Archive for September 2010
I’m in the Bay Area once again for what seems to have become my annual visit. I feel at home here, in a strange way.
This is the geek capital of the world. A lot of major software firms have their main office or at least some major office here. If you walk into a random hotel lobby you’ll find a copy of Wired on the coffee table instead of a tabloid. Some electronics shops here are as big as an IKEA. If you have a discussion with a random stranger in a bar, it’s not uncommon that it ends up in an editor flame war. You get my point.
That said, I’m not sure if I would want to live here. I’m one of those weirdos who likes the occasional walk or cycle ride. Preferably without being run over or considered a hobo by the locals. And I prefer my things in medium or large portions, there is no need for triple-XL, thank you very much. Things are very much XXXXL here, from the freeways (7 lanes for each direction), the cars (what is a regular car in Europe is considered a “compact” here) to the shops (I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them had their own satnav) and even the food. There is nothing fucking mini about a “mini” pizza that can feed an entire family.
One of the things I find very strange about US television is the censoring of swearwords. Even if you have an issue with profanity then what use does beeping it out have? Everybody is going to know what word was censored. It’s all about meaning and context, not about individual words.
Swearing is self-expression and not (necessarily) a sign of a lack of vocabulary. Like so many things, it is best explained by Stephen Fry.