Archive for the ‘Fictional DC’ Category

Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #4 Murphy Brown

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Name: Murphy Brown
A.K.A: You don’t give Murphy Brown a nickname, but maybe friends can call her "Murph"
Residence: Washington , DC

Occupation: Investigative Journalist for FYI newsmagazine
Memorable Quote: "I’ve experienced life, and I’m here to tell you it’s overrated."

Murphy Brown was the star investigative reporter for FYI, highly successful weekly magazine series originating from Washington, DC. Though she may not have been the most lovable person in the world – she was opinionated, sarcastic, overbearing, and driven – her on-camera presence combined with uncompromising questioning, biting wit, and sense of ethics, turned her into a media icon.

Born in Philadelphia, in 1948, America was first introduced to Murphy when she returned to FYI ater a bought with alcoholism and rehab in the Betty Ford Clinic. She had, however, lost none of her "charm" and was soon causing waves and making life tough for the FYI‘s young and inexperienced executive producer, Miles Silverberg. She went through a string of secretaries, all of whom seemed unable to properly attend to her demand-driven lifestyle. Perhaps then it was with some irony that she proved herself similarly incompetent to the task when compelled to serve as the warden’s secretary during a stint in prison for not revealing a source.

In her forties, Murphy divorced husband Jake and chanelled all of her energies into work. She was the quintessential driven career-woman and everything else took second place. Outside of work, you would most likely find her at Phil’s, a nearby bar frequented by DC’s political and media elite. Phil became something of a father figure to Murphy, equally dispensing gravely-voiced advice with soothing libations. Murphy’s home was painted by a hugely imaginative artist, Eldin. Despite selling one of his original works for a huge sum, he had so many grand ideas that he continued to work on Murphy’s house over the course of six years.

In the early 90’s, Murphy discovered that she was pregnant after a fling with her ex-husband Jake. Although both Jake and Murphy’s current boyfriend Jerry Gold offered themselves as father to the baby boy, Murphy – independent to the end – decided to raise the child alone, and named him Avery. The only other romantic episode that one might remember with Murphy, is a dinner date with co-worker Frank Fontana before the grand celebration of her 50th birthday. The two decided they knew too much about each other to be romantically involved.

Murphy’s status as an icon in American culture became clear on two occasions. The first occured after her decision to stay a single-mother and raise Avery with the aid of a nanny. Then Vice President Dan Quayle made a speech during dinner at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, where he criticized Murphy for ignoring the importance of fathers and bearing a child alone. This proved to be an ill-judged criticism that drew sharp responses from a number of different camps – from Hollywood to the beltway.

Quayle had a reputation for shooting himself in the foot (unlike our current Vice President Cheney who shoots others in the face) and Murphy had her revenge. In a retaliatory prank she arranged for a truckload of potatoes to be placed in front of Quayle’s residence, while a DJ commentating on the incident noted the Vice President should be glad people weren’t making fun of him for misspelling "fertilizer." A reference to the Vice President’s spelling of the word "potato" with an "e" at a children’s spelling bee, which was making the news side-by-side with his commentary on Murphy and American family values.

The second political issue occured at the end of our relationship with Murphy in her role as a television icon. During her year-long battle with breast cancer, Murphy used medical marijuana to relieve side effects of chemotherapy. She was attacked by conservative groups for this act. Later a women’s health group protested an incident where Murphy, while shopping for prosthetic breasts, was overheard saying "Should I go with Demi Moore or Elsie the Cow?" In the end, however, Murphy was presented an award from the American Cancer Society in honor of her role in educating women on the importance of breast cancer prevention and screening – crediting her with a 30% increase in the number of women getting mammograms

Murphy was played by Candice Bergen, an Academy Award winning and Emmy nominated American actress and former fashion model.

