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January 29, 2008

2008 washington dc auto show

For years now, the Washington DC Auto Show has sought to establish a unique identity, one that accurately reflects the true nature, indeed, the inner essence of this dynamic city. 

The problem with this is that the true nature and inner essence of Washington DC is the United States Federal Government. 

Coming_soon_really

And so, in the middle of the show’s five-day run, the web site was still promising that the event’s Floor Plans were “coming soon…,” possibly awaiting the results of a fact-finding mission. Floor_plans In fairness, it was only through our own crack research staff here at Planet Moron headquarters that we were able to locate a set of floor plans which had been diabolically hidden deep inside a Washington Auto Show brochure. 

Auto_show_metro_map The web site also included a helpful map of the metro system. Helpful in the sense that if this were December 2006 and the Yellow Line still stopped Uptodate_metro_map at the convention center rather than going on to Fort Totten. (Give them credit, though, they apparently removed information regarding stage coach times and horse parking.) 

Fortunately, there was plenty of signage at the event itself to alert patrons to special events and discount prices. 

Er_we_mean_yesterday

Okay, so that was for the day before, probably just a jurisdictional dispute between the Department of Sign Removal and the Office of Placard Upkeep.

But then, we should keep in mind that this year’s show billed itself as “Engineered for the Future.” The present? Not so much.

Aside from imbuing the auto show with all the efficiency and customer-oriented service of the Post Office, The show did have other Washington, DC-inspired displays. 

Among them was a presentation of “alternative fuel vehicles” (alternatives to cheap, efficient, gasoline, that is) including this parking enforcement vehicle fueled by CNG (compressed natural gas).

Environmentally_friendly_ticketin_2

Ahhh, you smell that? That’s that intoxicating mix of authority and guilt Washingtonians find so irresistibly alluring.

But perhaps Washington DC’s true sentiments towards the automobile were best illustrated by this display, prominently featured as you entered the second floor:

Crushed_car

It did seem that the organizers of this show really don’t have their heart into it, like a white collar felon forced to perform community service, putting on this show feels more an obligation than a celebration, whether it was moving it from a festive and convenient time two years ago to the dead of winter, to using up valuable floor space to feature mass transportation displays last year, it’s as if the true intent of the show is to increase Baltimore tourism.

Oh, and as for those floor plans?

Ah_the_heck_with_it

“Ah, the heck with it…” 

J.

January 29, 2008 at 08:01 AM in Weekend Leisure | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 10, 2008

don'€™t blame the pollsters just because the voters got it wrong

This week'€™s primary election results in New Hampshire have created nothing short of electoral chaos. Whereas one week ago, the Iowa caucuses seemed to have settled the question of who the presidential nominees would be, we now find ourselves in uncharted territory.

"I think it really tests the popular notion of democracy," noted one political historian, "when you can allow two tenths of one percent of the population to overturn the clearly expressed will of one tenth of one percent of the population."

Other political observers disagreed noting that it is actually healthy that we allow not only rural populations of white Americans in Iowa to make these decisions, but instead enfranchise the rural populations of white Americans in New Hampshire as well. Only in this way can we help ensure that the voices of all rural white Americans are adequately heard. 

Of course the concern now is that voters who do not live in Iowa or New Hampshire will have a say in who gets to run for president. Expert political analysts at the cable news networks could not recall a single instance in the history of the United States when this has been the case but then that's partly because Google only caches web pages back to 2003.

Where this leaves us is unclear but the New Hampshire polling professionals are hard at work using sophisticated modeling techniques in an attempt to discern what the area codes are of people living outside of Iowa and New Hampshire and whether or not they have phones and if so, will long distance rates apply.

While only preliminary, early polling in South Carolina is already helping to draw a more accurate picture of what might be expected in the upcoming Republican primary including indications that while former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney remains a strong contender there, he is facing a stiff challenge from that guy from those Apple commercials who is beginning to cut into his traditional support among Flemish-speaking Dutch residents of Zeeland.

Okay, sure, political polling isn't an exact science and so will naturally be subject to some measure of uncertainty, however pollsters assure us that their expectations that John Edwards will easily defeat Korean bronze medalist Olympic speed skater Lee Joon-Ho when The Mole returns to ABC has a relatively small margin of error of somewhere between "G" and a picture of a bumblebee.  

Give or take.

In the meantime we can only hope that the voters in Nevada, Michigan and South Carolina cooperate with the media this time around and finally decide who the Republican and Democratic nominees should be.

That way this country can get back to doing what we do best: Exporting democracy.

J.

January 10, 2008 at 01:11 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack