There's an unspoken fault line in California. No, not the San Andreas Fault nor any of the geologic ones we all know about. This fault line is cultural -- formed by the waves of ethnic and social groups that have rammed willy-nilly into California and now refuse to get along. Californians today worry about "The Big One," but it's a cultural cataclysm they -- and the rest of us -- should fear.
When writer and columnist Jack Cashill was skewered along with Kansas (despite the fact that he lives in Missouri) in Thomas Frank's New York Times bestseller What's the Matter with Kansas?, he decided to fight back with a riposte from the heart -- an honest, biting, and wickedly funny look at what's wrong with the purplest of blue states: almighty California itself.
The media moguls, multiculturalists, union bosses, and eco-warriors who run California have abandoned liberalism for total insanity. They have transformed the Golden State from America's future into America's Rome. Spectacularly sybaritic and self-indulgent, overtaxed and overregulated, California lives on past glories, and even Conan the Republican cannot muster the will to defend its borders. Now, finally, Jack Cashill is here to rally the right-thinking citizens of the state (and the nation) and rescue this gorgeous chunk of real estate from its increasingly shaky future.
Cashill declares that "California served as a beachhead in the humanistic war on faith," but his argument reads more like a series of familiar right-wing talking points slapped on California. Showing little interest in one of the country's most dynamic population centers, he launches bold attacks on notorious Californians like Charles Manson and Jim Jones. He sidesteps the global influence of Silicon Valley and in his discussion of Hollywood focuses mostly on a few movies he dislikes. That these influential industries might owe something to Californian rootlessness doesn't occur to Cashill. In many cases he bases his points on anecdotal evidence, such as that he did not see any U.S. flags in San Francisco's gay district. The book often rambles, diluting the crankiness that might otherwise distinguish Cashill. The intended audience of liberal bashers may miss Ann Coulter's wit.
What's the matter with Kansas indeed?! Cali collapse imminent.