What's better than getting to tell your boss "I told you so?" Why, standing there while a cop does it for you.
I believe when I left you last, my boss and I had spoken to the main organizer the day before that little music festival on Haight, he had told us it wasn't going to be a rap show and that he had made a reasonable effort to keep a lid on things, and we were all cautiously optimistic.
The event appeared to have gone smoothly enough, but it was indeed a cool guy rap show on two of the three stages. To the point that I can say the organizer straight lied to our faces about it not being a rap show. I stayed in the pad all day to watch football but my wife said at the two rap stages things were kinda on the edge- she completely bailed on meeting friends down there because it was getting too iffy. My coworker who lives around the corner from the main stage said it almost got out of hand at a bottleneck exit as he was trying to get home. And my manager who was on duty was super pissed about the volume, which the wife also cosigned on.
At work two days later, my aforementioned manager informed me that our boss' kid had gone to this thing and had a good time, so now our boss was convinced it was a wonderful event. A couple of the shop br0s who were previously calling out all the bullshit about this themselves were now also talking about how great it was, and it seemed to be just a crazy, irrelevant coincidence to these guys that everybody in the conversation who was actually in the neighborhood for the event was giving it the big double thumbs down. They were all excited for it to be an annual thing and now we were the assholes.
I also happened to see the organizer again that same day, and he just laid another steaming pile of horseshit on me when I asked him how everything went. I felt like I was in a campaign video for the pinoy Gavin Newsom. Arm around me the whole time, calling me "family," talking about how oh it wasn't perfect, but it was just such a "beautiful thing to see people of all colors out having a good time." Ohhhh, so that's how it's gonna be, huh? Everybody who didn't like your free party in their front yard is going to be a racist now? What a slimeball. So I got all fired up off this shit all over again, quite possibly within the same hour that it became clear that it was something I shouldn't talk about around certain people.
That was two weeks ago. Today, I'm slangin paint when I notice a cop who I'd never seen before talking to my boss. We are all such upstanding individuals at my place of business that after the initial "oh hey- cop," I wasn't even all that curious as to why he was there. And then I heard the conversation- they were talking about the music festival.
I heard my boss give the cop his spiel about how much his kid loved it, and I figured I would stay out of it entirely. And then the cop started to detail some of the issues he had with the whole thing. And he kept going... and going... and that's when ya boy told some guy that he needed to go check out these paint chips outside in the natural light for awhile. No, take your time sir, you don't want to rush an important decision like this.
I sidled my way in and got an earful. This cop was awesome. Apparently there had just been a community meeting on the subject across the street and he had come in afterwards to ask for our take on the whole thing. Most of the neighborhood merchants did well enough that day and had a favorable opinion on everything aside from not being informed in a timely fashion (interesting note: shops who threw this event, saying the whole time it was by and for the merchants, kept their stores closed to the public). Residents of the community, on the other hand, had a largely unfavorable view of the proceedings. As you may expect from people who go to community meetings at 10 AM on a Tuesday. And as I expected, the cop said the organizers just blatantly labelled everybody who brought up any issue with the music as racist.
So it was basically a tie ball game in terms of the response, and then the cop weighed in... and he was not pleased.
He went through such a laundry list of complaints about the event that I had to intermittently step away and miss some, but this did not go as smoothly as we had thought. There was a rape. A DPT vehicle got vandalized while the officer was directing traffic. And then there were the complaints he had with the organizers. Didn't catch the whole story but there was some issue when somebody was asked to shut the music down. He was most pissed off that after it was time to shut it down they did their little sideshow antics in the intersection with the six-figure rides fools brought, both because of the disrespect, and the 911 calls.
Best of all though, he said that the organizers of this shit had lied to the cops just like they lied to rest of us. It turns out they did not hire private security after all. The cop, sounds like he's running this district, had no idea he had this to keep an eye on until he saw the flyer two days before. And he wasn't too happy about it because he said it's the kind of thing he needs to have a special team at the ready for, and those dudes have been tied up in the Bayview all summer because shit has gone down and there's been a shooting every other day.
So with that as the backdrop, it set him off when he was patrolling the event and saw a bunch of dudes taking up a whole corner taking selfies and throwing neighborhood signs. Because that is precisely how it all jumps off. That's the kind of shit that ends in people firing into crowds. That's why you can't have a free rap show with no secure entrances on fucking Haight St.
My boss repeatedly, strangely shrugged off the "gang" (it's more of a neighborhood thing in the Bay, but in this context, same difference) shit as "a societal problem." That tripped the cop up, the only time in the whole conversation. I wonder if he was thinking the same thing as me- dude, your son was there.
From there he painstakingly explained to my boss exactly what I had been saying for weeks, exactly what we all say when there's something that brings a lot of dumbasses to Haight St.- WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE LARGE GROUPS OF DUMBASSES COMING TO HAIGHT ST. The cop even said it made him very concerned for the Haight St. Fair that happens every second Sunday in June, because that's what people were calling this event and he's afraid people are going to think that's going to be a rap show next year.
By the time that cop was done with my boss, he was back on the other side, reminding the cop about how out of hand 4/20 had become on the street. A point I had tried to make to him until I was blue in the face.
It really looked like this was gonna end up being "well, everybody in the neighborhood got lied to and played for fools, but nobody got shot so let's do it again next year!" But instead, the cop said that he couldn't guarantee that it wouldn't happen next year, but as far as he was concerned there was no way it could go down without people calling in political favors. So that's a nice relief.
But oh man, it felt way better to get that sweet, sweet vindication. At least be in the goddamn zip code if you're going to tell me about things that happen right outside my house.