and now for an old essay you'll feel smarter for reading...
fun lovin' criminals
essay from 2016 on shadow economics and an argument for why the love parade should be hosted in san francisco:
interestingly, a lot of big festival and events fall apart because they expand too quickly and the result is social chaos.
the FOLSOM STREET FAIR has reached this point.
THIS IS AN ESSAY ABOUT THE PHRASE "ECONOMIC SHADOW".
an economic shadow refers to the visible and traceable monetary exchanges which are "cast" by an event.
the easiest way to say it best would be to say, "i rode MUNI for $2.25 to get to the fair."
the $2.25 is part of the economic shadow.
cities obviously benefit from economic shadows where they can collect service fees and taxes and legislate all manner of deals.
anyway, let's look at two cases among the economic shadows cast on FOLSOM STREET FAIR. one will be a local shadow. one will be a tourist shadow.
but first, let's look at the fair itself.
this is called ONSITE economics.
unlike SHADOW ECONOMICS,
onsite economics are just economics -- the sum total of all of the revenue which LEGALLY and TECHNICALLY should be able to be traced, sourced and accounted for, but we all know how the FOOD AND BEVERAGE cartels have skimmers, floaters and embezzlers in their midst as much as fire stations make pefect homes for fire bugs...
anyway, our onsite economics will look directly at actual on-site revenue collected through entry donations and booth rentals.
it also will include the onsite food and beveraging, but i will not be computing the food revenues and they will not be included in my totals.
i have forced all of my numbers to be very low.
the end totals are therefore potentially much higher than are represented in my calculations.
next we will look at the offsite revenues. offsite revenues fit into what we have defined as shadow economics.
off site revenues (SHADOW ECONOMICS) are gained through TRANSPORTATION & LODGING, FOOD & BEVERAGE, and the ENTERTAINMENT industries. these are harder to officially trace/track.
in old rome, all of these cartels were referred to as "cake and chariot clubs".
bread and circus, whatever..
but seriously, if we use the numbers which we get online:
"The 33rd Annual Folsom Street Fair, a true only in San Francisco original, covers over 13 city blocks filled with 400,000 people in their most outrageous leather, rubber, and fetish attire enjoying the world's largest leather fair. 2016 Folsom Street Fair.
Sunday, September 25, 2016 | 11 am to 6 pm.”
we can see that they are claiming 400,000 people attend.
i’m not sure about these numbers. i know people come and go, but it really seems like a completely outrageous number for attendance.
but THOSE are THEIR numbers, not mine, so we have to use them for our calculations, but i will use SUPER LOW numbers anyway, because i’m not sure that many people actually attend or if those are inflated numbers.
anyway, at many of the entry points (you can slip in for “free” on several side streets), the MAIN entry points, attendees are MORE THAN STRONGLY ENCOURAGE to donate $10
in the past, they have used funneling techniques to get this 10$ out anyone visiting the fair. but this year, they used a single file tunneling line with barriers attached.
if you DO NOT DONATE, you are shamed by the fascist dynamics that are embedded in LINE FORMATION THEORIES.
sadly, the average person, has grown totally used to the “normalization” process of LINE FORMATION THEORIES here in the u.s.
LINE FORMATION THEORIES, though apparently embedded in the human spirit, always attack the human spirit.
anyway, let’s work with all of this info in creating our numbers.
i stood at the entry point of several of the FREE entry zones. very few people were entering the fair though these incredibly easy entry points. NOT only were there NO LINES and no obligation to pay, but you could enter the fair at better spots.
but that’s what LINE FORMATION does. it cowers that human spirit and tells them to get in line.
people see a fking line and, like sheep, they think, “i gotta go stand there.”
and they do.
so in my numbers, i’m going to account for this human gullibility.
as a street photographer, i wrestle each year with the idea of donating to the fair.
this year, i chose not to donate.
not only do i share ALL my photos freely and make them available for viewing and reproduction and sharing with attribution, but i also write essays like this about human freedom and sexploration and who we are as people.
and ten dollars to do all of this is starting to make less sense to me.
