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Myopic Twits Redux: As we have already mentioned here on Arts Desk, hullabaloo broke out on Twitter following a somewhat misguided Washington Post editorial decision on Tuesday. Former Washington City Paper reporter Jason Cherkis assailed Dan Zak‘s poetic Style section piece about the Guardian Angels, at one point tweeting, “Where’s Henry Allen? Y’all could have used his editorial judgement last night.” (Full disclosure before I go further: I used to work in the Style section.) Style staffers couldn’t resist: They e-mailed Allen, a retired Pulitzer-winning Style editor and occasional punch thrower, to ask him what he thought about the piece. His typically florid, unequivocal response echoed anti-social media rhetoric familiar to any follower of Courtland Milloy or Bill Keller: “The social media remind me of eighth grade, that terrible hunger to belong, the quest for the highest possible lowest common denominator, the smugness of mediocrity…Tremble, all you alpha apes of banality, you simpleton slaves of Strunk & White, you whiners about split infinitives. You will never write anything that contains a phrase as brilliant as ‘trapezoid of iniquities,’ which all by itself makes Dan Zak’s piece worth reading.” Cue the groaning from myopic twits. Or shall we begin calling them “alpha apes of banality”?
Bringin’ it Back: Over at DCist, Brandon Gentry offers up a long retrospective on long-gone D.C. band The High-Back Chairs. Catch Cane & the Sticks—-a newish band featuring High Back Chairs’ Peter Hayes—-at Artisphere this Friday.
Department of One-Liners: For anyone who didn’t already know that City Paper sports writer Dave McKenna sometimes writes concert reviews for the Washington Post, well, get with it. Describing one of the costumes Britney Spears sported during her show at the Verizon Center, McKenna writes, “This wasn’t a stringy low-riding number like she’d wear back in the day, but instead a more modest two-piece suit, a sort of bikini version of Mom jeans, that rode high enough on the abs to cover the tramp stamp tattoo that she used to flaunt.” On Merle Haggard‘s continued ability to get people riled up about lousy politicians, McKenna concludes, “After hearing Haggard sing it, even Gandhi might want to punch that dude.”
Today on Arts Desk: Everything you should be excited to read in this week’s paper, which hits boxes starting today.