Social Activism Abandoned for Corporatism in Lobotomised San Francisco

Hola. I walked into worker-owned and operated Rainbow Grocery Cooperative (a vegetarian/vegan store and the best grocery store in San Francisco) the other day and saw something I didn’t expect to see at Rainbow. There was a sign on their sliding glass door going into the store advertising a corporate basketball sports team owned by a billionaire. The sign said, “GO [corporate sports team’s name]!” I thought: WTF is that doing there? I pointed it out to mi amigo and he said in disapproval, “ah, a corporate sports team.” Yes, that’s what I thought, and how many of Rainbow’s customers are into corporate sports teams? I wouldn’t think many. I know many of the workers are now into corporate sports teams — it seems to be one of the latest fads people adopt in order to “fit in” — because I have heard some workers talk about “The Game” and other jock talk. I haven’t heard them talk about something that matters in most people’s lives such as tech ruining the barrio they’re in (el Distrito de la Misión de San Francisco) or the number of Rainbow workers who have been evicted from their apartments and forced to leave the city. You know, something of importance? Corporate sports are not important other than to the wealthy players and the sheeple who follow them. Why do you think deportes/sports are near the end of the noticias/news? They are nothing but fluff and feel-good stuff (if one’s team wins that is) for the sheeple who need a team to worship and serve as cheerleaders for and act like a sports jock and wear the team’s expensive clothing as one’s way of “fitting in” with the herd. I don’t give a fuck about the local corporate teams or any other teams. If the sheeple spent as much time focused on something important in most people’s lives as they do jacking off to wealthy corporate sports teams and their wealthy players (adjusting their jocks) we might have a very different and more positive society. Yeah, I know that’s wishful-thinking and ain’t about to happen.

I suspect the founders of Rainbow are (as the expression goes) “turning in their graves” about now. Rainbow was founded by a San Francisco ashram and from what I know about them they would not be embracing, cheer-leading for and essentially giving free advertisement to corporate sports teams and wearing their clothing owned by a fucking billionaire. Did the Rainbow membership vote on and approve placing that sign on their door or did one of the workers just do it? To me and mis amigos it’s very weird that a worker-owned and operated store with Rainbow’s history (and past reputation) is doing that. WTF? That’s something I’ve come to expect from corporate businesses.

This is part of the new lobotomised San Francisco I’ve written lots about. Other than the rare protest these days, San Francisco is now a conservative city that has abandoned social activism for corporatism and celebrating wealthy techie corporations/start-ups with many of San Francisco’s residents completely addicted to their phones (stupidphones is what I call them: (“Smartphones” are transforming society into a sea of stupid) which helps tech, while some of the tech-addicted are being evicted from their apartment because of tech gentrification. This is a city that celebrates/supports billionaire-owned corporate sports team. Ugh.

