Those crazy San Franciscans

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Joe Eskenazi has an SF Weekly piece that pretty much repeats what he's been saying for years: That San Francisco has too much government. This time he goes after all the boards, task forces and commissions -- and yeah, there are a lot of them, and yeah, some of them might not be necessary. I could also argue, though, that San Francisco is one of the most politically active cities in the world, and that having a whole lot of ways for residents to plug in to what's going on in their city isn't a bad thing at all.

Whatever. Here's the stuff that drives me nuts:

Last month, the volunteer body appointed by the Board of Supervisors advocated curtailing all pet sales in the city — including guppies, goldfish, and live rodents meant as snake food. Coming on the heels of a proposed criminalization of circumcision, San Francisco was, once again, reduced to an international punchline — many were left to wonder whether a ban on circumcising goldfish is our logical next step. Disbelieving articles poured in from around the globe. Perhaps none was as caustic as a piece in London's Telegraph titled "San Francisco goldfish ban exposes the pathology of America's bourgeois liberal nutjobs."

Ah, yes, Joe: Those crazy San Francisco liberals and their madcap ideas.

I'm not for banning pet sales (although I think banning puppy mills -- also a wacky idea that came out of the Animal Control and Welfare Commission -- is a fine thing). And I'm not for the circumcision ban (although, geez, it has lead to some interesting commentary that gives new meaning to the term "dick face.")

But every time I hear somebody talk about how San Franciscans should stop it with the nutty ideas, I think about a few I've followed over the years -- and how they've changed the way the entire nation thinks. Let me suggest a few for Eskanazi to look at:

"Those crazy San Franciscans don't want to build freeways." Yep -- in the late 1950s and early 1960s, while the rest of the country (and in particular, California) was rushing to build freeways as fast as possible, people in this city decided to say No. The freeway revolt and the movement that grew out of it changed the way Americans view cities. Wacky shit.

"Those crazy San Franciscans think homosexuals should have the same rights as married people." Yep, back in the 1970s San Franciscans started talking not only about nondiscrimination -- they actually said that gay people who live together should have health insurance benefits. Imagine that.

"Those crazy San Franciscans think that women should make the same amount of money as men." When then- Sup Nancy Walker introduced legislation in 1985 making "comparable worth" (the notion that men and women who do jobs that require comparable skills should be paid the same) it made headlines all over the country -- and was universally derided by the same set that now complain about "liberal nutjobs." It cost the city a lot of extra money (money that the Eskinazi crew of the day said was too much for a broke city) and led to all sorts of comments about social engineering. San Francisco was the first to push the issue, and it's now considered mainstream employment policy.

"Those crazy San Franciscans think we ought to give bicycles the same rights as cars." All the way back in the mid-1980s, bicycle advocates were talking about bike lanes, bike maps, bike racks and alternatives to the automobile. What were they drinking?

"Those crazy San Franciscans think that transgender people ought to get health benefits." This was as recent as 1993 -- and if you think circumcision and pets put SF in the right-wing-talk-show and late-night-comedy targets, imagine when the city decided "to use taxpayer dollars to fund sex-change operations," as the detractors insisted. Guess what? It turned out to be a major step forward for transgender rights.

"Those crazy San Franciscans think gay people should be allowed to get married." We did. We do. We were first. The rest of the country is following.

"Those crazy San Franciscans want to ban plastic bags." We did. For good reason. So did L.A. In another few years, it will be national policy.

"Those crazy San Franciscans want to ban happy meals." Guess what -- McDonald's got the message. 

I could list plenty more.

Yeah, we're ahead of the curve. Yeah, sometimes our shit seems crazy. But it's the crazy shit that makes the world change -- and over time, the world catches up to San Francisco. And if we weren't doing it, the world would get better just a little more slowly.

 

 

 

Comments

Tim

You're a big liar, and you're just as bad as those Tea Party dickheads in DC.

The fact is you defend a corrupt government that your own paper hasn't been able to bring down for decades. The ongoing corruption goes on and on worse than a Journey song, and you sing the praises, fearful that any critique will bring down the non-profit mafia.

I'll make this simple for you Tim, because let's face it, you've been out of it for ages, your paper is lin decline, you fire people with credibility to prop up a City editor who loves his whip-its, and you can't admit you're a failure.

-you keep firing the people who write substantial stories

-you bust unions

-your advocacy for the left is failing

-Bruce is AWOL

-the lawsuit didn't net you any money

-the Guardian is no longer a bastion of the news, you're a hollow paper, desperately trying to cling to a 40+ demographic (Also your paper is worse than toilet paper)

-you live off money from the biggest political consulting firms in town, in conflict with your vallues

and guess what?

