Journal Archive - September 2003
Journal | Tuesday, September 30, 2003 | #
From an article about Netflix:
"The only full-length movie unrented by anyone after remaining more than 90 days in Netflix's catalog is 'Alien Blood,' a 1999 film described in its studio publicity as 'an offbeat vampire/alien movie, featuring sex and bloodshed.'"
And so, with that one sentence, we all want to see this film. What atrocity of a movie could be so bad, so obscure, that among a million customers, not a single one of them wants to rent it?! Naturally, I wondered where I could get a copy of "Alien Blood." It's listed on the Blockbuster site, but they don't carry it in stores. You could buy it from Amazon for $10 ("Customers who bought this DVD also bought 'Bloodsucking Freaks'"), but could it be worth the investment? Or, I could be the first Netflix customer to rent it, except I'm not a Netflix member and I'm sure other Times readers have already beat me to it. Please: Has anybody out there seen this unloved movie? Tell me about it.
Journal | Monday, September 29, 2003 | #
Notes from Jersey
If you are or ever were a Boy Scout, you know about the Campmor catalog, the gold standard for good, cheap camping gear. Saturday, while in New Jersey, I decided to visit Campmor's one and only retail store, on Route 17 in Paramus. It's a great store, and it was far too easy to run up $99 on my credit card buying stuff I couldn't possibly live without: A nylon shirt and nylon pants, a red bandana, two pieces of pack webbing, and good socks.
... It was great to see Katie, Mark, Gwenn, Emily, and everybody at Katie's farewell party. Hope you all let me know whenever you're in New York! Best luck to Katie in LA!
... The most poorly built highway ramp I've ever seen runs off I-280 in Jersey, westbound on the way to 1/9 and the Holland Tunnel. During sunny weather, this road is safe. But when it rains, the water ponds on the road. I'm talking about a lake here, probably deeper than your knees, and there's no way around it. Drivers hit the brakes at the last minute as soon as they realize how deep this sucker is, then they creep through one at a time, waiting for the cars ahead to make it through safely. Twice now I've seen this monster puddle swallowing cars. They need to put a drain there.
... Congrats to Tom for his new domain and greatly expanded TSPN web site!
Journal | Sunday, September 28, 2003 | #
Once upon a time, the people in charge of the New York subway system though Court Street in downtown Brooklyn would be a great place for a station. It wasn't, so the dead-end subway station closed, only to be reopened many years later as the New York Transit Museum. This abandoned subway station is packed with stuff that will make any transit geek's heart flutter. The main level of the museum has some changing exhibits, a lot of information about buses, and some movie clips. On the lower level, where the subway tracks run, there's a collection of beautifully restored classic subway cars and engines. You can hop from car to car, study old maps and advertisements, play with the door, and pretend you live in an era when straphangers actually hung on straps. Kids (including myself) love it.
The museum had been closed for renovations for more than a year, but it reopened this month. I made my first visit (of many, I'm sure) yesterday. Check it out.
Journal | Saturday, September 27, 2003 | #
Fun with wrods
Somebody forwarded this to me recently:
It deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.
... Today, off to the New York Transit Museum, to do some shopping for my vacation, and to a farewell party for Katie Graham, who's leaving us for California!
Journal | Friday, September 26, 2003 | #
So nice they had to play it twice
I rented "Requiem For a Dream" this week, a violent and deliberately shocking movie set here in Brooklyn. It's a "Just-say-no" movie about about the evils of speed and smack, but I felt like it suffered from the same flawed premise as the DARE program: That drugs are all equally and inherently evil. When the film isn't showing us people in pain, it has some fun Coney Island and Brighton Beach location shots. Beyond that, something about the music in this movie got under my skin. It has a breathless, dramatic score and I got a creepy feeling I'd heard it before. Last night I figured it out. The same music shows up in commercials for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I'm tempted to write some kind of compare-and-contrast piece about these two movies, but I've probably done enough damage for now.
Journal | Thursday, September 25, 2003 | #
"We have a lot going on here in Poland."
