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Herein, thoughts, comments, notes and letters on a variety of matters with nothing in common except my opinion, (wit) and whimsey . . .

See the SF Chronicle article here. Photo: Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle

. . . once again, I wonder what city Weiner lives in. SF streets are already car unfriendly and the traffic is untenable. Parking spots have been removed to create what are essentially private seating areas by cafes in public space; Van Ness is nigh impassable--no left turns, blocked lanes, ridiculous; in many critical streets, Pine for example, a lane has been reserved for busses and taxis--but it is often empty; Market Street? You've gotta be kidding. Meanwhile bikers ride with impunity, ignoring signals and stop-signs and busses rarely pull over into designated bus zone when stopping--they just block traffic (while if a car is parked in one, a hefty ticket is given). While drivers are not blameless, many pedestrians can hardly be bothered to look up from their cell phones when crossing the street (with the signal or not)--no wonder there are accidents and deaths. We do not need more legislation--traffic and safety would be vastly improved if drivers and pedestrians paid attention to what they are doing and followed the laws. Leave Caltrans out of this and stop trying to turn the legislature to some sort of politburo regulating local issues from afar . . .

See the NYT article here. Photo: Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

As a painter and someone who appreciates art and artists, the persistence of the question of “who has the right to tell certain [or any] stories” is depressing and demoralizing. Characterizing the debate as a “wake-up call” for the art world," is fatuous. “To what degree do you take for granted your own perspective?” is always a valid question, but in this context, one step away from the thought police (although I heartily endorse all people—artists and others-- investigating their own perspectives and assumptions). Artists are in the business of creation and creativity. Censorship, overt or otherwise, has no place in this process whether the expression is painting, literature, music or otherwise. For me, the very act of creating is an interrogation of my own perspective (I do not think I am unique). I may have an intention in creating a painting, but the perception of a particular individual may or may not correspond to that intention. I have been surprised by interpretations of my paintings when they have nothing to do with my intention but I cannot and do not want to police that (sometimes these interpretations have revealed aspects of my own paintings I did not realize were there—the subconscious will out!).

The painter creates and offers that creation to the world. A worthy creation catalyzes an experience in the the perceiver that is beyond the control of the artist, an artist can only hope that the experience is, in some way, an illuminating one.

See the NYT article here. Screenshot of article moving illustration by Glenn Harvey

It is entirely untrue that national loyalties prevail over local concerns--San Franciscans care passionately about politics at every level of government, but our elected officials do not always reflect public opinion. When Mayor Ed Lee gave San Francisco away to the tech companies and developers 6 or 7 years ago he sealed our fate and we have been suffering the consequences ever since (outrageously expensive commercial and residential real estate, untenable traffic, inadequate housing, Google buses, now the hideous scooters, and the sky obliterating abomination that is the Salesforce building-- the first of several such towers--who would have thought that San Francisco would become the first city to look Bladerunner) . How are grass roots citizens supposed to fight the bottomless bank accounts of those companies (scooters with billion dollar valuations???) who bend, flout, and rewrite the laws to their satisfaction? It has nothing to do with voter loyalty but rather the ability to fight back. I am one of the lucky ones who can afford to move away to lovely small town nearby where I serve on the local planning commission--that is to say I am involved in local politics. Time will tell whether the tech invasion destroys that place too.

In any event, I am taking my heart with me, I would never leave anything so precious in San Franciso--there is no heart there anymore. . .

Living With the Genie
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