[Noisebridge-discuss] Sat night: There's good crazy & not-so-good crazy

jim jim at systemateka.com
Sun Sep 4 21:29:25 PDT 2011

    Terrific report, specially the ending! 

    Seems to me good that we all get comfy with the 
idea of gathering together to heavy out people when 
such become clearly obnoxious. I'm guessing that 
obnoxiousness occurs mainly in the night times, yes? 
There are people who are regularly there and 
unobnoxious at those times? 

On Sun, 2011-09-04 at 21:06 -0700, Just Duncan wrote:
> Things have slowly been getting crazier this week, escalating
> to the police being called last night. 
> In order descending order of severity and risk are:
> (1)  Jay (J?) who is belligerent, disclosed he has schizophrenia but
> won't take medications for it, has auditory hallucinations, paranoid
> delusions, and has basically moved into Noisebridge every night and
> day.  He disappeared for a few days last week and then reappeared with
> scrapes and cuts to his face, saying he had been arrested and beat up
> by police for doing "mime" in Union Square, was 5150'd at SF General,
> and
> "escaped" (his claim) when the drugs they had injected him with wore
> off.
> The tipping point is that he drinks heavily and generally sees NB as a
> place to come by, get smashed and party, interrupt work, ramble on
> with
> his latest drama, and swing from being civil to belligerent and
> threatening.
> Last night he was very intoxicated and, as I sat next to Kayla on the
> couch eating a burrito and enjoying the 1 beer I got with it, he came
> over to get a laptop off the table and wanted to apologize for an
> outburst he had at me earlier.  All fine and good until he decided he
> wanted a hug from me, comes over into me sitting down after I'd
> verbally thanked
> but declined, stumbles on a power cord, and drunkenly slurs/knocks
> into me...
> knocking the newly opened beer in my hand and splashing it all into
> the keyboard of  Kayla's Macbook Pro laptop.  Seeing it was his
> intoxication that had
> caused it, Kayla was furious as her computer was dead by appearance.
> She called the police and went downstairs to wait for them with Ramon.
> Prior to leaving, Ramon talked with Rolf about asking J to leave and
> Rolf asked if I would assist.  I agreed.  Alex was also enlisted and
> very rigid about the police not coming in.  I went down to find Kayla
> to
> see if that would work for her, but she and Ramon had gone down to
> 17th
> street to find police and were no where to be found.
> Returning upstairs, NB was clearly emptying out.  Alex said he was
> about to
> leave with Stephen and Mek, said it was then or never.  We all agreed
> and
>  J was asked to leave... which turned into him becoming belligerent,
> refusing to leave.  Meanwhile, I left them them trying to convince him
> to leave and was
> pulled to go down stairs to handle another person of concern.  This
> was
> successful and is detailed below.*
> Returning upstairs again, it was clear that Alex, Ramon, Rolf et al.
> had failed.  I was going to stay, but frankly didn't/don't feel safe
> being alone at NB with him.  I left, only to encounter the police
> outside with Ramon, Mek, Stephen, Kayla, and Alex.
> Kayla wanted them to remove him and get his name for her; she called
> the
> police.  Alex didn't want police to come up stairs, even though there
> was no way to remove him and he, himself, had failed to remove him.
>  The officers were an older-school/rookie-- but even the older-school
> had the new police view of "look, we know you're a collective and you
> don't
> want outside involvement ever.  Unless someone is dead, you can't have
> it both ways and we're very hesitant to go inside until you've all
> consensused on it and agreed to let us come in."  The younger rookie
> was
> clearly new and naive, telling Kala to file a claim under her renters
> policy or her parents homeowner policy... i.e. he had no clue that
> people might not have such things.  I proposed the compromise between
> everyone (Alex, Kayla, police) that we were OK for now, but if we
> needed
> help further would call them back.  Kala left upset that when a person
> calls for police help from inside Noisebridge that "police" aren't
> allowed in when things are out of control. Neither she nor I are any
> great fans of the PD, but they do have times and places where they are
> appropriate.
> Moreover, no one here knew who to call (e.g. a Board Member).  This
> was
> very frustrating as J stayed the night and is still here when I came
> back at 10 this morning.  The man is quasi-psychotic, is almost always
> wearing a knit cap for id., paranoid, and clueless... he was playing
