Friday, November 20, 2015

I'm on hiatus

It's that time of year. Time to engage in some uncomfortable air travel and see the relatives and whatever.  I'll be back.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I know what you've been thinking.  "TK, I'm already bored of governors threatening to kill refugees who might stray across their state line.  Can you find me any stupider reaction to the terrorist attacks in France?"


From Erick Erickson, prominent right-wing radio host:

An adult wrote that.

The central thesis of this prose poem is that it's too dangerous to see Star Wars because, I gather (although it's not explicit) the Administration can't keep terrorists from doing something involving metal inside a theater showing a Star Wars film.

There are many points here, but just to start:

1. People do, in fact, get shot in movie theaters.  Just not by terrorists from other countries.  

2. There are somewhere around 270 million guns in America. There are around 2.7 million federal employees,  That's only ONE member of the Administration per ONE HUNDRED GUNS. How's one dude gonna keep his eye on a hundred guns?  Can't be done.  If someone wants to shoot you, no, the Administration can't really protect you.  Sorry.

3. Since 2012, 16 people have been killed violently in American movie theaters, 12 of them in one incident (committed by a native-born US citizen who bought his arsenal of guns and ammunition legally, I might add).  That's about the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 5 hours.  The real "threat scenario" is driving to the fucking theater.

4. Nobody gives a shit if you see Star Wars or not. 

Jesus, these people.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Today in Our Garbage City: This city isn't for you anymore, it's for Them

I don't think anyone really appreciates yet the level of fuckery that's going to accompany the arrival of Super Bowl L in February which is not being played in San Francisco at all but rather in Santa Clausa or whatever but will effectively shut down downtown because no Regional VP of Sales who's getting sent to the Super Bowl as a reward for beating revenue targets for three straight years wants to go to the Cheesecake Factory in Santa Clara when he could go to the Cheesecake Factory in Union Square.  So the NFL and Business Fingerpuppet Ed Lee have joined forces to shut down the foot of Market for 2 weeks so business douches and Patriots fans can wallow around in money and celebrate a sport that's not even played professionally here any more.

Despite the obvious annoyance that this shitacular is going to be, I was more or less agnostic on hating it until this came out:
The committee planning Super Bowl City are asking that Muni’s overhead wires be taken down near Justin Herman Plaza, the San Francisco Examiner has learned, potentially disrupting service of Muni’s historic streetcars and wire-dependent buses.
Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the plaza, said she thought the potential plan was well-known.
“Yeah, that’s real,” she said. “The [Super Bow] committee has been very open about it. They’ve said that’s what they want.”
She added, “They’ve definitely been asking to take down the overhead wires on Market Street.”

You get this?  These dickbrains want to take down the wires that the fucking buses and streetcars use, because I guess they'll interfere with the views or something or, more likely, because they think that might keep the ugly vermin that ride Muni from making it into their Morbidly Obese Capitalism Zone.  FUCK YOU, SAN FRANCISCO!  If you need to get somewhere on lower Market in February, you should have either started a Fortune 500 company or been better at football.

Sources with close knowledge of the project also confirmed the potential plan. Those sources, who would not use their names for fear of reprisal from the Mayor’s Office, also said removing numerous wires on Market Street may cost a “seven-figure number” requiring “lots of overtime” to remove correctly.
So much here.  The only people who can talk about this must remain hidden in the shadows lest whoever the fuck it is who really runs this yard visits a terrible revenge on them.  But hey, we've got plenty of seven-figure numbers to throw around, now that all that money from Airbnb registrations is rollng in, right?

Elsewhere, the lovely Palace of Fine Arts, long a civic institution, is being boring and not doing what you're supposed to do in Our Garbage City, which is generate TONS O' CASH.  So hey, let's fucking MONETIZE THAT BITCH!!!

