Silicon Valley has turned into a real-life gameshow of wealth and absurdity. Yet poverty ravages parts of the San Francisco Bay Area so badly that there are piles of literal human poop on the sidewalks. People starving, people dying. Then, a few miles away, two cats live the life in their own personal apartment. You might wonder if this is news or not, and I'll tell you it is. It's a perfect fable for our times. Charles Dickens couldn't have written a more jarring story of excess. I'll tell you the rest in a minute…
Imagine it. A 72-inch 4K Ultra HD Television connected to gadget you've always wanted. The Bose soundbar has a subwoofer. Every time something happens on the screen the walls shake. The channel changes erratically. On the couch, a cat swipes at the remote for the AppleTV. Surely the owner is annoyed by the way the screen jumps from action scene to baseball game to commercial to QVC? Not at all.
As reported in the Mercury News:
The rent is taken care of by 43-year-old Troy Good, who saw the studio as a solution to a pressing problem: what to do with his daughter's beloved cats, which he couldn't abandon but also couldn't house in his new apartment.
Here's what the landlord had to say about it:
These 2 cats rent an apartment in San Jose youtu.be
The story would be cute if it weren't so ridiculous.
Somehow it's cute and dystopian. In San Francisco, $117,000 is considered "low income." It has been consistently ranked the most expensive city to live in America. Walk around San Francisco and you'll see ridiculously wealthy people trying to angle their Lamborghinis up the steepest hills you've ever seen, revving into corners like they're driving disposable bicycles.
Somehow it's cute and dystopian.
At the same time, San Francisco, like much of California, is in the throes of a full-scale crisis, rampant homelessness. Piles of human feces and heavily-used syringes cover sidewalks and benches. Parts of the city are unnavigable because of the tents and the mentally-ill people crowding the streets or underpasses or bus stations. Poverty like you wouldn't imagine.
Yet a few miles away, two cats are living in a $1,500-a-month apartment because their 18-year-old got some kittens, named them after characters from Bob's Burgers, made them an Instagram account, then went off to college. What choice did she have?