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Friday, April 5, 2013

National Archives stings again

The sun sets near National Archives/Patricia Leslie
Dear National Archives, the least you could do is let the commoners, the peasants, standing out in the wind (gusts up to 29 mph) and the cold know that all we could have possibly hoped for Wednesday evening was nothing more than a video. 
No more than one stinking lousy video which we could have seen at home. 
On YouTube.

We were not going to get in the auditorium to see Rumsfeld and friends talk about their days at the White House since the Aspen Institute and the press had taken all the seats.  (“She’s from the London Times!" you exclaimed.  "Let her in!” Said my new line friend:  “Oh, where are our press passes?”) 

Why couldn’t you, National Archives, tell us in the first place that you had no serfs' seats left?

An "overflow" ticket for Wednesday's event at National Archives.  Contrary to the wording, "free tickets" were not distributed until 6:30 p.m./Patricia Leslie

Why couldn't you have saved our standing in line for one cold and breezy (wind chill = 44 degrees ) hour which we could have used more judiciously by walking up the street and attending an actual event, namely, the Civil War talk at the Smithsonian American Art Museum?

National Archives, you remind me of Marie Antoinette:   “Let them have video.”

Seeing a video of a live event is like seeing a picture postcard of Salvador Dali’s Last Supper. It cannot compare to standing in front of the real thing (on view at the East Building of the National Gallery of Art).  You just don’t get it, National Archives.

No, I did not hang around.  Yes!  I am angry at the wasted time, at my missing the Smithsonian talk which I would not have missed had you only said an hour earlier:  All that’s left is “overflow.”  Good grief.  You think "overflow" is a prize?

This was not the first time it has happened.

When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke a few months ago, one of your representatives came out and told us on the concrete, the weary, the tired, the oppressed, that Thomas had essentially filled up the house with 120 of his staff members, and the rest of the seats were taken by the press.  And we left.

Woe to the line standers, the taxpayers.

National Archives, why don’t you take a cue from the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum?  When their events are “oversold” and their auditorium is filled up and all that's left is "overflow," they tell the people ahead of time.  Because we hear the truth ahead of time, we can leave pronto if "overflow" is undesirable.  We don't stand around anticipating a seat to the actual production only to be disappointed at show time, like we are at your house. 

National Archives, please contact colleagues at the Smithsonian. Thank you.


A Wannabe Guest Who Stood in the Cold

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