When I hear someone complain about the weather in  San Francisco, I reach for my revolver…..

    The Cable car turntable at Powell and Market is the exact center of the World. Stand there for 10 minutes and you will see every type of person on Earth, as well as a person from everywhere on Earth.  It contains Actual Hell, with possessed souls wailing up and down the streets throughout the night. We have Nordstrom's and Goodwill, the Golden Gate, Orpheum and L.A. Girls theaters, Tourons and residents, transients, double-amputees, and homeboys. Addicts and angels, saints and sinners, immigrant families, sex workers, and school children. The landless, not "homeless." Parolees and Trust Fund Babies, artistes, politicians and posers. This area may be the most diverse and interesting two square miles in the World,
     District 13 , (disenfranchised Afros, Chinos and Euros join together to smash  The State) is of course entirely fictional on paper, but totally real in the Here and Now. District 13 is the exact cultural center for the City of San Francisco, containing as it does the Tenderloin, SOMA, Downtown/Mid-Market/Central City/Skid Row/Civic Center, The Eastern Western Addition, El Norte Mission, Little SouthEast Asia, Little Subic Bay, Little South Pacific, Polk Gulch, Hayes Valley, and "lower" Nob Hill. It also contains the Finest Public Building In The Land: The San Francisco Public Library. Despite it's numerous detractors, and the increasing influence of uh, Capital, San Francisco remains the Cultural Center of the World. Everyone copies us; not the other way around. Therefore, one must conclude that the Cable Car turntable at Powell and Market Streets is the exact location  of the Center Of The World.
    San Francisco is the most important City in the world, and it's about time we started acting like it. San Francisco is as different from the rest of California as California is from the rest of the "United" States. We are richer than many countries in the World, and smarter,  and better looking, and all our sports teams have National Championships (hockey doesn't count). We don't need some idiots from The Dirty South telling us how to live, while killing Darker Peoples with our tax dollars. Therefore, the City and County of San Francisco should declare itself a sovereign nation, a City-State, a principality. In the immortal words of the McIntyre brothers: Fcuk the Feds.
    When we are independent , we can will raze the hideous Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz  that has become one of the few things Tourons know about San Francisco. The island will be returned to a Federation of Indigenous People that includes all remaining tribes in the U.S. Alcatraz will be bio-remediated back to some semblance of it's former natural state. A one-mile radius International Zone will be established around the island, and a Monte Carlo style casino will draw high-rollers from around the World ($100,000 minimum bet.) All profits, minus a 10% uh, administrative fee, will be distributed equally to the Federation of Indigenos. 
    Then we can use the wealth of this region to do what wealth is intended to do: benefit people. People, not corporations (read: banks), governments, unions, or automobiles. Utopia? Why not? If not here, where? If not now, when? The Golden City By The Sea.  The present system is broken beyond all repair; all the Kings horses and all the Kings men will never put this country together again. We are on our own, and the sooner we start taking local matters into our own hands, the better we will be prepared for The End of Empire. The "government" cannot perform even the simplest services for "the people;" it has been throughly co-opted. Corporations exist to perpetrate themselves and their profits; they only care about "the people" insofar as they affect the Bottom Line. And as previously noted, politics is merely the Theatre Of The Absurd, a diversionary spectacle, "the shadow cast on society by business." The System may have worked for 13 colonies, but it cannot possibly work for 300 million-plus people. 
    But until such time as we elect to stand on our hind legs…..I hereby declare my candidacy for Supervisor of San Francisco Supervisorial District 13. And if  elected, I will not serve. I promise pot in every chicken, free public toilets, drinking fountains, and recycling bins on every corner, and to keep the Main Library open 24/7/365. An international newsstand/coffee shop/cafe that is open 24/7/365 would be a welcome addition to a neighborhood that has long been neglected by The Powers That Be. Free public Wi-Fi, of course.  I promise there will be no more ugly, incomprehensible, ironic, expensive sculptures or "beautification" projects clogging up our sidewalks. I will free Boedekker Park and other "public" spaces, turn Market Street from Castro to The Embarcadero into a pedestrian mall, and build a permanent Farmer's Market that is open 24/7/365 (local produce only). I will replace MUNI service in the District (except the F line, cable cars, and subway) with free hop-on, hop-off shuttles. There will be a Special Assessment Fee  for automobiles and dogs. And posers.
    I will eliminate Emergency Response Vehicles from the district, except for accidents and fires. We don't need to endanger hundreds of people by having vehicles racing up and down the streets every time a drunk falls down (it would be interesting to know just how many "emergencies" actually are). No persons life is worth risking dozens of other lives to save it. Get over it, we're all gonna die. Except for me….. I will build a state-of-the-art repertory cinema in the old Strand Building, if it can be saved. If not, well, not every old building is worth saving.  I think the District could use 20 new parks, and a couple of gymnasiums, swimming pools, and playgrounds. A Community Kitchen would replace the eyesore located where Merrill's Drugs used to be. I will politely request that the University of California and Stanford U. build  a "few" or "couple" of Wellness Centers that focus on preventative care, mother-and-child nutrition, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, and Yoga. And by "couple," I mean a dozen. Make those poor spoiled privileged students really earn their degrees…..
    There will be no more fits of facade building and faux "art" events. Public spaces like Civic Center Plaza will remain public. The Gliterrati can take their functions out of the sight of the landless peasants they dispossessed to acquire their ill-gotten gains. I will replace all those hideous exotic landscape plants and trees with the  California natives they have displaced, starting with those hideous London Plane trees (sycamores). The California Sycamore is much prettier, grows bigger, and smells nicer, as a “fer instance.” Redwoods and Douglas-firs and oak and madrone and toyon and bay laurel and filbert and maple and buckeye and linden and alder and willows replace the hodgepodge and mishmash that presently form our "urban forest." Manzanita, chamise, bush lupine, Manzanilla and California poppies, ceanothus, and wild roses can replace Agapanthus, Japonica, and Myrteceae. The only alien plants permitted to stay would be a few carefully selected Monterey Cypress and Monterey Pines. The fate of the various Eucalyptus species would be decided on a case by case basis…..