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Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #5 Alex Cross

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Name: Alex Cross, Ph.D
A.K.A: Dragon Slayer, Peanut Butter Man and Black Samaritan; Although as a profiler he is usually giving other people nicknames Residence: 5th Street SE, Washington, D.C.
Occupation: Senior Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Memorable Quote: "Multiply your anger by about a hundred, Kate, that’s how much he thinks he loves you."
Alex Cross was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His mother died of lung cancer when he was nine; his father, a heavy drinker, the year after. He was sent to D.C. to live with his grandmother, Regina Cross Hope (Nana Mama), an English teacher and assistant principal. He earned a PH.D. in psychology from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, where he specialized in the field of abnormal psychology and forensic psychology. Upon graduation Cross worked as a migrant farm worker for a year before starting a private practice in D.C. He struggled financially for three years before giving it up.

He joined the Washington , D.C., Police Department as a psychologist, working in Homicide and Major Crimes as a criminal profiler. He works with VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) as a liaison between the FBI and D.C. police. Now an FBI Senior Agent, Cross works in the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

A Washington Post Magazine in-depth article called Cross "The Last Southern Gentleman" and praised him for his work in Homicide. It brought his name to the public’s attention. Articles by Alex Cross on the criminal mind have appeared in Psychiatric Archives and American Journal of Psychiatry. He also wrote a diagnostic profile of psychopathic killer Gary Soneji/Murphy.

His wife, Maria, a social worker, was killed in a drive-by shooting that was never solved. He was left with two toddlers; Damon is now twelve and Janelle (Jannie) is now ten. Alex Cross has another son, Alex Jr, age three. His mother, Christine Johnson, who was a principal at the Sojourner Truth School, now lives in Seattle with Alex Jr. Cross lost custody because of the dangers involved in his work. They never married.

Cross, now 42 years old, still lives on Fifth Street in D.C., with Nana Mama, Damon and Jannie, and Rosie their cat. He still drives his ’74 Porsche and enjoys vacationing in the Caribbean. He plays the piano, favoring Gershwin and classical music, is an avid reader, and participates in biweekly boxing lessons with his children. You might catch him spending time with his friend and mentor, Sergeant Ellis Cooper, while enjoying a fine wine or beer and eating his favorite food, white bean soup. Cross also volunteers at St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen, where he is called Peanut Butter Man and Black Samaritan, by providing free therapy sessions to the indigent.

Alex Crosss is the creation of author James Patterson, whose books inspired the films Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Cross was was played by Morgan Freeman in both.

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Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #6 Jed Bartlet

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Name: Josiah Edward “Jed” Bartlet
Residence: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Occupation: POTUS, Leader of the Free World, Provider of Hope
Hobbies: Collecting old books, giving advice, running the country
Memorable Quotes:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, they said, that all men are created equal. Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down. Decisions are made by those who show up.”

“I gotta tell you guys. You’ve pulled off a political first. You’ve managed to win me the support of the Christian Right and the Cheech and Chong fan club in the same day.”

To sum things up, Jed is the president that all of us wish we had. Well most of us anyway. If you are liberal minded and believe that there is still hope for our government and our country, just close your eyes and imagine Jed Bartlet sitting in the Oval Office instead of the current bozo. Now see? Didn’t your stress level just jump down a few notches?

When he’s not struggling with multiple sclerosis (his only insurmountable problem in life) he and his West Wing crew are taking the issues head on like a fine tuned machine. Given his impressive resume (governor of New Hampshire, Congressman, Nobel Prize winner, yada, yada, yada), his gift to gab, and his way with people, it’s no wonder this guy was elected for two terms in a row.

2008 is just around the corner people. If you don’t like your choices on the ballot, pencil in Jed Bartlett. He won’t let you down.

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Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #7 Nick Naylor

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Name: Nick Naylor
A.K.A: “Mass murderer, blood sucker, pimp, profiteer, and yuppie Mephistopheles.”
Residence: Dupont Circle
Occupation: Vice President of and the chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies
Memorable Quote: “That’s the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.”

The Academy of Tobacco Studies is funded by cigarette companies to research the impact of smoking cigarettes on human health. As their chief spokesperson, Nick Naylor spends his time informing the public about the results of these research efforts – which amazingly have not demonstrated any conclusive links. Nick is the defender of smokers’ rights, appearing in public forums and various television programs.

