Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New cliches, please

Barack Obama has been pounded as an "elitist" for saying that white males in places like Pennsylvania are clinging to guns and religion because they're bitter. And, of course, San Francisco is getting pounded because this is where Obama said it. Pat Buchanan snarled something about this city's "Chablis-and-Brie set."

Sorry, Pat, Chablis and Brie are for people in places like Pennsylvania. Give us a local artisanal cheese and microbrew anytime.

Okay, so we're elitist, and doesn't everybody want to be part of some kind of elite? At least we're not part of the shock-and-awe set, the oil-and-blood set or the Yale-and-Harvard neo-conservative set. The lie-and-spin set that conjured the war in Iraq is the worst kind of elite.

Even San Francisco elitists can be bitter, though, just like any unemployed Pittsburgh steelworker. No matter how elite we consider ourselves, there's always someone more elite. There's always someone richer, and he or she just might be a math student at Stanford. There's always someone more environmental, with a scheme to turn plastic bags into mosquito netting for Africans. There's always someone who gets to the new hot restaurant before you.

There are always people in San Francisco who beat you to the next big fad. For all I know, failed elitist that I am, it just might be Chablis and Brie. But I'm kind of stuck on Bud and Laughing Cow, because reverse snobbery is the only way to go in a place as expensive as this.