Here is the comments section for a post at National Review regarding Nelson Mandela’s death. It goes about as well as expected.
Keep in mind that National Review is considered one of the most respectable, high-minded sources on the Right.
Here are some gems. Keep in mind that Mandela passed away just a few hours ago. A few of them do seem genuinely appalled by their peers, but still: I wonder why people consider conservatives racist?
update: I see they also have a Trayvon-related post up today. I invite anyone with a stronger stomach than mine to sift through what is probably a delightful, respectful, and not-at-all-racist comments section.
update 2: not all conservatives are bad. I like to harp on them, but the bad apples do distract from writers that I believe are actual good people (if misguided). Here is a non-evil yet still conservative take on Mandela.
Ask anyone, even in flyover country, what they mean by the concept or geography of “New York City” and they give you an easy answer: the Five Boroughs. Boom, done. Everything else in the greater metro area is a suburb. Nobody considers, say, White Plains or Newark an actual part of what we mean when we say “NYC.” There is really no debate here.
Compare that to LA: what we mean when we say “Los Angeles” is not at all confined to the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles. Ask six different Angelinos what, exactly, constitutes “LA” and what doesn’t, and you’ll get eight different answers. The legal City of Los Angeles does not encompass what I would consider essential parts of what we mean when we say “LA,” such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Compton, Culver City, or Orange County and its constituent parts.
Many Angelenos such as Kevin Drum here seem to even prefer using the term “SoCal,” as the actual city of Los Angeles is far less important than the greater metro area. His mother seems to contend that the term means, “generally,” Los Angeles County (which has different borders than the city).
Imagine if NYC had never unified and resembled this mess. Then, the legal entity known as “New York City” would only encompass the lower and middle portions of Manhattan and parts of the Bronx. Queens would be nothing but a chaotic mess of little suburban towns; Brooklyn would be a separate city, the Fort Worth to our Dallas; Harlem and Washington Heights would also be their own separate towns. Good luck trying to build a unified subway system, or even a bus system, in that confused mess. Good luck building America’s “first city,” our answer to London or Paris, with that level of chaos.
I believe the LA-style lack of legal unification is a symptom of urban sprawl — and possibly even a cause.
NYC unified the Five Boroughs in 1898. Before this, the non-Manhattan and non-Bronx areas such as Brooklyn and the various townships of Queens existed independently, much as Culver City continues to do so today. The consolidation occured at the same general time as the birth of the NYC subway, which to this day owes more to the unified local government than any other single factor that allows it to be by far the most intricate and important light-rail commuter system in America. And that subway, in turn, has done (in my opinion) more than any other single thing to help unify NYC culturally into a single organism.
By contrast, LA — and most other cities in the USA — never had such a grand consolidation. Which is why LA remains as fractured as it is.
So — what, exactly, constitutes “LA” anyway when people use the term? Does anyone know?