The Mission 'douchebags'


Okay, you have to read this. When a 1990s tech-startup guy who admits he was part of the last generation of gentrification is now so fed up with the new arrival of high-paid techies that he's ready to leave, it's pretty serious.

Chris Tacy makes an excellent point: When you move into the Mission, you need to understand that there are already other people living there, some of whom have been there a long time, and that it isn't just you're rich-kids playground:

Be considerate. That little old hispanic lady at the bus stop? Help her onto the bus instead of loudly bitching about how she’s going to make you late to your meeting at The Creamery. Be respectful. This neighborhood was here before you and will be here after you leave. It’s not your trashcan, your toilet or your playground. Understand the history and the culture and the people and act in a manner that isn’t stupidly offensive. Be sensitive. The traditional residents of this neighborhood are not rich and never will be. Flaunting your wealth and your opportunities is a douche move.

A guy I knew in college came from a very wealthy family, and his parents set up a trust fund for him. But he wasn't going to get a penny until he was 30, and most of it would come to him later in life. His dad's rationale: People who have a lot of money in theirs 20s become assholes. They don't have enough life experience to handle the sudden riches. Get a job, live like a normal person, find out what life is like.

That's how riches used to happen -- the great industrial fortunes of the previous American generations tended to come to people who had worked for a while first; there weren't a lot of 20-something millionaires. I think that's a big change in the current economy. Some people are just too young to be rich.

I know, I'm an old fart who is not rich and never will be. Sometimes I feel like a curmudgeon. But if you're lucky enough to be rich in your 20s, show some respect.


You have 2 kids right? You own a SFH in Bernal Heights. I'd guess that's a 3-bedroom place, probably 2-bath. Zillow has places like that going for around a million. Sure you've probably got a mortgage but that's still a tidy chunk of change.

Now you probably don't make a crap load at SFBG now that the hooker ad's have dried up (as it were) but I'll bet it's close to the SF average for a college graduate, and you had the good sense to marry a lawyer who presumably pulls in 100K plus.

So you're doing very nicely for yourself. No doubt you're gonna go all "noblesse oblige" on my ass but, even so, griping about the rich when you're doing as well as you are ain't bad. And isn't it interesting how many of the progressive crowd, city family and non-profit mafia are doing great?

As for the Mission, it's always been changing and it always will. Whether you've been there 30 minutes or 30 years makes not an iota of difference. Cuz we're tolerant in SF, right? Even towards the rich, right?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

Who are you, anyway? Obama's little NSA-douche? Creepy

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 1:04 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

Envy of the rich (Tim, in this case) is an ugly thing, at best. Must you engage in class warfare?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

drawing attention to the fact that he rather more wealthy than he likes to pretend.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 1:31 pm

ah, so that explains why Tim is always calling wealthy folks like himself to task. it's about self-envy.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

There's an argument that the rich become champagne socialists and limousine liberals to assuage their guilt at their success.

Rather like the way many whites here love to beat up on being white.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

funny how the rich cry 'class warfare' when they're the subject of criticism. if you don't want to be called out as douche-bags...don't be a douche-bag. if you were born on 3rd...don't go around thinking you hit a triple. it really is that simple. now grow up and get a clue.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

Almost all of the bad behaviour I see in SF is from the poor, the homeless and the criminal underclass.

While the wealthy, generally speaking, are law-abiding, cultured and generous.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

"Almost all of the bad behaviour I see in SF is from the poor, the homeless and the criminal underclass. While the wealthy, generally speaking, are law-abiding, cultured and generous."

This utterly absurd remark does not, obviously, merit a response. but still this may actually be the most ridiculous post I have ever read on this site.

If you actually believe this, which i don't doubt, you are completely out of touch with reality. Completely.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

I took it as sarcasm

Posted by pete moss on Jun. 13, 2013 @ 6:42 am

Are most felons wealthy, successful people? Or guys from the wrong side of the tracks?

Rhetorical question. While there might be a few white collar criminals (Madoff, Helmsley, the Enron crew), it is well known that poverty is a major driver of and correlator with most kinds of crime and antisocial behaviour.

If I hear footsteps behind me at night and look around to see who it is, I will feel relief if it is a well known socialite or benefactor.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2013 @ 7:17 am

agreed. Attempted to rip that guy a new asshole. Hopefully he's crying and calling his parents for a plane ticket home right about now. We def don't need those types of people polluting SF.

