Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I am way too hyped about receiving my first DC jury summons. I've already planned my activities and snacks for the waiting room, and formulated opinions on various issues so that I'll be ready with articulate responses that will ensure my ass will be nowhere within 500 yards of an active jury. DC municipal institutions make for some damn excellent people watching. As do chili dog diners at 3:30 am:

The Players:
Woman in Line Behind Me (Woman)
Man Who Just Cut in Front of Us (Man)
His Girlfriend (Girlfriend)

The Scene: Ben's Chili Bowl, 3:30 am, mobs of people are packed like sardines, waiting to get to the counter to order. A woman next to me notices that we have been cut in front of.

WOMAN: Excuse me! Ex-cuse me! Whatchu doing up there? YOU are gettin' between ME and my INTAKE OF FOOD.
MAN: What? You talkin' to me, girl? Whatchu talkin' about?
WOMAN: I am talkin' about you in front of me where you got no business bein'! YOU are not FINE enough to cut in front of me!
MAN: [amused] Oh I ain't, huh?
WOMAN: No, you sho ain't! I'm taller than yo' short ass, too!
MAN: [less amused, definitely short] No you ain't!
WOMAN: I am five foot eight with my heels on, boy.
MAN: [lying] I'm 6 foot 2, girl.
WOMAN: Maybe wit' your EGO on your head you are!
ME: I'm totally taller than you. I'm huge.
WOMAN: Yeah, she taller!
MAN: [looking up at me] No you ain't!
ME: Yes I am.
MAN: [to his girlfriend who is trying to ignore him] Baby, who's taller, me or her?
GIRLFRIEND: [bored, droning, without looking up] You are, baby.
MAN: [triumphant] SEE?
WOMAN: I still do not understand why I see your ass between me and my FOOD!

After I recovered from laugh cramps, the woman and I cut back in front of the man and his girlfriend and got our grub. And they all lived happily ever after.


Music to my ears

From the Washington Post's Thanksgiving travel update:
"Roads are expected to be just as congested as the skies, with an estimated 578,000 motorists heading out of the Washington area for Thanksgiving. Most of them will leave today, travel experts said. "

That's almost the entire population of DC proper fleeing this area. The great thing about DC is that nobody is from here, and nobody's family wants to come here for the holidays. And those that do stay in town will probably spend the weekend at the shopping malls out in the 'burbs. So if you're lucky enough to stick around, it's like the college campus in summer time. No pesky humans clogging up my sidewalks and streets. Just me and the immigrant community who could care less about this holiday.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Saturday, November 22, 2003

So as to not alienate all parties with wall-to-wall Georgian revolution, I'm gonna keep it real with some mindless fluff.
I couldn't help but click on a CNN link that read "Bizarre cartoons attract an elusive audience."
What Do 18-To 34-Year-Old Men want? This question has plagued 18-to 34-year-old women for years, but today the folks who program TV are asking it with increasing urgency.
Young men, it turns out, want to see superheroes arguing cases in court. They want giant fighting robots. They want talking French fries. They want, that is, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

And here I was thinking they wanted long, honest talks about how we feel about our relationships. Oops.

You say you want a revolution...

I know nobody cares about this, but I'm damn excited. Opposition protesters in Georgia broke into Parliament and one of the opposition leaders declared herself acting President of Georgia until new Parliamentary elections could be held. President Shevardnadze has left Tbilisi for his summer residence. Will this stick? Will he resign? He's issued an ultimatum: if the protesters do not clear the Tbilisi streets by Monday, he's dispatching the military. But would he? Would they even follow orders? When the protesters broke into Parliament, the police stood aside.
Here's a snapshot of the protesters breaking into Parliament:

And here are the protesters thanking the armed forces for not using force against them. I love the grins on the soldiers' faces:

Friday, November 21, 2003

Georgia on my mind

Things are heating up in Tbilisi, as tens of thousands of protesters have descended upon the city to call for the resignation of Shevardnadze. For the past few days, a pro-government rally, consisting of supporters who were bused in from an outlying region has held court in Tbilisi while the opposition has been gathering forces in the West. Tonight, the opposition (they are claiming numbers up to 100,000 protesters, but that has not been verified) reached Tbilisi, and happily, no violence has yet marred the demonstrations. Some recent development suggest that there is a chance for escalation, so I'm staying tuned. In the meantime, some pictures. First, the opposition protesters driving into Tbilisi in a train of cars several kilometers long:

