The culture that is Virginia (D.C.)

Charlotte: He’s writing a graphic novel that has superheroes in it. We have the same favorite superhero. I like Batman because his only power is being super rich. That’s more realistic than the others. And he agreed with me.

Don: She was a little less adventurous than I was when it came to food.

Charlotte: He said he was from Vienna and I was like, Austria? I had to dial that back a second to not sound completely stupid. That’s the type of thing that only a diplomat brat would accidentally say. I don’t have a car, and I don’t go to Virginia very much for anything, really. So it seems very far.

That is from Washington Post Date Lab, an object lesson in both behavioral economics and the limitations of the Coase theorem.


Is posting this a Straussian endorsement of DC-outsider Trump?

Considering Trump is from Manhattan, I can only take this as a desperate plea for Gary Johnson. That is exactly the sort of thing demanding esotericism.

Trump: The culture that is Queens.

'That’s the type of thing that only a diplomat brat would accidentally say. '

This is wrong, by the way. My sister also comes from Vienna, Va. and the number of people that have asked her over the years about being born in Austria is notably higher than the number of diplomat (or military) brats, not to mention their parents, that have asked her that question.

But really, that Post feature is only a pale reflection of the unalloyed fun provided by the NYT wedding announcements, which have transcended even self-parody into something uniquely ridiculous.

A young couple in my mothers neighborhood named their daughter Vienna after the VA version. Quite a good name I think.

It is also a delicious sausage.

To Americans, the term "Vienna Sausage" refers to short segments of awful sausage sold packed in broth in cans.

Brazilian Vienna Sausage is very good, it is among the best canned sausages in the world. Evidently, in Portuguese it is short a "n".

I've always found it odd that they chose to call this feature "Date Lab." Everyone seems to be going on these dates for the experiencing of being in the Post and for any actual dating purposes. If this were an actual lab, it would have been shut down a long time ago because all of its experiments failed.

I know someone who did this, and she remarked that the real reward wasn't the date but the exposure. Apparently the Post passed on emails from people who wanted to meet her, she had over a thousand solicitations within the week.

Why is it that we are drawn to cultural stereotypes? Yesterday I read this short piece in the NYT about a man who had no friends other than a virtual friend, confirming the stereotype of the lonely 21st century, highly educated geek . DC stereotypes, like this one linked by Cowen, confirm the cluelessness of young and educated residents of DC whose minds are numbed as the result of Big Government all around them. Then there's the upper east and west side Manhattan stereotypes, people from all over being so drawn to it that one resourceful woman has made a financially rewarding career of blogging and writing about their lives. Though it's unintentional, Matthew Yglesias has made a career writing from the perspective of the DC public intellectual. And Cowen writes this popular blog from the perspective of the (world) celebrity economist. My guess is that we are drawn to cultural stereotypes because of their authenticity. My favorite contemporary author is Pat Conroy, recently deceased. His books capture the Southern stereotype in a way few can. On the other hand, one of the most popular books (and movies) about the Southern stereotype is John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which nonsense. So much for my theory about authenticity.


Obviously Don has the opening to enhance the culturally backward Charlotte by taking her to all those fine ethnic restaurants lining the strip malls of NoVa, :-).

As usual, I don't know what this is about. Let me be grateful for small favors. Just one question: Whoever this is about (?) why are intelligent conservatives (a tiny subset) so pedantic and smug in response? I try to be a good listener and to stay open-minded, but I like to have my intellect challenged--not my credulity. Sometimes I get the idea that those who espouse grand economic theories actually believe in them, just like a few priests are found to believe in the Bible. But you know, it's nearly impossible to be completely right--about anything! Taking yourself too seriously often turns out poorly.

Trust me, I'm absolutely right about this.

"why are intelligent conservatives (a tiny subset) so pedantic and smug in response? ... Trust me, I’m absolutely right about this."

The irony is pretty overwhelming with this post.

I think the irony is the purpose of this post.

+1 Posts like this, and the responses, are some form of pointless signalling, but I'm not sure of what. Or rather, why anyone would bother.

@ John Gibson: I get that you were being sarcastic and self deprecating, not smug.

Seems to me that DC and VA cultures are both gay and pozzed as f***.

That’s the type of thing that only a diplomat brat would accidentally say. I don’t have a car, and I don’t go to Virginia very much for anything, really. So it seems very far.

More evidence that travel is the opposite of broadening. The DC suburbs are just too foreign and exotic.

'The DC suburbs are just too foreign and exotic.'

Not to defend the self-described brat, but a lot of Northern Virginians know little about the parts of Maryland on the other side of the Potomac, with the reverse being equally true. I would assume, in a certain fashion, the same would apply to those people in NJ living near NYC, and those living in Connecticut near NYC.

Why hasn't anyone mentioned Vienna, Georgia? According to the Georgians, it rhymes with hyena. What have I signaled by knowing this?

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