03 March 2006

Frisco: Always Good For A Laugh

Not content with running a once-vibrant city into the ground, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors regularly turn their attentions to solving national and international problems. A couple of the latest examples have been their attempt to ban military recruiting in public schools (because, as one Supervisor pointed out, there's really no need for a standing army in these times) and their advice to Congress to impeach President Bush.

Now I didn't vote for Bush, am not a huge fan of his, and as the consequences of his bad planning and shoddy execution of the Iraq War become more apparent by the day, I've become even less of one. But it would be hard to argue that he's done anything impeachable (at least not any more so than the last several presidents), and even harder to argue that the country would somehow be improved with Deadeye Dick Cheney as our new prez.

Not that it's likely to happen; in fact, the surest way for any proposal, even a serious one, to be reduced to a laughingstock, is to get the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (or, for that matter, anything or anyone associated with the City of San Francisco) behind it. This has been true for years now; even as far back as the film of "All The President's Men," one of the characters got a laugh by suggesting that a certain story was so preposterous that no newspaper would print it, "except maybe the San Francisco Chronicle."

I could be wrong, but I don't think San Francisco was always the punchline to a joke. This trend probably started when the hippies established a presence in the city, and has accelerated over the decades as the collective brain cell count has continued to diminish through drug use, excessive navel gazing, and massive self-obsession. Some people find this cute, as in this Chronicle article, which attempts to liken San Francisco to "the odd kid in the back row of the classroom" who is actually ahead of his time.

More like the odd kid in the black trenchcoat who suddenly snaps and starts shooting everyone, but perhaps I'm just being Mr Negative again and failing to appreciate the true beauty of San Francisco, the purity of its inhabitants' character, and the general gosh-isn't-it-so-wonderfulness of it all. Then again, in Dr Frank's brilliant new book, King Dork, there's a definition of atheism as, "A religion for people who figure they already know pretty much everything there is to know about everything." If the City and County of San Francisco were inclined to declare an official state religion, that would just about cover it.


Lefty said...

Here in San Francisco there are two kinds of people: hippies, and people who wish they are/were hippies. Or, at least, those are the ones who yell the loudest.

Jenna Alive said...

When it comes to SF, I'm glad that I never have to write any of my thoughts down, because you've already covered them, to the letter, and with much more style than I ever could.

Patrick said...

Larry, are the actions/reputation of the SF Board of Supervisors well known outside of CA? I can figure out what your point about them is, but am more curious as to whether I (or other semi-informed non-CA people) should have heard of them. You seem to suggest they're nationally known as a joke.

Or perhaps this is just another example of people from the NY area not caring about non-NY places?

Larry Livermore said...

I would have thought California is generally known as Granola-land (when you take out all the fruits and nuts, all that's left is the flakes), and that San Francisco was even better known as the fruitiest, nuttiest and flakiest of the lot, and that in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, you have all the fruitiness, nuttiness and flakiness distilled down to its purest essence, but maybe I was mistaken.

No, actually I don't think I was.

Patrick said...

But I don't even know what a Board of Supervisors is. Is that in place of a City Council?

Larry Livermore said...

A Board of Supervisors normally governs a county. San Francisco is both a city and a county, hence the Board.

Though I'm surprised they didn't decide have both a Board of Supervisors and a City Council for double the wacky hilarity.

Patrick said...

I now know why I am not familiar with that term.

New Jersey (my home state) still uses an archaic term for our county-level representatives: Freeholders.

I looked it up last year when I realized I wasn't all that sure what a Freeholder did. It dates back to the colonial days.

jenna alive said...

It's funny that CA is generally perceived as loony-lefty-land, and it's something I often forget. Orange County is probably more Republican than your average Red State county, that's for sure. Having grown up here, I forget that these idiots are not, in fact, that majority.

Plus, SF is as far from me as some states are from each other on the East Coast, and it may as well be another planet as far as culture and political climate. I guess that one thing that can be said for growing up in Republicanville is that the crazy-in-your-face hippy quotient is low.