Wednesday, August 02, 2006

SF Connect 3: Brought To You By...

George Bernard Shaw, in a musical review of "Charity Concerts," wrote the following:
"Like all persons in sound mental health, I hate charity, whether as giver or receiver, asker or asked. I have no patience with the people who think that social evils can be cured by a little gush of sympathy and a dip of their hand into all the pockets within their reach."

His clear-eyed cynicism was a bracing corrective while watching "SF Connect" and its corporate sponsors...

...along with its ridiculously slick signage which obviously cost a pretty penny to produce.

Wells Fargo was the most determined sponsor in terms of its signage and branding everywhere you turned.

Here's a secret I learned doing propaganda for close to 30 years for Wells Fargo Bank.

As a monstrous corporate entity, they absolutely don't give a shit about you or your community or the world around us.

They care about your SOW (Share Of Wallet), period.

Also throwing up a banner was that other private corporate utility that has been gouging the citizens of California with a rigorous hand for over 150 years.

I think it would be instructive to know exactly which San Franciscans profit the most through their ownership of PG&E stock in exploiting their neighbors. That's one list the local media has never printed.

The only counterweight to this huge fraud was a gentleman passing out info about a petition drive to save Bayview/Hunter's Point from the Redevelopment Agency and their totally corrupt "friends in high places" who will use Redevelopment's eminent domain powers to do whatever the hell they want.

They need another 20,000 signatures by the end of August. Click here to get to their website and offer to pass around a few petitions.

The most charming moment of the evening was on exiting, where I saw a bicyclist and a wheelchair dude get tangled up together in a narrow space.

The lady cyclist started giggling infectiously, and none of us could help it. We all started giggling too.


Anonymous said...

Great blog, photos and words as usual.. YEAH RIGHT, these corportate fakes "caring"-- and no show for the Mayor at his own event, with the UK Poodle in LA.. SMELLS like political whimpism at the most-- nothing wrong with volunteering tho.. too bad the garbage litterers exist. Someone should care and this volunteer program is great even tho many elitists will always find something wrong with it.. I once helped clean up a 6 block area in the Tenderloin and no less than half an hour later the PIG DRUNK WINO DRUGGIES on the corner of this Tenderloin area had that corner filthy littered again.. Time for these animals to care for themselves.. Right on

sfwillie said...

Back in the 1970's, I interacted with a young, recently promoted, middle-manager at BofA Cashiers Division, who lost her job because she wouldn't extort United Way pledges from her subordinates.

We discussed how the bank bigwigs would attend a black-tie banquet along with other corporate execs, to celebrate the total contributions of their respective corporations.

Basically Beth was supposed to make keypunch operators and low level clerks think they'd be fired if they didn't contribute enough.

Things might have changed since then regarding the United Way. But the hearts of most corporate execs have grown even darker and meaner.

Every penny used to pay for this gathering WAS STOLEN from poor people.

Thanks for documenting this shameful exercise.

janinsanfran said...

Great piece. The only aditional point I'd make is: if you want to meet some people trying to hold together impossible internal contradictions, you should be exposed to the folks who get themselves hired as the bank and utility philanthropic officers. You get very bright, very well-meaning young policy-oriented people of color (usually women) who gradually discover they are a marketing ploy -- or turn sour and ugly inside which rising rapidly out of this philanthropic ghetto.

seamus said...

I enjoy your blog very much. Great pictures, great feel for these events.

I don't get the antipathy towards the corporate sponsors, however. I work for a large employer in the Bay Area; every year, the employees run a community support campaign that collects millions of dollars for Bay Area charities and foundations, and recognizes the people who donate the most money and time to the community.

Yes, Wall Street doesn't give a shit, but the employees all live here and do. Instead of cynically dismissing the interest of Wells Fargo's and PG&E's shareholders, you should be glad that these corporations and their employees are supporting the community in ways beyond employing tens of thousands of people and serving Bay Area customers. Because what's the preferred alternative? That they *not* support the community with charitable donations?

Anyway, like I wrote, I dig your blog, and I've linked it from mine. Cheers.

Anonymous said...


This "non-profit" guy, is Sydney Levy & while humble himself, I'd easily call him brilliant.

Some Background:

Smart and dedicated doesn't begin to cover it.