Monday, December 29, 2008

dc, you've changed!

Well, that's a bit of a stretch. Actually, that's a super stretch; a Stretch Armstrong stretch. See, DC -- the city that happens to surround me -- hasn't really changed that much. As to my attitude toward it however, that's changed tremendously.

Looking back at this past year's blog entries (because I can't get enough of my own intrepid genius), I noticed a sharp decrease of posts labeled "Exceptionally Messed Up Sh*t" as the months quickly and painfully moved on. This can mean either one of two things -- DC changed or I changed. Yet as I look around this chamber pot of a city, I still observe the same things that goaded me to start this blog in the first place. So why the decrease? Well, since I'm a word whore, allow me to pontificate electronically on a subject that seems to be coming up more and more on this blog -- myself.

Whereas this blog started off documenting other people's shambles, today I shall wax retarded on my own. It's been said before in the comments, perhaps jokingly though, that I've gone soft. However, considering I punched a baby in the face just this morning and plan on dropkicking a few puppies later today, I don't think I've necessarily lost my edge. Make no mistake about it, I'm still a major asshole. Likewise, DC is still a global rendezvous point for many-a-badly dressed tool and/or douche. Look around; take it all in; no amount of time will ever change that. The Blackberry-per-capita rate is just too high.

In fact, let's put myself aside for a moment and dissect a subject that has long ruffled this blog's proverbial e-feathers -- nametags. Nametags are still freely worn in public, which reminds me of the time in high school when my German Nazi sympathizer teacher, Mr. Ihrig, decided to forego teaching us about the horrors of the Holocaust through a viewing of Schindler's List, which is what every other class did, and instead required us to participate in something he termed "The Holocaust Game." True to its name, he really had turned the Holocaust into a game, featuring cards labeled "religion," "food," "family," "life," etc., that we either kept or lost depending on a homemade Chutes & Ladders style spinner. And to really "teach" us, Mr. Ihrig insisted that we call him "Fuhrer," while he called us Jewish ethnic slurs that even I, propagator of rape jokes aplenty, refuse to type on this blog.*

But wait, there's more! One of the most disturbing parts of this "game" "learning activity" psychotic attempt by an assumed Nazi sympathizer to live out his deadliest fantasies through a group of 15-year-old kids, was the requirement that we wear unnecessary flair -- construction paper Stars of David, naturally! Not only did this further trivialize one of the most horrific periods in modern human history, but it instilled in me a complete distrust of any authority figure and an intense hatred of all forced accessories.

Which brings me to my biggest pet peeve about DC -- the ubiquity of nametags being worn in public. It's already ridiculous enough that so many of us need to wear a visible identification badge to gain access to places that aren't even that exciting (see: office buildings, Congress), but, according to some sources, so many of these nametags are viewed as status symbols here, which not only is one of the most ridiculous concepts I've ever heard of, but is just plain pathetic. Anyone who invests that much self-worth in a piece of magnetized plastic should be required to endure my 10th grade U.S. history class. Not only will they have to suffer through the absurdity of Mr. Ihrig's "teaching" methods, but they will realize that their lives are retardedly based on an unnecessary accessory forced on them from above. Yet instead of near-certain death, their only punishment is looking like a gigantic tool. (That, Mr. Ihrig, is what your Holocaust game is good for. I learned NOTHING about the Holocaust, but learned to hate authority-ordered accessories. Congratulations on your teaching abilities, sir, if by "abilities," I mean "completely misguided, totally offensive and intensely wrong methods," and by "sir," I mean "dickwad.")

However, much like DC's penchant for public displays of nametag retardability, the kids assigned to Mr. Ihrig's U.S. History class will probably forever come out dumber than when they went in. (I'm a perfect example.) DC and Mr. Ihrig will never change.