From 7x7:

The Palace of Fine Arts is one of San Francisco’s most iconic public buildings, and some folks are none too happy about potential plans to turn the cultural landmark into a luxury boutique hotel. 
Back in December 2014, Rec and Park issued a press release announcing a request for proposals for what general manager Phil Ginsburg called "a unique business opportunity" for private businesses to pitch creative takeovers of the 140,000 square-foot structure. As of last week, the city has accepted three proposals for the fomer Exploratorium space: two would transform the building into a hotel, and one suggests opening a museum and restaurant.

Whatever.  Fine.  That's where we live now.  If you're not generating ROI, you're fucking dead to us.  LEARN TO CODE, PALACE OF FINE ARTS, OR GET LEFT BEHIND.

(Also, bless your heart, makers of the petition to stop this, but it's "San Francisco," not "San Fransisco," sweetie.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

TK's Post-Election Takeshop

We were also considering TK's Take & Eggs or Tartine Takery, so you got lucky with the title we went with.

WHOA HOW ABOUT THAT ELECTION.  I actually can't say I'm surprised about anything, including Prop F going down.  Imagine that, the side with 10x more money winning!  It's only been that way since ANCIENT FUCKING ROME.  I mean, if Gaius Nobodius raised 8 million denarii, he could knock off Cicero.  "CICERO: BAD FOR ROME, BAD FOR YOU. My name is Gaius Nobodius and I approved this message."

The first thing everybody talks about is the LOW VOTER TURNOUT like ohhhhh nooooo only 132,262 people voted oh dude that sucks.  What the fuck makes you think the extra 300,000 people who could have voted would have done any better?  It's not like the 300k people who didn't vote are super well-informed about the issues or would have voted for Amy whoever for mayor instead of the techbro figurehead we're stuck with.  If you couldn't be bothered to vote, there's very little chance you wouldn't be swayed by the Prop F ads telling you that Prop F will basically turn SF into Cold War-era East Berlin and the CIA will be watching you through your TV.

So yeah, Ed Lee won, no big surprise there since it wasn't really clear whether the people running against him were joking or not, but I guess it's kind of surprising that he only got 56% of the votes in an election where he was basically running unopposed.  San Francisco is famously fractious, but you can still get more than 56% of people to agree on things that are basically unopposed, like beer is good or the Golden Gate Bridge is pretty.  Doesn't make any damn difference, though, Ed's 56% counts the same as Kim Jong Whatever's 100%, and both of them don't give a shit what you think.

The interesting thing is that Aaron Peskin got sent back to the Board of Supervisors which is good for people like me who like assholes who call people drunk in the middle of the night or who are themselves assholes who call people drunk in the middle of the night.  I just want shit to be more interesting and it seems like he's good at that.

Then we have Prop J, the legacy business fund thing that will help keep shops that people don't spend enough money in to support any more open after they should have gone out of business and I'm just bummed they didn't have this like 150 years ago because you know blacksmith shops and tanneries would be so fucking hip right now.  Can you just see the beardos in suspenders all hanging out all around the smithy.  God I love the Mission.

Anyway, good job, Garbage City. I'm sure the Airbnb thing isn't over. Hey, I have an idea for a ballot proposition - you can run your Airbnb like a hotel, but you have to provide a hotel bar in every building and also pay-per-view porn and a minibar in the room.

Oh fuck, we have to vote again next year?  Great.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Proposition F isn't really about Proposition F at all

Proposition F - the anti-Airbnb ballot measure, for lack of a better pithy descriptor - has become the shitstorm of this election. It's turned comments sections from trash into Superfund-site-level toxic sludge, made Nextdoor even more hilariously unhinged, and filled everyone's mailboxes with the papertrash equivalent of 3 Examiners a day.  It hasn't helped that Airbnb is financing an anti-F campaign that makes the Willie Horton ad look like a Harvard debate club salon.

Forced to do what?  To report to the government when you're sleeping in your own bed, according to this not-at-all fearmongering and hilarious No on F ad.

The actual proposition tinkers with existing regulations in more or less minor ways - reducing the total number of nights you can rent out your place from 90 to 75, and allowing neighbors to sue you if they think you're violating the terms, along with some other stuff - but to hear the anti-Prop F people, you'd think it was the Apocalypse combined with the Cuban Revolution and now everyone will have to leave their houses and let a poor move in.  They also say the current system is working, which is patently bullshit, since we have a newly-operating full-time Airbnb hotel 2 doors down from our house and no one's doing shit about that.

