Friday, November 28, 2008

Roger Ebert and the Demise of the Ink-Stained Wretch

It's funny -- I typically consider Roger Ebert's movie opinions pretty worthless, off-the-mark and overly deferential to mainstream tripe [insert Cribbs rebuttal here and here and here]. That's not to say he can't turn a phrase among some of the best reviewers, such as this one from his Kingdom of the Crystal Skull review, which he, predictably, enjoyed:
"If you eat four pounds of sausage, how do you choose which pound tasted the best? Well, the first one, of course, and then there's a steady drop-off of interest."

But his thoughts on the decline of the newspaper industry and his defenses of the value of the printed word have been spot on, even stirring in their passion. He wrote a blog post Wednesday about the AP's new limit of 500 words on movie reviews. Here's the hottest selection:
“Perhaps fearing the challenge of reading a newspaper will prove daunting, papers are using increasing portions of their shrinking news holes in providing guides to reading themselves.” … “The celebrity culture is infantilizing us. We are being trained not to think. It is not about the disappearance of film critics. We are the canaries. It is about the death of an intelligent and curious, readership, interested in significant things and able to think critically. It is about the failure of our educational system. It is not about dumbing-down. It is about snuffing out.

The news is still big. It’s the newspapers that got small.”
Yowzers. Ebert isn't too cheery on his future with newspapers, and with good cause. Ebert, however, is representing a different view of the decay of the industry, one that is being lamented more than the the loss of the physical product itself: he says the fault lies not soley at the feet of the internet, blogs and the 24-hour news environment, but rather on the doorstep of the decline of intellectualism among the population as a whole, this fascination with tasting the trifle that is destroying our abilities to digest the significant.

Read the whole thing here. It's still not enough to get me to watch Crystal Skull again though. Sorry Rog.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Signs you are getting older

- You have to pick your little sister up from the bar at 1 a.m. on the day before Thanksgiving because all you're doing is sitting at home watching Barbara Walters interview Barack Obama with your mother since all your friends from high school are either married or tending to their children.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In Brooklyn, enemies of imagination beware

It should come as no surprise to anyone who regularly reads this thing (hello again, dude in Jakarta who keeps Googling "drug-addled cartoonists") that I have long-coveted the prestige of the mighty McSweeney's Web site, all to no avail, because apparently you need things called "talent" and "creativity" and "humor" to be published there, so their rejections are understandable. Plus, the rejection e-mails are always very pleasant and thoughtful, with good punctuation and syntax, and come off as very encouraging. I imagine if they were old fashioned letters they would smell like fresh linen and be printed on crisp paper with a big, impressive letterhead that took up 2/5 of the page. Here's an actual example:

Hi, Tim -

Thanks for considering us for this one, but I'm afraid we're not going to use it. Hope you'll keep trying.

That's like 100 times better than the responses I've gotten from most jobs I've applied to in the past two years. Those responses usually look like this:

(uproarious laughter as application packet is opened, crumpling sound) proceeded by the following action:
Thanks for applying, jerk!

But besides highlighting the kind of sardonic, ironic, literate humor I have a particular appreciation for, McSweeney's is the product of Dave Eggers, author of the book with the best title of the past 10 years (besides "Burning Down My Masters' House," of course). I was aware that Eggers and company also run 826 tutoring centers in a few cities in stores disguised as something fantastic and fun, including a Space Travel Supply Store in Seattle and a Pirate Supply Store in San Francisco. (Quote from David Byrne on their web site: "Definitely one of the top five pirate stores I've been to recently.")

So it was a sweet surprise Saturday afternoon as I was wondering down the street (as jobless people tend to do) in Park Slope when I stumbled across the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company right on 5th Ave., not far from where I was staying. How can you resist going into a store with such powerful frontage?

So I went in. And it was, as I expected, pretty awesome. The commitment to the bit was most impressive -- every inch of the store is covered in cans of invisibility spray, boxes of superhero tights, goggles (they do nothing), jugs of elongation serum and so forth. There's a large de-villianifying chamber you can go into, because, as the store staff says, they can't just go selling super products to would-be evil-doers. In the back, there's a trick bookshelf that opens into a secret chamber, which is the room where all the tutoring happens.
I'm on a pretty tight budget up in New York while I'm getting set up, but I couldn't resist the urge to buy something, since the money goes to support the tutoring center. I picked out a bottle of the shape shifting serum to bring to a bday party I was attending that night. Before you can buy anything, you have to read an oath of do-goodery and create a superhero name for yourself (Super Magic Man was all I could come up with in a pinch). You put your money in a vault and they read you your total from a microphone in a control room booth.

