Unblinking, hydrocephalic mayor introduces children to Washington

Annexing a school district is nothing for new DC mayor Adrian Fenty, and he doesn’t have to tell anyone how much he blew on his inaugural ball. But has he been immortalized in an off-putting cartoon version of himself? Finally.

This particular bit of mayoral fan art is from his office’s children’s section. You can color Abe Lincoln’s beard, or rearrange a jumbled picture to reveal a prehistoric skull.

It’s more compelling, though, to think about the mayor. Why is his jacket pocket so small he can’t fit his cell phone inside? Why did his tailor use robin’s egg blue and light purple, both decidedly not power colors? Why is his nose an upside-down Ionic column?

Besides the mayor, my favorite part of the Kid’s Korner is George Washington and Abraham Lincoln playing tic-tac-toe. Historians debate which was the better president, but Washington always goes for the corners, and that’s enough for me.

Posted by Will Sommer

GOP kingmaker speaking in White-Gravenor Tuesday

Georgetown hosts politicians all the time, but one category of speaker has been conspicously absent, namely, conservative masterminds. This Tuesday at 7, the College Republicans will be quenching our thirst for shadowy backroomers by presenting a lecture by Grover Norquist in White-Gravenor 311.

Norquist is famous for being the head of Americans for Tax Reform and making George W. Bush popular with Republicans. In short, he was Washington’s pudgy wunderkind long before Karl Rove realized direct mail wasn’t just for L.L. Bean.

Here are less pertinent but more interesting facts from this colorful character’s extensive Wikipedia entry.

  • Along with Jack Abramoff, he was buddies with Angolan rebel and conflict diamonds dealer Jonas Savimbi.
  • Tucker Carlson called him conservatism’s “leering, drunken uncle.”
  • In 2001, he said he wanted to drown government in a bathtub.
  • Even Thomas “It’s Cheaper Overseas” Friedman thinks he’s selfish!

White-Gravenor should be a blast.

Posted by Will Sommer

Georgetown to honor dictators’ wives on Martin Luther King Day

When Jack DeGioia, Adrian Fenty, and John Thompson go to the Kennedy Center today, it won’t be for the free Brian McKnight concert. Together, they’ll present the first ladies of Zambia, Rwanda, and Ethiopia with the John Thompson Legacy of a Dream award for their work against HIV/AIDS. On a day so focused on freedom, though, it’s worth noting that an award that has previously gone to Rosa Parks and Colin Powell is being awarded to women who owe their positions to violence and exploitation. Read More

Grout and about

Grout cleanerGraffiti artists have taken over part of the men’s restroom on Lauinger’s fourth floor. It isn’t just “[Roommate’s name] is dynamite in the sack” and a phone number, though. Instead, they pun with grout.

On the wall above the urinal a series of phrases have had words replaced with “grout,” including “Grout of Africa”, “Twist and grout”, “The Grout Gatsby”, and “Brokeback Groutain,” which doesn’t seem that clever.

The last entry violates what seems to be a rule of grout theory–it has to be funny. Alexander the Grout works, so does the Grout Depression, but Groutshington, D.C. doesn’t. Equally disappointing is the scrawled graffito “God saves.” Sure, it’s a Jesuit school, but why ruin the fun, anonymous proselytizer?

Graffiti isn’t new, and neither are puns. It’s compelling, though, to imagine the Georgetown students who not only take pens into the bathroom, but choke down urinal cake odor long enough to think of a joke and write it on the bricks.

Posted by Will Sommer

What every Hoya needs

Yesterday Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled what could be the most revolutionary apple product since the mouse. Check out the new website for demos. I see another “accessorizing like a true Hoya” piece in The Guide‘s future.

Posted by Eric Mittereder

Gelardin New Media Center stocks rooster snuff films

The Gelardin New Media Center’s video collection is alternately stultifying (Doing Business in South Korea) or academically questionable (Kingdom of Heaven). Buried in the DVD list, though, there’s a happy compromise: Cockfighters: The Interviews.

Cockfighters answers the question, “What happens when a fanzine editor gets her hands on WordArt and Final Cut Pro?” The four DVD collection contains a 12 minute short film about cockfighting and interviews with 26 “cockers.” Because 4 DVDs worth of cocker interviews exceeds my food pyramid recommendation of trashiness, here’s what I learned from the Cockfighters movie.

-No matter where they’re from, all cockers have riverboat gambler names like ‘Joe Z’ Zannino, Johnnie Jumper, and Gamy Garleza.
– Cockfighting is legal in Hawaii and Louisiana

– Abraham Lincoln earned his nickname Honest Abe not for being particularly honest, but because he judged cockfights (au contraire, says the internet).

The most curious thing about Cockfighters is how morally oblivious its characters are. One man says he got into cockfighting because he was bitten by the cockfighting bug. Another man tickles his rooster after it loses a fight. It’s like watching a documentary about drug dealing where everyone treats meth like milk.

At the same time, though, the movie displays a prudish shyness toward the actual cockfight. There are plenty of pastoral scenes on chicken farms, but only black and white pictures of roosters nipping at each other. Despite their bravado, it seems the cockers are embarrassed by their hobby. Maybe they could race the chickens, instead.
If you visit Lauinger’s first floor, Cockfighters: The Interviews could be yours for four hours.

Posted by Will Sommer

Job Posting: Play Worker

New York City’s plans to build a new series of playgrounds with trained play workers will provide the kiddies with an innovative approach to play—one that nurtures imagination, fantasy with among other things, interactive moveable parts. Their job: show the kids how to use the pulleys, ramps, waterslides, etc. on the new playgrounds.

The idea is to give children more training in social interaction and to nurture their imaginations through these fantastic new playgrounds.

As far as you listless college-aged young adults are concerned, however, there is now a job called a play worker, and it will train and pay you to facilitate safe and stimulating playtime. So, grab your imaginary pirate hats and hop on the ship. Ship sails in May!

Posted by Lauren Gaskill

Georgetown: the new University of Chicago?

Check out this article from last week’s Washington Post Style section. Aside from being total common sense – college students like to have fun? – it also implies that Georgetown is, well, not fun, at least by the traditional (read: partying) standard:

“What a student at Louisiana State University thinks is fun might be very different than what a student at Georgetown thinks,” a writer from the Princeton Review said.

While I am prone to being unnecessarily defensive, I think it’s pretty safe to say that LSU isn’t the uptight, all-work-no-play school in that equation.

Posted by Anna Bank, News Editor

Paying for Quality?

Freaked out by the endlessly rising tuition here at Georgetown (and everywhere else in the country, for that matter)? Maybe you told yourself that the price was justified by the education you’re getting. Well, don’t think so fast, says the New York Times.

Posted by Austin Richardson, Blog Editor.

UCLA student tasered by campus police

On Tuesday evening, UCLA student Mostafa Tabatabainejad was repeatedly tasered in the school library after failing to show proper ID, campus newspaper The Daily Bruin reported. Someone present had a video-capable cell phone, it seems, and a video of the disturbing incident ended up on YouTube.

The UCLA student body has been protesting the actions of the officers while the university investigates.

After the severe injuries sustained by Georgetown DPS officers in a brawl several weeks ago, I had considered the idea of somehow arming the officers reasonable. Watching that video has definitely turned me off to that idea.

Posted by Marco Cerna, Contributing Editor