THE GUARDIAN SUCKS BALLS AND IS THINNER THAN EVER

your rag will die because you killed it by killing the one thing you had. INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM. you sacrificed that at the altar of BULLSHIT.

When you get that cab drive job lemme know so I can pay a few pennies to the kiddies' college fund.

I predict you don't have the balls to print this because you hate criticism .

Posted by Tim Redmond, Union Buster, Liar, and Liberal Theif on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

and you're responding in the comments section of a blog post, so there's no "printing" involved. 

Posted by marke on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

Your ridiculously strident criticism neglects to point out that even though the BG may not do the level of investigative journalism (IJ) you want, they still blow away the Chron who, at this pt is nothing but a reprint of shortened AP stories with a few "[top local or national politician] said this yesterday" articles. Their named opinion columnists are bad jokes for a place like SF.

Just two or so weeks ago, the BG had a good piece on the privatization of city parks by the SF Rec and Park. From having done some investigative work on this myself, I know that what the article said is true. And I knew I was never going to read anything like that in the Chron or the SF Weekly - yet it was really important info the public should know. Without the BG, readers would have been deprived of that info.

It's not news to anyone that just about every newspaper is struggling. The only one who isn't that I know of is the Wall St Journal and that's because of the financial return its readers hope to get from it so they're willing to pay quite a lot for it because they consider it a nec financial investment that will payoff with a bigger fin return.

That's a very unique example. Even the NY Times has struggled badly so if you think the BG's financial troubles is unique, then you haven't been paying attention.

Your strident criticism comes from an anger or even hate vantage point, as if your real problem with the BG is its liberal POV and you're using the "you don't do enough IJ" excuse to hide your real reason for your over-the-top hit piece.

Even if the BG doesn't to the amount of IJ that you want, the fact that they are willing to say what they do in their editorials is a fantastic service to San Franciscans who agree in general with that POV (and those editorials do provide important info the reader is not going to get from the Chron or SF Weekly).

Like I said, I think at the root, your prob with the BG is your POV is much more to the right of theirs. Or perhaps you are alligned with the SF Weekly either directly or indirectly.

For ex, you say the BG defends a corrupt government. Huh??? The BG is constantly ripping SF govt no matter who the mayor's been. Give me the SF mayor the BG hasn't ripped on a constant basis. You must be reading a different paper.

I think it's time you reveal YOUR agenda. Fact of the matter is SF needs the SFBG and its unique voice. That they have the balls to take the stance they do is commendable. I'm sure they'd love to have the $ to hire lots of investigative journalists but they're probably struggling like every other paper.

Instead of hitting them with your over-the-top, I-didn't-take-my-meds outburst, you oughtta wish them luck because this area would suffer greatly without their voice (at least in my opinion, maybe not yours). Same goes for the usual crowd of righties (Matlock, Walter, Arthur Evans, Lucretia Snapples) here who's contributions basically consist of, "Tim [or Bruce or Steve or BG] you and your liberal POV really suck."

I just wonder what they are doing here if that POV is so against their own. It appears the only reason they're here is to use the opportunity the BG provides for comments to, in effect, state they wish they would die.

For ex, look at Arthur Evans' comment he just posted that was addressed to Tim about the Chron piece about the BG - something to effect of, "I see the BG is sinking, HA HA!!!"

If it was me and I was running this paper, I'd find it really hard to keep giving these haters of my paper the constant opportunity to badmouth me personally, my co-workers, and my business. These rude righties assume they'll always be given the op here to tell the persons giving them this forum that they are, in effect, POS's.

I'd be surprised if that's the case and I'd have no problem with it as a reader because I find them tiresome. I'm sure I'm not the only one so they may be being successful if their aim is to hurt the BG.

Maybe there should be a limit to the times one person can post on a topic because I suspect they're driving away a lot of people who might post without the over-the-top right-leaning vitriol.

And thus they're possibly hurting the discussion that could occur among people who aren't constantly looking for confrontation. Probably the best solution is to just tell them in an email that if they're going to use this comment forum to be a confrontational asshole, they're no longer welcome here, and give them newsmax's website so they can be at a site more aligned with their POV and so they can try telling the owner of that site that he's a POS and see how long they'll keep their commenting abilities there.

I would like that. They are a tiresome group who, in the end, would love nothing more than for the BG's demise.

I wish the BG great success for many decades in SF. SF needs their unique POV.

