About Betsi: New Washington D.C. pundit Betsi Fores is a reporter at The Daily Caller and earned her spot on the PolicyMic writing team with an essay on what needs to change about D.C. arts and entertainment culture. Betsi, welcome aboard!
(From Betsi) Unlike pop-music sensation Ke$ha, who wakes up in the morning, feeling like P. Diddy, I would say with confidence that most people in this city do not wake up and share this same electric sentiment. In fact I don’t think people in D.C. wake up feeling much of anything, apart from being hungover from that happy hour last night that somehow turned into an all night bender.
Rather, the people in D.C. wake up in the morning and feel more like Dilbert. They’ll put on their stiff, well-pressed suits, grab their briefcase, ride the metro to arrive at their government job, push paper for a few hours, until the clock is punched, and they can return home, only to repeat the cycle again the following day.
It is a sterile city. It is a bureaucrat’s city.
While people move from around the country to the nation’s capital for noble and inspired reasons, this city remains devoid of all things inspired.
“Wanna go check out that local art show?” said no one ever in D.C. “Have you heard about this new modern dance company?” are just not words uttered in the nation’s capital.
The reason being that these institutions of art and culture just don’t exist.
Sure, the city is home to the National Symphony and the National Opera, and hosts some of the world’s premier artistic acts. The high arts catering to the rich and famous are actually in abundance.
But the arts of the commons, the lay people, the kind that emerges organically in response to city conditions and local environment, is all but absent.
There are very few dance studios. The local band scene is minimal. And while you can find places to share your stories on an open mic, your options are quite limited.
Instead, the city attracts young policy nerds, who derive more pleasure from a policy lecture over the changing nature of warfare and the state in the modern era, than from a night out at a local comedy club.
They’re not exactly the type to wake up in the morning and feel like P. Diddy. Visitors of D.C. rely on the Smithsonian museums and national monuments to derive culture and value from the city - the height of which might best be found at the National Zoo.
While Washington, D.C. is certainly exciting- powerful people here are doing powerful things - at the end of the day you are left with little more than a wrinkled up cocktail napkin from attending the previous night's policy debate, discussing the merits of immigration reform.
Sure, it’s valuable. It’s interesting. But it’s far from inspiring.
For more on Betsi, follow her on Twitter: @ejfores