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AS A FORMER RESIDENT OF group houses in Georgetown and on Capitol Hill, I empathize with Pedro Ponce’s irritation (“Generation X-asperated,” The District Line, 3/10) at the patronizing attitude that the Washington Post Magazine‘s Walt Harrington and most of his subjects adopt toward peers who aspire to a good job and a few creature comforts. But even more aggravating to me is Harrington’s portrayal of these lost, lazy people as “rebels.”
I do not consider myself cast in the corporate mold—I’ve worked at a school for disabled children, a research office studying Alzheimer’s disease, and a nonprofit association supporting historic preservation. I’ve been steadily employed and I’ve paid my bills, but I’ve also tried to work for causes in which I believe. I don’t listen to underground punk, but I have measures of success which go beyond financial stability and a nice wardrobe.
Twentysomethings do move to Washington, as Ponce notes, to “bulk up our résumés.” But we also move here because we see D.C. as a place where, hackneyed as it sounds, we might make a difference. And then we get tarred as guardians of the status quo by an overdramatic feature writer and a bunch of people who work in a bookstore.
Capitol Hill, via the Internet