> punk acid rock in the kitchen Friday night on the laptop, even after
> Rolf politely asked him to turn in down.  I, personally, do not feel
> safe with him in the space... and some basic level of personal
> security
> is-- per Milo's argument at last week's meeting-- in my view, a
> reasonable expectation of NB, along with the door working and Internet
> access.
> (2) Some guy named "Evan (aka Taemon?... "I'm the new guy that brought
> beer!" at 3pm on Wednesday) has recently been showing up and always
> with alcohol in tow.  Just for the record, I've got no problem with
> alcohol (I had some of one last night with my burrito), or other
> substance usage.  It is only a problem if people are using it and not
> taking responsibility for their behavior and others in the space.
> Getting angry or choosing vent frustrations with others while
> intoxicated isn't productive; having the judgment to know when it is
> best if they remove themselves from the space is.  I'm particularly
> bad, personally, at reading the difference between trolling and anger
> with someone who intoxicated or in a different "reality" space than
> myself.  "Taemon" was a pure accelerant to J's drinking/drugging &
> general  craziness/instability the other night.  Both were loud,
> constantly inserting themselves into conversations not involving them,
> while saying nothing of relevance. Taemon has spent the night both
> times I've seen him this
> week; I woke him on the couch at 11am this morning.
> As someone who uses the space  nearly every day, this week has been
> a difficult one given the absences  due to Burning Man, greatly
> reduced presence of Robert 1.0, the "squatting" over-night by the
> above, and yet a steady stream of new guests and potential members.
>  I've stepped up to giving tours. I love
> and cherish this space, understand and know first hand that change is
> constant in life, and think Noisebridge is getting better every day.
>  I
> put at least an hour every morning into cleaning, do my best to do the
> "are you new to NB?" and "what are you working on?" questions, and
> encourage
> some sense of maintenance routine to keep going.  It is all good,
> though I do
> look forward to the return of others (members or not) who can help out
> with these things so I can put more time into working on the various
> projects that are demanding my time and attention.  Lately, this
> includes not only the wallets, but building a website/store, settling
> an insurance claim for my backpack stolen in June.
> On the positive side, I have probably given at least 25 tours this
> week
> and fundraising donations seem to be coming in.  The Noisebridge WW
> are
> also selling, 100% to the NB General Fund.  Also, Ed, has been  week
> and really helped launch an attack on the fruit fly situation.  Best
> of
> all, he has a particularly wonderful talent for cranking out totally
> AMAZING PIZZA!  omyn, yom, yom!  Joergen has also done some culinary
> wonders this week.  Best of all, both of these people and most people
> around this week have really pitched in and worked hard to not only
> get
> the place relatively cleaner, but to keep it that way.
> Lest this be taken as NB being "all weird and scary," let me be clear:
> It is not.  If anything, from what I've observed over the past 3
> months, it is becoming more excellent every week.  The vast majority
> of what's going on at Noisebridge is awesome, outstanding, fantastic,
> and positive.  People are what make this such an excellent
> space/community.  Nevertheless, Noisebridge *is* a part of the
> community around it and, I think, evolving for the good because of
> this.  If you are curious, want to learn, want to create, want to
> share & contribute, want to be able to do something more than covering
> the basic needs of existence... then Noisebridge is for you.  The only
> concern is that what before seeming to a few outliers has been
> creeping lately into regularity.  
> I thus raise this issue with the following statements in mind:  
> -Communication is leadership.
> -Problems are easiest to solve early and small vs. later and huge;
> Prevention is best.
> -No growth or change is possible until everyone admits the truth of
> the reality of a situation.  
> -Groups working together can generally find better solutions than
> individuals acting alone.
> -This is an opportunity to improve, not a call to isolate.
> Noisebridge is an awesome environment/space/community
> and one that I am passionate about sharing and contributing to.
> Peace and thank you,
> Duncan (the Weightless Wallet guy)
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