Thursday, March 31, 2005

Taxation Without Representation Field At RFK Stadium

This just in from, friend to The Tiffiny Blog, Howard Park. . .

Please go to: http://www.taxationwithoutrepresentationstadium.com/

As we prepare to welcome the Nationals to the most important city in the universe it seems that the powers that be are having trouble finding a corporation willing to pay for the naming rights for the "field" at RFK Stadium. Frankly, I expected Halliburton to just bill it to an Iraq expense account but times are tough.

The solution? Thanks to John Hlinko and the other always creative and innovative folks at http://www.grassroots.com/ we have a grass roots campaign to name it "Taxation Without Representation Field At RFK Stadium." Pledge today (no, you won't be billed unless we really do raise enough to name the field). Some of you are suburbanites or even residents of the 50 states that tax the District of Columbia while denying us representation in the U.S. Congress. Here is your chance to ease a little liberal guilt and stand up for the right of all US Citizens to vote. Go to the site now!

Best,

Howard Park

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Los Amigos Invisibles: Shakin that Ass

Just got back from an awesome show at the Black Cat. Los Amigos Invisibles from Venezuala (now living in NYC). It was latin funk lounge high-energy fun with a disco edge. A lot of dancing, a lot of jumping a lot of fun. I'm thankful that we called DJ Shinypants up at the last minute to come and that she joined us and that Rich came. It will definitely go down as one of my all-time favorite shows. Interestingly enough, they played part of The Cure's "A Forest" second-to-last as part of the encore and then finished with about 15 seconds worth of Back in Black. So, there seemed to be about five guys in the band. They really had it together, they had their groove. The lead singer definitely had the moves (dance, expressions and otherwise) and resembled another Venezualan I know, Rodolofo Antorcha. At first, the guitarist on the left reminded me of Joe Shymanski (or Karen Barnes as Joe Shymanski). I see you baby shakin that ass. Groove Armada style.

UPDATE! March 21 --Even the band felt this was an awesome show! This was posted on the amigos invisibles web site forum (www.amigosinvisibles.com) !.. by catire the bassist Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:48 pm Post subject: DC sold out! "What a great show the one we had last friday at the Black Cat in DC... 815 people dancing and having fun... looked great from the stage. I just wanted to say thank you to all of you guys who made possible this fantastic event. Hope to be back there soon. DC rocks!" Catire

Monday, March 14, 2005

High on a Mountain Top

Finally, after more than a year of research and debate, the Austin Air air purifier arrived today. I hooked it up and turned it on. So far, it's awesome! Everything just seems so clean. I feel so energized. I was laying in my bed with the air purifier pumping. I felt like I was snoozing out on top of some mountain. I feel like if you lose five minutes from your life for each cigarette you smoke, you must add an hour to your life for every night you sleep with an air purifier.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

George Carlin, stand-up comic, at the Warner theatre: “there is only so much Democracy to go around."

Last night Serge and I ushered at the Warner Theatre for “George Carlin: Off-Base and On Target.” It was a very interesting show. Come to think of it, a common phrase used by George Carlin in the performance was, “I find it interesting to think about .. ..” His performance was very sharp, very honed, very precise. The opening monologue was nothing short of amazing I’ve been downloaded, uploaded, maxed out, undercut (I can’t even recall all the expressions he incorporated in the (what must have been) fifteen minute introductory monologue, let alone recite them all from memory like he did. Some of his performance I liked very much and found very amusing. Some of it was quite dark. Some of it was definitely vulgar and perhaps a bit uncomfortable. That’s the surface assessment. Below the surface, last night’s performance provides quite a bit of food for thought.
Carlin talked about American culture in a way that resonates with many Democrats and urbanites today. America is just one big shopping mall. It’s a series of small shopping malls joined together by fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. The people that own the country don’t believe in education or health care. Now they want to take social security away and they will succeed at that too (“maybe not this time, they’re just buttering you up; but, they’ll get it eventually”). The four branches of government (including the media) want you to be just smart enough to provide them with hourly labor and just dumb enough to sit by while they take what they want from you. They don’t want the American people to be able to think critically that’s why they don’t care about education.
A bit more shocking, Carlin did a long presentation on the idea of a 24 hour suicide channel. If the people on the Fox network aren’t talking about doing this, they’re not doing their job. This is what will sell. He talked about a ‘pyramid of the hopeless with the imprisoned, the condemned, the terminally ill, the depressed, and those who think they are depressed.’ I’m sure that you could get 400 or so of them at a time to engage in a mass suicide for sweeps week. I think most people would find this suggestion to be quite shocking. Shocking but if the networks could get away with this type of show, people would line up to be on it and even more people would line up to watch it. What does this say about our culture today?
Anyway, what I wanted to say is this, while much of his material would be considered, on the surface, to be quite offensive (and a certain type of person enjoys laughing at vulgarities), on a deeper level the intent is to shock us into a greater awareness of what is going on in our country. The war on terror; this time they actually tell us up front it will never be over (and you will have to sacrifice certain liberties). Carlin discussed how he loves hearing about natural disasters (the higher the death toll the better)—on the surface quite shocking but below the surface another message­­—it’s amazing how we ruin the environment in this beautiful county, and it’s great when nature strikes back.
There is a commonality in what I heard from George Carlin last night and messages I regularly encounter from organizations like the Center for the New American Dream. This commonality struck me this morning when I read the following quote in their newsletter Enough “Unfortunately, we are so stretched these days that [fill in your favorite obligation/responsibility/goal] is an exhausting thought. No wonder marketers have had so much success selling us one-use, disposable products thy say will make life easier even if it comes at the expense of the earth.” Really, the message is the same, it’s just the messenger and the format that are different. I find this interesting to think about.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Sunshine Salad!

Today was a day full of chores and then I ran off to meet Serge in Adams Morgan. We found ourselves at Lauriol Plaza looking for refreshment and a snack. Unexpectedly, it turned into the perfect outing--our best experience ever at Lauriol Plaza (separate or together). It was a lovely day. We beet the rush there so no wait. We had a table right in the center of the restaurant upstairs where we could see out the windows on both sides. The chips were tasty. The margarita was tall and salt-free in a beer mug. The perfect margarita buzz. I ordered my favorite Sunshine Salad--only this time they managed to make it as good as the Cactus Cantina. It rocked! In case you don't know the salad has avocado and sundried tomato, some corn, lettuce, oriental dressing, and some other stuff too. It is just sooo good. The whole experience was just such a delight--a real treat, that I had to write about it.