Only after you complete your purchase does the staff hint at what actually may be in the bottle you're holding ("Put a few drops in the bathtub to activate the shape-shifting properties," the girl said).

The store is great, one, because it's one of the only place I know of in Brooklyn in which you can (legally) purchase a black hole, and provides the only non-pedophiliac sidekick placement services in all of the city.

But it is also refreshing because it reminds you of the value of actually using your imagination on a daily basis, something that makes me smile when I think of the hundreds of kids who've had to walk past a rack of capes and a shelf of immortality potion on their way to literacy and writing tutorial sessions in the back.

I spent a year in college tutoring kids in a generally poorly performing DC school and I was constantly amazed at the roteness of the education these kids were subject to. Even the program we tutored from was based on workbooks and flashcards for basic ABCs and math, and some of the kids just couldn't make it stick. Then when the time of the year came for standardized tests, all other classwork was discarded and the school hunkered down in Defcon 1 test prep mode.

All the students wore uniforms and sat in ugly classrooms made of those industrial-grade concrete bricks that have been used to build schools for decades. The walls were lined with posters that hadn't been updated since the 1980s and the happiest part of their day seemed to be when they got out of class and got to talk about trading Pokemon cards. When we got to black history month, all we talked about were the same black heroes we've heard about since I was in school -- MLK, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, etc. This was at a school that was nearly 100 percent black too. Surely they were aware of these figures already, I thought.

I often thought of what kind of a world we were preparing these kids for, one where success is only provided through a rigid adherence to conformity, where the correct answers are always in one of the four bubbles provided, where the unforgiving, pale beige concrete walls would line the edges of their lives forever.

Many people would argue that kids in a rough school need some strict structure and guidance if they're going to break the patterns that have hampered some of the poorer areas of DC for generations.

That's fine, and maybe they're right, I don't know the answer. But for kids in the city who sometimes have a hard time picturing their lives beyond the nearest street corner, I can't help but wonder how their education might be different if someone handed them a good-sized bucket of sonar potion, or how they could change the world with a new utility belt in hand, each pocket equipped with whatever gadgets their imagination had in stock.

826 National

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

NYC: Wraping up the print industry

So, fine, print is basically dead, whatever, I'm getting over it, and I'm probably not even going to join that Facebook group "Don't Let Newspapers Die," because unless the group plans to nail its messages to the doors of newspaper executives in the middle of the night Martin-Luther style, it's an exercise in cosmic futility, not to mention that their stated positions are pretty vapid and unconvincing, even to me, a guy who has cried tears of ink of many a night watching this death spiral unfold. The positions are, as directly quoted:
  1. Newspapers are an important & historic public resource.
  2. Journalism is vitally important to the impartial gathering & reporting of news.
  3. Newspapers are cool!
At this point, better arguments for the continued existence of newspapers (as Michael Shapiro and I spent a day brainstorming on for our proposed newspaper survival advertising campaign) have to appeal to practicality. Some ideas include:
* You can't wrap a present in the internet
* Why waste a good towel when your dog throws up on your floor?
* An iPhone won't keep you dry in a pinch during a rainstorm
* Birdcages look naked without it
* Try stuffing your wet shoes with internet and see what happens
* Your Twitter post doesn't transfer onto silly putty
* Without newspapers, what are you going to whack your cat with?
See? Much more practical. Appeal to the physical realm, because apparently no one cares that the high-quality investigations and storytelling of newspapers has yet to be fully replicated elsewhere, or that through history newspapers have served critical roles in shaping our democracy. Boooo-ring. But start telling people they'll actually have to buy wrapping paper even for those I-hate-this-person-but-feel-obligated-to-go-to-their-birthday-party occasions, and we might start to get some traction.

Print may be dead, but it's clear the world still needs copy editors. This is just from the course of a few hours wandering around the city yesterday. I let the signs in Chinatown slide. For now:

Farmers market in Union Square
Brocoli is, according to Google, a French record label. And only $2 a pound!

