“… the smallest iota of value …”

The following is an excerpt of a Facebook rant by San Francisco tech entrepreneur Greg Gopman, as reported by Michael Hiltzick in the 12/13 edition of the Los Angeles Times (“When Will High-Tech CEOs Learn To Stay Off Facebook?):

“Just got back to SF. I’ve traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down market st in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. …

“The difference is in other cosmopolitan cities, the lower part of society keep to themselves. They sell small trinkets, beg coyly, stay quiet, and generally stay out of your way. They realize it’s a privilege to be in the civilized part of town and view themselves as guests. …

“You can preach compassion, equality, and be the biggest lover in the world, but there is an area of town for degenerates and an area of town for the working class. There is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us. It’s a burden and a liability having them so close to us. Believe me, if they added the smallest iota of value I’d consider thinking different, but the crazy toothless lady who kicks everyone that gets too close to her cardboard box hasn’t made anyone’s life better in a while.”


Ten more days until Christmas but it doesn’t feel like it around my homestead. I will not be enjoying the holiday this year; in fact, I will be alone during the period and have no plans. I have not bothered to hang any decorations, just cannot muster the mood. And, besides, who could possibly get in the mood when one is spending the remaining duration of the month locked in the struggle between food and medical needs?

Early this coming week (hopefully tomorrow, Monday) I have to go see my new doctor about adjusting my pain medications because the breakthrough pain I’m experiencing without the oxy, especially at night, can be excruciating. Today I have three RX meds to pick up at CVS, gauze wrap, and food. And all that remains on Paypal is three bucks, and a whole lot of friends and colleagues are offline quite a bit during this time of parties, shopping. and travel. And, of course, it’s hard to raise urgently needed funds to “add the smallest iota of value” to one’s marginalized life when folks are traditionally overextended at Christmas.









About Rodger Jacobs


3 responses to ““… the smallest iota of value …””

  1. Karen says :

    Jaw is dropped at Hiltzick’s comments. I frequently travel around the country on a bicycle, and my routes are confined to the less-than-fast lanes in the U.S,, in both the financial and physical sense. This mode of transport puts me in many city-central areas.
    The poor should recognize the privilege of their occupation of space in a city? No. They are there because they must/need/have no choice but to be there.
    I have experienced the look-down-the-nose attitude of Hiltzick’s privileged and oh so gentrified social group because I don’t look too presentable when I’m in cycling touring mode.
    However, I have been profoundly moved by some of the people who are in the “lower” crust. One gentleman, living in one room in a ramshackle building next to a bridge in southeast Mexico, asked if my companion and I would share his dinner. He had a table, a chair and I saw no clothing except what he had on his back. That offer has remained a precious memory for years.
    Accept my admiration for enduring without the oxy. I hope you’ll find some medical resolution this week. I do not know what to suggest for your food situation. Perhaps the spirit of that man next to the bridge exists in someone in your locale.

  2. Rodger Jacobs says :

    Thanks for your remarks, Karen, they add to the content. Incidentally, the author of the rant above was Greg Gopman, an S.F. hipster entrepreneur. Hitzick merely reported the story for the L.A. Times.

  3. Karen says :

    Short term memory…there it goes. Thanks for the edit. This is what happens when I get worked up.

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