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Thursday, March 30, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Truest thing said on TV this week
"I don't think this is a fun show at all!" -- some guy on Fox's Unan1mous.
D.C. Follies 2
I had to go back and read this entry, and apparently I had forgotten more than half the things I had done last time I was in Washington D.C. Maybe some traumatic event (was I raped? Anally? How the... when?!) happened that I'd blocked out, but I didn't even remember that this is my third trip to the capital, not the second.
It's been five years, though, and it was a work-related trip, so you can excuse me for forgetting some of the details. This time, we're visiting family and on vacation. So why, then, are we foregoing tropical climes for institutional buildings and traffic? Blame the cherry blossoms. They're actually quite beautiful.
So far, I've gathered that the roads into D.C. are twisty and turny, like national intestines. My sister-in-law lives across the street from a Whole Foods. Not nearby or catty-corner. You walk out her apartment front door and there is the bright and holy Whole Foods. I had a bagel and coffee this morning. Delish.
We spent most of today at the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Neither of us had ever been. We made it through one exhibit, then took a lunch break and came back later for the permanent exhibition and the children's exhibit.
Text message to PJ around lunchtime:
Just left the Holocaust Museum... Hilarious!
Text message back from PJ:
Lest we forget... to LAUGH!
That was me being silly because I had already been through depression, shock and sadness inside, just from the first exhibit, Deadly Medicine.
You think (I thought) you know about the Holocaust because you saw Schindler's List and The Piano and because you've read about it and taken college history courses. But the thing about the Holocaust museum, and particularly this exhibit is that there's always a nasty, unexpected surprise around every corner. I didn't know, in any detail, about the mass sterilization programs. I didn't know that Germans had their own birth-defect-affected children killed for the good of the country. I didn't know how many Russians, gypsies, eastern europeans and even protesting Germans were killed in the implementation of the "Final solution."
You think you know the story, but you can't possibly know it all.
What the museum does, amazingly, is take this incomprehensible, unknowable thing, and break it down. You come to understand it as a series of historical points, of bad decisions upon bad decisions, of intolerance and politics, of desperation and appeasement. You can't know why it happened, but you begin to understand how. You begin to feel the pieces of history as they shifted and settled into place. And as to the horrors that followed you can only see it in pieces and flashes, in testimonies and the faces of individuals.
You turn around and there's a photo or a child's drawing or a video testimonial and suddenly you're crying. It happens at almost every corner.
We went through the main exhibit, all three floors, the very well-done children's exhibit, Daniel's Story. I was happy to see so many people there, so many tourists, students, adults, kids. They were all there to learn, to experience hard truths, to remember. It was a Wednesday afternoon, mid-day and the place was packed. This is a good thing.
It made me glad that we're lucky enough to be able to travel like this. I get to experience new things, to learn and to grow, I hope. Sure, I could be lying on a beach with a mojito in my hand, but I don't know that it would change me like the museum did.
Here's a few photos of the rest of our day in no particular order:
Me among the cherry blossoms. I wore my "America is Scary" shirt. Evidently, Germany was way scarier.
Ah, the bumper stickers here.
A fine place to get a slice of cake.
Monday, March 27, 2006
My review of the game Full Auto for the 360 is up at austin360.
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