Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

DC is LA for ugly people

Because DC is a one-industry town, sometimes the constant aura of politics gets a bit much to take. You go to the grocery store, and the bus-boys are discussing how Kerry handled himself in the 2nd presidential debate as they bag up your food. For an entire year before we invaded Iraq, it was considered acceptable polite small-talk to ask new acquaintances if they thought we'd be going to war soon. And my all-time favorite pick-up line (used on me, not by me, mind you): "Hey, aren't you a staffer on the Hill?"

Sometimes it gets really tiresome to always have to play the name-game with people at parties, to try and figure out who, in the two degrees of separation that is DC, you know in common.

At other times, you just have to laugh. A couple of years back, when I was guiltily part of the military-industrial complex, I was out at my favorite watering hole, the Raven. This was before Mount Pleasant became a neighborhood "in transition" as advocates like to say and instead was simply a dump. A few buddies from the State Dept and I were tossing back a Heineken or two when a very cute, very hip guy came up and asked to bum a cigarette.

After a few minutes of chit-chat, the inevitable question, "Where do you work?" came up. My friends paused, thought a moment, and said, "We work for the Man." I realized that, wishy-washy liberal arts degree notwithstanding, I did too, so I said as much. Cute Indie Hipster Boy snorts and says, "Nope, I work for The Man way more than you do." A brief argument ensued - how can you be more part of the problem than working for a defense contractor or the federal goverment? - but it turned out he was right. His boss? None other than the ultimate Good Ol' Boy, Strom Thurmond.

We are all tarred with the same brush. I guess it's just a matter of how much.

Which brings me to my point. Even though I don't work for the Feds, we get tomorrow off since it's Veterans' Day. Thanks, nation's war heroes! See you guys Friday.


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