Sunday, January 7, 2007

Dispatches from an alternate universe

Image via Digby.

Apparently the fine folks at Fox News want us to believe that Nancy Pelosi wants to "turn" the country into San Francisco, and expect us to recoil in terror. We have to assume that they know their target audience well enough to be reasonably certain that at least a good number of them will, in fact, believe it and recoil.

Who are these people?

San Francisco is one of the nation's great cultural centers. It's arguably the most beautiful major city in the country, geographically and architecturally. Would it really be so awful if Gary, Indiana (for example) "turned into" San Francisco?

I don't understand how people can really buy into this "turning into" concept, anyway. It would obviously be impossible for Gary to turn into SF in anything remotely resembling a literal way. I assume the main thrust of this is anti-gay bigotry and "concerns" about gay marriage (but I repeat myself!), since San Francisco is so associated with gay culture. But why try to tarnish Pelosi with Teh Gay in this indirect, geographic way?

Some people on the right apparently regard large portions of the country as somehow not being "real" America. Yet they claim to be the only true patriots. I don't understand this. Surely if you despise some of our largest and most iconic cities, you're at best a qualified patriot. Some people on the right take this to pretty absurd lengths; Bill O'Reilly, for instance, once infamously fantasized on air about SF's total destruction.

I don't think there's anything quite comparable to this on the left. I am as close to the mythical coastal elite liberal as a person can be and actually exist in this world, but I don't think Texas or Kansas is any less truly American for all that, or any less worthy of continued existence.

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