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May 28, 2003



Watching City Hall (1)

by h. brown

When in the course of human events, one gets fired from the SF Sentinel Ö for the second time Ö one owes an explanation to oneís readers.
-- Thomas Jefferson meets h. brown

I donít think Willie Brown deserves any respect. Thatís why I say such terrible things about him. If my writing causes him some discomfort, I have begun to fulfill my goal.

I feel exactly the same way about pretty much everyone in the Brown political machine. It is composed mostly of people who have sold out their race or their class in exchange for money or power or both. Such people should not be feted. They should be locked up. However, since they control the police force and most of the judges, thatís not likely to happen. In many ways, I feel like the field mouse in the cartoon, who is caught in the middle of a pasture by an eagle. Poor little fellow is wearing baggy bib overalls with one broken strap but there is spunk in the tiny loser. As he realizes his helpless situation against the overwhelming talons and power of the eagle screaming mercilessly toward him, he doesnít cower. Nope. We see him from the rear in the cartoon with the dive-bombing eagle feet away from snatching him. The mouse? The mouse is standing perfectly erect and he is giving the eagle the finger! The cartoon (wish I could attribute here, but I donít know who did it) the cartoon is entitled ďThe Last Great Act of Defiance.Ē

Until I am forced from San Francisco or get bored, I will continue to be that little mouse standing in front of City Hall with middle finger extended.

If I can make the people chasing people of color (20% of SFís blacks left the city since Brown has been mayor cause they canít afford to live here) Ö people of color and musicians and artists and writers and dancers and families and dogs and cats Ö if I can make these people who have chased my brothers and sisters from the city a bit uncomfortable as they partake of their ill-gotten gains Ö if I can do that Ö Iíve succeeded.

My work can be found daily at my own site at www.sfbulldog.com.

I will continue to contribute to the San Francisco Call at www.sfcall.com and columns appearing there will be reprinted in the Bulldog after one week.

My goals

I donít have the patience or energy of either Betsey Culp (Call publisher & chief writer) or Patrick Murphy (Sentinelís one-man band). My own site will compete with them in no way. Other than my own daily column, my web presence will initially contain little more than an invitation to watch several novels in progress. The first is my own. As yet untitled, it will be a compilation of the 300 or so columns Iíve written since I first met most of you some three years ago. I plan to add some sex, drugs & rock ní roll & a general description of the people (elected & otherwise) who run this city. Probably no more than a few hundred people in San Francisco can understand my columns completely because they donít know the names or job descriptions of the people I have profiled since 2000. I want to correct that in the novel. In the novel, youíll learn what the Controller is really supposed to do. What the Controller was doing in 1938 & what the present Controller does and has been doing for the past 20 years. Same with the Sheriff.

You get the idea. It is a work in progress. Those of you whose names I misspell, consider yourself lucky. Those of you who feel slandered, just ask & Iíll be happy to change your name or correct factual errors. Iím betting that 100 years from now, your progeny will wish youíd said nothing. I am a keen observer and ultimately a generous biographer. No one else in this city tells the truth about you.

And as for you citizens, most of the people I write about would like nothing more than to leave you completely confused. Iíll give you their actual connections and motivations. Oddly, like a monster storm gathering before you, they often have a terrible beauty in their greed and ruthlessness. If you like great art and beautiful people and conspicuous consumption, these are the masters. I donít, as Iíve often said, make these people up. I only describe them. Incidentally, in an odd turn of events made possible by the computer revolution, the movie just might be out before the novel is completed. Be worried, Gavin.

There are presently plans for several other writers to join the site and a couple of poets. All have works in progress they want to make available to my audience. If you want to join, let me know. Until then Ö

An adieu to Da Sentinel and Ö hello, you beautiful little Bulldog.

Write me: sobone@juno.com