Dan Quayle, your legacy is a strong one. Oh Sarah ... you could have been destined for such great things too.

Harder to see, but the sign says "their hot." I tried one. And indeed, the chili peppers' hotness did belong to a group of people standing nearby.

My favorite, at a Duane Reade:
Yikes. Maybe if this is the only other option, people will finally start flocking back to newspapers, happy to entrust their gifts to the comics page rather than being forced to purchase roll after roll of wraping paper.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NYC day 2: Where they paint murals of Biggie...

Random Brooklyn pictures, for no particular reason:

neighborhood near Ditmas where I looked at a sublet today.

Q line stop under Cortelyou Rd.

Delicious looking Flatbush food co-op on Cortelyou

colorful fruits in the cold on Courtelyou, right before it started flurrying

Also, first thing in the morning I looked at an apartment at the corner of Crack and Hooker Avenues, somewhere in the Stabbing District. I've never seen a directory with so many names that had "Zs" and "Ws" in them. See for yourself, and ignore the free advertising for T-Mobile.

Shout out to Black Star today from the BK. Listen to "Definition."

NYC day 1: Little town blues, melting away

Key purchases on a first day in New York City:

1 winter hat from H & M on Broadway near the Village
Cost: $3.90 + the well being of at least four sweatshop children

1 MetroCard
Cost: $20, with $3 bonus

1 slice of crappy, greasy, yet oh-so-rapturously delicious pizza at Penn Station
Cost: $2.50
(seriously, to think there's a place on Hilton Head that actually calls itself New York City Pizza. More like Hot Circle of Garbage Pizza)

1 entrance to Peter and the Wolf show at Union Hall
Cost: $8 dollars, + scenester application fee

1/2 gourmet grilled cheese sandwich
Cost: Spending two hours in a coffee shop watching Giganti get pummeled by the Wednesday crossword

Other highlights of the day: Sending out a cover letter describing my meticulous attention to detail while also misspelling the name of the organization several times in said letter; finding indoor bocce ball courts at Union Hall; not having to drive to Bluffton, not even once, all day.

Also, finding this LOLcat halping teh needeh kittehs:

top foto, Gothamist; bottom foto, me

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 8: Ghosts are Good Company

Returning home to New Jersey, as I imagine is the case just about anywhere you call "home," is a stark reminder of just how little progress I've made growing into a new person in my adult life. It doesn't matter that, let's say, I've abandoned attempts at trying to be fashionable or buying the newest Billabong clothes over the past eight years, skewing closer instead to a sort of anti-style of whatever discount thrift store clothing is available, because when I walk around Toms River, I still feel like the 16 year old me walking down the hallways of South in the morning and getting mocked by the friends of Charlie Frazier for wearing the same sweater he had on that day. Nor does it matter that I won several journalism awards or was interviewed on Fox News a dozen times in the past year, because in Jersey I still can't feel cool, because I still run into the same salty Jersey surf guys in Seaside who have little respect for anyone who doesn't have a super-thick wetsuit and spend most of the winter months in mylar booties chasing the waves off Casino Pier.

And Jersey doesn't care that I got contact lenses to replace my glasses since I left, because my terminal case of red-eyed, sneezy, sniffly allergies return pretty much as soon as I cross the Jersey border and start breathing that coniferous air again.

It's weird, this cognitive distance, the feeling of being a tourist in your own past, walking through familiar sights and sounds with a different perspective. Some parts of my past, however, I was certain could not still be following me. Oh New Jersey, why must you prove me so wrong?

Follow me back, won't you, to those carefree days in the summer of 2001, when I worked at the boardwalk, terrorism was but a distant threat, and W was but a harmless Gerald Ford in training. That summer, I kept a running tally of how many people asked me to buy/find drugs vs. how many people tried to pitch some religion to me. I don't know why Seaside attracts both kinds of people, but it certainly does, and both tallies were large, but the drug requests were much higher (rimshot!). I have the paper somewhere still I think, but it must have been at least 15 times throughout the summer.

