Sunday, March 01, 2009

Blast from the Past

I spent over five years as a student and resident in Santa Cruz, California--a little dabbling in the extremely liberal arts here; a little reporting for the local newspaper there. I felt I knew that city well.

Nevertheless, it was so shocking to see the following montage of "public comment" before the city council and board of supervisors recently.

Welcome to the patients-running-the-asylum bubble town that is Santa Cruz. Around the time I moved there, the mayor was giving away medical marijuana on the steps of city hall, a former Black Panther lectured at the university, and there was a spot in the middle of the woods where the center of gravity went awry ("The Mystery Spot"--they still give tours). The Daily Show had reported there twice, once referring to it as a town with "more dreadlocked white men per capita" than any other place in the nation.

And as for the city's politics, Santa Cruz had out-progressived Berkeley by several initiatives, making them look more akin to Orange County than your typical liberal college town. Among them: impeaching former president Bush, and immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. Welcome to the circus:

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