Disco. ain't dead

i-f1ed343cbe0d7fe21e80b35943436236-BurnsChapman.jpgBruce Chapman, whose Disco. institute is still playing the greatest hits of the 1880s, writes that San Francisco is New Capital of California:

as a result of the recent election the state electorate apparently decided to be governed in its top leadership almost exclusively by San Franciscans.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to decipher that sentence's syntax. I think he means "in the recent electionsâ¦," but you never know. The elections were 4 weeks ago, which is stretching the normal usage of "recent."

He continues with this trip down memory lane:

The newly recycled governor, Jerry Brown, is a former San Fran dweller who served a while recently as Mayor of Oakland. The Lt. Governor, Gavin Newsom, is stepping up from Mayor of San Francisco. Kamala Harris of San Francisco won a close race for Attorney General.

Now it's true that Brown used to live in San Francisco, having been born there in 1938. But he's lived in Oakland for a long time now, and spent 8 years as the city's mayor, leaving office in 2007.

I mention this for two reasons. First, the transparent "San Francisco is full of sucky hippies" theme is kinda hamfisted here. He has to reach back to Brown's high school years to tie him to San Francisco, for Pete's sake! And also I think he could do better with the whole "served a while recently" thing. "Served a while" sounds like it was his hobby. That's how the current mayor has treated the gig, but Brown worked hella hard to rebuild Oakland, and two terms is hardly something to sneeze at. As for "recently," he came to office in 1999, which is the last millennium. Again, stretching normal usage.

Chapman's piece is filled with such mishandlings of time. Not just dredging up Brown's high school years in San Francisco, but dragging in Chapman's childhood (when San Francisco was a muddy mining camp), and a quip by Herb Caen, a quip which gave Caen used as a book title way back in 1949. One wonders if Chapman realizes that the Bay area is no longer a harbor for '49ers. It's not just the origin of American icons like Levi's jeans, but also modern giants like Apple Computer, Google, and Pixar. San Francisco values are fundamentally American, and I can't fathom why Chapman would have a problem with them.

And Chapman is right, the Bay area dominated the elections on November 2. Did it really take him a full 4 weeks to figure that out?

More like this

First, the transparent "San Francisco is full of sucky hippies" theme is kinda hamfisted here.

I doubt that's the particular dog whistle he's going for here, actually. If Chapman wanted to whip up fear of sucky hippies, he would have focused on Berkeley. The theme he's going for here is "San Francisco is full of deviant homosexuals and the people who recognize their civil rights love them."

When conservatives bitch about "San Francisco values," gay marriage is the first thing on the list.

By Anton Mates (not verified) on 01 Dec 2010 #permalink