And the pro-government protesters brought in from Ajara. Whereas the opposition demonstrations include young and old, men and women, rich and poor, these fun-loving fellows are a bit more homogenous:

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Georgian President Edouard Shevardnadze, really missing the point of that whole "independent media" thing:
"I am asking printed media and television broadcast companies, first of all, the first [state] television channel, to cover events as they need be covered. One cannot stand simultaneously on both sides [opposition and authorities]. At least one television channel ought to work for the benefit of the government… "

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

1001 Tbilisi Nights

The post-election Georgian chaos seems to be hitting the news outlets in the states. Since I've been following this because people pay me to, I'll throw in my overly detailed summary.

This was a parliamentary, not a presidential election. While President Shevardnadze is still revered in the West for being a reform-minded fellow when he was Gorbachev's foreign minister, is he fairly well hated at home and has become entrenched with some corrupt cronies. He has been in office since Georgia's independence.

All international and domestic observers reported widespread ballot fraud in the 2 Nov elections: ballot stuffing, stolen ballot boxes, intimidation by local officials, and so on. (See my post here on the spree of pre-election assassination attempts, too) A parallel vote tabulation and an exit poll conducted by respected NGOs put the opposition bloc "National Movement" squarely in the lead. This would give them control of parliament, and generally reflect the sentiments of Georgians as expressed in opinion polling.

The official results, however, put the pro-government party in the lead, with the separatist party that Shevardnadze supposedly cut a deal with in second place. (long story) The purported winners are in third, unable to do anything much in parliament. Protesting this turn of events, up to 35,000 Georgian citizens have taken to the streets through freezing rain, day and night. (They dispersed for a break, but will return when the final results have been announced. International organizations are appalled that the final results are "still being tabulated" nearly 2 weeks later.)

Short answer?
All signs point to a fraudulent election, and I'm encouraged that the citizenry isn't falling into the mindset of other post-Soviet states: shrugging and saying "So what? Our leaders are corrupt and democracy is a farce." The Georgians actually bought into the idea that they should have some modicum of political efficacy, and they're on the streets defending that. The calls for Shevardnadze's resignation were instigated by the leader of the opposition group which is claiming victory (by virtue of the exit polls/parallel vote tab), but have been taken up by the people at large.

Unclear what will happen, as Shevardnadze has said he will refuse to share the fate of such ousted leaders as Ceaucescu and Milosevic. (Ousted is rather a soft word for Ceacescu's execution, wouldn't you say?) Hopefully this will not cast a pall over elections in general in this key country. I'm crossing my fingers for some sort of concession, such as anulling election results in the regions that registered the highest instances of ballot fraud. We'll see.
Life's subtle signs

I don't mean to be glib, but. Well, okay, I mean to be glib, I just don't mean to be horrifically insensitive because I'm very happy that nobody's hurt. But when you're Tom Delay's communications director, and a pitchfork comes hurtling through the air on the highway, nearly impaling you through the heart, you might want to stop and, you know, reflect.

I see, via Calpundit, that Republicans might want to re-think the "let's call the 4-star General a lily-livered, commie-loving, America-hating hippy" strategy.

From the Wesley Clark interview on FOX:
Fox: On Meet the Press you said something about Iraq. You said, "President Bush has said [the war in Iraq] is the centerpiece for the war on terror. It isn't. It's a sideshow. It's simply their easiest means of access to attack American soldiers. That's all it is."

Do you really think Iraq is only a sideshow?

Clark: For the war on terror it's a terrible distraction. We should have gone directly after Osama bin Laden....We should be putting a full court effort on finding Osama bin Laden....

Fox: While our men and women are dying in Iraq, is it proper to call it a sideshow?

Clark: Our men and women in Iraq are doing a fabulous job....Don't you dare twist words into disrespect for our men and women in uniform....You better take my words the right way....

Amen. The General has been good about taking challenges in stride, but this is one charge that he should and does get righteously angry about. There's no time for that kind of trash, and I'm glad he's stopping it dead in its tracks.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Find the logical inconsistency!

Christina Aguilera says Spears isn't a "proper" artist.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that connecting the dots is not Christina Aguilera's strong point. Let's play a game with her interview.