Posted by Bill on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

Tim, you spend a lot of time reacting to news articles and commentaries in other SF papers. Don't you think The Guardian would do better if it initiated original investigative reporting which prompted commentaries from other papers' editors?

Since you like to comment on other papers' news items, how about a comment on the item below in the Chron? It claims that The Guardian is sinking on your watch -

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cityinsider/detail?entry_id=94114&tsp=1

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

yearning to be recognized as something other than a bitter online phantom and waste of wrinkled skin.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 27, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

It's fascinating that you don't have higher standards than to read and give any credibility to that mainly right-wing corporatist publication. I used to go there on occasion but I realized that many of their writers are quite sub-standard, the comment section is filled with filth. It's unreadable most of the time to the hatred expressed by mostly right-wing people commenting there, and of course "your friend" who is considered a "columnist" is there who shall remain nameless. I can't stand him and the basura he writes. Who cares what that site or publication thinks or what they have to say about the Guardian, other than yourself?

The reason you wrote to Tim about this was to rub it in his face (what that site said about the Guardian). It's your trademark taunting. That's what this is all about.

Let's be reasonable, sensible and civil. Juvenile taunting and getting a thrill from rubbing criticism in one's face (and in this case it's a guy you regularly criticize yourself, along with Steven) is not fascinating nor is it an example of being reasonable, sensible or civil. It is very thoughtless of you.

Again, let's be reasonable.

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 1:41 am

Thanks, Bill, for your post above, responding to another poster’s criticism of The Guardian. Some reactions to your post follow.

You say:

“the BG may not do the level of investigative journalism (IJ) you want, they still blow away the Chron.”

Both The Guardian and The Chron are poor excuses for newspapers. If you want to get serious coverage of events in SF, you have to read articles about the city (all too rare, alas) in The San Jose Mercury, The LA Times, or The NY Times.

You say:

“Just two or so weeks ago, the BG had a good piece on the privatization of city parks by the SF Rec and Park.”

Occasionally, The Guardian does have a good piece. Same for The Chron. But not frequently enough in either case.

You say:

“It's not news to anyone that just about every newspaper is struggling.”

Right you are. However, some papers have been better than others at adapting to changes while keeping quality.

You say:

“the fact that they [editors of The Guardian] are willing to say what they do in their editorials is a fantastic service to San Franciscans”

Bumper-sticker rhetoric is no longer good enough.

You say:

“For ex, you say the BG defends a corrupt government. Huh???”

The Guardian makes excuses for the foibles of the politicians it favors, such as Chris Daly, Carole Migden, John Avalos, Ross Mirkarimi, to name a few.

It defends the interests of upholders of the status quo, such as the nonprofit political complex, unions, and the cannabis capitalists.

You say:

“Same goes for the usual crowd of righties (Matlock, Walter, Arthur Evans, Lucretia Snapples) here who's contributions basically consist of, ‘Tim [or Bruce or Steve or BG] you and your liberal POV really suck.’”

I am not a right-winger but an equal-opportunity skeptic. I took on the smugness and insularity of the moderate sect under Mayor Dianne Feinstein, just as today I challenge the smugness and insularity of the progressive sect. Both sects are insufferable when they have too much power.

You say:

“For ex, look at Arthur Evans' comment he just posted that was addressed to Tim about the Chron piece about the BG - something to effect of, ‘I see the BG is sinking, HA HA!!!’”

The Guardian is failing. It won’t do to deny the fact. It needs to reinvent itself if it has to have any significant role in civil life in the future. Denial never solves any problem.

You say:

“If it was me and I was running this paper, I'd find it really hard to keep giving these haters of my paper the constant opportunity to badmouth me personally, my co-workers, and my business.”

The Guardian would be a better paper and have more success if it learned from its critics. Closed-mindedness stunts growth.

You say:

“the best solution is to just tell them in an email that if they're going to use this comment forum to be a confrontational asshole, they're no longer welcome here”

Aren’t you acting like a confrontational asshole here?

You say:

“They are a tiresome group who, in the end, would love nothing more than for the BG's demise.”

I’m one of The Guardian’s most faithful readers, having read it now for 36 years.

I would love to see it be a first-class investigative newspaper with professional news reportage and perceptive, informed cultural criticism.

But today it’s more like a high school paper in a small town in the Midwest.

There’s nothing progressive about mediocrity.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 9:54 am

Thanks, Arthur, for your post above, responding to another post, regarding a poster’s criticism of The Guardian. Some reactions to your post follow.

You say:

"I would love to see it be a first-class investigative newspaper with professional news reportage and perceptive, informed cultural criticism."

