the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

February 8, 2006



I’ve been to two kinds of funerals. Some were for those who brought us stability.

Such a funeral is a stately progression of somber faces, each person contemplative of the world the survivors have found themselves in. Sometimes this contemplation is personal, sometimes it is political, but it is always private. It is a hallowed, neutral ground, on which a gathering convenes in the spirit of “there, but for the grace of God, go I.” It is a time for understanding and embracing continuity and balance, of considering the moments spent with the deceased, and the memories of them we carry forward. It is a celebration of tradition, of family, and of the culture in which we live. A quiet celebration, but one dedicated to continuity, and the hope that when our time comes, the voices that speak of us in remembrance are kind. It is fundamentally political; it is a monument to the status quo.

Then there are the funerals for those whose lives brought us change.

This is also a celebration of continuity, but on a much more personal scale. It is an expression of grief, but also of hope. Hope that the strength and power of the fallen may be borne with honor by the living. It is a time of reckoning; a time we ask what works have been accomplished, and what remains to be done. A time where we ask ourselves “what should we do,” and realize that she will not be there to help us answer; we must now confront this question for ourselves. A time where we look back to the life of the one who has passed for our answers. Even as we mourn the stillness that once was her living voice, we raise our own, and find our own strength in the expression of the passion that she raised in us. It is a funeral not to honor the continuity in which she lived, but the vision of hope that she moved us towards, despite tragedy and horrible loss. It is where we renew our faith in what the departed taught us. It is fundamentally personal; it is a monument to the human being.

Think about Coretta Scott King; think about her acts, her beliefs, and her legacy. Put aside all else, save her.

Now tell me, which monument did she deserve?

February 7, 2006

Upcoming Events


Here’s your weekly helping of local events, also listed in the event calendar (linked from the sidebar). If you know of an event that should be included, let me know at keith@dcdl.org, or post a comment.

Wednesday, February 8

Thursday, February 9

Friday, February 10

Saturday, February 11

These announcements are not endorsements of the organizations or candidates mentioned — except that we’re very much in favor of Drinking Liberally.

February 6, 2006

New Post Blog Brings False Balance to Ward 3


The Washington Post launched a new blog today, DC Wire, which will focus on DC politics and this year’s city elections. I wish it luck, and so far it already has posts about the stadium deal and the school modernization bill, but I’m a little worried by the first post by Eric Weiss, which happens to be about the council race in my ward. It starts off like this:

Ward 3 council candidate Sam Brooks, who’s been involved in a low-key pie-tossing contest with fellow candidate Jonathan Rees, wants to engage in some multilateral disengagement.

Both have been saying mean things about each other for months. Rees questions when Brooks moved into the ward and Brooks says Rees may be behind negative web postings.

So Rees spreads messages accusing Brooks of fraud because of when he moved into the ward, even though the law doesn’t require candidates to reside in the ward until they are nominated, which would occur in September. And Rees spams Craigslist, DCist, DCpages.com, and loads of other websites and e-mail lists with messages promoting himself and attacking Brooks, often in juvenile ways. This week he apparently forged a message from the list admin to spam the Cleveland Park e-mail list, from which he’d been banned.

On the other side, Brooks complains about some of Rees’s attacks.

Clearly both sides are equally guilty — just as Jack Abramoff gave to both Democrats and Republicans, just as the Kerry and Bush campaigns were equally untruthful, just as experts differ on whether the moon landings were faked.

It’s not a “pie-tossing contest” if only one person is throwing pies, and so far I haven’t seen any pies thrown by Brooks. But maybe Weiss has learned the importance of “balance” from the same editor who slanted the scandal scorecard in Chris Cillizza’s Post blog a few months back.

February 4, 2006

Dinner and a Movie


As, DL’er Saba pointed out, there’s been a couple of great movies that have come out, that a few of us would like to see, but haven’t made it to for one reason or another.

For instance, Syriana (review here) and Good Night and Good Luck (review here).

There’s also some restaurants that we’ve been meaning to check out, for instance the Burma Restaurant in Chinatown (review here).

After considerable deliberation (okay, we emailed each other and it sounded like a good idea) we’ve come to the conclusion that Saturday, Feb 11 will be DCDL’s Dinner and a Movie Night.

We’ll put this out in the Tuesday email, but you, our readers (Keith, do we have readers?) can now go do the Democracy thing, and tell us your ideal pick of movie and restaurant.

February 1, 2006

What I Want.


Being out of touch with “mainstream America” is unpleasant in today’s United States, but I believe it’s better to walk on a path that both my mind and my heart have convinced me is correct, that to listen to voices that lie to me with every breath. It is better to look for the rocks in the path with my eyes, rather than with my nose stuck in any one of a number of books devoted to someone else’s dogma. I know from painful experience that it’s better to remember the past, than to pretend it never happened.

I want to be an American, in America.

What does that mean? I look to a few critical pieces of writing in our history, informed by the events that surrounded them to answer that question. The documents cited below are made by human beings, and therefore flawed - in some cases critically. But it gives me hope, because there is proof that mistakes can be corrected, which we’ll get to. To begin, the words of Jefferson are instructive.

Upcoming Events


Here are some local events that you might be interested in. Also see the event calendar (linked from the sidebar), which may be changing drastically at some point. If you know of an event that should be included, let me know at keith@dcdl.org, or post a comment.

Wednesday, February 1

Thursday, February 2

Saturday, February 4

These announcements are not endorsements of the organizations mentioned.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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