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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Editor's Note

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Their passion....paid for with SSI and food stamps. Government assistance programs in the US are the biggest arts endowment program in world history.

Don't want to work? Get a malady...get SSI...and eat, drink, be merry...screw all day...call yourself an "artist."

I want to know...to paraphrase the song....how did they afford this rock and roll lifestyle? If rent was 6k and people paid 500 a month then 12 people could cover rent. And that was BEFORE admission fees for raves...none of it taxed...none of it counted as income against food stamps.

This was irresponsible lifestyle choice funded by the taxpayers...and it isn't just thus one time and place. This is how being an artsy bum works. This is how some oeople don't work and eat lobster and people who work buy noodles.

Survive on ramen....bullshit. working people eat ramen. Artsy bums eat lobster.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 7:16 AM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Backlash on communities after that community has been traumatized is so common place that it's nearly logical in some warped out dimension where landlords and mortgage brokers decide who gets to own more gravity. I've lived in wild and weird housing most of my life (I'm 41). I feel like a broken record, but what if it was so fucked up expensive to live here? I grew up here, I can barely afford to live here, I'm a dedicated healthcare worker, and I can't see how anyone with two eyes and a life outside the suburbs could blame a bunch of people for giving up on creature comforts (who needs a stovetop anyways??) to pursue their passion. I know that arts and gentrification are intimately bonded, and I've done more than a fair share of bitching about it, but living like that, pursuing art with passion that makes it ok to be cold at night, survive on ramen and create, it's noble. I appreciate it so much.

Posted by Al Pionyu on 12/08/2016 at 11:37 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

I got a post that the NYT is putting significant resources into covering the Ghost Ship fire. They are even asking the public to suggest avenues of investigation.
I found this when I followed up:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/us/the-oakland-fire-delving-into-what-happened-and-why.html

Posted by LJ Schneider on 12/08/2016 at 9:48 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

In 1997 or thereabouts Martin Pang burned down his (adoptive) parents' warehouse because he wanted even more money to support his playboy lifestyle and four Seattle firemen died when they fell through the roof. Actually....Pang hired an arsonist. He had no DIY ethic.

Pang fled to Brazil. Brazil extradited him but not without a benefit to Pang of reduction in sentence...no more years than what was possible under Brazilian law. So it was certainly worth the effort to flee.

If Pang could have gotten a Brazilian woman pregnant HE NEVER WOULD HAVE FACED EXTRADITION.

Evidence of manslaughter is overwhelming here... lock Derick up. Before he flees the country.

Lock him up. Lock him up.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 5:45 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Hitler was a mether an artist to fk oak can of spray paint and meth and your an artist put MAYOR AND DERICK IN THE PRISON SHIP TONIGHT

Posted by shiva on 12/08/2016 at 5:45 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

THE DOPE SHIP THIS PUNK DERICK NEEDS TO BE LOCKED UP FOR A LONG TIME IN SAN Q ALONG WITH MAYOR CODE ENFORCEMENT CPS HIS KIDS WERE METH ANIMALS FIRE DEPT HEALTH DEPT BUILDING DEPT FIRE DEPT OWNER OF BUILDING BUILDING INSPECTORS FK OAKLAND THEY WANT THESE WAREHOUSES SO THEY CAN PUT UP HIGH PRICED CONDOS FK OAKLAND ITS A MARXIST HELLHOE PUT THEM ALL IN PRISON

Posted by shiva on 12/08/2016 at 5:41 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Derick needs to be in prison tonight THE METH SATAN SHIP HE WAS A PIMP MAYOR CODE ENFORCEMENT NEEDS TO BE IN PRISON

Posted by shiva on 12/08/2016 at 5:37 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Put derick in prison tonight THE METH SATAN DOPE SHIP

Posted by shiva on 12/08/2016 at 5:35 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

You are quite correct regarding "Hear, hear." I am surprised. I had long assumed it meant agreement "Here, here."

Now what can you tell me about public assistance such as food stamps being used to fund this irresponsible rock and roll lifestyle?

A single vacation in Bali while these conditions endured will be all the prosecutor needs to prove depraved indifference to human life. Why is indictment taking so long? In the midwest where people have some sense this flight risk Derick Almena would already be in jail.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Other particularly good arguments from Matthew Aaron Gerring and Mike Benedict. You going to follow up, Nick Miller / @nickmiller510 ?

