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Mr. Botto Goes to Washington: Part 2

By Samuel 'DarthBotto' Horton
Jul 20, 2009 02:38

My adventure in Washington, D.C. continues still as I experience more of politics and see things that others could only dream of. As promised, I bring you Part 2 of my internship in D.C.
Well, this week was less of sightseeing and more of actually having some more firsthand experience of the politics that make of the United States. Due to my rushed last entry in my blog, I’ll reiterate more of what happened on Sunday. You see, that day the intern coordinators thought it would be more appropriate to arrange a special tour in which we would attend more of a culturally-significant location, rather than to awe one. I admit, by what we went to, I was awed but not because of how amusing it was, but actually of how hallowed and reserved the place was. It was time to visit the Arlington Cemetery, the holy resting place of dead politicians and over 300,000 U.S. soldiers who gave their lives for defense of the country.

So my group went there and unlike previous locations with smiling tourists and a warm environment, this place was unsettling and hauntingly silent. I appreciated the cemetery for honoring fallen Americans but did not enjoy it, in the very least. One of my colleagues who usually likes to hang around and crack jokes at every turn seemed bothered by the cemetery and simply walked off without saying a word. Out of us all, he seemed to physically train the most often and I suspect that is because of some military appreciation or desire. We left that place and I have to say it really did depress me for the rest of the day. Somehow that makes me feel better, knowing that I can pay my respects and maintain a good connection with myself.

Monday was a very chaotic day. It’s not that we did a lot of work, but the fact that it was the day that we were getting trained to give tours of the United States Capitol for visitors. We spent upwards of six hours learning what each of the details of the building represent and how to lead people out in the very-unlikely event of an emergency. According to the man teaching us about the fire emergency preparedness, the building has systems that are very smart and will put out fires in a heartbeat while sucking the smoke away. Guess they learned from what you Europeans did to it in the War of 1812.

By Tuesday, I was finishing up various projects for Senator Lisa Murkowski and managing her appropriation deals for the website. I’ve been the intern who’s been answering the phone the most, so I’ve had most variety in phone calls. One certain call involved a woman who opposed Murkowski’s latest views of healthcare and what-not. I tried answering her questions, but she said the following, “No, I’ve heard you people’s stupid bullshit long enough. I’m not impressed. I’m not impressed by you and I’m not impressed by what you represent. I also want to say that I don’t give a rat’s ass about what some bullshit middle man thinks about certain issues!” I then just hung up on her and 10 seconds later, she was spewing the same garbage at another intern about me. By then, my intern coordinator decided that I was the most technically-aligned individual of our intern group, along with being professional in design. Thus, I have been put in charge of the newsletter for interns, past and present. Pretty much the rest of that day was spent working on the newsletter.

A good thing is that the Senator and I have gotten to know each other and we feel free to express our opinions and discuss things when I’m helping her. After she returned from the White House, from what she phrased as, “Obama trying to twist her arm,” we discussed his and her different opinions on health care. The next day, it was my turn to assist her around the Capitol and it proved to be one of the best experiences of my entire internship. I got to see people ask questions, even ones as dumb as, “What do you think of Sarah Palin resigning?” I had the opportunity to appear on KTUU and got to talk with people from Native corporations so I could discuss certain things. It was awesome!

Yesterday, my group went to the Holocaust Museum, where an African-American was recently murdered by a white supremacist. I have to say, I was really brought down by the Holocaust Museum. It was completely depressing and offered nothing new to me. I read Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler when I was 15 and I remember it very well. So well, in fact, the other people in the museum thought I was their tour guide and asked me questions about parts of the museum, questions that I could answer. It was worse than the cemetery because there was no glory or poetic apotheosis for the Jews. It simply was acknowledging them and nodding at a pit of hatred. The thing I did experience for the first time was an understanding. I understand how people of a certain heritage will unite and see their forefathers’ suffering and acknowledge the miracle of their existence. I have considerable Jewish heritage, so being in the museum and seeing the exhibits brought that out for me and created a certain empathy that others can only emulate but not fully understand.

Today was more mellowed out. I woke up late and did not have the energy to go on any tours, so that was a bummer. However, I did talk with bds for a while today. We’ve been working closely together to bring his Wikipedia page up to par and I’m proud to say we finally made it more pleasing and not just a jumble of bds fandom. I’m glad to see that my absence from work at SK is not taking too great of a toll. My ratings are increasing and I’m becoming more mainstream every day.

Well, that’s all I really have to say. I hope I’ve provided more insight about me and my journey. I hope you all are doing well and I’ll speak more next Sunday.

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