    I have been homeless before. I am homeless now. As I sit comfortably ensconced in the Bed Bug Hotel in the Central City-Mid-Market-Downtown-Civic Center -United Nations Plaza-Tenderloin-Little Saigon-SOMA-Skid Row uh, neighborhood, I reflect on the absurdity of some people having more than they can possibly use in several lifetimes, and some people starving to death because they have nothing. Nowhere is this more apparent than in cities; even my hometown. There are probably enough empty buildings in the Southeast sector of the City to house the entire homeless and mental heath populations in this town. I believe that idea was part of Angela Alioto's campaign, and probably a big part of the reason she lost. 
    In the words of Lisa "Tiny" Grey-Garcia, author of Criminal Of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless In America, and co-founder of Poor Magazine, there are no "homeless;" people are landless. If you have land, you can build a home, no matter how modest, and grow some or all of your food. When land is "owned" by "private parties," and individuals have to pay to live on it, the law of supply and demand cannot possibly work. There must always be a housing shortage under these conditions, especially in the Most Beautiful City In The World. Homelessness is a symptom of the Decline And Fall Of The Urban Milieu. It's only a matter of time before people start "squatting" in vacant buildings. "Business" wants commerce, but "the people"need housing. It is no longer necessary to build a building to house a business. In fact many businesses today  exist entirely in hyper-space. But people need an actual roof over their heads.
    Most Tourons and many newbie locals go "ewwww" when the word  “Tenderloin” is mentioned. "Isn't there crime?," they chime. "There are drug addicts everywhere!," they swear. But riddle me this: when is the last time you heard of one of the hundreds of Asian schoolchildren in the District so much as being yelled at by one of the uh, Denizens, let alone harmed? Or of any of the convenience store or other neighborhood merchants being robbed? Or of any of The Swells who come slumming to the Orpheum or Golden Gate theaters from the Nob and Russian Hills being kidnapped and held for ransom? We even give the Tourons a Ghetto Pass. Hell, robbing them would just be too easy; kind of like the crocodile and wildebeest scene at the Mara River in Kenya.  So, just how bad is my little World-beat, ghetto-ass, Skid Row community? I think it suffers more from Yellow Journalism, Benign Neglect, and Poserism than from true "crime." 
        Before you sneer and walk by that person sitting in the street with their hand out, it is important to first remember that they are a human being. Secondly, nobody, nobody, nobody sets out in life with a goal of someday sitting in a gutter, looking up as the World passes them by. Ask yourself what it would take to find yourself there? Unless you are a Trust Fund Baby, you are way closer to being a Street Person than you are to being Donald Trump. We must accept that it took some extraordinary event, or series of events for this person to be in this position. It is either a testament to the human spirit ("things will get better"), or The Survival Gene at work that they haven't opened a vein or jumped off our landmark bridge. Nobody sits in the gutter because they want to, or because they are "lazy." People live on the street when there are no other options. You may think they have other options, and you are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. If Ph.D.'s can't find work, how are the down-and-outers, the halt, and the blind, the possessed, and the “least of these among thee” going to? The poor, illiterate, diseased, and disabled. The old, the frail, and the most vulnerable. Your neighbors, as in "love thy." My Peeps.
    Yeah I love my little WorldBeat, Ghetto-Ass, Skid-Row neighborhood. Cheek and jowl with the Nikko and Parc 55 hotels, live Yemenis, Cambodians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotians, Samoans, Hawaiians, Americanized Africans, Latinos, Native Americans, EuroDiasporants, mental patients, landless peasants, gender-benders, pimps and Crack/Meth Whoers, pushers and the pushed. Cute Korean and Japanese  tourist girls looking for a slightly sketchy situation, wandering just off the grid. Beggars using every technique in the book, from sitting motionless in one spot for hours, to playing some pretty good saxophone in the Hallidae Plaza transit station. My buddy with the one leg is still alive, sitting in his wheelchair in front of the Bank of America, and I still give him a dollar, just like I did when he had two legs. But this is all in the context of the following observation: Cities are like sooo Last Century. Noisy, dirty, crowded, expensive, and vectors for disease and crime. But it is the "expensive part" that will ultimately be their demise. That, and catering to the automobile…..
