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Why Are S.F. Politicians Hosting Doom Loop Tours?

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San Francisco is a strange place. It’s the per capita billionaire capital of the world, and yet the city is regularly criticized for intense levels of poverty and urban decay. It’s a place where clearly rich people deny being rich while draping themselves in vague progressive mantras to showcase their worthless status as allies in a battle they’re not even fighting. Then there’s the other kind of rich people – the ones that don’t give a fuck about appearing progressive and would like nothing more than to see the homeless put in a frying pan. 

These two groups are battling it out for influence in San Francisco, and it’s a battle for the ages! The only question is who’s going to win: the covert narcissists or the overt sociopaths? That’s not to delegitimize the efforts of numerous non-profits who are out on the streets of San Francisco every day trying to make this city more livable for the least fortunate. But while amazing groups like Glide go into the community and feed countless people and they’ve been doing it for decades. It seems the loudest parties in this battle have the least skin in the game.

All of this is happening in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area while normal people like you and I are essentially held hostage. It’s a lot of fun!

An example of overt sociopathy gone awry is the ‘doom loop’ walking tour of the Tenderloin and SoMa. But the organizer didn’t show up at the last minute despite the event being sold out. If you’re going to be an asshole, you can’t be a coward or you end up with results like these. If you’re going to do something, go all the way. Don’t back out and pretend it’s a joke when it’s not. You can’t say it’s a prank when you created an event page. 

What makes it even funnier is that the organizer was apparently an S.F. city commissioner. Like I said, a strange place… 

The question is why would someone who works in government organize a tour that is morally reprehensible and meant to cast the city they work for in a bad light? 

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the organizer is Alex Ludlum, a land use commissioner appointed by London Breed. Which honestly isn’t a big surprise considering everything London Breed has ever done in her entire career. But this is openly shittier than most things I’ve seen in modern San Francisco politics.

San Francisco has two flavors of shitty: blatant shitty like when that rich tech lady on Twitter was openly calling for public lynching in San Francisco and bureaucratic shitty like when a person who isn’t a threat is murdered over a sandwich and the DA won’t do anything about it despite the footage because they’re scared Market Street would lose another business.

But once again, what is the motivation behind such a shitty, dehumanizing idea?

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San Francisco is going through a rebirth, and business interests are trying to reinvent the city in their corporate image. Homelessness doesn’t really mesh well with this whole city of compassion schtick San Francisco has done a good job of cultivating. So what do you do? You get rid of them, but how? 

Well, the first step is to utterly fail the homeless and San Francisco has done a phenomenal job at failing the most vulnerable in San Francisco for a very long time. An example of this is spending money to combat homelessness as inefficiently as possible, and telling the world that the failed initiatives are “progressive policies.” 

But these policies aren’t progressive, they’re kind of… destructive. Not quickly destructive, but a slower, self-perpetuating, San Francisco style of destruction. If I were a doctor and I ran a cancer ward at a hospital, and all of the patients had cancer, but I didn’t allow them to get treatment in a meaningful way, I just gave them medicine to stave off the painful symptoms while watching their condition worsen until they died when I knew I had treatments at my disposal that could have saved a percentage of them, would I be complicit in their deaths? Absolutely. Was that a run-on sentence of David Foster Wallace proportions? Absolutely.  

I’m going to get personal on this article in a way I never have before. My mother struggled with drug addiction for much of my life. Her addiction and choice to do drugs while pregnant with my brother and sister led to both of their deaths. My mother is now clean and she is in the twilight stages of her life. She would have never been able to get clean without stable housing. Kicking a drug addiction is a herculean task as it is, but doing it without stability of a consistent living situation makes it pretty much impossible. 

I lived in a homeless shelter in Concord, California as a child with my mom, and I saw addicts improve only to be kicked out due to minor infractions. Once back on the street, guess what happened? They regressed and fell back into despair. This isn’t shit I’ve read in college that created some weird savior complex, this is shit I’ve actually seen. 

According to likely inaccurate data provided by the city, there are just under 8,000 homeless people in San Francisco. There are also more than 60,000 vacant housing units in San Francisco. 

By San Francisco refusing to provide affordable housing  to people suffering with addiction and mental illness on the streets, the city is damning these people to a cycle of despair. It essentially ensures failure. 

This creates a justification for something new, and if you pay attention to trends, everything old can become new again once enough time has passed. 

But that failure was tolerated because the tech industry was booming. Now tech has moved on to remote work and Downtown San Francisco is in shambles, all that’s left are the unlucky few that report into office and the less fortunate who have lived on the streets of San Francisco the entire time. Instead of blaming businesses for abandoning the city, they blamed the homeless and the perception of lawlessness associated with poverty for Downtown’s decline.

This creates a justification for something new, and if you pay attention to trends, everything old can become new again once enough time has passed. 

Well, we all agree that these people shouldn’t be on the street? Of course. But the 60,000 empty units in San Francisco have private owners, so under our current system, we can’t put them there. And Ronald Reagan defunded mental institutions back in the 80s, so the ones who would benefit can’t go there either. 

Where does that leave? 


Incarceration in America is big business. Prisoners in California can make as low as 8 cents an hour and collectively produce billions of dollars in revenue. These are prisoners of all colors, but it does primarily, in terms of percentage, affect the black and brown community the most

The big businesses whose campaign contributions help fund national, state, and local politics know this.

If you get rid of the homeless and put them in jail, these homeless people will essentially become slaves of the state. They’ll make food, clothes, they’ll even put out wildfires for a fraction of what it would cost if you hired a worker outside of the penal system through proper channels. 

This would likely cause the price of housing to go up even further because the negative press that San Francisco is currently getting would likely subside to a degree and even more rich people would buy housing units as investments, not to live in. I’m sure San Francisco would then cut a deal with several commercial real estate investors and large companies to force workers back into office, which won’t be hard to do with the threat of A.I. looming over their heads and the promise of tax breaks for the companies. 

Speaking of A.I., guess what will drive white collar wages down as workers get more desperate? Fucking robots. Less jobs plus more people competing for those jobs equals lower wages. 

So, you get higher real estate values due to investors, lower white collar wages, an army of incarcerated slaves to do blue collar work that still require a human touch, and a ton of portfolio real estate purchases. The saddest part is that if it works, just like the media did with Giuliani, they’ll praise London Breed for “cleaning up the city.” 

Update: Alex Ludlum resigned. So that’s good. 





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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is an Oakland-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!