- I got this whole ball rolling -- the one where I complain about things and nobody heeds my earnestly proffered advice -- just over two years ago, when I denounced a group of protesters who objected to some Mission building owners raising the rent on a dance troupe. This sort of street protest, I wrote, symbolized "everything that's wrong with the gestural, rather than practical, way San Franciscans prefer to approach the city's social problems." So, there!
Then, 25 months later, whom should I discover, on the front page of the Marin Independent, in an above-the-fold, full-color image, but ... my father, in his protest cassock, participating in a Golden Gate Bridge protest march of clergy opposed to war in Iraq. "Eloi," I nearly found myself saying, "Eloi, lama sabachthani?"(3)
After an entire one-twentieth of a century spent whining and criticizing and admonishing, with no civic transformation to show for it, I've decided it's time for me to embark upon a new phase of my life. I believe this will be better for all concerned. So readers, when you open SF Weekly next week, or the week after that, and find no Matt Smith column, I urge you to take pleasure in the work of my colleagues instead.
I'll be off for two weeks, because I'm getting married to a beautiful local named Fiona Gow. Come January, we're going to have a native San Franciscan baby girl (whom I plan to consult when political debates turn to the issue of who is the most authentically San Franciscan of them all). After honeymooning for two weeks, I'll be back to columnizing, having changed life's path -- but personally, not professionally.
I mean, really: Would you quit a job where you got paid for doing what I've just done to you?