Welcome, Alien Overlords: Free Speech on the Metro
Did you see the kerfuffle on The Post letters page on Saturday? A reader is upset because of ads in the Metro Center subway station for a new videogame called Fallout 3. The posters show a post-apocalyptic Washington overrun by freaks and mutants. In other words, Adams Morgan after the bars close.
The reader wants the ads removed, arguing that "we do not need a daily reminder that Washington is a prime target for an attack." He then says that the ads are not protected by the First Amendment because they "do not present a true viewpoint or political message."
I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure the First Amendment is a little broader than that. Anything short of calling "mutant!" in a crowded theater is allowed.
The game was developed by a local company, Bethesda Softworks, and I think it takes an affection for a place to destroy it as lovingly as they did D.C. They seem to be a creative bunch: The game is set in a future Washington as imagined from the past. This little video intro illustrates their "future nostalgia." And this one shows how they envision making our Metro commute more, um, pleasant. I don't play video games but I sort of wish I did now, just to see what I can recognize in the rubble of my hometown.
Footnote: A few months ago Britain's Daily Mail newspaper reported that some stills from Fallout 3 were the work of terrorists intent on illustrating what Washington would look like after a nuclear attack. Silly British mutant journalists.
In Other News
The Redskins won, though not very convincingly. I'm enjoying this season. I can feel good for the team when they win and when they lose I can revel in some lovely schadenfreude, knowing that Dan Snyder must be fuming... The Shakespeare Theatre is taking its Free for All inside, leaving Carter Barron Amphitheatre behind. That's a shame, since I always enjoyed the Bard al fresco. Something like "Twelfth Night" or "A Midsummer Night's Dream" under the stars--even with the threat of rain--was sublime... Hurry! Get your guns now! Before the election!... Or, if not a regular gun, how about a stun gun? I love this story from the Examiner on the 81-year-old owner of a D.C. news stand who was allegedly openly displaying stun guns for sale.
This Week's Contest
Time for our weekly contest. Can you identify this Washington-area landmark, pictured here in a vintage post card (courtesy of David Stinson)?
E-mail me your guess: firstname.lastname@example.org. The first correct answer I receive wins a set of Washington Post Pulitzer winner's autographs.
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