President Googly: Google Bus Protests:
In the past month, the situation with the tech buses has gone from mildly annoying to slightly worrisome to bone-chilling. I've heard every side of this argument six different ways by now and I'm really quite hopeless that the root causes can ever adequately be addressed. Furthermore, I've never seen the DFH contingent so thoroughly stink up an issue (i.e., the housing shortage not the damn bus stops) that genuinely calls for a vigorous progressive response.
The most interesting part to me is how unhinged the whole debate is becoming and the weird interaction between a genuine public policy dilemma and a semi-professional Left that's piling on with all kinds of non-answers. This is probably old hat for Bay Area natives, but I'm a neoliberal from back East and I'm not accustomed to finding myself on the "conservative" side of an issue. Also, if you click through to the details of the "protest" at a random Google employee's house in Berkeley, the details are really, really creepy and it is not at all unreasonable to fear for this guy's personal safety.
From my perspective, this bunch of protesters is important to have because they make it impossible to sustain with good faith the argument that neoconservatives have no point at all. They do have a point.
In case you’re wondering why this happened, we’ll be extremely clear. The people outside your Google bus serve you coffee, watch your kids, have sex with you for money, make you food, and are being driven out of their neighborhoods. While you guys live fat as hogs with your free 24/7 buffets, everyone else is scraping the bottom of their wallets, barely existing in this expensive world that you and your chums have helped create.
You are not innocent victims. Without you, the housing prices would not be rising and we would not be facing eviction and foreclosure. You, your employers, and the housing speculators are to blame for this new crisis, so much more awful than the last one. You live your comfortable lives surrounded by poverty, homelessness, and death, seemingly oblivious to everything around you, lost in the big bucks and success. But look around, see the violence and degradation out there? This is the world that you have created, and you are clearly on the wrong side.
Predictably, you might even believe that the technologies you create serve the betterment of all humans. But in reality, the benefactors of technological development are advertisers, the wealthy, the powerful, and the NSA analysts running dragnet surveillance over email, phone calls, and social media.
If you want a Bay Area where the ultra-rich are pitted against hundreds of thousands of poor people, keep doing what you’re doing. You’ll have a nice revolution outside your door. But if you want out then you should quit your jobs, cash out, and go live a life that doesn’t completely fuck up someone else’s.
GET THE FUCK OUT OF OAKLAND!