[guest post by JVW]
Hats off to those great entrepreneurial Americans who can make a quick buck in the face of societal collapse:
Last year, The Atlantic dubbed San Francisco a “failed city.”
Earlier this year, amid shuttering stores and a ballooning drug and homeless crisis, Elon Musk tweeted that the city feels “post-apocalyptic,” like a set piece for the zombie horror series, The Walking Dead. Writer Michael Shellenberger has dubbed the city “San Fran-sicko.”
Now, tourists and residents alike looking to get a first-hand look at the urban decay are in luck. A planned “Downtown Doom Loop Walking Tour” promises an up-close look at all the worst San Francisco has to offer: open-air drug markets, abandoned tech offices, deserted stores.
“You’ve read the headlines, you’ve seen the Tweets, now get close and personal to the Doom and Squalor of downtown San Francisco,” reads a description of the tour on Eventbrite.
The $30 tour is supposedly slated for 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 26, according to the Eventbrite post. The tour purportedly will start at City Hall and take participants on a 1.5 mile hike through Mid-Market, the Tenderloin District, and Union Square. “Sneakers advised.”
Some are suggesting that this proposed tour is an elaborate joke, a troll job meant to garner publicity. I hope that’s not the case, mostly because it has the most prissy and humorless San Franciscans scrunching up their noses in disgust:
The “doom loop” tour isn’t sitting well with some city residents and leaders. One resident told the San Francisco Chronicle that the tour was nothing more than a “bad publicity stunt.” A local community leader told the paper that the tour is “not really productive,” adding that it’s “harmful to walk around showing all the bad without any proposed solution.”
Another community leader told the San Francisco Standard that he intends to lead a free “counter-tour” at the same time, meeting across the street from the “doom loop” tour.
Del Seymour, co-founder of a job-training nonprofit in the Tenderloin, told the Standard that he plans to “celebrate the goodness” of his community.
Here’s a list of other things which are merely “bad publicity stunts”: sanctuary cities, vouchers for the homeless, toleration of camping on the streets and open drug commerce and usage, cashless bail, restorative justice, diversionary sentencing, green initiatives — I could go on and on. I hope this tour is real and that it does take place, and frankly I hope it becomes a regular part of San Francisco tourism. We’re far past the point where local leaders and the obnoxious advocacy class ought to have their noses rubbed in it.