There's something perpetually tragic about the state of New Hampshire. Admittedly, I had a bad experience with a job there a two years ago. But face it, New Hampshire just gets kicked around. When the Old Man of the Mountain collapsed last May, it just seemed like a natural act of humiliation for the people who live in this sad state. Even the state's instance on holding the first presidential primary (a week before any other state, per New Hampshire law) seems driven by some desperate insecurity. And we all know what happened in 1986, when the state prepared to celebrate the voyage of Concord teacher Christa McAuliffe aboard the Challenger.
And so this week brings the saga of "The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.," a television drama which debuted last night on CBS. In the taping of the pilot episode, college town Plymouth, N.H. stood in as the fictional town of Poland. The show paints a less-than-flattering picture of the town, but that didn't stop Plymouth residents from cheering it on. After all, it was the first major TV or film production shot in New Hampshire in eight years. Plus, some folks from the town got to appear as extras in the pilot! Amid all this anticipation, what happened? The network scrapped the pilot and instead ran an episode shot in California, except for some White Mountains scenery. A huge let-down to the good people of Plymouth. As usual.
Adding insult to injury, someone in the show makes the following comment about Katie Couric: "Next to the New Hampshire girls, she's kinda cute."
Journal | Wednesday, September 24, 2003 | #
Good toy, bad toy
The cool new toys hit the streets of New York first. Of course, so do the terrible toys.
Terrible: Those loud, fast, motorized scooters. Teenage boys crank these things up and weave around on the streets and the sidewalks. Likely to get somebody killed! Kids these days!
Cool: Miniature kites. I had never seen a miniature kite until this weekend, when I watched two different people fly them in Union Square. These kites are three or four inches long, plus a tail, and they don't fly very high. So why are they better than big kites? They require less wind, and you can fly them in small spaces. Besides (sorry, this one's too easy) it's not the size of your kite, it's what you do with it once you get it up.
Journal | Tuesday, September 23, 2003 | #
Mass transit mass media
Seems like everyone who reads The New York Times has a favorite columnist. My favorite isn't famous for his political insights, his Washington connections, or his appearances on cable TV talk shows. In fact, you've probably never heard his name: Randy Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy writes about the quirks of the New York City subway system in a humble weekly column called "Tunnel Vision," which runs inside the Metro section every Tuesday. (I'm pretty sure it doesn't even run in the national edition of the Times.) Kennedy writes about people who throw parties on subway cars, stations overcome with foul stenches, the inner workings of the MTA's Brooklyn control tower, how musicians negotiate for performance space in busy stations, and all other manner of wacky public transit fun. In today's column, for example, he profiles the man who started the New York Transit Museum. Read, and be seduced into the world of the transit geeks!
Journal | Monday, September 22, 2003 | #
If you want to see the Dalai Lama, you have to wait in line. And so I waited an hour and a half in a six-block line to get into the East Meadow of Central Park, where His Holiness spoke yesterday. Even when he's on a stage in front of tens of thousands of people, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet still acts like he's hosting an intimate chat among friends. That's charisma, and it's the why people of all faiths, not just Buddhists, come to see the Dalai Lama and hear his message of peace and compassion. A translator joined him on stage to help him with English words and phrases he didn't know, and a large sound and video system helped those of us in the back hear him. The 14th Dalai Lama, age 68, delivered his speech seated in a chair. He smiled constantly, told jokes, laughed at himself, and spoke with an upbeat tone. He spoke against war ("legalized violence"), but he didn't specifically criticise the U.S. government. At the end of his speech, he simply said "Finished!," laughed, and then said a prayer, in his own language, for those killed in the terrorist attacks two years ago.
If Jesus Christ were living in 2003, I wonder if he'd go about things much the way the Dalai Lama does. Despite his ancient spiritual traditions, the Dalai Lama embraces the media, publishes books, keeps a web site, and tours the world like a rock star. Maybe he seems a little sensational. And maybe he's hard to understand when he speaks English. But he is entirely effective in getting his message out, and in person he appears nothing if not genuine.
Journal | Sunday, September 21, 2003 | #
Put a lid on it
Through a strange chain of events last week, I found myself in a posh hotel in Tribeca for a Fashion Week party sponsored by a British music magazine. There were many tall people there. Not being terribly into fashion, we invented a game called "count the trucker hats." Trucker hats (those cheap foam ballcaps) were never officially in style. In fact, newspapers and web sites promptly deemed the trucker hat passé the instant it began to appear atop the artsy, well-financed heads that bob down the trash-strewn streets of Williamsburg. (Trucker hats: The official headgear of the L Train?)
