"I hate to say this, but this place is getting to me. I think I'm getting the Fear"-Dr. Gonzo
Earlier today I witnessed Block By Block
tell a mentally-handicapped person they probably shouldn't be lying
down under a blanket in an area adjacent the sidewalk in front of Peet's Coffee.
This person wasn't in the way of anything, or in the way of people's
progress, walking to their daily Slave Quarters... ignoring the obvious,
bitching about it later, just to be complicit with the city douche bags
in bringing in this corporate tentacle, out of the Red state of
Tennessee, with ties to union-busting organizations and the Department of Homeland Security, respectively... yeah, I witnessed a corporation harass an American Citizen of the United States this morning.
Regardless if this man was mentally-handicapped (should be one in my column, really), and sleeping, under a blanket, NOT BOTHERING ANYONE, if he's breaking some law, call a cop. If not, though, GO THE HELL AWAY.
And I'm not blaming the (local) employees of Block By Block... they're only doing what they were told to do, by their superiors, although we've heard that in our history books before, so even that shouldn't be allowed as an excuse. This is more about John Caner, the CEO of the Downtown [Berkeley] Business Association (DBA), the Business Improvement District (BID), the city council of Berkeley (minus one real person), and the mini-corporation, Block By Block, and the Daddy-Corporation, SMS Holdings.
SMS Holdings, for those who don't know, is a "Christian-Faith-Based" organization trying to shoo people from the immediate downtown areas of our nation. Now, the employees who were doing the shooing were being very polite in application, so I do not have an issue with how they handled their (tough) job... but, again, just like when they tell us that our lives are that way because of our "choices"... well, that is a two-way highway, everyone. So, all things equal, that b*tch has to be ignored.
ALL THINGS EQUAL.
Equivalency to all things morality or... whatever, is important to me. If you're going to preach "choice," you're going to have to take it in the butt when it comes time for that boomerang's return trip home. I'm tired of double-talking hypocrites with phony platitudes and cliched responses, while they're "repeating the same thing over and over, expecting a different result," preaching to me about that?! The gall! Good for the goose, I say. And I'm the Gander.
Again, the Block By Block employees were kind and respectful to this man, so that's not what I'm talking about here. It's not how you're harassed that I (and others) take issue with, it's that you're harassed that matters us. Why is a corporation telling anyone what to do in the public space? Even if they were violating some chickenshit "ordinance"! So?! Kick rocks! If you're dealing with a situation where there is a mentally-handicapped person lying on the ground, in broad daylight, and it makes you uncomfortable, if you get butt-hurt about it, then for chrissakes, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Something humane, though.
I'm so sick and tired of hearing about how there is "no money for mental health," and then I have to watch harassment occur? And from a full-of-sh*t, RELIGIOUS-BASED CORPORATION, this is being directed?! So, let me get this straight. The people the city have intrusted with their tax revenues didn't spend that money correctly, so now those at the bottom, those with major mental health issues have to take the brunt of that irresponsibility as though it was their fault?!
There are so many perpetrators to this thing. Yet, there is only one victim, and they are people who are the ones tossed aside, because of "money"? Yet, it seems that there is plenty of money for yogurts and high-end restaurants and hotels and six-dollar pints? The city fathers and mothers are more concerned with the "Swells" and how they roll as opposed to the average citizen, as well as the poor and mentally-handicapped. We have serious issues out here and because some wealthy people are uncomfortable with the sight of their duplicity and complicity, slip-shod measures have been enacted in their name by those very same city "leaders," allegedly.
They've been scapegoating and moralizing us from day one. They don't have problems with "affluent" college kids getting hammered and causing chaos, because their mommies and daddies can afford to clean up their self-inflicted messes and the city will merely bury it. There are allegations of rape that go unreported on that campus from out-of-control fraternity parties... drugs and alcohol, flow, no problem! Why? Again, money does what it wants. I've brought this up before, but it bears repeating: in Charles Bukowski's classic novel, "Hollywood," his main character, Henry Chinanski, is asked by a Hollywood reporter if he thought "binge drinking was socially acceptable?" Chinanski replying, "In Beverly Hills, yes. On Skid Row, no," explains the reality.
That's a simple as it gets, folks. Money dictates to the rest of us what the Moral Code is, and we're supposed to fall in line. These very same folks have sold all of you out to their Corporate Buddies, and are in the process of attempting the transformation of Berkeley to some Yuppie Larva Colony, turning everything into some sort of bourgeois sidewalk cafe city? They're trying to turn this place into West L.A., and not the good part (not that there is one), either. And they're leaving behind those who don't fit their agenda. They're bitching about it, though, but they aren't handling it.
So yeah, and this has happened often, everyone. On the north-side, Block By Block was repelled by the locals up there, because of such tactics of Corporate Harassment against socioeconomically-disenfranchised American Citizens. I am not blowing smoke here. This is not hyperbole. We're only a couple steps away from total Idiocy. In the past two years, I have seen enough stupidity and mismanagement to last a lifetime. I have seen systematic harassment of certain-type folks and abject amnesia when it comes to other types. Again, wealthy college kids, with mommy and daddy's credit card, go merrily-traipsing through Berkeley on a nightly basis, gassed, loud, and in some cases, "agro." That's code for "angry," for those who don't know.
I've heard this behavior is frowned upon by our kind out here... the moralizing knows no bounds, apparently. It's Friday as I write this article, which means it will be ten times louder and drunker tonight. Oh, and when I pointed out (to a cop) there were college kids getting drunk, the officer sloughed me off, stating, "It's not 'illegal' to 'drink in a bar.'" Sure, it's not illegal to "drink" alcohol "in a bar"... but it is illegal to get hammered in a bar and then walk outside, in the public space, inebriated. I do know that much. The law does not stipulate "drunk in public, unless you're a Ritchie Rich a**hole with a nasty case of entitlement mentality and a Senator mommy or daddy, then you're not... but if you're a poor person, f*ck you." It doesn't say that, imply that, or mean that... but that is how it's applied.