Saturday, June 25, 2016

Leaving the Beast's Intestine

This being the afternoon before I leave Washington, D.C. to go to New York City, I am jotting down a few impressions to share.  First and foremost, since my arrival from California to participate with Beyond Extreme Energy's anti-fracking campaign, the overall experience here in the "belly of the beast" has been satisfactory.  And it is not because we generally accomplished short term goals, insofar as confronting the stupidity of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its energy company masters, nor because my subsequent participation with Democracy Spring (which transitioned into Democracy Awakening April 16th) was also generally successful.

     The reason that this has been satisfying is because the district and the people who actually live here year around are wonderful!  I have had blissful times at the Catholic basilica during easter season, and regularly made use of the lower Crypt Church for silent meditation, plus going to the Franciscan monastery and chillin' out on its spacious grounds.  As well, countless hours have been spent at the 35 year young anti-nuclear vigil in front of the White House, with the volunteers who keep this continuously going, regardless of the weather, 24/7/365.  It is always a joy to be at "the igloo"...the dome-like structure wrapped in clear plastic so that volunteers may sleep there at nights...which has faced off with the ever-changing residents across the way at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  And once in awhile I even run into some of my old Catholic Worker crew, as they once again arrive en masse to speak truth to power.

     More commonly, the district has countless uptempo friendly places for breakfast, and there's lots of entertainment because this is the place where Chuck Brown invented Go-Go Music.  And the jazz is hot at Blues Alley.  And Hard Rock Cafe shows endless vintage and current videos.  And the Rocket Bar on 8th Street near the Chinatown arch, below the sidewalk, has big screens for basketball game viewing with a festive crowd; they even have California brews like Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas...and lots of pool tables...need info on what's happening at regional gambling casinos?...the Preakness odds at Pimlico?  And then there is Busboys and Poets and Kramer's Books for everything else.  And ya, you can go to the Smithsonian Mall.

     So, as I leave the Beast's Intestine tomorrow, I do so with a sublime fondness for the real Washington, D.C., which is separate from the United States Federal Government.  Maybe the D.C. Statehood advocate whom I spoke with is right.  Maybe it would be appropriate to move the seat of the federal government to Saint Louis, declare the District of Columbia the 51st state, keep the tourist attractions to finance local social programs, and let's see if the politicians and their corporate masters can make it in the midwest.

Craig Louis Stehr
April 18, 2016
Washington, D.C.

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