I saw the ads and thought, "Well, whatever..."

This woman had a slightly different take.

Her description of the teenaged mother wearing a sweater in the snow is what really said "D.C." to me.

I think most people see the small children and babies on the buses and metro trains as a mildly annoying distraction. I never get over it though. Some two year old trapped on a dirty bus, no stroller, no time to play, nothing to do but try to get the attention of an exhausted-looking mom.

Where I'm from, two year olds travel lazily perched in a huge stroller, with eight different toys and snacks at hand.

Not here. It hurts to see the little heads bobbing down the metro escalator stairs. Kids who can barely stand up on their own, shuffling behind 21-years-old-at-the-most moms. Kids who obviously hate the whole thing, being dragged to day care or a relative's house way too early in the morning, all to fit into some $6 an hour employer's schedule.

This woman is right. Fuck billboard hypocrisy, "You deserve a chance to be a mom!" You deserve a chance to get a job that will let you buy a damn stroller. THEN be a mom.

And if you've already made the hard choice, without the bus placard's help? Then you deserve more than a "Yay! You're not an aborter!" message from some condescending jackass. They couldn't have spent the money for these ads on something like, providing day care for teenaged moms? Buying strollers for women's shelters? It had to be used to shame the women who want to have THE SEX?


Things my friends think I make up, but I can provide documentation....

In a euphemism-heavy Post story on the "personal difficulties" imposed on the Prince William police chief charged with enforcing the "crackdown on illegal immigrants" (otherwise known as a nativist backlash which makes us all fondly recall great moments as 'Mericans, such as the anti-Guinea laws of a bygone era) the reporter noted, in the lead, that the police chief was forced to seek solace from his immigrant head-busting day job... in a blue grass show.

Then said chief returned to his job, "Struggling to maintain the simple, honored traditions of police work..." enforcing a law which requires police to check the legal status of any criminal suspect, whether arrested or not, if "There is reason to think suspect may be in the country unlawfully."

Sure, cynics may think that means the lil' music lover's job is to target brown, beige or tan "suspects" who wander our streets uncharged - yet - with any crime. But these cynics MUST be forgetting the criminal wave of pretty pink Serbs and Croats presumably clogging the shit out of the streets of Prince William County.

Hope Lucinda Williams made him feel better. If not, then maybe he was comforted by all the other police chiefs who, and I really am quoting from the damn story, "Whispered in his ear that they liked the way he was handling illegal immigration enforcement."

I guess they would speak up, but people might take it the wrong way.


OMG guys!

You know those homeless people who like, ask for money at the metro station? You know... they're always all, "Do you have some change?" "Can you spare something?" Sometimes they talk about being hungry or whatever.

Ok, so, these two guys were always making these $20 bets on some baseball game, but then one of them got bored betting with money. So they make this NEW bet. Get this! If one guy loses he has to let the other guy live in his house with his wife and she'll COOK for him.

But the other guy didn't HAVE a wife. So they decided that if the guy without a wife lost, then he would have to be HOMELESS. You know, live on the street and ask for money for food even though I guess he has a job as a "government defense contractor." So that guy lost. And he had to pretend he was like, poor! For a week!

I bet the other homeless people were all, "Here's some jackass with a career selling things to the army and he's going to sleep in the park in his pokemon sleeping bag and beg for food with us? WTF?" Ha! But maybe it made them feel better to see real people with jobs living like them and asking people for food for a little while.

God. I hope someone took pictures.


This officer did NOT ride off on a segway...

Bored Cop: "Got some ID?"

Bicylist/Accident Victim Writhing in Pain on Mass Ave: "Yeeeeeeeessssssss."

There's a pause, while accident victim groans. Cop shifts impatiently.

Bored Cop: "Fine. I'll get it out of your pocket myself."

Things my friends think I make up...

Has anyone else seen the Mt. Pleasant cop who can do spins and jump the curb on his little segway with the purple undercarriage lights?

