review. Obviously, I was quite excited to read this quote from Mrs. Stepp:

Ms. Sessions Stepp said that she welcomes criticism, though not from people who have not read the book or who have never conducted research.

"This is what I love about the bloggers," she said. "They haven't been out there interviewing young people for 10 years. They're talking about their own college experience. Everyone's had some sort of sexual experience and they all think they're experts on it."

The bloggers? That's me! I mean, I spend more time on LSS then anyone else (usually to the detriment of this blog), so, hurray for being noticed! I don't know of anyone else that she could possibly be referring to. That's right, a Pulitzer Prize winner is on my case. I've finally made it big!

Since I can now assume that LSS is reading this, I should point out that I have done "research." I can arbitrarily pick nine girls from different universities (not just Duke and George Washington like you so lazily did) and use their sexual adventures as a definitive thesis on how my generation treats sex. If you can use an unscientific self-selected sample then so can I. To be fair, my sample includes women who just want to hook up. But, hey, look at that. It also includes women who aren't interested in hooking up at all. Some are looking for "Mr. Right." Others have already found a match since they're in super serious relationships. Just because you found nine girls who give out blowjobs after last call doesn't mean that they are representative of my high school and college students.

Yes, I am talking about my own college experience (and the experience of high school friends). My own college experience has had hook-ups, long-term significant others, and dizzying dry spells. So what? Despite what you claim, Mrs. Stepp, I don't think I'm an expert on it. I just don't think you're an expert on it either.

Unhooked, if you can't tell, is driving me up the wall. I should totally be done with it by now but I had to take a break because it was making me feel both stupid and angry. I'm currently reading A Brief History in Time again in a futile attempt to regenerate brain cells. Um, and I also lost my autographed copy of the book. That's what's really getting in the way of publishing my top-10 LSS quotes. Don't worry, I'll find it. It's in my house somewhere.