H. Brown: Goodbye to all that, we hope

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Ah, that old school New Left he-man feeling
PHOTO BY LUKE THOMAS/FOG CITY JOURNAL

In an SF Weekly piece published yesterday, it was announced that progressive political blogger and gadabout H. Brown – an "irascible" man who has attained a specific sort of fame in equal measure for his political connections, his egregious sexism, and his unfortunate alcoholism -- was leaving San Francisco. Where’s he going? The article didn’t see fit to mention. It’s whatever. One can assume Brown’s destination is that netherworld set aside for those whose behavior was enabled by the old school boy’s club blinders of the San Francisco progressive movement, still worn at the dawn of the 21st century.
 
“Last Call For Know-It-Alls: Classic Specimen of Old-San Francisco Bon Vivantery,” the article was called. It was written by a man; if a woman had written it, the title might have been closer to: “I Just Bought an Evil Eye Necklace, Don’t Look at Me You Cursed Troll.”

Do I sound angry? In 2008 at a DCCC, Brown inquired at top volume and in front of an ex-President of the Board of Supervisors if I was the politician’s escort. When said political leader bailed on the situation, Brown interrogated me on camera about my knowledge of local politics. I wrote about it, most names omitted, for the Guardian. In the article’s wake, I received thankful and supportive emails from men and women across the San Francisco political scene. On his part, Brown sent out multiple emails about me to his prodigious correspondence rolls, one in which he shared an communique from his niece calling me an “ignorant cunt,” another in which he addressed an un-cc’ed me about the election night in question: “You tried to make up for your ignorance by wearing revealing clothing. I was mocking you. And rightly so.”
 
Nearly every woman in San Francisco politics has one of these stories. When a male politician was accused of any wrong against a woman, Brown could be depended on to dig through the Internet to find evidence that the victim had been asking for it. Those unwilling to suffer him had to opt out of the hobnobbing happy hours and salons in the homes of city leaders, at which Brown was a constant presence.
 
Ah, old San Francisco bon vivantery. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you don’t have to care about Brown. You do have to care that this man was your Supervisor’s drinking buddy, that he took Speedo-clad swims in the Bay with progressive leaders. You do have to wonder about what that did to the strength of our political movement. And you might want to wonder about the dynamics behind ubiquitous bigots who are tolerated by people who should know better.
 
“If comedy is indeed tragedy plus time, however, Brown will leave 'em laughing for posterity,” wrote Weekly reporter Joe Eskenazi. “Friend after friend recalled anecdotes of offensive, bourbon-fueled behavior invariably culminating with Brown being instructed to "Get the fuck out, H.!" But, always, these were happy memories, if not happy occasions.”
 
None of these friends -- “former supervisors, consultants, academics, political Svengalis, and other city luminaries” – in Eskenazi’s article were women. (The writer, whose work on city issues I do appreciate, told me he did interview women, but apparently none of them said anything printworthy.)
 
Let’s remedy that now with a few female voices. Not coincidentally, most of these bourbon-fueled memories took place in ex-Supervisor Chris Daly’s since-closed Market Street progressive gathering spot, the Buck Tavern. None are happy.
 
“This was the first time I was introduced to H. At a benefit at the Buck Tavern I walked in and there were all these progressive journalists sitting around a table with him. He said ‘you’re the one with the great ass!’ He started asking me if I had family members he could date. I was standing there horrified, I just didn’t know what to say. I’m a mouthy lady, and even I couldn’t think of anything to come back with – not just to him, but to every other progressive journalist who was sitting there listening to him who laughed! I said hi to a few people, and then I left the event.”
- Laura Hahn, president of the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee
 
“Really, I don't give much of a shit about one sad dude calling me a slut and a spy (for Newsom or Pinkerton Guards, depending on the year), but seeing some (not all) progressive men continue to put up with him was pretty demoralizing."
- Anonymous volunteer on several progressive political campaigns
 
“The confrontation started because I came in to wish [ex-Supervisor and then-owner of the Buck Tavern] Chris Daly a happy birthday and have a drink, and H. asked Chris ‘Who the hell is she?’ To which Chris said, ‘She's the President of the Harvey Milk Club.’ To which H began, ‘You're not even gay, are you?’ I replied, ‘I'm queer.’ ‘Queer?!’ he said, ‘What the fuck is that? Some Shona Gochenauer shit? You're not gay. I can tell you're not gay by looking at you. She doesn't know anything about politics. Look at her -- she's clearly just a vanity president.’ He said something about enjoying things because, "that ass isn't gonna last forever, sweetheart. They [the other patrons in the bar] are only standing up for you because they want to fuck you.’"
- Stephany Joy Ashley, ex-president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
 
“As a purveyor of alcohol, I found that the man was a lawbreaking mooch and a pain to deal with.  As a woman, I found him pathetic, insulting, gross, or all three, depending on his mood. The first time I met him he cussed me out for an imagined slight in a way that was actually shocking -- and it takes a lot for cuss words to flummox me. For a time, I simply refused to serve him.”
- Siobhann Bellinger, Buck Tavern bartender
 
“H. is a bully and a sexist. If you want to look at why the progressive movement is failing it’s because it alienates youth, women, and people of color. Deifying somebody like him is shutting women out, the message is they aren’t welcome. It’s not separated from the fact that progressives are really faltering right now with no leadership and very little inspiration.”
- Debra Walker, artist and longtime activist
 
“His behavior symbolized the running joke amongst some progressive men that women were there for their own entertainment to be mocked and harassed with no one blinking an eye. FUCK. THAT.”
- Anonymous ex-City Hall aide
 
These women – and the progressive men who were their allies – were not laughing at the hijinx of a mouthy old man. But people were, and they will be at the party that will be held in honor of Brown’s departure and attended by member’s of our city’s progressive elite.
 
Supporters say the guy’s behavior was a premeditated mockery of San Francisco’s political correctness, that he was an actor in the grand tradition of political theater. But if he is remembered by generations to come, it will be as the embodiment of an age-old archetype: the dude that other dudes keep around because he says the shit they can’t say to people who aren’t them. After all, who can control their own id?
 
Eskenazi compares Brown to F. Scott Fitzgerald and notwithstanding that both are writers, I’d like to posit an alternative historical precedent for Brown’s passionate trolling. Remember Bobby Riggs, the proud chauvinist who taunted tennis legend Billie Jean King until she wiped the floor with him in the widely broadcast Battle of the Sexes match? Man, that guy should have been in politics.
 
Brown was allowed to establish through constant bullying both online and off that only men have the right to feel comfortable in our city’s high-powered progressive circles. As San Francisco continues to cozy up with its new moderate identity, I hope he is remembered less for being a bon vivant and more as a sign that our once-vaunted avatars of progressivism were spending too much time pounding double shots at the Buck Tavern -- while the world changed around them.

Comments

Bad-breath, wannabe Hunter S who made up conspiracy theories that delighted the male prog leadership despite lacking facts or even sound fiction. He said the most outrageous things because that got the most attention - he isn't a great writer, thinker or bon vivant. Like all fools, he made his name doing things other people wouldn't lower themselves to do or say. For a few short years, his motley act made the progressive men's club feel even more smug and entitled. Quite the accomplishment given they way those boys were already strutting about town.

Good riddance to him and let's go ahead and formally put the last nail in the coffin of the old men's club progressive movement.

Mirk got busted for laying a heavy hand on his wife and can no longer muster the support to even build a safer jail(!). Matty G's riding second seat behind Adacchi waiting for the Jeff's ego to compel him elsewhere. Peskin's desperately trying to remain relevant ("I count! I matter! I could win... something."). Campos is starting an uphill climb to move to Sacramento (don't pack your bags yet man). Avalos and Mar are nice, intelligent guys but both often sound like angry nutjobs when they speak publicly or to the press. Redmond lost his soapbox and Steven's tunnel-vision prevents him from being an effective voice outside the hardcore left. Now that these guys are all marginalized, H is leaving the island and turning off the lights.

From my view, that's all good. Let's air some of that ego out of the room. In times of readjustment, one hopes that a balanced hand is on the wheel. Unfortunately, Mayor Lee has proven to be out to a very, very long lunch and drives about as hard a bargain as a five year-old with three dollars to spend in a candy shop. So right when we need a strong, thoughtful progressive movement to balance a middling boom-time mayor, the movement is rebalancing itself and the old hotshots are in the shadows. Ruh-roh.

So, where's the movement?

Art Agnos finds himself on stage again. Super intelligent, polite, not sexist, value-focused, kind-hearted and cool. He's "pretty fly for a white guy." Not the man for Room 200 anymore but I like having smart, committed people in the mix. His urban populist perspective is probably closer to most SF voters views today than anyone else, including the Mustached Mayor. Too bad Agnos mixes it with too much old-school liberalism to really make it work in today's SF or connect with more moderate younger voters.

I would really love to see Agnos facilitate a listening tour around the city as I think it would enable him to articulate neighborhood concerns in a way that isn't getting heard. It would elevate him, the issues he's raising and force the mayor to confront data and views that aren't carefully vetted and coordinated. Winnicker would spin himself into a frenzy trying to reclaim control. I also have to say that I find Nate Ballard's insulting comments about Agnos to be both inappropriate and sleezy. You're not being clever Nate, you're just being an asshole. And an asshole who doesn't even live in the City anymore. Go play in the suburbs with the 49ers.

