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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Here's San Francisco's Version of American Patriotism

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM

click to enlarge America! - COLIN YOUNG-WOLFF
  • Colin Young-Wolff
  • America!

Recently, a press release landed in our inbox (several press releases, actually) announcing the breaking news that Gainesville, a small Texas town north of Dallas, was voted "Most Patriotic Small Town" by USA Today and Rand McNally. While San Francisco is probably too big to be considered a "small town," that doesn't mean we won't drape ourselves in American Flags with the rest of them. And just because we don't allow guns in bars (or Denny's for that matter) doesn't mean we aren't patriotic!

We present the following evidence that S.F. is not merely a gay, hippie drug fest of burners and naked drum circles, but one that also loves the good ol' U.S. of A.

Our millionaires support the Occupy movement

The Bay Area-founded Patriotic Millionaires, which is now a national organization comprising wealthy individuals who lobby the government to increases taxes on those who earn more than $1 million a year, i.e. the 1 percent, i.e. them. Folks in the group come from local businesses like Google, Aardvark, and Esprit. Of course, not every superrich person in the Bay is on team 99 percent, but still, it's pretty cool that a group of heavy hitters is also batting for us little guys. America! Home of the brave!

Star-Spangled Hammered

The Star-Spangled Banner, aka our national anthem, is actually a drinking song (the music, not the lyrics), and if there's one thing the Bay Area does well, it's booze. Obviously, there's Napa, which has more than 250 wineries. Almost all of our museums have alcohol-filled events, and! Here's some fun history trivia. Back in the great earthquake of 1906, many buildings were destroyed, including churches and other revered buildings. What commercial buildings weren't destroyed? Why Ghirardelli's first chocolate factory and A.P. Hotaling & Co's whiskey warehouse. This pissed off local clergymen, who thought the earthquake was "divine retribution" for our sinful ways, which prompted poet Charles Kellogg Field to pen this ditty:

If, as they say, God spanked the town
For being over frisky,
Why did He burn the churches down
And save Hotaling's whiskey?

We love servicemen!

We support our men and women in uniform so ardently that we have SEVERAL street fairs, bar nights, and festivals dedicated to them. To wit:

click to enlarge U.S.Gay! - MIKE AND JEN CASH
  • Mike and Jen Cash
  • U.S.Gay!
click to enlarge Looking for a few good Seamen - C.S. MUNCY
  • C.S. Muncy
  • Looking for a few good Seamen
click to enlarge Star Trek's George Takai rocks the boyscout uniform for Pride. - C.S. MUNCY
  • C.S. Muncy
  • Star Trek's George Takai rocks the boyscout uniform for Pride.

We live to serve

Monica Lewinsky is from here. Was there ever a citizen so devoted to serving our president, and by proxy, our great nation? We think not. This cigar's for you, Monica! Or, you know, insert your own joke from 1998.

Chartering new territories

Speaking of service, the United Nations Charter was signed here in our fair city. We guess that sort of counts toward world patriotism, and not U.S. patriotism, but, hey, caring about world peace is pretty damn patriotic, if you ask us, or if you ask every Miss America contestant ever.

Jeanius

Denim jeans, a staple of American fashion, were invented here by Levi Strauss, for the Gold Rush miners who apparently kept destroying their clothes with pick axes or something. Denim jeans are a testament to American spirit: tough, resilient, and adaptable to every style and situation.

Mobs rule!

Okay, we don't know if this quite counts (if any of this counts really), but we consider the Mafia to be an important part of American history, even though they are conspicuously absent from most history textbooks. Then again, history books often tend to brush over that whole Native American genocide thing, so, there's that. But, Francis Ford Coppola wrote large portions of his famous Godfather trilogy here in S.F., in Caffe Trieste, which is also the first San Francisco coffee shop, established in 1956.

Speaking of mobs, Al Capone died of syphilis in Alcatraz ... proving he had a lot of sex? We love sex here! America!

We are pioneers

San Franciscans are unique, entrepreneurial, and think outside the box. For instance, Washington Square Park in North Beach isn't actually a square -- it has five sides. Also, North Beach isn't a beach, and that statue in the middle of the park? It's not George Washington, or any other famous Washington. It's Ben Franklin. We admit that Franklin Pentagon Park would've sounded a little, well, square. Still.

Movies were birthed here

Eadweard Muybridge (he's British, forgive his weird-ass name spelling) was a photographer who became famous for his S.F. and Yosemite landscapes, and for pioneering the first moving pictures, aka motion pictures, aka movies. Here's an animated GIF based on Muybridge's work.

File:Muybridge race horse animated.gif

Speaking of movies, did you know Marilyn Monroe married famous baseball player Joe DiMaggio in S.F.'s City Hall? Baseball! Movies! America!

Cable Cars
We may not have a Medal of Honor park, but we do have the only moving National Historic Landmark. We speak, of course, of our cable cars, which cart almost 10 million tourists and denizens alike each year. If you haven't been to the Cable Car Museum, you should. It's free, for starters, and it only takes about 30 minutes to really get the experience.

Balls Bridges of steel

The Golden Gate Bridge has enough steel wires in its cables to circle the earth's equator 3.5 times. We don't really know what that has to do with America, but it's damn impressive. Take that, Superman.

Antique Slot Machines

We have a museum dedicated to arcade games and gambling. That is all. There's even an opium den machine involving a miniature dragon. America!

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook. Follow Anna Pulley at @annapulley.
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