Posted by Oona Moon on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 8:44 am
Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 9:46 am

Eating the children’s sweets

In recent years, scientists in the US have been investigating the ways in which having money affects personality and behaviour. Their results have been remarkably consistent. The rich are different – and not in a good way. Their life experience makes them less empathetic, less altruistic and generally more selfish, according to Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. ‘We have done 12 separate studies measuring empathy in every way imaginable... and it’s the same story...’1

For example, less privileged people are better at deciphering the emotions of people in photos than rich people. In video recordings of conversations, the rich are more likely to check cell phones, doodle, avoid eye contact; while less privileged people make eye contact and nod their heads more often, signalling engagement.

In another test, when poorer people were awarding points representing money, they were likely to give away more than richer people.

Keltner also studied the activity of the vagus nerve, which helps the brain to record and respond to emotional inputs. When participants are exposed to pictures of starving children, for example, their vagus nerve becomes more active. Keltner has found that those from poorer backgrounds experience more intense activation.

One of his students, Jennifer Stellar, did a similar experiment using heart rate, which slows with feelings of compassion. Unlike those of poorer students, the heart rates of the richest students did not change when they viewed pictures of children with cancer. ‘They are just not attuned to it,’ Stellar told the New York Magazine.2

In 2012 another University of California researcher, Paul Piff, published a paper entitled ‘Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behaviour’. Using quizzes, online games, questionnaires, in-lab manipulations and field studies, Piff also found that living high on the socio-economic ladder makes people less ethical, more selfish, more insular and less compassionate.

One experiment showed that rich participants, when placed in a room with a bowl of candy designated for children, were the most likely to help themselves to the sweets. Another showed they were three times more likely to cheat than those on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder.

In another study, Piff and his researchers spent three months observing the behaviour of drivers at the busy intersection of two major highways. They graded cars one to five, with five the most expensive. They found that drivers of grade-five cars were the most likely to cut off other drivers. Piff then devised an experiment to test drivers’ regard for pedestrians. A researcher would enter a zebra crossing as a car approached. Half of the grade-five car drivers cruised right into the crossing, regardless of pedestrians. ‘It’s like they didn’t even see them,’ said Piff.2

Can the rich redeem themselves? It will take another set of studies to show what happens if they give their riches away.

Michael Kraus, Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner, ‘Social Class as Culture: The Convergence of Resources and Rank in the Social Realm’, Current Directions in Psychological Science, August 2011.

Lisa Miller, ‘The Money-Empathy Gap’, New York Magazine, July 2012

- See more at:


Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

funds and of their time. It's the poor who are self-absorbed.

How many foundations do you know of that were started by poor people?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

Thank you, Guest -- really interesting and troubling studies. My own experience ranges from living on minimum wage earnings to having household income (but not yet assets) of the top 2 percent. While our life style is decidedly modest --one fourteen year old car, a rented apartment, most meals at home -- having such a large income has changed my perspective. I don't have to worry about the cost of everything. But I am less in touch with others' everyday concerns, and I think that makes me less empathetic. The struggle to remain compassionate, kind, and engaged is not epic, but it is there. I think rich people can be extremely generous and community oriented. But empathy, identification with others' concerns, etc. do not come as naturally as they do when one is in the midst of that struggle every day.

Posted by Willfully anonymous on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 10:18 am

level worker, I was always on the make, looking for an angle, and have to admit that I was more tempted to engage in morally and legally dubious activities. Why? Because I was struggling and desparate.

Now that I am comfortably affluent and financially secure, I never have such thoughts. I am more relaxed and confident, and will never do anything just for money, but rather because it is right.

So the real point here is that wealth makes some people better, and may make some people worse as well. It's all down to the individual.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 10:26 am

Guest, I wish it were down to the individual, but the several academic studies cited seem to indicate that wealth correlates in an opposite direction to empathy.

Posted by Willfully anonymous on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 10:42 am

it is not at all clear to me how a study could measure something like empathy which is, essentially, a feeling or state of mind.

It is very clear, however, that affluent folks give a lot to charity and spend a lot of time volunteering

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 10:55 am

Guest, the comment above that sparked our exchange contains a link to the studies, I think. This is not the first time I have read of these studies by a variety of authors. I would suggest to anyone who feels strongly about the wealth-empathy nexus that they explore said studies, particularly if their conclusions seem counter-intuitive. Simply saying they are nonsensical or that you are unaware of them or that they the don't jibe with your experience seems kind of reactive. I, too, should read them, but I find I usually explore social science studies that challenge my opinions, not ones that confirm them, due to a limited amount of time.