Sure the easy thing to do would be to hate him. But deep down, you know it's kind of cute. You just know he justified all the practice it took with something like, "I need maximum maneuverability in order to optimize estimated arrival time during a hot pursuit situation..."


A brief history of douchery...

Willful blindness to your own douche-bag status is a necessary condition precedent to douchedom. And the key indicator is an overwhelming desire to point a douche-accusing finger at everyone else. Because, yeah. OF COURSE you happen to be the only non-douche in a group composed, so you say, solely of douches. We can tell because you're the one complaining about the popped collars.

A leading symptom of this particular brand of douche, which I've really only seen in D.C. is the self-righteous demand, "Justify yourself to me as a non-douche." A prime example of which was left in the comments today, " How diverse was the high school you attended back home in the midwest? How would your parents feel if you were to bring the son of a Pakistani cab driver back home with you for Thanksgiving?"

Here we have the elements of:

1) A douche who believes he can define douchery based on criteria which rules out everyone except himself and others from the same background/belief system.

2) An attitude of entitlement, "You OWE me justification for your existence."

And 3) The dizzying logic of self-hate in, "I will mock you for any perceived lack of status you might assign me by assigning you a lack of status because you have the potential to assign a hypothetical lack of status to me... "(Although I highly doubt the commenter is, in fact, the son of a Pakistani cab driver. He sounds more like someone who grew up with tales of a legitimately poor forbear's street smarts, and thinks that qualifies him as a self-made man despite his own lack of college debt).

So there, in two sentences of query, we have the magic of D.C. social forces at work. "It's not me, it's you." Because, "You're not like me." And this is proved by the implied argument, "I'm better because I'm the one telling you that you suck."

Gotta love this town.

There's only one reason to live in D.C....

According to worldtravels.com the D.C. climate is, "Highly seasonal with extreme variations between summer and winter." They helpfully added that the weather, "Has been known to be unpredictable too."

Style on the hot (unless it's really rainy and cold) streets range from J Crew, to Vineyard Vines, to Patagonia, to Lands End (but that last one is only popular for totes).

Buffeted by schizo non-native market forces and government salary expense accounts, restaurants attempt to toe the line between Applebees-like "homestyle" gluey entrees, for the transplanted midwestern palate, and completely inadequate Thai, Ethopian or Indian, for the people who want to pretend they love new cultures but really can't tell the difference. (Not one place could stay in business selling decent salt bagels?)

The admittedly large selection of museums tend toward displays meant to attract people who wish they were the kind of people who frequent the museum on weekends, but who really only like artists they've heard of before.

The natives hate the transplants. And the transplants dimly try not to be too offensive, but can't seem to help doing things like STOPPING in the middle of the metro during rush hour, apparently to ponder something which had better be damned important because it could have caused a death fourteen people behind them in the crush.

We're all here, though, hair in ponytails because of the humidity, biking through aggressively incompetent traffic and pretending the supposedly modern retreads at the Kennedy center are cutting edge opera (They very well could be, I couldn't tell the difference, I just have... suspicions...)

Why did we leave the buy-in-bulk comforts of the midwest, the glamourous weather of California, and the cozy warmth of the New England prep school where we were raised by people paid to tolerate our whims?

For bragging purposes, of course.

We're a community of more-literate-than-most and never-say-die competitors yearning to breathe more rarified air than the next guy. We let senators sexually harass us in the streets for the photo op, attempt to show off our "relevancy" by fighting over minute political points which everyone involved in the debate learned of from the same newspaper article, and crush into unimaginative events where we pay $8 for koolaid and vodka so we can later begin a story with, "That night at the Serbian Embassy..."

The natives know only a jerk or someone with an agenda would put up with a place like this. And we know it too, every time we retell the story of seeing some random CNN talking head on the train, or pay $8.50 for a sandwich on Capitol Hill. Then we shrug away the moment of clarity and call home to brag, again, that our jogging route takes us THIS close to the church J.F.K. once attended.


I do not hate the drummers of Meridian Hill Park...

