Taxi Driver has been enjoying a successful 20th-anniversary run this week at the Cineplex Odeon Embassy theater on Florida Avenue NW. But at a time when conservative commentators are roiled up over the impact of movie violence on the American psyche, few theater patrons appear concerned that the film is playing in the shadow of the assassination attempt it in-spired. Fifteen years ago, John Hinckley’s bullet bounced off President Ronald Reagan’s limousine and into his chest as Reagan left the Washington Hilton’s ballroom entrance on T Street, about 150 yards from the movie theater. Hinckley sought to emulate the film’s assassination plot to impress actress Jodie Foster, who played a 12-year-old prostitute in the movie. Embassy usher Mabel Mejia says customers don’t draw the connection between the film and the event. Hilton officials had no reaction to the movie playing so close to home. (They have long since made structural improvements to the hotel to ensure the safety of presidents who frequently stop by the city’s largest ballroom for conventions and dinners.) Meanwhile, Hinckley has reportedly been granted grounds privileges and supervised off-campus day-trips from St. Elizabeths Hospital. He could not be reached for comment on whether he’d be seeing the re-released film.
Dog Bites Pol Politics can be rough stuff, even when you’re on home turf: Just ask David Morris, manager of the Crew Club, the controversial 14th Street health spa where locker keys come attached to a condom. The staunch libertarian has faced his share of critics leery of the former strip returning to the days of sleaze, but that didn’t stop Logan Circle residents from electing him chairman of their Advisory Neighborhood Commission. And now rumors are flying that Morris intends to challenge Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans in the coming election. But when a Washington City Paper reporter called the Crew Club to check out the rumors, he was referred to Georgetown University Hospital, where Morris was nursing a severely infected arm. Last week Morris was attacked by a pit bull at a used car lot on 14th Street NW—in the heart of his neighborhood. He says he’d petted the dog on previous visits, but this time the pit bull was apparently in a foul mood. “He just opened up his mouth and put it around my arm,’’ says Morris. “We had to take a pipe to his head to make him let go.’’ Morris spent several days at the hospital, but the pit bull escaped with a reprimand from its owner. Meanwhile, Morris declines to comment on the upcoming council race.
Shadowing Shabazz Malik Shabazz, who once pledged to “protect the ’hood,” now seems to have fled it. Ward 8 cog-noscenti are saying they haven’t seen the excitable former D.C. Council candidate since last fall, when he was helping organize the Million Man March. A protégé of Louis Farrakhan, Shabazz admitted last year that he moved to the ward only to run for its council seat. His fiery, sometimes hateful campaign attracted more attention from the media than the voters; he won about 300 votes, placing fifth. “And we haven’t seen him since,” says community organizer Philip E. Pannell. “Nobody knows where he is,” echoes Rahim Jenkins, another former council candidate and a fellow Muslim who clashed with Shabazz. Officials at Howard Law School, where Shabazz earned a degree last year, say they don’t know where he went, and a receptionist at Nation of Islam headquarters in Chicago says Shabazz doesn’t work there, either.