Living in DC, you either know someone like Nick – or are in fact desperately trying to be like him. Self-described as a man with “a bachelor’s degree in kicking ass and taking names” and dressed to impress the K Street crowd, he is everything about lobbyists that you think you hate. His closest friends are Polly Bailey and Bobby Jay Bliss, the lobbyists for the alcohol and gun lobbies. Together the form the “M.O.D. Squad,” e.g. “Merchants Of Death.”

He was featured most recently in the cinema adaptation of John Buckley’s “Thank You for Smoking.” In an effort to overcome the negative attention placed on smoking by Senator Ortolan K. Finistirre (D-VT), he embarks on a journey to Hollywood to “put the sex back in cigarettes” with actors smoking in films like the black and white classics he recalls from his youth.

Nick takes his son, Joey, on the trip with him as a way to rebuild a bond weakening under the strain of divorce and a lack of paternal custody. Not to mention the new man in his ex-wife’s life. “Don’t forget,” Nick says to his replacement, “I’m his father, you’re just the guy who fucks his mom.” During the trip, Father and Son bond as Nick imparts upon Joey the art of spin as a means for “defending the defenseless.”

Though anti-smoking guerrillas kidnap and attempt to kill Nick by covering his body in nicotine patches, Nick survives thanks to a tolerance developed over a lifetime of smoking. Despite losing his job after an expose is published about him by his girlfriend, he turns the tables on her by exposing their affair and ruining her career. He even faces off with Senator Finistirre in a Senate Hearing, arguing “the number 1 killer in America is cholesterol, and here comes Senator Finisterre who’s clogging the nation’s arteries with Vermont cheddar cheese.” The Senator is forced to declare “the great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese.” He ultimately opens his own public relations firm, where his work is again featured in Buckley’s “No Way to Treat a First Lady.”

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Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #8 Samson

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Name: Samson
Cab Number: 28
Least Favorite Fares: Old White Politicians with Black Prostitutes
Line: My Cab Ain’t No Motel.
Home Base: DC Cab Company, Chinatown

Ah, DC Cab. What a movie. Made in 1983 in Murder-Capital-Of-The-World days, it captures a DC that is long gone past. Well, except for the crazy cabbies, those, we still have. DC Cab features Paul Rodriguez as Xavier (the Gigolo), Gary Busey as the racist Dell, and lovable Mr. T as Samson, an anti-drug, pink wrist-band wearing cabbie who’s looking out for his niece.

Out of that crowd, Samson is the most outstanding. He’s always looking out for his hood, always looking our for the kids of his neighborhood. He even manages to unseat the pimps for the sweetest car in town. And, except the whole carjacking thing, he seems to be an upright individual. He gives an amazing speech on the foot of the Lincoln Memorial that gives me chills.

Besides, you know you want to rent it, just for the Peabo Bryson theme. Everyone loves Peabo, right?

Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #666 Regan Theresa MacNeil

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Name: Regan Teresa MacNeil
Address: Georgetown
Occupation: Host for the Devil
Favorite Color: Pea Soup Green

exorcist Demonized, 12 year-old Regan Teresa MacNeil, star of the 1973 horror classic The Exorcist, possessed unearthly powers, including multiple (dead) personalities, peasoup projectile vomiting, 360° headspins, and bed levitation. I hesitate to even mention the gruesome crucifix scene, which still shocks to this day.

Regan (Linda Blair), who lived with her actress mother (Ellen Burstyn) in Georgetown, managed to survive the ordeal. The Jesuit priests, who drove the demon out, didn’t fare so well.

A best-selling novel turned Hollywood blockbuster, author and producer William Peter Blatty based his story on real events—a Maryland boy possessed and exorcised by a Catholic priest in 1949. The movie was directed by William Friedkin, who won an Oscar for The French Connection.

An old friend of mine went to see this film when it was first released. Gorged with powerful mind-altering drugs, he has never been the same since.

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Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #10 Clarice Starling

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Name: Clarice Starling
Occupation: Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigations

Born and raised in West Virginia, Clarice was orphaned at a young age when her security guard father was shot and killed by robbers. No doubt this early experience helped push her towards law enforcement, though there are other indications she possesses a strong urge to help those that cannot help themselves. Aside from a brief stint with a foster family, she was raised in a Lutheran orphanage. She first came to our area as a student at University of Virginia and stayed on to go through the FBI academy at Quantico. Post-graduation she settled in Arlington.

