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October 18, 2005

Tomorrow's Derelicts Today

You see them in most big cities, but I've never seen nearly as many of these tragedies in the making anyplace else as I have here in San Francisco.

They are young people between the ages of perhaps sixteen and twenty six and generally come in one of three "looks": frayed Gothic wannabe, often completely concealed within a mire of tattoos and face-pierce jewelry, "wish it was still the late Sixties" hippie wannabe and "wish this was ten years before I was born" punk wannabe.

Here in the liberals' Mecca, they are to be found sitting along the sidewalks on Market Street, giving the appearance of being in their own living rooms, often entertaining their street colleagues, eating, getting high, panhandling and bumming cigarettes, or doing the same thing up in Haight Ashbury. They leave the trappings of any meals or liquid party materials right there on the sidewalk when they get up to leave, because the local socialist attitude has indoctrinated them into the mindset that everybody else is their mother and father.

While in most cities, purely in the interests of what former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani used to call maintaining "quality of life," charges such as mendicancy , obstructing the sidewalk and littering(as a ticket) would be among those applied by arresting officers on the beat. In San Francisco, however, these young people enjoy two benefits, one being that they are accorded the "human right" to be both eyesore and irritant without hindrance, the other that the jails here are well beyond being merely overcrowded and the locals are much too worshipful of their real estate bubble to want to "waste" valuable land on anything as unprofitable as detention facilities.

So here we have these kids who sit there, stay stoned and drunk and produce nothing, not only for others, but for themselves.

To digress briefly, mostly for any younger readers who weren't around back in the 1960s and 1970s, back then, before the Internet and its provision of easy access to information, before the tidal wave of immigration brought on by lifted quotas, before living costs spiralled out of control as they have in many cities and before the workplace again became an employer's market, there was a lot of elbow room for young people who wanted to be lazy and utterly nonproductive for a few years. Getting a job, even one in a corporate environment, was a piece of cake.

You looked in the employment section of the newspaper{what we once called the "want ads" and where there were always scores of job openings of every description, hungry to be filled}, found some jobs you liked the sound of, made some calls on your rotary dial telephone, put on a suit -- there was this respect thing back in the day, you see -- went down, filled out this sheet of paper called an "application", resumes were nice, but not as necessary as they are today for most jobs, got interviewed a few minutes later and, if the interviewer liked what he/she "saw", you were working within a couple of days. And you were "in", you could work hard and build up a track record qualifying you for better paying jobs with other firms, or a strong future with the one you were at. You could leave and then rejoin "the establishment" at will.

Back then, let's say you took home $125.00 a week. You could easily find a nice one bedroom apartment renting for $175.00 a month and cover your telephone and utility bills, buy food, hygiene items, clothes and other necessities and maintain a modest social life. There were no ISPs, cellular phone or cable companies sending any bills, until HBO arrived on the scene nearer the end of the era than the beginning.

Back to today: No way! Ours has become an unforgiving society where the marketplace is concerned, because there's simply too much competition for every job and a prospective employer can afford to discard job candidates for a paucity of cause. Lengthy gaps in employment histories are examined, and references are thoroughly checked. Many employers even want credit references these days. People want to review resumes before they schedule interviews. It's a whole new ball game.

So we've got those young people on the street out there, trying to enjoy a kind of lifestyle that ran its course before they were born, paying no attention to the consequences they will face when they suddenly wake up in their late twenties, looking to straighten their lives out.

A fortunate few will make out, but most of them will be the aging homeless of an even less forgiving tomorrow, among them the idiots who think it's cool to have tattoos on their faces.

One of those guys who wear all black, much in need of washing, sport too many tats and use their faces for open-air jewelry boxes whom I estimated at about twenty three years of age, asked me for "a dollar" a few years ago.

"Why don't you get a job?" I asked.

"I'm lazy." He replied with a smirk.

"Good for you." I said and kept on walking. Asshat!

When he's "catching his rattling last breath with deep sea diver sounds"{a little Tull, there} on a filthy length of sidewalk someplace in another twenty someodd years, I hope he still remembers how to smirk.

The socialist political environment in a liberal city, where the ACLU rules the roost, enables these clueless doomed "children" to rejoice, unencumbered, in their quest to become the next generation of derelict lifers -- the homeless, after all, are a large cash crop for liberal interests. The more, the merrier.

Posted by Seth at October 18, 2005 02:56 AM


Wow Seth..what a good post. SO true too...today's young people have no clue to the value and pride of working, looking decent, taking care of themselves. It's perfectly normal, even up here in Cow Hampshire, to see youth hanging out on the streets looking like Darth Vader types. Society has failed these kids. The parents and schools dropped the ball. And when the day comes that these kids do wake up, they will be forever running trying to stay caught up against their smarter peers. It's too bad.

Posted by: Raven at October 19, 2005 05:55 AM

Yeah, Raven, hon', it sucks. Some of these kids dooming themselves are brilliant intellects that might have scored 7 and 8 digit occupations, but instead they live for whatever small piece of adventure might await them on the streets.

They either don't know or don't care about the future now, but when it arrives it will, in their cases, do so with a vengeance.


Posted by: Seth at October 19, 2005 06:26 AM