One March morning on the train to work I chatted with a man who, it turns out, is the manager a San Francisco facility that helps homeless teens. He told me that at last count there were over 5,600 homeless youth on our streets, and the number is growing. He pointed out the disparity between the money spent on the upcoming Americas Cup Yacht race and that spent on helping the homeless. It is the type of issue that my character Morton Veritas would take up, but he lives in Reno, not San Francisco. So I have to figure a way to do it here. I think Morton has a friend here who will do it. He will have an MBA and/or law degree, and use social media marketing strategies to spread the word.
Statistics are a good tool to efficiently convey information to people; with all the information inundating us these days, items have to pop out and into the consciousness of the reader. Information has to elbow its way in front of Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor (RIP), and the same footage of the Japanese tsunami over and over and over again. Yes, the earthquake and devastation in Japan is important, but in general, attention needs to focus here at home a little bit more. Like the pressure of the earth's tectonic plates quietly building under our ground, things are happening under the crust of our media.
Take the Americas Cup Yacht race, for example. I don't read much news, but the last thing I saw was the fellow running the event smiling gleefully in a photo accompanying an article in the SF Examiner about how some businesses along the pier will have to close for [a year or more?]. I couldn't help but wonder how that helps the economy. It seems like you couldn't get more blatant or make it any clearer where the priorities lay, even if you built a giant sculpture of a king with a golden money sign standing upon a platform held up by us lowly commoners.
Can we use the 5th Estate to topple the ruling cla$$ takeover? We are so sheep-led, it's too easy! We bail out banks without an argument while railing against public workers for having retirement plans.