Saturday, June 20, 2009

Washington Blade coverage: "'Real' Nuisance?"

We got quoted in this week's Washington Blade and we wanted to give props to the fabulous Blade for the coverage. One of our very own ARWDC contributors was quoted saying:
“I’m not anti them coming to D.C.,” says Tracy Sherman, contributor to an anti-Real World D.C. blog. “And I’m not anti-reality TV. What I’m most upset about is that they’ve done no outreach at all … Nothing has been confirmed.”
You see, the first rule about DC working and living is do your homework.

This town is crawling with organizers, event planners, press secretaries, lobbyists and politicos. We are more than familiar with the how-tos on staffing our bosses, securing the proper permits, getting the necessary support and buy in, shmoozing, and how to generally avoid effing it all up.

So if you, say, don't do overt neighborhood outreach (*cough* MTV *cough*), don't be surprised if snarktastic organizers to hold your feet to the fire. Because they can, they will, and they did it all before their morning coffee.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Move in day?

Just snapped this shot of a woman moving boxes into the RW house. Lot
of crew outside but it might be from the movie being filmed down the
street. We shall see...

What Would a Real Worlder Grill?

Did a late night walk-by at the RW house. I gotta hand it to MTV. They said there would be guard at the house 24/7 and, sure enough, there has been a guard at the house 24/7. Looks like the same guy each time I've seen him. Definite no-nonsense as he didn't fall for my casual "You gotta stay up all night?" shout from the sidewalk and instead chose to ignore my feeble attempts to strike up conversation. The guard looks a lot like Dot Com from "30 Rock."

I moved to the side of the building and got a good look at what appears to be a state-of-the-art, brand new grill outside the house (photos are here, from a previous ARWDC post) and made me think about what would Real Worlders probably grill for a summer cook out?

As I stared at the grill I could already envision a rather built, short blonde-haired, backwards hat wearing, shirtless, Hilter-youth looking frat boy cast member (think: Landon from Real World: Philadelphia) flipping steaks and brats on the thing as cameras roll. This atypical Real Worlder will also likely make some sort of phallic reference about the brats to the token good looking, sexually curious, Midwest girl of the house that MTV will edit and include proper background music to make the scene ooze with hidden meaning. In the end, the steak will be overcooked and the brats won't be from Wisconsin, so why bother eating them?

If I was a Real Worlder, I would hope my roommates brought different culinary skills to the house so that I could share recipes and meals a little more sophisticated than "frat boy steak" or "ignoramus cheeseburger."

What do you think is likely to be cooked on this grill? Should the ARWDC crew come over and show these guys how to use it properly or should we have confidence in the new crop of Real Worlders and their culinary skills?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TRW DC NonProfits (Non-Snark Edition)

So some of you out there in the interwebs think the contributors to this blog are a bunch of self-congratulatory jackasses. While that's might be true, we're also deeply committed to making this world a better place. We're do-gooders. Everyone in DC - regardless of where they come from, come here to DC because they carry a commitment to social change. Sure, we don't all vote the same way, and yeah, we might not agree on tactics. But we all have a commitment to helping others out.

So in that spirit, I offer a list of DC-centric non-profits that we hope the MTV/Bunim-Murray producers will consider as they scrounge for some nice, non-controversial internships for TRW DC cast members. In no particular order:

The Whitman Walker Clinic
"For more than three decades, the Clinic has been renowned – locally, nationally and internationally – for the high-quality, culturally sensitive care it provides. This work remains critical in an area with the highest HIV infection rate in the country."
The AIDS Walk is October 3rd. Interestingly enough, it has a birthday in common with The Real World show -- this is the 23rd 5K fundraiser walk for the Clinic, and DC will be the 23rd season of TRW. They should celebrate their 23rd year together.

DC Vote
"Founded in 1998, DC Vote is an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to securing full voting representation in Congress and full democracy for the more than half a million residents of the District of Columbia."
Absolutely nothing says District of Columbia like local disenfranchisement. An internship here would be very educational with a strong local perspective. Also the hot young things can help lobby on the Hill and actually use their hotness for good - like getting voting rights for DC residents.

V3 Campaign
The V3 campaign is part of the DC Central Kitchen, founded by Robert Egger. His vision created a nonprofit that collects food donations and trains unemployed men and women for foodservice jobs. The V3 Campaign, an offshoot, is a good teachable moment because it's effectively the voice of nonprofits for the electoral world. They say "it's simple: we are going to ask every candidate for higher office—from small town mayoral contenders to presidential nominees—to provide details about their experience with nonprofits and their plans for partnering with, and strengthening the nonprofit sector if they are elected."