Somehow, this instant declaration of un-style helped the trucker hat achieve a level of I-get-it-but-I'm-acting-like-I-don't geekiness. It's neither genuinely cool (like an iPod) nor so clever that it re-purposes an uncool object into something cool (like bowling shoes). The trucker hat became such an obvious and half-assed stab at white trash chic that it's hardly ironic at all. Maybe it somehow leap-frogged straight to being "post-ironic," saying "I know this isn't ironic enough, but at least I'm still self-aware." Ow! This all makes my head hurt, like a hat that's too tight.
We counted three hats.
Journal | Saturday, September 20, 2003 | #
I stopped for a bagel at Irvings when I was in State College, PA, last week. In line ahead of me, another guy was also buying a bagel. His total rang up to something like $1.39. To pay for it, he pulled out his credit card, which the cashier dutifully swiped. I realized that I had forgotten all about this weird habit of college students: Buy everything with plastic. Why carry any cash, ever? Happily, most people seem to shake this habit after they graduate.
...Speaking of State College, Penn State's Old Main made the cover of Editor & Publisher this week. The story (online here; thanks to Mark for the link) is about a new section of the Centre Daily Times newspaper called CDT Blue, which is aimed at students. (An editor I used to work with in Harrisburg, Bob Heisse, oversees this product.) I looked for a copy of this section when I was in State College last Saturday, but I couldn't find one. Anybody seen this thing yet? There seems to be a conventional wisdom emerging about newspaper products for young people: Advertisers love 'em, young people don't.
...New Yorkers: The Dalai Lama speaks in Central Park tomorrow at noon.
...Cool movie I saw last night: Matchstick Men.
Journal | Friday, September 19, 2003 | #
Izzy bizzle fizzle
It's amazing that something so feared on Earth can appear so tranquil and beautiful from space. (Satellite image from the NOAA web site.)
- DarylJournal | Thursday, September 18, 2003 | #
Shiver me timbers
Batten down ye hatches, matey! Thar's a storm a-blowin', and right in time ta' rain on the fun of Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrr!
... Some of my friends believe Wesley Clark can win the Democratic nomination for president. (These are my same friends who think Paul Krugman is a brilliant writer and George Bush has no chance of reelection.) Like everyone else, I don't know much about Clark apart from his military service. Even so, I find that many of us decide which candidates to vote for not based on the candidate himself, but on who else supports the candidate. This is a valid way to vote, of course, because once elected, the president will be beholden to those who supported him. I know I like the people who support Howard Dean. But right now, I can't figure out who's going to support Clark.
I like to remind my New York friends that millions of Ameircans will vote for Bush automatically because they percieve him to be more "Christian" that the other guys. There's a vast sweep of the country where people get their news from Christian radio networks, paint pictures of Jesus on their barns, put up anti-abortion billboards, and apply bumper stickers to their cars that say: "TEACH TRUTH - NOT TOLERANCE." The evangelical community does not have its own political party; they support Bush 100 percent. Judging candidates based on their supporters, I tend to vote opposite this group.
Journal | Wednesday, September 17, 2003 | #
Pennsylvania's 9-11 memorial
Monday, on the drive back from Pittsburgh, I visited the impact site of Flight 93. This hijacked plane was bound for who-knows-what destruction on Sept. 11, 2001, when the passengers realized what was afoot and stormed the cabin. Forty people died in the crash. The plane crashed in the sort of spot you'd expect to hit if you threw a dart at a map. It's a wide, open field of low brush owned by a mining company. It could easily be anywhere in central Pennsylvania. A narrow asphalt road cuts down the middle of it, rolling over a hill. At the edge of the field, at the bottom of the hill, is the treeline where the plane crashed. Pieces of the plane were removed, and the crater was filled in, covered with grass, and surrounded by a chain-link fence. Just up the hill, the county has paved a small parking lot and put up a temporary memorial. It's a simple wall covered with decorations and flags sent from around the world, plus a row of benches marked with the names of the people who died. Plans are underway for a permanent memorial in that location, though nothing seems to be finalized.
