May 11, 2019

"No place tries like California, a mind-set as much as a place. California always leans toward reinvention. It is closer to the future than anywhere else."

"Nothing feels permanent, even without earthquakes and fires. So it is with the Warriors. It is so California to come up with something cool and coveted, and at its peak try to lift it to something bigger and better, risking all that made it cool in the first place. It is why In-N-Out Burger expanded to Texas, why Levi’s made Dockers, why skateboarding is joining the Olympics. Will Apple, with origins in a suburban garage, ever be as loved as it was before it grew big enough to build a $5 billion headquarters that looks like a spaceship? Will the San Francisco skyline ever be as beautiful as it was before the Salesforce Tower rose like a middle finger to the city’s low-slung aesthetic, amid a rising fist of preening (and leaning) towers? The Warriors did not need to leave the grit of Oakland for the gloss of San Francisco. They chose to do so...."

From "The End of the Warriors as We Know Them/No matter how they finish in the playoffs, the Warriors will leave Oakland in a move that is quintessentially California, where reinvention has long been a state of mind and a force of nature" by John Branch in the NYT.

This gets my "coolness" tag. There's not as much discussion of coolness as there used to be. I think we're losing our grip on coolness... or maybe we don't care anymore or the culture doesn't give us room to care.

ADDED: The Wikipedia article on coolness — "Cool (aesthetic)" — breaks it down into 5 parts: 1. a behavioral characteristic ("defiance behind a wall of ironic detachment, distancing itself from the source of authority rather than directly confronting it"), 2. a state of being ("composure and absence of excitement"), 3. aesthetic appeal ("widely adopted by artists and intellectuals... a shield against racial oppression or political persecution and source of constant cultural innovation"), 4. fashion ("deviation away from the standard uniformity of dress and mass-production of dress, created by the totalitarian system... disengagement [limiting] thoughts of worthlessness"), and 5. epithet ("a general positive epithet or interjection").

Lots more at that Wikipedia article, including the history of the concept. Excerpt:
"Aristocratic cool", known as sprezzatura, has existed in Europe for centuries, particularly when relating to frank amorality and love or illicit pleasures behind closed doors; Raphael's "Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione" and Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" are classic examples of sprezzatura....



Sprezzatura means, literally, disdain and detachment. It is the art of refraining from the appearance of trying to present oneself in a particular way. In reality, of course, tremendous exertion went into pretending not to bother or care.

English poet and playwright William Shakespeare used cool in several of his works to describe composure and absence of emotion. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, written sometime in the late-16th century, he contrasts the shaping fantasies of lovers and madmen with "cool reason," in Hamlet he wrote "O gentle son, upon the heat and flame of thy distemper, sprinkle cool patience," and the antagonist Iago in Othello is musing about "reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts."

The cool "Anatolian smile" of Turkey is used to mask emotions. A similar "mask" of coolness is worn in both times of stress and pleasure in American and African communities....
AND: On reflection, "maybe we don't care anymore" reveals the paradox. It isn't cool to care. And how can you have "grip on coolness"?! It's a paradox. Try and it will be gone.

134 comments:

Mr. Groovington said...

“or the culture doesn't give us room to care”

And there it is. Comments now closed.

David Begley said...

No connection between all those events and an NBA team moving. The team moved for the money. Real simple.

Psota said...

This interpretation of the Warriors' move is overblown.

The Warriors are a SF Bay Area team, not an "Oakland" team. They are just moving across the Bay. Heck you'll probably be able to see the old arena from the parking lot of the new one!

Otto said...

Coolness is pure vanity.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"California always leans toward reinvention. It is closer to the future than anywhere else."

Embrace the Coolness of Bakersfield.

stevew said...

Coolness is an assertion of superiority which these days is an aggression and so not allowed.

rhhardin said...

Our charter flights across the Pacific started from Oakland. I didn't know it was cool at the time.

Mark said...

So a sports team is relocating across the bay or river or whatever separates the two. This really falls into the BFD category -- it especially should be for someone who writes for a paper on the other coast.

M Jordan said...

Obama exposed coolness for the vapidity it is. He destroyed it just as he destroyed comedy.

MadisonMan said...

It's hard to be simultaneously cool and outraged. Try as they might, leftists have not made outrage cool.

mccullough said...

They were originally the San Francisco Warriors. So they are just returning after a long time.

Of course, the owners want to move to where the money is now that the team has been very good the last six years.

Steve Kerr criticizes Trump a lot. So does Steph Curry. They are Woke. And Rich.

The Warriors are just greedy like every one else in California. They’ll give a few bucks to the Oakland downtrodden to show what swell guys they are. But they are greedy. Very greedy. Not good people.

wild chicken said...

Coolness is pure vanity.

Nonsense. Modeling coolness helps keep others from losing theirs. Panic is contagious.

Aunty Trump said...

Cigarettes made you look cool because of the anti-anxiety properties of nicotine.

Aunty Trump said...

“Moovin’ on up! We finely got a piece of the pi eiei ei ay ei"

Fernandistein said...

Coolness is an assertion of superiority which these days is an aggression and so not allowed.

