David Skinner, dedicated dishwasherJul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By DAVID SKINNER
Recently I was fingerprinted for a work ID. Sitting at a little table across from a gentleman who, like many federal employees, wore his ID badge and metro card around his neck, I concentrated on rolling my right thumb just so over the scanner between us, from the leftmost edge of the nail to the flat, fleshy center before lifting straight up. Then I did it again. And again. And again.
David Skinner in the eye of the beholderMar 31, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 28 • By DAVID SKINNER
In our dining room, there was a small glass-top table that looked like an old-fashioned pushcart. On it my mother kept several small plants that made a mess of the glass top as they shed their leaves and, when watered, dripped soil from the holes at the bottom of their pots. To clean the table you had to remove all the plants, wipe down the glass, clean off the bottoms of the pots, and return them to the glass. It was a chore we always put off, except when Aunt Eileen was coming to visit.
David Skinner, cheering section.Dec 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 14 • By DAVID SKINNER
I was on the sidelines at my daughter’s 11-and-under travel soccer game. It had been a successful season, but today they were being outmuscled by a very physical team from Warrenton. With a strong wind blowing against them and only one substitute on the bench, the Alexandria Heat were on the wrong side of a 5-0 rout.
From the January 19, 2004 issue: The Dean camp's Internet impresario.Jan 19, 2004, Vol. 9, No. 18 • By DAVID SKINNER
IF HOWARD DEAN'S VAUNTED Internet campaign has a guru, it's arguably Howard Rheingold, author of "The Virtual Community," "Smart Mobs," and other works of techno-sociology. Rheingold, once called the "first citizen of the Internet," established himself during the early '90s as the leading proponent of the idea that the Internet would have profound social consequences.
From the December 22, 2003 issue: David Skinner, death of the party.Dec 22, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 15 • By DAVID SKINNER
IN ONE CHRISTMAS MEMORY of mine all the kids and parents are finishing dessert. I light a cigarette. A particularly outspoken relative, who's been bossing the conversation all night, says he's read that cigarette smoke can damage children's hearing. I reply, "No more than the voices of opinionated old men."
For the next four years, the blowhard refuses to attend any family function where I might make an appearance.
They don't make TV specials with scenes like the ones that fill my Christmas memories (or, to be fair, with characters like me).
The prestigious Booker Prize goes to Peter Finlay's silly, but anti-American, "Vernon God Little."11:00 PM, Dec 8, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
WEEKS BEFORE British flash mobs were quickening to the rings of their cell phones, barking furiously in the steps of President George W. Bush as he visited London, the Booker Prize committee sent its own signal regarding the United States of America. But instead of a thousand shouts and protest signs, the judges condensed their message into three words: "Vernon God Little."
The "Tell Us the Truth" tour hits Washington, with Janeane Garofalo, Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, and other sages.11:00 PM, Nov 25, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
THE FIRST THING I noticed coming through the doors of the 9:30 Club was a button on the shoulder bag of the woman in front of me. "Regime Change 2004," it said. Next was the long banner hanging behind blues singer Lester Chambers on stage.
"Tell Us the Truth," the banner read in tall capital letters.
But, no, no one was demanding information. The primary task of the Tell Us the Truth Tour is to sound the alarm for media diversity. This I learned from the website, not the show.
The New Republic screens "Shattered Glass" and holds a Q&A about Stephen Glass, the movie, and the magazine.6:00 AM, Oct 31, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
THE NEW REPUBLIC and its editor-in-chief Marty Peretz, along with Lions Gate Films, hosted a screening of the new movie "Shattered Glass" in Washington Thursday night.
Don't call him an "activist," he's been here for years. The artist formerly known as Spicoli speaks out about sensing the war.12:00 AM, Oct 15, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
AMONG THE MOST fatuous devices of political debate, the tactic of disowning "labels" stands proudly: like the Washington hack who catches his breath by saying he does not want to talk about "left" or "right," and then immediately exhales a billowy cumulus cloud of unmistakable partisanship. Next to, say, the nondenial denial, the beyond-labels parry holds its head high.
The annoying thing about labels, however, isn't that they're restricting (the ol' pigeonhole problem), but that they are accurate. Which can be very inconvenient. You may, at some point, want a different label.
What Rush Limbaugh's bad week means for the right and for his empire.12:00 AM, Oct 3, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
THIS HAS TO BE the worst week in Rush Limbaugh's storied career--and yet things could get much worse still.
Fed up with the PC domination of the academic linguistics, one professor fights back against the establishment.12:00 AM, Sep 12, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
THE PERSECUTION OF SCHOLARS for gender bias, on even the flimsiest evidence, has long been a fact of life in academe. Should one professor write, "Mary entered the kitchen," another boils over with feminist indignation, convenes a panel to investigate, and soon the whole campus is sucked into a tedious speakathon on the evils of sexism. But more than just the hobbyhorse of a few discontented radicals, heightened scrutiny for potential offense to preferred political groups has become policy within most disciplines.
"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," Gary Coleman, why Saddam's innocent, and more.12:00 AM, Aug 18, 2003 • By
THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.
While I agree with David Skinner's Queer Like Us, there is one thing worth adding. If we straight guys are so barbaric and clueless, how come I can cook, decorate, entertain, and occasionally impress a nice female?
What "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" does--and doesn't--mean for our culture.12:00 AM, Aug 14, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
FOR YEARS NOW Bravo has been the drama department of cable channels with its high-tone movie fare and the precious celebrity-worship of "Inside the Actors Studio" hosted by the plodding, sycophantic James Lipton. It only seems logical that its programming should now have a major gay component, but while "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" gets all the attention (in this piece, too, for the most part), it may be Bravo's other gay show, "Boy Meets Boy," that truly leaves a notch on the bedpost of American masculinity.
Summer brings a brief tragedy for men's wear. Sadly, for runners the situation is even more revealingly terrible.12:00 AM, Jul 10, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
EVERY SUMMER, I come upon the same discovery. Hot weather makes women more beautiful and men more ugly. The former discard layers to reveal a natural loveliness of soft, interconnected curves, while the latter do the same to reveal their top-heavy bodies teetering on grotesquely disproportionate legs. And blame for male summertime ugliness, as I conclude year after year, lies largely with shorts.
No item of clothing is so disfiguring to the male form as shorts--although properly understood, shorts are actually an interruption or an abridgement of clothing.