there’s too much money being raked in, skimmed&stolen, etc.
big business has found a loop hole and big business is going to put ITS stamp on the fair. it has been for quite sometime.
add the POWER OF YELP and MEDIA and the human desire to REPLACE THE LOVE PARADE with anything similar, and you have a financial windfall/social downfall paradigm that will be great for the city — imagine our own LOVE PARADE!!!
which is super cool.
we should have a love parade!!!!
and EVERYONE should be invited.
but why invite ALL people to a BDSM play space on outdoor city streets if all they want to do is go to a LOVE PARADE? some of them might object. it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
some of them might object and BE VOCAL AND start trying to change the event itself, so that the event can adapt to the newcomer.
SF MET needs to embrace their own LOVE PARADE.
intentionally ignoring this seems like limited vision, especially for a city which is so progressively interested in creating global interest in itself?
okay, right, so let’s make up some numbers from what we were given.
basically, according to these numbers, 400K people visited the fair.
let’s say, based on what i saw, some 300,000 of these 400K (notice how liberal i’m being. in reality, i’d imagine that only about 8% of the visiting population went through side entrances) were funneled through DONATION SUGGESTED!!!! entry points.
based on a 60% response to the ENHANCED FILING entrance where the SUGGESTED DONATION actually becomes a STRONGLY IMPLIED CONTRIBUTION FEE,
if even an average number of 40% of the people attending the fair made a contribution of 7$, we end up with $840,000.
that’s shy of a million dollars,
but it’s all floating cash (unaccounted for actual dollars), collected in buckets without receipts.
that’s a lot of floating cash, so you know there will be a crackdown on this soon.
the pride parade went bankrupt because FLOATING CASH is a code phrase for YOU CAN STEAL SOME OF THIS.
it is a magnet for professional embezzlers and thieves.
but that aside, let’s take our number of $840.000 of floating cash and tie it up with some less floating numbers.
we will start with the sale of booths.
if you check out the link, it’s blank, so we can’t really know what the actual sales figure for a booth is. we can know that there are single booths which are sold at a different price than double booths.
because we don’t know and apparently can’t know, let’s just say that it’s 300$ for a single booth and 500$ for a double booth. these numbers will be loosey goosey for sure, but we need to have something to put in.
there are over 200 booths in the fair. the link above has a map if you want to run the actual number of single booths versus double booths.
here is one block’s numbers for you — eighth street to ninth street.
48 booths on the one block
26 of those are accounted for by 11 groups who bought multiples booths.
22 are single booth representation
so around 55% of the booths were bought at 500$
and 45% of the booths were bought at 300$
unfairly but for the sake of the task, let’s apply this same percentage breakdown to the advertised booths at OVER 200 this year.
but to go low, again, let’s drop that number by 20 and use 180. we are purposely UNDERESTIMATING at every corner here so that when we actually have access to the “accurate” numbers, the numbers will be higher in reality, not lower.
okay, so we have 180 booths
we can round up and say that 100 of these booths paid 500 dollars and 80 of the booths paid 300 dollars.
this math is easy, we can do it in our eyes.
50,000$ and $24,000
74K$ for booth rentals.
so now we have 840K plus from entry “donations”
and we have 74K from booth rentals.
that's already $914,000 before you minus out the peanut-costs behind beer, barricades, free volunteer security and organizer’s costs/salaries.
and mind you, we are LITERALLY JUST GETTING STARTED on the actual economic gains.
this is the “portrait” of the artist. we are about to dive into the artist itself, not just the FaceTime moment. we’re going to backtrack the actual monied costs and establish the REALCOST winners.
let’s start with the FOOD AND BEVERAGE CARTEL.
first, the event has a built-in tiered system that encourages beverage consumption.
IF YOU DONATE, you subsequently get 2$ OFF of EVERY purchase of a liquid beverage.
