My crystal ball foresees a multitude of Spice Girl and Milli Vanilli model types without a lick of creative talent, and mind you, nothing to lip-sync. Any majors out there looking for the next Big Thing should invest in me. I've got the look and a bod that won't quit -- I just need some way to sound talented.
Your Average, Everyday Doomsayer
I just read your interesting article on the current state of the Y2K issue ("Capitalizing on Y2K," Bay View, Oct. 21). You bring up but do not handle an interesting facet of the Y2K issue: There are thousands of people who are preparing -- most quietly, for fear of censure or discovery, depending on their views -- for potential infrastructure or economic failures.
I have been following the issue closely for some time now, and find that no articles have addressed the large segment of the Y2K preparers -- secular, educated folks who have spent hundreds of hours researching the subject as best they can. They have no millennial, religious, cultist, or anti-government ax to grind. They see potential problems and consider how to deal with them by prior preparation. That preparation includes educating themselves on alternatives if the economy or infrastructure should be dealt a staggering blow.
Most writers talk about the gun-toting, head-for-the-hills kind of people -- no one seems to be aware of the much larger group learning far more prosaic skills, such as alternative power and food production methods, and planning to weather this storm in their communities. This quiet, grass-roots kind of movement may provide the information and help of which any community that does experience Y2K-related failures will be in desperate need. At the very least, these will be the folks mentally prepared for disturbances and most likely to act positively in any crisis.
Why don't you find out about these types of people? It might prove to be a good story. You'll find them on mailing lists like Y2K prep and Y2K Homestead, and on some of the Web sites that are scattered on the net. This might be of great value to your readers, who are trying to make sense and find a middle-of-the-road approach.
How to Harry a Millionaire
The dialogue in SF Weekly's Letters column about the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project has been quite entertaining, and I see from the front page of the Oct. 27 Examiner that it's managed to raise the profile of this issue significantly.
I'm one of those Internet millionaires who occasionally reads Wired, and I live on the edges of a neighborhood about to be gentrified. However, I don't own an SUV -- I own a 1973 Ford Maverick four-door with a peeling top that I paid $600 for (it hasn't run for the past year). I prefer walking and the bus. And I'm not a Marxist, I'm a free-market green libertarian capitalist entrepreneur.
Nestor Makhno sounds like a self-righteous aggravating neo-Marxist twit, but his opponents' defensiveness when faced with the concept that their materialistic excesses and privileged class status might actually have some karmic consequences in this lifetime is just too amusing. Could it be actual fear on the part of these protesters of Makhno's activities? Fear that there might be an actual revolution someday? Unease at the thought of the vastly unjust inequalities in income and opportunity that exist, both in the United States and worldwide? Or unconscious guilt at having spent so much money on a gas-guzzling, environmentally destructive status symbol?
I think so. Certainly, the vehemence of the reaction indicates a nerve of some sort has been hit. Damaging the car/property of a yuppie (or a yuppie-class-identified individual) threatens his or her whole identity, the whole materialistic self-concept of the yuppie class, whose members desperately seek to fill the vacuums in their lives produced by the blandness of corporate commercial American culture with material objects.
I'm all for the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project ... if Nestor's interested, I'll send him a hundred bucks to pay for more posters! Sure, the guy's a twit, but hell, I'm in favor of anything that irritates and frightens the ruling class/establishment.
While you're at it, send Earth First! a donation too --nothing irritates establishment types more than a tree-hugger standing in the way of "progress."
The Oct. 28 Night Crawler column inaccurately stated that the Sphere of Influence was part of the Community Space Walk art and performance display. SF Weekly regrets the error.