Now it's cool to be a victim.

tcrosse said...

There's a scene in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox meet after a long absence, and try to out-cool one another. Ford wins by greeting Zaphod in an off-hand manner.

chuck said...


The article sounds overwrought. Not cool.

Michael K said...

Obama exposed coolness for the vapidity it is. He destroyed it just as he destroyed comedy.

He was an excellent example of how cool and empty California has become.

This week's example of how ridiculous CA has become is rebuilding Paradise, the burned out city, has been stopped by endangered frogs.

Endangered frogs in California are making it difficult for state officials to decide on regulations that allow fire crews to clean up debris left from a deadly fire in the town of Paradise.

Clean-up crew have been barred, however, from entering approximately 800 sites because of frog species that have halted rebuilding and clearing efforts as state and federal seek an agreement on environmental guidelines, The Sacramento Bee reported Friday.


The Governor's rep denies things are being held up but:

Republican state Sen. Jim Nielsen and Republican state Assemblyman James Gallagher called the situation “absurd” and said that “frogs, birds and waterways are causing work to stop in some areas,” according to the Bee.

wildswan said...

Thought Experiment - Will prolife ever be cool? I remember talking to a high-school-age relative within the last ten years and describing prolife, that it is defending persons who have been declared non-persons and who cannot defend themselves; and, also, that it is opposing an attempt to lower the percentage of blacks in the US to an ineffective cameo level. He then said "When I listen to you, I think your position should be the cool one but it isn't at all." But I remained cool and just said: "Think about it."

Ann Althouse said...

"No connection between all those events and an NBA team moving. The team moved for the money. Real simple."

Au contraire! That is the connection! Doing things for the money is what destroys the coolness. Much of the coolness in American culture had to do with adapting to not having money and not having hope or desire to get money. In an America where people engage with the economic motivations and go for it, they won't be cool and they don't need cool.

Why are Trump's "deplorables" so uncool? Because they believe if they work hard and behave responsibly, they can live a comfortable, gratifying middle class life (as long as the people who don't work hard and don't behave responsibly are prevented from colluding with the government to take away what they have earned).

Sebastian said...

""The End of the Warriors as We Know Them/No matter how they finish in the playoffs, the Warriors will leave Oakland in a move that is quintessentially California, where reinvention has long been a state of mind and a force of nature" by John Branch in the NYT."

This gets my BS tag.

But the Warriors did briefly reinvent themselves as their old selves last night.

If only California did that, dispensing with prog absurdity, this country would be a better place.

David Begley said...

California is the golden country. So many great aspects to it, but it has been mostly ruined by liberalism.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Gah. That quoted Wik article on "cool" almost entirely misses the mark on sprezzatura. The Wik for sprezzatura, and plenty of other sources a quick google will turn up, are corrective.

Bay Area Guy said...

Shortly after the Summer cf Love in '67, my folks and their Hippie friends made the pioneering pilgrimage from NYC to Ann Arbor to San Francisco in a beat up van.

Far out, Man, the sunny West Coast was hoppin'.

The Vietnam War was hot. College deferment gave my Pop and his Pals an out. Ronnie Reagan was Governor, Tricky Dick was Prez, but that didn't deter the great migration West.

Sunshine and rainbows, girls with long flowing hair, lotta dope.

Tuition at UC Berkeley was cheap, maybe $100/year. It had been free.

Housing was cheap - parents bought a modest home for $27K in a suburb of SF. Now, worth close to $2 Miil.

The Warriors were my team - Rick Barry, the only white guy on the team, guided them to the championship in '75. Oakland Coliseum - no SF fans allowed. Nose bleed seats were $4.00. BART ride was $1.85.

LA was even better - summers at the beach - take Topanga Canyon out to Malibu. Surf's up, Dude! California dreaming.

I never left, but the Left has taken over. Geographically, it's still the same. Much innate beauty. But politically, socially, culturally, and economically? Very different. Too expensive for younger generation. Raiders moving to Vegas, Warriors going chi-chi to San Francisco. That's how they roll.

"All the leaves are brown....and the sky is grey..."

Temujin said...

Cool has left California. If you've been out there in recent years, you'll have seen that. There's nothing cool about it anymore. Unless you think creating a world similar to that in the movie Elysium is cool.

The glory that was San Francisco is long gone. It is so not cool to walk around a colorless, dirty city that smells of urine and shit. Oakland? Who, aside from old rabid communists has lived in Oakland for years? If this team moves from Oakland to SF, does anyone notice?

California was cool for decades. It was the cool engine that seeped into America almost from it's start. But it has become worn, used up, and no longer a place to emulate or follow. You want to see where America moves forward? Look to the Southeast. Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Orlando, Raleigh. Look to Texas- Dallas, Austin, Houston. I know that's a hard one to acknowledge in NY, but they need to get out a bit- and I don't mean flying from coast to coast. In & Out Burger? Heck...look at Chick-Fil-A.

Michael K said...

Blogger David Begley said...
California is the golden country. So many great aspects to it, but it has been mostly ruined by liberalism.


Yes. Sadly, I have watched the decline, over 30 years, until I left.

