Dog Bites

It's a Conspiracy, Damn It!
Ordinarily, Dog Bites has scant patience with ranting lunatics. But ranting lunatics who are running for public office -- well, that's another matter entirely.

In fact, we got into the office Monday afternoon and picked up a voice mail message from a caller identifying himself as Terence Hallinan. "I just got around to reading your column of May 26," he said. "I get the distinct impression that you're involved in some kind of tangled threesome with this Nestor Makhno and his girlfriend. All these coy references to his girlfriend are a little disturbing."

Huh? Anyone who knows Dog Bites will confirm that we are far too egotistical to be involved in any kind of threesome -- remember, it's all about us! -- let alone a "tangled" one with someone whose political convictions preclude nice dinners out. But God, we'd like to think the DA has better things to do than speculate on Dog Bites' personal life. So we were greatly relieved when, the next day, the real Hallinan called us back to assure us he'd never heard of Nestor Makhno.

And Hallinan wasn't, actually, the ranting lunatic running for public office to whom we were referring. Sorry if we gave that impression. Actually, Hallinan is running for re-election.

What we are trying to lead up to, in our own way, is our call from one Erik Beckjord -- who phoned to splutter at us over our coverage of Kevin Keating's arrest -- "You are supporting him! Yes, you are! Because if you're not, why did you give him three whole pages? What's his picture doing in your column? You are supporting him." Our initial reaction was to tell him, as tactfully as possible, to, um ... actually, there wouldn't really be a tactful way of putting it.

Of course, we did try reasoning with him first. Let's see: If the New York Times publishes a picture of oh, say, Slobodan Milosevic, does that mean the paper supports ethnic cleansing?

Beckjord, beginning to breathe a little heavily with the effort of speaking with someone so obviously his intellectual inferior, paused only briefly in his tirade before continuing to make his points: "The yuppies have the money. Your working-class Chicano doesn't have the money to buy tickets to Notting Hill. So you're biting the hand that feeds you.

"Your angry woman caller is right: If people want to buy houses and condominiums and lofts in the Mission, it's their constitutional right to do so in this country."

Well, Dog Bites hasn't been in this business for a while for nothing. Would Beckjord maybe have political aspirations?

So glad you asked that question. "I'm running for mayor. I'm a dark-horse candidate -- a very dark horse," he answered. When Dog Bites inquired, Beckjord described himself as an "urban planning consultant," but, oddly enough, neglected to mention his other career as the curator of the UFO, Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and Crop Circles Internet Museums of San Francisco. We had to visit his Web site (www.beckjord.com) to get this important background information, along with details on the many UFO-related cover-ups perpetrated by our government, and, not incidentally, learn how we could own our very own copy of the Zapruder film.

Photos of Erik Beckjord, B.A., M.B.A., and MENSA member (but of course!) hobnobbing with Jay Leno and David Letterman were a bonus attraction. Still, it was the Web site's "Beckjord for Mayor" subsection that we'd come to see, especially the part where the candidate explains that "what Monica and Bill did was natural and the country, for what it's worth, needs to recognize (as France does) the need for mistresses for their leaders to make sure the tension of national leadership is not to [sic] excessively great so as to affect decision-making."

So what's his platform? Well, for starters, that we should quit whining and accept the fact that gentrification is inevitable. "We are becoming the Beverly Hills of Northern California," said Beckjord, who doesn't think this is a bad thing. "People are coming from all over the world to buy here."

And people who find themselves unable to afford it should move to ...? "San Leandro."

Another foundation of Beckjord's platform: "I want the city to take down the huge gay flag at the end of Market Street, because it's on city property."

What else? "I will continue the fine work of Amos Brown, who's cleaning out the city. He's protecting the right of tourists and people who live here to walk down the street safely and not get hit on by people with open sores."

Oh.
So what did Beckjord actually want of Dog Bites? "I would like you to run a page and two-thirds article on someone who saved their money and bought a loft in the Mission and is a yuppie."

Well, we'll give that request some consideration -- though Beckjord could just as easily pick up a copy of the Sunday ChronEx. Meanwhile, we refer Beckjord back to his own Web site's itemized list of platform points:

No. 5: No bashing the press.

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