Category Archive 'San Francisco'
13 Aug 2018

New York City versus San Francisco

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31 Jul 2018

“Well, Do You?”

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07 Mar 2018

Statue Commemorating Missionaries & Pioneers to Come Down in SF

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Hyperallergenic:

After years of criticism, a controversial statue of a Native American will be removed from its longstanding post at the base of a prominent San Francisco monument. Yesterday, the city’s Arts Commission voted unanimously to take down the bronze sculpture that stands near City Hall, which many locals consider racist and celebratory of America’s violent colonial history. The statue, titled “Early Days,” depicts a fallen Native American male who looks up at a missionary as a vaquero (cowboy) gazes into the distance. It is one of four smaller statues that surround “Pioneer Monument,” dedicated in 1894 to commemorate chapters of California history.

“The Commissioners agreed that this racist and disrespectful sculpture has no place in the heart of our city,” the agency said in a statement. “In the coming weeks, Arts Commission staff will take steps to remove the sculpture and place it in storage. Staff will also create a didactic plaque on or near the monument explaining the rationale for the sculpture’s removal.”

Monday’s vote follows months of community outcry against the statue, which were reinvigorated when right-wing protests in Charlottesville, Virginia — over the removal of a Robert E. Lee monument — left a counter-protester dead. Spearheading the protests were members of the local Native American community, who said the statue “promotes a white supremacist ideology that is connected to the mass genocide of indigenous people.”

Their calls renewed two earlier efforts by Native activists to remove the statue. In 1991, in response to criticism from local organizations, the Arts Commission added a plaque beneath the figures that added historical context. Plants, however, obscured the plaque over time, and activists argued that the sign did not provide adequate information to explain the racist images. Demands to remove it emerged once more in 2007, led by a Native American task force representing the Bay Area.

This time, amid a national reckoning with Confederate monuments, the city responded differently, at least after a bit of bureaucratic pingpong. In October, the Arts Commission voted unanimously to begin the process of removing the statue. The vote then went to the Historic Preservation Commission, as the Pioneer Monument stands within a historic district. The Historic Preservation Commission voted on February 21 to remove the statue, with the stipulation that the city add a plaque explaining the reasons behind its removal. Yesterday the Arts Commission gave its final approval. The city plans to take down the figures within months.

RTWT

If these establishment Americans in positions of power and responsibility hate America so much, instead of removing statues, why don’t they just resign and move back to Europe or to some morally superior socialist country like Venezuela?

19 Feb 2018

New York vs. San Francisco

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just click on image for the link.

05 Sep 2017

San Francisco Celebrates 1967

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Judith Miller discusses the odd culture of America’s Cool Grey City of Love as San Francisco commemorates the 1967 origin of the Counter-Culture which today dominates the city.

It is San Francisco’s smug self-satisfaction that so enrages critics like Michael Anton, the San Francisco native who now works for the Trump White House in national-security communications. In a blistering 2015 critique in the Claremont Review of Books, Anton asserted that “San Francisco values” had come to reflect little more than a “confluence of hippie leftism and filthy lucre,” a marriage of convenience between “old-time materialism and hippie ‘morality.’ ” What kept the Summer of Love veneer going for so long, he asserted, is the implicit deal between the high-tech oligarchs and the hippie rank-and-file. “The latter not only decline to use their considerable propaganda skills to vilify the former, but cheerfully glorify and whitewash them,” he wrote. “The oligarchs in turn subsidize the lefties through nonprofits and make-work jobs” and, more important, “take their cues from them on matters of politics not directly contrary to their economic interests.” Both groups benefit from what he called this “socio-intellectual money laundering.” The resulting policies have done little to create opportunities for an aspiring middle class that is neither elite nor bohemian.

Anton is not wrong about the less savory aspects of the counterculture. A notable omission in the city’s much touted tradition of “tolerance,” for instance, is that it rarely extends to politics. There is no welcome mat out for Republicans, especially conservatives. Student mobs at Berkeley boast about preventing conservative scholars from speaking on campus. Socially liberal but fiscally conservative activists like David Crane, who worked as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s finance director, struggle to raise funds for candidates willing to question the pension burdens being imposed on future generations by San Francisco liberals in the name of “workers’ rights.” Several Republican city residents confided that they would never display a Trump/Pence sticker on their car or home window for fear of vandalism.