BTW, Charles C. Eroster : wrong! https://www.google.com/search?q=here+here+vs+hear+hear

Posted by Amelie Love on 12/08/2016 at 4:09 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

EBX's editor, @nicmiller510 really needs to read through the comments here, such as LJ Schneider and Nick Bolla's and consider revising their position.

The "low-income creatives" who ran Satya Yuga are primarily to blame for the 36 deaths that resulted. They're the ones who created the hazard. Certainly officials and the owner and his daughter bear some responsibility too. But the creatives were able to furnish and build the amazing art that was in that place; they certainly could have made a small effort to address safety too.

Posted by Amelie Love on 12/08/2016 at 3:14 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

By the way, Conan Neutron, the proper spelling is "here, here."

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 4:55 AM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

I keep reading in various editorials about how these artists were "just trying to survive." How is making art "surviving?" Some guy who is living under a bridge, with substance abuse and PTSD issues, that guy is trying to survive in his illegal living space...but this situation wasn't about "survival." This is about never growing up and wanting to keep playing with finger paints while the other kids are doing math, science, and lining up en mass get their participation trophies. Here's a really unpopular question. How many of the dead were getting public assistance checks every month while they were out partying? Including the managers, Derek and his wife, who could barely manage to hang on to their children? And yet there are stories of them going off to Bali, of owning great big beds hand-carved of wood, from Bali, of growing pot...leaving the kids for days at a time with the babysitter while they went off and partied. Most of these participants weren't "just trying to survive." They were partying, and now society pays for the party. Society has, in fact, been paying for their party for a long time. Now the firemen and the coroners and all the GROWN UPS who work for a living have to get up at the ringing of the alarm clock and work, work, work to fix this mess. If there's a crackdown on illegal artist spaces, not just in Oakland but all over the nation....well, it's about time the grownups took charge. For the record, I don't cast any blame on the 17-year-old that died. He was a kid and could be expected to act like a kid. Everybody else...they took a risk, and sometimes when you play, you pay.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 4:53 AM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Where do people get the idea that artists should be given affordable housing ahead of manual laborers, low-level office workers, etc.? They don't seem to realize how elitist this sounds.

Posted by MorganJones on 12/08/2016 at 1:23 AM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

I think if the artists and musicians made an outreach to local churches and businesses, they could broaden and diversity their community. I know the church just down the street is always looking for new voices in their choir.

Posted by Francesco on 12/07/2016 at 5:25 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Bullshit. This was a cult, like so many others in the SF Bay Area, and the denial surrounding it is so pervasive even the press is in on it. I am neither surprised or saddened, but relieved there's even a small chance some exposure may finally be able to happen. With 36 dead, I think you all ought to be ashamed, and The East Bay Express in particular. Where are the adults in this part of the world? It's sick,...

Posted by The Crack Emcee 1 on 12/07/2016 at 4:24 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

I doubt the Express is capable of agenda-free reporting, even though at times I can't see any agenda, just bias. What i have yet to hear is how the owner of the building can charge 7000/month for an empty box that could not function as ANYTHING- no reliable power, no water and no stairs. This person is every bit as culpable as the weirdo who everyone wants to crucify.

Posted by Matt Piucci on 12/07/2016 at 2:43 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

The East Bay Express is in worse shape than I thought if this weepy muddle-headed piece represents their best editorial wisdom.

There is no imminent witch hunt going on against Oakland's arts and music underground scene. There is, however, a very justifiably skeptical eye being cast on the situation that the horror of the Ghost Ship represents. There is plenty of blame or accountability to go around.

The City of Oakland needs to step up big time on code enforcement. Building managers and landlords of outrageously dangerous places should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

However, artists and musicians, their crews, and their audience simply don't get off the hook. Fire has not gone extinct, however righteous the art may be. No free ride for fantasy lands and reality-denying outfits like the Ghost Ship. The quandary of how artists support themselves has been around since time began. Solutions have never been easy, but for artists to survive, the solutions need to be responsible and reality-based.

Posted by David Cohen on 12/07/2016 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

So your saying that Artists don't have power? Maybe that kind of thinking is the problem. To me it sounds like the person who wrote this article is trying hard not to feel bad. I really don't think anyone is blaming artists. In this case the authority is dammed if they do and dammed if they don't. Taking ownership is a way of gaining power.

Posted by Sara B James on 12/07/2016 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Stop Blaming Artists and Musicians for the Ghost Ship Fire. Blame People In Power Who Screwed Up.

Adult children who want a parent(authority) to take the blame for their decisions and actions.

Posted by hammerrobby on 12/07/2016 at 1:14 PM

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