    One crisp clear fall evening Way Back In The Day, I drove a Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Super Sport from Berkeley, California to Reno, Nevada  in what seemed like a half hour. Interstate 80 lay branny-new and wide-open before me. I had achieved Toxic Equilibrium, and  Hendrix and The Stones were on the radio. It was pedal to the metal with a 4-barrel carburetor. I probably averaged about 5 miles per gallon. Of course, gas was just 25¢ per gallon back then. Ahhh, those were the days, my friend. Those days we thought would never end. But they did.The age of the automobile is over. The personal “car”is dead. Long live the car! Americans infantile obsession with the automobile borders on the pathological. Automobiles receive more status, respect, care, and infrastructure than do most human beings on Earth. Automobile technology is like, 150 years old, yet we still behave as if cars are actually a necessity. They are not. In fact, they may be the work of the Devil. OK, but they are a frivolous luxury enjoyed by a few, and paid for by everyone. Individualized personal transportation is so last millennium. I certainly enjoyed my time of wretched excess, but my favorite form of transportation today is the F-Market streetcars.
    There are many obvious candidates for pedestrian/bike only streets like the entire lengths of Market, Fillmore, Haight, Castro, and Van Ness (once Highway 101 is put underground somewhere around Mt. San Bruno and emerges somewhere near the Presidio). This means we have to remove as many cars from the City as possible, and the space they currently occupy (mostly during the day) be put to better use, like, oh I don’t know, housing? Food gardens and edible landscaping? Open space restored to pre-European conditions? The purpose of mass transit is to move people from one location to the other as safely, quickly, and efficiently as possible. Public transportation was never intended to “make money,” or even to “pay for itself.” Public services are benefits already paid for with taxes. Whatever shortfall there is should be made up by those business entities that profit from the public services they use to improve their bottom line. Free Public Transit For All should be the rallying cry of any environmentalist, leftist, socialist, communist, liberal, conservative, or anarchist.
    This is nowhere near being “One World.” And there certainly is no such entity as the”United” States. And the differences between NorCal and The SouthLands culture remain irreconcilable. But there is only one Bay Area. Imagine all the municipal and district transportation agencies coordinated to the point where one could go online and plan a trip to Oakley or Occidental or Ocean Beach quickly and easily. And by “one,” I mean “you.” Adding a solar-powered light rail line from the Ferry Bldg. to OceanBeach along Geary Blvd., from Chrissy Field to Market along Divisadero, and From Ft. Mason to the Cow Palace down Van Ness/South Van Ness/Mission would be a logical next phase in planning for a world with limited automobile presence. The entire above-ground portion of light rail-beds could be one big solar collector. It should be able produce enough power to move trains along at about 10 mph, which is plenty fast enough. Removing all overhead lines (except for the F-line) would be another priority, as would extending the F-line through Ft. Mason to Ft. Point. Specialized vehicles could be designed and built (in the Bay Area) to serve different needs, like a nice, comfy Express bus that goes from one end of the City to the other, making only about 10 stops. Another design would accommodate people with numiferous shopping bags, luggage sets, backpacks, cellos, chickens, and goats. Vehicles designed to accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and bicycles would help keep buses on their 15 minute/24/7 schedule.