Jane Kim and Norman Yee are desperately trying to be clever and remain true progs in districts tilting right. Memo to both of you: being the deciding vote may seem smart in City Hall but outside the dome it makes you look like you don't know what you are doing and don't have values guiding you or district community leaders advising you. I don't know anyone who thinks either of these two is a leader of any movement in any sense.

I'm worried Matt "Nice Guy" Hanley is falling into this same trap. His values and statements seem so broad and general that I have no clue what the guy really stands for in the civic debate. I know he loves kids, puppies and sunshine but I don't know where he is on civic matters. He seems as cloudy a vessel as David Chiu but without the cunning. Take a stand, man. Make some enemies and gain some friends.

Meanwhile, London's on her own team and nobody seems sure of what the team is but nobody really wants to ask her either. She's an island, not leader. Someone best left alone in a district that will benefit from someone totally focused on their community.

On the rise is Sandra Fewer, a progressive who just got elected pres of the school board. She's a little knee-jerk but I expect her to have to articulate her positions more as her star rises and, from what I've seen, she knows retail politics and has made allies in odd places by simply being consistent and persistent.

Golinger wants to be a player so bad I really feel for him. But he seems undisciplined (see his abandoned no-outside-employment-for-supes measure and his process-focused quotes in the paper) and is clearly beholden to his neighbors in the TelHill Dwellers. He's going to have to learn to stand on his own feet if he wants to move up. That means moving outside his peer group comfort zone and I'm not convinced he'll make that sacrifice. I mean, it's a small hill with a tight community. Be hard to make a tough break and still live there.

John Rizzo's candle has been wind-whipped and snuffed so many times he really shouldn't still be on stage. But there he is showing up again, tossing his hat again, coming back again when prouder men would have slinked away. If his intelligence matched his commitment, he'd be something to consider. As is, I've personally heard him confess that he's a better critic than builder. Unfortunately, the ultimate purpose of the municipal critic is to build and shape and improve a discussion, project or plan, not simply tear it down. I'm hoping his time helming the City College Board in this crisis teaches him the value of compromise in a way he has not previously demonstrated understanding.

Tony Kelly can't seem to win an election and doesn't seem interested in contributing unless he's speaking in/about his own neighborhood or on the Board of Supes. Has that guy ever even been to the Avenues?

Chris Daly remains relevant in the non-skilled labor tent. He's making plays and helping folks get raises. But he's unelectable citywide. He knows it and we all know it. How? Because if there was any chance he could win anything he would be in the race.

So where does that leave us today? Right where we are. Ballot initiatives designed to identify issues and leaders and challenge the mayor's "green light all the time" philosophy. The last gasp of the prog boys club leaving town. A city of new and old voters waiting for someone to stand up and say "let's do this a smarter way. here's how..."

Posted by Becky Bayside on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 11:54 am

This thread tells us more about SF's political culture than about h brown. Note how many make their comments anonymous and the lack of real political content.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 1:03 pm

I like what you post, Rob, but there are no real people on Al Gore's interwebs.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

Hope you don't mind these asides,

But ...

Donohue's piece is now 1st place on the Guardian most-commented posts.

She overtook Jones before her story had been posted for 24 hours.

For me this is elating.

Sorry if that rubs some raw.

Old timers used to say:

"I haven't had this much fun since the hogs ate the hired hand."

Mark Twain quoted a fellow getting ridden out of town on a rail:

"If it weren't for the honor of the thing I'd just as soon walk."

I ask myself ...

"Self, how would Sam Singer or Alex Clemens or Alex Tourk handle this?"

Looking around me I see a beehive of construction and notices of adjustments in statute and choate legislation designed to drive out more of the middle and lower clases.

Ed Lee sends in John Stewart Company ('Negro removal since 1971')

To the Mid-Town Apartments at Geary and Divisadero to drive the tenants out.

The City is the landlord but ignores its own laws regarding Rent Control.

They hatch a plan which will be a template for other City property.

First, it you've lived in a 3 bedroom apartment for 30 or 40 years and your family has shrunk, then you have to move.

They want to see a record of your assets to see if 'you're paying enough rent'.

That one's called 'means testing' and next to the outright overturn of the City's Rent Control laws is the next item that gives orgasms to realtors across the City.

Stewart uses the same methods he used to clear the Public Housing projects in Hayes Valley and Fisherman's Wharf and on Bernal Heights just to begin the move.

He stops collecting rent for a few months and then demands full payment under threat of eviction.

He get's a bunch thataway.

He allows properties to deteriorate ("We're gonna tear them down anyway.").

Get's some with that.

He creates voluminous contracts and new leases that tenants cannot understand that are full of clauses that make returns of original tenants to complexes under 10%.

