Here, at the end of the year, amid the minor crises of Duck Dynasty and White Santa Claus, we naturally find our biggest and most important crisis in Washington, D.C.: More and more of our Beltway journalists are heading toward something of a personal collapse.
See, in growing numbers, Beltway journalists are tall and white and privileged and having lots of consequence-free one-night stands and going to parties and being well-compensated for having slight and disposable thoughts on a slight and disposable culture. But what about meaning? Where did that go?
It went to Kentucky, apparently.
Does that mean we all have to go to Kentucky? According to some, yes. But if every Beltway reporter moved to Kentucky, wouldn't that just make Kentucky a soulless hellhole?
Yes. So let's not do this to Kentucky. By God, leave the people of Kentucky alone.
Here are 20 things you can do right now to make living in Washington, D.C., easier, if you are really having that hard a time living here, you precious, precious little snowflake.
1. What are you doing building your entire social life around your job in the media? Don't do that, numbskull.
2. Seriously, you should try keeping even a single friend from before your career in journalism.
3. When someone asks, "Hey, are you going to the White House Correspondents Dinner?" say, "LOL, no, come on now, son."
4. Have you actually looked around Washington, D.C.? Because I bet there's a place you could go where you could volunteer to actually help people or something.
5. Understand that Washington, D.C., is full of hundreds of thousands of people who didn't actually do anything to you while you were so busy not noticing them.
6. Sometimes tell your assignment editor that his or her idea is dumb. Or just suck it up -- it's not like you work in a coal mine. You know people die in coal mines, right?
7. Delete your Twitter account.
8. Delete your Facebook.
9. Delete your blog.
10. Go get a teaching degree, if you've really developed this sudden yen for being a useful person.
11. "The Internet!" But, actually ... so what?
12. Say this to yourself often: "I am basically one of the luckiest people on the planet since I can call these my problems."
13. Also say this to yourself just as often: "I have a lot to answer for."
14. Quit talking about "your disillusionment" out loud, for God's sake, be a grown-up. Do you know how self-absorbed you sound, in this story that's supposed to be about you getting clear of your self-absorption?
15. Have even one authentic conversation with another human being about any topic, without having some dumb ulterior motive or careerist intention sitting there, poisoning the whole thing.
16. Do you really know a single person in the world, really?
17. Get a dog, walk it, clean up after its poop. Feel, in your hands, the warm turds of something that you love unconditionally and that loves you back in the same way. Reflect on this.
18. Read a book.
19. Maybe there is a third bar in Washington, D.C., that has bourbon that you could maybe try? Baby steps.
20. Oh my God, just quit whining.
[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]