BEER, which was sold in a two-tiered format, priced at 10$ and i think $16. it might’ve been 18$ but i just wasn’t paying attention because i can’t day drink. my body punishes me immediately for any kind of day drinking, which has made me very unpopular at gay brunch parties. it’s intellectually and socially challenging to be around raging partiers at eleven in the morning if all you do is smoke weed and try to eat luxury food…
but back on POINT.
noticeably, let’s address the two TECHNIQUES from tourism/crowd control school that have already been implemented.
firstly, the lined-file entry signifier & now IMPLIED donation that is accompanied by our gaming element of risk and chance — the two dollar drink discount on the variable number of beers you buy. that is, the more beer you buy, the more money you save.
secondly, the two size discount theory. that is, the single booth price charge vs. the double booth discount.
the best thing about all of this so far is that there is NO DISCRIMINATION involved.
but there will be.
that will start as FREE space that has been donated.
at the FOLSOM STREET FAIR, they call it “the playground.”
and laughingly, they call it an inclusive safe space, when all it really is
IS A POLITICAL LYNCH PIN that will give the city and every number of special interest groups the RIGHT to dismantle the mission statement of the fair — THE WORLD”S LARGEST LEATHER BONDAGE event.
so the playground is a space where trender ambiguous people can show off and lip sync but you can’t enjoy what they are up to unless you’re physically formed in a certain way or wish you were and aren’t faking it with some surgical dream that will usher you into a new world where only you know that you were once somebody else clicking your ruby red slippers together and making your MGM movie house dream fantasy tv-adoption theories come true.
the weird thing about gender that everyone should know is that it’s not real.
if you are brave enough to step up and be what you are as you are and want to be, the world you fear drops away and YOU become real. not the other way around.
anyone who is afraid of themselves will always externalize their “enemies.”
so in five years, these special interest groups like ASK FIRST will deride the freedom and the liberty and danger and the trust of the BDSM essentials.
the separatist and shameful HIDEAWAY and misnamed exclusionists will wittle and carve their way into the fair wearing their comic-con and burning man gear and off cast clothes from the love parade.
they are looking for a SAFE space to be shameful.
and that’s really different than the ideals of FOLSOM STREET FAIR.
the ideals of FOLSOM STREET FAIR were to bring out of hiding the deviations of the homosexual community when SEX PLAY becomes a central focus in a man’s life.
and HOMOSEXUALS are men who have sex with men.
that’s not a special interest group. it’s very physical and it’s athletic and it’s not about forming relationships the way that heterosexuals bevy and barter their lies and bulsht in order to self-protect and still get laid.
that’s NOT HOMOSEXUAL.
homosexuals don’t negotiate like that. they negotiate about the action.
and to try to make this kind of thing A PLACE FOR ALL, is homophobic.
it just is.
and if that is hard to understand, i can’t really enlighten this topic anymore, so i’ll just move back to the money…
IT WAS SUPER HOT THIS SUNDAY AT THE FAIR> record temps for all.
so there was a lot of liquid consumption going on.
i donated 5 bucks to the cause and had a $1.25 retail/street value juice.
that means $3.75 of fake money went into the beverage cartel’s pocket — remember, i already gave $1.25 to the retail street, so this is straight UP MONEY SHOT cash. it’s a collection/availability fee to the attendee.
and i’ll say this, at my fair, i would offer FREE WATER and i would OFFER people who really want to volunteer, to bring these same products or get corporations to give away free products that are just as wonderful as the competition and SHARE THEM FREELY with anyone who is thirsty.
but there should always be FREE WATER.
stick it to the cattle industry if you disagree and stop blaming human consumption of water when the drought is a manufactured attempt for upscaling the costs of water and privatizing it.
wake the fuk up, people.
nestle buys 1 million liters of water for 4 dollars, bottles it, brands it, distributes it, retails it for 99 cents of more and makes 55 million$ in profits after gushy payouts and all??
oh. shit. really?