He inconveniences remaining tenants further with jackhammers and chainsaws in a constant construction outside while utilities, sanitation and maintenance for remaining tenants suffer.

He makes certain that the taller units with lots of units survive and tears out of the lower units to build-out the vacant space with towers taller than the tallest already in space because the Planning Commission and Mayor and Board of Supervisors approve everything because they are out-of-step with the people.

Across town at ParkMerced the process is similar.

David Chiu provides the swing vote to tear down 1,400 units of Rent Control housing while calling hypocritically at the Board of Supes for more of the same type of housing he's destroying.

The only way to slow or stop the Gentrification Express is at the ballot box where the failure of the Bay Guardian is revealed.

Case in point ... 8 Washington.

The BOS votes to throw height limitations out the window for huge towers on the waterfront that will sell for 5 million a condo.

They do it by and 8-3 vote.

That means the BOS votes with the millionaires by over 70%.

The matter goes before the voters where it is rejected by 70% of the people.

It means that the majority of the BOS no longer listen to the voters.

The BOS and Downtown are troubled that allowing the voters to weigh-in on projects (giving them an opportunity to overturn decisions of their own errant representatives) and, of course Mayor Lee's lawyers and those of Downtown interests begin working on legislation that will disallow such voter referendums as killed (I hope) 8 Washington.

When the Swells moved into the Veterans building the building was being used by, well, veterans.

There was a well-stocked museum full of the artifacts of war and collections of medals and trophies won by those from San Francisco who died.

Each Veterans pose had their own office.

Now, the Swells have taken over the top floors of the buildings and forced the Vets to double up in offices on the lower levels.

They looted the museum and 'loaned' pieces to the aristocrats for display in their own mansions.

Then, they decided to completely gut the building and add a huge theatre matching the Opera House.

They went to the voters.

Who told them to go have sexual intercourse with themselves.

They sent their lawyers back to their inkwells and came up with a type of financing called a 'Certificate of Participation' which is essentially a junk bond.

They use the new system in projects all over town to further indebt the voters without the consent of the voters.

It's a lawyer thing.

Mark Farrell is elected Supervisor of District 2.

He see's that the City has almost a billion dollars out in the junk bond Certificates of Participation.

He condemns the practice at a meeting early in his term and vows to get to the bottom of the matter.

I confront him in the hall under da Dome and tell him he'll be loving Certificates of Participation.

Soon, he's all behind the junk bonds to use to bring the Swells vision of a new party digs in the Veterans building.

Theatre, swanky restaurant ... the works.

The bill is 171 million in the Chronicle.

With the junk bond payments over the years its double or triple that plus the General Fund pays a million a month in interest for 26 years with no return.

The project doesn't pay for itself.

The voters pay for it.

The BOS hands our free Arboretum in Golden Gate Park to the same Swells who promptly build a fence around the entry and put in a toll booth.

Those are just a few of the things I'd like to debate with Steven Jones and the entire Guardian staff.

Cause this is all their fault.

Why?

Because they backed the faux progressive supervisors who allowed all of this to happen.

I recall when David Campos realized it had happened.

He looked at the David Chiu committee assignments and marveled in opend session:

"We no longer have a Progressive Board."

The Bay Guardian bears lots of responsibility for that.

More later ...

Go Giants!

h.

Posted by Guest h. brown on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

Still whupping self-righteous ass half your age. It's a wondrous thing to behold.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

still trying to convince yourself that you've still "got it"? pathetic and transparent.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

He has a way with words that I would love to have, not that it takes much around these parts to win a debate.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

You're a very disciplined writer,

While I'll reserve the right to disagree with some of your analysis, you're an excellent writer. I was intimidated by the length of the post but it's very readable. I'd add literary and sports and personal references to keep from being too pedantic but y'all got a gift and all you need to do is to learn how to accessorize.

And, you know, the vibe I got off your work was one of kind of one who has accepted their situation and has sadly resolved to meet their fate.

Cheer up.

Pitchers and catchers report in 21 days.

That Tanaka kid got 155 million over 7 years.

Last season he was?

24-0 with 1.37 ERA.

Whew!

Rob, good to see your post and agree that everyone should just talk about me all the time.

You ever read Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'?

Robert Browning did a poem taken from there in 1864.

It's called 'Caliban contemplates Setebos' which reminds me of our relationship.

You decide which is which.

Go Giants!

h.

Posted by Guest h. brown on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 2:24 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

So, he's a gay sexist pig probably with money who hates women. So many leftwing guys think exactly like he does, they treat women like kleenex too. This guy was at least honest about his hatred of us.

Just another reason to leave the left. Rightwing guys treat us wayyyy better.

OTOH, he sounds like a character, and SF is really declining in having characters. There hasn't been any characters in SF for at least a decade or more, sadly.

