Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Being the little guy...

I consider myself a very fortunate person. I live in an amazing city, receive aide for graduate school, and work multiple kick-ass jobs in the arts to support myself. While I've put other dreams like having a family or receiving a bigger paycheck on hold I get to stay passionate about my art. My burning love for maintaining this relationship is why I stay in this expensive city. 

Working hard to live in San Francisco is one thing, but contending with these newbie contentious tech bros is another. I'm not trying to call out all tech people. I'm related to a tech person, but many of the tech people in San Francisco are making bankers look like socialist softies.

Justin Keller, a Tech Bro, just wrote an open letter to the city that reads thusly:

I am writing today, to voice my concern and outrage over the increasing homeless and drug problem that the city is faced with. I’ve been living in SF for over three years, (really, that long?) and without a doubt it is the worst it has ever been. Every day, on my way to, and from work, I see people sprawled across the sidewalk, tent cities, human feces, and the faces of addiction. The city is becoming a shanty town… Worst of all, it is unsafe. (In short, you are a scared little bitch.)
This holiday weekend, I had my parents in town from Santa Barbara (sounds fancy!)  and relatives from Denver and Rochester New York (so, nice places) . Unfortunately, there was three separate incidents and countless times that we were approached for money and harassed. (yawn)
The first incident involved a homeless drunken man in the morning coming up to their car and leaning up against it. Another bystander got frustrated with the drunken man, and they got into a heated pushing and shoving altercation.
The second incident occurred as we were leaving Tadich Grill in the financial district. A distraught, and high person was right in front of the restaurant, yelling, screaming, yelling about cocaine, and even, attempted to pull his pants down and show his genitals.
Finally, last night Valentines, I was at Kabuki Theater inside watching a movie. About two hours into the film, a man stumbled in the front door. He proceeded to walk into the theater, down the aisle to the front, wobbled toward the emergency door, opened it, and then took his shirt off and laid down. He then came back into the theater shielding his eyes from the running projector. My girlfriend was terrified and myself and many people ran out of the theater.
What are you going to do to address this problem? The residents of this amazing city no longer feel safe. I know people are frustrated about gentrification happening in the city, but the reality is, we live in a free market society. The wealthy working people have earned their right to live in the city. They went out, got an education, work hard, and earned it. I shouldn’t have to worry about being accosted. I shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day. I want my parents when they come visit to have a great experience, and enjoy this special place. (Shit, where did that violin go? I need that violin.)

I am telling you, there is going to be a revolution. People on both sides are frustrated, and you can sense the anger. The city needs to tackle this problem head on, it can no longer ignore it and let people do whatever they want in the city. I don’t have a magic solution… It is a very difficult and complex situation, but somehow during Super Bowl, almost all of the homeless and riff raff[1] seem to up and vanish. I’m willing to bet that was not a coincidence. Money and political pressure can make change. So it is time to start making progress, or we as citizens will make a change in leadership and elect new officials who can.
Democracy is not the last stop in politics. In-fact, the order of progression according to Socrates via Plato in the Republic goes: timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and finally tyranny. Socrates argues that a society will decay and pass through each government in succession, eventually becoming a tyranny. (Well done. In two lines you managed to bring shame to whatever academic institution shat you out.)
“The greater my city, the greater the individual.”

The week before last we hosted our Literary Salon at a North Beach bar called Vesuvio. I was waiting for my boyfriend after our Skyped discussion when I was approached by a group of young girls.

"We're waiting for a table and your group left. Are you leaving?" asks the most assertive one.
"No, I'm waiting for someone. We were just Skyping our Literary Salon," I said waiting for my boyfriend and martini.
"Oh, why here?"
"Neal Cassidy, Jack Keroac, Allen Ginsberg among others wrote and spoke here."
"Are they famous? Should I know them?"
"Wait, why are you here?" I asked.
"I'm from New York and these guys are from Chicago. We just got hired by (tech co. that chirps) and this is our meet up."
"Oh!" I laughed in her face because of too many drinks. 
"Oh what?"
"I don't expect you to know any of those people!"
"You San Franciscans, um "writer's" are just mad we make more money. We contribute so much to this economy!"

I had nothing to say. I just stared stupidly. This resulted in my boyfriend begging me to "just let it go" every time I fumed over it for the rest of the week.

Dear Tech Girl,

We're not mad you make money. We're mad that you are morons and make money.


Writer from Vesuvio

Who feels the same? Thank you for allowing me the rant.


  1. Sometimes a good rant feels...well, good.

  2. This wealthy guy doesn't want to see the pain, struggle and despair of homeless people? No one does, but he doesn't want to see it for a selfish reason. Instead of feeling terrible that he sees that on the way to and from work, and worried about the state of the economy that theres's so many, he's disgusted by them. What a jerk. I wanna punch him.

    1. Ha. You're in good company Chrys. Justin Keller received a plethora of negative feed back from this. In response this Santa Barbara boy made a public apology for using the term riff raff. Broke Ass Stuart's resly letter to Justin Keller is pretty awesome.