I was greeted this bright morning with a haphazard series of scribbled messages pasted to the street light controller at 24th and South Van Ness streets.  The other side of the box was covered by lengthly remarks of equal graphic quality.  On the bright side?  The City had placed a notice that said “wet paint” and the paster had scrawled in the word “previously.”

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George Lipp

George Lipp has long lived in the Mission. He’s our volunteer extraordinaire – always out taking photos or running across crimes in progress.

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  1. I work at a tech company and ride one of these buses to work each day. I’d rather my company open office space in the City so I wouldn’t have to do this. However, I will not move out of San Francisco because I value living in the City more than I value working in the South Bay. I lived here before I worked in tech and I moved to San Francisco for San Francisco, not for a job.

    There is a lot more hatred being directed towards tech workers than there is coming from tech workers, and this hatred doesn’t sound like the San Francisco way. Most tech workers are low-level employees for whom San Francisco is also becoming less and less affordable. Yes, I am able to afford it now. But for how long? I’d much rather the City be more affordable for me and my neighbors, and yet those same neighbors yell in my face every morning about how I’m the problem and I need to get out of the City because – to borrow one protestor’s words – I’m “not the right kind of person.”

    We need to rethink our development policy, housing policy, and mass transportation system. Everyone in this city, no matter where they choose to work and live, would benefit from improvements to all of these. The scapegoating, harassment, and general us vs. them attitude is completely contrary the principles of San Francisco, and it’s contributing to the destruction the City’s character. A more constructive solution is to protest city policy and come up with real solutions. That’s the San Francisco way – or so I thought.

    1. You ride a tech bus? But wasn’t that obvious from your previous posts?

      If you value living in the city more than working in the s bay, then why not quit that South Bay job? It sounds like if you had to drive there, you wouldn’t be living here. This is a very broken logic, whereby people commuting over an hour way to land lucrative salaries are displacing people who work locally for much less. So the easy prediction is that soon enough most SF resident will be commuters while the people working in the city will commute from … Stockton? Sounds horrible and obviously this is the change happening now. The s bay tech companies are savaging SF by luring talent with high salaries + SF living + private shuttle. The arguments about fewer cars are moot, that is trumped by economic displacement. The buses are actually diesel and to anyone making the car vs bus argument I say why don’t you live close to work and bike or walk (or take public transport)?Ah, because you don’t like it there. How does this not sound like elitists working out a nice life with all their entitled desires? And now with complaints about being delayed at a bus stop for 20 min? Boohoo.

      Really, San Francisco is the definitive place were the elites and the displaced have always been buddies?

      1. “If you value living in the city more than working in the s bay, then why not quit that South Bay job? It sounds like if you had to drive there, you wouldn’t be living here.”

        I stopped here. I will read the rest of your post when you ready mine.

  2. It’s pretty bad when the most basic ingredient of life – a roof over ones head – doubles and triples in price.

    It’s even worse when the cause of this is surveillance / advertising corporations that collect detailed psychological profiles on billions of people and a drug company that rips off cancer patients.

    It’s good that people are finally getting pissed. That’s what democracy looks like.

    1. Does your head explode thinking about how the Dow Jones is now above 16,000? You think the guy who bought in at 5,000 is going “I CAN’T BELIEVE ITS GONE UP 3 FOLD!”

      1. The parasitic aristocracy has more money than it can possibly spend, and must put it SOMEWHERE, so it’s not surprising that the Dow is up.

        If, however, you think that the 3x increase in stock valuations represents a 3x increase in the value of goods and services, then you are lacking in common sense.

        Asset bubbles and giga-scams do not constitute a healthy economy.

        1. Stock valuations are real money if you sell and realize those profits. Or hedge via derivatives. And of course astute traders can make money regardless of whether the market is going up or down.

          You are correct that a billionaire cannot realistically spend all that money. But typically they give back via foundations, trusts, charities and so on, so the money ends up doing good works anyway.

          The picture you pain is false – just look at the Gates Foundation who, it seems, give aid and help far more efficiently than the government ever does.

