Local intellectuals betray the city
|Photo by Gabriela Hasbun for SF Weekly|
It would be good for San Francisco if we had a single publication that provided an alternative to the vacuous, irresponsible, knee-jerk progressivism that dominates the city's political life. The SF Examiner, owned by a right-wing billionaire, occasionally performs that function, but, except for Ken Garcia, its commentators are syndicated conservatives addressing national and international issues, not local concerns. The SF Chronicle is a Hearst-owned paper, which, in days of yore, would have meant a robustly conservative perspective. With the notable exception of Debra Saunders, the present Chron mostly runs with the progressive lemmings on local issues.
And then we have our weeklies, the SF Bay Guardian and the SF Weekly. While the Guardian at least tries---and mostly fails---to provide intelligent commentary on local issues, the Weekly doesn't even try to do so consistently, except for Matt Smith's often ill-informed and wrong-headed tirades. Smith, like Tim Redmond, his counterpart at the Guardian, is on board for most of the local "progressive" bullshit, especially the delusion about the political significance of bicycles in SF.
In the name of art, progressive District 5 Supervisor Matt Gonzalez allowed a so-called graffiti artist to deface his office walls at City Hall shortly before he left office in 2004.
The Guardian's Tim Redmond announced long ago how much he likes the graffiti/tagging vandalism in the city.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the current issue of the SF Weekly devotes a cover story to a former tagger who has gone legitimate, now confining his "art" to canvas and commissioned murals (Writing His Future, Ryan Blitstein, Sept. 6, 2006).
The message this sends to the tagger-vandals: You too can be an artist by starting out as a vandal defacing public and private property, eventually gaining recognition as the true artist you really are. In short, the Weekly has joined the Guardian in encouraging "the spray can community" to continue defacing San Francisco, even though that vandalism costs city taxpayers $30 million a year to eradicate (Graffiti is S.F.'s $30M-a-year Problem, Bonnie Eslinger, SF Examiner, July 14, 2006).
See also Supervisor Mirkarimi's approach to graffiti/tagging---organizing clean-up crews after the fact.
But there's always the Singapore Solution.