Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Matt Smith flops again

Matt Smith's latest foray in the comic book genre in the SF Weekly is even more pointless than his last. Supervisors Daly and Mirkarimi as violent revolutionaries? Not even a remotely plausible idea, though Daly apparently does have bullying tendencies and Mirkarimi likes to indulge in revolutionary rhetoric. Even that premise might have been redeemed by some good artwork and/or some sharp dialogue, but Smith provides neither. Smith's skewed interpretation of recent SF history means that his latest effort tells us more about him than it does about Daly, Mirkarimi, or city politics:

Before we recount the grenade and pistol rebellion of November 5, we'll explain this city as it was in 2008. Though Newsom, Daly, and the newly married couples imagined themselves protagonists, they were really pawns in someone else's game...Though few realized it at the time, real estate profiteering was behind the 2001 "progressive revolution." A group of politicians who imagined themselves radical antidevelopment rebels took control of the Board of Supervisors in an election sweep. The revolution was funded and advised by a political consultant and financial district landlord named Clint Reilly.

Clint Reilly, a progressive political bogeyman of days of yore! Okay, we're talking about fantasy and attempted satire here. Based on his past writings in the SF Weekly, however, Smith apparently does believe that the present Board of Supervisors is "anti-development," even though that's absurd on its face. This BOS has presided over a remarkable explosion of development in the city. Daly and Supervisor Peskin, for example, are largely responsible for the Rincon Hill highrises, with Mirkarimi and other progressive supervisors concurring.

Even though Smith supports the Rincon Hill developments, as does Mayor Newsom, he assigns the slogan "No more Manhattanization" to progressives. The reality is that this BOS has endorsed all the Planning Dept.'s aggressively pro-development "better neighborhoods" schemes with nary a protest, including Rincon Hill, the 100-story building at the new terminal, the Market/Octavia Plan (four 40-story highrises at Market and Van Ness), the Housing Element in the General Plan---thrown out by the Court of Appeals---and UC's rip-off of the old extension property on lower Haight Street for a massive housing development to fatten that predatory institution's bottom line.

Since the present Board of Supervisors is clearly aggressively pro-development and pro-highrise and not anti-development, the premise of Smith's attempted satire falls flat. Smith's fancy is that Mayor Newsom was able to derail the so-called progressive revolution with the gay marriage issue, and his "pink coattails" lead to the election of a pro-Newsom majority to the BOS on Nov. 5, 2008. Daly snaps and enlists Mirkarimi in a more or less random terror attack on the city, etc.

There's never been any indication that Newsom has any political coattails, pink or otherwise. Interesting that Smith's lame satire mentions neither homelessness---the issue that got Newsom elected in the first place---nor the Bicycle Plan fiasco, even though Smith went off on me and my lawyer when the Superior Court issued an injunction against the city and the Bicycle Plan because, like Daly, Mirkarimi, and Newsom, he too supports whatever the Bicycle Coalition wants to do to our streets.

In short Smith pretends to have serious political differences with Daly, Mirkarimi, and our "progressive" Board of Supervisors but in fact agrees with them on all the essentials, like Rincon Hill, the Market/Octavia Plan, UC's housing project, homelessness (Smith has denigrated Newsom's real achievements on homelessness), and the bicycle bullshit, which all of them---the supervisors, Smith, Mayor Newsom---support wholeheartedly.

Unfortunately, there's little chance that a non-progressive majority will ever be elected to our Board of Supervisors. All we can expect is more of what we've had for the past eight years---a lot of rhetorical posturing by progressives, coupled with an aggressively pro-development policy, with lots of highrises, backed by both the mayor and the BOS. And of course they will still be pushing Critical Mass and the anti-car bicycle fantasy to redesign our streets on behalf of the small PC minority with the powerful political lobby.

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