There are moments in life when you can choose to do the safe thing, or the scary thing. Like when the Great Satan elects someone you don't hate, you can talk to him or pretend that you never really wanted to. Or when your longtime celebrity crush, Justin Long, walks into a bar in which you are getting soused, you can either beg him for a picture or quietly stare. Luckily, Spencer Ackerman is there for me even late at night to convince me — the way we try to convince Iran — to just go for it. It's kind of awesome.MEGAN: In the annals of "Megan is a tremendous dork," last night is sort of epic. It's so epic I even remember enough of it to be blushing over it. Yes, I can blush. SPENCER: I understand this has something to do with actor Justin Long? MEGAN: Actor and long-time Megan crush object Justin Long, who I have thought was completely dorkishly adorable since Ed. Yes. So, I am sitting in the bar that I have co-opted from Moe as my Official New York hang out, having drinks with a lovely woman I just met because the person I went there with bailed for another bar, which naturally meant I decided I should get 3 more glasses of wine. And in walks Justin Long with a group of people. And I am subsequently prevailed upon to take pictures with him to post here, which I did. Also, for the record, he apparently has been savaged by bloggers (I will cut you Perez for being mean to him) so I had to promise not to be mean about him. So I have to say: extremely cute, extremely sweet (he made his friend take a picture that made me look not stupid) and extremely generous with his time. And then I woke up this morning and went "Oh, fuck, I think I just met an actor I've had a crush on for years and told him that."
So now I feel a combination of embarrassed at my dorkdom and dorkishly thrilled that I had the liquid courage to do it. SPENCER: I grew up in New York and yet never saw or met any non-punk-rock celebrities. Once Kathleen Hanna sent a minion to bum a cigarette from me but that was about it. (And of course fewer people are more PR than KH.) The burning question is whether you hit on him and, if so, what happened. MEGAN: I believe I completely wussed out on actually hitting on him, recalling vaguely that he is supposedly seeing someone that I'm sure is way hotter than me. Honestly, even more hilariously, I had been saying at dinner that I had never seen a celebrity in the wild and then, 3 hours later, I was embarrassing myself. But I really felt like the only picture on my phone of me with a celebrity should not be me with Bill Kristol. SPENCER: Sadly my AIM client doesn't save chats because I wanted to post here your 11:45 IM to me about meeting JL and my advice to you, which I believe consisted simply of the word "bone." But alas. I suppose we should talk about politics or some shit, yawn MEGAN: Oooh, ooh, I can relate this ALL to politics! Obama is a Mac user. A big one. SPENCER: Of course, it should be said that you're not a Mac user. This whole shit is starcrossed. You're like a McCain voter who blows John Hodgman. MEGAN: I am not a Mac user because I am way too cheap, not because I actually like PCs. But I just can't justify paying that much more for basically the same machine because it's pretty. Anyway, I can totally relate it another way to politics! The last time I met a crush object was at the White House Correspondents dinner, when I met Jonathan from Buffy aka Danny Strong (also resulting in an embarrassing photo of me grinning like an idiot) who wrote the movie Recount in which Ron Klain is the hero. Ron Klain, who will be Biden's Chief of Staff, assuming Cheney doesn't lock him in the man-safe when Biden checks out his new digs today. SPENCER: That confused me. Wasn't Ron Klain Gore's chief of staff? Can he not tear himself away from VPs? Still, Biden needs a really disciplined staff leader. I once did an on-the-record interview with him in his Senate office while his communications director actually undermined his points on policy. This was about his Iraq position. It was crazy. And goddamn it, the Big Star record just ended... MEGAN: Yeah, Joe seems like the kind of guy who would tolerate underminers when he shouldn't. Speaking of underminers, let us all just say together: fuck Evan Bayh. SPENCER: I have nothing to say except KTHXBAYH Now let's talk about the shit that we agreed to talk about. Like Ted Stevens and how he might actually lose the Senate race everyone thought he won. Currently the corrupt/convicted Senator is down by 814 votes to Democrat Mark Begich. MEGAN: But, but, but, how will Sarah Palin ever get to be a maverick changing Washington if Begich wins? What will we talk about! Why is Ted Stevens trying to ruin my life? SPENCER: Half of me wants Stevens to lose. But that's the better half. The cool, smoking-in-the-boys-room half wants him to return to the Senate, since, according to the Washington Independent's Congressional correspondent Mike Lillis, both Reid and McConnell have said they'll immediately begin proceedings to kick him out, Traficant-style, and that's a party. MEGAN: McConnell's only promising to do it so he doesn't lose a Minority Leader race to Jim DeMint. SPENCER: You get your Senator Palin in that case, plus everyone lining up to pretend they didn't kiss Ted Stevens' mottled behind for appropriations. MEGAN: Wow, I just imagined that and now I really don't need to eat breakfast! SPENCER: Also let's recognize: Robert Byrd has just stepped down as head of approps, meaning Alaska Sen. Daniel Inouye is now chairman, and his son is DC punk-rock legend Ken Inouye of Marginal Man. MEGAN: I mean, I literally had a momentary mental vision of Ted Stevens, pants around his ankles, bent over his desk in the Senate with a line of his Republican colleagues spread out before him as Lindsay Graham enthusiastically puckers up. Yeah, I'm glad Byrd stepped down as chair, but Inouye is barely younger. I think, though, that he might be the first non-white guy to chair Senate Approps ever. SPENCER: This is going to be worse than the time we talked about bukkake in CH if you don't watch yourself I know! A white man can't get a fair shake in Obama's America. MEGAN: I am having one of those days again, what can I say? You bring out the vulgarity in me, baby. SPENCER: See, it's shit like that in IMs that would deny you a job in an Obama administration
[Applicants] must include any e-mail that might embarrass the president-elect, along with any blog posts and links to their Facebook pages. The application also asks applicants to "please list all aliases or 'handles' you have used to communicate on the Internet."
