The Fourth of July in San Francisco, like everything else in San Francisco, is different. Just ask Rob Morse, the San Francisco Chronicle‘s local ethos columnist. This from his July 4 column.
San Francisco has a slightly different kind of patriotism than the rest of the country. Last week, signs on the door of Rainbow Grocery in the Mission said it was closed June 29, the day of the gay pride parade, but it would remain open on July 4.
Of necessity I’ve been reading Morse for the past two weeks we’ve been here in S.F, and he actually is a useful thermometer of the new multiculturalist fevers. Actually, “fevers” is not the best term; multiculturalism is becoming more like a new religious awakening. Listen to Morse all but shout out in tongues as he visits a museum.
At San Francisco’s new Asian Art Museum, I had another knock-you-over patriotic experience — although the place was so crowded, it was impossible to fall over.
It was Tuesday, and as is always the case on the first Tuesday of the month, admission was free. The museum was jammed with descendants of the people who crafted all those stunning artworks from China, Japan, Indonesia, India and Iran. All ethnic groups were represented, not just Asian Americans.
A young African American couple carried their newborn baby past stone Hindu gods. Two elderly Chinese American ladies chatted next to brass faces of the Buddha. An Anglo American couple walked in wonder past Indonesian daggers and puppets.
Rich or poor, the enthralled museum-goers were connected as citizens of the world, nation and Bay Area. And these living human beings were as beautiful as the art.
These people have inverted the American motto. Their contrasting vision is “Out of Many, Many.” I like diversity as much as the next guy (well, O.K., not as much as those who justify racial discrimination in order to produce it), but I’m not ready to make a religion out of it yet.
Ah, you might be thinking, I’m being too hard on this guy Morse. He’s probably just a tolerant, humanitarian people-lover. Nope. Afraid not. He only likes diverse people. He appears to want normal American people to go back to America where they came from. Excerpts from his June 30 column, “Yonder come hot tourits–avert thine eyes.”
When the heat broke … everyone came out of whatever dark holes they had been hiding in during the previous two days’ heat tsunami, and showed up downtown in shorts.
The long and short of it is that there are two kinds of shorts — tourist shorts and local shorts.
Local shorts look as if they’ve been stuffed in the bottom of a drawer for a year — which they have…..
Tourist shorts are pressed, neat and accessorized with rolls of fat over the waistband.
Recently, some scientists claimed that people who live in “good walking cities” like San Francisco are thinner than people who live in “bad walking cities” like Atlanta….
Sure enough, a family of rotund tourists walked toward Union Square at lunchtime Saturday, with obese mom and her not-yet-obese little daughter engaged in the synchronized munching of Fritos.
They were oblivious to the horror of locals. Imagine coming to San Francisco and eating Fritos. At least stretch those shorts with deep-fried calamari and support our fine restaurants….
Sun dresses. Ah, yes, sun dresses….. As we sat at our sidewalk table with our Virgin Marys (or Bloody Shames, as my mother called them), all the young local women were out in their sun dresses.
You could tell they were local women by their gym-dandy musculatures. Fortunately, tourist women don’t wear sun dresses….
At the cable car turnaround, there was a huge line of tourists, displaying acres of flabby flesh that once was the complete line of Frito-Lay products. Gotta love those tourists, though. Can’t look at them, but can’t live without them.
You can say this for the gay tourists who came for the parade, though. Most of them look better in shorts.
To the degree that columnist Morse (if you read him again, does that mean you suffer re-Morse?) speaks for his readers, tolerance in San Francisco would seem to extend as far north as the Golden Gate, as far east as the Bay Bridge, and as far south as an imaginary line just before the “little boxes made out of ticky tacky” in Daly City.