“The word surreal is overused and often wrongly used, but in the case of the Washington Post Election Night Live party, the word was apt. First of all, it was a disco. There was a DJ playing a frenetic mix of contemporary Top 40 and pointedly apropos songs such as Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (“You’re a real tough cookie with a long history … ” ). Behind the DJ there were dozens of screens showing various television networks’ coverage of the election. The screens were so bright and so huge, and the colours so primary and vivid, that the experience was like being trapped inside an enormous jar of jelly beans.
Women dressed like Vegas showgirls made their way through the crowd with towering tiered hats adorned with chocolates from one of the evening’s sponsors. The chocolates, round and the size of strawberries, were offered in pairs, enclosed in loose plastic sacks — a bizarre but perhaps intentionally lewd optic? The bartenders were setting out Campari Americanos by the dozens. The food was by chefs José Andrés and the brothers Voltaggio. The Washington Post has a right to celebrate — the paper is thriving and its political coverage extraordinary — but this felt like Rome before the fall.”
(Dave Eggers travels through post-election America. Read more…)