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Friday, July 15, 2005  
Good night, sweet Borf! (or, "Borf is no longer winning"). The elusive phenomenon named Borf has been brought to heel:

The mysterious, ubiquitous and eminently destructive graffiti artist known as Borf was arrested yesterday after waging a months-long campaign that may have been intended to enlighten Washington, but mostly just confused us.

The man primarily responsible for Borf is, it turns out, an 18-year-old art student from Great Falls named John Tsombikos, according to D.C. police inspector Diane Groomes. He was arrested along with two other young men in the wee hours of yesterday morning after officers received a tip that graffiti artists were spray-painting at Seventh and V streets NW.

Approached by a reporter at D.C. Superior Court yesterday, Tsombikos refused to comment. One of the other men arrested, Richard Lee, 18, said, "Borf is dead."

Well, yes and no. According to Tsombikos's mother, Kathleen Murphy of Great Falls, Borf was the nickname for a close friend of her son's who committed suicide about two years ago. The Borf face featured in his graffiti -- which many who've walked through Dupont Circle would recognize, and which looks somewhat like TV actor Jerry O'Connell -- belongs to that young man. Murphy suggests that for her son, the Borf face and moniker came to stand for all that he felt was wrong with the world.

Click here for more and more Borf. Borf will rise again! He will rise, slowly, from the bottom of a huge sign over the Roosevelt Bridge!


Wednesday, July 13, 2005  
I know, I know, no posts for a while. Why? I don't know, outrage fatigue, I suppose. Stuff like this, man, it just makes it just makes me want to eat light bulbs and puke broken glass into the face of the first Bush/Cheney voter I see. And that's just not healthy, and it makes for uninteresting, screedy blogging.

London. God, what a nightmare, the narratives of those trapped in the trains, smelling the creeping smoke, seeing the brightening light of the fire from the far end of the train. It seems like a miracle that more people weren't killed, but it always seems that way to me. It's strange; I always expect the numbers to be greater. But, then, there were so many wounded - 700 at last count. It reflects, I suppose, how good modern emergency services are, how effective our modern trauma medicine really is. The same thing happens in Iraq, apparently.

Supreme Court. What's to say here? Of course I join in the hope that Bush will nominate a moderate, consensus candidate, but I have less than no faith that he will do so. Why should he? I was listening to a DNC public conference call with Harry Reid yesterday, and he said "the nuclear option is dead," and claimed there was "no way" the Republicans would rewrite the Senate rules to ram through a Dem filibuster of a Bush Supreme Court choice. (click here to listen to a streaming MP3 of the call.) Oh, yeah? That comes as a surprise to me; reading the text of the filibuster deal, it seems the Republicans reserved themselves the right to take the nuclear option out again if they disagree with the Democrats' definition of "extraordinary circumstances."* Such a disagreement would be, shall we say, unsurprising. But I hope Reid is right.

Roe v. Wade. While I can't disagree with the outrage over the danger it's in, it is surely no surprise. The country elected a right-wing, pro-life president in 2004. The entire political strategy of the pro-life movement since 1973 has led up to this moment, this exact moment right now, where a President has the opportunity and likely Congressional votes to install a pro-life justice on the Supreme Court in place of one of the supporters of abortion rights, and repeal Roe. O'Connor was the only thing between Roe and repeal twice, in 1989 and 1992. The country voted for this president, these senators. It gets what it asked for.

On to trivia. War of the Worlds? Abrupt, idiotic ending (yes, I know, it's a remake, but it could have been handled so much better). Not worth sitting through (but nice to get out and spend time with my wife).

This is a nice reminiscence about the Golden Era of the Mixtape by Pitchfork's Mark Richardson.

This is an interesting series of articles about playing in the World Series of Poker by Paul Phillips. Go Greg Raymer! I do love that pudgy little patent attorney.

* This observation does not make me change my favorable opinion of the deal, as expressed here. The fact remains that if they had been unified, the GOP could have shoved every one of the nominees down our throats. The deal was valuable not because of what it did directly, but rather what it did indirectly - enhanced McCain's stature, revealed party divisions, embarrassed Frist and Bush.


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