Jive turkey progressivism
Last week Tim Redmond, political editor of the SF Bay Guardian, told us that "There is no effective Iraqi government and no hope that anything resembling normal elections can take place." This was shown to be untrue within days, as the Iraqi people turned out in impressive numbers to vote for a new government. Not surprisingly, this week Redmond doesn't revisit his thoughts on Iraq. Instead, he tells us, "I've always liked graffiti." Here's an extended quote to give you the full flavor of Redmond's cluelessness:
Yeah, some of it's gangland stuff, and some is just lame scribbles, and some people seem to get a thrill out of defacing other people's murals, which is mostly annoying (although you can argue that one too). But I've never seen much point in the city using its scarce resources to try to crack down on this sort of "vandalism": this is a big city, and unauthorized public art is part of big city life, and at its best, it gives the city a nice flavor.
Yes, indeed, the city is now spending more than $1 million a year[Later: Not even close. Try $19 million], because the overwhelming majority of people in the city hate graffiti/tagging. Next time you see a small business, a public building, or someone's home defaced by graffiti/tagging, just try to think that it's "unauthorized public art," in Redmond's euphemism, not unsightly vandalism by infantile jerks encouraged in their anti-social behavior by aging "progressives." Redmond ends his column with this:
As Glen Helfand and Lori Spears report on page 33, skateboard graffiti art is now a big deal---museums are doing shows on it, rock stars are collecting it, galleries are showing it...it's like outlaw artists' revenge. You have to love it.
Not unless you have the mentality of a backward 12-year-old you don't. What this shows is that Redmond's juvenile aesthetic tastes dovetail conveniently with the Guardian's commercial interest in pandering to the so-called youth culture. But it's still pathetic that a middle-aged guy---a journalist, no less---thinks a culture designed by and for delinquent children is lovable. Redmond's example prompts me to designate still another variant of city progressivism: we already have Punk Progressives like Chris "Rincon Towers" Daly---Critical Mass, shouting matches, slammed doors, intimidation, tantrums, etc.---and now we add Jive Turkey Progressives---old, middleclass guys trying in vain to be hip, as exemplified by Tim Redmond.
Progressive Matt Gonzalez also thinks graffiti/tagging is pretty cool.
Here's an example of the kind of intellectual rebellion Redmond and the Guardian encourage in the young. Oliver Wang approvingly quotes a hip-hop lyric: "Why'd they let the Terminator win the election?...Why'd the president knock down the towers." (SF Bay Guardian, Jan. 17)
Aks your momma, punk.
I thought of calling this item, "Why Progressives Will Never Win Another Citywide Election in San Francisco," after Norman Mailer's novel, "Why We Are in Vietnam," which was only indirectly about that war.