November 24, 2015

The San Francisco Sob Story

As a recent transplant to San Francisco, I’m not going to pretend that I know everything about this city in a few weeks.

I could spend my time complaining about rent, tech bros and how creative people are being driven out of the area, but I’d rather spend my energy actually pursuing an art.

And come to think of it, some of the tech bros are pretty damn sexy. Maybe I should use my energy pursuing them?

The same folks moaning about the changing landscape of major American cities are probably the same ones constantly hooked to smartphones; their overpriced cocktails sit in front of them while the lingering, human conversation comes to an awkward close. Technology winning, once again. And not in a good way.

Why talk about about affordable housing, systematic racism and poverty in-person? This isn’t the 1960’s, dude.

We’re living in a hypersensitive, overly connected world where people jump to harsh conclusions on social media and believe a “like” or “share” is going to make a difference.

In some circumstances, the success of digital activism is astounding, but there’s more to be done than changing your Facebook photo to reflect sympathy for whatever the most recent tragedy happens to be.

“New York and San Francisco aren’t what they used to be.”

You’re telling me this as a 40-or-50 something, self-described creative whose lived in the city for the past few decades? I’m not looking for someone to blame, but if you are, it falls on you.

Most Millennials were trying to escape from the suburbs and finish college as the alleged creative pulse was ripped from the core of our lively cities.

In some cases, it’s a catch 22; you’re a recent graduate with a “hefty” salary, but you move into a “gentrifying” neighborhood that you can barely afford, paying upwards of half of your salary. Yet, somehow, you’re represented as the problem?

I highly doubt that young professionals with crippling student loan debt have a set agenda against low-income individuals in desirable cities.

The so-called Millennial rally call: “Let’s drive families out of this neighborhood that we can barely afford ourselves!” Bonus points if you have blonde hair, light eyes and a liberal arts degree.

I find it interesting that no attention is paid to the low-income families that were bought out of their homes, paving the way for slum lords and developers to turn the same place into a “condo.”

It’s easier to conceptualize that it’s income A vs. income B / race X vs. race Y, right?

Oh, geez. Leave it to a Millennial to think he knows everything.