Unlike the World Trade Center site here in New York, the Flight 93 site doesn't draw big crowds. There were only about seven other people there when I visited, including one volunteer ambassador. It's a quiet and desolate place, and it struck me as yet another reminder that America is a lot bigger that New York and Washington. You can tell by the items left at the memorial hardhats, license plates, Boy Scout neckerchiefs, pictures of Jesus that rural Pennsylvanians have latched on to this site as their own symbol of terrorism and recovery.
If you want to visit the memorial, take the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Somerset exit, get on Route 31 North, then follow the signs to the memorial. More information.
Journal | Tuesday, September 16, 2003 | #
Give Pittsburgh a chance
Pittsburgh gets a bad rap, unfairly so, as a polluted industrial town, lacking in sophistication and delusional with football. More than all that, it's a place of universities, museums, theaters, parks, all within a dramatic cityscape of rivers, mountains, bridges, and tunnels. I had a nice time there this weekend visiting my yinzers Jeff and Kelly. Along the Mononghalea, there's an incline that climbs Mt. Washington (no, not that Mt. Washington) to a neighborhood where there's a great vista of the city. Jeff and I visited a town called Mars, which actually has a flying saucer statue in its square. We met up with Kelly in Cranberry, at the juncture of the big highways north of the city, the kind of place that Eat 'n Park was made for. The three of us had a nice time at North Park eating sno cones and watching the geese at the lake.
...I have more stories to share from my drive through Pennsylvania, including a visit to the Flight 93 impact site near Shanksville. I'll write more later this week.
... If anybody in Tampa is reading this: Please help! My poor friend Renée was captured by a journalism cult, which forced her to chronicle its activities on this web site. (I exaggerate. Nice work, Renée!)
- DarylJournal | Saturday, September 13, 2003 | #
Steel City here I come
There will be no journal on Sunday or Monday, as I'm traveling to Pennsylvania the lawless frontier where people turn right at red lights and smoke cigarettes in bars. Today, Saturday, I'm off to State College to attend a commitment ceremony between two of my friends. (Congratulations Amanda and Melissa!). The rest of the weekend I'll be in Pittsburgh to visit Jeff C and Kelly B. Exciting stuff planned. See you all on Tuesday.
... Should I be embarassed that I'd never heard of John Ritter until I read his obituary Friday? At work, I used the excuse that I was too young to know who he was. (You know, because I'm 23, and everybody I work with is at least 28 or 30.) My coworkers didn't buy it.
- DarylJournal | Friday, September 12, 2003 | #
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
On a road trip a few years ago, we stopped in a giant steak house in Amarillo, Texas. There was a mariachi band there, wandering from table to table taking requests. "Johnny Cash!" we said when it was our turn. The band conferred for a moment and emerged strumming "Ring of Fire," simply the perfect song for the moment. Johnny Cash, one of my favorite entertainers, died this morning at age 71. Cash could tell a beautiful story with his music, gifted with the skill to use simple words to speak with great power. His songs have helped many of us make a little more sense of this world, and of ourselves. One of my favorite tunes of his is "Ghost Riders in the Sky." You should check it out.
(Click here for a journal I wrote last year comparing Johnny Cash and James Bond.)
... On another musical note: Earlier this week, the Democratic presidential candidates were asked in a debate to name their favorite songs. Here are their answers. (Dean's song "Jaspora," by the way, is entirely in Creole, and I don't know what it's about.) If you were running for president and asked that question, what would you say?
... This weekend I'm off to State College and Pittsburgh, PA. More on that tomorrow.
Journal | Thursday, September 11, 2003 | #
Two years later
My National Geographic wall calendar doesn't label today with any words, it just has a tiny American flag graphic next to the number 11. Like that calendar, most of us are not marking the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks in capital letters. Personally, I decided to take the occasion to search through a shoe box of old photos for a picture of the twin towers I took in 1999, during a visit to the Statue of Liberty (above).
While this week marks the two-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks, it also marks my one-year anniversary in New York. On September 11, 2001, I was two weeks in at my new job in Pennsylvania, brimming with optimism. Though I had visited New York a few times before 2001, I never really knew this city before the attack. I never visited the World Trade Center, never shopped in its basement, never rode up to its observation deck, never waited in its train station. After a year here, part of me still thinks its foolish to have moved to a city with a giant target painted over it. But mostly, I'm proud that terrorists didn't stop me from pursuing my dreams. New York remains a mighty fine place to live.