Posted by Another righty Jewish female on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

Who fucked his best friend's wife while she was working for him? Or do you not consider him right wing?

Fine then, how 'bout Newt Gingrich, who presented one of his wives with divorce papers on her cancer sickbed in the hospital?

Or the that pizza guy -you know, "999"?

Or the Gropinator?

Or the President of Israel, Moshe Something-or-other, now in jail for rape.

Such class acts they are.

There are some pigs on both sides, but you won't find any leftwing men voting to give you a mandatory transvaginal ultrasound, I'll tell you that much.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 9:35 pm

I've know H. Brown personally for nearly twenty years and have never known him to be a mysoginist. In fact, he is a drunk, and an asshole; but not to nice people. Good people like H. Brown have standards and integrity and stand by it. People who lack these qualities hate H. for just this reason, which immediately makes him treat you like an asshole. H. Brown is just real, and yes, old school; he just says it like it is. So if you happen to be an asshole, he is likely to treat you like one and do whatever he sees will push your buttons and piss you off, regardless of whether you are female or male or anything else. H. Brown is all about equality of the sexes. Saying he's a sexist because he insulted your delicate feminine purity is itself sexist, not to mention petty and completely pathetic. Obviously, H. Brown said something that has been festering inside Caitlin Donohue for a long time. Poor woman. Somebody get her a Band-Aid. Her ego got a boo-boo.

Posted by Pause Mitsuma on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

cannot think on her feet and so has to spend years planning her petty-minded, half-assed revenge.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

and who got fired by the white males because her paltry salary was too much, and the paper needed the money for white males.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 5:19 am

spectacularly when she was going for her 15 minutes of revenge for a putdown she could not counter.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 6:04 am

crazy statements.

He would tell these long stories about how fucked over he was and by the end you couldn't figure out how he was the victim, even though the only side you heard was his.

Granted progressive men are usually pretty sad specimens, being a shrill bum isn't a real alternative.

I would guess your pal has some hard wiring issues, anyone who makes statements like you do is a pathetic apologist for a loser.

Posted by guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 9:46 am

@Pause Mitsuma - Both parties have indicated that the interaction under discussion was a first meeting, which began with a sexually-demeaning remark yelled across a room. Would you have us believe that Brown correctly determined that Donohue lacks standards and integrity, and is not a nice person, before even meeting her?

Posted by Jym on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

not have some knowledge of each other, even if they had not personally met. If Brown knew Caitlin by reputation, or had read her work, or knew people who knew her, then he might have legitimately been able to form an opinion as to you worth, relevance and character.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

forming an opinion of another person's "worth, relevance and character" without ever having met them?? just goes to show how much depth these trolls are capable of.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

My phone is (415) 527-9993

Cohens bought me an iPhone xmas before last
and have me on their family plan. Gerry got me
a new computer and the cops watch my back.

"Who's got it better?"

Yeah, splitting town and want the tattoos very much at your hand. I have the oil you did of my cat, Ben (best friend of my life - sorry, mom) and Naomi has been the light of Michelle's life for over a decade.

96 days til I leave and we need to get together to figure out the tattoo art. I have no money but we can figure it out cause I just want your art on my body to tie me to the SF scene we've shared for so long.

Love to you and family and thanks for online support.

These are unhappy people with themselves and their surroundings.

Jealous of my friends high and low as should they be.

Phone me.

h.

h.

Posted by Guest h. brown on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 8:14 pm

anyone who delights in sexist bullying, and seeks solace inside the bottle is wrestling the demon of despair. and you're not getting any younger, either.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

The man, the myth the legend. SF will never be the same without H Brown, we will miss you.

Posted by davidinSF on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 6:55 am

The man, the myth the legend. SF will never be the same without H Brown, we will miss you.

Posted by davidinSF on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 6:57 am

You haven't told us where you are "splitting town" for, h. brown.

My guess: you're taking your "splitting" headache to the Betty Ford Clinic, or some such other rehab facility. Or are you too old for rehab?

Posted by Guest Lecturer on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:38 am

is not very likely that he'd suddenly want to be "cured" now. The whole point of being old is that you can give a big FU to the world and not care about the consequences.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 11:00 am

The point of being old is so you can say FU to everyone?

Check. Got it.

Alcoholism + incontinence + constipation = I am an asshole. But learn to live with it. Because I am an pain in the ass.

Keeeeeeeeeeep typing, h. Anything to keep you occupied.

Posted by Guest Lecturer on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

tells it like it is because he is at the point in life where he knows who he is, is comfortable in his skin, and really doesn't give a crap what others think about him.

h. brown has reached that blessed state in his life, and he doesn't have to apologize to you, Caitlin or any other gussied up shallow leftist. He lived it when it mattered, and not as a hobby for some lemon head liberal with a trust fund.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

But do you think he needs to apologize to a gussied up shallow superficial pretentious rightist, or some pear head conservative with a trust fund?