Dot 1: Britney kissed Madonna at the MTV music awards "because she needed a gimmick to keep fans interested."

Dot 2: Therefore, "These people aren't artists, they're just performers - fake and superficial, like the entire event."

Now, is Dot 3:
A. "Because I too kissed Madonna at the MTV Music awards as a shameless gimmick, I too am a fake and superficial performer.
B. "Although I too kissed Madonna at the MTV Music awards, I did out of genuine artistic inspiration, and am therefore a consummate artist.
C. "Just look at the way they handled the kiss I had with Madonna. They didn't even screen my kiss properly - they cut away instead for a Justin Timberlake reaction shot. How predictable and how pathetic."

Hint: Christina is super dumb!

Angels on HBO

Frank Rich has a column today on HBO's upcoming adaptation of Tony Kushner's two-part play, "Angels in America."

I've been a rabid admirer of Kushner's since I first read and saw a theatrical producation of Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches back in high school. Subtitled "A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," it might turn off a few prospective viewers, but I remember it as a remarkably prescient, bold, and affecting piece of drama. It's over-the-top, extravagant, and grandiose as a drag queen pageant. None of your Chekhovian subtlety here. Kushner has that enviable ability to craft astonishing, exquisite dialogue somewhat in the mode of Tennessee Williams: not entirely realistic, but with a lyrical honesty that seems appropriate in the playwright's constructed universe.

Rich seems to think Angels in America, when it debuts, is going to cause a stink that will dwarf CBS' yanked Reagan spectacle:
If "Angels" reaches an audience typical for HBO hits, it could detonate a debate bloody enough to make the fight over "The Reagans" look like an exhibition bout.

That's not such a big if. "Angels" is the most powerful screen adaptation of a major American play since Elia Kazan's "Streetcar Named Desire" more than a half-century ago. It's been produced not only with stars but at four times the budget of "The Reagans." People are going to talk about it, and, as they do, HBO will replay it relentlessly to rake in more and more of the country.

Now, I don't know about all that. I know it's got Pacino and Streep and Emma Thompson on board, but all that star-power does not a "Streetcar" make. Let's not get too over-excited here. But Rich has seen it, and he's an old fan of the work, so I'm excited to hear that he approves. As for this Reagan controversy re: Ronnie hates AIDS victims, I have to say I'm not interested. Although this play is a very political work, it is still primarily an artistic work, and I'd hate to see the conservative squall obscure that.

It has been a long time since I've read or seen Angels, so I am a little hesitant. Since virtually everything that I thought was fantastic in high school (Ayn Rand, clarinet reeds) has turned out to be mildly embarassing, I never know if I ought to recommend something that so delighted my youthfully naive, pre-ironically detached self. Rich seems to understand:
I can't say I expected to find "Angels in America" this affecting in 2003. Plays you love don't always hold up years later, particularly those tied in any way to headlines. Great plays almost never make good films. But even when Mr. Nichols's version lags — as it does at times in the second half, in part because the female characters are not as deeply acted as the men [and in part because sprawling Part II is a let-down from the tightly constructed Part I ]— any failings pale next to the grandeur of the larger achievement. This is a work big enough to walk around in again and again, and ravishing to watch even when its heavenly interludes threaten to go over the top. It hasn't dated a whit. When Mr. Kushner, in anticipation of the millennium, wrote the line, "History is about to crack wide open," he saw around a corner the rest of us could not. And what he found there is more important than ever: not just terror, but a possibility of hope in which love, God and a bedrock belief in the American ideal of justice all come into play. At one point Belize (Jeffrey Wright), Cohn's black gay nurse, complains that the "white cracker who wrote the national anthem" set the word "free" to "a note so high nobody could reach it." But Mr. Kushner does reach it here, and it is piercing.

Unfortunately my 3-month trial on HBO has run out, so I'm searching for DC-area HBO subscribers that are willing to lend their couches for a three-and-a-half hour gay fantasia.

