Wednesday, 28 December 2005

MLA: The Prelude; or John & Belle Host a Dinner I haven't been to DC in fifteen years. That time I arrived in the rear-facing jump-seat of a periwinkle 1987 Pontiac Sunbird Station Wagon. Yesterday I accomplished a more stylish entrance, disembarking from an Original Boeing 737 only to find myself in a terminal built in 1958 and obviously remodeled to look "modern" sometime around 1976. My new memories feel older than my old ones. From the airport I taxi to the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel and Convention Center, which was built in 1916 by Harry Wardman, renovated in 1928 to feel "futuristic" and again 1999 to look like an unfuturistic 1928. The cumulative effect of all these renovations resembles something designed in 1974 to look contemporary. The style of this city declares its love for that cold corporate style of the 70s. Everything which should be white has a hint of grey-flannel. The slight patina on the film stock of the decade's defining films hangs in the air here. (I keeping looking for Gene Hackman and measuring my words.) I'm not sure how to define the feel of DC without writing a predictable post about American auteur cinema in the 1970s . . . so I'll gently segue to the fact that I spent the night in Maryland. Not because I couldn't stomach sleeping in a city, mind you, but because I missed the last train back into it. Where was I that I required the Metro to return to DC? Dining and chatting with John & Belle. What did we discuss? Academic blogging. Our future publishing empire. What kind of performance a costume consisting of antlers and a scarf entails. You. Your idiotic comments. Your inability to understand how totally Airwolf we are. Why you email me about what I write but not John for what he writes. How I'll probably never finish answering the 12,978 emails people (many of them lawyers looking to hitch their wagon to my absurd star) sent me when "My Morning" ruled the Internets. The sudden social acceptability of the Christian Bale man-crush. Why I don't produce material like "How to Open an Academic Essay" anymore. Anonymity. The MLA. The Future of Academic Blogging. Setting up a conference panel at MLA 2006 on The Future of Academic Blogging.

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