"No, he's right, we're all familiar with the old guy..."

"Old guy?" Are you always ageist?

Posted by Guest on Sunday on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 4:57 am

Or anyone else. He is his own man. Regret nothing!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 7:21 am

Age 69 is not "old."

"Old" is very subjective. Some people choose to be "old" at age 28 or at 40. Ageism in our society is partly due to societal brainwashing from the corporate media. It's learned.

I have a relative in her late 90s and if one calls her "old" you'll end up on the other side of the room very quickly. She won't stand for the "Old Card" being used on her. She was up on the roof repairing some shingles the last time I spoke with her.

Posted by Guest on Sunday on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 4:48 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 7:20 am

Progressive identitarians tolerate all sorts of abusive behavior by the select. They are outraged at Brown because he calls them on their shit and they selectively use his abusiveness as a wedge to get at him. They are outraged that their position and experience of oppression is not being valued as they have come to expect as a matter of course.

So long as their abusiveness differs in form from Brown's, they're okay with it. But once it is not expressed in socialized terms, it becomes a proxy weapon.

I evaluate it all on the content of their character which is venal, as or even more consequentially destructive as Brown's.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:53 am

h. brown didn't play that game. If you want to identify as a victim then find someone else to enable that for you.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 11:02 am

Today's transgender identitarian activists are by and large unworthy heirs to the legacy of those who put their lives on the line at Compton's.

Today's lesbian and gay identitarian activists are by and large unworthy heirs to the legacy of those who put their lives on the line at Stonewall.

Today's people of color identitarian activists are by and large unworthy heirs to the legacy of those who put their lives on the line during the civil rights movement.

Today's feminist identitarian activists are by and large unworthy heirs to the legacy of those who put their lives on the line for the vote.

In short, identitarianism, feelings of inferiority and over socialization, using politics as personal therapy, is what's killed the progressive movement. You'd have thought that the people of color would have realized that Eric Quezada's third place drubbing by Campos and Sanchez would have clued them in, but alas, they've doubled down over and again on stupid with their claimed constituency paying the high price and them keeping their sinecures.

That is really more disgraceful than anything that a drunken h brown has spewed.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 11:43 am

I too am far more offended by Caitlin's precious "but I'm a woman so you can't criticize me" victim ploy than I ever was by h. brown's incisive put down of fakes, phoneys and flaneurs. Although he's kinda a flaneur himself.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

@marcos - I've been in interminable meetings featuring some of the worst right-wing stereotypes of identity politics, thoroughly derailed by ad hominem side-issues. I've also endured movements dominated by manarchist bullying Honestly, this stuff goes all over the map.

As a white heterosexual cis-male, with all the privilege that implies, I have the luxury of "transcending" it if I choose to. Seems like a cop-out, though.

Really, it seems to me the central question is whether one's actions are inclusive vs. whether they stake out turf. Are they welcoming or divisive? It's not really hard to work that out.

Posted by Jym on Jan. 28, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

That's a term used by trans-sexuals to try and diminish the vast majority of people who are straight. A straight male would never identify as a cis-male because that just sounds fake and pretentious.

Nor do I buy that not being a trans-sexual somehow comes with "privilege" which, in any event, is a horribly over-used word.

You'd have more credibility if, when criticizing identity politics and Caitlinesque mediocrity, you didn't fall into it yourself.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 28, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

@Jym, of course there must be a welcoming environment for all people in political organizing. But what happens when people transgress? Is that occasion used to move the agenda forward or is it used as a political cudgel, a gotcha moment? We live in a racist, sexist and homophobic society, we will be organizing with racists, sexists and homophobes if we are to organize broadly. How do we handle that?

I think that it is clear that the way that this was handled, the same way that the JD case was handled, the same way that RM's case was handled serves primarily as a political tactic to overcome the immediate hurdle and does nothing to move the agenda forward. This all devalues the currency to differing extents.

San Francisco's nonprofit and progressive advocacy groups are closed shops. There is nothing welcoming about them. There are no lengths to which the stalwarts will not to go figure out exclusion criteria to maintain their position. The folks will hire fresh faced interns who've lived here for a few months who knows nothing of the City before they'd hire any long term San Franciscans with directly relevant advocacy experience.

The Guardian is the closed shop mouthpiece for the closed shop advocacy and activist stalwarts. There is nothing democratic in its organization, never has been. The articles rely on the same old sources, the same handful of stalwarts in a self perpetuating closed loop, the same dried out husks.

