I’ve lived in SF for over 20 years and for the first 10 I was amazed at the acceptance of any sort of bizarre appearance or behavior. I came to think that, here, you can express yourself freely without any filtering.
I was wrong.
For instance, in SF, it is unacceptable to think bad thoughts – about yourself or other people. Think them if you must – it’s like falling off the wagon – but under NO circumstances do you actually VOICE those thoughts. Then people will know what you’ve been thinking. And God forbid should you ever YELL (unless it’s at an appropriate venue such as a Down with the Man parade). When you resort to yelling, the other party will get very calm, with a superior gleam in their eye. They can’t wait to talk to their therapist about how inappropriate you were.
SF is all about tolerance – the weirder and more gender qualifications you have the better. They tolerate an entire rainbow of humanity (except of course those know-nothings that live in the red states.) Tolerance is defined as keeping your annoyance bottled up at all costs, except on the freeway where nobody can see it’s you. (Come to think of if, if New Yorkers drove, they’d probably be much less confrontative in person. And if they were asked to drive only on New Jersey freeways, the murder rate could be kept low! – note to Bloomberg). Anyway, all this tolerance-practicing causes great internal stress, hence the boom in yoga. (Those Bikram people are raking it in. Bikram for those who aren’t familiar with it, is uniquely boring form of yoga that of course causes boredom –stress – and therefore more yoga.) And – of course – THERAPY!
It has been reported there are 2.6 therapists for every civilian in SF; there are 1.7 therapists for every therapist. The infestation is so bad that whole blocks have been razed trying to eradicate them. It has been proposed they be loaded on trains and sent to work camps in the Nevada desert. There they can work to pay off all the people they bilked and didn’t help because those people “weren’t ready to be helped.”
Maybe I’ve just become cranky in my middle age. If you overlook the smog of political correctness, SF is a place of great possibilities. A place to bring out the “inner you.”
But what if your inner you turns out to be from Hackensack??