There was a time when people said about Rainbow: “Rainbow screams politics.” Yeah well, they can’t say that now. Rainbow sure as hell doesn’t scream politics now I can tell you that. Rainbow must have read that and decided that they needed to change their image some and they’ve done so. In the newly renovated store (which looks good), they have sanitised the store of any politics other than a few political-related magazines up at the registers. Remember those big political and housing bulletin boards that were on the wall as one comes into the store? They’re gone. They disappeared at the beginning of the renovation and sanitising of the store. Some customers have noticed that and complained about it. To my knowledge, they don’t do boycotts of anything anymore at Rainbow. This is a store with a history of boycotts during their alternative and proudly-radical city days. But it’s been during the Obama regime years that these changes in the store have taken place and it’s the customer’s duty to boycott something by not buying an item which is an easy way out for the store because they (Rainbow) don’t have to stand for anything — well, other than billionaire-owned corporate sports teams of course — or have any principles as they once did. I remember before the store renovation seeing boxes of organic pecans and they were labeled “from Arizona.” I saw that and said to mi amigo: What the fuck are these doing in here? These pecans are from the hate state of Arizona. This was after Arizona’s anti-immigrant/undocumented immigrant hate mess where some people/cities/companies were (and maybe still are) boycotting Arizona. But not Rainbow. The Rainbow of the former alternative and proudly-radical city would have done their best to find another source (not in Arizona or any hateful place) for the organic pecans. What I found ironic about this was that there are many Latinos/Hispanos/Mexicanos et al working at Rainbow. (¡Viva Latinos!) What happened to Rainbow boycotting hate? Well that was the Rainbow of the “alternative and proudly-radical” city of the past. When they renovated the store recently I heard some workers say, “It’s a New Era for Rainbow.” I was suspect of that when I heard it because I questioned what that translated into. I presume that part of the “New Era” is that Rainbow no longer boycotts hate and has essentially become an apolitical store. That’s how it appears to me and mis amigos. I and others get the impression that to try to increase their business the Rainbow membership decided to sanitise the store by removing politics and boycotts that might offend the delicate people and the new wealthy bougi/pretentious residents moving in here who are helping to ruin the city and make it like any other city. What about products from the #2 Terrorist Nation on the planet, Israel? You know the Israel vs. Palestinian problem? That’s also been forgotten about at Rainbow because they stock items from Israel. Also, “activist” Rainbow used to alert customers to when changes had occurred with a company. For example, when a small organic chocolate company was bought out by a chocolate mega-corporation (not know for its high-quality) Rainbow put up a sign alerting the customer to that take-over/buyout so that the customer could choose accordingly (whether they wanted to support a big/mega-corporation or make another choice). Rainbow no longer does that. Regarding another company Rainbow does business with, they (Rainbow) were asked on another website if they were going to boycott that company that makes many products including organic soymilk. The reason being that back in 2013 the company and their chairperson and sole shareholder sued The US Oligarchy (The Empire/the Obama regime) for the right to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees. As I recall, one Rainbow worker said the membership was going to vote on a boycott of that company, but that’s the last I heard about it. So presumably Rainbow quietly decided against a boycott because they still carry products from that company. I switched brands of organic soymilk partly because of that problem.

For awhile now I and mis amigos have had the feeling that some conservatives/corporatists have made their way into the membership of Rainbow and/or their Board and are gradually changing the store. In other words, excluding the “green” aspect of the store (which they’re the best at), most Rainbow workers come across to me and people I’ve talked with as now apolitical. They remind me and others of the now-dead/non-activist GLBTQ populace in San Francisco which has also abandoned any activism in favour of corporatism, supporting mega-corporate chain stores with mostly products made off-shore (still using child labour?), and supporting corporate sports teams.

There’s been quite a wave of conservative change to come over this city in the last few years with the help of GLBTQs since the current sleazy, conservative el alcalde/mayor took office. The puppet el alcalde in City Hall is owned by his corporate developers and a Republican billionaire techie venture capitalist who recently quietly attended — entering through an underground parking garage to avoid reporters — a fundraiser for Jeb Bush.

I know things change. Some things go in cycles. Some people would say “nothing stays the same.” Well it depends upon what you’re talking about because some things do stay the same, while other things get worse. The conservatives love the New Conservative Lobotomised Techie San Francisco. They’ve wanted this for decades and they’re finally experiencing their Wet Dream. The thinking in this city today seems to be “Techies can afford any outrageous, super-over-inflated prices so everyone else should too.” Fuck tech! I use as little of tech as possible because I don’t like being part of the problem and this city is being ruined by tech and corporate greed.

It will might be interesting to see what happens to the sheeple here in San Francisco after Jeb Bush is (s)elected to occupy la casa blanca, or another corporate parasite with a (R) next to his name. Will activism return to San Francisco or will it remain dead as it has been under the city’s messiah Obama. That’s one major problem with this D and R partisan nonsense. The disciples of each Big Business Party of The Oligarchy have been brainwashed that they must not criticise their own team of thoroughly disgusting and corrupt corporate parasites.

Will social activism return to San Francisco?

