Hey, Katherine! This guy thinks Silicon Valley sucks! And he lives there!
UPDATE: Ken Layne hates San Francisco too! Be sure to follow the links, especially this one from Nick Denton's blog to one of Layne's old Tabloid.Net pieces. Woof.
For the record, I don't hate San Francisco. I have a bunch of friends there, and I've enjoyed my visits to the Bay Area. What I do hate is snotty provincialists from either coast who think that it's all tumbleweeds and J. R. Ewing down here, and can't understand why anyone would choose to live here rather than wherever they are. As such I'm happy to give equal time to dissenters.
Back in 1994 a sportswriter for the New York Post, down here to cover the Rockets and Knicks in the NBA Championships wrote a piece called "Houston is Hell" or something like that. It was clear from reading it that he came in with his mind made up about Houston and made no attempt to see if maybe he was wrong. Having lived in Clear Lake, Mieszkowski has certainly earned the right to whatever opinion she wants about Houston, but if it's gonna infect her writing then Salon had no business asking her to write that story. Shame on them all.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 07, 2002 to Other punditry
I hate to burst your little bubble, but 'Silicon Valley' does indeed suck.
Let's start with that ridiculous name: Only geeks from elsewhere are lame enough to call it that.
I was born and raised in Santa Clara Valley; that's the area's real name, by the way. In the 60's and 70's, it was a quiet collection of suburban communities, essentially a big 'burb of San Francisco. We knew our neighbors, the kids were safe, and nothing much ever happened. We liked it that way.
In the mid-80's it all changed. In came the computer age, and with it came the carpet baggers, the leeches, unchecked sprawl, crime, overpopulation, governmental corruption, and an air pollution problem that quickly eclipsed Los Angeles for brown, stinky air.
It was during this time that city officials sought to sweep the Valley's rich agricultural heritage under the rug and re-create the area as a techno-mecca. It is indeed pathetic when a city is so ashamed of its roots that it sells what little soul it has for recognition.
The Santa Clara Valley has become a cultural cesspool. If your idea of fun is shopping malls, gridlock, and endless stretches of traffic (where are all those people going, anyway?) then perhaps the Valley is perfect for you. If your list of happening night spots includes Denny's, 7-11's, Starbucks and Blockbuster, well, look no further. Oh, and don't forget the gang-infested amusement park, where the parking lot is more dangerous than the roller coasters.
Racially, it's about as diverse as Muskeegee, Oklahoma. Which is to say, the Vietnamese keep to themselves in East San Jose, and the Indians keep to themselves in a different part of East San Jose. Somehow these two groups managed to work together just enough to run the Mexicans out, which is a profound loss to the Valley.
I left the Valley in 1996 for Southern California, an area in which true divresity exists, as do cultural development, and an infinite source of entertainment and events.
In short, if you love the Valley, then chances are, you deserve it.