San Francisco’s Economic Unease, Depicted in Stupid Ads

As a regular NPR listener, I’ve gotten a pretty good earful in recent weeks about the particular fuckery and unease in San Francisco. I stayed in SoMa across from a Caltrain stop to boot, so the painful transitions going on were on my mind when I arrived.

All of that background listening did not help my friend and I make heads or tails of this baffling thing on Haight Street, near Market.

weird-ass diet coke ads on haight in san franciscoI will admit to a certain lack of sobriety in that moment (thanks, Cha Cha Cha! Love the sangria!), but that still doesn’t justify just how long we stood in front of this, trying to figure out which part was the ridiculing satire and which part came straight from some ad agency boardroom. And, beyond that, just who the fuck the real ad was trying to target here. Are they appealing to frustrated natives sick of the threat of eviction? To said trustafarians? We never figured it out.

Here’s a closer view of the artist’s addition.

satirical diet coke posters in san franciscoAt least we got the point of those.

The next day, we saw this conversation in public Sharpie not far from Dolores Park.

class-aware sharpie graffiti in the mission in san francisco“Fuck Google” was scrawled in Sharpie on another window we saw later. Shit runs thick.

On Sunday, we spotted another bank of them near the Cartoon Art Museum. (Sorry, you missed the Sandman exhibit.)

more weird diet coke ads in san franciscoI did a very cursory bit of research about these, and there’s a lot of debate about their edginess and whether they’re targeting tech people or making fun of them or both or whatever. On the one hand, I guess they’re successful in that I’m writing to you about them; on the other hand, I can’t help but think it’s shitty writing if you leave people wondering just what the fuck you’re going on about. But there are reasons I was never tempted to go into advertising, and limited patience for other people’s attempts to draw out an emotional reaction with exactly zero substance is one of them.

Also, I feel I should add here that I have had a real experience that proved conclusively that, in a desert, I will go thirsty rather than let a single drop of this fucking poison pass my lips. Barf barf barf.