Frisco Dwellers don’t LA; Never Have, Never Will

If this were a college class, it'd be Rocks for Jocks
If this were a college class, it’d be Rocks for Jocks
Maybe you’ve been out of state and had some wit tell you that they hate Los Angeles “but love San Francisco.” This is a commonplace sentiment among easterners (around here, we believe that easterners start at the San Bernardino County line). Here’s an explanation: San Francisco is a tiny, transparent town. It’s easy to understand because it’s small and because it’s a self-conscious imitation of eastern cities, themselves often self-conscious imitations of European cities. It’s visually appealing in a facile way. It’s got pretty houses and the “bad” neighborhoods, such as they are, have been suppressed and relocated to the point where tourists don’t have to go there. Their local burritos are just exotic enough to thrill but not so different from Chipotle™ that they disconcert the outta-towners.

San Francisco is exactly what easterners expect from a city and the weather’s better and the executioner’s face is always well hidden. So they “get it” immediately and love it instinctively, like tourists love Denny’s because the food’s the same wherever they are. Frisco dwellers crave this universal approval, too. They’re addicted to an extent where, like junkies, they need a big dose of tourist-love-bombing daily just to feel normal. Like sex addicts, they continually need yet another piece of strange or they’ll forget they exist. For over a hundred years they’ve been letting this addiction distort their city’s culture and politics to make it even more pleasing to easterners.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, is fractally complex. One can live here for half a century and not have begun to understand. If San Francisco is a Disney cartoon, Los Angeles is Finnegan’s Wake. As our good friends at Libros Schmibros say: “Los Angeles is like your brain. You only ever use 20% of it, but imagine if you used it all.” Los Angeles is what it is and doesn’t need to worry about what anyone thinks of it. And if tourists don’t get it, we’re fine with that. If they got it, they’d already be living here. But enough with the localism and let’s get to the point, such as it is.

Desaturated and blurry John Tronson
Desaturated and blurry John Tronson, looks like surveillance video but it’s not
In the clip embedded below, from the October 16, 2014 meeting of the HPOA board, you can see some guy whose name our correspondent didn’t catch talking with John Tronson and Kerry Morrison about how marketing research shows that Frisco dwellers have a negative impression of Hollywood as a tourist destination. They also say that in 2006 they decided that it was better not to try to sell Friscoites on Hollywood tourism because it’d be better if they didn’t come than if they came and hated it. Now, though, they all agree that HOLLYWOOD IS READY!! 2014 IS THE YEAR FRISCO PEOPLE WILL LOVE US!1!! The BID is slavering at the prospect of pleasing Frisco people, who themselves have spent their entire lives as citizens pleasing easterners the better to feed their neurotic addiction to shallow approval. The BID is going to spend actual money on an advertising campaign to accomplish this.

Tronson et al. are deluded, though. It doesn’t matter how much these BID folks “clean up” Hollywood, how many helpless homeless people they terrorize, how many bottles of cheap wine they confiscate, no matter how many trapped, desperate people Grand Security Über-Wazir Steve Seyler of Andrews International mocks in his monthly reports to the BID, nothing will help. Friscans hate Los Angeles because their enabling tourist base hates Los Angeles. They don’t understand Los Angeles (no one does, really) and they hate what they don’t understand. At least, unlike the BID people, Franciscanians mostly stay away from what they hate, rather than trying to grind it, hammer it, torment it in a vain attempt to warp it into something they can sell to tourists. BID people, you might as well save your marketing money. If you attract Frisco people, they will tell everyone they hate it here, even if they like it. Especially if they like it. That’s how neurotic they are. Consulting fee waived. You’re welcome.

Image of San Francisco licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license via Wikimedia Commons here.

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