weeping for the future

A common occurrence in my life: Angela and I would leave the house for lunch, and on the way down the stairs, I'd tell her about the latest horror I've just read about online. She'd make a whole series of angry and incredulous faces, then sigh, and say to me, "baby, why you gotta make me hate the world so early in the morning?"

Yesterday it was my turn. I had lunch with someone who works at a certain blogging company whose name rhymes with "LiveJournal", and I got to hear about an argument my friend had with a co-worker who took the unbelievable position of being opposed to the ski jump. "If it was your wedding, you'd understand," he said.

So it goes on from there in an almost-parodic, predictable way, and anti-ski guy says that he's heard some rumor that a nightclub down the block from their offices was going to be shut down soon (false) and he thought that was a great idea, so that they could make room for more condos! "The city has had this planned for years," he said. "Pretty soon this neighborhood will be nothing but condos and grocery stores."

"Then it will be a really hip, urban neighborhood."

I strongly suspect you are now making the same sequence of faces that I did.

Tags: , , ,

spikes! spikes for everybody!

The Anti-Sit Archives is a gallery of photos of pigeon spikes for humans: steel teeth to make it impossible for you to sit on anything. Those things really make me sad.

They're even worse than pigeon spikes, and those are pretty awful, too. It's so pathetic when you see a building that at one time had some attention paid to its architecure -- that looks like someone might have cared about it, by adding some ornate detail or other -- and then someone glued a thousand wire scrub-brushes to it. Am I the only one who thinks that those are far, far uglier than pigeon shit?

Even worse is when there is an overhead alcove with a statue in it... with chain-link fence closing the hole. Why not just use plywood! Turn the building into a cube, stucco for everyone! Gaaahh.

There's a church in North Beach that has some large statues on the building, halfassedly crowned with pigeon-thorns. There's an eagle that looks like it has an aluminum mohawk. It's kind of funny, but mostly just sad.

Skateboarding vigilanteism:

Skateboarders routinely conduct guerrilla missions to remove what they call "Nazi knobs" from their favorite skate spots. They use saws and power tools, and sometimes cellular phones to connect the demolisher to the lookout.

"One dude cuts and one dude's watching and one dude is ready to run with the generator," said Rob Dyrdek, a professional skateboarder who admits to removing Skatestoppers. "It's pretty ridiculous."

Once, while Loarie was installing Skatestoppers at a school in Orange County, a young skateboarder walked up to say he'd be back to tear them out over the weekend. Later, Loarie said, the Skatestoppers had been hacked off and human feces smeared across the wall.

On a computer screen in his office, Loarie showed off a forthcoming Skatestopper he calls the "future of skate deterrents." The piece, made from aircraft-grade aluminum, looks like a mooring with deep anchors and can be installed directly into wet concrete, making it impossible to remove without destroying the bench or curb in which it is imbedded.

This all reminds me of one of my favorite visual gags in Transmetropolitan: all of the park benches had signs on them that said, "WARNING: this bench becomes red hot between 2 AM and 6 AM."

But you can tell that was science fiction, because the park had grass in it, unlike the concrete Soviet monstrosity of the reconstructed Union Square.

Tags: , , , ,

cops have to pay $41k for stopping man from videoing them

A rare instance of good news!

Last month a federal judge awarded $35,000 in compensatory and $6000 in punitive damages to a man state troopers arrested for video taping them. The ruling finds violations of the plaintiff's first and fourth amendment rights.