Carrying a torch

The big day has finally come when the Olympic torch has come to San Francisco and will be carried through part of the city this afternoon. People in other parts of the country, even other parts of California, seem a bit amused that San Franciscans can be so agitated about an event that is supposed to be a Journey of Harmony to celebrate an athletic event. Those of us who live here are not surprised and many of us are proud that people here care so much about a symbolic event. There are disagreements about whether we should support the Olympics, and what our attitudes toward China and Tibet should be, but as long as the demonstrations and counter-demonstrations are peaceful, as long as our city government and the police maintain order, there’s a lot to celebrate in being part of a city that cares deeply about issues. Long live civilized disagreements! And for those outside the city who can’t understand the value of expressing beliefs, there is always the scheduled nude protest that will give them a chance to shakes their heads about the strangeness of San Francisco. They’ll never understand.

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