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Thursday, October 08, 2009


Adam's post about that Times story comparing rappers and conservative talk show hosts reminded me of something modestly blog worthy.  (For what it's worth, I completely agree that the comparison is forced.)  In very exciting news, the first D.C.-based rapper to blow up in a long time -- the truly excellent Wale -- will drop his first album Attention: Deficit early next month.  One interesting thing is that his first single, Nike Boots, uses the term "the DMV" to refer to the region consisting of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. 

So, here's my question:

How is it possible that "the DMV" hasn't been picked up by either a) right-wing radio hosts looking for a replacement for "inside the Beltway" or b) liberal activists frustrated with the pace of change or heath care reform?  It's perfect for either group -- it can be used to decry red tape in D.C., as a general putdown (who likes the DMV?), or as a criticism of the speed with which things get done around here.  It's so good that I just can't believe it hasn't spread yet.  

Also, it would do a much better job of capturing life in the nation's capitol that the other names for the region -- the District, inside the beltway etc.  The "DMV" is notably  multi-nodal -- Arlington, Bethesda, Tyson's Corner and other built up parts of the region are less edge cities than they are central parts of the region's urban web.   People frustrated with the capitol's culture (or those who want to celebrate it) would do better to call attention to the centrality of places like McLean, VA or Takoma Park, MD in shaping the nation's politics.  Also, it's funnier and produces better jokes and rhymes for Wale and others.  

Win-win all around.  Can we just agree to use the "DMV"? 


Posted by David Schleicher on October 8, 2009 at 12:41 AM | Permalink


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Very clever pun, indeed. And we do like our acronyms in the DC area, e.g. NOVA, MOCO, PG County. But, as much as I loathe visiting my local DMV, its problems pale in comparison to the bureaucratic mess in the DC region.

Posted by: SLC | Oct 8, 2009 1:08:15 PM

DMV = Department of Motor Vehicles.

Posted by: Matt Bodie | Oct 8, 2009 10:52:34 AM

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