So when the closed shop operators who actually hold and ground power whine about someone else not being welcoming, an alcoholic who if he were homeless would get free passes for the welcoming conduct of shitting, pissing puking and passing out in the streets from those who whine about his language, well, I take that shit with a grain of fucking salt.

Yeah, h. Brown often gets obnoxious and pushes people's buttons with inappropriate language. No, he should not do that. But much more consequential exclusions abound that gore other peoples' oxen so they don't get the same gotcha media treatment.

Women are strong when they organize to confront men when bad conduct goes down. There are plenty of progressive and liberal men who would back women up if asked.

The rise of identitarianism has correlated with the demise of progressive and liberal political power. We've had 30 years of experience with this. The underlying theories are valid but the language in which it is communicated politically does not resonate within the "oppressed" communities nor within the segments of the population targeted for consciousness raising.

That identitarianism has arisen within the Activist/Advocate/Academic communities over the past decade should be of concern to anyone who wants to save non-corporate political power from going extinct in our lifetimes. Most women, most "people of color" and most queers don't see things that way and it does not look like they're going to any time soon. Evolve.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 28, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

Thank you for your kind yet charmingly anonymous comments,

I have no interest in rehab and as a retiree on a fixed income (social security) I certainly couldn't afford the likes of Betty Ford. Haven't been incontinent yet and though I'm definitely full of shit, constipation hasn't been a problem.

Thanks for your concern for the workings of my colon.

You, however, should get a techie to check out the diarrhea coming out of your keyboard.

I'm headed to Northern Virginia May 1st and plan to rent a small place near my son and his family (Sperryville) and My old friend, Neska (Luray).

Hoping to get into DC as much as possible to check out the national museums and the government.

The plan is a year in Virginia where (said this before) I'll get to see 4 seasons for the first time in several decades spent in the greatest town in the world, San Francisco.

Then, after a year in Virginia, on to New York.

I lived in upstate New York (Binghamton) for a year and drove a school bus through the frozen Susquehanna valley while my wife did a tour as a visiting professor at the state university.

That was in 1987 and I loved it.

We made many excursions into Canada (Montreal and the like) and camped in our Dodge van at Niagra Falls and the like.

I'd appreciate any of your suggestions on how close I can live to NYC on $900 a month.

Would like to be in the city but that's probably impossible.

But, I can get in for periods of time and check out the scene.

After a year there my plan is to defect to Cuba.

I have a Giants replica ring from the 2012 World Series with Fidel's name on it.

Won't really defect cause I'm sure I can get a Visa by reason of being a lifelong Marxist and I'm betting that Obama will have opened the gates for trade and tourism by then.

Many of my friends have visited there and the majority liked or loved it and I could live well there on my pension.

I'd love to be hitting groundballs to kids there in 2016.

You're a "Guest Lecturer"?

I'm betting from your writing style that you teach Scatology.

Again, thank you for your anal appraisal and curiosity about my travel plans.

Go Giants!

h.
Thank you ver

Posted by Guest h. brown on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

Si, que te vayas bien. Espero que no este matado por ser tan cabroncito humano.

Oh, they'll love you in Cuber, indeedy.

$900 will get you lots of rum. You'll die a semi-happy man.

Posted by Guest Lecturer on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

Buena suerte, "H", as Montana would have said in spanish to offensive guard Harris Barton. Don't let the haters hate and keep on truckin', as Eddie Kendricks sang in the 70's. A toast to you, sir, from unceded Coast Salish territory in Canada.
Cuba Libre!

Richard Marquez

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

Heard your voice in the writing before I got to your name...

Posted by marcos on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

Hey Rich,

Great to hear from you too. I'm looking forward to Cuba. Michelle Mongan just got back and had hell of a time. I'm gonna have some kind of a fundraiser before I split she's agreed to be my treasurer. Getting the 2003 crew together again.

Hope to see you before the great sunset but I think I got another 20 years in me so it's likely we'll hang out again.

Marke b. ... thanks for all your work on this thread and I'm noticing that as your post count jumps by 5 that only 2 are getting posted. Are they being sorted into different parts of the thread or are some not making the cut?

Go Giants!

h.

Posted by Guest h. brown on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

Folks,

Marke, I notice now that the program is sorting comments to fit with some kind of algorithm that's not linear, so I get it. Again, thanks for your work as I'm aware that the Guardian's not accustomed to this kind of traffic.

Jym, there was no "yelling across the room". I interviewed her as a blogger complete with press pass and cameraman close as I'm standing to you now just about.

That was over 5 years ago and I couldn't pick her out of a lineup now.

Pitchers and catchers report in 20 days!

h.

