Monday, March 18, 2002

MID-ATLANTIC BLOGFEST: We started off in Taliano's in Takoma Park, and MapQuest did not fail in getting me there. I was the penultimate person to arrive, but there was still beer and pizza left so I had some. Me and Jim b.s.ed about the CFL and poutine and the relative merits of the current Justice League cartoon versus Batman The Animated Series. I also met Jim's wife Tracey, who is as beautiful and intelligent as Jim is. Wait...

A jazz band started playing in back of us, or in back of me actually, so we decided to go someplace quieter, one of those sit down and chatter coffee houses.

On the way over Dave revealed to me his status as a former gameshow champion. That's so impressive, not just knowing things but being able to recall them under pressure. We also expressed our mutual admiration for the juicy juicy squishy squishy blog.

We hunkered down in the back of the coffee house and I watched the epic Thomas Nephew-Wil Wilkinson debate on drug legalization. Thomas was making points that no good can come from people seceding from society in a drug haze, whereas Wil challenged Thomas to explain what an addiction was and tried to catch the logical inconsistencies in Thomas' arguments. I am unwilling to declare a winner at this point, but it was a good fight.

At some point I was getting coffee with Tony and he asked if I had read his "Who You Callin' Unilateral?" post yet. I had to admit I hadn't; I forget sometimes that Tony and Will Vehrs run a bunch of different blogs, and visiting the Quasipundit blog does not mean I'm reading all of what the Quasipundits are writing. But I have read it now and recommend it; it's all about how the United States isn't quite the lone cowboy its critics believe it is.

Tony also told me about his crazy old boss who forced him to read The Economist every week --the horror!-- and about the specific snobbiness of high-class D.C. bars, where "Who do you work for?" is the first question asked in place of "How ya doing?"

Thomas started a group discussion of "How do you think the war is going?" and I responded with some asinine comment about it being a smashing good war. I am a fool. Jim expounded on his theories of the imperialist wing of the Republican Party that make me all paranoid.

The coffee shop started to close up and we could feel the daggers-from-the-eyes hate from the people who were working there, so we decided to move it to the Tastee Diner. I gave Eve Tushnet a ride over and discovered that D.C., like New York, is a city you can grow up in and never have to learn how to drive a car. She also mentioned her friend's band, The Black Eyes, and I thought they were called The Black Guys. Hilarity ensued. Eve was the lone self-defined conservative there that evening, unless you count me, being a conservative on alternate Sundays and Thursdays.

I got a real tasty bacon cheeseburger; sitting in front of me Corsair The Rational Pirate had coconut custard cream pie, just like what Humphrey Bogart got hit with by Elmer Fudd many years ago. Corsair (Disneyland, by the way, needs a ride called Rational Pirates of the Caribbean, they could engage in swarthy debate with audioanimatronic cretins) made the point that Sunday morning talk shows would be tons improved if they held them in diners. He's right; those cuppa coffee shows are already diner conversations almost.

The conversation meandered into gay rights and what the actual percentage of gay people in the population is and Eve talked about how studies show that homosexuality is one of those rare things that middle class Americans are willing to judge as being immoral even in this day and age. I was kicking myself as I drove to my brother's place for not making the Paglia point that according to her male homesexuality is always threatening whereas female homesexuality is sort of trendy and not a big deal for most people, but maybe you're not supposed to mention Camille Paglia in polite conversation.

The party broke up around one or so and we all went our separate ways, promising to do this again sometime soon. It was a real fine time hanging out with these guys --Matt Welch is right about the simple pleasures of hanging out with smart people. And we had cute waitresses at both Talliano's and the Tastee Diner. An evening completely well spent, and Jim assured me afterwards that it was not too dorky to come all the way to Takoma Park for the blogfest. Cool.

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