What prevents you from starting your own news outlet, or blog, featuring these qualities you claim to value so highly?

You say:
"Aren’t you acting like a confrontational asshole here?"

Doesn't this description best fit you and your constant bitter posts, Arthur Evans?

There’s nothing about your conservative ranting that falls outside the category of attention starved mediocrity.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

I read the comment above from Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur Evans and was shocked. My comment follows:

Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur wrote:

"Aren’t you acting like a confrontational asshole here?"

Why would you use the word "asshole?" That is quite a confrontational word to toss at someone. I would not expect to read that from someone who has frequently complained about "foul-mouthed" language. Nor does "asshole" sound civil and as many people on this site know, Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur constantly lectures on civility.

Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur wrote:
"I am not a right-winger but an equal-opportunity skeptic. I took on the smugness and insularity of the moderate sect under Mayor Dianne Feinstein..."

Intelligent, sensible and reasonable people don't "take on smugness." Smugness is a sign of insecurity (regardless of education or degrees) and not a very good person. Smugness is very unbecoming to anyone.

If the Guardian is failing in his thinking, why does he not go elsewhere, regardless of how many years he has read the BG? Most intelligent people of reason would have gone elsewhere if they had as much criticism about the BG as Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur Evans has for the publication.

He accuses progressives (which he knows nothing about) of denial, yet he denies that he's right-wing. Any astute, sensible. thinking person of reason can see that he's right-wing.

Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur is insane and because of that, he's full of contradictions which he can't see due to insanity. On another site he claimed to be "well dressed." One's clothes are purely cosmetic. It does not matter what you wear, Arthur. When the clothes are removed, one sees the same ugly and hateful person underneath in the case of Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur Evans.

Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur Evans ignores and denies any constructive criticism directed at him (while accusing progressives of denial).

Unfortunately, it is right-wing to live in denial. Part of being right-wing is denial. That's Right-wing 101.

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

Truth: the Guardian is in desperate financial shape. So bad the real talent has been laid off and three white men remain in charge, despite the fact that two have failed as journalist and manager, and one is in such denial he thinks the Internet, craigslist and 9/11, to name but a few he stated under oath had "no effect" on the paper's finances.

Truth: tim is either too stupid to spell joe's name right or is such a jerk he misspells it on purpose

Truth: there are other sources , online and in print that are kicking it in the corporate ass daily. The future of what was once alt weekly journalism is found elsewhere

Truth: the Guardian has lost influence in its own industry, as Tim's failure to attend AAW's meeting meant the Guardian lost its board seat, ensuring VVM will gain more influence.

While y'all can blabber on , these are facts. Deny them all you like. There will be no 50th anniversary issue, though .

Posted by Junkie on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

Truth: the Guardian is in desperate financial shape. So bad the real talent has been laid off and three white men remain in charge, despite the fact that two have failed as journalist and manager, and one is in such denial he thinks the Internet, craigslist and 9/11, to name but a few he stated under oath had "no effect" on the paper's finances.

Truth: tim is either too stupid to spell joe's name right or is such a jerk he misspells it on purpose

Truth: there are other sources , online and in print that are kicking it in the corporate ass daily. The future of what was once alt weekly journalism is found elsewhere

Truth: the Guardian has lost influence in its own industry, as Tim's failure to attend AAW's meeting meant the Guardian lost its board seat, ensuring VVM will gain more influence.

While y'all can blabber on , these are facts. Deny them all you like. There will be no 50th anniversary issue, though .

Posted by Junkie on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

I am at a loss. Let's be reasonable and assume all that junk is true, Junkie.

Why do you care about what you wrote, Junkie? Why aren't you elsewhere since you prefer other sites and publications? That's what an intelligent, sensible and reasonable person would do.

Your comment is like Vagabond & Ayatollah Arthur Evans'. Both of you (or are you the same person?) write this "let me get in your face and taunt you" style comment, rather than just leave the site.

Do you (Arthur) expect the BG to become the right-wing publication you desire it to be? Do you think that is reasonable and sensible?

If there is no 50th anniversary issue, why would you care? Is there any financial loss for you in that? How would that affect you?

We have so many sick, busy-bodied people in our society who concern themselves about things that have no affect on them.

There's not much chance for being reasonable or sensible with so many sick people presumably whacked out on pharmaceuticals.

Posted by Artor Evons on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

Great post Tim. Shows the value of a journalist who's put down stakes in a communtiy, fought the battles, and has historic memory of those and other battles.

Posted by Dirk on Jul. 28, 2011 @ 4:14 pm