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THERE SEEMS TO BE A manic-depressive strain to the thought at Washington City Paper. A few years ago, you ran a bleak piece called “The Incredible Shrinking District” (6/12/92), in which the author foretold Georgetown becoming a ghetto and the city going to hell. Now, your lead for “The Laboratory of Dr. Gingrich” (6/2) paints a manically enriched District, complete with doubling property rates.
Further, it’s completely in keeping with the manic-depressive mind set (or mind pathology, if you will) that behind the sparkling dreams for a new D.C. you see dark goings on—the poor exorcised from the new rich District, and its remaining residents being used as guinea pigs.
It’s time for City Paper to stop trying to make news with emotional “highs” and “lows.” The real news is that the Republicans want to make this city into a place where middle-class, conservative types might want to live. The noteworthy fact being that a city which has been living on the emotional edge for so long will probably be invaded by boring, stolid, and conformist types from those ‘burbs. This will spell a quick end to the enclaves of quirkiness that so many love. My guess is that what really eats at your author and others is that good times may bring an end to a nutty, we’ve-always-got-the-stuff-to-complain-about style of life. The real issue is neither economic nor political, but social or cultural.