One thing I hate in movies is cheap emotional appeals. You see a sick doggy in a movie, of course you’re going to get tears in your eyes, but that emotion isn’t really earned. If, however, you watch Fred and Ginger fall in love during a dance, the tears are earned … the filmmakers have done more than just zero in on lowest common denominator parlor tricks.
When you attend a sporting event, there are plenty of cheap appeals to your emotions. Hell, pretty much the entire play list of music you hear at a game is designed solely to elicit an emotional response. There are classier ways to do this … when the Giants had Tony Bennett wander out onto the field early during Game One to sing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” that was meant to grab us, but in a different way from just playing Zombie Nation on the PA system:
Like I say, I hate cheap emotional appeals, and the idea that a sporting event can bring a community together has always struck me as a bit of an exaggeration … the Giants might win the game, but California is still going to be broke the next day.
But I can’t help myself … I’m being won over by the fans. In my personal version of what is happening, we are letting the country know that we don’t suck. I’ve always had an irrational notion that everyone outside of the Bay Area hates us … now we’re capturing the country’s attention, and not by toning it down. No, we’re being the same as always … “they’re smoking weed!” Fans of every sports team go a bit loony at times like this … Panda hats and fake beards and t-shirts proclaiming “Let Timmy Smoke” aren’t all that unusual. Except the reputation of San Francisco as a continuing hotbed of bohemia adds just the right kind of local color, so you think “of COURSE everyone thinks we’re pot heads … we ARE!” Perhaps my favorite part of the now-viral video of the Dallas newsman commenting on the weed smokers is when he notes that the cops aren’t doing anything about it. That’s one of the things that explain what this World Series seems to be about: we are San Francisco, and we are allowed to be San Francisco, and for once, the rest of the country sees lovable instead of goddamn hippie homosexual commies … even though we continue to be exactly those things.
I swear, at this rate, I’m going to start loving Steve Perry. Because, whether I like it or not, Steve Perry is a part of San Francisco, and right now, the door is open to anyone who wants in: