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View Diary: Performer at Inaugural Party removed from stage (52 comments)

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  •  Any social history of DC pre-1900 will make you (7+ / 0-)

    never look at politicians the same way again.

    Biographies especially. And not only of the politicians themselves. There are figures that write that tell us about pols while never being one. Mark Twain in the Gilded Age was also quite amazed at the baseness of those that came to DC.

    I have read too much history to even try and pinpoint more than a couple of the more memorable texts.

    Washington is no doubt the boss town in the country for a man to live in who wants to get all the pleasure he can in a given number of months. But I wasn't built that way. I don't want the earth at one gulp. All of us are always losing some pleasure that we might have if we could be everywhere at once. I lose Washington, for instance, for the privilege of saving my life. My doctor told me that if I wanted my three score and 10, I must go to bed early, keep out of social excitements, and behave myself. You can't do that in Washington. Nobody does.
    - quoted in interview in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 19, 1889, p. 20.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:19:28 AM PST

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    •  Mark Twain! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Love him!  "Guilded Age" one of my favorites!

      "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

      by NancyWH on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:46:12 AM PST

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    •  Things haven't changed a great deal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody, mrkvica, gerrilea

      or they hadn't as of 20 years ago. I moved to DC just before Reagan was elected and left six years later.

      DC is its own little world for a great many reasons. In a sense it's like living in LA. LA has movie-star sightings and film-industry events; DC has politician sightings and lobbyist events.

      On the local level, DC's disenfranchisement makes it really strange too. Local politics is mainly disconnected from national politics yet it is the only place in the entire country where local government's actions is subject to a Congressional veto. That has a significant influence on the mentality of the people who live there daily. It is also subject to the influence of significant population change every four to eight years. It's not that other places don't change but that the change of the atmosphere happens on a schedule.

      Then there is are the extremes one sees: incredible grandeur of the Capitol area side-by-side with grinding poverty. I loved living there yet living in DC is very much like living in a terrarium.

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