Now granted, this was a bit of dark period in my life, when Phish CDs were a little too common in the disc rotation and I had a slight bit of this kind of look:

So it can be understood why the clueless benny might confuse me for the neighborhood apothecary. I usually directed each inquirer to the nearest police officer, the person I felt was most likely able to answer their question.

But then I went back to school, started listening to God Speed You Black Emperor! and had the rest of any fondness for 24-minute jam session tracks systematically beaten out of my by Barry Schwartz (and for this, I'm grateful). Then I trimmed up the beard to a respectable chin strap and even cut the hair down from Ben and Jerry's employee length to the moderately less stereotyped season 1 Jim Halpert mop top. Like so:

It's amazing how much differently people look at you or speak to you once your hair length is shortened (and perhaps shampooed a little more often). But even as hair length changes, Jersey stays the same.

Cut to yesterday afternoon, walking out of the Ocean County Mall on the Applebees side to inspect what was the first attempt at construction since the old theater closed down like 10 years ago. It looked like a PF Changs, which would be a huge upgrade for the OC.

I saw a girl walking my direction out of the corner of my eye.

"Hi, hello there?" she said, though I didn't realize she was talking to me at first. "Hello? Excuse me?"

Ah here it comes, I thought. Conversations like this never begin well, particularly outside the mall in the waiting-for-mom-to-pick-me-up area. She had the acne-scarred face, oversized winter jacket and white sneakers that somehow became the uniform for white trash girls in Jersey, and looked maybe between 18-21.

"Do you know where to get any marijuana?"

Sigh. I appreciated her directness, at least. "Nope. No I don't." Then I walked away quickly, searching my brain for what it was that caused this girl to approach me out of everyone at the mall. I had gotten my hair cut that very morning, so that couldn't be it. Was it the American Apparel track jacket? The tight jeans? The beat up old chucks? The glasses? Or just that I was the only young person at a mall on a school day afternoon? Am I even all that young anymore? Why is a possibly high-school aged girl approaching a 27 year old guy for drugs?

But most likely she had caught site of the long trailer of history I was pulling behind me that's somehow becomes visible every time I return here, following me around like a spectral line marching to the bathroom like we used to do at Beachwood Elementary. There she saw it, full of the ghosts I can't seem to shake of long-haired, barefooted, but ultimately nerdy and frightened Tim Donnellys from dusty, ancient years trapped in New Jersey.

Update: Here's a link to the Bishop Allen song, as to which titular duties of this post are derived from.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 6: Change has come to Cape May

I landed back in the Jerz on Friday night and headed immediately down to Cape May, a place best anchored in my memory as the site of my first jellyfish sting when I was about 8 years old. Ah the delicacy of youth that made such an attack a day-ending affair. I emerged from the water in hot tears, feeling like my leg had been ripped open and injected with salt, followed by my mom and grandparents rushing to seek the guidance of the nearest lifeguard, who basically recommended finding some Benadryl and sucking it the hell up for the rest of the day. If only I knew then how many more times I'd be stung by jellyfish in the ensuing years while surfing or swimming, including I think three times in one day on Hilton Head two summers ago. Funny how your perception of pain changes when there's no parents to run crying to.

But that memory may now be supplanted by the weekend-long bender that was the Etan and Daphne wedding, with all its chair-hoisting revelry, debaucherous hotel balconies and the bad case of the Gottahaveits that seemed to infect many guests at the Hotel Alcott.

As is typical with these things, one of the highlights was the after-party, the place where the stuffiness and dancing-to-Steve-Miller-Band-with-grandma formality are left behind and the friends of the couple can let loose a little more. This one took us to The Boiler Room, a brick-lined basement bar lit with soft red light that gave it the feel of some underground jazz club from swank decades ago.

I took one glimpse of the band playing in a recessed alcove and immediately added another item to my list of reasons that reinforce why leaving Hilton Head was a good idea. They were a blues ensemble of four guys (give or take a few drinks' worth of math) led by a man I can only describe as the black Indiana Jones. Then this man in overalls, presumably someone who works for the bar, got on the mike to thank everyone for coming. He was probably -- outwardly, at least-- the happiest person in the room, which is saying something, since the bar was full of both our wedding party and another wedding party also in wild full swing.

"This is truly the greatest country on Earth," he told the crowd. "I love America so much. America is truly the place where all things are possible and all things can happen. I love America, and I love each and everyone of you white people out there and I want to hug all of you. This is truly is the greatest country God has ever created."

