Human Shields

One can’t help think that this housing problem in San Francisco is simply a changing of the guard, the movement of one group of people to another place, like muscling in on the Ohlone (this happened). This is clearly illustrated in the current state of affairs with wealthy, young workers flaunting their capability to pay astronomical rent when outbidding others on the opportunity to make other people rich. Renting does not benefit you, no matter what you think. You will never have a right to the property you pay for.

So maybe this is just the more capable forcing out the less capable. In a recent article by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, San Francisco natives lamented about their changing home, albeit with far less vitriol than the Mission housing activists. They say it’s because of the new techies, but I see it as a simple imbalance of groups that have always existed here in San Francisco.

And we used to have balance. The city has always had neighborhoods for different types of people. We have the Marina for the yuppies (young, urban professionals = y. u. p. = yuppie), the Mission for the scumbags/weirdos/artists, the Bayview for the thugs, the western neighborhoods for people that had kids and dropped out. It was all here. There was plenty of space for everyone, and unspoken borders kept you where you should be.

There are too many yuppies here in the city. And I have to characterize a yuppie as someone who is very young and therefore very naive about life. When I moved to the city for Los Angeles, I was in my very early 20’s and ignorant. After mistakes, I have now learned a few things about life. Yuppies, with there extremely high paying jobs, don’t really know what to do with their money. If there is a young person that makes a lot of money and say, invests is properly or saves it, then they automatically count themselves out of this categorization. If there have a lot of money and spend it on expensive clothing or ridiculous parties or worse, well, they should count themselves defined.

Yuppies are just dense. I am not saying that they are horrible people. They don’t kill people in the streets (most of the time) or engage in antisocial behavior (most of the time). They are mainly hardwired to self serve, to only think and care about the person in the mirror. Again, not horrible, but not exactly edifying to society. Patrick Bateman taught us that a hyper keen perspective on the pointless details of life were more important than acting civilized, and if these yuppies picture themselves woven into the thin blanket that the City has spread over it, there is little in the way of a moral block that will stop them.

And the reason this is so horrible is the effect housing in the city. The large number of yuppies is driving the economy. Rent skyrockets when you have too many people that are willing to pay astronomical prices just to live without understanding what they get. Most people would scoff at a one bedroom in an old wood framed house for $2500 a month..but not yuppies. They just pay. I marvel at what is happening downtown. I lived in the Tenderloin for eight years and can say that it is a shithole. It was an affordable shithole, but it is still a shithole. And when I hear that people pay over $2000 for a crappy studio while their rent controlled neighbor smokes crack and talks to themselves all night to the tune of $600 a month, I just can’t believe it. By the way, I still walk the old land from time to time, and it is still a filthy shithole.

The stupidity problem is something that will never be solved. Every major era in history has had to deal with this issue. It’s a byproduct of youth. Young people have the power to stand up to any regime, invent amazing things, change the world, but that is only some of them. The rest are emotionally unstable and only capable of following others over a cliff. The stupidity problem here in San Francisco, however, is one that I cannot dodge, hence these words.


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