Going Back to California

Nick begins episode 155 by paying respect to Holocaust Remembrance Day, sadly observing, “The ability and degree of humans to harm other humans, it’s one of those attributes that make us unique in the animal kingdom, badly unique.”

Nick then shifts the episode’s focus to California, revisiting a state often in the Far Middle spotlight (see Nick’s commentary, “Ode to Los Angeles From a Wary Admirer,” and Far Middle episode 113 for some of Nick’s prior observations).

Beginning just south of San Francisco, the installment’s sports dedication is a Far Middle first as the honor goes to a high school, Junípero Serra High School, and its legendary lineup of alumni athletes. That roster spans football coach John Robinson and quarterback Tom Brady to baseball player/manager Jim Fregosi and MLB home run king Barry Bonds, and many others.

From athletes launching their epic careers at Serra High School, Nick pivots to the downward spiral of the Golden State, in particular declining quality of life in the Bay Area, thanks to continued Leftist governance and policies.

Nick questions a study ranking San Francisco as the healthiest city in America as the reality on the ground (crime, homelessness, substance abuse) doesn’t reflect this assessment. “Living and functioning in San Francisco these days can be quite the threat and danger to one’s health, both physical and mental,” says Nick.

Meanwhile, in Oakland, restaurants are closing due to crime and public safety concerns. “Crime has been a major issue in Oakland,” says Nick. “Robberies grew 38% last year, according to police data. Burglaries are up 23%, and motor vehicle theft jumped 44%. That’s unbelievable. Roughly one of every 30 Oakland residents had a car stolen last year.”

While crime soars, Oakland’s leadership is more focused on threatening a 102-year-old man with fines for graffiti on his property. Nick also examines the state of education in the Bay Area.

“The potential of California, it’s always been to serve as the ideal for the rest of us, it used to epitomize so much of the positive of the American dream,” says Nick. “But today the reality of California is the truth of what happens when the Left runs things and what it will bring to all of us eventually.”

In closing, Nick reflects on a few California cultural icons (including John Steinbeck, Joan Didion, The Mamas & the Papas, the Beach Boys, and others), and how their depictions of California unfortunately differ from life in California today.