We ate at a new restaurant on O Street last night. It's called Fiasco's, and our linguine appeared to have shrapnel in it. We haven't had such a poor dining experience since we went to Taste of the Ganges, a short-lived Indian restaurant on P Street where we contracted a severe case of amoebic dysentery.
The decor of Fiasco's was interesting. The walls were covered with memorabilia from the SS Andrea Doria, an Italian ocean liner which sank off the coast of Nantucket in 1956 after colliding with the MS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line. The menu is the same as the menu served on the Andrea Doria the evening the collision occurred.
As you entered the restaurant, you were handed a life preserver. We thought that was an interesting touch. The maitre de said it was just precautionary, but he looked worried. About 10 minutes into the meal there was an all-hands lifeboat drill. It took us away from our clams casino, which were nothing to write home about anyway.
We were halfway through our linguine when a pipe burst in the kitchen, and water started pouring into the dining room. So the life preservers came in handy after all. Fortunately the wall of water deposited us on the street outside the restaurant, where a waiter cried, "Oh, the humanity!" We watched in horror as the restaurant turned on its side and sank.
From now on we're sticking to restaurants we know. Like the Sacrificial Lamb on R Street, which once you get over the piteous bleating, serves up a fine kabob at a reasonable price. It's okay, as long as you aren't the type to let a little ritual bloodletting spoil your appetite.
We took this photo outside the restaurant after the water pipe broke.
We don't have over 150,000 regular readers because we gild the lily and adhere to the party line. We have over 150,000 readers because we always stick to the truth.
Take performance-enhancing blogging drugs. We use them and we don't care who knows it. EPO, blood-doping, creatine, steroids, the occasional shot of amphetamine--if it will improve our blogging performance and give us the slightest edge over our competition, we'll do it. Blogging isn't a game. It's a blood sport.
Now a congressional committee wants us to answer for our activities. They will get nothing but the truth from us. We dope because if we didn't, our 150,000 readers would migrate to bloggers who do dope. It's that kind of world.
When we started this blog we said to ourselves, "Unremitting Failure is going to be a daily must-read for the people who make the decisions that affect the world around us." We vowed to speak truth to power, with hard-hitting posts on such issues as our dislike of optimists, our belief in the omnipotence of futility, and our irrational fear of squirrels. Only we had the guts to start an advice column called "Ask Baby Hitler". People, many of them important power brokers, responded by tuning in in droves.
We pour our heart and soul into this blog, and over 150,000 readers have responded by making us a regular part of their day. Many of their names you would recognize. We lost Osama bin Laden recently, but shed no tears for us, because Mohammad Omar has taken his place. People want the real skinny on existence, and we give it to them unvarnished. If a few performance-enhancing drugs, and the occasional shot of Wild Turkey, will help us deliver, then by God that's what we'll do.
But we don't let it get us down. Yes we do, we let it get us down. We let it get us down to the extent that we can no longer stand it and we register a protest against life. We walk around with a sign that says "Down with Life!" because we find life insufferable and vile. We even wrote a petition, that goes, "I, the undersigned, will no longer cooperate with life because I find it insufferable and vile." So far we're the only person who's signed it, and we have no idea who to send it to. God, if he had an address. But he does not have an address, how convenient for him. He's incommunicado, which makes it impossible for us to confront him with our petition, the old bastard. He doesn't want to know we've seen through his abominable facade and have penetrated to the rotten heart of life, where all manner of atrocities and indignities are inflicted upon the innocent day in and day out. He would prefer to remain in hiding, in a room somewhere with a command desk upon which there are buttons marked humiliation, murder, torture, failure, futility, natural disaster, death, and general mayhem. But he's not going to get away with it. Or rather he is, the timeless tyrant, because he's God, and he doesn't care about anyone but himself.
We've had it with the whole art world, too commercial. It's all about the money, and none of it is coming our way. We're going to try to blog on subjects other than art, like last night we had pizza for dinner and good pizza it was too, none of that Papa John's crap for us. Actually we have nothing against the Papa, he does his best, pours his heart and soul into every pizza he makes. And he makes them all himself, with his bare hands which he fails to wash when he comes out of the bathroom, don't let that get around.
