San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau City and County of San Francisco, apparently, is proud to announce that “There will be NO Halloween celebration in the Castro in 2007,” which is akin to telling a martinet-minded headmaster telling a bunch of eager students that there is no Santa Claus. If this isn’t a sign of how frightened the United States of America is, I don’t know what is. The campaign has been launched because last year, a few assholes proceeded to stab people, despite vigorous police protection.
I cannot believe that my former hometown, committed to celebrating craziness and diversity, is supporting this bullshit campaign. In early October 2001, when I returned to San Francisco after a five week stay in Hamburg, I was extremely worried about the state of my country. But when I went to the Castro on Halloween night, and I saw San Francisco’s determination to have fun and the people dressed in all sorts of crazy costumes, I knew that everything would be okay.
That San Francisco is now determined to wilt in the sunshine of a long-standing tradition, that it cannot defiantly celebrate Halloween in the Castro and tell those who committed the violence that its spirit cannot be stopped, is a sign that San Francisco would rather embrace fear than fearlessness. Stopping Halloween is not the answer. It gives credence to those who were committed to destroying the annual party. It enables the hoodlums. And it demonstrates that Gavin Newsom is a coward who does not reflect the San Francisco I proudly witnessed six years ago.
I certainly hope that the good citizens of San Francisco resist this PR bullshit, and celebrate anyway. Life is too short to give into the bad apples.
[UPDATE: A guy named Joe points out that this campaign is being sponsored by the City of San Francisco, as opposed to the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau. Which, in a sense, is a good deal worse.]