Thursday, February 3, 2011

Guy smoking crack on the N Judah becomes Important News Story

During my various perambulations around the Internets yesterday, I saw, as I'm sure many of you did, the story, with accompanying video, about the guy smoking crack on the N Judah. As far as I can tell, it appeared first on Uptown Almanac, under the headline "N Judah Drives Man to Smoke Crack, Uptown Reader Forgets How to Hold iPhone." The story was 10% about a guy smoking crack on the N Judah and 90% about how to hold an iPhone while shooting video. Anyway.

I next saw it at the venerable SFist, which seemed more interested in the smoking-crack-on-the-N-Judah angle:

The folks at Uptown Almanac bring our attention to a video of a gentlemen taking candid pulls from his crack (presumably it's crack, since marijuana emits a stench that, by comparison, lingers in the air) pipe. Really, it's an astounding, not to mention ballsy, thing to do while riding a seemingly crowded N Judah train. Addiction will do remarkable things to a person, we guess. Alas.

The film was shot yesterday by YouTube user sizlinseagulsoup. Check it out below.

The story then migrated to the Lamestream Media, where it appeared last night on Channel 2 news. Since the video has since been removed from YouTube because it "depicts harmful activities," the only place you can see the video now is on the KTVU website.

(Sotto voce to YouTube: Yes, crack smoking is bad, but aren't you being a little judgmental? Isn't Russian teenager amateur bungee jumping a potentially harmful activity?)

ANYWAY, I didn't really think too much about it, having seen way worse on many Muni lines, including the N Judah, when Sal Castaneda - who I love, don't get me wrong - pipes up on the Twitter this morning:

I have a couple of thoughts about this.

1. The person who shot the video is apparently YouTube user "sizlinseagulsoup," who is probably a real person and probably contactable via the "Send Message" option on YouTube. On Channel 2, no one is credited for shooting the video. I don't know if KTVU bothered to try and track down this person, but that would have been nice.

2. On that note, the whole Channel 2 story does nothing to discourage you from believing that they came up with the story themselves, when they obviously saw it on SFist or Uptown Almanac or Twitter.

3. Assuming that Sal thinks that "people sitting there very nonchalantly," as opposed to say, getting involved, is what's "incredible," oh, I beg to differ. What are they supposed to do, yell "Stop smoking crack!!!"? Here's what they know: The person is a CRACKHEAD. Crackheads have a reputation for being somewhat volatile. Who knows how this one's going to react? Google "Muni attack" sometime and tell me how brave you're feeling.

4. I don't know, this whole thing is such a What Would You Do situation that I expect John Quinones to pop up any second.


Kevin Montgomery said...

Ha! I'm writing a similar piece right now...

The video was uploaded by me, emailed as an attachment by a 'concerned reader' of the blog.

And nope, they never bothered to contact me.

TK said...

The sad part is, I wasn't really surprised at all.

It'll probably show up on SFGate today. They're always like a day behind these things. It almost makes you feel sad for them. Poor SFGate.

Scurvy said...

Actually, I yelled at a crackhead to GTFO the 38 once. Once I did, other people joined in then he ran off at the next stop. FWIW, the driver didn't care that he was holding a crackpipe as he get on the bus...nor was he wearing ANY pants. SF Muni sucks.

Laura said...

that's old news, been happening on Muni for ages. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a resourceful crackhead on the 19 once. He used a tiny liquor bottle, broke off the bottom of the bottle & used that as his crack pipe. Then he pontificated to the bus that it was DMV's fault he was smoking crack again. You see, he had various drunk driving offences so his license was revoked, and riding Muni DROVE HIM BACK TO CRACK! Can't make this shit up...

Tamagosan said...

There's just no excuse for 1. and 2. As for 3., I'm particularly proud of the MUNI folk for mastering the art of detachment, maintaining boundaries and embracing the fact that they are powerless over crack. Who knew that the N was such a 12-step-friendly place?

Anonymous said...

I love San Francisco ... we broke it first :)

Generik said...

Watch for the big SFGate (and/or KTVU) story some time next week about how "RIDING MUNI MAKES YOU SMOKE CRACK!!!"

Because it totally does.

Also, when I watched the video yesterday, I thought, if I was on that streetcar, I would have let the guy smoke his crack in peace. As long as he's not fucking with people, who cares? Let him get high and get off when he gets to his stop. There are worse things that happen on Muni.

Claudia said...

I know that "crackhead". I see him everyday, and have to kick him out of my store almost everyday. He's so drunk 24/7 if someone had told him to stop he would have just slurred back, "My name is Shakeem". That's all I ever make out of whatever words come out of his mouth in between taking swigs of vodka. He's pretty harmless, unless you're a "white boy" then he gets enraged. Even though I know this particular individual, the only time I would interfere with someone on Muni is if they are physically harming someone. Otherwise, let them do their thing. Who doesn't drink on Muni? You gotta get your pre-game on!