A crowd of a few thousand San Franciscans held its collective breath for a few hours outside City Hall last night to hear Bill Clinton pump a California ballot measure that would make oil companies pay higher taxes per barrel to fund cleaner fuels.
California voters will approve or nix Proposition 87 next week. Behind the event stood the Apollo Alliance, a bunch of big progressive groups pushing for green tech to create jobs, address climate change, and wean the U.S. off of foreign oil.
In the pre-Clinton hours, a dude from Third Eye Blind sang, then Bonnie Raitt did too. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced District Attorney Kamala Harris basically by calling her a hottie. Desperate housewife Eva Longoria lauded Clinton bilingually, and the 42nd president's victory song burst from the speakers as he took the stage.
Do we really have to nerve to let Fleetwood Mac turn us on these days? You can take those lyrics with equal fatalism and optimism: "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow...Yesterday's gone." Which yesterday is that: that buried era this man ushered in circa 1992, or the future's yesterday that we're surviving now, from 2000 until--?
"I am so tired of America being the caboose on the world's train to the future," Clinton said.
Clean tech dealmakers like Vinod Khosla want Prop 87 to "create a new Cleantech Silicon Valley." Already, more venture capital is funneling into clean tech than all those wiggy new Web 2.0 startups. But to prevent Proposition 87 from passing, big oil interests have spent some $90 million. Lots of the state's editorial pages have sided with the oil industry, saying that the devil of the well-intentioned proposition is in the details that require setting up a brand new state agency.
So does Clinton still ooze infectious sexual isotopes? Miguel shook Clinton's hand twice in the front row, and barely escaped suffocation by panting high-school girls in the process. After most of the crowd ambled home, breathless clusters of hangers-on waved their camera phones in the air, calling for their tow-headed saint to grant a gaze in their direction.
On this same patch of land less than two months ago, another lovefest turned Civic Center and City Hall into a post-pacifier-sucking, neo-psychedelic, electro-yogi-pirate, urban black rock-lite, benevolent-psycho-digital-steampunk, rainbow-glitterati dance orgy. Last night, too, all genders swooned, hip grinding ensued, and the past decade never happened. I was up on a platform in back and so none of that fairy dust fell on me, but I managed to take these low quality micro movies. Go watch the local evening news if you really want to see it.