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Ms. Roshell Goes to Washington

Starshine Finds Reverence for Washington, D.C.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014
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Growing up in Tinsel Town, a gal gets jaded. Look, it can’t be helped. From before I could say “actors’ equity,” we lived directly beneath the glowing Hollywood sign. My folks were in “the industry” and hobnobbed with rock stars, deejays, and TV personalities. And by hobnobbed, of course, I mean got high and listened to album-oriented rock.

Starshine Roshell

When you’ve watched soap-opera dreamboats flubbing their lines take after take, seen pop divas climbing into the makeup chair naked-faced and scowling, and heard Billboard chart-busters stinking up a sound check that should have ended hours ago — well, there’s little room left in your life for magic. (I once saw Dick Clark in his underwear, and it wasn’t even New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.)

All this to say that I grew up nearly incapable of reverence. Numb-ish to wonderment. And altogether apathetic toward the things that, as Americans, we’re supposed to venerate. Things like Thanksgiving, Walt Disney, the game of baseball, apple pie, railroad museums, and “our nation’s capital.”

Feh. Like Michigan, Alabama, and South Dakota, the District of Columbia isn’t somewhere I’d ever considered visiting. In fact, until this very month, I sort of believed “our nation’s capital” wasn’t a geographic reality so much as a vague mythical ideal like “nirvana” or “kingdom come” — you know, a literary conceit that helps establish tone and timbre when you’re waxin’ flashy in a tale about politics. Or House of Cards.

But my husband has family in Virginia, so we visited the area. And it turns out Californians aren’t allowed to touch down in the Mother of Presidents without making a pilgrimage to D.C.

Now, I’d like to tell you that this world-weary, TV-town brat was moved by Washington’s grandiose monuments and bombastic architecture. But the fact is I wasn’t moved.

I was positively wobbly with awe.

From the moment you roll off Memorial Avenue Bridge onto the lush landscape where our country’s leaders plot (and, okay, plod), it’s clear this ain’t Anytown, U.S.A. This is Rome-on-the-Potomac, my friends. And shizz just got real.

In embarrassing contrast to the geometric hodgepodge of a Hollywood skyline — all Grauman’s-Chinese-Cinerama-Dome-Capitol-Records craggy — D.C. is an artful labyrinth of imposing neoclassical edifices that, I won’t lie, made me and my SoCal sensibilities feel like a Ninny in King Barack’s Court.

Everything feels so important there. This is not the White House of The West Wing; it’s the West Wing of the White House, by George!

In my hometown, a stroll down the Walk of Fame sends you gliding over sparkly pink stars bearing the names and trades of entertainment luminaries. In Washington — on foot, in lung-smothering heat and humidity — I took a Walk of Gravity: from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol building where John Quincy Adams argued the Amistad case; along the National Mall to the sacred spot — at the foot of avuncular, colossal Abe in the Lincoln Memorial — where Dr. King announced he had a dream; around to the immense, inspiring Jefferson Memorial, inscribed with Tom’s warning that laws must change as the human mind becomes “more developed, more enlightened” (I’m looking at you, Second Amendment); then over to the National Archives, where my drugstore readers and I pored over (“Ma’am, do not lean on the glass”) the original, faded, hand-scrawled, dreadfully punctuated Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. The actual ones! All in the same room, people!

Countless curbside memorials to statesmen and soldiers hum with the magnitude of heroes, and of death — real heroes and real death, not the Oscar-nominated kind. And of principles. Nation-building principles with global reach and daily impact. And I got chills at every street corner.

So you could say my visit had a Hollywood ending: The Tinsel-Town tourist revels in her own reverence, confessing that our nation’s capital is more dazzling than the Sunset Strip. And more surprising than Dick Clark in his underwear.

Happy birthday, America.

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Sorry, Ms. Roshell, after spending 14 years protecting most of our Federal Government's Intelligence facilities as a Contractor (Mercenary), witnessing the 9-1-1 Pentagon disaster, wearing body armor to fill my gas tank during the Islamic Beltway Sniper Incident, surviving Four Major life-threatening, Natural disasters, and putting up with watching this great present Administration destroy my Country, I am very well jaded.