Posted by Guest h. brown on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:23 pm

She's having her 15 minutes of relevance and adequacy only because of you. She should thank you.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 9:34 am

I hear you, too, Marcos....I remember back in November, 2003 when we were all "dopeless hope fiends" in the Gonzalez camp. The party that night felt like it was 1999, baby. And from up here now in Vancouver, I sadly see the city I was born in implode, push out African-Americans, disabled queers and impoverished Latinos in the thousands, while the same old alleged progressives, whatever the hell that means now, both of color and white, are up to their ass in alligators using the same old tired tactics, e.g. ceremonial protests against gentrification that aren't sustainable or deeply entrenched among the poor and working-class or anti-capitalist in orientation -- and is choosing between Campos and Chiu the apex of radical politics today in Frisco? Or positioning a campaign to get the Guardian, Milk and SFTU endorsement make a movement? "Makes me wanna holler", to quote Gil Scott-Heron. Take good care, dude, and say "hey" to George for me. And please embrace that party of the city, the North Mission and South of the Slot, where my Mexican grandparents died in a dream going North.

Long live the memory of Los Siete, the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement take over of Alcatraz. Power to the people!

Posted by r.marquez on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:25 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 7:18 am

Best to you my friend. It has been hellish watching the decay of a once powerful movement and with it the the City that has given me so much.

All we got here is a bonfire of the progocialite vanities where people figure out how to get a paid gig and then keep that seat warm as a lifetime entitlement doing whatever they've got to do to keep the gig going. They all hope for immortality not by winning against corporate power, no, but by sucking up to it expecting something to be named after them. And they keep their circles insulated by ritualistic building up of their insecurities projected upon the trespasses of others. Gonzalez achieved what he did by executing the political math of addition and multiplication. Today's progressive hucksters fail because there is always something wrong with others to the extent that they must be excluded and derided. They're not fit to wear the uniform.

They'd be cast well in a Pasolini film of the intrigue in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the centuries leading up to the reformation, were PPP not killed for telling the truth. It is really like they're trying to please the priest so that they're not next in line for altar boy abuse.

Ain't nothing radical going on here, not even liberalism in a context where liberalism is the new radical. Either you accept the neoliberal framing or you are kicked to the curb. The Overton Window is painted shut and bricked over. More energy is spent decrying a geriatric SRO dwelling CAAP recipient apostate who is seen as deviating from the politically correct surface norm than is spent contesting oppression by those who hold real economic and political power and who are ethically agnostic equal opportunity fuckers of men and women, gay and straight alike. I keep hoping this is a bad movie or dream and it will be over soon but it just keeps getting worse and nobody seems to care to address the root causes, just close ranks with increasing fervor to defend against accountability as they games are lost.

You were right to leave when you did, saving yourself from the fate of alcoholic h and myself the über cynic, a political dog. At least I've got a tech skillset that sells, a husband and stable housing. But we're just counting the years until we get to make the move from a neighborhood that grows increasingly unrecognizable and hostile now a play space where 20 something college graduates come to make and spend money find a mate and prepare to spin out to the suburbs to mate. Mission accomplished, SPUR.

And shit, even "anarchists" like Marti and Tracy have had their brains swapped out with neoliberal accomodationists. A mind is a terrible thing to waste as radicals are grounded out into seat warmers. How can you expect for anyone to not become a raving misogynist when the standard of "progressive women" is capped with luminaries like Walker and Kim? Shit, Walker kept a seat warm on the BIC for all of these years as corruption festered, supported London Breed in D5, now supports Transactional Chiu and she wonders why people hate her. Hint: it is not because she is a dried out husk of a woman, most of us can look past that.

Until then, it is time to fuck shit up as much as I can, to raise the cost of corporate dominance and to kneecap bullshit forms of non-resistance so that something more productive might rise in its place. "Our progressive allies" need to be held accountable for all of that political capital we volunteered to raise for them which they pissed away for their own personal private financial benefit. The urge to destroy in this instance is a creative urge. Since our continued existence here is in no way dependent upon their graces or success.

This lame ass crew should face the same criticism for their abusive sober conduct in what limited power they are able to suck up for that they lard upon a powerless alcoholic senior SRO dweller. The only way we can hope to get a clear shot at power is to shoot through "our progressive allies."

Posted by marcos on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 8:52 am

tribal fragmentation and infighting. Just look how communist Russia split into Stalinists, Leninist, Trotskyists etc., and then we had Maoists. Life of brian captures this perfectly as the Judean Peoples' Front squabbles with the Peoples' Front of Judea.

You blame them for compromizing to get something done, while they blame you for not compromizing and getting nothing done. We will soon play that game again with Campos versus Chui.

But heck, it's entertaining and, in the end, if we can make a few bucks and rise above it, while having some laughs along the way, then where's the harm?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 9:29 am

Heh, that made me laugh.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 9:30 am

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