anyway, because IT ISN'T MY GOAL in ANY WAY to disparage the industries which foist food and water bills on us, and in full compliance with veggie libel laws from the PATRIOT ACT, i disown any and all attachment to the importance of any of my statements. i’m just an artist and a philosopher who likes to do word problems
and, for the record, i make the most concentrated effort to USE THEIR numbers, not just for the “truth” value of identifying with their system and their numbers (though the veggie laws themselves are UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND OUTRAGEOUSLY ANTI-AMERICAN), but because they are at least tangible numbers.
i can’t MAKE THIS SHIT UP and it isn’t my intention to do anything but represent the numbers into word arrangements that make sense.
i’m like the weather woman.
you’re not going to send her to prison for suggesting that another one of our new and fantastic super storms has been started off the coast of florida or texas and will now destroy another city so that it can be rebuilt for global tourism…
anyway, the NUMBERS PLEASE:
out of 400,000 visitors, as it was so scorching hot and the beverages lines were constant steady streams of income collation, let’s estimate THAT EVERY SINGLE PERSON HAD ONE $10 BEVERAGE.
in this number, let’s also assume that every one could take advantage of the discount of buying two or more.
so 400,000 times 8$
here, with this flimsy and completely deflated example of actual sales we find a rather large number:
3.2 million bucks.
i’m not even going to count food. that’s just hazy variables.
but they made money selling food as well.
i’m going to pretend it’s not even a factor, but obviously, they, too, made money. i just don’t know any prices and don’t really care. beverage sales have a much higher profit margin and a way lower overhead.
so, the onsite money intake of the fair with booths and entry donations and a HUGELY underestimated statistic of beverage sales has us at 4 MILLION DOLLARS for one event.
(all of our ECONOMIC studies so far are the actual event itself. the shadows, where MOST OF THE MONEY IS GENERATED, do not happen onsite.
OFFSITE ECONOMIC SHADOWS
economic shadows are the unaccounted BUT VISIBLE AND TRACEABLE elements that surround transactions.
for instance, if you go into a store in san francisco and you buy a scarf that cost $99, how can two people pay the following costs for the same scarf?
the local person ends up with all taxes and fees of life, paying 299$
and the out of town person ended up paying 999$ for the same object.
how can it be?
i know, it sounds like a riddle, but i’ll explain it.
the first person lives and works in a downtown neighborhood. she/he has a flat where she/he lives and pays rent for their tiny little shared bedroom in a flat or home or wherever.
she/he shops in the city and travels in the city and does all sorts of ordinary city things. their daily rent is about 60$ and expenses for the rest of the day averaged about $135 including the $99 for the scarf and the daily cost of having an unlimited muni travel pass.
she/he had an economic shadow for the day of $195 -- based on the scarf purchase as the focus point of spending.
in our story, the second person is a TOURIST.
the second person is already paying rent wherever they are from. this rent we will say is the less than the person who lives in san francisco, duh!!!! way less :)
but they’re still paying rent for their apartment even if they’re not there. their rent is about 20$ per night
the second person is ALSO renting a room in a hotel for $150 for each night.
the second person ALSO flew to san francisco on vacation.
the flight was $500 for a roundtrip.
the second person is in the city for three days.
that’s $166 bucks for each day as an average.
the second person took private transport from the airport on arrival and departure. let’s low ball it and say that it ONLY costs 30 dollars round trip.
that’s $10 each day.
during the second person’s stay, they used lyft to get around and spent 60$ on rides. $20 per day.
this same person had a free breakfast at the hotel, but bought a $4 coffee and had a $17 dollar lunch, gave a 3 dollar tip and then had dinner that evening costing 30$. the food intake total for this second person’s day was $54.
down on the embarcadeo, the second person also bought 200$ worth of knick knack gifts from the vendors in front of the ferry building at the base of market street.
this second person had also come to town to attend the folsom street fair.
so they made a visit to mr. S as well and bought an outfit for the fair. it was 45$
the second person was in SoMa after dinner and paid 20$ in cover charges at bars and spent 40$ on drinks.
the second person’s day kept on going after midnight, but that’s where our economic shadow for that day stopped — the night before the fair.
