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SF vs THE WORLD: please critique my culture blog about SF culture and life

DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: GaderenRegistered User regular
Hi kind people of the writers block.

I'm planning to write a weekly blog about my experience and observations about the quickly changing culture of SF from the perspective of a foreigner. The tone I'm going for is irreverent but able to discuss serious issues. I want it to be more observational than anything else. I've already written the first post and would love any criticisms however sweet our sour any kind people would share!

Read my blog about AMERICA and THE BAY AREA

https://medium.com/@alascii

Posts

  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: GaderenRegistered User regular
    City Problems
    San Francisco is a Type A person. Motivated and conscientious to a fault. San Francisco has goals. But San Francisco also has problems:

    p1ttet2ofzfw.png
    Some people expect their city to do a lot: “Despite its good intentions, it is not stopping wars”

    Like most cities, San Francisco has a lot of problems. But the difference between San Francisco and other cities is that some people would say that one of those problems is San Francisco’s inability to lead the world into a Utopian golden age. Most cities are happy if they can get the trains to run on time and SF definitely can’t do this. But like any good Type A person SF can fret equally about it’s inability to solve world hunger and it’s inability to make the trains run on time. San Francisco keeps track of a large number of problems. San Francisco has high expectations of itself. If I was in conversation with a random San Franciscan and I made the statement “San Francisco has a ton of problems” without specifying what those problems are, this hypothetical Frisco dweller is guaranteed to emphatically agree with me. Here’s one hundred of them.

    I’m from Sydney, Australia. Sydney also has a lot of problems. Sydney is famously poorly run and planned:

    bupcagm79s83.png
    Well fuck a duck

    But nobody expects Sydney to stop wars or solve world hunger. Nobody really expects Sydney to do anything other than go to the beach. Sydney is a type B person.
    If I was in conversation with a hypothetical Sydneysider and I said “Sydney has a ton of problems” this hypothetical person would probably still agree with me, but I guarantee they would lack the conviction that the SF straw man had. For most Sydneysiders Sydney only has a handful of problems. Let’s say that most locals would be able to list five max, but more likely two or three. Some people have come up with more creative problems, but these don’t seem to occupy the consciousness of the city the way they might in San Francisco. The longest list of problems I could find while googling ‘Sydney has Problems’ was 15. Half of them are humblebrags like ‘Partying in Kings Cross is overrated’ and this gem: ‘It’s hard to decide what to have for dinner’.

    mbdj193fyplt.png
    oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


    I’m not trying to say that Sydney is some sort of paradise. Sydney has a lot of problems. We’re famously racist. I've been asked by people all over the world why we are so good at racism. I usually respond in a typically Australian fashion- “naah mate don’t worry about it”. People in Sydney never talk about how racist Sydney is. We’re more likely to talk about why everyone thinks we’re so racist. Sydney just doesn't seem to have the mental energy to worry about being less racist, much less come up with ways to be less racist.

    k47xjne4b52u.png
    Australian expression at its finest

    I’m also not trying to say that Sydney is some sort of racist hell. Sydney is probably roughly as racist as The Bay Area is. San Francisco proudly thinks of itself as the least racist place in America. Sydney just doesn’t think about racism.
    Racism is complicated and scary. Traffic is simple and you can see it! Sydney will worry about it after it sorts out Parramatta Road. But by then something else will have probably come along, pushing old problems to the back of Sydney’s subconscious.

    Read my blog about AMERICA and THE BAY AREA

    https://medium.com/@alascii
  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: GaderenRegistered User regular
    I kind of ran out of steam at the end because I couldn't think of a good way to wrap it up :(

    Read my blog about AMERICA and THE BAY AREA

    https://medium.com/@alascii
  • bigrickcookbigrickcook Dord of Lance? OklahomaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Hey there, DodgeBlan! I'm glad you edged up to the end of the diving board and jumped! Welcome more officially to The Writer's Block!

    Based on what you said you were hoping to do with this blog, I think there's a few key problems that are going to make it difficult to achieve that. I don't know if you have some sort of mission statement ready for the blog that prepares new readers for what it is you're doing, but this first post doesn't really give me the sense that you're exploring aspects of San Francisco.

    It meanders from San Francisco to Sydney, comparing them in a couple of ways and drawing strange parallels for seemingly no gain.

    If you're trying to be irreverent, observational, with the capacity to carry on serious discussion, you probably need to work on your format a bit. Right now your observational analysis doesn't appear to be backed up by anything approaching "fact" and is both hypothetical and anecdotal too often.

    Mostly I wasn't sure what I was reading or what I was supposed to be getting out of the blog post, even with your preface that prepared me a bit for what you were going for.

    I do have to applaud you on the setup. You've got the structure of a successful article down pretty well. The Cracked style of mixing in pictures with pithy comments below them is tried-and-true, and if you can deliver on some humor or commentary via them, you're well on your way to an engaging series of articles. That said, I didn't find the comments accompanying the images to elicit more than a little smile. Kind of a key in writing those is to look for a joke or comment that is at least one degree of relevance removed from the actual image, because than you have surprise on your side. I'd highly suggest looking through sites that use this device and try to really analyze what about the picture/comment thing works and what they're actually doing with it, which will help you make better use of it in your own article writing.

    I think my biggest suggestion to you would be to try and rewrite this initial post with a tighter focus and a clear objective in comparing Sydney and San Francisco. That you aren't sure how to wrap up the post is generally your brain telling you that something's not right.

    Also of note: You use "Type A" twice and then missed capitalizing for "type B". You have used "it's" incorrectly multiple times. I would say you vastly overused the proper noun San Francisco early on in the article and you'd probably strengthen the swiftness of the read by finding instances of San Francisco to replace with pronoun "it".

    Thanks for posting something and asking for advice! We don't always get to the critiques immediately, but we do try to be fair, honest, and helpful; I hope you've found something useful here to keep you moving forward. =)

    bigrickcook on
    http://panningforclouds.com
    Panning For Clouds, a writing blog dedicated to my fiction and writing columns! Updates at least twice a week.
    DodgeBlan
  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: GaderenRegistered User regular
    Thanks Rick for your feedback. I've definitely taken the formatting points to heart and think that if I want to make these sort of comparisons I'm going to have to set the whole thing out a lot stronger. In fact I am going to switch my first post to be a more straightforward collection of travel stories, and try something more idea centric when I'm feeling more confident. Thanks heaps!

    Read my blog about AMERICA and THE BAY AREA

    https://medium.com/@alascii
  • DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: GaderenRegistered User regular
    Also the actual blog post has hyperlinks for a lot of the points I made. Not sure how much is lost without those links.

    Read my blog about AMERICA and THE BAY AREA

    https://medium.com/@alascii
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