San Franciscans like freedom and not freedom. In this way they’re kind of like God: they giveth and then they taketh away.

On one hand, San Franciscans are crazy in love with civil rights. They think everyone should be married at least once, and they pretty much assume that marriage is going to be even more magical between same-sex couples.

You can tell this by the preponderance of artistically placed Prop 8 stickers on people’s messenger bags or decoupaged onto hair barrettes. The political hair barrette actually got its start in San Francisco, because if there’s anyone who can say niche with the right inflection it’s a San Franciscan.

A San Franciscan is like the reverse of a Republican when it comes to the regulation of morality: a freak in the street and a lady in the sheets.San Franciscans believe that it is everyone’s civil right to hold one-man protests in the middle of the street for any reason whatsoever. You should see how a single person can stop traffic on Market Street for hours using nothing but a peace sign made out of their fingers. San Franciscans don’t like to be late for work, but they’re willing to do pretty much anything to make way for someone else’s civil disobedience.

This is not to say that San Franciscans believe people should be able to do whatever they want. A San Franciscan is like the reverse of a Republican when it comes to the regulation of morality: a freak in the street and a lady in the sheets.

In other words, San Franciscans just made it illegal not to compost. How they’re going to regulate this is a problem that the law enforcement of the city will have to figure out, but it will undoubtedly involve many jokes about Gavin Newsom’s hair.

It’s also unclear what San Franciscans are to do with the contents of their newly acquired compost buckets, but it is unlikely that they will use it to fertilize their victory gardens. While San Franciscans may love civil liberties and also not civil liberties, this doesn’t mean that they love America. They just want everyone to be able to get married next to a chia pet fertilized by apple cores that have never seen the inside of a plastic bag.

Image: Power to the Peaceful in GGP, IndyBay

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  • judy b.

    I started to enjoy this poking fun, until I reached your punchline. It is a matter of opinion whether God likes gays as much as I do, but it is a matter of fact that we are running out of space to store all the spent lube tubes. Waste reduction has been an opt-in activity for decades, and too few of us have joined the movement to make it work, so someone has to push the issue or we’re all going to be buried in our own rubbish. We already have a garbage island bigger than Texas floating in the Pacific. Can we really afford to laugh and proclaim that future generations will have to peel our table scraps from our cold, sarcastic fingers?

    Oh – and BTW: The compost is sent to the farms that raise the food that creates the waste that makes the compost that fertilizes the crops that… THAT’S some circular thinking I can get into.

  • Able Dart

    As usual with SFAppeal articles, I don’t know whether to laugh or barf. This is a pretty apt description of transient yuppies who live in the Mission, Inner Sunset, Noe, etc. and of the prevailing desired opinion among the political establishment. That is to say it’s an affirmation of their prevailing values of ideology as self-affirmation. The problem is that most people in the City really don’t think that way, or if they did once, they grew up.

    The writer also forgets that there is a difference between the practical values one is compelled to live by and and the romantic values people impossibly aspire to. The later is amplified in local public opinion. Sooner or later the young romantics (those who have not been forced out of the city by high housing costs and the difficulties in our schools), ahem, “grow up”. Nevertheless, many, if not most San Franciscans, the people who do not slum in the author’s favorite cafe, or who do not write crank letters to the editor, are in fact grown up.

    The only thing wrong with the composting law is the how and why of its implementation. It’s window dressing, not real public policy. And because this city’s press seems to captivated by the values of the political and chattering classes, symbolic policy is all we get, and all we get to hear about. Shouldn’t the Appeal be doing something different?

    As for the comments on sexual mores, perhaps the article is more on target. Apart from the various out communities the City’s chattering classes do seem to comport themselves in private in a manner almost, I dare say, prudish, if not furtive. I don’t date political people anymore because all too often it ends up like watching a David Lynch movie.

  • be_devine

    Don’t go buying your worms yet, there’s no law that says you have to compost. The law simply says you have to put compostables in the green bin. Just like there’s a law that say that you have to put your trash in a trash can as opposed to, ya know, tossing it out your back window. We can all agree that laws that tell people where you can and can’t throw your trash are good things, no?

    As for enforcement, I doubt there’s going to be any real enforcement. The law seems more intended to increase awareness and spark public discussion about putting compostable in the green bin than it is to actually prosecute offenders.