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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.

See recent LA Times article about this fire and eviction issues..one Joy Newhart. Lived in a different illegal artsy warehouse in Bay Area....article says she lives "solely" on $1200 in disability payments monthly...but she is a "video choreographer" or some crap.

How do you afford your rock and roll lifestyle?

List each of the 35 adult victims....and determine that question. Follow the money.

How did they afford their rock and roll lifestyle?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 5:09 PM

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

It is a wild accusation to suggest Child Protective Services--which had been at the warehouse recently--may have been paying for the hotel room where those children were safe the night of the party?

It is a wild accucation to suggest this fanatically self-centered narcissist Derick Almeda probably took money from whatever source he could? Which could include foood stamps? Unemployment insurance? Certainly the earned income credit with three kids!!!

It is a wild accusation to say Derick and his wife likely weren't officially reporting all their income? When there are people saying they grew pot and partied in Bali? So here i am like...they probably didn't, er, report all their income?

Given the spectacular hoarding and the narcissism....is it wild to suggest Derick is bipolar? And if he is bipolar....he probably tries to get SSI? Get a fat monthly check?

THE FACT THAT THESE ARTSY VICTIMS of their own bad lifestyle choices suck off public assistance to party all day is actually one of the most pressing and nationally relevant aspects of this story...and none of it is wild or off base. This is how it works. This is how you fund artsy bumhood.

This is how you afford a rock-n-roll lifestyle. Taxpayers underwrite all of it. You don't want this topic to get traction...the whole national arts "scene" lives off social welfare intended for people who NEED it but it funds bums who want to party and avoid real work.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 4:59 PM

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

>>The NYT is ... 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

Thanks! I've contacted them.

Eroster: your diatribes and wild accusations distract from the hard facts that incriminate Mr Almena.

Posted by Amelie Love on 12/09/2016 at 4:10 PM

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

People who suck the tit of the system and don't want to work but would rather play and be intoxicated all day at taxpayer expense.... people who lack gratitude and humility and buy expensive foods with food stamps and laugh about how they are getting over...these are the bad examples who make taxpayers think that social welfare programs just fund irresponsible lifestyle choices and they are reluctant to fund these.

Not one voice in these many threads has so far stood up and DENIED my assertion that Derick Almena and his wife probably played the system and collected social welfare...how many of the 35 adults who died were collecting SSI and food stamps and Section 8 and LET US NOT FORGET unemployment insurance benefits.

Ooooh. I am looking so hard for a real job. But first....RAVE PARTY!!!!

How were those three kids at a hotel the night of the fire??? CPS was probably footing the bill. One way or another, taxpayers have been funding these parties and "artists" and bad lifestyle choices since the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.

And the very people in the system whose job it is to be grownups and crack down on stupidity kept looking the other way. Tolerance of bad lifestyle choices and funding those choices permeated the whole system.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 1:10 PM

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

post by Mike Benedict on 12/07/2016 at 1:12 PM -(above) should be the editorial. Well said.

Posted by Tom Gan on 12/09/2016 at 1:06 PM

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

"Or the outlier, bad-actor art-scene figureheads youre on watch" -stated right there that the writer is holding people like Almena accountable. did y'all read the article before you flipped a lid?

but a lot of you are missing the underlying point. our society does not promote non-profitable artistic creation, thus resulting in cities' lack of funding and support to those that want to dedicate their lives to artistic endeavors. resulting in places like the ghost ship...that said, if you are going to create a warehouse space, it should be done with more precautionary and safety measures. but i think the writer is saying to attack those in control of the system. those who are not thinking about providing affordable housing for creatives...and not just creatives, either. lack of funding and housing for homeless, veterans, service workers. it starts even beyond the city of oakland. it's a cultural mindset and art is on the back burner to retail development, big $ housing, and other corporate greed. but, for oakland, a city known to be "progressive", it should be a point of emphasis for those running the city to develop housing for all it's people...artists, low paying workers, minorities.

Posted by zinnful on 12/09/2016 at 9:10 AM

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

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