Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Map of Fog 2

More true stories about life in San Francisco. Role-Playing nerds, Critical Mass assholes, sticker vandals, desperate slackers hanging on to life in the city, punk and ghetto child alliances, and a section profiling some of the weird houses in the city's suburbs.

San Francisco is a city of nerds. It's also a city of yuppies, homeless people, hippies, immigrants, political radicals, gang bangers, punk rockers, and pretty much anyone else you can imagine. But it's the nerds that are growing in numbers every day, and it's the nerds who will inherit this city once the hippies die of old age, and the yuppies go broke and can't afford to live here anymore.

The nerd takeover started in the nineties with the dot-com boom, and it continues today with the local tech/internet businesses like Google and Yahoo dominating the job sector. Tech companies pay good money, and being a nerd is practically a prerequisite for employment. So the nerds get the cash, and the nerds drive up the cost of living, and everyone else can fuck off and move to Oakland.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010


My mom loves me. My girlfriend loves me. My brother loves me. These three people, I am sure, sincerely love me and care about my well being, and think about my well being on a regular basis. And then I've got friends and family, co-workers, acquaintances, etc., who like me well enough and probably wish me at least a modicum of satisfaction in life. And then there are the countless billions who honestly don't give a shit about me at all. Of those billions, there's probably a fair number who would, at some level, feel gratified if I suffered in some way. For some of them they'd like me to suffer in a small way--like having me stuck with shit-pay job's that I hate for the rest of my days--so that they'd feel better about their own lives. And there are probably a decent number of people who'd actually be amused by greater suffering--they'd laugh at a youtube clip of me getting beat up in a bar fight, or run over by a truck.

How am I supposed to get on with life, knowing that?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Five Million is a Failure

I just logged out of my email account and saw an article on the yahoo web page discussing TV shows at risk of cancellation. It mentions certain shows, like Cold Case, which average as much as 10 million viewers a week. And by industry standards, that's a failure!

I knew there was a disparity in the size of audiences drawn by books and television, but frankly I had no idea that the difference in audience size was that large. The List of best-selling books on Wikipedia only lists a few hundred titles that have managed to sell upwards of 10 million copies. In other words, only a few hundred different books IN THE HISTORY OF PRINT have managed to capture audiences of the size captured by a failing television show EACH WEEK!

I realize that numbers sold doesn't equate to numbers of people who have read a book--especially when you consider books bought by libraries and then potentially read by dozens of people--but I also feel like there are plenty of copies that sell and then aren't actually ever read. The Bible, for example, is the greatest selling book of all time, but I'm pretty sure that the number of copies that are sold and then actually read cover to cover is comparatively small. I also realize that one episode of a TV show isn't easily equated to one book--books generally take longer to get through than an hour. Even with those thoughts in mind, these numbers are boggling.