Agent Starling would have her “fifteen minutes” before she’d even fully graduated from the academy, working as a provisional agent on the Buffalo Bill case. The most important aspects of that work happen in Baltimore, talking to Hannibal Lecter where he’s imprisoned in a mental institution. Of course the big achievement was catching Buffalo Bill and his lotion all by herself.

Supposedly Agent Starling did a bunch of other stuff seven or eight years father along in her career, however the description of it is so absurd I can’t relate it in good conscience.

First appearance: The Silence of the Lambs (book)
Also seen in The Silence of the Lambs (movie)
Some person with her name but completely inconsistent behavior also appear in Hannibal (book) and Hanibal (movie) but it’s clearly not her.

Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #11 Cigarette Smoking Man

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Name: Cigarette Smoking Man
Age: Good question.
Job: I’d like to know too.
Agenda: Good luck with that.

Spender aka Cigarette Smoking Man aka Cigarette Man aka Cancer Man aka Old Smokey has more nicknames than a Maureen Dowd column. No wonder: deciphering the intricacies of his plots inspires one to epithets, if not hard liquor.

Cigarette Smoking Man is the ultimate Washington insider. His multiplicity–pies his fingers have been linked to include cover ups of alien invasion plans, assasinations of JFK and MLK Jr., fixing Superbowls and Academy Awards–is only matched by his survivability. Marion Barry has met his match: Cigarette Smoking Man outlived cancer, sniper bullets, and betrayal by his operatives. Just when you think he’s out of the picture, he’s back smoking up the place.

In our last encounter with Cigarette Smoking Man, it looked like a missile barrage finally did him in. I, for one, hope this spooky sonuvabitch stays dead.

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Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #12 Derek Strange

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Name: Derek Strange
Occupation: Private Investigator & Owner, Strange Investigations
Age: 62 (born in 1944)
Musical taste: “Nothing worth listening to, you get past seventy-six, seventy-seven”

Born in the DC area in 1944, Derek Strange had loving parents that couldn’t quite keep him from sowing some oats as a teen. Crime didn’t suit him, however, and when he was pinched for shoplifting he got pushed onto the straight and narrow by his older brother. After cleaning up his act he graduated from Roosevelt High and by 1968 he’s a DC police officer. Not an easy job, it requires dealing with a city that has poor race relations, constant conflict over the war in Vietnam and, soon enough, a whole lot of grief and anger over the slaying of Martin Luther King. Before the year is out Strange is no longer on the force. Asked about it later the extent of his description is “I was a cop and then I wasn’t. Just like that.”

After the force, Derek Strange went into the business of private investigation and the personal quest of redeeming the city’s black youth. It’s a difficult line to walk, taking jobs from convicted criminals looking to exonerate themselves just enough to avoid the death penalty on the one hand and coaching Pee Wee football on the other. His relationship with girlfriend and office manager Janine is exactly serious as he wants it to be and much less than she wants. That kind of uneasy relationship is part for the course for Strange – just because he partners up with Terry Quinn doesn’t mean the two always see eye to eye on race or much of anything else. He’s devoted to the truth and his clients, however, and above all, his city.

First Appearance: Right as Rain by George P. Pelecanos.
Also appears in Hell to Pay, Soul Circus and Hard Revolution

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Top 25 Fictional DC Resident: #13 Sydney Ellen Wade

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Name: Sydney Ellen Wade
Location: 28th and Q street, NW
Area Code: 202
Occupation: Professional Lobbyist for an environmental organization.

Hard-boiled left-wing lobbyist, brought in to high-profile Washington-based environmental organization to lead the effort to get controversial carbon monoxide emissions bill passed. Originally from Virginia, was associated with anti-apartheid causes in her college days and worked for a time in Connecticut for a teacher’s union. Also has a sister in Washington who has great clothes. Engaged to President Andrew Shepard, a widower with one daughter, Lucy.

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