I recently started hearing some conductors on the E train adjust their station announcements. Instead of announcing the lower Manhattan subway stop as "World Trade Center," they announce it as the "Trade Center memorial site." That little phrase speaks both a respect for the past and a hope for the rebuilding Ground Zero perfect. Sure, we know the terror attacks launched our country into a funk of mourning and fear, followed by paranoia and war. But some days, when I see Manhattan's sweeping, gap-toothed skyline and the millions of crazy, colorful Americans who inhabit it, I still feel that optimism.
- DarylJournal | Wednesday, September 10, 2003 | #
Lately, I've been thinking about what I want to do when I grow up. I have a fine job now, but that doesn't stop me from mulling over different jobs and trying to figure out which would be the most fun. Today, it occurs to me that it would be really cool to work for Consumer Reports, the dorkiest magazine ever. Consider the kinds of fun they have there!
The Consumer Reports staff gets to write deadly serious articles about auto safety, HMOs, and 401Ks. Then they get to apply that exact same writing style to incredibly cheap items, like yogurt or soap (soap!), as if you're too dense to make up your own mind about which kind of soap you like. They get to slam cars with the bumper-basher and destroy suitcases with zany luggaged-tumbling machines. They play around with stereos and TVs, ranking them with dispassionate scientific objectivity, never mind how sexy or cool the stuff is. For reasons I can't explain, it's actually fun to read this kind of just-the-facts product ratings and rankings. I give it a .
- DarylJournal | Tuesday, September 9, 2003 | #
Dance of the street sweeper
New Yorkers with cars live with the burden of alternate side parking rules. Once or twice a week, depending on where you live, half the street parking becomes unavailable for 90 minutes while the city runs the street sweeper over it. Where I live in Brooklyn, there's lots of parking, so it's no big deal. But on the busier streets of Manhattan, free parking is such a premium that people dare not move their cars until the very minute before the street sweeper approaches. Then, as soon as the sweeper has passed, they re-park in the same spot they were in before. So, in effect, an entire column of cars must scoot over a lane to let the sweeper pass, then scoot back. I witnessed this intricate ballet of parallel parking last Friday, on my way to a doctor's appointment on Central Park West. The most amazing element of this dance was that every single car was part of it. Drivers knew to expect the sweeper between 9:15 and 9:30, and were already in their cars, ready to move. There was no one who had forgotten, no abandoned cars, no one parked illegally. And, thanks to this carefully orchestrated defense, no parking poachers.
- DarylJournal | Monday, September 8, 2003 | #
How often do you use those "push-to-walk" buttons at traffic intersections? Like the lottery, they're selling a dream: If you press the button, there's a small chance that you, the lowly pedestrian, will be able to stop traffic and get a walk signal. In most cases, of course, these buttons do nothing whatsoever other than keep you occupied while waiting for the lights to change. Or do they? Here's another theory. Each button actually contains an electronic fingerprint reader connected to a vast secret database maintained by the FBI. Each time you push one of these buttons, the button scans your fingerprint and records your whereabouts. This way, the government can follow us everywhere we go. It's all so... simple.
... Warren Zevon died yesterday. He released his final album, on which he sings about his struggle with cancer, less than two weeks ago.
... Yo-Yo Ma, always a funny guy, was interviewed on NPR Morning Edition this morning. Talking about the creative process, he referred to the time of day when you're partly awake, between consciousness and unconsciousness, as "Morning Edition time."
