Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Yet another reason to hate genocide
I've always loved the old National Bank of Washington building, and I've never understood why it's sat empty for so many years. In a city full of banks with those tiny lobbies and cramped desk space, it's a shame that no one ever set up shop here. D.C. could really use one of those really big, really fancy banks, that are constantly getting robbed in movies like Inside Man or The Dark Knight. Instead, it's just been a place for the homeless to camp out in front of.
So when I saw this last week, I was glad that it seemed like someone was finally moving in:
Then I actually read who was going to occupy it.
Is it a bank, that would restore the building to its original purpose and glory? Some upscale retail establishment, like a Tiffany's or an Apple Store? Some new and exciting tourist location, like the Spy Museum?
No, the building is going to be home to the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial.
Now, no offense to the good people of Armenia, both living and dead. But...really? A museum dedicated to the Armenian genocide? Right there in the heart of D.C.? And the organizers feel as though this is going to be a popular destination? I'm not entirely sure how many Armenians there are in the D.C. area, either residents or tourists, but I can't imagine it's enough to keep this thing afloat.
Apparently, the Armenians got their hands on the building a long, long time ago, hence why no one has moved in in the meantime. And good for them, I guess. There should absolutely be an Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial. Just maybe in Armenia.
But if the building has to house yet another museum and memorial, I'd prefer it be for something a little...I dunno...peppier? I mean, suppose you're walking down the street. It's been a really bad day. Would you rather pass by a museum dedicated to genocide or a museum dedicated to, say, the Redskins? Or puppies? Or Batman? Or pretty much anything cheerier than genocide? Which is to say, pretty much everything?
I won't go so far as to say that I want this thing to fail. But if it does, it'd be nice if there was something really cool and fun and non-mass murder-related ready to replace it. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think a Batman museum would be a really, really great idea.