Capitol Letters Writing Center
This cool nonprofit helps budding poets and literary artists in DC. "Capitol Letters Writing Center believes that within every student lives a writer. We support and challenge those writers through workshops, tutoring, and student publications that complement the classroom goals of educators in a safe and creative environment." They have some very dedicated volunteers who held one of the most creative fundraisers I've seen in a while: a Mustache-o-thon. There is no such thing as suffering too much for art, I guess. Including growing pornstar worthy facial hair.

Bread for the City
This charity has been in operation for almost forty years. "The agency began as two organizations; Zacchaeus Free Clinic began in 1974 as a volunteer-run free medical clinic, and Bread for the City was created in 1976 by a coalition of downtown churches to feed and clothe the poor." A little time with this organization would help TRWers see the other part of DC that isn't Dupont Circle.

Street Sense
The vendors are on every corner of our city. This innovative organization "was founded in August 2003 after two volunteers, Laura Thompson Osuri and Ted Henson, approached the National Coalition for the Homeless on separate occasions about starting a street newspaper in Washington, D.C." It would be a really interesting challenge to see TRWers spend a day trying to hock Street Sense on Connecticut and K St. (That or do a canvass with Greenpeace or US. PIRG. In the middle of August. Like most of us in this town did at one point or another.)

The foodie in me can't help but be excited about this program. "We reach young people through a positive approach based on one of the oldest and most universal of human traditions: food. Through listening, reading, shopping, measuring, chopping, whisking, roasting, cooling, collaborating, presenting, eating, cleaning and volunteering." Plus if they worked with this nonprofit, the castmembers would learn more about our local food and drink, and maybe even some of the myriad DC farmers markets.

Literacy Volunteers and Advocates
"Literacy Volunteers and Advocates enhances the lives of adults in the Washington, D.C., area who struggle with reading and writing." This program is part of a larger global adult literacy movement that helps people learn to read. Like other nonprofits on this list, working with this group would potentially bring a more authentic aspect to the show, as well as, you know, teach a few people to read.

Food and Friends
"Reverend Carla Gorrell founded Food & Friends in 1988 when a friend, sick at home with AIDS, needed something to eat. Along with nutrition counseling, Food & Friends prepares, packages and delivers meals and groceries to more than 1,400 people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout Washington, DC," This group does amazing work, directly helping people through out DC. Similar to others on the list, this group effects change through getting food to people.

Art Enables
"Very often people with developmental and/or mental disabilities are better able to express themselves in images than in words. Art Enables is focused on just such a group: thirty-some artists whose disabilities include but are not limited to Down syndrome, autism, traumatic brain injury, bipolar disorder. Their ages range from 24 to 72. They are African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Arab." It would be as if the opposite of reality TV actors met people who dealt with a challenging reality. Plus check out the art, it's really inspiring.

And if the cast of TRW DC really has a issue with being under an additional lens (via blogostalking) I suggest they check out a nonprofit entirely devoted to electronic privacy rights. Center for Democracy and Technology

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who are these people?

A friend of the blog, who shall remain anonymous, sent us the following of a recent photo shoot out back in the alley behind Busboys and Poets and Marvin on 14th Street. (Classy.)

This source speculates that several of these subjects seen in the photos here may be a few of the Real World D.C. cast.

Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.

Now let's take a look at the facts:

They appear to be young, 20-somethings and wearing douchey t-shirts. (Sorry dude in the orange shirt but only people who can destroy me are allowed to wear such things.)

There's a combination of one guy (green shirt, light blue jeans from the '80s) who looks like Anthony Michael Hall in the Breakfast Club and another guy (black shirt, white shoes) with way too much product in his 'do.

They're totally in an urban setting (just look at that graffiti on those walls!) and there's legit photography equipment in the area.

Either this is the Real World D.C. cast or equally dumb cast members of some other wildly moronic reality television show highlighting the Real Douchebags of D.C.

MTV wants you to get ready for the DRAMA!

To those who wonder why we "haven't given the Real Worlders a chance" and keep assuming they will be party kids and bring drama to our nice little area of Dupont, I submit to you from the MTV Real World website, the synopsis of what viewers can expect with "Real World: Cancun"

"In a city where excess reigns supreme, the true test for the Real World: Cancun housemates will be learning to separate work from play. And when the lines (and vision) inevitably start to blur, expect to see tempers flare, sparks fly, boundaries crossed, new friendships forged and old relationships tested, all against the beautiful backdrop of the Caribbean shores." -

See, I'm not trying to be a hater, but don't give me any "oh they're going to be nice and quiet" crap when I watch MTV post on their website drama and "sparks flying" as selling points to watch the new season. I admit, DC is no Cancun, but the formula for a "successful" reality show has not changed. If the "Real Housewives of NJ" sat around and played bridge all day, no one would watch. Instead they talk about boob jobs, their husband's money and shoes. And then they fight.

