“It all works fine until you want to talk about the news with somebody you’ve never met.”
It all works fine until you want to talk about the news with somebody you’ve never met. So, too, with political language. Where customization is the norm, discussion — between strangers and opponents — becomes hard. Negotiation migrates underground, among close affiliates. Publicly, we volley with broad precepts we can all affirm: creativity and kindness are good; cruelty and oppression are bad. Perhaps all this explains how, even when it comes to matters of wide civic concern, a city of progressives can see so little political progress.
-Nathan Heller is wonderful on San Francisco, and the social divide exacerbated by the fact that everyone in the city ostensibly agrees on an abstract level. [New Yorker]