Cities of Contradictions

I like the San Francisco Bay Area a lot. Here is similar to many of the places I enjoy or have enjoyed or could enjoy living; they have a consistent theme. San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Cambridge, Austin, Madison -- the connection is, of course, a liberal political environment. The San Francisco Bay Area might well be the hub of all such places in the USA. Ann Arbor is certainly more liberal as an entity but SF and Cambridge etc. share their space with a larger metropolitan area and that necessarily means a lot more purple shading and not a pure blue political mapscape.

For some reason the contradictions of this place seem more acute. Mind you, I am not just living in the liberal environs of the Bay Area, I am now a resident of the People's Republic of Berkeley. Yet even here the political contradictions abound. In fact, the insular nature of left-wing, eco-fascist, world-beat, recycle your disposal diaper land begins to look frighteningly like a right wing communist pluralistic oligarchy, if you don't share the current politically correct flavor of the month. I mean if you don't intend to vote against war, you had better not try to run for Berkeley City Council. I mean the last big war here was devastating here, the potholes still pockmark most city streets.

But as I said, I like it here. More often than not toleration is the theme of the debate. I wonder how it feels to be a liberal in Montana or Idaho? What is the most liberal place in the north central US? And which university calls that city home?

Pictures: To answer the question posed by a reader the other day. "What comes first the picture or the text?" Well, most of the time I try to conform the pictures on my blog to the topic I have already written on. And I do have a stash of photos I really want to use some day. Today, however, the picture came first and inspired me with contradictions of politics and place. Oh and yes, for you east coasters, mid-westers, southies and others, that is the Golden Gate Bridge.
photo credit: friendsofirony.com