Those of us who do not live in the City by the Bay may not have heard about start-up dude Peter Shih’s screed against the Paris of the West. (He took it down after the outcry, but it lives on here, because this is the Internet, and the stupid things we say on it live forever.)
So go read Shih’s rant, ”10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition,” thoughtfully preserved in amber by SF journo Susie Cagle. It is unfunny (though Shih later claimed it was satire) and it retreads tired criticisms of San Francisco (Shih does not like the weather or the high cost of living!) along with a few misogynistic and homophobic new additions. He hates start-up guys (even though he is one), the 49ers (no, not the team –”all the girls who are obviously 4′s and behave like they are 9′s”), homeless people and the “Transvestite to Taxi ratio” after midnight. The piece is tiresome, hack-y schtick with a big dollop of privilege.
Of the many rebuttals by loyal SF dwellers, my favorite was “10 Things I Hate About Peter Shih,” by Jonathan Nathan. I really should not endorse it because of the last line. “Your face is so stupid” is not a dignified response. But it made me laugh. Because I am a New Yorker and we are all bitches, as well as 9s who act like 4s. (Wait, what does that even mean.)
In a delightfully soothing voice, Nathan points out Shih’s entitlement, internal contradictions, and disgust for women, trans-people and homeless people. Then he goes that extra mile and eviscerates Celery, Shih’s start-up idea.
Peter, I understand that it’s meant to be a cute play on the word “sell” having some phonetic commonality with the first syllable of the word “celery,” but Peter, go f*** yourself with that name. Your app is not going to do very well, Peter. According to Techcrunch–i.e., the most charitable, glowing description your app could possibly receive–”it allows anyone to start selling ahead of having a product to ship. That means sellers can start taking credit cards now, then charge when their product is ready to launch.” Peter, you are aware that this is already possible, yes? It has many names, but one of the most famous is Kickstarter.
Ahaha, burn. Good times. (But I take issue with Nathan’s defense of San Francisco nightlife: “You know why the bars here close at two in the morning? Because the men and women of this great state are good enough at closing the deal that we don’t need the extra three hours to pick someone up.” Good effort, Jonathan, and yes, you Baghdadians by the Bay are all smokin’ hot, but your city still closes down too damn early. NEW YORK RULES, SF DROOLS.)
What was I talking about? Right, apology! So after everybody on the Internet had a shitfit and waved their arms around like Animal on the Muppet Show, Shih took down the post. And his Linked-In page. And he apologized. Ish.
I want to sincerely apologize to everyone who read my poorly written blog post about San Francisco. I made idiotic and childish, but worse yet, thoughtless, hurtful and offensive comments that I am deeply sorry about.
There are no excuses for my poor judgment, so I make none. I take full responsibility that this mistake was completely my own.
I truly apologize for embarrassing and completely maligning the communities I represent. Again, no excuses, I’m just really sorry.
I don’t deserve any forgiveness for the stupidity of my actions and words, but I sincerely hope to demonstrate by my future behavior to humbly build up and not tear down the communities and people around me.
“Idiotic and childish” is good. “No excuses” is good. (Even though a few days earlier he made excuses, saying he was only being satiric.) Saying he understands he needs to earn forgiveness through his future behavior is good. But failing to name his wrongs — failing to show he understands precisely what’s bad about hating on women, trans folks and homeless people — is lousy. There’s still no evidence of true self-awareness. And given that he was making excuses for himself (can’t we take a joke?) two days earlier, he needed to a) acknowledge that in his apology and b) tell us what caused his change of heart. I mean, besides not wanting to tank his start-up with bad publicity and never have any woman ever sleep with him again even if she were like a -3 AMIRITE BRAH.
What? Wait! No! You keep him!