Friday, February 8, 2013

In Defense of SF

Sometimes I lose it a little bit. Just a tiny bit. A scintilla of losing it. 

That may have happened last night.

Linds linked me to a post on Jezebel titled "Of Course the Most Annoying Craigslist Ad Ever Is From San Francisco". 

Go ahead. Read it. I'll wait.

The link was accompanied at the bottom of an email she sent, the subject of which was, "Did I black out and write this article?" Where she said:

Because I feel like I did.

Not in a creepy often way, but in a sometimes when I'm day dreaming way, I peruse craigslist in San Francisco to soothe my shingled nerves about the possibility of moving there. That move, any move, is a lot, ya know? Dealing with credit, finding people I can stand, living in a place I can feel I belong, yada yada yada. I consider it a comfort to see a place where I feel I could reside; indeed, even domicile (gasp!).

Well I came across this honey of a nugget on jezebel during a networking event tonight. I don't want to ever drink kale, i hate the french, bicycles (plural) are a liability concern and I don't trust anyone named after a boat docking facility.
*shingle pop.
This is why I get nervous. Maybe I should move to New York.

My brain went all stabby in response. This is the point where you really have to read the article to get what we're talking about. I'll continue to wait.

I was overly tired having had my first day at a new thing (not paid, don't get excited), and even though I didn't really do anything at this new thing on my first day, the hour adjustment was screwing with me and there's just, ya know, life stuff. So anyway, I fired off an expletive laden response. But I stand by it! Here's what I said:

See, as a snarky, sarcastic NATIVE who eats red meat and has never, to my knowledge, eaten, let alone drank, kale, this shit pisses me off.

First of all: the update where of course no one took it as sarcasm is perfect. Way to be a great writer, jackass!

Secondly: distilling all of SF down to some hazy utopian dream is as lazy and trite as thinking all of Boston is like Good Will Hunting or all of NYC is Sex In The City or all of, sorry, L.A. is fucking weird. All Southerners are dumb! All Yankees are uptight WASPS!

It feeds into the worst stereotypes. And I realize that stereotypes exist for a reason. Parts of them can often hold true. There ARE guys from South Boston with wicked accents. There are idle rich NYC women. L.A. remains fucking weird and there are some dumb southerners. And SF has French speaking, kale sipping, yoga going people. BUT. Any city is whatever you want it to be. I am a beer drinking, wing eating, sports watching, romcom obsessed straight girl who lives here and makes it work at dive bars and pubs and with a tight knit group of hilarious friends. I've still never had any fucking kale. (I wish I liked it. I really did. I'd love to lose weight on kale smoothies. But

So no. You can live in SF and not ride a bicycle (I don't even own one). You don't even have to take Muni (I love my car). You can eat whatever you want because hey! We're actually really good at making food here!

Even within SF this lazy stereotype doesn't hold. Sure, that may be some folks in the dogpatch looking for a roommate. But then what if the blue collar folks in their 3rd, or greater, generation in my 'hood were looking for a roommate, how would that ad look? What about all the Russians in the Richmond? What about the hipsters smacked up against the hispanic immigrants in the Mission? What about the art school students in the Haight next to families? Hayes Valley? The Marina? The Panhandle? They'd all have different slants. This city fucking contains multitudes. Which is why, as I originally posited, it can be whatever the fuck you want it to be. So I'm gonna keep eating wings, watching sports, walking Land's End, wishing I was thin, and being me because good lord doing that on a daily basis is hard enough without having to worry about what everyone else thinks about that. Especially when who is thinking it is some lazy fucking Jezebel post by some girl who spent five fucking minutes here. *drops mic*

I will say that not trusting anyone named after a boat docking facility is fair. Though I really have no idea what you have against the French because talk about bitchy. Those people kick ass at the bitchy and I love them eternally for it. And they've somehow managed to combine the "chill" vibe of here with the bitchiness of New York. VIVE LA FRANCE!

And that I just defended a place that, as fate would have it, I want out of SO BADLY annoys me. But. It's like a sibling. I can talk whatever shit I want about SF because I have actual honest to god roots here, going back over a hundred years. Anyone else wants to talk shit? I'll cut a bitch.

Not my most articulate, well reasoned work, but I still think a fair take down of what I can't imagine is anywhere close to the most annoying craigslist ad ever. (Also: I realize getting upset about this is the same as getting upset about everything in Thought Catalogue ever or in...that other one where they make the same "SF neighborhoods are like..." analogies over and over. But I was having a moment!)

My issue isn't really with Linds reading of the piece. I'm a little sad that she can be so easily swayed by a craigslist ad and a takedown post of it, but to each his own. Also: what does anyone have against the French? Seriously. The French are awesome. (Actually, I know what Linds' has against the French: we did law school study abroad the same summer. Because I separated myself from the 49 other idiot American law students I was with and actually explored Paris and she didn't, her view of them is far less kind than mine. The larger group of people spent after the first week lamenting all the things they missed about America and hanging out together being every stereotype of an American abroad you can imagine. I, introvert that I am, went off wandering by myself and loved just about everything about the place. Still: not liking the country of triple creamed cheeses and the home of champagne? Come on!)

What I still can't get over is that the original author of the ad thought that was supposed to be sarcastic. She must really not know what sarcasm is.

No comments:

Post a Comment