MEGAN: Yeah, usually the line is whether anything you've said could be used to blackmail you. President Elect Obama: I am an embarrassment, but you could hire me anyway if you want. SPENCER: This is kind of inexplicable and against the spirit of transmuted social conventions that the internet was supposed to guarantee. Everyone under the age of 35 has humiliated themselves through text or IM or FB or Twitter or other such platform. That's supposed to make none of it humiliating, on the same principle that when girls want ice cream they demand that I eat ice cream too because they believe that weight is socially cumulative so if I gain weight too then their weight-gain is immaterial. I mean, I thought Obama was supposed to be a Mac user. What does he write on the internet, if not something humiliating? MEGAN: I have never demanded that you eat dessert just because I wanted to eat dessert! Mostly because I never eat dessert, but still. Not all girls do that! I mean the problem is not whether you've humiliated yourself, but whether it might humiliate him. It's more like the friend who tries to talk you out of eating the ice cream because she's so hyper about her weight that she's decided to be hypercritical of yours. SPENCER: Speaking of erratic behavior, this WaPo piece about how Iran is pussying out of Obama's proposed no-conditions talks is the greatest thing of all time. So basically, the fanatics who run Iran have demagoged the U.S.'s hostile posture for 30 years as a mechanism for social repression, all the while insisting baroquely to any & all international audiences that the U.S. won't take reasonable steps for discussion on issues of mutual concern. Along comes Barack Obama, who's like, Let's cut the bullshit and act like adults for a change and talk this out. And the Iranian reaction?
"People who put on a mask of friendship, but with the objective of betrayal, and who enter from the angle of negotiations without preconditions, are more dangerous," Hossein Taeb, deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Wednesday, according to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.
MEGAN: "You're trying to trick us by talking!" SPENCER: AND HE'S RIGHT. It is more dangerous from his perspective, because Obama is denying the Iranian regime a crucial excuse for its failures. The absence of American bellicosity creates massive social and political cognitive dissonance. MEGAN: "We know you're just talking to us again to undermine us!" Iran's like the ex who built his reputation around how you're the bad one who dumped him and won't speak to him and then you're like, wtf, dude, I don't care, we can chill, and he doesn't want to. SPENCER: Now, if you go through the piece, you can come up with an explanation of Iranian behavior that basically cashes out to demanding comprehensive talks for a grand bargain. Which, from the perspective of smart Iran-watchers who had to quit the Bush administration in disgust, wouldn't even be a bad thing! Google ads have made an ad pop up on the Windy that features a big-titted Iranian girl with suggestively-parted lips. MEGAN: Does the grand bargain mean they stop building nukes? Also, I think you need to screen cap that. SPENCER:
And yeah, the plan put forward by husband-and-wife national-security team Flynt and Hilary Mann Leverett calls for security guarantees to Iran in exchange for a verifiable end to the nuclear program and Iranian cooperation on Iraq and Israel/Palestine Not bad, eh? Kind of the sort of shit we should test out, no? MEGAN: Can Iran cooperate on Israel? But, yes, that would be Change I Could Believe In. It's at least Change I Would Like To Try Out. SPENCER: It would depend on what "cooperation" would mean, and how long it takes to get there. Basically, for the next couple years, I'd think "cooperation" means Iran drops its position that Israel has no right to exist and stops its military aid to Hamas & Hezbollah. Will they? Maybe, maybe not, but you've got to test it, and no policy has failed as comprehensively as the 30-year bipartisan consensus on isolating Iran, since Iran is the strongest it's ever been. Anyway we should end this shit and you should post the picture you sent me of Justin Long. MEGAN: Yeah, I've decided to be a bad person and do it. I will preface that it's entirely possible that I stepped on his feet and that's why he's looking down.