UPDATE: In the interest of thwarting any misguided respondents, that last phrase was really not supposed to sound like a personal ad.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Friday Mixology

Here's a fun little game, courtesy of DC blogger Chrisafer. It's a recipe for a mix CD, based on a set rubric. And then you give it a title based on a fun movie quote. Here's the track criteria:

1. A song from the last record you bought
2. A blues: not a necessarily a blues record but a song that is labelled (something) blues
3. A song that gets you going in the morning
4. A song that you think is romantic
5. One of the earliest records that you can remember listening to.
6. A song that you discovered from a film
7. A song from your favourite band / artist (go on, pick one – don’t give me this ‘I don’t really like one band more than any others’ rubbish imagine a desert island and only one artist can soundtrack it – now choose a song!)
8. A song from an artist band that you otherwise don’t like, but like this one
9. A Lullaby.
10. A song that makes you laugh / you find funny
11. A really good cover version
12. A song that reminds you of school days
13. A song from an artist that you are embarrassed to admit you like
14. Whatever it is, it’s got to be funky
15. A song for those quiet rainy days
16. A song that no matter when you hear it makes you ‘Feelgood’
17. A song with the word ‘Look’ in the title
18. From a member of the ‘Dead rockers society’
19. Your favourite Elvis song. (I know it's a narrow field and that every mix will end up having Elvis on it but that's part of the fun/challenge - will we all end up with the same tune or will we have a rich selection?)
20. Wildcard – Hey, just put any song you like on!

So, without any further ado, I give you:

You People are Bastard People

1. "Ladyfingers" --The Fever
2. "Dublin Blues" --Guy Clark
3. "Hotel Yorba" --White Stripes
4. "At Last" --Etta James
5. "Rocky Mountain High" --John Denver
6. "These Days" --Nico
7. "Atlantic" --Rainer Maria
8. "Ignition Remix" --R. Kelly
9. "Lay Lady Lay" --Bob Dylan
10. "Harper Valley PTA" --Jeannie C. Riley
11. "Halleluja" --Jeff Buckley
12. "Tired of Sex" --Weezer
13. "Livin' on a Prayer" --Bon Jovi
14. "Callin' Out" --Lyrics Born
15. "Which Will" --Nick Drake
16. "Rudy Can't Fail" --The Clash
17. "Nice Things That Look Good" --Mates of State
18. "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" --The Ramones
19. "Alison" --Elvis (Costello. Sorry, not a huge Presley nut.)
20. "Decepticon" --Le Tigre

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Hail to thee, my alma mater...

I don't know how, I don't know why, but today I learned that my old high school alma mater has discovered the internet. I believe my generation--perhaps my graduating class--is among the last to be able to say that we didn't know internet from shinola until college. We didn't go to Plano, you see, where they had such things pre-1997. I'd heard of internet (it was called "Prodigy" back then, and it did more-or-less nothing) and I'd heard of e-mail, though I couldn't figure out how it was different from the letters I sent by mail. After all, I typed those up on the computer too. What's the diff? What I'm trying to say, is that the information superhighway was a distinctly post-high school discovery for me, and it's hard to imagine the two co-habitating.

Nevertheless, there it is, old RLT HS replete with band newsletters (it seems inconceivable that I don't know the drum majors!), announcements of this year's musical, and an entirely separate page for pictures the drill team. (How typical. Vain sluts.) So strange to consider that all that nonsense didn't die with graduation day--that the cheerleaders are still ruling the school and the poor marching band will never stand a chance at respectability.

The most disconcerting, though, was a quick glance at the faculty directory. I wanted to see which of the old guard was still duking it out in the hallowed hallways. I see Mr. Hurst, beloved physics teacher and un-reconstructed 80s-era geek has expanded his Chess Club empire and founded a Table Tennis club. The old battle-axes of the Science Wing still rule C Hall with a vengeance. But the most surprising discovery? A few very familiar names. My old classmates, now teachers, at our depressing old high school.

There's the girl, one year ahead, who seemed happier with her livestock than with humans, running the Future Farmers of America. There's another one, the girl who taught me how to burp in 4th grade, teaching Special Ed and sporting a brand-spanking new last name that is eerily identical to that of the young math teacher who started teaching when we were seniors. Quelle scandal! And the reclusive artsy guy, the one who rambled about Hindu spiritualism his senior year and declared his celibacy, which sounded a lot more impressive when you didn't consider that nobody was clamoring to taint his purity--well, he's teaching art. And his mother still teaches there, too.

