My Tweet About a Literal Walk Around San Francisco Was Co-opted Into the City’s ‘Doom Loop’ Narrative

What began as digital documentation of my stroll around San Francisco turned into irrational pellets used to slingshot SF’s apparent decline.

The simple act of moving my upright body in a forward motion is a kinetic methodology I’ve grown fond of since setting up roots in San Francisco. It offers a specific well of joy — a celebration of an ability to drag around this tattooed bag of proteins and enzymes up and down different elevations. 

By nature, it’s an inherently neutral action; one would need to craft lofty fabrications and wax confabulatory to politicize going at a leisurely pace around San Francisco.

I’m not immune to such twists and bendings of reality, as it would seem. Why, you ask? Because what was initially posted as a heartfelt, albeit tongue-in-cheek, ode to SF’s scenic vistas and convivial charm was quickly molded by (mostly faceless) Twitter users this week to fit into the popular “doom loop” storyline about San Francisco.

“Very grateful I live in this fucking hellscape,” I wrote on the Bird App in a tweet containing two pictures of a sun-kissed San Francisco: One flaunting the mid-day sun over an outlook at Lafayette Park, the other capturing our solar system’s denizen star dropping below the horizon atop Rusian Hill through a well-positioned alleyway, looking out toward Alcatraz Island. 

Innocent. Lighthearted. Ostensibly picturesque.

The copy. A flippant nod to the discourse around San Francisco as a failing metro.

At best, I thought a few friends and fuck boys and fuck thems and journalism colleagues and former San Francisco roommates would appreciate the tweet. It wasn’t a pull toward fuss, nor attached to any intent of virality. 

I went on a fucking walk.

But within a few hours, my 46-character tweet was catapulted into the cultural zenith that’s peaking around SF’s doom loop narrative — a portrayal of SF’s apparently imminent demise, as evident by its now-sparse downtown sector, rising costs of living in its post-pandemic recovery,  the widely shared pictures of human excrement on sidewalks, etc. — and used as delusional ammunition.

“Oooh, I can afford to live among the $10+ million dollar mansions on top of the Pacific Heights in the “billionaires’ row” and mock [the] rest of you 80% SF peasants who have to enjoy views like this on a daily basis,” wrote user [at]SpaceGrenadier in one of the first hollow rebuttals framed around my seemingly resonant tweet. 

He, like the overwhelming majority of those who encountered my doom-looped tweet, did so from a faceless, nameless, fictionalized character profile.


(I assure you that if [at]SpaceGrenadier was, indeed, the young Zachary Quinto pictured in his profile, I would’ve immediately DMed him to ask if I could suck his cock. Or have him spit in my mouth. Something along those lines.

Alas, this was not the case.)

What continued through the course of the day was a barrage of like-tuned tweets flung my way that waxed dystopia on the state of San Francisco.

Maps of reported feces were contained in quote tweets; baseless claims that I was gaslighting individuals away from “the truth” around San Francisco, nevermind that most of those who claimed so lived in other states; the narrowmindedness afforded by inflated nativism was rife in more than a dozen responses, claiming their hot takes and lukewarm action plans on what’s best for the city now were valid…. solely because they’ve lived here for [redacted] number of years. 

Rarely was a shared rebutting article published from a website with a “.com” URL used as support for their doom-looped claims. They all almost came from “.net” rabbit holes or blatant comments made on Facebook.

(If I’m in a particularly unaffected mood that meets a moment of listless boredom, I find ephemeral pleasure in trolling such takes on San Francisco with a bit of humor. It’s an exercise in workshopping jokes that will never see the light of a stage. Though they might find a home across a dinner date after a second glass of wine.

Being queer is to have the intrinsic ability to wield emasculating language — a superpower that can cripple any insecure, masculine-presenting straight man to his brittle knees. Using GIFs, sometimes the same one, over and over again, is another surefire way to both reclaim your time and squash a reaction said troll wants you to type out. When in doubt, simply write “Let’s do a breathing exercise together” or “When did the pain start?” to hobble future trolling behavior from said avatar.)

I’ve said this in so many Pantones already, but it bears repeating, especially in this certain instance: San Francisco’s problems aren’t unique, they’re found in every major metropolitan area in the United States. It’s just the lens over them in San Francisco is, in fact, special… and made no better by the conservative media fixation on it.

Rates of homeless continue rising across the country. Deaths associated with drug use, particularly in regards to the consumption of fentanyl-laced substances, have increased almost four-fold over the past six years — nationwide. The human mind is incapable of contending with modern-day society and the means of late-stage capitalism that are required to remain upright and sentient. 

There’s shit almost everywhere in downtown San Francisco. Because there are just 140 public bathrooms in San Francisco… of which less than 50 are operated around the clock; this extrapolated out to about one public bathroom for every 6,300 residents. Anyone who’s ever heard the call of nature whilst going about their day in San Francisco knows how difficult it is to heed that buzz in a responsible, urban manner.

Yes, San Francisco is in a state of duress. It’s expected. Life had grossly ballooned out of proportion, prior to its current state. The average one-bedroom apartment available almost exactly a year before the Covid-19 pandemic averaged $3,690 per month in San Francisco. It’s yet to reach such a height, again.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco Standard — the local media outlet that began as Here/Say Media in 2021 after an initial round of funding from Sequoia Capital — wrote a surface-level think-piece on why San Franciscans who adore the metro toy with its “hellscape” depiction. My “oft-quoted tweet” was used as anchor media for the post, though I was never contacted to expand on it or offer some context on its authorship. Cricket’s y’all. 

Had I been asked to offer some salient introspections, they would’ve read like this: San Francisco isn’t experiencing a doom loop, no. Right now, it’s gliding down a spiral-tubed playground slide where we’ll all hopefully land on the firmer, far more sustainable ground that exists on this chapter’s end. This is what I hope for in the quiet parts of my soul. Until then, let this be a reminder that there are indefensible amounts of beauty across 97.9% of San Francisco. 

Sometimes, you just need to go for a walk and put yourself in front of that aforenoted magnificence. Tweet about said treks at your own discretion. 


  • Ms. M

    Nice work. Glad I signed up. Quitting’ Twitter one of the best things for my blood pressure. Thanks for this article, who knows who sits on the other side of those phony accounts. Needs more coverage. I remember a lot of weird so called SF “yimbys” named “Wencil” or other such monikers who all used stock photos of male models.

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