    On the regional level, extending BART to Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Sacramento, and San Jose would take thousands of cars off the roads. A ferry service to Petaluma and San Jose would accommodate both locals and the Tourons. A sailing ship to Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Points South would undoubtedly be popular, as would a dirigible ride back up the Coast or Central Valley and to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Big Sur, Kings Canyon, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Mt. Shasta. A corporation like, oh say, Chevron Corp. could jump start the process by kicking down a couple of billion in reparations for all the pollution it has caused to the Bay, Delta, and Pacific Ocean over the last 100 years. The alternative is that they face a suit for 1 trillion dollars in damages. Ditto for the Toxic Techs of Silicon Valley. Pay for damages and clean up current practices, or else get to steppin’. Go ahead, move to China or Louisiana. Someone will take your spot in The Nicest Place in the World. Maybe someone from. . …China. If not, we'll tear down your factory and build public housing. VISA, Wells Fargo, Bank of America? Time to give back some of that bail-out money in a way that actually benefits the taxpayers. Oracle, Sun, Java, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Yahoo, Google, NetFlix, eBay? What’s that? You say you already pay local taxes? That’s nice. No really, it is. But we’re going to need a little more uh, Civic Pride from you corporate slackers. You guys are so loaded with cash you can’t invest or spend it on “innovation” fast enough. Less than 1% of your companies gross profits would pay for an integrated regional transportation system that would be the envy of (and model for) the World. Besides, imagine a World in which your employees have absolutely no excuse for being late to work.
    Driving a vehicle in City traffic requires all of ones attention. A bus operator free from playing toll- collector/transfer-time-decider/policeman would be free to concentrate on driving, which will reduce accidents. They may even have time to answer a question from a Touron.    A modern automated public address system could announce transfer points and historic sites. This is the 21st Century. We have spaceships and ray-guns. And we can have comprehensive, clean, safe, punctual, convenient mass transit. How will I pay for all this, you may ask?  I will exact a Community Tithe from all national and multi-national corporations located in the District. Oh, you say, but you'll drive business out of the City! God riddance, I say. They did not deserve to be located in The Most Beautiful City In The World if they cannot appreciate it enough to be good corporate citizens and pay their fair share to keep up the human and physical infrastructure. Let them move to Hayward or some other God-forsaken place. They'll be begging to come back in less than a year. And they can. For a small fee…..
    Like the man (Groucho Marx) said: "Outside of a dog, a book is Man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." 
I’ve got it! Dog owners can walk their furry friends, on short leashes, wherever they want to. But if said canine takes a crap or urinates on property other than said canines owner, said owner is liable for damages. In addition, there should be a fine for public indecency. I mean, I don’t know what’s more disgusting; watching a dog squeezing out partially digested whatever-the-Hell-it-is, or watching the owner gleefully scooping up the still-steaming pile with a plastic bag. The City and County of San Francisco could make enough jing off of this this racket to subsidize ….. something. Like, a Gazillion animals are put to death in San Francisco each year. Most are the taken to the shelter by people who have decided that the responsibility factor outweighs the fun factor of owning a pet. They no longer care if their friends think they are "cool," or if they look "cute" with their little genetically-inbred freak of a mutt. 
    You can raise actual two children for the same cost of owning a pet. Not that I am encouraging you to spawn more beings like yourself. The World could use a few less people, as well as dogs. Dogs do not belong in cities. They are not happy when they are left alone and have to listen to strange noises all day. Dogs are designed to run several miles per day. Dogs must be allowed to express their doggie nature. They are supposed to chase cats, eat grass, and mark their territory; all thing their owners insist they don't do. Dogs are not little furry people. Dogs will not bring you happiness. Dogs are not your friend; you are their servant. If you don't feed Fido, sooner than later he will eat you….


” If you’re going to send somebody

to save the world, be sure

you like it the way it is.”

~ Vin Diesel, Triple X

XIII ~ District 13