The increasingly inaccurately-named blog of journalist and futurist Chris Taylor. Either the most sporadically brilliant amateur blog, the most brilliantly amateur sporadic blog, or the most amateur sporadic brilliance on the Web since 2001.
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Who are you?
I'm the newly-appointed Future editor at Business 2.0 and the former San Francisco correspondent for Time Magazine.
Wow, so does this mean everything you write reflects Time Inc's opinion? Or do you perhaps have some sort of standard disclaimer to the effect that it doesn't?
Naturally, the opinions contained in this blog are not those of my employers. In fact, some opinions may be the polar opposite of my employers. Some may be the same, for all I know. Hey, it's not like I ask my employers their opinions about everything in the news, okay? Let's just say that if this were a Venn diagram with one circle marked "my opinions" and the other one marked "my employers' opinions", there would doubtless be some overlap. But neither I nor my employers are able to pinpoint exactly where that overlap is.
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An experiment for a column I wrote about blogging back in December 2001. All these years later, I haven't been able to kick the habit.
Do you write any other blogs, by chance? Could that have something to do with the fact that Daily Blah isn't always Daily?
Yes -- the Future Boy blog for Business 2.0. And yes. If you want true, editorially-mandated daily coverage from me, that's probably the best place to look.
Mister, you talk funny. Are you one of them furrners?
Why yes I am, as it happens. I was born, raised and educated in Great Britain. I've been living in the U.S. since 1996 and identify as British.
I say, old chap, you forgot the "u" in "colour."
No I didn't. I may identify as British, but I am also an American journalist writing for an American audience about mostly American issues. These two different sides of me are a constant source of tension. Nevertheless, Daily Blah will adhere to American English grammar and spelling.
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Daily Blah for... Thursday, March 26, 2009
A Curmudgeon's View of San Francisco
I came across Rudyard Kipling's American notes (1899) after Googling the Bret Harte quote that adorns a mural in my house:
San Francisco: Serene, indifferent of fate, thou sittest at the Western gate
And now I know, the next lines are:
Thou seest the white seas fold their tents, Oh, warder of two continents; Thou drawest all things, small and great, To thee, beside the Western Gate.
Kipling, however, hated the city. He arrives on a steamer, and his first impression is that Fort Point could be handily destroyed by a couple of gunboats from Hong Kong -- in other words, the city is defenseless against British invasion. He then wanders around, being wowed by the cable cars, but like a lot of tourists looks for reasons to hate the locals. He even refuses to accept the beauty of the hills, deriding them as sand dunes pegged down by houses "today." Money quote:
"San Francisco is a mad city--inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people, whose women are of a remarkable beauty."