San Francisco’s politics are driven in large part by anectdotal stories, so why not add another one to this “sit/lie” silliness that’s made its way to the ballot. Because the Upper Haight sucks (sorry, but it does, it hasn’t been cool for decades) we’re now going to have well-funded antagonism for the next few months. And, as in the past, it may result in some “law” passed, but like the aggressive panhandling law, and other such things, it probably won’t do a damn thing.
On to the anecdote. This morning I was awoken by some loud shouty people outside my window. At first I thoguht it was the loud, shouty guys who’ve been fixing up some of the units in our building, but after a few minutes I realized it wasn’t them. Instead 3 homeless guys decided to sit on some boxes and get drunk on cheap liquor. Now if they weren’t making any noise, and not making a mess, I don’t think anyone would have necessarily noticed. But no, these jerks were making noise, going through the recycle bins and being jerks.
What tore it for me (aside from the fact I got very little sleep last night thanks to some jerks who decided to rev up their cars and drag race down our block at 3am) was when of them decided to use one of the nice planter boxes on our street that neighbors had built to make the street nicer, as a toilet. So, I called the Taraval Station (this was not a 911-worthy call) and told them what was up. (I later learned several others did as well)
Within 5 minutes, the SFPD was on the scene, and told them to scram, and they did. Now, apparently according to the brainiacs downtown, the police have “no power” in this situation. Sorry to burst bubbles, but in this case, the pack of jerks scattered like rats within 2 minutes of the officer’s arrival. So that makes swiss cheese out of that straw man (see how I combined metaphors improperly there?)
Now, before the liberals get all in my face about being mean to the homeless, let me say this: If these three had simply been sitting and talking quietly on one of our benches and treating the neighborhood with respect, no one would have cared, or even noticed.
In fact many people walking through use our benches and enjoy our planters (not as toilets but as planters), and that’s fine. But when they literally shit on something people worked hard to make the place nicer, and show no respect at 8am for everyone by shouting and drinking, they are being jerks, so therefore they are treated as jerks.
Too often San Francisco defines compromise and respect as “do what the shrillest, extremist voices say, and don’t you dare oppose them ‘or else.'” That is not respect or compromise, that is the dictatorship of the shrill. Until we learn the difference, we will always have this choose-up-sider BS legislation proposed, when in fact if people simply acted like adults, instead of constantly babied children, we would all get along better in a dense urban city.
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