People who want to take a swing at San Francisco should think twice. Yes, the Irish coffee at Fisherman's Wharf is overpriced, and the bus tour of Haight-Ashbury is disappointing (Where are the hippies?), but the Bay Area is the cradle of the computer and software industry, which continues to create jobs for our children. The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco, Texas. There may be a reason for this. Creative people thrive in a climate of openness and tolerance, since some great ideas start out sounding ridiculous. Creativity is a key to economic progress. Authoritarianism is stifling. I don't believe that Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard were gay, but what's important is: In San Francisco, it doesn't matter so much. When the cultural Sturmbannfuhrers try to marshal everyone into straight lines, it has consequences for the economic future of this country.
Meanwhile, the Current Occupant goes on impersonating a president. Somewhere in the quiet, leafy recesses of the Bush family, somebody is thinking, "Wrong son. Should've tried the smart one." Five years in office and he doesn't have a grip on it yet. You stand him up next to British Prime Minister Tony Blair at a news conference and the comparison is not kind to Our Guy. Historians are starting to place him at or near the bottom of the list. And one of the basic assumptions of American culture is falling apart: the competence of Republicans.
You might not have always liked Republicans, but you could count on them to manage the bank. They might be lousy tippers, act snooty, talk through their noses, wear spats and splash mud on you as they race their Pierce-Arrows through the village, but you knew they could do the math. To see them produce a ninny and then follow him loyally into the swamp for five years is disconcerting, like seeing the Rolling Stones take up lite jazz. So here we are at an uneasy point in our history, mired in a costly war, a supine Congress granting absolute power to a president who seems to get smaller and dimmer, and the best the Republicans can offer is San Franciscophobia? This is beyond pitiful. This is violently stupid.
It is painful to look at your father and realize the old man should not be allowed to manage his own money anymore. This is the discovery the country has made about the party in power. They are inept. The checkbook needs to be taken away. They will rant, they will screech, they will wave their canes at you and call you all sorts of names, but you have to do what you have to do.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
For Those Who Would Want To Take A Swing At San Francisco
Here's a funny, fun and political essay by Garrison Keillor. Enjoy: