Thursday, June 8, 2023

If you're going to San Francisco, you're sure to find some feces on your shoes

After my freshman year at Oklahoma State University, I hitchhiked to Montana, hoping to get a summer job working for the National Forest Service. That plan didn’t work out, and I wound up working in a sawmill in the little town of West Yellowstone.

That was the summer of 1966, when young people were heading west to California, where the Beach Boys sang about a little surfer girl, and San Fransisco's Haight Ashbury district promised abundant marijuana and free love. 
West Yellowstone, where I was stuck, was merely a waystation for youngsters headed west, a place to refuel on pizza and Olympia beer.

"Are You Going to San Francisco" was a radio hit that summer and Scott McKenzie's lyrics seem to sum up the spirit of the day. "If you’re going to San Francisco," McKenzie sang, "be sure to wear some flowers in your hair." I recall standing on West Yellowstone’s main street, listening to that song on someone's transistor radio and wishing I had the money and the courage to go to San Francisco and hang out with the hippies.  When I arrived there,  the song assured me, I would find the gentle people I had been unable to locate in Oklahoma.

Fifty years later, I don’t think many people go to San Francisco to find gentle people or put flowers in their hair. The city is a mess. Homelessness is out of control, and deadbeats shoot dope and defecate in the streets.  Office towers suffer from a 30% vacancy rate, and retailers are moving out. Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Office Depot, and Walgreens, are fleeing Frisco to escape crime and rampant shoplifting.

San Francisco is the poster child for the downfall of American cities. New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major metropolises suffer the same malaise.

Every American should be alarmed by this trend because American cities are where creative people go to find opportunities. As Michael Marotta wrote in a blog essay, “The city is literally civilization. Cities--not nations or American 'states'--are the engines of creation and progress." Indeed, Marotta argued, "the American republic is culturally a very large city."

Unfortunately, most major American cities are run by idiots and race hustlers. They think they are showcasing their liberal values by enacting policies encouraging homelessness, shoplifting, and random muggings. They equate anarchy with personal liberty when in fact our individual freedoms are best protected in a society that respects the rule of law.

So if you’re going to San Francisco, don’t expect to find gentle people with flowers in their hair.  In today's San Francisco, you are more likely to find feces on your shoes.


Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

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