- Rusty, thanks for giving me the chance to write for you here. I have newfound respect for Rusty in that he constantly puts up with all the crap that comes along with writing a relatively popular blog. If you meet Rusty in a bar, buy him a beer because he probably needs at least one after every day of this.
- If you liked having me here, I'll invite you to come read what I write at my real blog: A Ton of Bricks. However, I am afraid you will be somewhat disappointed. When Rusty asked me to write for why.i.hate.dc in his absence, I resurrected a persona that had died a natural death almost 10 years ago: the angry, sarcastic, profane, disrespectful and cruel high school version of me. Like all zombies come back from the dead, this character, no, caricature wanders around looking for brains to devour and pollute. This is something I can't let happen, so now I've got to kill off this horrible bastardization of nature. I think I'll use an aluminum bat. All this to say, my normal blog is not full of invective and anger and hatred and humor and name-calling, so if that's what you liked about my stint here, you'll probably be disappointed.
- Thanks, readers, for sticking around while Rusty was out of town so that when he returns tomorrow his blog is more than just a burned-out, hollow shell of what it used to be. I think I managed to at least maintain your readership, Rusty.
And finally, I just want to say that there are lots of things to hate about this city. They come in all shapes and sizes, all creeds and colors, all philosophies and theologies. But the one thing that unites them all is a soul-crushing lack of respect for other human beings, the elevation of status above all else. Money and/or position truly do make the man (or woman! I’m not sexist! I have friends that are women! See, I’m really, really not sexist!)
This attitude is not funny. It is the opposite of humorous. It is anti-edification. It has no redeeming qualities. Everything else that we hate about this place, from the douchebags to the assholes to the criminal abuse of power is just a symptom of this disease.
A general lack of respect means you treat your fellow subway riders as obstacles to be overcome. It means you purposefully ignore the homeless because you are too good for them. It means you dehumanize anyone that doesn’t live up to your expectations of a “decent person.” It means you flaunt your six-figure salary and big-time political connections around in discussions just to make sure that the others in attendance know how much of a big shot you are and that they ought to treat you accordingly. It means you will insult anyone if it will give you a leg up in the never-ending struggle for power and status. It means that you should avoid “looking weak” at all costs. It means that you treat service workers as things to do your bidding, not as people. It means that your service workers will return the favor and treat you as an annoyance to be gotten rid of. It means that you can’t fathom taking 3 minutes out of your important life to talk to a Street Sense vendor. It means you can’t take three minutes out of your important life to make someone feel human. It means that you’d damn well better have more impressive shit than your neighbors because you are damn well more important than them. It means you progressively become a heartless sower of hate and misanthropy. It means “fuck you, everybody.” It means you will probably die screaming and sad and unable to figure out how or why it’s all ending this way and where are all your friends and family and why can’t your money and status and power get you out of this mess and God damn it what a waste.
It means that there is a Giant Food supermarket near my house and that in front of the Giant, there is a bus stop. It is the initial/terminal stop on the 90/92 route, which runs from McLean Gardens to Anacostia Station. Every day, the employees of the Giant are bused in from across the city because supermarket jobs are below us upper-classers. Our children will attend Sidwell Friends, or St. Alban’s or The National Cathedral School. They will never, not ever work at such a demeaning job. That is for the rabble, and that is why we have a bus system. Besides, they like coming up here to our nice neighborhood, don’t they?
If you think “well, that’s just what living in a big city is like,” does that make it okay? Does the fact that we live here and that to survive here you need to be cruel, jaded, cynical and sociopathically self-serving mean that it’s not a problem? That this is just the way it is? Maybe you should reconsider. Is it a source of pride that you can “survive” here if it means you are but a shell of a human being? Do you revel in the fact that you can easily ignore the panhandlers asking you for money? Do you truly enjoy a life of accumulation and consumption? Does it feel good to abuse and take advantage of others in order to accomplish your goals?
A commenter recently asked “[d]oes D.C. make you mean? Numb? Both?” And if you're not careful, the answer is “both.” Absolutely “both.” And that is why I fucking hate this city.