We go over for our kids every few months and my wife takes a day or two after we get home to recover from the stress and noise.

Our daughter lives in Santa Monica and that is the only place we go where we see lots of homeless. She used to work in an art gallery 100 feet from Venice beach. What a grimy place !

Phil 314 said...

“Coolness is an assertion of superiority”

Nope, I reject coolness. To be honest I do try to dress to a point where someone might say “ that looks good”. I do try to turn a phrase in such a way that it generates a knowing laugh or a “well said”. But I have to reject those desires. They play to my selfishness and self destructive nature. I have to remind myself that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

I’m not cool.

JAORE said...

I think of the expressions on runway models. Widely considered among the most beautiful of creatures. Paid extravagantly. Paid to display clothing eagerly, hungrily demanded by the rif-raf.

Look at their faces (sometimes called heroin sheik) they are bored, above it all. Aren't we LUCKY they even showed up!

JAORE said...

chic, not shiek.... sheesh.

David Begley said...

“Housing was cheap - parents bought a modest home for $27K in a suburb of SF. Now, worth close to $2 Miil.“

Now there’s a capital gain! Don’t sell. Let the kids inherit. Step-up In basis.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

Yeah sure, the Deplorables will surely now consider California “cool”.

What makes Deplorables so uncool? Being dupes to Trump’s lies. Not any of the things you listed.

Oh brother.

JackWayne said...

Reinvention sounds a lot like what people do when they move away from Cali to a better place....

Quayle said...

What's there to live for?
Who needs the peace corps?
Think I'll just DROP OUT
I'll go to Frisco
Buy a wig & sleep
On Owsley's floor

Walked past the wig store
Danced at the Fillmore
I'm completely stoned
I'm hippy & I'm trippy
I'm a gypsy on my own
I'll stay a week & get the crabs &
Take a bus back home
I'm really just a phony
But forgive me
'Cause I'm stoned

Every town must have a place
Where phony hippies meet
Psychedelic dungeons
Popping up on every street
GO TO SAN FRANCISCO...

How I love ya, How I love ya
How I love ya, How I love ya Frisco!
How I love ya, How I love ya
How I love ya, How I love ya
Oh, my hair is getting good in the back!

Danno said...

"California always leans toward reinvention. It is closer to the future than anywhere else."

Read about Victor Davis Hanson and the problems he sees when he stays at his family farm in the Central Valley. Talk about a third world shithole.

chuck said...

What a grimy place

Currently at a hotel near the University of Berkeley campus for an on campus work meeting. Run down and grimy perfectly describes my sense of the place. And those noisy Warriors fans at dinner last night were annoying, but at least they were a sign of life.

n.n said...

It's the warm climate, fair weather, and rising ("waves") ocean. Gnarly, yet awesome, even cool.

TJM said...

If Kalifornia is the future, then the future is bleak indeed. Kalifornia has morphed under the tutelage of the Demtards into a land of haves and have nots, a real third world shithole. We need to build a wall around it so they crazies stay there.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Read about Victor Davis Hanson and the problems he sees when he stays at his family farm in the Central Valley."

VDH is a national treasure. My favorite. He got a PhD in classics from f&cking Stanford, but couldn't get a teaching gig, so had to work at his family farm. Eventually, got a professorship at Fresno St, where he taught for decades.

In a sane world, VDH woulda been Dean at Harvard, teaching thousands of students the history and traditions of the West.

For you Non-Califormians, the Pacific coast has most of the glamor cities, everything east of the water is farm and desert (like Fresno).

Derek Kite said...

California isn't cool, it is rather warm. Accentuates the smell of human feces.

Read the descriptions of new York when it was crime ridden and dangerous. Edgy, cool. A place to move away from as soon as possible.

Lipstick on apig.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Begley,

"Now there’s a capital gain! Don’t sell. Let the kids inherit. Step-up In basis."

Sheesh, I wish! My stubborn old Mom still lives there, probably will make it to a 100 and outlast me! And then my ne'er do well Leftwing siblings will raid it like scavengers and donate half it to Bernie Sanders.

Can't win:)

EAB said...

The Warriors are leaving for the same reason the Raiders are and the A’s always threaten. Oakland hasn’t been able to build a new arena or stadium. It’s sad to see them move. I wish Oakland could have gotten something done down by Jack London Square. But, my biggest hope is they retain the Golden State name.

Speaking of “cool”... a friend in SF emailed this to me last night. “Holy Fuck! The number of whacked out drug addicts downtown on a Friday evening is head spinning.”

Lyle said...

Put an In-N-Out on top of Half Dome California. Drones can serve as the supply chain.

Carol said...

Now there’s a capital gain! Don’t sell.


Before you die, put the kids on the title. Haha - surprise!

Seeing Red said...

It is why In-N-Out Burger expanded to Texas,

After finally eating that crap I figured it expanded to TX because Texas served worse crap.

Bay Area Guy said...

San Francisco is totally wacked out. Rich Dem politicians run the show (Feinstein, Willie Brown, Pelosi) and now they have 2 protégés (Kammy Harris & Gavin Newsome). They all live in Pacific Heights, far, far away from the druggies, needle users, AIDS activists, feces cleanup squad and other unpleasantries in the Tenderloin & Civic Center.

