By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Jack GouldDespite all that lovely money left over when chains like Liz Claiborne pay overseas workers 74 cents to make a shirt that retails for $198, our holiday store displays have no oomph whatsoever, and we all know how important packaging is —witness the nifty glasses into which martinis are poured and the fact that we all drink them despite the paint-thinner taste. As I made my way among these displays, my thoughts drifted, as a young woman's thoughts are wont to do, to what our nickname for President-elect George W. Bush should be. President Stupid and President Retardo and President Stupid and Evil and President Stupider Than Dan Quayle and President Supervisor Jim Silva just don't convey how ill-matched this boy is to the reins of the Free World.
He's got Teflon for which Ronny Reagan would sell Nancy into white slavery—stupid, lazy, fucking media buying into his "inevitability"—and yet I can't shake the awful feeling when he sits there and grins like the brother you keep in the basement that he's just an overexcited, ill-trained puppy ready to hump your leg. That is, when he's not sulking. President Sulky? Nah.
It's a terrible problem, this naming thing. It carries the weight of years, of history yet to happen. It's even thornier than what to call our decade, which, by the way, still doesn't have a name. I sort of like "The Naughties"—like "naught" for "zero," get it?—but it's a bit too precious and there's no way anyone will be able to make it stick, especially since nobody outside London knows what the hell "naught" means. Hey! Speaking of naughty, how about we nickname him President Robert Downey Jr.? Hell, George could do a lot worse (and probably has; we'd know about it if the mainstream media weren't so fucking lazy and stupid). Downey's only 35, so he's still got five more years of "youthful indiscretions" and good, fun living before he needs to clean up his act in the Dubya timetable of maturation.
Luckily for me, I've decades in which to pull the most reprehensible acts of public drunkenness—or worse!—and still steal the presidency. Okay, a decade and change, but I'm not counting. Lucky and necessary because when your girls tend bar at the LBC's Wasabi, there's no halting the madness. Stop the insanity!
The river of liquor flowing from the pretty fingers of Miss Maya and sassy Stevie at the upstairs bar at the slamming sushi market could fell bazillionaire developer George Argyros. Of course, as Dan Lo-Fi Champion has noted, there is a price to drinking for free at Wasabi, and that price is "tomorrow." The fact that I'm no longer in college in no way dissuades the minxes from setting shot after shot before me, despite my feeble protests. Damn their eyes! Unlike President Smirk, I always leave my car wherever I need to.
Since most of my weekend went black—a combination, I think, of the solar flare, the holiday weekend and lingering Thanksgiving trauma—I sent out a call for assistance to folks about town, promising a $5 bounty to anyone who could help me pencil it back in. This e-mail comes from funkster band Mention's Handsome, Handsome Erik:
"I went to Alex's Bar on Saturday, and it was packed. They were playing lots of punk rock, and rock stars in attendance included Long Beach Dub All-Star Ras, Dickboy's Darren the Cop, Leldon and others. There were several near-fights, and tensions didn't seem at all corresponding to the general love that comes around Thanksgiving time. Apparently, these folks were very thankful for their testosterone and the vast musical contributions of Slayer and Hirax. There were way more guys than girls in the bar, so that probably had something to do with the abundance of near-fights, cock posturing and teeth clenching. As a side note, many jackasses seemed very jealous of me because I had a stylish brown-leather jacket and one Kristababe on my arm. Plus, I'm very handsome, as you and your readers well know.
"Love, E."Peace Corp.'s George Fryer reports: "We went to Bamboo Terrace, hoping to see a decent band, but they were having Mater Dei's five-year reunion there instead, complete with terrible Gen-Y karaoke (y'know, Blank-182, ugh!), and Barbara got invited to 'party down' with the ex-boarding-school frat boys at the bar—woo-hoo! So we went to the Harp Inn and some band played Split Enz (yea!) but got the chords wrong (boo!). It wasn't really a meat market (like your beloved Pierce Street Annex)—it was more of a veg market. Irish beer will do that to you. You can pay me by mentioning our Peace Corp. benefit this Saturday at Bamboo Terrace."
My homegirl Arrissia corresponds: "Friday night, Scott and I went to Club Mesa and saw Throwrag with the Smut Peddlers (our buddy Roger the ex-Pusher is in that band). The place was packed, Sean wasn't belligerent, and they sounded very tight. Lead guitar player Patrick ('Dino') was looking dashing, as usual. There were a ton of tattoo artists in the house: John Lloyd, Bucky, Jason Pendergraff and Christine. Craig ('Jacko') —who plays washboard, jew's-harp, harmonica and desk bell—is in Throwrag and is a tattoo artist, too. He's multitalented and all kinds of handy; plus, he's Australian, so he can probably wrestle alligators and stuff. And my three delightfully punk rock girlfriends The Brandies were there. They're all covered with tattoos and have crazy hair. While I was in the restroom, I had a conversation with a bunch of drunk punk rock girls who were pontificating on the problem of dating tattooed punk rockers—they usually don't have stable jobs. Yet something about the crowd was very contained. There was no debauchery and no bad vibes—just lots of love. Inbred-cousin love. Backwoods-Arkansas love. The crowd went nuts when Sean ('Apollo Suave') sang our loser-crowd anthem, 'Days That End in Y,' a loving depiction of Arnie, who was a carnie and had a father who loved to drink cheap whiskey and then kick poor Arnie's butt. His father taught him wisely though: 'Only drink on days that end in Y.' That's Throwrag family values! They have another song about 'Auntie Bert' who loves 'Kmart, Harley, horseshoes and swap meets, honky-tonk fights—God bless false teeth.' Don't we all have an Aunt Bert?"
Sounds kind of like President Numbnuts' family values. President Numbnuts. . . . By God. I think we've got it.