Wednesday, March 01, 2006
City and Suburb
For an old client, I've agreed to spend a month going onsite to their famous company in Silicon Valley.
Not being an automobile driver, I took the old-fashioned Caltrain down to San Carlos from San Francisco...
...and then walked a stormy half-hour through the arid suburban business parks which don't even have sidewalks on many of their streets.
Silicon Valley's business parks, or campuses as they like to call them, are bizarrely antiseptic sprawls with seemingly strict racial stratification.
Most of the businesses seem to consist of white folk, including a few Europeans, along with a huge percentage of East Indians. Mexicans are the slaves who keep the places running, from food service to landscaping.
The business parks look like a David Cronenberg film such as "Scanners" where terrible things are happening behind moderne glass and steel.
It was a relief to return to San Francisco's Civic Center..
...where there was a multi-racial collection of teachers marching on the San Francisco Unified School District building across the street from my apartment.
They were chanting, "What do we want? A Contract! When do want it? Now!"
It wasn't particularly imaginative but they seemed to be having a great time strangling traffic on Franklin Street...
...and of course the police were loving every minute of it since they got to overpolice yet another demonstration and make lots of overtime while they were at it.
There was a San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget Committee meeting on Wednesday the 1st where the supervisors grilled the police spokesmen on why their overtime was so out of control, and the response was on the order of "Those anti-war protests are getting more violent all the time," which of course is crap.
The vast majority of the San Francisco police force live in the suburbs and treat the city as if they are an occupying force. They're also lazy as hell, so if you're a criminal, you really don't have to worry about them much, other than the fact that they are bankrupting the city's budget.