This morning, from the cozy yet smelling-of-ass back seat of the bus, I saw something that's familiar to every San Franciscan. No, not hobos fluent in gibberish or mustachioed men in leather, although those too are familiar occurrence round these parts. No, I saw protesters. Only about 10 of them, granted, and sure, you couldn't read the signs or understand the chanting, but damn: they were upset. A word to the wise, though: when using a megaphone, make sure the batteries are fresh. It's hard to rouse the rabble with angry cries of "Muffle fee don? GRUMBLE!!! Muffle fee don ih? Now!!!"
Of course, in San Francisco, people will protest pretty much anything. War in Iraq? Thousands meet downtown. Repeal of Gay Marriage licenses? Close down Market Street. Ten cent increase at Starbucks? Send in the riot police. It's a charming aspect of the city, I think. We're loud; we complain. And usually, I agree. So, to see a ragamuffin group of protesters at 8-something in the morning on a Monday, well, it doesn't bode well for the week. I like to have at least one cup of coffee before the atrocities start pouring in. I'm silly like that.
So I got to work, I got my cup of coffee, I chitted and chatted. I wondered what horrors had happened that would warrant a bright-and-early gang of lefty do-gooders taking to the streets while half the city was hitting the snooze button for the third time. I ate my croissant. I read the newspaper. I was at a loss. Then, one of my favorite workmates runs up to me, exasperated and borderline euphoric.
"Karl Rove just resigned," he office-yells, smiles, puases, then thoughtfully adds a "Fuck yeah!" while demanding a high-five.
I gave him the high-five.
At a time when most Americans are upset about the direction of our country (that direction: down the shitter), news like this is uplifting. Sure, we're still neck-deep in a horrendous quagmire, our Supreme Court pretty much hates all humans, and the dollar gets weaker every minute, but that countrified dough-boy with all the marionette strings is finally walking away. We're just got a little bit closer to January 2009. Every little bit counts.
So, infected by my office-mate's state of complete glee, I passed on the information and decided to go out in the sunshine, just to soak up the goodness. And down at the corner, where I'd noticed a righteously indignant crowd forming too early this morning, there was no one but some a bike messengers and a panhandler. Maybe they'd finished telling whoever it was whatever they thought. And maybe they'd moved the incredibly loud mumbling to another locale. But I like to think they got the good news and went home. After all: you can't protest everything all the time. Sometimes, you need to go home, kick your feet up, and have a beer at lunch. Today is definitely one of those days.