It wasn't until I got the pictures off my camera that I noticed he was wearing an Obama pin on his blue pinstriped overalls. But I had a pretty good hunch as to what he was speaking about Saturday night. Just as he was about to leave the mike and thank everyone for coming, he said: "I understand we have some weddings here tonight. Where are those lovely brides?"

Etan fished Daphne away from her table and the other bride was pushed toward the stage.
"You know you ain't truly married until you've been kissed by a black man," he said.

Holy crap, I thought, Sean Hannity was right all along-- Do you see what happens now that Obama has been elected? Everything will be different! The fundamental balance of power in our society is shifting! What else is in store? Next thing you know, black people will be telling people they can't burn crosses on the lawns of biracial couples. Madness has come to America. Hopeful, barrier-breaking madness.

Before Obama, this man only entertained weddings. Now, he officiates.

When I sobered up the next morning, I thought back to all the spontaneous celebrations in the streets of America's cities election night and the pure joy in this man's voice Saturday, and wondered what the outcome would have been if Obama had added the "two brides for every man" policy to his platform.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Etan's wedding deserves to be live blogged. No one dropped the chairs!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 4: Working Class Heroes in the District

As if drinking PBR didn't have enough benefits already, what with all the scenester cred trickling down your throat, that earthy taste of recycled bath water and the fulfilling sense of pride you gain in supporting a company who has been able to ride a state fair win for 115 years, we stumbled upon a double bonus benefit Thursday night: drinking PBR can lead to free PBR.

I discovered this last night while killing a few minutes at The Pharmacy bar in Adams Morgan in D.C. with a group of friends as we waited for the rest of our dinner party to arrive (side note: does Ted Leo ever drink here?). We were the only people in the bar except for what appeared to be an off-duty employee drinking tea and reading the Washington Post, and a round of Peebers was ordered. As we were about to leave, a woman who identified herself as a PBR rep walked in and told us she was going to buy our next round. We were momentarily stunned, then immediately sat back down and demanded the free beers we were entitled to as hard-working, blue-collar (or unemployed) Americans.

I asked this girl if she just goes around to bars looking for people she can give free Peebers to, and if so, maybe she could tell us what other bars she'd be at tonight. She said she was just on a work call to check in at the bar.

"But if I see people supporting the brand, I buy them a round. Gotta push the product," she said.

Then we launched into an extended inquiry into why the PBR brand has such penetration in Savannah, Georiga, where $2 tall boys are the drink of choice for the penniless art student and the nickelless young journalist. "It all has to do with whoever the distributor is," she said. Apparently no bars in DC yet offer the big tall boy cans, the bartender told us, but the word is that they could be on their way soon. And really, that's necessary, because there's nothing to keep your night descending into a pit of drunken hipster ambivalence than when you arrive at a place you ostensibly declare will be the last bar of the night, only to be faced with the absurdly affordable option of one-last-drink at $2 for a gigantic can of blue-ribbon winning beer. This is how many a night have ended at Pinkie Masters or Hang Fire in Savannah, cradling a quickly warming can in one hand while carrying the weight of an argument over the relative crappiness of computer jukeboxes versus real ones in the other.
Then, the next thing you know, you're walking out of the bar and all the PBR is crying out for sweet release, and you find yourself peeing in an alleyway before you notice the cop rapidly closing in. "But sir, it's my birthday!" you exclaim, trying to distinguish yourself from the rest of the unholy art-student detritus floating through the streets. And maybe, if you're lucky, the cop will be sympathetic.
But that was the South and this is DC. So watch out, DC, if you walk too far down the path of tall PBRs, you might find yourself ass down on a sidewalk, explaining to an officer how all the free beers you were handed left you with no choice but to urinate on his fine city.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 3:At least I will die free

Tonight I drank a PBR in a building in which both David Lauderdale and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger used to work: The Raleigh Times. There's nothing like the mighty carcass of a defunct newspaper building full of yellowing old memories of print days gone by to make one feel ever the more wistful for the sad reality that is the fate of newspaper journalism. Plus, it was turned into a bar, in either an act of humble homage or incredible prescience. The PBR was even at the accurate price range for the despondent journalist: $2 a glass.