Young single people often move to SF after college to work and play. But after you find the right gal (male perspective), you move across the Bay to start a family. Not a good place to raise kids.

Wince said...

"No place tries like California, a mind-set as much as a place. California always leans toward reinvention. It is closer to the future than anywhere else."

Perhaps my earliest iconic impression of that California promise is not only OLD but has been reduced to a collector's plate.

This plate features Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred in that famous moment in episode 100, "California Here We Come," where they are driving to California.

Seeing Red said...

Yeah sure, the Deplorables will surely now consider California “cool”.

What makes Deplorables so uncool? Being dupes to Trump’s lies. Not any of the things you listed.

Oh brother.


So says the woman who was duped by the Benghazi video and collusion. Lololol

How’s that log in your eye?

Okay, okay, I’ll admit I believed Trump when he said I’d get tired of winning...
NOT YET!!!!


Am I duped by the 3.2% growth quarter or were you duped by the new normal?

IF we could retire Obamacare, it would have been 4%.

Otto said...

No one was cooler than Solomon - rich, smart, handsome , women everywhere ,race horses, race cars, great leader and cool under fire. All vanity.

Fritz said...

Oh hell, the New York Giants home stadium is in New Jersey, but "New Jersey Giants" just sounds uncool.

Bay Area Guy said...

One correction re east California:

The Northeast is not desert and farms, but beautiful mountains and forests - talking Alpine County and lovely Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada.

It's a big state. Very big. Too bad the Left has hijacked it, politically. They are misguided, highly flawed people.

gilbar said...

California has ALWAYS been about makin' money

Even before the Gold Rush, California was about makin' money (selling cowhides to New York for shoes)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Years_Before_the_Mast

After that, Gold!, after that, Trees! after that, Borax! after that, Aeroplanes! after that Missiles!
After the Cold War? Software? Why?

California NEEDS to make things, things in demand; Things you can't make cheaper in China (or Texas)
What's left, California? What's your next big thing? Better come up with something fast

Unknown said...

George Washington was cool:

He has a dignity which forbids familiarity mixed with an easy affability which creates love and reverence.
—Abigail Adams

rcocean said...

The GS warriors have NEVER been cool. They've always been a dull team. There are only 4 "cool" NBA teams: Lakes, Celtics, Knicks, and Bulls. That's it.

As for California it was "Cool" until the 1960s. Beach Boys, Hollywood, surfing, etc.

Then it got filled up with people who wanted to turn it into New York West. And they succeeded. And soon it will be China East.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@rcocean:

Then it got filled up with people who wanted to turn it into New York West. And they succeeded. And soon it will be China East.

Mexico North with a Chinese technocratic class. Never mind the rampant gang violence and social breakdown. Look how many taco trucks they have now!

J. Farmer said...

@Bay Area Guy:

Young single people often move to SF after college to work and play. But after you find the right gal (male perspective), you move across the Bay to start a family. Not a good place to raise kids.

Steve Sailer labels this his theory of "affordable family formation."

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

they have to use pressure-washers to remove the 'cool' from San Fran streets

Wilbur said...

'75 Warriors: Jeff Mullins was white.

Seeing Red said...

How can a city be cool when it has an app to report shit and avoidance f same shit?

And they’re worried about measles. RME. This is the 21st. Century, not the Middle Ages. Trillions on sewage cleanup to stop diseases.

FullMoon said...

How can a city be cool when it has an app to report shit and avoidance of same shit?

Un-intended consequence of plastic bag ban. Homeless used to bag their deposits. Now, the city provides bags for dog shit in dog parks but not for human turds.

Other cities gonna learn the same lesson as banning single use plastic bags continues. Politicians do not have enough sense to learn from experience of L.A. and S.F.

Bay Area Guy said...

'75 Warriors: Jeff Mullins was white

He was! And he was slow and old, and rode the bench.

You get points for feverish attention to obscure detail:)

I think he was a star at Duke in the early 60s.

Yancey Ward said...

Not that anyone thinks of Oakland these days, but from the Wikipedia article on the city, it appears to be gentrifying over the last 20 years- lots of George Zimmermans.

Seeing Red said...

Or they think they’re speshul and it won’t happen in their city.

Tomcc said...

"... the city’s low-slung aesthetic... Que?

Wilbur said...

Bay Area Guy, I am a maven for sports detail. :)

Mullins was a very good player, but you're right - he was on his last legs by 74-75.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“The article sounds overwrought. Not cool.”

That’s what I thought. Beat doesn’t have a manual.

bagoh20 said...

Completely backwards on California. The reason it now sucks is that it can no longer reinvent itself. It's paralyzed by expense, rules, control freaks, and inertia. It's a rusted, broken, crowded relic, too attached to its own image of what it is to change when it needs to.

50% of the real estate market in Las Vegas, especially commercial is people and companies reinventing themselves out of California.

Narayanan said...

Connecting to earlier thread ...

Coolness ?= Alfred E Newman

So coolness comes naturally to Mayor Pete.

n.n said...