          1. I’m referring to the troubling BIG PICTURE that even right-wing publications like The Economist are taking note of:

            The United States, which once had a large, strong and optimistic middle (along with a rich fringe and a poor fringe) is morphing into a 2 class society more akin to Latin America.

            If you think a 2 class society is a viable option, I suggest some travel in Mexico to see how well things function when there is a pampered rich minority that owns everything and a majority that (correctly) feels disenfranchised.

            It is the middle that actually produces most of a nation’s innovation and efficiencies WHEN IT FEELS INVESTED. When it feels duped and squeezed, this potential economic power is squandered, and that is what’s happening.

            The decline of the middle class poses an existential threat to this country. It is the biggest threat this country has ever faced, especially in the presence of a rapidly growing China.

            Getting excited about inflating asset bubbles and growth in the “social internet” is worse than useless because it distracts people from the real problem: internal decay of the social bonds which enable a strong society.

            This national crisis is playing out in fast-motion and in miniature here in the Bay Area – almost like a stage production. History is happening. And, as has often been the case in the past, what happens in SF will have repercussions throughout the world.

          2. I don’t know, nutrisystem, most folks seem to be fat and happy these days. Even if they are perhaps worse off in real terms than 20 years ago, they’ve got their smart phones and their big screen TV’s and their football and their pizza and beer. I cannot imagine the average American protesting in a way that the French do in their sleep.

            And there is a large, vibrant middle class. The trend in the tech business, for instance, is for the workers to own stock. Twitter created not one millionaire but 1,600. That’s a lot of folks and closer to the Marxist model of workers owning the business than anything that came out of Russia.

            You evidently get solace from thinking that the revolution is just around the corner, but I see little evidence of that. A few folks stopping a google bus certainly isn’t it, and nor was that Occupy nonsense that fizzled out.

          3. Worng, Outrageously the majority of tax deducted donations by the rich go to further their own causes aka elitist institutions and self-serving lobbying. Please read recent and not so recent reports on this …

            The current tech boom is a case in point – there are many new millionaires and billionaires but their community involvement is very very hard to see. The few examples are heavily publicized, including with tv ads (see benioff – who now takes credit for UCSF innovations made years before he actually donated). At the same time they don’t skimp on flashy real estate, vehicles, clothing, food and drink establishments and so on. Appearing in the media at fancy social events for the elites doesn’t help either.

            Fundamentally, I think most people don’t have a problem with wealth per se, but with how it’s applied and the repercussions on their lives. Seeing public resources parasitized, like a public transport bus stop is one example. Being economically displaced is profound, and the real people being affected, i.e. Seniors, sick, disabled, or families, really don’t have the means to protest or have a voice.

            And yes, protests are utterly American. In fact, some of the biggest changes in this country were brought about by popular protest.

            Making fun or disparaging people who are passionate about a cause you disagree with is very low. What kind of debate is that? Fascist and elitist.

    2. If housing is becoming too expensive then put the blame for that firmly where it belongs – a system of rent control that suppresses turnover and supply. And NIMBY land use laws that restrict the building of new homes.

        1. Best line: “Most cities woud love to have San Francisco’s problems”.

          So true.

          Interesting also that 25% of SF’s population are over 55. Didn’t know that.

  3. Thanks for sharing the signs. There should be more of them to reflect voiceless unrepresented evictees. The signs are too kind & few. Our lawmakers have failed us miserably. If they were really about solutions associated with actual governing instead of fire sales they could have offered the Hunters Point Shipyard to tech companies who can afford to clean it up instead of giving away prime real estate to unengaged plutocrats whose housing isn’t finished yet..

    1. Denise, you evidently are not “voiceless” at all.

      Posting obscenities in public is not the way to persuade the silent majority of your cause. In fact, it alienates the very voters whose support you wish to elicit.

      1. should they have made a slick advertising video with a 30k budget? Would that convey the message more persuasively? Criticizing the oppressed for their language and tools is a great way to lob ad hominem attacks on credibility and capability, but like with John, it just makes you sound hypocritical. Address the issue and stop calling fouls.

        1. If I can manage to make my point with out insults and abuse, why can’t you and they?

          Abuse typically turns people off your cause.

