The City They Love to Hate

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By John Kelly
Friday, May 20, 2005

When I finally meet him in the flesh, The Man Who Hates D.C. is disappointingly normal.

His face is not red. His lips are not spittle-flecked. The veins in his neck do not throb. I did not examine his hands, but I have no reason to believe that had I done so I would have found the meat of his palms gouged from clenching his fists in rage.

In other words, The Man Who Hates D.C. does not look like a person consumed with hatred.

And yet he is The Man Who Hates D.C. He hates it so much that two years ago he started a blog to catalogue the loathing he feels for his adopted town. He calls it "Why I Hate D.C.," and its mission statement is "To mercilessly mock anything related to life in the Washington metro area, using as much profanity and sarcasm as possible."

(The URL is http://whyihatedc.blogspot.com , but be aware he's serious about that profanity part; every other word is "#$@%!" or "*&@$.")

When he says he hates D.C., he means that he hates the whole Washington metropolitan area.

He hates how high the crime rate is.

He hates how high the housing prices are.

He hates Dan Snyder . (Okay, I'll give him that one.)

When The Man Who Hates D.C. was at a Wizards game recently, a fight broke out in the stands near him, a little microburst of violence that didn't seem to bother anyone but him. It prompted this rumination on his blog:

"We have, somehow, created a city that encompasses everything bad about living in a city, with almost none of the good things. I thought I could be one of those people who sits around contentedly, ignoring how the people around me behave, trying to deny what I've observed. But that's like trying to get excited about eating at TGIFriday's. I can't do that. And I can't say it any more clearly than this: NORMAL PEOPLE DON'T BEHAVE THE WAY PEOPLE BEHAVE IN WASHINGTON."

So I invited The Man Who Hates D.C. to lunch. Naturally, we went to D.C. Coast. (He had the gumbo. I had the scallops. Because his employer doesn't know he does a blog, he asked that I not print his name.)


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© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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