Ah, generational angst. Rebels with a cause and without a clue. Fight the power! Don't care, too much, sometimes, maybe, selectively.

dreams said...

Well, for the last few years California has been reinventing itself as an outside toilet.

bagoh20 said...

If you want to do something new and different, California is just about the hardest place to do it. Sure, there are innovative companies that choose to be there, but they choose it primarily for its weather and the fact that the young, skilled employees they need still believe in the California dream that is long gone. Lots of wealthy foreigners are moving in who think the place they see in TV and movies is real.

dreams said...

"75 Warriors: Jeff Mullins was white"

"He was! And he was slow and old, and rode the bench.

You get points for feverish attention to obscure detail:)

I think he was a star at Duke in the early 60s."


And a native of Lexington, Kentucky,

Skeptical Voter said...

I came to California as a young teenager in '56. San Diego was great; Berkeley for law school in the mid late 60's was "interesting". Oakland was a place where Gertrude Stein correctly asserted that "there is no there there".

In any case California, at the time, was a great place to live and grow. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be--and California from ~1980 on wasn't what it was. State government and progressive politics have strangled that innovative baby in its crib.

hombre said...

California simulates cool in the places where the rich people live and catch rays. The vast majority of the state is demonstrably uncool. Sometimes it’s not cool even where the rich live. For example, San Francisco, formerly cool, is where dogs now have to walk carefully to avoid stepping in people shit or on junkie needles.

My contempories grew up in SoCal in the 50s and early 60s. No place and no time were cooler. Hell, even Stockton of American graffiti fame was close enough to absorb some cool.

By now it’s tough to find enough people for class reunions. Those who haven’t died have fled uncool, welfare ridden, tax oppressed, “undocumented” infested, California.

Sad.

Yancey Ward said...

The tell for what California has become is that they couldn't build that high speed rail line from SF to LA for less than $100 billion dollars, and not do it in less than 30 years. Now, the project was a joke right from the start, but the cost and time tells you all you need to know about California's ability to really do anything as a state any longer. Newsom, at least, deserves some credit for killing most of the project, and some condemnation for not killing it entirely.

Narayanan said...

Now there’s a capital gain! Don’t sell. Let the kids inherit. Step-up In basis...

What happens on the inheritance tax assessment aspect?

Zach said...

The article should be written about the Raiders, who are abandoning an intensely loyal fanbase in Oakland to go to Las Vegas.

The A's and the Raiders are Oakland teams. They have loyal local fanbases who stick to their team even when the Giants or the 49ers are doing well.

The Warriors currently play in a soulless arena located by the confluence of two major highways. They're the only local NBA team, and you're just as likely to see a Warriors hat in San Francisco as in Oakland.



Yancey Ward said...

"What happens on the inheritance tax assessment aspect?"

I would assume that the stepped up basis serves as the inherited value for that purpose.

Zach said...

I suppose you can call Oakland "gritty," but it suffers from a bad combination of being run-down and dangerous, yet still quite expensive.

I think they would like to gentrify, but for that you want lots of people in their 20s or 30s seeking out cheaper places.

Narayanan said...

How come we're discussing NYTimes article about CA happenings?

What about media in CA?

Stephen said...

One of the cultural influences of the '60's (here we go with the Boomer references again) was Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media, which nearly everyone who took a social science course had to read. McLuhan introduced the concept of television as a "cool" medium, with cool being a descriptive, not a normative term. Whether the same content was delivered over hot or cool media had different effects on listeners/viewers/readers. 50 years later his ideas about "the medium is the message" seem obvious, but for me at least they have been a big help to self-awareness as new forms of information transfer have arisen.

Michael K said...

California from ~1980 on wasn't what it was. State government and progressive politics have strangled that innovative baby in its crib.

Jerry Brown killed the state. Partly was his deal with the government employees unions and some was his obsession with global warming. I know how her got started in his political career. The guys who owned the hospital where I worked got him first elected. One of them went to prison for it.

Cella was the state's largest political campaign contributor in 1974, when he lent and donated more than $500,000 to 60 candidates and causes in that year's primary and general elections. The recipients included many top local and state officeholders of the 1970s, including Controller Kenneth Cory, Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally and Secretary of State March Fong Eu. Cella mainly supported Democratic candidates even though he was a registered Republican.

That began the decline. A couple of Republican governors held it off for a while but those days are gone.

Big Mike said...

I just read that there is difficulty rebuilding Paradise, CA, after the Camp wildfire. Seems there is a permitting delay due to a potential habitat issue for an endangered species of frog. Typical of California -- if you find something not yet wrapped in red tape then wrap it up right a-freaking-way.

(Yes, state officials claim that there is no delay. They would say that if there really was no delay and they would cover their asses if the frog habitat was leaving people with no ability to rebuild their properties. So, trolls, save your keystrokes.)

gilbar said...

Completely backwards on California. The reason it now sucks is that it can no longer reinvent itself. It's paralyzed

That's what i was trying to say.
Hides, Gold, Missiles, etc; it USED TO be able to reinvent itself continuously.

What was the last reinvention? Reinventing itself as the shithole of the USA?

exhelodrvr1 said...

