A Solar Eclipse of the Heart

A solar eclipse of the heart

Originally published on The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-opinions-are-local/wp/2017/08/22/a-solar-eclipse-of-the-heart/?utm_term=.4daddc7ae17c

August 22 at 10:56 AM

Washingtonians get way too excited about everything.  Cherry blossoms, “Game of Thrones,” fidget spinners. We even overuse the phrase “there is no there there.” Don’t get me started on snow storms, either. The District has no poker face when it comes to these things.

Do you think people in Brooklyn or Boston act as goofy as Washingtonians for stuff like this? No. They do not. I’ve been to Brooklyn. Nothing impresses those people.

Meanwhile, in Washington, we giddily walk around the streets, clapping our hands with child-like enthusiasm for a newborn panda at the National Zoo or a preseason victory by our football team. Fourth of July fireworks on the Mall may as well be a Hallmark movie.

It was my hope that our city would use this solar eclipse to change; to learn to be chill and nonchalant like our northern neighbors. Sadly, when the moon slipped in front of the sun, we said, in unison, “ooohhh” and “ahhhh.” We hugged each other in the streets, slapped high-fives and said, “Did you see that?” when it got dark for a few moments during the day.

We had a chance to wave our hand in a dismissive manner and say, “Meh. What else ya got?”

It was okay to be impressed by the eclipse, but we didn’t have to act like dorks.

Public Service Announcement: Thank you for wearing the solar eclipse glasses while looking at the event. Going blind is no way to honor the person who provided science with the understanding that witnessing a solar eclipse without them is a very bad idea.

On Monday, we, as a city, had the unique opportunity to stand up and fundamentally change our future. Think of what we could have achieved if we had acted indifferently on a unified front. We blew it.


Maybe China would think twice about forcing us to return pandas if we were indifferent on the matter.  “Take your panda,” we should say.  “Our adult pandas will just make another one anyway.” Drop the mic. See what China says then.

When the cherry blossom trees are in peak bloom, don’t drop everything to go see them. If the Tidal Basin were in Philadelphia, do you think those folks would put down their cheesesteaks and get all emotional about silly, pink blossoms? No. They would boo the blossoms for falling off. That’s what we need to do.

The next time we are expecting a decent snowfall, let’s not refresh the Capital Weather Gang blog every 13.5 seconds starting 72 hours before the event. Instead, let’s act like we don’t care. Let’s be cold and steely in our resolve, like Portland, Maine. We got this!

Friends, the solar eclipse was a wonderful event to witness, but we needed to act cool about it. Instead, we got all kumbaya about everything. Instead of being overly excited and emotional about every darn thing, let’s pretend there is no there there.

I believe in all of you. Let’s go out there and do great things indifferently! Go team.

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