Even though I never really bought the whole, "This? This nationalist pride celebration is merely a coincidentally loud-as-hell attempt to preserve our culture in a ritual which happens to be most conveniently celebrated in the middle of everyone else's Sunday morning..."

If I were from that part of town, and had to watch the tourists stop to read the signs displaying stories of African-Americans Who Did Important Things all day, I'm sure I would have attempted to get something much worse past city noise ordinances.

I do, however, kind of hate the people who go to the drum circle to display their own free spiritedness and reverence for Mother Africa. The skinny white girl who always has to do some stupid skinny white girl dance with batons which I'll bet she bought on e-bay for this VERY PURPOSE. The tourists trying to figure out whether vaguely bobbing the head shows enough respect, or if they should also, like, sway a little to prove how much they truly enjoy black people being loud.

And, of course, the self-appointed local historians who read the sign and now have to tell everyone already standing right there in the damn park fifty feet away from said sign, "This place is a cultural treasure, we're lucky it survived," when the subtext is, "From that one time when the black people got mad and burned shit..."

James sets the new girl on a better path...

I thought I was being all smart today and then: 

james said...
I'm not sure how long you've lived here, but I can't endorse this advice.

1. By all means take certain things personally, and file them away. Don't make a habit of being shit upon.

2. If someone reneges on a promise, hold it against them forever.

3. If you agree to work for peanuts or for free, you'd better be a college student looking for an internship. Otherwise, you're a jackass. There are a ton of jobs out there, and the market isn't actually all that competitive as long as you show up and speak English. Get paid what you're worth.

4. People "back home" shouldn't think this is insane. They aren't a collection of rubes and hayseeds, they understand DC is the seat of our federal government and you should be able to explain your job to them.

5. Network only if you have to and if you enjoy it. Don't feel like you have to talk shop at a bar. It can be annoying. It's fulfilling to date and have friends outside your sphere of work.

6/7/8. Some people b.s. more than others. You'll figure it out soon enough.

9. Avoid self-important assholes with something to prove. They are poseurs and they can't help you.

10. Tip according to service, whether you suspect your waiter/bartender may someday be in a position to help you or not. Hardworking garden-variety restaurant staff deserve tips just as much as douchebag hill staffers.

I still disagree with the part about the service. I wasn't saying you should tip in the hopes that your server will eventually do something for you. I was trying to, in a midwestern way, talk around the fact that the overstressed self-important people splitting an appetizer over their happy hour special drink for two hours at a table while sucking down eight glasses of water and loudly talking about what a dump the place is might not want to further enrage a service employee who could be encountered in a totally different role sooner than you'd think.

We're gonna make it after a-a-lll....

D.C. is a town of job hoppers. Almost everyone was a high school academic all-star. We won debate competitions, awards in "leadership seminars" and scholarships to colleges that are either Ivy League, or "Better than the Ivy League," in whichever particular field the alumnus majored. Now we live for the emails we can send home to Mom and Pop. "Dear Folks, I beat out thirty other candidates for the senior-SENIOR executive assistant job with The Whatever Institute. This means I will now be answering phones for some of the greatest minds of our generation." 

Every single job is a fight, from the first internship to the last underpaid but prestigious position in "Grass Roots Development" or "International Relief." And everyone is always on the make for the next job. 

Here are some job hunting tips specific to the city:

- Take nothing personally. Everyone is both incredibly over-worked and trying to develop only the most prestigious contacts possible. Given these two factors, your phone call has a high chance of being ignored. 

- If someone promises to do something for you but doesn't, remind him or her once, then drop it.  

- Expect to work for peanuts, or free. 

- Expect everyone back home to think this is insane. And don't waste your time trying to defend yourself with something like, "But my senator is the leading expert on peanut farms - that will be huge in alternative energy policy discussions." 

- Enjoy the networking opportunities, which allow you to have incredibly detailed policy discussions with people who actually know what they're talking about. 

- Realize most people don't know what they're talking about, but we all skimmed the Economist, so close enough. 