While it's almost impossible for me to understand the comfort derived from ending up exactly where you started--only as a teacher rather than a teached--I know it's a very satisfying state of affairs for a lot of people. And lord knows it's a step up from the rest of my graduating class, the dregs of which are probably still busy slicing each other up in gang fights, and the shining stars (jock, cheer) of which are busy impregnating each other and, if reports from two Xmases ago are to be believed, dancing on tables in suburban Dallas.

I am so never going to a reunion.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Friendster decoding

The truth behind all those painfully hip Friendster photos.
Old Glory

Yes, it did bother me when I read that Clark backs a constitutional amendment banning flag desecration. This is not the burning (ha ha) issue of the day by a long shot, but it is troublesome that he fails what I will dub the "Bartlett" test; meaning that unlike West Wing president Josiah Bartlett, Clark apparently fails to share all my opinions on all things, including such a no-brainer as flag burning. It wasn't Bartlett, but another Aaron Sorkin creation, President Michael Douglas of that fine filmThe American President who said
America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours." You want to claim this land as the land of the free? The symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.

And anyway, isn't this the Clark that tells us we were going to take back "patriotism" from those that tell us it does not include the dissenters and the questioners?

Yes, I know he was talking to veterans when he advocated the amendment, and if I were talking to a room full of adorable old men who had risked their lives for our nation, I would probably join the NRA and jiggle in a racy USO dancer get-up if it would make them happy. But Clark is the one guy who could maybe change their minds about certain cherished opinions that go beyond flag-burning. Maybe it's too much to expect from a life-long military man, that he toe the liberal line on flag desecration. But I don't think it's too much to expect from a democratic nominee for president who has the unique opportunity to bring his military peers into the wide embrace of our commie-lovin', flag burnin' arms.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Famous Amis

As expected, the Martin Amis reading was good fun. Can't get enough of that sharp British wit. And not surprisingly, a disconcertingly well-behaved Christopher Hitchens did indeed show up to watch his friend read. He stayed out of the way and snuck out for cigarettes and harassment by college kids the moment it ended.

I found Amis to be refreshingly forthright and open in his responses to the informed and sometimes uncomfortably direct questions from the audience (one respondent kept harping on the "vicious" "miserable" reviews that Yellow Dog was receiving, wondering how Amis coped with the overwhelming "negative energy" directed at him.)

Amis mused on the nature of the contemporary novel, and his opinion that authors (including himself) were returning to the idea of narrative plot. Whereas 10-20 years ago, people wanted to be challenged and writers were subverting conventional forms, today, people do not want difficult books anymore. "We don't want Ulysses," Amis said. "You don't want to go home and curl up with a 600-page crossword clue."

One audience member asked if Amis would comment on the writers he admired, especially any younger writers that the audience might not be familiar with. "Younger writers?" Amis barked, affronted. "It's almost a point of pride not to read younger writers. You don't want to see those little bastards coming."

An especially bold questioner, having noticed Mr. Hitchens standing off to the side, asked if the public row between Amis and Hitchens following the publication of Amis' Koba the Dread had been detrimental to their friendship. "Hitchens was saying," the questioner noted, "that your entire thesis was basically shit." Martin Amis responded that their friendship had actually deepened, and was anyway in no real danger at all. "When I ask him, 'Do you want some? Do you want some bother and some argument,' it would not be like the Hitch to say 'No thanks.'"

Friday, November 07, 2003

Apologies if this already made the rounds ages ago, but I'm still catching up on my Foreign Affairs, and this quote introducing Niall Ferguson's article on hegemony was eye-opening:
"Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies but as liberators...It is [not] the wish of [our] government to impose upon you alien institutions. ... [It is our wish] that you should prosper even as in the past, when your lands were fertile, when your ancestors gaveo to the world literature, science, and art, and when Baghdad city was one of the wonders of the world. ... It is [our] hope that the aspirations of your philosophers and writers shall be realized and that once again the people of Baghdad shall flourish, enjoying their wealth and substance under institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws and their racial ideals."
--General F.S. Maude to the people of Mesopotamia, March 19, 1917

Of course the Brits weren't afraid to call their Empire an Empire, and this article that I've just started promises to explain why America doesn't run an empire, but is a hegemon, and perhaps the world's first. Something to do with leading the allies but not ruling the subject peoples and so on.