- DarylJournal | Sunday, September 7, 2003 | #
A great place to be dead
The highest point in Brooklyn happens to be a rolling hill in the enormous Green-Wood Cemetery, a short walk up from my apartment. As the resting place of soldiers, politicians, inventors, doctors, composers, movers, and shakers, the cemetery must be most likely place in the city where you'd encounter a ghost. This summer, a community arts group began showing movies in the cemetery cathedral. I walked over there yesterday evening to see "North by Northwest," one of Alfred Hitchcock's best films. Sadly, the acoustics in the cathedral made it sound really muddy, and I was a bit alarmed that this group was charging people $8 for what was actually a DVD of the movie run through an LCD projector (FBI warning included!). All that aside, this movie was a ticket to be in the cemetery at night, when it is usually closed and well-patrolled by security. It's an enchanting place. There's one spot where you can stand at a certain hour of the evening and see your shadow cast on a hillside twice once from the sun, and once from the sun's reflection off a glassy pond. The roads and trails run in arcs instead of a grid, making it easy to meander and get lost. (Founded in 1838, the cemetery "was a model for the suburbs," according to the brochure.) As I walked home from the movie, I heard a scratching sound and saw a raccoon climbing up the trunk of a tree. The raccoon looked at me curiously, then kept climbing.
- DarylJournal | Saturday, September 6, 2003 | #
Why I loathe PowerPoint
Hello all. Does anybody know how to turn on this projector? Ah, okay, let's get started.
Next slide please.
- DarylJournal | Friday, September 5, 2003 | #
Remember when you could turn anything high-tech by adding the prefix "cyber-" to it? Then people began calling their Internet businesses "e-whatever", or "whatever-dot-com." Now you turn something computeristic by adding the suffix "-ster." This probably started with Napster. Now we've got such here-today gone-tomorrow spawn as Blogster, Dotster, Macster, and the big new favorite, Friendster. There's something called Pornster, but I'm afraid to go near it because it would probably launch a million cascading windows, and it would take me all morning to regain control of my desktop.
- DarylJournal | Thursday, September 4, 2003 | #
As lazy as we wanna be
Americans are fat, lazy, and selfish. We're a bunch of gun-totin' cowboys who boss the rest of the world around. We live in our cars, we don't appreciate art or food, we celebrate a culture of violence, and we're prudish about sex. That's how much of the rest of the world (okay, the European world) views America. Time now to debunk one of those pillars of anti-Americanism. Did you see this story, timed for Labor Day, about how Americans are the most productive workers in the world? It makes sense when you consider how many of our achievements in this country are due to ingenuity and plain old hard work. There are some loudmouths who like to describe America as a land of loafers who play Nintendo, eat McNuggets, and can't name the vice president or find Alaska on a map. Yeah, we've got a few problems, but this picture of laziness just isn't us.
- DarylJournal | Wednesday, September 3, 2003 | #
Cars for my demographic
Honda recently unleashed a wheeled tupperware box called the Element. Toyota is about to start selling a similar container called the Scion. Both these vehicles are out to compete with the VW Beetle and the Mini Cooper, little cars I like, and which have set the standard for trendy, inexpensive cars. All of these little grocery-getters are aimed at people like me, in our 20s. Sadly, these vehicles look like they were designed by the same people who make dorm-room furnishings for Target and Urban Outfitters. (And please don't get me started about the Pontiac Aztek.) Who buys these cheesy cars? Most of my friends are happy enough to get a used Civic or Saturn. Real gearheads bypass expensive new vehicles and instead get their Mazdas and Subarus tricked-out with after-market accessories. Some of us actually dream of owning a car that stands out for its style, not for its sheer goofiness. Like a '65 Corvette. Personally, I like the look of the Mercedes SL 500 Roadster. Offer me something similar for $16,000 and I'll bite.
Journal | Tuesday, September 2, 2003 | #
Summer better than others
Wicked storm clouds rolled over Ocean City Saturday afternoon, creating a black lightning-streaked sky that marked the final defeat of summer. I spent the long weekend at the beach, but the rainy weather cut short much of our actual time on the beach and the boardwalk (pictured above). The trip was worth it, though, for some quality family time and a Maryland soft crab sandwich on Sunday night. As September begins, I'm not sad to see this summer end, mostly because I'm looking forward to the fall.
... Remeber a few days ago when I wrote a journal that mentioned an unusually explicit photo of lebsbian pornography that ran in the New York Times? (I didn't disapprove, I was just noting it.) Well, the Atlanta Journal Constitution just ran an apology to readers for publishing this photo of Madonna smoochin' Britney Spears. Yet another example of what splits America in two: People in New York don't bat an eyelash when two gals kiss, but people in Atlanta make it a scandal.