San Diego Shit That Matters: A Weekly Update [08/31/17]

San Diego Shit That Matters

Another week has come and gone in San Diego, and along with it, a litany of shit we should all probably know about but frankly don't got the time to research. It's a quick news cycle these days and, we here at The Travelers Club, understand that reading the headline is all you can really afford sometimes. We get it and we got you. 

In another weekly edition of San Diego Shit That Matters, we bring you a whole list of things that happened (or will happen) this week that you should probably know about. Even if it is just to at least form an opinion on local matters, we can assure you it's worth the read.

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Monkey Paw Brewing closes

In recent sad developments, San Diego-based corporations and real estate giants are yet again another step closer at making East Village look exactly like Bikini Bottom as Squidward accidentally found it in the future -- covered in polished metal, barren and tasteless and stupid. The latest blow we're referring to comes in the form of Monkey Paw Brewing's permanent closure late Monday night, an end of an era for East Village and it's iconic watering-hole.

While the news may have broke a bit abruptly for us all -- even for employees who weren't informed of the closure until they checked their schedules a few days prior -- it certainly wasn't all the way surprising, especially considering the hopeless state the company had been in since founder Scot Blair ditched the joint.

To trace the unfortunate demise of the acclaimed brewpub, we only have to go back to mid-last year when Blair (Hamilton's, Small Bar) announced Monkey Paw Brewing had been acquired by craft beer heavyweights Coronado Brewing Company, a deal made under the assumption that Blair would still be in-charge of branding and operations. As part of the symbiosis, Coronado would distribute the beer to a wider audience, and in return, Monkey Paw's product would help Coronado Brewing not look so old and wack.

The outcome? Well, when you let old and wack money take over, you logically get old and wack results. After many internal conflicts between Blair and the Coronado  Brewing heads, much of which included "recipes being changed, delays in canning and distribution," Blair threw in the towel and said, "fuck y'all, I still got Hammies."

Monkey Paw Brewing closes

As a consequence, Coronado knew it now on their shoulders to take over the famed bar and keep the cultural legacy alive. "Really, Coronado Brewing can do some of the same things, if we push ourselves and push our boundaries," exclaimed CEO Brandon Richards in a San Diego Union Tribune article. In true dweeb fashion, however, Richards concluded: "We can always become a little edgier."

At this point, it should be common knowledge that nothing encapsulates true non-edginess like having to explain how edgy you can really get, or actually, just using the word "edgy" at all. And now, following that inability to pick up where Blair left off, Monkey Paw falls as a casualty of the war between San Diego culture and the big money that seeks to dictate it's future. 

Or maybe Blair was just a giant dick and was impossible to work with, who knows. Either way, we've all just lost another famed name in the growing list of fallen heroes -- and that's what truly matters.


"Fuck Airbnb" - San Diego

I recently stumbled across a tweet that began with "In San Diego," and as anything I see across my TL that begins with "In San Diego," I read it knowing I was either going to be very hyped or very heated. It's always one or the other. In this case, this tweet happened to be a sponsored ad from Airbnb that followed with:

"15 percent of @Airbnb hosts are teachers.
That's the 2nd highest percentage of teacher hosts in the U.S.
And they earned $2.7M last year by sharing their homes."

Teachers just trying to get by -- innocuous enough. Or at least that would be the case if Airbnb wasn't currently in the midst of a massive propaganda campaign specifically targeting San Diego. This includes, but is not limited to, hundreds of thousands of dollars in depressing ass social media ads and paid petitioners armed with wild ass misinformation.

Really, on any given day, you can scroll through your TL and see the occasional Airbnb ad -- some dealing with ol' Johnny Boy from Pacific Beach suffering from brain cancer and needing Airbnb money to survive, or some about starving teachers like the one above. If you happen to stumble across a real life Airbnb ad, also known as those people posted outside of Walmart tryna get your signature, well, they also come with similar bold statements meant to make you feel like a piece of shit. "Do you care about affordable housing and making sure people don't die? Alright, sign this shit that don't got nothing to do with it." Life or death marketing.

But why? Why is Airbnb hell-bent on guilt tripping our whole city into supporting their cause? Well, as they would like to frame it, the city of San Diego wants to destroy Airbnb and wipe out any hints of the app, in turn ruining a basic source of income for thousands of people. The truth: Airbnb is full of shit.

