A fellow blogger — a Mom, a lawyer, and a writer, who lives in California’s Marin County just outside of San Francisco, wrote this and sent it to those of us on her mail list. It is a “lament for a dying city”, a chillingly sad look at our future if we don’t fight for drastic changes in 2010.
She begins with this personal note:
“I’ve been ruminating about this San Francisco post for weeks now and finally managed to get it together. I think San Francisco, which is an insane mixture of tight government control over the law-abiding, and no government control over the law-breaking, is the future of American Leftism. It’s awful, and people outside of San Francisco should be made aware of what’s happening. If you find this post at all useful or interesting, I hope that you will link to it at your blog, or forward a link to your friends.”
You can read the entire piece at her site:
San Francisco: America’s homegrown anarchic totalitarianism
Bookworm on Dec 30 2009 at 9:40 pm
A quick, and personal, history of San Francisco’s decline from the 1960s to the present
I was born and grew up in San Francisco. My very earliest memories of the City just predate the advent of the hippies. At that time, the City was a solid amalgam of working class people, middle class people, and a nice handful of the very, very rich. Barring the inevitable slums (and all cities have them), San Francisco was a well-maintained, fairly safe place. Trips downtown (usually triggered by a visit to the doctor in the medical building at 450 Sutter) always ended with a visit to the beautiful City of Paris department store to admire the rotunda (which you can still see in the new Nieman Marcus on the same site), a stop at the marble bathrooms in I. Magnin’s (where Macy’s stands now), and treats at Blum’s Restaurant. Women and men still wore hats in public places, and the women usually wore gloves too. The sidewalks were clean, and there were no beggars.
I remember, too, when the hippies came along. Initially, at least from a child’s point of view, it was kind of fun. During the Summer of Love in 1967, colorfully dressed young people would be dancing in Golden Gate Park, waving banners, blowing bubbles and handing out flowers to all who passed by. Of course, when they left the Park at the end of these pretty love-ins, the grass was torn to shreds, the flower beds were destroyed, and a few overdosed teens always lay scattered in the detritus left behind. Soon, though, the magic (such as it was) vanished, and all that was left behind was the miserable slum that was the Haight Ashbury.
Because San Francisco was notorious for her hippies, whenever out-of-town friends came to visit, they’d insist on a tour of the Haight. As a child, therefore, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, I often found myself in that blighted neighborhood. The streets were filthy, covered with a disgusting mixture of garbage, urine and feces. Collapsed on the sidewalks, holding up the walls, were the drug addicts — stringy-haired, bleary eyed and smelly. Because sidewalks are hard and cold, a lot of the druggies would migrate to the green strip of the Panhandle or into Golden Gate Park itself. While the Panhandle quickly became off limits for us children, we still went to the Park quite often — but were always carefully warned about needles in the grass and bums in the bushes.
The hippies weren’t just an aberration. They were the beginning of a deep rot that set into the City. Some of them remained as anchors for the homeless who still pepper San Francisco’s streets, making those streets unsafe or just very, very unpleasant for ordinary people. Others reformed their lifestyles, but kept their Leftist, SDS influenced politics. They grew up, got jobs, bought homes, and became people of influence in the City. Their influence wasn’t immediately obvious. During the 1970s, the City just drifted along. Self-realization and self-actualization and general self-involvement hit the middle class with a bang, with the result that everyone was running around seeking his bliss, pausing only periodically to do some navel gazing.
The City’s gays, contrary to the film Milk, weren’t in a perpetual state of political activism during the 1970s. Instead, they were glorying in the hedonism that was part-and-parcel of escaping the dark closet in which they’d lived for so many years. I can’t say that I blame them — it was a giddy feeling to be free to express a long-hidden sexuality — but the results were deleterious. It’s not healthy for a City to have a neighborhood that’s dedicated to sex, a rather obvious principle that is entirely separate from the fact that the Castro and its myriad bathhouses proved to be perfect Petri dishes for a burgeoning fatal disease that would soon sweep the world.
Entire text here:
Well it’s about time someone spoke up and started caring about the city, state and our nation. It warms my heart to read your piece, I know that sounds weird but it does. In the next year if we don’t stop this crazy administration I’m afraid to think what this great country is going to look like. There is an uprising developing out there which Washington can’t see coming at them. There are so many conservative groups forming and coming together that you have no idea. Don’t believe what the left tells you about conservatives because they have been lying to you for years about us. We believe in the constitution, fiscal responsibility, and protecting our country from the Islamic terrorist that are trying to destroy the western world. As you can see under this administration we are in big trouble. Reach out to us and we will be there, we want the same thing you do. We need to get rid of all the politicians in office, some are ok, but not many. In CA we have to clean the slate. I know we don’t agree on everything but we probably agree on more things than you think. Again thank you for speaking up here’s to a better year.