Thursday, January 29, 2009

Meat and Vegetables

PETA isn't generally an organization with which I feel much lefty camaraderie. Sure, I'm against torturing cute furry animals-- even to make fabulous fur coats-- but trying to rename fish "sea kittens?" Come on. Do fish feel pain? Maybe. Are fish "intelligent?" Doubtful. Do I care? No.

And then PETA comes out with this new ad, which NBC is refusing to air during the Super Bowl because it's too racy, and I'm forced to reconsider my position on the organization.

UPDATE: But maybe it's all a lie!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Post-Inaugural Epidemic Saps Obama's Support

WASHINGTON - Less than a week after his inauguration, Barack Obama is quickly losing support in his new home city as thousands of its citizens blame him for their recent flu-like symptoms. As many as half of all DC residents have taken ill since Tuesday. The epidemic is believed to have been directly caused by the hours residents spent shivering in the cold winter morning, waiting to hear Obama’s speech and claim their share of American history.

The illness is characterized by chest congestion, post-nasal drip, and a certain dubiousness about the nascent Obama presidency. “Sure, I voted for the guy,” says DC resident Chaz Steelman, “But in his campaign he never mentioned the body aches and runny nose.” Chaz left his house before six o’clock on inauguration day, and along with his three roommates and two million others, stood in the frigid shadow of the Capitol for nearly eight hours. “I probably should have worn a scarf,” he admits, blowing his nose into the last of his Kleenex.

While the President’s call for “a new era of responsibility” has lifted spirits and steeled resolves in Boise and Little Rock, and his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility has resonated from Cambridge to Berkley to Brooklyn, Obama may have to work to regain the trust of his new neighbors. “Enough of this horses**t about green infrastructure and tax cuts—we need chicken soup, we need Vick’s VapoRub, and we need a fat gallon of NyQuil,” says Whitney Dolby, 24, of the Columbia Heights neighborhood. “If this chump wants my vote in 2012, well, let’s just say that the people need relief.”

Some see the pandemic not as Obama’s fault, but as the fault of the attendees themselves. Sandy Benson, who came from Boston for the event, practiced expert layering technique, and prefaced her trip with a daily dose of Emergen-C. “It’s silly to blame this on Barack, these DC people just don’t know how to deal with the cold,” she said, stifling a sneeze and pulling her coat tight around her.

How this sudden loss of faith will affect the Obama administration is not yet clear. Although many previous presidents have evaded all responsibility for the people of Washington, DC during their four or eight years here, and others have screwed the city outright, hopes were high during the transition period that Barack would prioritize his relationship with his new home. Surely, the current friction is nothing another trip to Ben’s Chili Bowl can’t fix.

Our Multilingual President

Oh my goodness, this is so refreshing:
As President Obama worked the rope-line at the State Department Thursday, a State Department staffer named Charles Silver, knowing the President once lived in Indonesia, shouted out, "good afternoon" in the local language.

Obama responded back in what Silver later told ABC News was "very good" Bahasa Indonesian. The two then chatted briefly about the neighborhood Obama once lived in.
Hit the link for a video.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inauguration Preparation

Many devoted RSaN readers have been clamoring for photographs of D.C.'s preparations for Tuesday's inauguration.

Okay, that's not true.

But here you go, anyway:

The presidential viewing platform, being erected just in front of the White House. As the parade parades by, Barack will sit there behind bulletproof glass, and smilingly observe

This city is mad for bunting-- mad for it, I tell you.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee takes the bodily functions of inaugural spectators very seriously, as you can see.

Rachel Maddow made off with the other three letters, and she won't give them back.

Here's the block of Pennsylvania Avenue that passes in front of the White House, just half a block from the my office! The stands are built, the trees are boxed.

Our hallowed Capitol, from where Obama will address the nation on Tuesday morning.

The PEBO's motorcade, screeching around the corner just outside the NDN offices.

Cross-posted at NDN.

10 Steps to a Successful Presidency

Excerpted from the New York Times, and noted without further comment:

Dear President Obama,

Here is a list of the first 10 things you should do as president:

1. Fly to the White House in a helicopter.
2. Walk in.
3. Wipe feet. 
4. Walk to the Oval Office. 
5. Sit down in a chair. 
6. Put hand-sanitizer on hands. 
7. Enjoy moment. 
8. Get up.
9. Get in car. 
10. Go to the dog pound.

— Chandler Browne, age 12, Chicago

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Regarding Pants

So I recently got a couple pairs of pants from Brooks Brothers (bougie, I know.... they're not actually even pants-- they're trousers), and in the process of selecting my pants, I encountered a few decision points that all serious-minded men must contemplate at least once in their lives.

To pleat, or not to pleat?

I am of two minds about pleats (my mother is not, she hates them). On a pair of formal trousers, they lend a certain degree of gravitas. The pleats say, here is a man who takes his pants seriously, who knows where he stands, and stands there firmly. In part because they've gone somewhat out of style, they indicate that the wearer has made a conscious stylistic decision to go pleated-- and I support conscious stylistic decisions in business wear.

They also provide the benefit of extra room for one's honkin' thighs, or one's pistol.

On the downside, pleats can lend a slightly unattractive shape to the pants, particularly when the pockets are weighted down with wallets, keys, and sundry electronics. Plus, conscious stylistic decision or no, they're a little square.

I got one pair with pleats, one without.

Whither cuffs?

According to Wikipedia, cuffs were invented to add weight to the bottom of the pant leg, thereby helping the fabric sit properly on the leg. Like pleats, however, they are not particularly relevant in this modern world in which we live. They're irritating when it's raining and they fill up with water (does that happen to other people?), and confusing when unrolling a rolled-up pant leg. But one only need compare cuffed and uncuffed pants to see the argument in favor.

Cuffless pants just seem to peter out-- to suddenly, surprisingly, awkwardly come to an end. Cuffs say: "Hey. Welcome to the bottom of the pants. Want more pants? Better turn around, buster."

I went for cuffs twice. And I'm happy I did.

What are your thoughts on the matters above?