An outbreak of community activism has turned into a crash seminar in why absolutely nothing gets done in America any more.
I’ve become involved with a group trying to keep a large, “unactivated” chunk of San Francisco’s McLaren Park from being strip-mined into a disc golf course. I have doubts as to how successful the group will be – read on to see why – but the cause is just and true: McLaren Park is an oasis of wildness in a densely urban environment, the last bit of city land untouched by developers, planners, and others who consider unbulldozed real estate “wasted”.
Disc golf, for those not in the know (and I sure wasn’t), is one of those fake sports made up by bored post-pubescent males. Expensive frisbees, edges honed and hardened like an axehead, are thrown from coffin-sized chunks of concrete called “tees” at chain-link baskets on five foot poles called “holes”. Put 18 tees and holes together and you have a “course” consuming dozens of acres. Add beer and bongs to the discs whizzing by at 50 mph and you can clear a park of trees, picnickers, birds, meadows, hikers and dogs in no time. The city allowed a course in Golden Gate Park a few years ago. Today the area looks like an active Marine Corps training ground.
Park aficionados are very upset with this plan and not just for the obvious reasons. The decision to install the course was taken by the Grand Poo-Bahs of S.F.’s Recreation and Parks Department (affectionately known as “Wreck-Park”) without notifying anybody who actually uses the park – a big no-no here on the Left Coast, especially in this city.