The Warriors are moving because they will make more money. That's not a "reinvention" and is in no way "cool."

AZ Bob said...

The NY Times writer doesn't know his history. The Warriors left the gritty Cow Palace in Daly City for the gloss of Oakland.

Quaestor said...

Will the San Francisco skyline ever be as beautiful as it was before the Salesforce Tower rose like a middle finger to the city’s low-slung aesthetic, amid a rising fist of preening (and leaning) towers?

Forget the skyline, take a long, hard look at the sidewalk... and then a sniff.

Leland said...

The truth is the national media that cover sports is pissed that they now have to visit Oakland and not stay in San Francisco. Just like they prefer Boston, if not NY, and LA to face off for the championship. Everything else is just a means to that end. And yeah, they'll take SF instead of LA, but they rather have LA. LeBron failed them, even after giving them what they wanted, leaving Cleveland.

Marcus said...

I learned what "cool" was when I watched West Side Story (the movie). Over 58 years later, it has been my go-to word for what I like, displacing soft challengers such as "rad" and "awesome".

Pro sports is NOT cool. Period. Stories such as these are boring and meaningless except to a few. The uncool.

THEOLDMAN

traditionalguy said...

People are happy because they have wine ,good food and romance. After that overthinking screws life up. Fear is always man’s only enemy.

cubanbob said...

California is a wonderful place to live if you are rich enough to live in the wealthy enclaves and don't mind paying the taxes for the favor.
Unfortunately for most Californians that isn't their reality. So on balance not cool.

Earnest Prole said...

Both Left and Right are highly invested (for diametrically opposed reasons) in denying that Northern California is a platonic exemplar of Wild West, Gold Rush, creative-destruction capitalism. The evidence is everywhere here if your eyes are not clouded by ideology.

Fen said...

The article sounds overwrought. Not cool.

It's for the people that leave 50 Shades of Gray on their coffee table.

...or the people that STILL leave 50 Shades of Gray out on their coffee table.

Depending on how you look at it I guess - it's for the crowd into the latest hip cool thing that was sooooo yesterday. LOL.

MadTownGuy said...

"While the world winds down to a final prayer
Nothing soothes quicker than complete despair
I predict by dinner I won't even care
Since I gave up hope I feel a lot better.
"

walter said...

California is asspirational.
A place where this could be published with a straight face:
"Opponents pointed to the concerns from sheriff’s organizations, saying it tied officers’ hands, allowing serial thieves, chronic drug abusers and gang members to slip through the cracks. Supporters countered that the Trump administration was trying to paint all immigrants illegally in the country as criminals."

https://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-california-lawmakers-take-final-action-1505534909-htmlstory.html

rehajm said...

In N Out burgers are gross. If you want a salad get a salad. Don’t put it on your burger...

Chic Fil A has great salads. Get nuggets on them!

Bay Area Guy said...

Up until about '65, Berkeley, Yes, the People's Republic of Berkeley, was a Republican, small business, chamber of commerce town, with a big famous beautiful university at its center, that was practically free.

Think about the reverse incentives - tax dollars from plumbers, welders, carpenters, and painters were being used to subsisidize mostly spoiled white kids to attend a prestigious university, greatly enhance their earning potential and get laid by fairly attractive hippie chicks in the process.

That can't last forever.

As late as '85, yearly tuition at Cal was only $1,300. Easy to make that in the summer.


wwww said...

I knew several people who went to Stanford or lived in the city for a few years. They all left before they started their families. Not a good place to have a family. One in a million dollar home in the Nashville area, which gets you a lot more house. Another running a B&B in Maine.

Joked with friends about how we work to be uncool. As one friend put it, "I aspire to live in the suburbs."

buwaya said...

Earnest Prole is behind the times.

I got here in the 1980's when it really was a creative-destruction gold rush.
Upstarts were killing off market leaders that weren't even a decade old.
That is most certainly gone.

Around here you have to keep up, what was true-er in 1999 or 2009 is not true now. Whats happened since the 1990's is an ever more congealed system, with established big companies that are in no danger of being killed off by small and hungry rivals.

What you have now are monolithic consolidated industries. The creation part is more and more outsourced (the actual engineering), and there is no destruction.

Fen said...

The article should be written about the Raiders

Yup. I don't even know who the Warriors are. I keep wanting to say Garden State Warriors, is that a college football team? Shrug.

But then I think basketball is a silly self-esteem sport. The noteworthy moments being when an offense does NOT score as opposed to when it does. It averages 100 goals per game, and most outcomes depend on who has the last shot

102-101. 88-86. 114-113.

If you played a new game right after with same teams? Same result but likely reversed

101-102. 86-88. 113-114.

What a stupid sport.

buwaya said...

To be fair about San Francisco, the streets really are clean, surprisingly so given the homeless population. If you want to avoid these sights I can tell you what to avoid. And the current situation is not greatly worse than it was 20 years ago.

The worst part about raising children here is that there are very few other children.

Fen said...

Bing says Garden State Warriors are amateur baseball in New Jersey. See? I knew I heard the name somewhere.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

In general, the left give lip service to small business, but they do everything they can to impede it. Stomp on it. Strangle it. Stifle it. punish it.

traditionalguy said...

