The Washington Post

#WhenInDC, a gif site for D.C. cliches

Okay, D.C. meme-makers. We need to have a talk. Here’s what I think about your new gif blog, #WhenInDC:

#WhenInDC illustrates D.C. attitudes, emotions and expressions with short animated gif clips. It’s based on the immensely popular “What Should We Call Me?” which, as it is replicated by college campuses and cities, is rapidly becoming the new “[Expletive] People Say.” That means it is hurtling toward a swift and spectacular burnout and backlash, beginning here.

Since it is basically “[Expletive] People from D.C. Say” repurposed into gif form, we have to sift through the same stale jokes about living in D.C. It’s hard to get a reservation at a new Jose Andres restaurant! Drunk people love Jumbo Slice! No one is impressed by jobs on the Hill!

Few of the gifs express any sentiment other than celebration or annoyance, so it’s basically a long and animated list of things that we love and hate about D.C. Is a blog truly a D.C. blog unless it mentions standing on the right of the Metro escalators?

#WhenInD.C. is also very Northwest-centric — most of the jokes are about Dupont bars and restaurants like Shake Shack and Front Page, with the creator of this blog unwilling to even go to H Street. The jokes about other quadrants being a no-man’s-land can come off the wrong way, especially when it uses a wincing Miley Cyrus to illustrate how a person feels when someone tells you they live in Anacostia.

Of course, another D.C. cliche may explain why the same D.C. stereotypes make it into memes over and over. “D.C. is a transient city.” Meme-makers appear to live here just long enough to get these jokes, but move away before they grow old and stale.

In conclusion:

P.S. This has nothing to do with those “Compost” jokes. We take those in stride.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.


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