Thanks in part to yours truly, the continued insanity of the state of California has become something of a perennial pinata here at Ricochet. There's good reason that those of us who love the place are incensed. As the nation's most populous state comes to look more and more like the liberal id set free, there are two prevalent reactions: apathetic acceptance or picking up and moving. That leaves the ranks of those willing to fight for a better California ever-thinner. And when those dispirited few congregate, it's usually only a matter of minutes before the inevitable question is asked: "What will it take to get people agitated?"
In further testimony to the peculiar character of the arthritic colossus on the Pacific, we now have an answer: banning foie gras. As I'll be detailing in a forthcoming column for City Journal California, the ban -- which began July 1 -- has occasioned some remarkable acts of culinary civil disobedience.
At the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco, management defiantly left foie gras on the menu, declaring that the state law was inoperative because the club is located on federal land (they've since -- officially, at least -- knuckled under). At one restaurant in Orange County, they're serving a "complimentary" helping of the dish (the law prevents its sale, but not its distribution) if you buy a round of beers for the kitchen, a practice that -- in various permutations -- is taking place throughout the state. Other establishments have been more than willing to serve up foie gras if you bring the meat in yourself.
This is California as I'd like to see it: chippy in the face of stupidity. Yes, it took the prohibition of a chichi entree to get us there, but it's still progress. Now if only we can work up the same pique for taxes, spending, regulation, public-sector unions, bullet trains, and the transportation tar pits we (ironically) call freeways, we'll be getting somewhere. I'm not holding my breath quite yet.