California sucks compared to the Russian Empire territory of Alaska that has all the oil and all the traditional Americans.

Amadeus 48 said...

JFK was the epitome of cool. Discuss.
Steve McQueen had cool for breakfast every day. It is the breakfast of champions. If so, why? If not, why not?
Frank Sinatra knew more about cool than any rapper will ever know. True or false? Why?
Elvis was not cool. Keith Richard is. Give arguments on both sides.
Who had more cool: Johnny Carson or Jay Leno?
Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, etc. are not cool. They try too hard to look like they are not trying too hard. Discuss.

gilbar said...

Elvis was not cool. Keith Richard is. Give arguments on both sides.

Elvis was TOTALLY COOL
He married his 13 year old 2nd cousin
he was 1st cousin's with Mickey Gilly
he was 1st cousin's with Jimmy Swaggart
he was forced to go on before Chuck Berry, and when he finished; poured a coke bottle of lighter fluid onto his piano... Set it on fire, and walked out saying to Chuck
"Top THAT, N*****!"

Now, That; is THE DEFINITION OF COOL
oh, wait... that wasn't Elvis at All.... Never Mind

Michael K said...

As late as '85, yearly tuition at Cal was only $1,300. Easy to make that in the summer.

I could earn enough to pay tuition at SC in a summer in 1960. I sent my kids to SC in 1985 for about $7,000 each for tuition and room and board.

All those things are now out of reach for most. By 1987, my son told me he could hear automatic weapons' fire at SC every night.

My youngest went to U of Arizona in 2008 and tuition went up by a third before she graduated.

Fernandistein said...

JFK was the epitome of cool. Discuss.

I've no interest in JFK, a product of newspapers and such, but checked out heartiste.wordpress.com because he had some very insightful posts and pictures regarding "cool" and "alpha male", and, since "insightful" = not PC, the censors now tell me:

++

heartiste.wordpress.com is no longer available.

This blog has been archived or suspended in accordance with our Terms of Service.
For more information and to contact us please read this support document.

++

Elvis was TOTALLY COOL

No he wasn't. He was an FBI stooge.

He married his 13 year old 2nd cousin

No he didn't. That was Jerry Lewis, the piano player.

Fernandistein said...

Keith Richard is.

I saw an fairly recent interview with him on some TV show (Fallon?), and he claimed he liked "vinyl" and "analog" better than digital, which reminded me that musicians are demonstrably and measurably worse than the general public in identifying the technical quality of music, and audio in general, in ABX tests; it's actually pretty funny (I blame it on hearing loss and an overactive, romantic imagination). So that was just stupid because vinyl is bad and he was spouting a sort of bogus yuppy-PC kind of bullshit.

On the other hand, Keef's my favorite musician, songwriter and guitar player, and right now I'm listening to "Heartbreaker" live 1973(?) with Mick Taylor and Billy Preston.

Fernandistein said...

Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter - London - Sept 9, 1973
Mick Taylor's soaring "Arabic" scales are in the left channel. Pretty cool.

Earnest Prole said...

Mick Taylor's soaring "Arabic" scales are in the left channel. Pretty cool.

Made my day -- thanks.

Fernandistein said...

What a stupid sport.

Everything except fighting with various sets of rules is a stupid sport. Playing with balls is for children and...whatever.

Fernandistein said...

Made my day -- thanks.

¡No problemo! I just listened to it again - makes my eyes water.

dreams said...

"It isn't cool to care. And how can you have "grip on coolness"?! It's a paradox. Try and it will be gone."

Well, you know, some of us were uncool before it was cool or something.

MacMacConnell said...

Cool?
In their youth, the short list, Steve McQueen, James Dean, Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, Marlon Brandon, Sean Connery. The first five were known for their Triumph motorcycles besides being cool. Cool is in the eye of the beholder.
The only cool athlete was Broadway Joe Namath.

chickelit said...

Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter - London - Sept 9, 1973

I just realized that that must have been the show that a kid in my 7th grade class went to with older siblings. I was so jealous. He never returned for 8th grade that fall. I think his parents pulled him out of public schools and I lost contact. I did meet him again years later after high school -- he was selling shoes at the local mall. Now I see that he's an artist and a rabid anti-Trumper -- I mean worse than Inga is. I'll pass on re-establishing contact.

chickelit said...

Not a cool artist.

Earnest Prole said...

The Golden State Warriors are revolutionizing basketball by reviving technical skills that had fallen into disuse with the advent of virtuoso individual improvisation: passing, defense, utterly unselfish teamwork. As with American music, combining Black and White styles produced an alloy that rules the world.

tpceltus said...

"Where I Was From", Joan Didion...native Californian.

Narayanan said...

Was COOL vector gateway for nihilism into Americans culture?

PaoloP said...

I am Italian and I attended the Classical course in high school, focused on humanity lessons: Latin, Greek, Italian, art, literature.
The word "Sprezzatura" used by Baldassar Castiglioni, had no lasting impact or influence whatsoever: it's perhaps the second time I hear it in my life; it seems to me the usual rewriting of history so popular in left-wing circles. Those people have the inner urgency to project their current values in the past.

