Well. There’s just a whole bunch going on, isn’t there? I’ll get to the important stuff in a minute but first, as per usual, some personal…
There was a minute there this week when I was reminded what it was like to have someone actually believe in you and expect the best you have to give rather than…well, whatever the opposite of that is. And it was kind of remarkable. Look, DC is the kind of place where, unless you know yourself and who you are and have a good, solid core of ethical black and whites, you’ll be changed. Generally out of necessity. That core, if you let it, can get squishy. I recently told someone who’s from here about another person I knew who came to DC and turned into a nasty little social climber and this local said, “Yeah, that happens to a lot of people when they move to DC.” Apparently it’s a known potentiality. And it’s really rather counter productive. It has been to me personally and professionally — nothing that isn’t being overcome but a hassle nonetheless — and I think it is to the purveyors of that kind of relativism when it comes to ethical behavior. Let me use a dance metaphor…
All dancers are divas, myself included. But some are just divas with a capital psycho. I’ve encountered these girls and guys before. They are so sure of their own talent they will step on, over, in front of anyone to be center stage. Even in class, when no one cares. It’s actually quite sad. There was a girl last week — and I reckon I’ll be seeing her again — who ended up standing in front of me after enough improv negotiation throughout the room just to a) block me from the appreciative eyes of the audience (read: the stupid, people-free mirror. We’re dancing, not watching ourselves. Well most of us are…) and b) to look at herself in said mirror. This is the type of chick you can’t get up to go the bathroom around because when you get back she’ll be sitting in your seat, chatting up your man. And DC is full of these folks. The worst is, generally, the ones who behave this way are NOT the best and the brightest (I’m sure there’s some kind of negative correlation between how aggressive they are about self-promotion and their level of competency but it bores me to think about it), and so you find yourself at the mercy sometimes of the less than excellent. And it can be disheartening. And I try to remember something my Pops said when I decided to go back to grad school in my early 30s after working for many years. The charming guy I first spoke to in one of the departments at UGA I was initially interested in joining (thank God I went in a different direction), outright made fun of me for even considering coming back to school. I was too old and there was no way I’d get a high enough GRE score to ever be part of his little clique. (Heh. My GRE score turned out to be just fine. And then some. Jerk.) I called my Pops crying after that phone call and he got pretty angry with me and said, “Sarah, if you let one asshole deter you, then you don’t deserve to go to grad school and you’ll never make it should you get in.” I find myself revisiting those words a lot. And, both in that case and now, there are eventually, if you have patience, people that come along and say, hey, you in the back with your head down…nice work.
And it’s awesome.
Okay, other things.
Everyone seems to think we will end up striking. I remain unsure — not skeptical exactly, because I can see it happening to save face (and that is apparently of paramount concern with this administration), but I’m not sure the intestinal fortitude exists to carry it out effectively. What with the NYT functioning as the stateside Pravda and the libertarians out of the goodness of their hearts genuinely opposed, I wonder if the top brass has the guts to go to war. I’m by no means advocating — I remain torn on the issue until more information comes to light and, thankfully, I don’t have to make that decision — just observing a man totally out of his element trying to adapt.
Daniel Hannan has a good piece with an across the pond perspective. This was sent to me by my British friend Matt, who, I’m glad to report, seems to have an affection for Hannan. I do as well.
I disrespectfully throw this in the face of the voters who snickered and sneered their way to demonizing a decent man who may have had the jump on the brand new conflict we’re facing on the geo-political stage. You continue to not impress me. My favorite is this one:
My inner techie is fascinated. The NSA is just behaving like that creepy dude on the sidewalk that you notice watching you eat lunch about halfway through your club sandwich. Or is that just me?
I like the ones about the marines and quidditch.
So, the Clermont Lounge doesn’t play. They don’t care who you are. That’s Atlanta, y’all. Also, because this band covered the great song “The Boxer,” it always makes me think of the amazing short story and subsequent film “The Quiet Man.” One of the best.