Sidewalk Compliment Machine Soothes Washington Egos

Feeling unloved?

Then take a walk along 14th Street Northwest. You might be surprised to hear a reassuring voice tell you that you have nice eyes or that people are drawn to your positive energy.

The voice comes from a bright red-and-white-striped box on a platform of bricks. A small sign identifies it as "The Compliment Machine."

The machine is the work of 46-year-old Tom Greaves, an artist who lives on Capitol Hill. It's part of SitesProject D.C, an exhibit featuring public art along 14th Street. Greaves says the Compliment Machine is a response to the culture in which everyone is special and nobody is criticized. He gives the example of kids' soccer leagues where everybody gets a trophy, whether they win or lose. Some people can't stand that culture, while others think it's a good thing.

Greaves won't give his opinion. The Compliment Machine is his entire comment.