Posted by Willfully anonymous on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 11:18 am

They suffer from confirmation bias. You obviously want to believe that the rich are less moral than the poor and so, when you see a study that claims to show that, you read it, are impressed with it, bookmark it and cite it.

When you read that 90% of all charitable contributions come from the top 5% by income, you shut that out as noise.

After exhibiting such bias for a few years, you become convinced not only that you are right but that all the evidence supports you.

But we all know that there are rich people who are saintly and poor people who commit terrible crimes, so whatever the secret is to "empathy", it isn't being poor.

And I'd be willing to bet that 90% of convicted felons are poor. In fact, that is often used by the left to explain why so many blacks commit crimes, i.e. it's not that blacks commit more crimes, but rather that the poor commit more crimes, and blacks are more likely to be black.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 11:31 am

If you were my spokesman I'd fire you and hire M. Brown. Seriously, the only reason the wealthy contribute to charity is for the tax breaks. Take away those deductions and watch the money dry-up.

Posted by Can you say Tax Breaks? on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 9:52 am

donate money. And unless the tax rate is more than 100%, those donations still cost the donor. The tax deduction just makes each dollar go a little further.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 10:35 am

Hilarious! How much money do you have to have in your bank account before you stop giving a shit about kids with cancer? Seriously. I really want to know. What is it? $100,000? $250,000? A million? Where's the line of delineation, Guest?. Out of curiosity, how much money does Tim have? Counting property, savings, any pensions his family might possess. How about Chris Daly? We eagerly await your response.

Posted by Snoozers on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

While the wealthy, generally speaking, are law-abiding, cultured and generous Hahahahahahaha. You're funny!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2013 @ 9:54 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2013 @ 10:17 am

It's not about rich or poor, successful or not, it's about showing respect. Americans tend to be horrible at this, sine they rarely travel and see other cultures. Don't you dare complain about the homeless, those people are at a loss, many of them are veterans of the various pointless and damaging wars we set out to fight, and have very few programs, chances and resources or family members or true friends to get back on their feet. I grew up in SF, right near the Potrero Hill projects, which was actually a really nice neighborhood to grow up in. Even though the techies moved in and made it even more desireable around 2000, all I hear from dogwalking clients etc. who are new to the city are them griping about how their trendy affordable neighborhood is too close to the projects. The projects and the poor and underclass have always been here, it's part of living in a city, if it bothers you move back to the suburbs. We don't want your stinky sheltered attitude here anyway. The wealth of assholes and disrespectful younger folks I have seen taking over this city has seriously devalued the original charm and flavor of SF. So you can argue all you want about how city's are always changing and evolving, but have you asked yourself is my contribution to the transformation of this city enriching it or ruining it. And if you don't care about those types of things than you have proven yourself to be a true selfish asshole. One day soon the scales will tip, and the people who really deserve to be in SF, who appreciate and respect it's history and culture will take it back. Let's just hope you have your vespa ready to take a long trip far the fuck away back to your parents house in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Posted by Oona Moon on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 8:40 am

"One day soon the scales will tip, and the people who really deserve to be in SF, who appreciate and respect it's history and culture will take it back. "

Promises, promises. What are you going to do, bleed on them?

Posted by marcos on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 9:05 am

And ask them if they want fries with that.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 04, 2013 @ 9:45 am

wow. some of you are really stupid. It's not about class envy. It's about a**holes with money who have overwhelmed the landscape. It's not player hate--- it's about bringing YOUR game into THEIR lives.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

for unsuccessful people. In fact, they may even offer jobs to them.

This backlash against success is envy, pure and simple. And it is very unattractive and un-American.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

I don't know why I bother to reply to this, but I suppose it's part of my point. Yes, I own a home in Bernal Heights; we bought it 14 years ago when middle-class people could still do that, and it's worth a fair amount of money now but we aren't going to sell it because we see our house as a home for our family, not a speculative investment. But here's my point: When I was in my 20s, I lived with roommates and then in a small apartment. I was here a long time, and deeply invested in this city and community (and had been working for many years to save a little money) by the time I bought a house. (Oh, and we told our real estate agent that we would not consider under any circumstances buying a place that had a tenant who would have to be evicted or that had been emptied by an eviction. It took quite a while to find a place.) As I've said before, I'm not hating on the rich, just asking them to have a little respect for people who were already here when they moved in.