so let’s compare these economic shadows that surround each one of our two individuals:
individual number one, who lives in san francisco and also attended the fair spent a WHOPPING:
two hundred bucks, for the sake of numbers i spent an extra five on something of this person.
and TWO HUNDRED dollar days are EXPENSIVE> this is an EXPENSIVE city. one of the most in the country now.
a lot of city people spend WAY more per day and have extraordinarily lavish lifestyles. but with average room rentals being so extravagant, that tends to be the real expense for a lot of less monied folks.
as it stands, an economic shadow like this requires 6 grand per month.
okay, so we’ve got our first shadow at $200 per day.
now let’s look at the second person. the second person’s grand total for one day is:
170 + 166 + 10 + 20 + 54 + 45 + 200 + 20 + 40 = $904
NOW, ADD THE original scarf to finish the equation, VOILA
and that is how you charge 99 dollars and 999 dollars for the same scarf.
and that is how business works. next year, that same scarf will cost 149 and 1399 if things work out the way you are supposed to work out.
SF MET, baby!!!!!!
anyway, i feel like i’m gossiping about real people.
let me get back to my point.
the first person hadn’t planned to go to the fair this year.
they were tired of the way the fair was always the same and the twister game and the show offery.
she/he bought a bottle of champagne for $25 to bring to the brunch, they all decided to go to the fair.
so the townperson donated the required TEN bucks (sf people like to participate and can be generous with goods as well as kindnesses — though there’s a ton of criminal insanity that gets tolerated by these same manners of being…), so they got the drink discount.
she/he had two beers at ten dollars a piece, eight after the discount. spent $16, “saved” four on the admission price wink wink — drink more, save more. historically, us gays have loved this kind of economic challenge. but we’re communist about we — it’s a right, not a taxation. we made the BEER BUST FAMOUS.
we as a community are the biggest abuses of alcohol and drugs and anything to distract us from the tragedy and persecution of an indescribable group of men who merely have sex with each other and then must be condemned to that status forever coming-out, trapped in a trap. more beer please.
oh, sex is now boring, give me some drugs and let’s keep playing!
anyway, sorry, got a bit lost.
our intown hero walked to the fair after having a late breakfast at some friends’ place. onsite costs at the fair in total were $26 plus the champagne purchase of $25 for brunch. all expenses (the 51$ and for the rest of the day were minor and our intown hero’s daily life total was once again a rather average $200 including the fair.
which is a two day total of $400
our tourist hero — one who brings a much larger economic shadow to town — skipped the free breakfast and met friends for brunch and drinks for a total of $42
we’ve already factored our traveling/lyft total, so today’s share of that is $20
our tourist hero pays the $10 donation 95% of the time. by its nature, TOURISM is rich people giving money away to poor people in exchange for passage and favors. locals live much more frugally on average than TOURISTS.
inside the fair, the TOURIST stays three hours and drinks one drink per hour.
all three drinks are nonalcoholic.
they are 3 dollars apiece.
with the discount, the TOURIST drinks $9 of beverages.
our TOURIST/second person exits the fair having spent $19.
in this scenario, both characters leave the fair and live their lives.
i won’t make up more math about their days. we can just use the details we have, no need to add more and we already have daily averages determined.
HERE ARE TOTALS for the day, which at first seem desperately obvious, but they aren't:
in town local pays out: $26 + 200/day living expenses
out of town hero pays out: $19 + $407/day living expenses
ADD the previous day's total and this person's TWO DAY ECONOMIC SHADOW is: $1004 + $426 = $1430
in COMMODIFIED TERMS, the tourist's expenses are WORTH a GRAND more than the local's output.
now ask yourself this:
which one is a bigger economic shadow?
which one spent less at the fair than the other?
and this is why the "city" is now becoming a "metropolis".
new rules, new games.
we should demand a love parade...
END PART ONE
maybe i'll write part two when the REAL numbers hit the street.
LASTLY, i'd like to end with a suggestion.
LET'S INVITE THE WORLD's LOVE PARADE TO CELEBRATE IN OUR new metropolis.
Photo taken on 30 September 2018 (© torbakhopper / Flickr)