One of the things I love about DC is that people know things. Most people in DC are pretty smart. There is also a substantial number of people in DC that not only don’t know anything, but tend to not want to shut up. These people are horrible.
There are a number of other bad traits that go along with not knowing anything and never shutting up. These people like to engage in the following:
- Over-pronounciation of foreign words, especially the names of countries in Spanish (“Oh. I’ve been to PeRu. I loved Machu Pichu.” “I attended an event with URibe.” Etc.
- Talking louder than everyone else in the room.
- Mentioning books that you have actually never read
- Trying to connect the two only things they know about through a halfbaked conspiracy theory.
- Frequently saying the most dangerous words in the English language: “I read a briefer.”
I’m at Panera with friends (that are awesome people that know things) and the people at the next table are having a conversation that has so far included mentions of the following things:
- Solar power
- Depletion of gas reserves
- Sanctions against Russia in the banking sector
- Land policy in Colombia
- Solar energy exports to Canada
As far as I can tell the broad topic of their discussion is “things we know nothing about.” I know this because in the course of their discussion they have included the following gems:
- “Amartya Sen talks about “Development as Freedom” meaning that developing countries should be free to decide whether they want the World Bank to help.” Hmmmm…. NO
- “The policies that Chávez is pursuing in Venezuela”… Hmmm… NO. He’s dead.
- “Russia’s main interest is maintaining its market share”… what?
- Money laundering by North Koreans in Macau…..
- SO MUCH CRAZY STUFF ABOUT COLOMBIA AND THE FARC
- SO MUCH CRAZY STUFF ABOUT SYRIA
- “They use public opinion to legitimize their own interests abroad” …WHAT?
I am trying to write, as are my friends, and am having a hard time because these people are loud and distracting. Coincidentally, the person seating next to us ended up talking to me and my friend about our dissertations because he overheard our conversation and thought it was interesting. That was great validation that we might be nerds, but at least we’re not horrible people that think a 2-page briefer entitles them to pontificate about [we still don’t know what] loudly at Panera for two hours.