It was impossible to survey the flotsam & jetsam frolicking and lounging around the historic, all-wooden, once-transporting Hotel del Coronado yesterday and say to myself, “Life in these United States is just as layered and fascinating and distinctive — socially, fashionably, politically — as it was 100 years ago.”

We stayed last night in San Diego’s Holiday Inn Express, which is aesthetically acceptable and atmospherically fine except — except! — for the young drunks next door who were quacking like ducks and bellowing like sea lions way past bedtime hour. We called the desk three or four times, and I guess the last warning conveyed by security (“If you don’t shut up we’re going to evict your ass”) finally got through. But what an ordeal.

The same kind of bloated manatees I was observing at the Hotel Del Coronado were, like us, staying in less pricey digs back in the city. I couldn’t bring myself to part with $300 or $350 plus tax for a HDC room…I just couldn’t.

I grew up and came of age amongst proper (okay, mostly proper) citizens of Rome for the most part. But ill-mannered, crudely spoken, Jabba-sized, poorly dressed barbarians have since stormed the gates, and this, as that ancient Pelican Walter Cronkite used to say, is “how it is” these days.

I criticize no one individual. I simply report and speak the anthropological truth.