René Moffatt’s “Route 42″ Video Offers a Rather Nonsensical Portrayal of Public Transit
Singer-songwriter René Moffatt recently released a music video, partially funded by a grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, for a song about the 42 bus. It's called “Route 42.” Below, a critique of the video's WMATA literacy.
0:00: “Route 42"? The 42 is a bus line. It used to be a streetcar line. It’s not a highway.
0:48: "I don't know what I did to deserve this game of solitaire." So, the bus does not appear the second Moffatt snaps his fingers. This is what happens in a major metropolitan city with a regional transit system facing systemic budget cuts. It’s everybody’s game of solitaire, bud.
0:52: “When do I start walking?” Now. Moffatt's destination is Mount Pleasant, which Google Maps indicates is a 1.5 mile walk from Dupont Circle (and 2 miles from Farragut Square). The walk would take about 35 minutes.
1:24: “Connecticut is fine/But if you wanna party hard you gotta stand in line/I prefer just singin' with my friends.” What?
1:40: “That traffic circle’s going to haunt me to no end.” Moffatt must have trouble living in D.C., what with the 33 roundabouts that dot the city.
1:56: “How long do I wait before it's been too long?” Most of the problems in this song would have been mitigated if René had checked NextBus.
2:23: “And after all the years/That I've been living here/There are times that it don't feel like home to me.” Is there a 42 bus in Moffatt's home state of Texas?
2:38: René looks moody in the foreground of a sunset over the Washington Monument. The 42 bus doesn’t run to the Washington Monument, of course. But, hey, points for infusing D.C.’s local culture with what’s an inarguable symbol of the city’s federal status.
2:52: “The girl sitting next to me/Has got a graduate degree in Talkinology.” I’m so irked by this lyric I’m going to baselessly accuse René of being That Guy who puts all his stuff—shopping bags, gym equipment, groceries, luggage, umbrella, acoustic guitar—in the empty seat next to him during rush hour.
2:56: “And my sanity is bein' tested/Constantly with every stop requested.” Jeez, how long is your ride? Like, 25 minutes max, in traffic? You should have just walked.
3:57: Has Moffatt considered joining Capital Bikeshare?