Thursday, October 30, 2003


One of the things most vexing about living in the Bay Area is you never know when, where or how you're going to be politically assaulted. The birthday party mentioned below is a case in point.

One memorable altercation took place on opening day of the 2002 baseball season at Pac Bell Park. Immediately following the National anthem and just prior to the start of the game the fans were directed to the large screen scoreboard in centerfield. "Ladies and gentleman, a message from the President of the United States". Remember, this is only a few months after September 11th and people were still waiting for the other shoe to drop. The extra security served to remind everyone of potential trouble. There was definitely a tension present that was separate from the game.

The President's face appeared and he began to speak. After one or two seconds the sound of booing could be heard. By the end of his 15 or 30 second talk, the boos filled the stadium.

Not San Francisco's finest moment.

One thing people forget about 9/11 is that estimates of the dead were 30,000 to 50,000. Each week the estimates dropped, however several months later the number 10,000 was still being thrown around.

The point is, in San Francisco you never know when you're going to get blindsided like that. One moment singing the Star Spangled Banner, the next moment booing the Commander in Chief.

However, if you're a centrist and ever plan on attending an art show around here, its a pretty safe bet you will be assaulted in some way. I'm to the point where I'd almost be disappointed if I don't see anything that lowers the bar of taste and skill, to say nothing of historical perspective, morality or enlightenment.

Che Guevara, Salvadore Allende and Malcolm X depicted as angels with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft shown as demons is common. Lots of pro-Palestinian "art" to complete this journey into the moral swamp. At an "Open Studios" event two weeks ago, I started out upset by what I was witnessing, but by the end of my lap I was quite amused by it all. They are all such sheep. Silly, really.

Even with the proper mental preparation, you can still be stunned. Last weekend, at another "Open Studios" featuring scores of artists, I was came across a wall with a dozen or so pieces of children's art. A note in the center from the art teacher indicated that these students were from a public school and the items were for sale for a buck apiece.

What was upsetting was that all but one were of the "No War" variety. Actually, the last one may have been, as well. Hard to tell since they were probably middle schoolers whose talent was only slightly more refined than their politics. Half of the others I would categorize as anti-American.

Kids simply cannot understand these types of issues. Teaching children to hate their country is exploitive. Indeed, radical political indoctrination of children is a form of child-abuse. Yes, radical. Yes, child abuse. Worse still, it is being promulgated in our public schools with public funds.

In hindsight, I wish I'd torn one down and written a note for the "teacher" on the reverse side and slid it under the door...along with my dollar.


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