Even the N and O is noticeably fading away lately, so said Ginny, with a sad sigh. And Raleigh has always deserved -- and typically had -- a strong paper, as the Times building reminds you with its old issues lining the walls, their headlines blaring for attention over the din of the bar and the fans watching the Hurricanes game.
I can only hope the future bears similar paths for other newspaper buildings should (or when) they become empty, giving at least a fitting use to the remaining ink stains and ghosts of the printed word.

Then I went across town and played "Wave of Mutilation" on a plastic drum set hooked up to a TV for two hours. I even managed to be not terrible at it.

That's front-page news, in my world.

11/20 UPDATE AND CORRECTION: via David Lauderdale--
Arthur and I both worked for The Raleigh Times, but not in that building. The late and lamented PM paper (“Evening Hours Are Reading Hours”; “Today’s News Today”) was on the second floor of the N&O building on McDowell Street when we worked there. (Arthur and I were not there at the same time; he was before me.)
Inverted Soapbox regrets the error.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 2 - Decatur is a Hatur

Highlights: First (warm) Chipotle in four months with Adam and Hannah who were in Atlanta for the Coldplay concert; having Cribbs force me to watch the movie Film Geek for no particular reason or because of no specific importance to him.

Lowlights: Paying $260 for new tires at Goodyear. After the aforementioned tire explosion Monday, the Goodyear people of course discovered that one other tire was about to go too. And apparently my car only uses tires made from the rarest gold strands, hand-spun by elves. The lube for my rectum was not included in that price either.

I'm off to Raleigh now with two good tires, and two that will probably melt into a pile of pus on the side fo the highway. FTW!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 1- Hilton Head to Atlanta

I left Hilton Head this morning amid a flurry of goodbyes and failed attempts to sell furniture (you know you want to buy a bed from me. Let's do business). 

Good omens: Gas down to $2.04 on Hilton Head, $1.99 in Decatur. 

Bad omens: Tire exploding while doing 70 mph on the highway outside Macon, causing a major unloading of contents of trunk on side of I-75 to extricate donut, followed by discovery that the only unoccupied space in the car in which I could place the busted tire was on top of the contents of the passenger seat, therein completely blocking any and all lines of sight out the right hand side of the car. Yikes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 1: Leaving the rock

Goodbye hilton head. Your trees were always nice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Combo Breaker

Obama victory celebration videos nationwide

Nov. 4, 2008: the night America officially lost its damned mind with excitement.

These videos are insane. It's hard to watch these and not be struck by the sheer physical force and tangible participation evident in the process this time. I heard NPR state it plainly earlier tonight: you aren't seeing toasts in Democratic party headquarters or hotel ballrooms this time; it's in the streets, streaming out of doorways into the night into a celebrated commonality of experience. No matter what you thought of Obama, I think that causes you to pause for a moment.

On the New York City subway:

Down Penn. Ave. in Washington, right next to the White House:

More D.C.:


Broad Street in Philly

Singing the national anthem at Illinois State University:

Downtown Berkeley:

And maybe the best, a massive Cupid Shuffle outside MLK's church in the ATL:

The list goes on and on. I'm sure YouTube will continue to fill up with these videos overnight. Hot damn citizen journalism is great sometimes. Hard to watch these celebrations and not be immediately reminded of the ye olden Terp riots from aught three. Except, you know, less fire and tits and pepper spray.

I'm trying to think of anything in my lifetime that has generated such a spontaneous, country wide celebration. The release of the last Harry Potter book maybe? It's like Oprah single-handedly won the World Cup out there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election day update

Spotted these three girls outside a church mid-island today. They're too young to vote (17, 16 and 17) so they got permission to take off school for the day to wave signs in front of a polling place. They had been flipped off seven times (that's middle finger x 7) as of about 10:45 this morning.

But they also got a lot of honks, notably (in the few minutes I stood there) from semi-trailer trucks.

"We got the Panera truck," one of them said. What a great way to encourage young people to be involved in the process by giving them the middle finger or screaming at them on the side of the road. America!!

I'm actually just posting these pictures here so I can link to them from the live blog I'm doing for the Packet's web site. Yes, our technology is that bad. But literally 10s of readers are dying to know.