Posted by tim on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

"we aren't going to sell it because we see our house as a home for our family, not a speculative investment"

Translation: I'm not going to sell the house now; but will do so eventually, for a whole lot of money.

If you own a house in Bernal Heights that you bought 14 years ago, you are far wealthier than most Americans.

Posted by Butch on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

as every other aspect of American society. Bruce made off like a thief when he sold the Guardian building to developers who are turning it into high-priced condos - and he didn't give a cent of that cash to any of his employees either. You'd have thought that by making over $1.5 million he could toss $5-10 thousand to the few hardy souls who remain in the SFBG newsroom. Nope - he took it and RAN.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

Actually it's not funny at all. It's sad.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

Generally, rich people do not live in the Mission or ever bother going there.

Rich people live in Pacific Heights or Presidio Heights and hang out in the Marina or dine downtown. Or, they live in a swank condo in Nob Hill or Russian Hill or perhaps in a new high-rise near the Embarcadero. Or, they have a big house in Marin or down on the Peninsula in Atherton or Hillsborough. They would find it perfectly absurd and crass to go get drunk in the Mission and then spend their time hassling some little old lady, of any ethnicity.

Upper-middle class people such as myself (and most likely you), may occasionally go to the Mission to try some hyped new restaurant, but we usually find the experience overrated, overpriced, and the other patrons dull and pretentious. We also have zero interest in getting crushed by a crowd in a divey "hipster" bar with music blaring so loud no one can have a real conversation. We are working professionals, and many of us have kids, and we find a lot of what twentysomethings say and do to be pretty trivial and even annoying. (Yes, we realize we generalize, and we acknowledge there are always interesting, grounded, and passionate individuals be found in every age group).

Tim, most of the people you encounter in the Mission who annoy you are just young adults with no kids, no partner/spouse, nor any true vocational calling to ground them. While some may be "techie affluent" hipsters, most are just plain old ordinary self-absorbed young adults who come from a broad spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds. They are the people who talk loudly about their sexual exploits on the bus three feet from a little kid, or push past the old lady on the sidewalk, or get wasted and then piss on the side of someone else's apartment building. The problem is not that they are rich, as most are not, but rather that they are young, dumb, and full of themselves.

Posted by Chris on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

Your comment rings true.

Posted by Willfully anonymous on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 10:47 am

A lot of property owners did all of the same things you did, Tim, and it doesn't stop you from accusing them of every evil under the sun. I bought my place 10 years ago and I've never evicted anyone either, do I get a pass from the entitled unemployables who you pander to?

Now explain why you hate kids with cancer, Douche.

Posted by Snoozers on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

≈ I'm sure you believe you've got some kind of point to derive from the _ad_hominem_ babble, but it's pretty much divorced from reality:

Posted by Jym Dyer on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

Only Marke and Steven remain. And the question for them is - for how long?

It's surprising there's nothing about this on the site.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 4:22 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

But with Caitlin gone as well, who is going to cover kink?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 4:47 pm


Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

But I don't think he was a bad guy.

Naïve, perhaps. Hopelessly idealistic, certainly. But not evil in the sense that some on the left undoubtedly are.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

Thank you for this article, nice to see that someone finally gets it!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

Look at this guys resume: a Stanford grad with a background in Venture Capital and Social Media.

Where does Tim find these people??

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

A douche complaining about a douche complaining about a douche. Ah, home!

Posted by NOT_Eric_Brooks on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

nobody will return his phone calls

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

Exactly! When you start your rant with a disclaimer that you used to do the same crap you're complaining about, you've already lost any sympathy you're going to get from me.

"I already got mine by shitting on the guy who came before me, but that's ok because now I realize the error of my ways. But stop shitting on me because it's wrong and I don't like it"

Grow up and do something the state of the world about it instead of whining about it on your blog!!

Posted by JustJimi on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Related articles

  • Wired measures tech bus trips in a day

  • Barroom backchannel

    Can tech workers and progressive activists cooperate in the fight against displacement? Maybe, but don't tell their bosses.

  • Controversial housing proposal at 16th and Mission follows calls to "Clean up the Plaza"