Which circuitously pops me back into where I began this treatise -- it's me who's changed, not DC. Don't get me wrong -- my pants are still ridiculously tight, leaving nary an empty space between my skin and the fabric (similar to the lack of space left vacant when a 12-pack of kids are forced to huddle under a table labeled "Auschwitz" and wait bored to see who would be the lucky ones to lose their last "life" cards and end their participation in this most pointless of exercises). That is, any change I've experienced has nothing to do with me conforming to DC's toolish tendencies. Instead, I think I've just grown used to them. For example, after complaining about Mr. Ihrig to no avail myriad times and seeing nothing change, I began to grow increasingly complacent, which probably led me to just believe him when he emphatically noted later in the year we won the Vietnam War. (I wasn't kidding when I said I came out dumber.) I could reason all I wanted with the guidance counselor, drop as much logic as scientifically possible, yet Mr. Ihrig continued to have a job. Likewise, despite complaining ad nauseum on this blog, in bars and to my doorman, DC continues to sport its nametags in public. In both situations, after a while, one can only shrug.

Or blog (if only blogging existed in 1994...). But just as complaining to metaphorical deaf ears about Mr. Ihrig being a Nazi got old after a while when I was 15, complaining about DC's backward habits seems to have grown redundant to me at 29. Simply put (which probably should have been typed 972 words ago), I've grown complacent, which, if you think about it, is very DC of me. I came in with all these grand notions about stopping the insanity Susan Powter-style, however, the more time that passed, the more I forget about my own ideals. Saving the world from the rampant doucheosity took a backseat to satiating my own e-ego, which has grown unjustifiably large (larger, perhaps, than the insanity Ms. Powter targeted) as I suppose it does with any blogger or, to put it in a DC-friendly context, aspiring politician. (After all, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is what bloggers -- and aspiring politicians -- specialize in.)

Moreover, the more I got to know the (very few) parts of DC that didn't suck as well as the (slowly increasing number of) people who unabashedly defied the stereotypes I had haphazardly made up in my mind, the less I noticed all the exceptionally messed up sh*t around me. Or if I did notice it, I didn't feel as motivated to write about it. Suddenly, it wasn't as exceptionally messed up as it had been in the past. Instead, I started to find it all very amusing. Then one day last month I read the following, written by the great secret genius Bike Snob NYC, who put my untethered thoughts into logical terms: "Stupidity minus Anger equals Weirdness. In other words, when I observe something inexplicable and get angry about it, I've observed something stupid. But when I observe something inexplicable and don't get angry, I've simply observed something weird. And weirdness is much easier to live with than stupidity."

Voila! DC is simply weird! The unnecessary nametags, the dishabille attire, the backward customer service, the retarded drivers -- it's all just weird. Granted, not as weird as Mr. Ihrig's 10th grade U.S. history class, of course, but still weird.

The thing about "weird," though, is that it is much harder to complain about than "stupid." Stupid is easy. Blog posts about stupid write themselves. With weird, one must think creatively to get an idea across. Weird is complicated. It's neither good nor bad; right nor wrong; tight nor gnarly, as it were. It's just...weird. And it's hard to write about something that cannot be easily tucked into a stereotype based on the most unresearched of generalizations, a concept upon which this blog has depended since its not-so-immaculate conception just over a year ago.

Moreover, in a noun, a verb, a sometimes-adverb and an adjective -- I am effing lazy. It's hard not to be redundant while complaining about the same stupid weird sh*t over and over again, which is probably why I've lost focus expanded my retardulous repertoire over here at The Anti DC. I've become more random, less hating-DC-centric; I've become weirder.

And as 2009 looms, I'm sure I've only just begun exploring this bizarre new direction I seem to find myself and my writing (at least on this e-platform) heading in. To be sure, I'm not giving up my original mission, which is to bitch incessantly -- but creatively -- about the city in which I find myself living, but I'm not sure that's my main focus anymore. To be honest, I'm not sure what my main focus is, which is dangerous territory for a blogger to find herself in as I suspect it will translate into a loss of audience. (All two of you.)

So, in the spirit of losing what few -- but precious -- readers I may have as I venture onward into this semi-new, wholly retardulous direction, I'll just go ahead and communicate to you via a very weird (but not in the Holocaust game way) music video by Cadence Weapon:



Yep, that was weird. (But not in the DC way.) And I love it!

Gadzooks! It's on in 2009...if after I return from not getting framed for murder in Nicaragua, that is.

And in the spirit of redundancy, allow me to once again wish you a Happy (preemptive) New Year!

Ciao (for real this time)!

*To make matters more absurd, when I went to the school's higher powers, I was told to calm down and that this was an "out-of-the-box learning activity." And yet somehow, Mankato West Senior High School didn't make the list of top Minnesota public schools again. Verflucht!

