back in the saddle…

OK. So our beloved civic infrastructure needs to balance the budget of this City of Art and Innovation we all live in. Fair enough. Budgets need to be balanced. I’d suggest they cut the hair gel thing by 50%… but I digress…

Newsome is ballyhooing about not raising taxes. So where does the money come from? They are gonna raise operating fees for businesses. Small businesses. In this case, tattoo parlors. Now lets take a look at the ‘idea’ of taxes, shall we? A tax is an account that citizens of a civic apparatus pay into the general fund for services. So is the $4 on the bay bridge a tax? Only kinda, because it has specific end users. People who use the bridge pay that toll, not bicylists. So if you don’t have a car, you don’t pay that ‘tax’. What about parking tickets? What if I told you that 75% of the money collected in parking tickets paid for the infastructure of writing them?

Are ya mad yet?

Over $2.40 of the bridge toll goes to collecting the bridge toll.

Lets keep going, shall we? If you open a small business, you have to get licences and permits. One from the health department. Maybe one from the entertainment commission. Occupancy from the fire department. On and on…Then you need an operating permit, your business licence. They’ve got ‘em for other things, too… like the H41. For tattoo parlors. Now how much do you think the permit is to run a tattoo parlor? A guy sometimes comes like once a year maybe and peeks in for 4 minutes and does an ‘inspection’. That’s it. That is the “service” that a tattoo shop gets for it’s permit. A guy for 4 minutes. Maybe. That and the cost of the paper the permit is written on. How about $120? Sound fair? I think so. That’s what it was last year. So. To put the budget back together, the city raised that permit to like $1,500.

Is the guy gonna come in a maid outfit and give the shop owner a handjob now or what?

It’s a 1,259% increase. And it’s irresponsible. There is a petition that I would like you to sign, please. It will take you 2 minutes. It’s here:

The petition was started by Jason Stein, from Cyclops tattoo. If you’ve ever seen the fish on my left wing… that’s Jason’s work. He also plays bass for Sissy now. He’s a cool guy, but it’s important to know the place of the small business in our fragile community. And this kinda fee increase is going to affect it. Not only a strain for struggling shops, but also preventing the new shop from opening. The position of the small business in our community is paramount. All communities. The corner store, the café, the video rental store, the odd little curio shop, the specialty shop, the copy shop and all the rest… these places are hanging on by belly button lint right now. If there is any doubt in your mind how the economy is doing, just visit and looky loo on business’ for sale. It’s staggering how much is for sale and for how much. People are giving ‘em away. Can’t pay the rent. It’s pretty bad. And this is an insult to that injury.

The small community business is a heroic place in our complicated and fragile eco-system. With an outpouring of support never before seen by City Hall, we all stopped American Apparel from opening on Valencia. That was cool. But the reason there is a community at all is that people start and maintain small businesses. This is how neighborhood exist. Duh! And if you raise the permit fees, then it’s another chip chipped away at the cornerstone of the whole point of the reason why most of us are here: The neighborhood. So the end of the story is that more people leave. Then more billionaires come in to kick the remaining millionaires out. But Gavin will be Govenor by then, so what does he care?

There are 1 and 2 ACRE properties in the Mission district that have been passed down from generation from generation. JFK once said “There is inherited wealth in this country, and also inherited poverty.” These estates were eltablished before the advent of property taxes. They are owned outright. And since they pre-date the tax, they are excluded. That’s a neat trick, aye? Own a 15 bedroom mansion on Genoa Street with a 7 car garage, a swimming pool in your living room and those dumb ass giant bushes sculpted like a bunny or something. You pay the calbe, the water, the garbage and the PG&E. Yea. Lets raise the permit fees on the tattoo parlors. Will someone please deliver a crowbar to City Hall so our supervisors can get their heads out of their asses?

The permit process is necessary. Sure. Sure it is. But my friend Sweet Melissa says it better than me that the process is absurd. She went down to see what kinda permits are on offer down at City Hall. Here is her report:

Say you own a shooting gallery ($723) where you deal in firearms ($961) as part of your amusement park ($871) where people play ring-throwing games ($477) and see traveling shows ($680). One day after the rodeo show ($651), you decide to gather the junk people left laying around ($439 for residents, $370 for nonresidents) and sell it ($330) using a pushcart ($594). But despite your use of kite advertising ($367) and “public outcry sales” ($716), when customers don’t flock to your wares, you decide to make the cart into a motorized rickshaw ($268) and offer to escort funeral processions ($224) complete with an honorary cannon blast ($400). Along one of the routes you discover the perfect place for an off-heliport landing site which, at $477, is only slightly more expensive than an out-call massage service ($462).

She’s a cool lady and a good writer, if ya like the myopic, endless, petty jewel that is SF politics.

If I had known that a cannon blast was only $400… welll… lets point the thing at Gavin’s 6 MPG Lincoln limo and see if we can get him to roll down the window and throw us a bone.


This sent by Jeremy Paul, father of 2 boys:

11-year-old Zander Paul excitedly calling friends: Michael Jackson is dead!

Jeremy: he was a great artist Zander, don’t be like that!

Zander: to you Dad, to us he’s just a famous child molester who is dead.

Says it all, don’t it….


I’m kinda coming in for a landing from my little flight. But only kinda. Things are still a little sparkly, but I’m not as… well… I’m not as…

My dear friend Lera, girl scientist, was worried about me. It’s the jewish mother in her. She made me take this test: I scored a 28

So. I guess, clincly, I’m not feeling as “manic”. That fucking word, mania. I always think of Beatlemania. She asked me to call her if I thought I could fly. I think she wanted to watch me try.

But when you make out with God, ya don’t just have one ciggerte when it’s over….



One Response

  1. Hi John,

    Was so nice to meet you in Venice and sing some songs – wish we could do this more often..

    Just wondered if you would still be up for a co-operation with my platform and to put on a show this winter round November/ Dezember travelling from Graz in Austria.

    I have about 50 artists and could show the show in your space in whole or part..

    Let me know what you’re thinking..

    My email is: – it didn’t work out for me to get your updates – I added my email again to your mailinglist – let’s see if its working out this time..

    All the best from late night Graz


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