Joe said...

What a load of confirmation bias bullshit.

rcocean said...

"In their youth, the short list, Steve McQueen, James Dean, Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, Marlon Brandon, Sean Connery. The first five were known for their Triumph motorcycles besides being cool."

Marlon Brando was "Cool" for about 12 years. And then he turned into a fat, lazy, left-wing, slob. By 1980, he was as "Cool" as Jabba the Hut. McQueen, OTOH, died "cool".

Earnest Prole said...

Marlon Brando was "Cool" for about 12 years. And then he turned into a fat, lazy, left-wing, slob. By 1980, he was as "Cool" as Jabba the Hut. McQueen, OTOH, died "cool".

It's the Second Law of Thermodynamics: sooner or later everything turns to shit.

That's my phrasing, not the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Luke Lea said...

Abraham Lincoln used the word cool in a slightly different way. Perhaps Ann can put her finger on it.

"“We hear that you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that event, you say you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. "

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

"Au contraire! That is the connection! Doing things for the money is what destroys the coolness. Much of the coolness in American culture had to do with adapting to not having money and not having hope or desire to get money. In an America where people engage with the economic motivations and go for it, they won't be cool and they don't need cool."

In other words, having bourgeois values isn't cool. But that's not an American thing - it's European and goes back many centuries. The Euro aristocrats have always looked down on those who made their money "in trade" And since the Romantic Era, bohemian artists have also held the middle class in contempt (and sucked up to the aristocracy. Oscar Wilde is a good example.) Southern plantation owners aped the British aristocracy and thought themselves vastly superior to grubby, vulgar Yankee mill owners.

But that doesn't mean aristos and artists ever turned up their noses at money. Landed estates and the peasants who worked those lands once generated an awful lot of moola for their masters. Picasso might have started out living in a garret but he ended up being pretty damn rich. It takes a lot of money to be a Marxist hipster SJW in Brooklyn. And the music industry which rewarded Keef and the other Stones so handsomely is ruthlessly capitalistic.

It's always a laugh when Hollywood corporations make movies featuring villainous businessmen, as if the movie business is some little cottage industry, akin to hippies running a health food coop or making homemade soap.



Ray - SoCal said...

If the us gets into a trade war with China, what impact on So Ca that funnels a lot of imports from China and small sellers that sell them on Amazon.

Ray - SoCal said...

The Ca Assembly has 3 bills proposed that would do a real job probably on the rental market state wide.

1. Force everyone to accept section 8
2. Only allow for cause notice to vacate
3. 5% + CPI increases max per year

And the rent control initiative sounds like it’s coming back... amazing how much money the sponsor has.

rcocean said...

OMG, people who own property can't rent it out and jack up the price 10% a year. OMG - its...like Stalinist Russia!

Ever hear the words "Rent seeker". Its about parasites skimming off the top and producing nothing. When I lived in California, I can remember some jackass crying that he couldn't rent out his house for twice his mortgage payment because of Rent control.
And this was in the 1990's. He's probably still whining and making 5x as much.

rcocean said...

Here's what you need to understand about the rich. No matter how much $$$ they have - its never enough. Give them a $1 Billion and they'll wreck the country with illegal aliens so they make $1.1 Billion. Hey, as long as it puts $$$ in THEIR pocket...



Nichevo said...

RC, maybe things are different there but in New York City, rent control hit various neighborhoods like a nuclear weapon. Go drive on Eastern Parkway from Grand Army Plaza to Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn sometime.

Cannot recommend. Do not want. Avoid. What you need to control the price of housing is market forces, i.e., enough housing. My recommendation is simple: assassinate every activist and politician who opposes more housing. It's just not worth trying to convince them.

The best part is that eventually they'll overbuild and, as the saying goes, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. So you get your rich-bashing too.

Ray - SoCal said...

If Ca would make it easy to build, housing prices would go down fast.

Except for high end apartments, it’s not economical to build new units.

Rent control and these other requirements, is going to result in less building of units, more conversions to condos, and poorer maintenance.

Housing prices, that track multi family units, are at peaks in Ca. So the roi usually is not that good, sometimes even negative on the cap rate.

Michael K said...


Blogger Ray - SoCal said...
If the us gets into a trade war with China, what impact on So Ca that funnels a lot of imports from China and small sellers that sell them on Amazon.


That will probably be the effect. China will try to boycott farm products to pressure Trump. It won't work. He has already proposed subsidies drawn from 25% of the revenue from the tariffs if they try to hold out.

Absent the imbalance with the US, China has equal trade with the rest of the world.

From a comment to my post at Chicagoboyz"

It can be difficult to find consistent trade figures for China because of differing definitions, trade routed through 3rd countries, and exchange rate variations. With that proviso, here are apparent China trade figures for 2018:

China global exports…$2,294 Billion
China global imports…$1,935 Billion
China global surplus……$359 Billion
China surplus with US…$324 Billion
China surplus with RoW…$35 Billion (Rest of World)

90% of China’s global trade surplus comes from the US.