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Archive: Culture

D.C. Library At The Cutting Edge?

Normally, that's a headline you'd expect to find on a piece about budget cuts or service reductions at the ever-beleaguered D.C. Public Library. But as Raw Fisher moves through its final week here on the big web site, there's good news to report about one of my biggest hobbyhorses over the nine years I've been writing the column in The Post: The sorry state of the District's public libraries. For the better part of the last decade, I've been hammering at the city government over its failure to invest in turning decrepit, pathetically underused libraries into the kind of...

By Marc Fisher | June 3, 2009; 08:06 AM ET | Comments (2)

Tip To Candidates: Change Your Names

In politics, image trumps substance much of the time. Candidates will do virtually anything to adopt the image they believe voters want to see. So why don't more candidates change their names? When the candidates for governor in Virginia take the stage today for The Washington Post debate in Annandale, it'll be a Terry, a Brian and a Creigh vying to take on a Bob in the fall election. A nifty new NameMapper tool demonstrates that we've got just what you'd expect: A choice of guys whose names peaked in the 1950s and 60s and have sunk down toward...

By Marc Fisher | May 19, 2009; 08:26 AM ET | Comments (3)

Psst...The President Ate Here Last Night

The word first got out via a text message sent with great urgency on Friday night. The president of the United States had stopped in at a neighborhood chili joint in Bethesda. Barack Obama had taken his children to an event at the Imagination Stage children's theater and then "came across the street to visit Hard Times Cafe, where he had chili and wings," according to an email that repeated the text message. That email begat another email and onward through the ether. Obamamania being what it is in certain circles, pretty soon a couple of Washington Post reporters...

By Marc Fisher | May 6, 2009; 07:55 AM ET | Comments (4)

Will Nats Make D.C. Divorce Rate Plummet?

The Washington Nationals are in contention to be the worst major league baseball team since the legendary 1962 New York Mets, but does the mere presence of a baseball franchise so powerfully change men's attitudes that it can substantially reduce a metropolitan area's divorce rate? Researchers at University of Denver and Texas A&M have published a study that says cities with Major League Baseball franchises boast divorce rates 28 percent lower than rates in other cities that don't yet have teams. In Denver, for example, the divorce rate fell by 20 percent between 1990--before the Colorado Rockies were created--and...

By Marc Fisher | April 28, 2009; 08:10 AM ET | Comments (5)

Requiem For A Washington Of Song

The conductor, Kurt Masur, had met these hundred voices just a few days before, but though he was frail and shaking in his old age, he bounced up on his toes, gripping the air as if to pull anguish and reverence from the chorus before him. "Mere phantoms, we go our way," the Master Chorale of Washington sang out last weekend, a shimmering collective voice floating above the National Symphony Orchestra. "Mere vapor, our restless pursuits." From the chorister seats in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, these singers -- by day, lobbyists and lawyers, teachers and shop clerks -- poured...

By Marc Fisher | April 19, 2009; 09:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Getting Vertigo Over Lost Bookstores

It's gotten to the point that even newspaper editors -- hopeless nostalgics that they tend to be -- roll their eyes over yet another Death of a Bookstore story. Like tales about dying newspapers, these lovesongs to a fleeting era and a sagging technology can be tiresome, both to younger folks who see the new media as a perfectly reasonable and even exciting replacement for what came before, and to older folks who have had it with the constant reminders that the culture that served them so well is vanishing before their eyes. So when Bridget Warren and Todd Stewart...

By Marc Fisher | April 15, 2009; 08:35 AM ET | Comments (17)

 

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