14 comments:

Daniel said...

The funniest thing about the badges is that the people with the more important and vital jobs are smart enough (or signed paperwork) to not wear them outside government spaces.

BTW, welcome to the DC love (or at least tolerance).... some of us have had it all our lives.

Adam said...

It sounds like Mr. Ihrig taught you to hate the blind obedience of fascism. Perhaps that crazy old Nazi had a plan after all?

(And if I was trying to be really un-PC I would have said that Mr. Ihrig had a solution for the problem of teaching kids about the Holocaust. In fact, he had a Final Solution. What, still too soon?)

maryjanejeff said...

What about peeps like me, who feel like a schmuck for wearing our nametags everywhere during the business day, and even around our necks via a chain...but do it anyway because the alternative is to lose said nametag twice a week? And not be able to get into any building I need to for work as a consequence.

Marissa said...

daniel--

Yeah, it's not quite love so much as light-hearted eye-rolling. But yeah, good point re: the nametags. It is always the interns who wear them the proudest...

adam--

You know in this format it's never too soon. And yes, perhaps in a totally effed up way, my high school Furher may have been onto something. If only a gleam of joy didn't present itself so clearly when he called us all [redacted] [redacted] [redacteds].

maryjanejeff--

But you must have pockets!

Cyndy said...

Weird is Good!
If stupidity requires anger and weirdness requires a sense of humor, which would you rather have? I vote for weird.

Peter said...

I'm on my way to DC to check for the burst pod in your closet laying next to the drained-of-blood body of the real Marissa.

maryjanejeff said...

I do have pockets, but I tried that route and of course I forgot I left the name tag there, leading to an all out panic when I tried to leave for work. Getting a temp badge is a nuisance more than anything, but something I don't want to deal with nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you that I haven't been anything but honest to you. You do have many a listener...err, reader, but if I wasn't so easily addicted to routine, I can't say I'd visit the site anymore. It's not angry. It's not pointing out the stupid, and that is, to say the least, disappointing. You aren't really theantidc anymore, buddy, you're more like.. TheDC, and which I will grow, as I have this town, even more let down as the days go on.

Keep writing though. You have been assimiliated.

And I shall leave you with my final comment. It is a comment from Abraham lincoln. "The sin of silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."

Yours truly,
Your buddy.

LiLu said...

New directions are a good thing. You're a wonderful writer, and I'm sure whatever niche you expand into, you'll figure out a way to make it interesting. If we all just wrote the same old shiz for months on end, this would get pretty freakin boring, no?

Happy New Year, darlin. Have fun in Nicaragua!

DC Goodwill Fashionista said...

Wow, that was a really long blog, so I just skimmed most of it, but yeah...weirdness. Yeah. Happy New Year! -the DCGF

Anonymous said...

Keep it up sister! You may have been assimilated but I can guarentee there is a ton of shit and shenanigans in DC still to uncover - like the homeless drunk man who sings at 4am in front of my buidling or those horrific roller bags. Come one now - everyone has almost had their life ended by those! Oooh and how about those assholes who are so important they wont move out of your way when you care carrying paper bags of groceries causing the bags to break. Pretty sweet!

maryjanejeff said...

Oh, you'll find something to complain about within hours of your return. It's DC! And we'll have a blast reading about it because we grumble about the same stuff!

Skywalker said...

Why are you going to Central America? Illegal activities?

Come back and grump on DC please. I enjoy it. More shambles.

Marissa said...

cyndy--

Weird is the best.

peter--

You know I have no blood. It's all circuitry and wires.

mjj--

These are the Badges of Our Lives.

anon--

OK.

lilu--

It's actually probably a sign of the beginning of the end of daily essays on this blog. I think it's high time I got for quality over quantity. I feel that I'm slipping into dangerous (and un-entertaining) patterns. That, and it's high time I make some goddamn money.

fashionista--

That's my point. My stuff is no longer interesting enough to warrant a read!

anon2--

Thanks. It's true that there are an unlimited number of assholes out there...and assholes are really easy to mock. (Which is why I'm such a big target on this blog...wait...)

mjj--

As long as my complaints make people laugh...and myself.

skywalker--

I have this habit of vacationing in developing countries. Kyrgyzstan. Georgia. Honduras. Etc. I embrace their shambles because they embrace mine.