Imperial SF

‘If you are going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in  your hair’ say the Mamas and Papas pop group.   Left wing, libertarian, lots of coffee to drink…peace brother!  San Francisco is supposed to be the antidote to the rest of the United States, but it’s been a bit of a mind bender to discover that San Francisco is not really that different afterall.  In Union Square in the heart of this great city is the Dewey Monument.  Admiral Dewey was a US navy hero who blasted the Spanish fleet out of the water (their guns couldn’t even reach the US ships) in 1898 in the Spanish-American War and this Nelson’s Column style monument celebrates that victory – but this is hippiedom? Wrong son.  San Francisco is apparently the frontier of Imperial Rome, the new Rome, a metropolis ready and willing to make sacrifices so the great white man could continue his unrelenting march westward to civilize the planet (the popular mythology here among the elites and civic leaders early last century).  Dewey’s victory led to Cuba coming under US control and a bloody war supressing an independence movement in the Philippines plus Puerto Rico and other territories becoming Uncle Sam’s.  San Francisco is celebrating the launch of Imperial America!  Damn! And there are lots of gung ho statues in the city celebrating progress and destiny of the mine it all up and crush the natives variety.  Interesting how the popular preception of a place can be so at odds with the popular history told by a city’s monuments.  Can someone erect a few monuments to the Beat poets and Gay rights to even things up please?

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