This article is part of the The Great American Reach Around series.
With the neoconservative movement struggling for a global Pax Americana it's hard not to think of Washington in terms of Rome. Like Rome, it is a vast city filled with stunningly beautiful and historic buildings. Perhaps more tellingly, Washington, unlike Rome, exists to sustain itself. There is no great export of technology or industry from Washington D.C. It is not one of America's trade hubs or centers of popular culture, despite what the news media might have you believe.
Washington was planned by a secret society and carved out of Maryland and Virginia as a Federal District. It is set apart from America, a construct, an idea given form. The vanity that gave birth to Washington robbed it of its meaning. It is a home for bureaucracy and the reviled apparatus of our government. It serves as the white-marbled façade of liberty and democracy, concealing whatever malignant mass might be growing within.
The plebes that dwell at the feet of these edifices are given no vote and no representation within our government. Even Guam has more influence over the course of the United States than the average citizen of Washington, D.C. It is almost as if their condition belies the reality of our government, that our choice and-
Oh, I'm just fucking kidding you guys, come on. You believed all that shit?
Washington D.C. has a shit load of awesome museums and buildings, a staggering crime rate, and a fraying rug of poverty around the edges. It plays host to delegates from around the world and it is a center of counterculture because it is the seat of power.
If you feel yourself hating the government of the United States of America I challenge you to walk up to the Lincoln Memorial. Stare up at that great sad statue of Abraham Lincoln, that weary face and those distant marble eyes, and then turn around and look out on the Mall to the Washington Monument. You can almost see the crowds gathered to hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak.
Washington, D.C. has become a symbol for all that is great in America in spite of our government. It is the place where we gather by the hundreds of thousands when the goblin-like dumb fucks that live in this city and rule our country go too far. When you go, you may just see a bunch of fat tourists and screaming kids eating ice cream, but look past them. Look past most of the big marble-buildings and the planned streets. Because this is the city where the people, not the government, get together and do some fucking amazing things when our nation needs it most.
Washington may have been built by a creepy cult and it may be home to some of the most noxious figures on the global political stage, but it is a treasure of our culture. When people spit the word "Washington" out of their mouth with venom, you remember that it is the root of good and evil in our nation.
Now it's time to see what our foreign representatives are going to bring to the table. We begin our journey in Australia, which I am told by Outback Steakhouse commercials is "Down Unda'!"
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.