As you can probably tell, I'm lowkey pro-Prop-F, but it doesn't make any difference because Airbnb's Gigantic Fun House of Money combined with a total voter turnout of about 48 people, most of whom work for Airbnb, pretty much ensures that they've got this one in the bag.

Still, it's become obvious to me this isn't actually about the proposition itself.  It's about two views of a changing San Francisco.  A lot of people (me, to some extent, included) see San Francisco changing quickly and, to their minds, unpleasantly, and Airbnb is a very visible, very loud manifestation of that.  Remember that nice family that lived down the street?  They had to move to Fairfield, and now their place has a kegerator instead of a playpen and it's like Phi Delt is recreating the Fall of the Roman Empire there every weekend.  To this group, Airbnb is a huge shining symbol of the New New San Francisco - Our Garbage City - where the tech companies shit all over it and do anything they want because there's a perfectly good city government that they paid good money for.  To them, Airbnb and Uber and all the rest are the New Boss, swaggering around town and telling them exactly how it's going to be now and why your way sucked and the new way is better and just shut up and look at your phone.  There's a velvet rope in front of Bi-Rite now, and it snakes through the Mission to the front doors of Vida.

The others side is a strange agglomeration of super-libertarians who are all IT'S MY PROPERTY I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT and Tech Kids who think anything with a .com at the end shits out cotton candy and genuinely well-intentioned people who really do use Airbnb to rent out an extra room once in a while and don't understand why everyone is so pissed off about that.

So this isn't really a vote about whether or not you should be able to rent out your place for an extra 15 days or whether the busybody neighbor is actually going to get their shit together and calm the voices raging in their head enough to sue you, it's about fear of what this city's becoming or may have already become.  This observation probably isn't unique or even interesting, but maybe helps explain why everyone is so fucking worked up.  Maybe.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Tech Fuckup Pool: Join today!

The big Airbnb shitshow last week was a hoot!  From the time that one tech company trashed Dolores Park to the time that other tech company painted shit all over the sidewalks (and that's just the ones I remember from the past few months), one thing's for sure; TECH COMPANIES KEEP DOING STUPID SHIT.

Which means it's going to happen again.  Probably soon.

Which means we need to get a pool going.

My initial idea was going to be that you have to pick a tech company AND a type of stupidity, so like if you had "" and "Homeless-related" and paid homeless people $5 to hand out flyers that said "Don't be as dirty as me" then you'd win.  But there are too many ways in the universe to fuck up, so let's keep this simple.  You just pick a tech company you think will fuck up in the next, say, 6 months, put it in the comments, and if you want to you can make a guess about how they do it but that's not required.  So of course it's better if you say LYFT CHRISTMAS PARTY FEATURES ENDANGERED ANIMAL HORS D'OEUVRES but you can just say LYFT and that will do it.

Will there be a prize?  Of course there will be a prize!  I was thinking about making the prize this "Webvan Advertising Floaty Pen Eskesen Denmark Twist and Click Grocery Service" but if you read the fine print it doesn't even write any more!  Just like Webvan itself, it is sadly defunct.  I don't know, I'll think of something.

The deadline for entries is FRIDAY OCTOBER 30, for no particular reason.  Let's go fuck up, tech companies!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

These Airbnb ads are really something

You've probably seen some version of this story by now:

Airbnb Apologizes For Tone-Deaf Hotel Tax Ads, Will Take Them Down “Immediately”

For the past couple of hours, Airbnb has been getting slammed on social media for a San Francisco bus stop ad that was shared on Facebook. How bad was it? People (including Martha Kenney, who first shared the ad) started speculating that it may have been hoax, perhaps posted by someone who wanted to make Airbnb look bad.

via Techcrunch, and ultimately Martha Kenney, I guess. Thanks, Martha Kenney!

The other ones were even worse: