Libertarian Culture May Contain Bacteria

Monica Hesse of the Washington Post wrote an interesting, albeit occasionally misleading, article about Reason’s somewhat infamous regular parties in the District.

Four minutes into Reason magazine’s monthly bash at the Big Hunt lounge, and every Libertarian-as-Bacchus fantasy you’ve entertained plays out before your widening eyes.

To begin, Hesse covered one angle which might be missed by the casual reader. The printed medium doesn’t translate as well as the verbal one does: Say Big Hunt three times real fast. Then consider that the bar is in the middle of the Dupont Circle section of town, referred to by some as “the Fruit Loop.”

My, is that cloying smell in the stairwell . . . marijuana?

I’ve been to many Reason Happy Hours before, but never smelled weed burning. Clove cigarettes, yes. Weed, no. But I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility.

“D.C. is a city of young fogies who think the only way to be pious is to wear ill-fitting suits” and obsess over politics, Gillespie, 44, says later. “We’re the only people that want to have fun.”

That was moderately accurate. However, I’ve met three or four other people in DC who like to have fun, too. I met them at Reason Happy Hours, though.

“We want to have interesting conversations about things,” says Welch. “We want to drill home that culture matters.”

To be fair, I’ve probably had more conversation about the socio-political implications of “South Park” or “Sesame Street” than Bush’s foreign policy at these functions. A controversial question which popped one night is whether Mr. Peanut is gay—which should at least prove that all libertarians do not possess gaydar.

Once a month, culture comes in the form of magazine release parties at assorted Dupont dives and wafts of conversation like “This can’t be good for my liver” and “Jeremy has passed out in his own vomit.”

Jeremy, several people make sure to tell you, is not a Reason employee.

Who’s Jeremy? Next party’s at his place.

The crowd is more guys than gals, and the women who do arrive look gamine and mischievous, and like they wouldn’t say no to a cigarette.

There are generally a few more guys than gals, but several points need to be considered. To begin, quite a few of them are quite attractive and sometimes provocatively (but generally in standard DC work attire, considering the time of the events are typically held) dressed. There is certainly a much more favorable male-female ratio than one might find at a local Libertarian Party event somewhere in flyover country.

As gamine could mean attired in an impish, boyish or in a streetwise manner, it’s important to note that the former definition is a bit more accurate. The other factor to consider in the gender balance is that the parties are held in Dupont Circle.

I’ve seen Kerry Howley at many Reason events, Carol Moore at none. One as just as likely to meet a Bruce Major as a Megan McArdle at such events.

But Reason’s goal in Washington is not to agree with everyone, says Welch, but rather this: “We want to add a new bacteria to the culture.”

From a comment at Hit and Run:

I still don’t know whether Reason is the new cool kid or still a nerd in DC.

Add new bacteria to the culture, they do. You’ll find hipster cool kids, non-hipster middle-aged men donning cowboy hats, and about everything in between. If you’re ever in DC, I recommend checking out the party.

8 Responses to “Libertarian Culture May Contain Bacteria”

  1. FRedStates Says:

    Your big country is counting on you Iowa. Vote Fred Thompson!

  2. matt Says:

    I’ll give even money that the comment above was made by a paid commenter.

  3. Marat Balagula Says:

    What does the F. stand for, F. Red?

  4. matt Says:

    I think the FRedStates are confusion and apathy, actually.

  5. Captain Culpepper Says:

    Fred Thompson is the only candidate who has a comprehensive Immigration Reform and Border Security Plan… a well thought out plan on saving Social Security that the Wall Street Journal praised… a plan to rebuild and revitalize America’s Military… a detailed tax relief and economic growth plan and Fred Thompson is the only Candidate bold enough to say the NEA is the biggest reason why our eduction in this country is failing…

    Fill up the Red Truck at http://www.FRed08.com!

  6. Monica Crump Says:

    Yeah, what he said. Old Culp has got it right. Fred will sort out this immigrant mess and be sure everyone can spell FREEDOM in english. And no I’n not paid by no one.

  7. miche Says:

    I’ve always known gamine to describe a homeless, street wanderer.

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