Bottom line is that hijinx will ensue one way or another and we'll be here to report who pukes where before the cameras have a chance to edit the footage!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Green is Good--A Fantasy on RWDC Foreign Policy Talk

The other night as I was listening to public radio podcasts on my patio (because I'm a huge nerd), I thought how great the policy conversations will be in the Real World DC house. Several individuals and MTV itself have hinted that the cast members will be smarter than their average cast, which is usually at the same developmental stage as cannibalistic chimps. And frankly, I hope they are.

Still, my imagination got the best of me. Here is my fantasy conversation between three members of the Real World DC concerning the repressed election system in Iran.

TriDel--she only went to college to get a ring, not to learn.
Broseph--He works out a lot and smashes things on his head.
Posie--He loves politics but only reads headlines. The poseur if you will.

TriDel: What is with all these people wearing green? Do they have some kind of Irish Fest going on here in DC?

Broseph: yah I twitter feed blew up with all these people having green icons and stuff.

Posie: Don't you two KNOW anything? People are wearing green to support the Green Revolution in Iran.

TriDel: Hey...I'm smart. I go to the Harvard of the [insert whatever geographical region you want].

Broseph: The Green Revolution? huh? But brah, our house has like solar panels. The Green Revolution is here.

Posie: No. The Green Revolution is about environmentalists in Iran! Ahmedin..ahmed....whatever his name is doesn't want environmentalists to take power and so he is repressing the opponents.

TriDel: Oh no! I hate repression! That's going to be my goal in life---stopping repression wherever and whenever!

Broseph: That's hot, TriDel. I love a woman who is an activist. Let's go get some fro-yo.

Posie: (whispering) Why won't Broseph love me?

(end scene)

**Author's Note: This isn't meant to diminish the horrendous situation in Iran. Rather, I hope this will encourage many readers to learn more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

An Open Letter to the Single Ladies of TRW DC

Dear (Straight) Ladies of The Real World DC Cast,

The Real Women of DC want to level with you, the Ladies of the Real World DC. We can't compete with you. We just can't.

When you take out the gay population, the married population, the almost-married population and the deployed military population, there just aren't a lot of single, hot-blooded, hetero single men in this town. Rather than fight over what little we got, we wanted to level with you. So here are reasons why you'll win the man-chase.

We can't keep up with your fashion. We can't be fashionistas AND read the Economist and the New Yorkers special fiction edition, cover to cover. Also stilettos are hard to wear when you bike to work. Anyway, my non-profit/political/job on the Hill won't let me wear my skinny jeans, tissue-T, and Converse to work. That sort of pushes the limit of "business casual."

Holy shit, we love Five Guys so guess what - we aren't as skinny as you. WE LIKE CARBS. And let's be real, men generally go for the skinny bitches. We know. C'est la vie. Let's face it. 5 guys > Chopt any day. I'm sure the producers would crap a brick if they knew how much we weighed, or they'd call us fatties, and either situation is just abusive, so why bother? Congrats on not falling prey to Five Guys, Ben's Chili Bowl or 2am falafel. (We fully expect to see you eating Jumbo Slice at least once, though. Especially if you have an eating disorder.)

Many of us also have jobs trying to save the world which eliminates us from, say, binge drinking and hot tub making out every night - not because we don't want to, but because we have to get up early to do the media clippings in the morning. Also some of us spend the day fighting the spread of AIDS in the US, Botswana or Inner Mongolia, so like, spontaneous high-risk sex is not appealing to us. I know, fighting infectious diseases is a total boner-killer. But that's how we roll. We hope the producers are springing for condoms, by the way.

Also, I feel like a camera man following me would be trifling. A gal can only look so classy riding her bike to work, while tugging on her skirt to avoid flashing the world. Also it might be annoying for a camera guy to follow us on the bus or the Metro. Sometimes it's hard enough to fight my way on the S2 or the S4 down 16th, so that cameraman and his gear would just piss off the other commuters. But hey, at least we'd be reducing our carbon footprint.

And finally, I don't know that we can't keep up with The Real World schedule because to us, happy hour starts after 7, not from 4-6. And that just makes for boring Reality TV. Alcoholics are fun to watch. Workoholics are just boring. And trust me, we know those cameras would be rolling 24/7. Unless you want unlimited footage on healthcare reform, eye-glazing debate on comprehensive Energy legislation or how industrial farming is JUST WRONG, you don't want us in front of your cameras. We know. If your viewers wanted to watch that crap, they'd just flip to CSPAN.

So we tip our hats to you, single ladies of The Real World DC. Thank you for answering the call to be shiny hot young things. Someone's got to do it.

Sincerely yours,
Your DC-working Sisters

*Special thanks to Julia20009 for helping a sister out :)