Recently, amongst the Bay Areans in my social networks, a blog post was being passed around. It was a humorous piece by Rocket Shoes – a SF based blog run by a funny man with great taste in music, checkout his mix-tapes – outlining A Day in the Life of the Modern San Franciscan.
I read it and chuckled, certainly able to relate to or recognize a number of the stereotypes. But my immediate reaction was: why so cynical? Isn’t it cool that someone gets to work a creative job that starts at nine? Don’t you move to a dynamic city to experience it? Aren’t viral videos funny because, well, they’re hilarious?
With these questions and more bouncing about my head, I stood atop my anti-cynicism soap box and declared to two friends via gchat that I was going to write a counter-piece; A Day in the Life of the Modern San Franciscan; Sans Cynicism.
I started writing it, determined to convey my appreciation for the metropolitan beauty I had moved to just one year ago. I was going to strip away the sarcasm and ‘tude and highlight a place I’ve undoubtedly come to love.
But it was tough to write a compelling piece without unnecessarily romanticizing some glaring faults. I love public transportation, but MUNI sucks; I shouldn’t have to layer in mid-July; I spend too much time on social networking sites; I pay too much for the irony of dive bars; I’ve come to accept steep rent.
Now I’m not going to flip this into a social rant, dissecting the merits of human-to-human contact versus the time suck of turntable.fm and google+ or the drone of day-to-day. But once in awhile it’s not a bad idea to take a gander into the mirror and ask: am I just living a day in the life? Am I static and predictable? Where’s the originality?
Ok, so I’ve moved off one soap box and onto another, an existential one at that, but having wanted to get back into blogging and having done nothing about said desire, Rocket Shoes’ satirical if not cynical expose was eye opening. Was I driven to write my rebuttal because reading R.S. was like reading my own memoir? Had R.S. looked deep into my soul and pointed out my insecurities about living a monotonous, unoriginal and inauthentic existence? No. But it did hit a little close to home and it’s good to have the boat rocked a little.
I did write that less cynical piece but it read just about the same. I capitalized on stereotypes and bitched a little about this, that, and the other. Sure, I gave a few more shout-outs, perhaps showing a touch more appreciation. But ultimately I grew to appreciate R.S.’s perspective: laughing at the day-to-day can keep us sane. It certainly helped me.
It’s good to be back.