Tuesday, January 24, 2012

After San Francisco 49ers fans cordially feud with New York Giants fans, KQED's Todd Inoue sounds off on a lesser-known feud between San Francisco and another city

One of the few negative nicknames for San Jose that's dead-on about the 'Ho is 'Man Jose.' Yes, San Jose is too much of a sausage party. Even that Stephen's Meat Products neon pig sign that's been in downtown San Jose since the Stone Age tells you this fucking town is too much of a sausage party.
While recently sitting in the audience at Mezzanine in San Francisco for Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's live tour to promote their hit IFC sketch comedy show Portlandia, music critic and iTunes producer Todd Inoue got enraged, not because Armisen and Brownstein didn't recite the "Put a Bird on It" sketch word-for-word, but because when Armisen asked the crowd if San Jose is part of the Bay Area, tons of audience members booed San Jose.

Todd, a former co-worker of mine, proudly hails from the 408. (He's also a guy who once graciously lent me several of his comedy albums from his CD collection to cull clips from for the now-defunct 15-minute Fistful of Soundtracks stand-up comedy clip show Morning Becomes Dyspeptic.) In an amusing piece he wrote and recorded for KQED-FM, Todd defends the possible future home turf of the Niners and bashes the bougie way San Franciscans like the haters at Mezzanine belittle San Ho as if the capital of Silicon Valley, which he says wallops San Francisco in the ramen and taco departments, were their runty little brother. (Even people outside the Bay have taken notice of San Franciscan snobbiness. Donal Logue, the former star of my favorite cancelled 2010 show Terriers, once tweeted that San Francisco is "A beautiful, erudite, dirty and yet phenomenally snobby city in a provincial way--maybe mostly people who just moved there.")

Ironically, the snobby anti-SJ vitriol took place at the road show tie-in to a TV series that mocks that kind of snobby attitude through the smug foodies, merchants, intellectuals, technophiles, trend-seekers and hipsters Armisen and Brownstein portray each week.

"So all you hipster dorks who dump on the 408. I'm talking to you," Todd says. "Yes, you, sitting in your wi-fi-enabled shuttle commuting from Hayes Valley to your Silicon Valley tech job. The same job that pays your bills, that allows you to listen to this program, ironically, on your Cupertino-invented laptop or iPod."

Unlike Todd, I've had an often miserable time living in the South Bay, and I'm sometimes itching to leave, but I don't like all this smug hating on SJ either (heh, "your Cupertino-invented laptop"). SJ is like a family member whom you've had beefs with, but when you see outsiders start to gang up on Jose, you get pissed off and feel like leaping right to Jose's defense. It's like "Hey, you don't get to hate on Jose. Yeah, he's always stealing my cash and he always gives the shittiest Christmas gifts, but only people who have known Jose for a long time get to put him in his place, so fuck off."

Sometimes, I feel like neither city is superior to the other, and I like them both equally. To borrow an expression I once learned from Todd, all this elitism and beefing is so Fremont.

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