Let’s Ban It: 8 Moratoriums We Can All Get Behind

by Borderstan.com March 26, 2013 at 9:00 am 10 Comments

From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at maggie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @rookerysf.


Pick the moratorium you want to support. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Jeez, what do you have to do to get something banned around here? Bans and moratoria are falling on tough times. There’s the defeat of the large soda ban in New York City. Protests against the nudity ban in San Francisco (yes, public nudity was perfectly legal there until two months ago).

And now, closer to home, the proposed moratorium on U Street liquor licenses meets an icy reception at a recent neighborhood listening session.

People don’t like banning things. It seems so final. So severe. No nudity in public places — not just “let’s reduce the relative amount of nudity.” So harsh. Even a moratorium sounds draconian. Five years? Where will I be in five years? Will alcohol even be legal in five years? No one knows for sure.

That’s why I’ve come up with a list of proposed moratoriums that I think could actually pass with flying colors. Nothing too restrictive, just those things that we’ve had enough of. See what you think:

The following eight things, in three categories, shall be prohibited for a period of no less than five years from today.

Food and Drink

  1. Beet and goat cheese salads: Yes, they are delicious. But there’s no other way to make beets taste good? And if there isn’t, can you serve us something else? It’s been on your menu for ten years…
  2. The word “artisanal.” After years of abuse, the privilege of using “artisanal” to describe a food, craft or other noun shall be revoked until further notice. To be honest, the blanket use of the term (artisanal croutons, artisanal gelato) is kind of making us foodies sound like jerks.
  3. Cocktails costing more than $10. A few places that make really nice cocktails have now made it acceptable for everyone to start charging $12+ for a drink. The other night I ordered what appeared to be a Greyhound except the bartender repeatedly slapped a single basil leaf between his palms and then delicately placed it on top. So I basically paid a $2 premium to have my basil spanked. No more!


  1. Wearing Uggs in public. Yes, I know they are warm. So are Snuggies and Russian ushankas, but no one wears those outside. This is DC, not Siberia. (And while we’re talking about comfortable clothing that should be severely curtailed, I second Dafna Steinberg’s piece on yoga pants).
  2. Wearing bicycle helmets without buckling the chin strap. Nothing better conveys the message, “I care about my safety, but in a weirdly ambivalent way,” than not buckling your helmet strap. I see these people way more often than I’d expect. Do they not realize this defeats the purpose of a helmet and yet still gives them helmet hair, so it’s really the worst of every possible option?

Social Media

  1. The phrase “retweets are not endorsements” on Twitter profiles. Is there anyone who says “You know what? My retweets are endorsements! Every single one!” No. So let’s all agree to ditch the disclaimer. (P.S. we also know that you are tweeting your own views and not those of your employer… but disclaimers don’t actually mean you can’t get in trouble, FYI)
  2. Facebook status updates that tell me how much you have recently exercised. All updates such as “8.5 miler today — feeling great!” shall be immediately banned until further notice.
  3. Complaints about “spoilers” because you haven’t watched a popular show yet. The entire internet does not have to be quiet until you catch up on your DVR. Sorry.

I really think I’m on to something here. Enforcement may be an issue, though…

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