Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What Trump Does For Me

Trump makes me feel that I'm not crazy because of how I felt when I moved from Austin to San Francisco to attend grad school in '94-'95.

I'd moved there after being in Austin for 10 years. Went thinking SF was still the town of Jack Kerouac and The Beats --- i.e., loose and creative. I was wrong. The writing program at San Francisco State was rigid and PC. I was mocked (by educated people) for being from Texas ("what do you do there for fun, toss cow chips?"); I was mocked for admitting (when asked by a poetry professor) that I'd been reading Norman Mailer the summer before; I was mocked by my thesis advisor (Frances Mayes, of "Under the Tuscan Sun" fame) for mentioning to her that my mother was German ("Germans always deny the Holocaust"). I was shut down when an in-house girl was going on about Ted Hughes, claiming that he'd "killed" "TWO wives" --- she wouldn't be placated when I pointed out that Assia Wevill was never a "wife."

Other crappy things: While there, I read in the paper that a girl "went missing" and then was found stuffed down a chimney. Her companions were identified, but the local police didn't follow up for months. Oh, until it turned out the girl had rich parents and subsequently put pressure on the police to figure it out. They didn't do it on their own.

I also hated the 1995 mayoral election that occurred during my time in SF: A black guy, an Asian, a lesbian, the incumbent "white guy," etc. The town claimed (and claims) to be "diverse" but the mayoral election was just each niche voting for each niche. The "black guy" Willie Brown won in a runoff, with the support of the "official lesbian" Roberta Trachtenburg, who'd lost earlier in the primary.

I hated that SF, while I was there in '94-'95, passed a law forbidding smoking on the streets. ("Never in Texas," I thought to myself at the time -- HA!) I hated that in SF I got a ridiculous ticket for jaywalking. ("Never in Texas," I thought to myself at the time -- not quite there yet.)

I hated the black guy on the bus who wouldn't pay his fare, even when a nice old white lady tried to hand him a dollar, thinking that he was poor rather than his just being an asshole thug trying to argue. We passengers sat there and sat there and sat there while the thug argued with the driver over nothing. I remember thinking "I wish I were back home in Texas; no self-respecting white guy would ever put up with this guy's shit."

I hated walking into a record store in San Francisco, and seeing "REDNECK" graffitti scrawled across a stand-up of George Strait. (When I lived in Texas, I never saw a similar "NIGGER" graffitti on any black artist's face in a record store.)

When I worked part-time in a movie theater on Geary Street, a female patron once came up to me at the popcorn stand and mentioned that she heard my "Southern accent." When I said I was from Texas, she whispered "conspiratorially": "I love Texas --- but there are too many MEXICANS." I was taken completely aback --- Living in Texas, I'd never thought anything about Hispanics or any other groups. In Texas, I'd never, ever heard any such thing as "There are too many Mexicans." Never until San Francisco, a so-called "diverse" town.

Another couple of racial things while I was working at the movie theater: One time, a group of teenaged Asian kids tried to sneak into the theater without paying. When caught, they actually yelled (to no one in particular) "You're all racist!" (The manager of the Geary Theater was Asian, by the way.) Another time, a couple of black women tried to sneak in; when I personally caught them, I got "Frizzy-haired white bitch!"

(A side-note: Years later, in 2003, I went back to SF for a showing of Joan Crawford's "Mildred Pierce" and meet-up with other Joan fans, mainly gay. While there, I was informed by a gay male Joan fan that there was a party that night --- but just for gay men. Solely because I was a woman, I wasn't invited. San Francisco in a psychotic nutshell.)

San Francisco was a shit-storm of chaos and irrationality. When I high-tailed it home to Texas the minute after getting my Master's degree, I thought I'd never have to see such idiocy again. In '95, that was the case. By 2016, though, I discovered that, to my horror, San Francisco "ethics" had somehow spread, like a cancer, across the country, into the formerly laid-backly rational Austin, into all national media. All that had so horrified me in SF had suddenly become the norm for the nation.

No escape, EVER? Trapped in a nightmare for the rest of my life?

After over 20 years... And after seeing the same cancerous psychotic behavior turn up nationwide... As it turned out... Trump might just be the escape. The last gasp of rationality. He sounds crude on the surface, but he actually makes nearly perfect sense.

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