RTWT

27 Nov 2015

San Francisco’s History and its Disastrous Impact on American Politics and Culture

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san-francisco-skyline-victo

Michael Anton, in the current Claremont Review of Books, has an absolutely brilliant, must-read article which identifies the peculiar historical relationship between San Francisco’s Barbary Coast outlaw culture and American haute bourgeois culture’s contemporary decadence all of which is closely connected to the incongruous American alliance between big wealth and the revolutionary left.

Contemporary liberalism exists to redistribute wealth, which in turn has, historically, sought to fend off, mock, and discredit liberalism. In the rare cases when these tactics fail, wealth makes the minimum necessary concessions to ensure its own survival against the Left’s relentless envy and resentment.

But for a decade or two now, the rich haven’t needed to make much of an effort because they’ve managed to beguile liberals in much the same way that Tom Sawyer tricked his friends into whitewashing the fence. Rather than clamoring to redistribute wealth, liberalism now gratefully accepts whatever crumbs wealth deigns to bestow—and in return treats wealth with the obsequious deference of a court eunuch.

How this happened—and especially its San Francisco pedigree—I hope to explain. It’s long been a truism that California is the political and cultural bellwether for the nation. But this particular export remains underappreciated.

For the moment, though, it’s enough to recognize that both the rich and the Left—and above all the rich Left—have a clear interest in obscuring and even denying their arrangement: the Left because they need the culture’s rhetorical guns trained rightward in order to maintain their grip on power; the rich to deflect scrutiny and envy from themselves. Politicians decline to stoke populist outrage against this partnership because the rich pay them not to and because, in a democracy, they must court the Left for reasons not dissimilar to Willie Sutton’s rationale for robbing banks. Sutton, though, couldn’t count bankers as backers or allies. Today’s Democratic Party, by contrast, enjoys near universal support not just from Wall Street but from the 1% in every industry, save Big Oil and Big Pharma.

Drop everything and read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

17 Feb 2015

Timelapse Photography San Francisco Video Comes Out Very Noir

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Tho the dark be cold and blind,
Yet her sea-fog’s touch is kind,
And her mightier caress
Is joy and the pain thereof;
And great is thy tenderness,
O cool, grey city of love!

George Sterling

14 Oct 2014

Lost San Francisco

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SFFisherman

photos by Fred Lyon from the 1940s and 1950s.

From Slate Via Fred Lapides.

16 Sep 2014

Bring Back the Grizzlies

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SFGirl
Mission Hipster Chick by Wendy MacNaughton

I recently linked a hilarious account of how exactly she was once moved to purchase a $4000 jacket while out of work by Mary H.K. Choi.

That story was so good that I immediately purchased her “How-I-Came-to-My-Senses-and-Got-the-Hell-Out-of-NYC” memoir (published as a quite inexpensive eBook).

It’s only 45 pages, and I got around to reading it last night. I particularly liked her take on San Francisco.

I loathe San Francisco. Sure, it looks like Jurassic Park in places, and the fog layer is enchanting with its plumes and trellises interweaving with the leaves and lichen on the redwoods. But everything else is like if New York’s Gramercy neighborhood got a whole town. On any given night there are way too many ‘going-out shirts’ and the women dress like there was a fire sale at some emporium that only sells clam-diggers and kicky little jackets with ornamental zippers. I have never so frequently witnessed pinstripe and patchwork meeting in the middle as I have on the tragic A-line skirts of Valencia Street. Every man who isn’t contemptibly rich enough to be famous for it reminds me of Matthew Lillard’s pigtail-braided Rollerblader in Hackers. I have never tallied so many ‘Pick-Up Artist’ hats or labret piercings outside of 1996. Fashion is no more than an indication of larger trends. Certain parts of San Francisco are what happens when white people have no natural predators. [emphasis added]

09 Sep 2014

Last Friday

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Two deer interrupted the evening commute last Friday around 5:30 PM, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. They were presumably on their way north to attend one of the private events up at Bohemian Grove on the Russian River.