No. I don’t see that happening in Lobotomised San Francisco. As I said earlier, protests are rare in San Francisco these days; there was one recently and I wrote about it here. The former San Francisco was proudly known for protests and activism — I remember some anti-war protests during the illegitimate Bush regime where Market Street was packed with people from Embarcadero to Civic Center — but that was then. It was a very different time. My guess is the city will remain dead even after a Republican president is in office because the city has changed so much. And I say this because most of the activists of the former city have been evicted/forced out of gentrified San Francisco to Oakland and other places. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco as of this writing is $4,225.00/month. These new wealthy, pretentious, bougi/elitist residents of the city don’t seem to be concerned about anything other than breeding like mosquitoes and squeezing out as many babies as they can, as well as having the most expensive (and cookie-cutter) over-priced “luxury designer condo (Dahling), the most expensive/pretentious status-symbol car (who are they trying to impress with that?), and acquiring lots of expensive materialistic basura/garbage. Are they trying to buy happiness with wealth and superficial status-symbols and/or their shallow and superficial thinking, “Keeping Up With the Joneses?” That’s how they come off to me and people I’ve talked with so I can’t see that wealthy/bougi crowd concerned about social activism at all. I’ve heard repeatedly that the techies — who have ruined this city with immense greed — are apolitical and libertarians. [roll eyes].

While I still have your attention if you’ve read all the way down here, can someone explain to me why a customer who shops at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative also brags about shopping at one of the (national or international) corporate chain grocery stores (Rainbow’s competition) claiming to find some product supposedly cheaper at the corporate chain grocery store, so they buy it there? Even if some product were cheaper at the corporate store (which I don’t believe) wouldn’t you prefer to buy that at Rainbow and give your el dinero/money to workers who live in the community and who own their own store rather than to a faceless national or international corporate chain grocery store with some fucking CEO with a bloated salary? What is wrong with you sheep who do that? I don’t understand you other than you’re fucking sheeple who are not clear on the concept. And I’m not talking about those customers who go to other stores to buy dead animals to eat — because they’ve been indoctrinated with that thinking that they can’t possibly live without eating dead animals that they call “meat,” because fortunately Rainbow does not carry dead animals — but rather I’m talking about Rainbow customers who go to those corporate stores to buy products that Rainbow also carries. If you’re supposedly trying to save money, do you ever consider that your extra fuel costs making that (extra?) trip to the corporate chain grocery store costs you more than if you bought the product at Rainbow and supported the workers? Rainbow keeps their prices as low as possible and I know that for a fact having shopped there every week for decades. From my experience from what I buy, prices in the store stay the same week after week with a rare occasional price increase or even decreases (yes some items occasionally go down in price) depending upon their supplier’s cost. The Produce Department has the most varying prices per their supplier’s pricings. Rainbow is not about greed. But that national or international corporate chain grocery store with their supposed “organic” food (from China), lots of plastic packaging and green-washing for gullible people that the sheep brag about shopping at is about corporate greed. So you like taking part in and supporting corporate greed, do you? Idiots! Chau.—el barrio rosa

This video is from 2008, but I can’t find anything since then that confirms that anything has changed with this company in this regard:

3 comments on “Social Activism Abandoned for Corporatism in Lobotomised San Francisco

  1. Diego

    Hola, I’m a longtime Rainbow customer too. I like most of the changes they made to the store. Agree about the de-politicization of the store. I think that was done deliberately, which in that sense no longer sets Rainbow apart from other stores. I think the internal politics of the store are intense….I too have picked up on a conservative bent slowing change the store, so something’s going on internally.

  2. David in Bedstuy

    Wow! When did SF become so conservative? Sounds like the city is trying to erase its past and reinvent itself into a conservative city for wealthy people.

    1. rosa_barrio Post author

      Hola David. SF has gradually become conservative over about the past 4-5 years, starting with the previous el alcalde/mayor. I first noticed it when sit-lie (criminalising homelessness) passed by a majority of those who voted in that election. We were known as a “progressive” city at that time and such a city would not have voted for that hateful measure. It was then that I realised the city had changed. And it’s only gotten worse since meaning become more conservative as super-wealthy people move in here and change barrios/neighourhoods (especially The Castro) to the way they want them. If the conservatives liked where they came from why didn’t they just stay there rather than moving here and changing here? I agree, it is as if the city is trying to erase its “progressive” and activist past as if now ashamed of it. The conservatives are in power so yes they are ashamed of the past since they have despised this city for decades up until now. Now they smugly/arrogantly call it, “everybody’s favourite city” (because they’re in power with el alcalde/the mayor, conservative board members, developers and the Tech Surveillance-State Industrial Complex). I’ve never called San Francisco that because everybody has a different favourite city. I’ve written lots about this. Just look over on the right side of the page to the article and post titles for those articles. Gracias for your comment. Chau.

Fin. The End.