    1. Agreed. I also think the sign is funny. Sadly the tech boom is killing San Francisco. That is a fact.

        1. In John’s simplistic mind, there are the only two options for the future of San Francisco:

          1) millionaire / billionaire bedroom community & food court

          2) burned-out wasteland.

          1. No, but if one extreme (SF’s success) is so bad, then the other extreme is surely worth investigating.

            But if you are saying that instead we might favor the bland suburbia of, say, silicon Valley, then I am surprised.

            Which model do you think we should follow, if not the one here that has led to success and prosperity?

        1. I feel sure that “mama” would find it equally amusing if someone put up notices telling tenants who cannot afford the rent to “F*** off” to Oakland.

          Or is that somehow totally different?

  4. These signs were posted by one of the elderly (30 y.o.) hipsters who lives in the Mission. He is living in a home previously owned by a long-time Mission family who were evicted when artists started thinking the Mission was a cool place to live (hey, you could eat prosciutto ice cream). Now, the same gentrification that brought him in threatens his ability to work as few hours as possible and spend most of his days in coffee shops.

  5. The Mission Local troll “is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

    Pity the troll

    1. The word “troll” is probably the most over-used word in any comments section. It is typically used by someone who is losing a debate to try and discredit the person winning the debate.

      Allegations of trollery of off-topic, too personal, and should be removed.

      1. Ha ha, I don’t care what you think but I would be willing to wager $501 (that’s more than the ridiculous “cover the bus contest”) that most of the folks that genuinely comment on ML posts would consider you a troll. Touche ML troll!!!

    2. Personally I think it would be great if there was a voting system like in many other commenting systems that the community could use to hide comments that are blatant attempts to go off subject or to provoke other readers.

      The current system seems to make it too easy for a very vocal minority to derail discussions.

        1. The beauty of such a commenting system is that no one person can use it to censor others. Only when a comment is down voted by a significant amount of other readers do their comments appear hidden. Therefore, it isn’t censorship as much as a community consensus that a comment was trollish and harmful to civil discussion.

          1. Fyodor, it is trivially easy to game such systems. If I wanted to make you look bad, I could easily access ML via different IP addresses and vote you up or down multiple times.

            Peoples’ posts stand by what they say. I will taker my chances in a fair debate against anyone. It’s debates that can be gamed and manipulated where there is an issue.

            ML gets their comment and moderation system about right, IMO.

          2. I doubt anyone but you would take the time to “access ML via different IP addresses and vote you up or down multiple times”.

            Most of us have jobs and lives and aren’t going to be spending that kind of time to manipulate a message board. It seems to me you’d just prefer a system where one commenter can continue to derail discussions and engage in rampant class-baiting and race-baiting without any consequences.

          3. My point was that voting systems get gamed. That is fairly well known.

            You appear to have every bit as much time to post here as I do.

            And I think you are seeking to suppress free speech. People who can win debates without help do not seek systems of censorship.

            ML has free speech and that is how it should be. You can always ignore posts you do not like or agree with. Nobody forces you to respond to my every post.

          4. I don’t view voting systems as a form of censorship. It actually usually increases engagement and is a good way of dealing with trolls.

            Furthermore, there is no censorship in the system I was suggest. In voting systems where a comment that has too many downvotes is hidden, you can usually just click the offending comment to read it.

          5. In theory you might be right, Fyodor. But in practice it leads to all kinds of bad behaviors. People make pacts with people to up-vote each others’ posts and gang up on others. Cliques and factions can form for the purpose of marginalizing others. And it all detracts from the real point here, which should be quality debate.

            And indeed, you appear to be advocating this to try and minimize the effectiveness of other posters who you personally do not agree with. That’s not a cool rationale for proposing any change.

            If you cannot win a debate by fair play, you shouldn’t be looking for tricks and devices to try and achieve that via the back door.

          6. I don’t think debate would suffer. It would just open up another avenue for people to express their views, which is another form of free speech.

            As you’re a poster with no idea of how to win a debate or what “fair play” entails and who routinely relies on lying about other’s positions to make the claim that you’ve somehow “won”, forgive me if I say you don’t really have any credibility left to squander here.