We've been riding our bike, that's interesting, and since we refuse to buy a helmet or look as we fly through intersections against the light it's only a matter of time before we get smushed like the rats we're always running across in the flat rat alleys around Mrs. UF's apartment. Riding our bike makes us feel like Alfred Jarry, we are free and French and very Ubu, very very Ubu indeed. Actually it's murder climbing the hill to Columbia Heights where we live, they don't call them the "Heights" for nothing. We're in the easiest gear and we're huffing, as all those sickening Tour de France-dressed bozos whizz by us with ease. Who do they think they are, in their fancy gear and spandex tights and special shoes gee whiz they look like idiots, but boy can they fly!
And now we're out of coffee, that won't do, we need our coffee if we're going to ramble on about nothing in particular, yesterday we saw a book in Kramer's about the English folk rock movement that we're going to have to bite the bullet and buy because it promises to be a great fount of information about all the English folk rock bands we can't stand, like Steeleye Span. And Pentangle. Who would write such a book? And then have the unmitigated gall to sell it in the U.S., where there are maybe six people (including us) who care? We must meet this person, he must be interesting. Nothing is interesting, the rapture came and went, and we got left behind along with every single other person in the world, and not a single one of us has any idea what to do now, now that it's Tuesday except go downstairs for more coffee.
As an art expert, it has been our pleasure to visit all of the great art museums of the world. The Louvre, for instance, where we not only know the name of every guard in the place but their kid's birthdays as well. Sunday we decided to take a gander at the National Gallery of Art. We arrived thirsty, having just finished a stint at the gym, where we attempted to flee our demons on a treadmill that leads nowhere. So we made our way to the nearest museum water fountain, first making sure that it wasn't a work of art, and drank deeply. The water was tepid, hot almost. This is a deliberate ploy, no doubt, on the museum's part to funnel the parched to the cafe, where a Diet Coke fetches the price of a minor Rembrandt. Art museums are treacherous places, designed to fleece the unwary. We didn't fall for it. Instead we turned our finely tuned connoisseur's eye--we were here to slake our thirst for art, damn it!--to the works on display, starting with a wonderful Max Ernst sculpture, Capricorn. It's a big fine hunk of metal, perfect for making burnt offerings to.
We avoided the whole Canaletto and His Rivals show, it's just painting after painting of Venice and gondolas and blah blah blah, instead we scuttled into the Gabriel Metsu exhibition where we were entranced by this:
What a painting, you can say what you want about Metsu but he knew how to paint a dead rooster suspended by one leg. We also liked his "Baker Blowing His Horn"...
Bagels are ready!
Then we trundled off to the "contemporary art", where we saw three ugly Mark Rothkos, a couple of Frank Stellas that made us nauseous, and Francis Bacon's "Study for a Running Dog", which gets our vote for best in show.
We passed by the Georgia O'Keefe's in a disqusted silence, same for the Roy Lichtensteins, what a bore that guy is. Same goes for Robert Mangold's "Yellow Wall," we could paint a better picture with our peter.
Alma Thomas's "Red Rose Canata" looks more interesting here than it does in the museum. There it just looks tacky.
Museums should be safe places for children, and we were somewhat disconcerted by the open display of Picasso's "Nude Woman", 1910:
Who needs this filth thrust into the faces of their children?
The Matisses were too pretty, the Dufys too colorful, the Andrew Calder mobile room made us dizzy. Isamu Noguchi's "Great Rock of Inner Being" just took up space in the lobby. Giacometti's "Walking Man" bored us. We liked James Castle's "Purse ! Discusses" a lot.
The same goes for Kim Rugg's "No More Dry Runs". Finally, a newspaper that isn't full of lies!
Finally, we have severe doubts about the skills of Agnes Martin. Oh, and we got to see Jackson Pollock's "Lavender Mist"! How exciting were the three seconds we spent before it!
We should add, to inform the unwary, that there isn't a single Dada-related work of art in the whole place. George Grosz, ditto. What kind of a museum completely ignores the greatest and funniest intellectual movement of the 20th Century? But includes this monstrosity by that fakir, Roy Lichtenstein?
Throwing people out of windows is a time-honored subject for art.There’s Matthäus Merian’s The Defenestration of Prague, and Giorgio Vasari’s St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.Gustave Dore, not one to miss out on a trend, came up with The Defenestration of Jezebel, which tells the story from Kings II of the Bible.Those are Jezebel’s own servants giving her the pitch.And people nowadays think it’s hard to get good help.