Airbnb canvassers, kinda like Green Peace except more full of shit.

Airbnb canvassers, kinda like Green Peace except more full of shit.

The problem isn't that San Diego hates Airbnb, the problem is that people who have the money to buy property (rich people) are buying low cost property with the sole intention of making them short-term rentals for out-of-towners on Airbnb. Property that could otherwise be used to rent out to, you know, people in San Diego who need places to live. 

As a result, in June 2018, the City Council placed a ban on short-term vacation rentals of properties where the owner does not live in. Meaning no, not a ban on Airbnb in general, but a ban on greedy people tryna make an easy come-up in the midst of a housing crisis. A rule that many cities faced with a similar crisis have already enacted, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City.

Plus, last I remember, mfs making under 40k a year don't got the money to be buying out property in the first place. So, when Airbnb makes claims that short-term rental regulation will stifle the income of starving professionals, who's truth are they really defending? Don't fall for the Babylon ting, boycott propaganda machines.


Bail Reform in California

I like the word 'conundrum' a lot. It sounds like an onomatopoeia for what the word actually means, you know, kinda like the Law & Order SVU opening sound effect. *CONUNDRUM*. It's intense and ominous. Anyways.

Early Tuesday morning, the state of California became the first state in the country to officially end the cash bail system, a huge win for the bail reform movement. Or, depending who you ask, such as the initial bail reform movement leaders, the court decision actually means the exact opposite. This is the conundrum.

By declaring the state's cash bail system unconstitutional early this week, the state of California has officially erased money as the only discrepancy between jail time and freedom. A move which Governor Jerry Brown declaired will make it "so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly" in the court system. 

Now, instead of putting up money or relying on bail bond loans, those arrested and charged with a crime will be judged by the severity of their crime. This is, of course, what civil liberty proponents like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked for when they were pushing this very issue. What they didn't ask for, however, were last-minute changes to the bill that made this court decision-making so open ended.

Rather than rely on a protected system independent of possible bias, the ultimate decision of whether someone is dangerous or super chill is entirely up to local courts, or as NPR put it, an "algorithm created by the courts in each jurisdiction." I don't know if it's because of Facebook's conniving influence, but the last word I'd ever want tied into the outcome of someones freedom is the word "algorithm." That shit just sound terrible.

So, instead of relying on money, now it's all up to the court. If a person looks dangerous, maybe even if their crime doesn't reflect it, they can decide whether to keep the arrestee in custody or let them be free. Many on the side of social justice see this as a loop hole that could just end up ruining more lives with biased court decisions. Those on the other side argue the opposite: that criminals will now just run amok due to irresponsible leniency. 

Needless to say, both sides of the coin aren't very happy.


Escorted Trips at Che Cafe

First off, we at the Travelers Club extend our biggest respects to any event group in the city that takes on the distinct effort of organizing a great local show.

To make the distinction clear, let me explain: it’s pretty easy for anyone to do a decent show in this city. As for a good show, that’s where it starts to get a bit challenging. Now, doing a great show -- one that has all the makings of a solid event, including: 1) great acts on the bill 2) unique event activations 3) a great, unplayed-out location, and lastly 4) professional event roll out (flyer, publicity, etc.) -- well that takes actual work. And the people at Reality House West have proven to take that work seriously.

Ingonoir, photo taken by @thelonelyeyelid

Ingonoir, photo taken by @thelonelyeyelid

In an all-day mini-festival event held at the legendary Ché Cafe on September 1st, Reality House West will introduce their first annual Escorted Trips music & art show, featuring headlining sets by Foliage and Fashion Jackson, as well as opening sets by some of our good friends including the extremely talented Ingonoir & Snapghost, Oak Palace, [CON•TACT], Trip Advisor, plus many others.

In total the event will include 13 bands, consisting of a wide-range of musical styles, as well as live painting and interactive art exhibits by San Diego greats, like Jesse Andrews and Becx Pelayo. As for amenities, Chef Saka Sal will be providing vegan dishes throughout the day.

On top of all that good stuff, it's the Ché Cafe. With all the constant back-and-forth regarding the Ché’s status in San Diego, it’s always good to celebrate the space while we still have it. Why not do it with some of our city’s best?