          7. You don’t comprehend what a “fair debate” is, John.

            You routinely put words in other people’s mouthes and then try to refute things they never said in order to claim victory. Please look up the straw man fallacy.

          8. Fyodor, since you are posting a reply to every post of mine, and with zero new content, then if i am a troll, so are you.

            I recommend that you restrict yourself to the topic, and stop personal attacks on other contributors.

          9. Excuse me, I was responding to america defender 1 originally before you interjected yourself into the conversation.

            You’re the one responding to every comment I make.

      1. Perhaps a one comment and one rebuttal per article strategy would be an improvement.

        This would prevent endless and unproductive back-and-forth, as well as reigning in some who have been OVERblessed with the gift of gab.

        1. One site i know restricts posts from any one individual to 25% of the total number of posts in the thread.

          Of course, it is impossible to restrict how many names and email addresses you can use, so it’s moot in the extreme. Most methods of censorship can be gotten around.

        2. While I doubt that Mission Local would go for a strategy that would decrease their page views, I agree your suggestion would be a great improvement over the current system, personally.

          1. ML would need a compelling reason to increase the complexity of the site while reducing the activity here.

            Free speech seems to be working fairly well for those who do not seek to control or manipulate the content.

  6. I’m uncertain about the point of this post…

    Are you upset about being greeted by these messages or are you celebrating the use of the public square as a forum to exchange ideas? Are your critical of the spiteful nature of the messages or our you trying to bring attention to the frustration of the segment of the Mission that feels under attack and ignored?

    1. No doubt different people will interpret it in different ways. But to me those posted “messages”, while probably a valid expression of free speech, show a distinct lack of civility and tolerance based on a stereotype of people who do a particular kind of work.

      Not worthy of San Francisco, in my opinion.

  7. Dear Mission Local,
    These are just a few of the sentiments towards the Tech Industry and the impacts it’s having on our City.

    Mission Local has a contest to “artistically cloak” the Google/Tech buses and has lost it’s credibility with this reader. ML is courting the Tech Bus Corporations and cannot continue to be objective on these issues.

    Please abandon your contest as it is an affront to many vulnerable residents of this City.

    1. Are you also asking ML to abandon it’s many articles on evictions because that is pro-tenant and anti-landlord, and therefore one sided?

      No, didn’t think so.

      ML is being unbiased here and you are asking them to be biased in favor of “your side”.

      1. If you were (or are) a person that fit the description of the message on the picture – what you do?

        Would you continue with business as usual?

        Would you do something to change the image (or perceived image) of yourself or your company?

        1. I would probably dismiss these “notes” as the rantings of an extremists and not take them seriously as a genuine popular concern.

          They sound far too angry and intolerant to truly be a rational viewpoint worthy of consideration.

          1. why must someone conform to your rationality, John? Have you entertained the idea that it might be your rationality that underpins the economic injustice in this country/globe? Neoliberalism sounds pretty good on paper. But when you’re constantly imploring other people grow up and develop to meet YOU on YOUR own terms, however, your own socratic methods come into question and it makes you look like a hypocrite/dick.

      2. John, Don’t ask a question of someone else, and then answer it yourself. I can’t stop your being obnoxious, but letting others speak for themselves seems reasonable enough.

        1. Thomas, pointing out that a question is unreasonable, incomplete, is leading in some way, or otherwise flawed adds to the debate.

          And using “obnoxious” to describe another poster is not in the spirit of civil discussion.

    2. You might want to drop your defensiveness and instead look at the headline. You will clearly see the intent with which Mission Local posted these photos.

        1. “haphazard” and “scribbled” may very will be unbiased terms to describe these messages, but they sound a little belittling and tongue-in-cheek here. Tis the spirit of… chiding people for their handwriting? Who cares! Like with gift-giving, It’s the thought that counts.

          1. Hi Doggula, I had no thoughts of belittling anyone or touting any side of the discussion. The graphic style of the posting simply had the look I described. Design of this genre is frequently used to, like any graphic style, express a mood or feeling. Personally, I think the text and graphic style resonate. I honestly don’t believe that these graphics are representative of a person’s handwriting.