24 Jun 2014

By Federal Law: Everyone Must Live Here

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pacific-heights
San Francisco: nice view, kind of pricey though.

Kevin D. Williamson considers the implications of applying the principles behind Obamacare more widely.

I have heard it argued that the San Francisco Bay Area is not only the nation’s but the world’s most desirable metropolis. I don’t buy that for a minute, but it’s not entirely implausible. There’s great natural beauty, and many of the world’s most creative people and institutions choose to make the area their home. It’s pricey by American standards but still a bargain by global standards. Like New York City in its golden age, it is a glorious collision between culture and money.

Let’s assume that the Bay Area partisans are correct in their high estimation of the metropolis. What might we do with that information? Why not pass a law requiring everybody in the United States to live there? As with the Affordable Care Act’s approach to health insurance, we wouldn’t be forcing an inferior product on people; we’d be forcing them to drop their second-rate cities for something better. Sorry, Cleveland — you can’t keep your crappy city, so deal with it. There would be some great economies of scale at work, and there are well-known economic benefits associated with population density, which we’d have in spades with a population of 300 million. (Though if we define the Bay Area broadly, we’d still have a lower population density than Manhattan, on average.) We could drop altogether thousands and thousands of redundancies — of school districts, police departments, fire departments, planning and zoning codes, tax laws, city councils. The rest of the country could be turned into farmland or left to revert to wilderness. Think of the efficiency we could achieve.

Once we’ve decided where everybody should live, we can move on to the question of what they should eat.

Read the whole thing.

10 Apr 2014

Lamenting the Decline of San Francisco

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Since the death of George Sterling, San Francisco’s genius loci poet in his room at the Bohemian Club in 1926, people have complained that the days of that city’s wild, romanticism are over and contended that Sterling’s “cool grey city of love” has been going to hell in a handbasket.

Way back in 1964 (before the hippies had even arrived at Haight-Ashberry), John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee reflected sadly on the city’s decline in The Quick Red Fox:

San Francisco is the most depressing city in America. The come-latelys might not think so. They may be enchanted by the steep streets up Nob and Russian and Telegraph, by the sea mystery of the Bridge over to redwood country on a foggy night, by the urban compartmentalization of Chinese, Spanish, Greek, Japanese, by the smartness of the women and the city’s iron clutch on culture. It might look just fine to the new ones.

But there are too many of us who used to love her. She was like a wild classy kook of a gal, one of those rain-walkers, laughing gray eyes, tousle of dark hair—sea misty, a lithe and lively lady, who could laugh at you or with you, and at herself when needs be. A sayer of strange and lovely things. A girl to be in love with, with love like a heady magic.

But she had lost it, boy. She used to give it away, and now she sells it to the tourists. She imitates herself. Her figure has thickened. The things she says now are mechanical and memorized. She overcharges for cynical services.

Maybe if you are from Dayton or Amarillo or Wheeling or Scranton or Camden she can look like magic to you because you have not had a chance to see what a city can be. This one had her chance to go straight and she lost it somehow, and it has been downhill for her ever since. That’s why she is so depressing to those of us who knew her when. We all know what she could have been, and we all know the lousy choice she made. She has driven away the ones who loved her best. A few keep trying. Herb Caen. A few others. But the love words have a hollow tone these days.”

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Well, folks, things have gotten a lot worse since the 1960s.

Dave Schilling and Jules Suzdaltsev have a terrific rant at Vice.com explaing why “everyone worth a damn is moving to Oakland.” And they don’t even mention the political pathologies!

2014 is slowly turning into the “Year of San Francisco.” The East Coast media in America has anointed SF as the new hub for innovation, conspicuous consumption, and comically absurd rents. New York Magazine parachuted a bunch of reporters into the Bay Area to figure out how to steal their douchebags back. The article asked “Is San Francisco New York?” No, it’s much worse. The existential crisis around San Francisco’s ascension to the heights of assholery stands in stark contrast to the fact that it is damn near unlivable for most normal people.

Read the whole thing.

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