 - Remember that even if you skimmed the Economist, there's a chance your acquaintance sat in on the committee hearings, so um, try not to overdo the bs. 

- Remember too, that the guy talking is probably as full of shit as you would like to be, if you had the guts to really go for it.

- Come to grips with the fact that a society largely made up of sleep-deprived people with something to prove will never treat you like the folks back home. 

- And finally, tip the help. Every other restaurant server or bar tender has a day job with an international think tank or a Hill office. You never know who'll carry a grudge. 


WaPo recycles "White Girl In Peril" story, reminds us of true meaning of "disingenuous"...

By inserting themselves into the 2001 Chandra Levy investigation with breathless, often almost completely speculative accounts of the affair between a missing 24-year-old intern and then-sitting member of the House of Representatives Gary Condit, the media exponentially amplified the Levy family's nightmare, obscured potential police leads, and somehow, totally by coincidence I'm sure, made a lot of money off a truly sad incident. 

That was bad enough. (See also: Missing White Woman Syndrome)

Now we have this. The Washington Post hops back into the middle of a seven-year-old story under thin cover of, "Recapping the twists and turns of an already incredibly highly publicized investigation will be a PUBLIC SERVICE because the original investigation LET A KILLER GO FREE." (Editors walk away, whistling, as we all ignore the press's original role in the debacle).

Huh. And the reliable circulation bump from yet another "White Girl In Peril..." story (This time merely a thin excuse for a franchise sequel!) had nothing to do with this editorial decision? The police aren't perfect, but pretending the WaPo is now only some disinterested, public-service-minded chronicler of the police's flawed investigation? Really?  

Well. There are 10 parts left to go in the 12-part series. Maybe the Post still plans to explore some of the truly interesting issues this story brings up, such as our country's sick, possibly schadenfreude-based fascination with the tale of a mostly good girl who courted danger with "inappropriate" sex, or the many journalistic sins that can be covered by steadfast insistence on only publishing the speculations of "Sources Close to the Family" or "A Noted Expert on Interns Who Screw Powerful Men..." Maybe. 

PS - I'm sure it couldn't have been the Washington Post's publicity/marketing/pr whatever team who already updated Ms. Levy's Wikipedia entry with an external link to the series? Because... ew. 


Feelin' Massachusetts

I walk around
This little town.
I spit on the ground
And wait for the sky to fall down.
Show me the way to the door.
Show me out 'cause I'm
So, so, so, so, so, so, so, so bored

So the next stop is Ohio then. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. And probably updating here once or twice a month. Hope you like Lifetime movies as much as I do.

Even though I'm about to be replaced, it would be remiss of me if I didn't link to this article about Nationals Stadium. It's really a stunner. I insist you read the entire thing and let it wash over you.

When DCist reported that I was leaving, some dude in the comments chastised me about being consistently wrong about the stadium deal. That's when it occurred to me that the stadium deal proponents were no brighter than the people so eager to invade Iraq in 2003. All the evidence and events wouldn't supercede their wanting to be right. Any moron could see that such an invasion would be disasterous. And yet sub-morons (including my parents, hi Mom and Dad!, and my last two preferred presidential candidates) convinced themselves that this was the right thing to do. Now we have damage that can't be undone.

With the stadium, we were giving away an unprecedented amount of money for an unproven product. This is retarded. Anyone with a brain should have seen the potential for this to go badly. But no. These mongoloids just plug up their ears, close their eyes, and wait for the problems to go away.

My priorities are so damaged that I'll vote for a legislator who supported the invasion (Kerry and Clinton) but I have never and will never vote for or support anyone who crammed the stadium legislation down our throats.

So, stadium proponents/sub-morons, I double-fucking-dare you to read that article and not come away with the conclusion that the stadium deal was an unprecedented disaster.

The worst part, there are going to be people crawling out of the woodwork to make that case. Just like the true believers who think we found WMD in Iraq and that the surge has worked. Well, I'm done with you. You are wrong. You will always be wrong. And if it ever comes up for discussion when I'm visiting DC or something, I am going to lord it over you. I have no time for your stupidity.

