Normally when a local government does something spectacularly stupid, I'll be angry for a while but then I'll get over it in a few weeks or so. I mean, it's local government -- whether it's D.C. or Maryland or Virginia, it's good to keep your expectations low.
D.C.'s baseball stadium, however, has some long-term sticking power in my craw. And I'm totally up front about the fact that my anger consists of only about 25% political principle but 75% personal business interest. Basically, D.C. decided to make tens of thousands of dollars of advertising revenue simply disappear from our books when it bulldozed the gay adult entertainment venues along the O Street strip. Good, loyal, paying customers whose advertising helped sustain and grow a locally owned gay and lesbian newsmagazine, gone in a...poof. Of course, after a little time we made up the difference, but that's not the point -- what went for making up the difference should have gone for actual growth for our business.
And why did the D.C. government decide to demolish part of our ad base? So they could spend three-quarters of a billion dollars on a stadium that will be used by a billionaire developer to house his federally protected monopoly of a sports team. Such is the American way circa 2007, which covers the other 25% of my objection -- state, local and federal governments really shouldn't be in the business of using their citizen's money to fulfill the masturbatory fantasies of stunted child-men who use their fortunes to assuage their lingering shame over having their asses kicked on elementary school playing fields.
Given my ongoing vitriol for all things baseball in D.C. it's hardly surprising that my bile would rise again when reading the latest story on the new stadium and the Nationals' surprise announcement that they would be appropriating parking at RFK stadium when the shiny new stadium opens. Because of course the Lerners couldn't be bothered to build parking on their dime -- that's what local government is for! What a wonderful use of city resources. I can't wait to visit the desolate ghost town that will be the former Navy Yard area whenever the Nationals aren't playing.
I love the smell of eminent domain in the morning.
P.S.--I know that out there in gay sports fandom there are a lot of baseball fans who were -- and inexplicably still are -- excited by the arrival of the Washington Nationals. I'm not slagging you personally. I'm a huge, rabid tennis fan, but I'd be just as adamant and pissy about a government financed project to build a new tennis stadium to house a privately owned tournament. Unless the government bribed me by setting me up on a date with Marat Safin. And that's why politics is dirty.