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July 9th, 2008

Your Stereotypes About California Are Probably Wrong

I’m a native Californian, raised alas in Maryland.  But I was born there, and half my family tree is there.  So I have a somewhat stereoscopic view of my birth state.  I see it from both within and without.  The land of fruit and nuts, as they like to joke, ironically, out in America’s heartland.  Ironic, because if you put the heartland nuts together in the same room with the California nuts the only way you could tell them apart is the California nuts would have a better tan.

One good thing to come from the same sex marriage decision out in California is that the rest of the country can see how batshit crazy the California republicans have become in recent years.  And in particular, the rest of the country can see how coastal California is not central California.  This, from Box Turtle Bulletin… 

We told you in June about the lunatic idea that Randy Thomasson and the Campaign for Children and Families came up with to try and have Kern County Supervisors put an ordinance in place restricting marriage to the opposite sex.

Not surprisingly, the County’s counsel informed them that this was unquestionably unconstitutional. And the County Supervisors decided that inviting lawsuits that they were guaranteed to lose was not a wise decision.

In a WorldNetDaily article before today’s decision, Thomasson had these words to say:

“This will be as inspirational as the Alamo, without the guns, knives, blood or death,” he said.

…because everybody knows hate mongering gay people doesn’t result in their blood or death. 

Dig it.  The county clerk’s office ended all civil marriages in Bakersfield, after consulting with attorneys from Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, rather then marry any same sex couples.  Then the kook pews there decided it would be really swell if Bakersfield in effect, just declared itself a separate state.  It’s not the Alamo they see themselves as, so much as the Confederate States Of America.  Probably, much of coastal California would love to see it leave.

There are conservative, mostly rich suburban enclaves in coastal California.  But their contempt at having to share paradise with the hired help is nothing compared to the bitter fanaticism of the central agrarian part of the state where the concept of what America ought to look like differs very little from that of your average heartlander.  The San Joaquin Valley is more like Kansas then it is the Pacific Coast, and Bakersfield more like Lubbock Texas then San Jose.  The America of their dreams is straight, white, protestant, and run by the good old boys.  The rest of us exist just to pick their cotton. 

It’s a shock to some folks back here in the east to see that part of California rear its ugly head.  But it’s as much a part of the state as the Golden Gate.  My home state, Maryland, is fairly democratic and tolerant.  During prohibition, we were dubbed the "free state" because we wouldn’t pass a state enforcement law.  H.L. Mencken wrote here for the Baltimore Sun.  But we also gave the Union Justice Taney and Spiro Agnew.  California was the first state to legalize inter-racial marriages and now to legalize same sex marriages.  It has in San Francisco one of the most vibrant and politically active gay communities in the world.  In Silicon Valley, it holds the creative cutting edge of information technology.  There is Hollywood and Disneyland.  There is Rockwell International, Lockheed, and Northrop.  The human potential never had it better then in California.  It is a place of magic.  But you need to remember it also gave the Union Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

2 Responses to “Your Stereotypes About California Are Probably Wrong”

  1. Tavdy Says:

    "raised alas in Maryland"
    Huh? I can think of far worse places for a gay white boy to grow up. Like Zimbabwe, Iran, Texas…

  2. Bruce Says:

    …Louisiana, South Carolina, Missouri, Idaho, Southern Virginia…

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