If I have a legacy, which I won't because I'm a blogger, I hope it's that people think of me when even the most stubborn among us admit that the stadium deal was a colossal failure.

Late Night Shots, Laura Sessions Stepp, the Metro. All are peanuts to me compared to the stadium deal. So that the WaPo article would come out on my last day is like a gift from the angels.

Alright, the replacement blogger should be starting next week. She'll be using a different e-mail address since the old one (whyihatedc at gmail dot com) is attached to some fantasy sports trophies that I don't want to have disappear.

Thanks for reading my poorly thought out posts for the past two plus years. I really enjoyed my time here. xoxo


My Only Regret Is...

You can't tell that I'm standing in front of Smith Point in this picture.

I did a going away interview with Washingtonian. If I knew they printed swear words I maybe wouldn't have said "bullshit" so much?


DC is Still a Great Baseball Town!

Holy shit, this is nutso. The Nationals TV numbers are abysmal.

The Nationals, whose games are broadcast on either MASN or MASN2, are drawing a 0.39 average rating and an average of 9,000 households in the Washington market, according to the report. That's a decline of about 43 percent from last season's totals, and a significantly lower regional sports network audience than any other U.S. team has drawn this season.

Nine thousand households! This is mind-blowing. People do not care. We built a $686,000,000 sweetheart stadium for a population that does not give a shit.

Hell, the Nats aren't even the most popular team in the city!

SportsBusiness Journal reported last month that Orioles broadcasts on MASN and MASN2 are drawing higher ratings in the Washington market than are Nationals broadcasts.


Baseball is failing. We never should have built that God forsaken stadium and it's already biting us in the ass. All the morons leaving comments here and on DCist about why the stadium is a good idea are blowing smoke out of their asses. They don't know a goddamned thing.

Awesome columnist Marc Fisher wrote a column about this an it included the following passage:

Some bloggers are giddily taking bets on how long baseball lasts in Washington. And given our history, that's not a wild or crazy topic to discuss.

I am one of those "some bloggers." And I'm winning the bet.

Expecting an Yglesias Post in 5, 4, 3.....

I'm one of the few people who has actually forgotten how to ride a bike. It's true! I took my little brother's out for a test spin and crashed twice in only a quarter mile. Bicycling is not my strong suit.

But I can see why people really enjoy biking to work. It's healthy for your body, healthy, for the environment, and a great way to avoid the hassles of public transportation.

Unfortunately, this is not the best city to bike to work. I had a roommate who was an avid biker. A forty mile a day type. He said DC was the hardest city to ride in. He's been hit by a car more than once. Do the drivers stop to see if he's ok? Of course not. They just go on their way being selfish little DC pricks without a care in the world. No matter that they could have seriously injured someone. La de daa.

So, I'm unfortunately not surprised to see that a young woman was squashed by a garbage truck in front of the Church of Scientology. The pull quote from Fire and EMS spokesperson Alan Etter is that "the truck just ran completely over her."

The name of the 22-year-old victim hasn't been released. Her family is in my prayers. And, selfish as it is, I also pray that I didn't know her.


Hahahaha! Touche!

Hey, how are those essays going? They're due by the end of the weekend, you know.

One thing I can promise you is that if you win, I will never post on this site without your explicit permission.

On that note, plus one, DCeiver. Plus one, indeed.


Keep the Essays Coming!

I know I've been an absentee blogger these past few days. I guess I'm kind of burnt out on the hatred. Suffice to say, there are still plenty of things to hate about the area. Vigilante justice in our jail cells is taking up most of the headline space, but I recently learned that a friend of a friend was shot during a mugging. I guess this highlights how lucky I was when I got mugged and made the executive decision to sass back. Although I have no regrets, it would be irresponsible for me to suggest that course of action when the potential consequences are so severe.

The recent mugging and assault anecdotes along with the murder spike in Ward 5 make me think that I'm leaving the city at just the right time.

Less than a week left in the essay contest. I have about a dozen entries so far. I want more.