I came to the DC area for the money, not for the blistering hot humid summers, the everyday possibility to die in a myriad of ghastly ways from the local natives, the exorbitant expensive living conditions from residency to getting-a-bite to eat.

I thought Detroit, Michigan was a cesspool of filth and poverty, failing leadership voted in by an ignorant people every election year until I experienced the same in our Nations Capital Ten-fold.

I have watched failure, contempt, HATE, racism, theft, robbery, murder, rape (in several forms), False Nirvana (the natives), and through it all have had my share of epiphany knowing that I had once lived in a town that I have called home for over 20 years(1974-1995) before moving East for profit and wealth, that even though it has problems and pit-falls its still a far better place than anywhere else in this Nation; especially our Nations pitiful Capital!

dou4now (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 4:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

D4N: Apples and oranges, visiting and residing.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 6:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Contractor (Mercenary)?" "the everyday possibility to die in a myriad of ghastly ways from the local natives (sic)?"

Are you freaking serious?

zappa (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 6:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I like the Black Hills of South Dakota. The wildflowers are sublime, as is the landscape.

snugspout (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 6:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hope you read the Constitution and did a quick compare and contrast of King Barak's current interpretation of its words and oath of office to what was originally intended by the sagacious Founders of this Nation.

They understood evil lurked in the hearts of men and this new country is best governed under a strict separation of powers, checks and balances between the three co-equal branches of government, and the exercise of the impeachment clause when any elected representative is found unfit for continued service.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 10:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Nobody likes to worship the government more than itself.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 1:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Always a great pleasure to read Starshine! SOOOOO well written. And always an intelligent point of view, unlike the commenter who thinks this administration has ruined his country. Many of us see it just the opposite. This administration has saved us from the ruinous mess made by the Republicans in starting Shock & Awe and then wondering why the countries in the middle east hate us. Because this President is so much more intelligent than the previous one, countries around the world now have a lot more respect for the US!

Shira (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 3:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Shira,

If this president is so much more intelligent and well-meaning than Bush why didn't he expose the dishonesty behind the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and end those wars in January 2009? Expose the unconstiutional malfeasance and close Guantanamo?

The truth is that Obama is the creation of political impresarios who sold him to the world as a highly intelligent, Harvard graduate, a constitutional law professor, who just happened to be black. But those who enthusiastically promoted Obama in 2008 had to concoct all sorts of excuses for him when he lost the 2012 presidential debate to Mitt Romney!

No, Shira, we are stuck with George Bush in blackface and no one anywhere in the world can explain how he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - except those who figure it was purchased by his handlers.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 4:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sealion you must really have a small one.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 11:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

agree KV, the tipoff about troll Sealion is when he utters typical cant like ""filthy feminist" and "her twisted sisters"...ho hum, better find some tweezers, Sealion.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 11:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Otherwise, we will become quite jaded watching her parade around the Indie as a filthy feminist Lady Godiva who proudly helps destroy the very things she says she reveres in DC.

Sealion (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 10:56 p.m

That means she will be riding around D.C. on a horse nekkid!

" a constitutional law professor, who just happened to be black."

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2014 at 4:55 p.m

Here, George Carlin deals with the issue of when someone, "happens to be black". (Less then two minutes long)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttUvsr...

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 4:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

P.S. Obama STILL...happens to be black!

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 4:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If Ms. Roshell is Lady Godiva, why are there no chocolates?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 9:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

A former Washingtonian here...I don't think I could ever live there again, but I love to visit for exactly the reasons Ms. Starshine mentions. I believe every American family should take their kids there at some point if they possibly can. It's awesome, and the subway has made it easy to navigate. To say it brings the history of our nation into clearer focus is impossibly understated. Sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking across the Mall to the Capitol is a very precious moment.
OK, now back to the irrelevant comments.

VC (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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