7.25.2007

Feeding the Bureaucracy

The summer may be in full swing, but Washington, D.C. doesn’t traditionally empty out until August, once Congress goes on its summer recess. Until then the bureaucracy must be fed.

As noted earlier ("Tunes & Transparency" and "Truth to Power") this blog has evolved from one that serves the musical needs of the bureaucracy to one that also discusses policy. And now the blog is moving beyond D.C., as more of our readers these days reside in California or the United Kingdom than any other locales. However, the D.C. bureaucracy remains one of our key constituencies.

Nevertheless, some of our notable beyond-the-beltway readers this month include:

  • The California Department of Transportation seemed to love unearthing a piece on hipsters from the deep archives. Are hipsters allowed to work for these state bureaucracies? And if so, what does that say about hipster credentials these days?

  • The U.S. Army Information Systems Center in Arizona returned this month, and seemed to center its interest on Molly Kenney’s commentary about the D.C. Madame.

  • The Army Corps of Engineers in New York also seemed to like Molly’s work, but this time to check out her review of Live Free or Die Hard.

  • Finally, our long-time fans at the Fermilab in Illinois were mining the archives and latched on to Jeff Siegel’s “The Ballad of Penny Evans.” But another group of long-time readers at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola seemed to prefer Jeff’s review of the new Paul McCartney release.
The most popular read on the blog this month was the review of the Live Earth concerts. That appealed to folks inside and outside the beltway. So the bureaucracy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Naval Oceans Systems Center in Maryland were avidly reading the review (and watching the video clips) at the same time that folks at the state house in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Information Management Directorate in Rock Island, Illinois were doing the same. And how about all those Metallica fans who work for Vanguard who were checking out the clips and the review? Who knew head bangers worked in finance?

That doesn’t mean the policy wonks have deserted us. So you could find the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) checking out Laura Snedeker’s piece about the Pentagon (inter-agency envy?). Also, the State Department and offices in the U.S. House of Representatives were reading “Guatemala Surrenders in the War on Drugs.” And finally, the Department of the Interior seemed very interested in Jeff's send-off for Tony Blair.

But of course, the most interesting connections had readers at both the Bank of Cyprus (yes, in the Mediterranean) and the American Psychological Association reading Stephen Tringali’s review of the new White Stripes’ release, Icky Thump. We aren’t sure what that means but it does make the spinning of the earth skip for a millisecond, at least in our imagination. And it shows how wide and varied our audience has become.

(Photo by ladyheart from morgueFile.)




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