Woo-hoo, am I exciting today. Christ, it's a friday. What am I talking about hegemons for? I should be fined for even cracking the spine of a Foreign Affairs on a motherloving Friday. I'm off to see Martin Amis and (knock on wood) a woozy Hitch in attendance. Want the autograph, but don't really want to buy the book as I've heard it's shoddy. Don't think authors sign breasts. Maybe will find out.

Our comrades in Moscow didn't get the memo that flash mobs are over, or the one about political rallies not counting as flash mobs, but we'll give them credit for at least not being 20 years behind in a Western cultural fad. Viva la internet.

And you have to admire these kids for managing to combine obscure Western hipster fad with communist propaganda and, well, Keanu Reeves. Yes this was a flash mob held by young KPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) members, outside a screening of The Matrix Revolution or whatever this crappy installment is called.

Pourquoi? you may ask?

Says organizer Oleg Bondarenko (who with his fellow mobbers was sporting the requisite Soviet Civil War helmet, Matrix shades, and T-shirt with neon letters reading "We are Neo-Communists" and "Destroy the Matrix"):
"'The Matrix' is one of the few Western movies that raises a philosophical issue: the virtuality of our existence.

One can draw a clear parallel between the movie's theme and what is happening in our country today. Our leader is in fact a virtual one. There is no Putin as a leader, but a group of people behind him who are taking all of the decisions for the 'Matrix president.'"

Also, both suck.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Chiming in

I don't really have a lot to add on the whole Khodorkovsky under arrest scandal. I think most parties are agreed that:

A) Okay, he was no angel back in '91.

B) His business, Yukos Oil, (now Yukos/Sibneft, the 4th largest global oil producer) became in the intervening decade, a model of transparency and accountability, and Khodorkovsky himself engaged successfully with Western political and business leaders, donated millions of dollars to philanthropic causes, and boosted Russia's economy and foreign investor's confidence in Russia.

C) None of those business tycoons were angels back in '91. In fact, they are all criminals.

D) Only the politically active, insufficiently obsequious guys seem to get pinched by Putin.

E) This is a politically motivated arrest that will cast a pall over Russia's investment climate, dampen its previously thriving stock market, and discourage further development of private enterprise. It also opens the door to all kinds of speculation on Putin's true colors, his political will for reform, and the future of economic and political developments in the country.

So I also agree with all that. I only have two points to add to the debate: anybody who slyly suggests that these oligarchs are almost all Jewish and that the arrests of Berezovsky, Gusinsky, and Khodorkovsky were motivated by anti-Semitism needs to get a clue. Yes there is rampant anti-semitism in Russia, but it's not guiding domestic policy, especially when there's tons of way better excuses such as money and power; and, the infamous prison that Khodorkovsky is staying in? Matrosskaya Tishina? It means, according to me, "Sailor's Silence," which is kind of poetically creepy.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Why is fate so cruel as to give me a great hair day on a red-nose, stuffed-head, feverish-skin, puffy face, bloodshot eyes, walking crookedly day? It's not fair.

But enough of that. For anyone who didn't have fun on Halloween, you should have come with us. Not only was it a wickedly fun UT-alum reunion, it was a fascinating sociological experiment in DC pop culture knowledge. The evening had two stops: a costume party at a house on Capitol Hill, and a dance party at indie club Black Cat. My main squeeze and I went in our smashing White Stripes get-up. The house party had some good costumes: Charlton Heston packing heat, Fidel Castro trying to make out with our friend, a giant fortune cookie handing out demented fortunes. But you wouldn't believe how many people gave us blank stares when we explained that we were the White Stripes.
"What's that?"
Seriously, it's not like the White Stripes are so obscure. We weren't going as Godspeed You, Black Emperor! And you can't blame it on our costumes, because they simply hadn't ever heard of the White Stripes. Meg and Jack could have walked in and they would have said "What are you?" Seriously out of the loop, kids. Get a fucking radio.

Then we go on to the Black Cat, and it's a different story. We haven't taken ten steps out of the cab when we hear "White Stripes! Awesome!" Everyone knew who we were, and we spent the evening collecting the accolades of our peers and keeping Kriston from falling on people. And, as we hoisted Kriston bodily into a cab to go home, a life-long dream of mine finally came true when a jeep spilling over with hot gay men leaned out to yell, "Meg White!! You go girl!" Sigh. The affirmation of gay men. Now I know what it feels like to be Madonna.