It will be 9pm in on the West Coast when the Giants win the World Series tonight. A split-second after that last pitch, the Giants will rush the mound in Kansas City and their fans will rush the streets across San Francisco. The Bay will glow effervescent, and entire region celebrating all at once.
These vivid celebrations are a rare blessing — a positive experience shared between millions. They sustain and replenish the empathy required to get along in a city this big and tumultuous. But if tonight is anything like 2012, the experience will get tainted by scenes in this video.
What should be a unambiguously positive experience for literally the widest-cross section of our neighbors we can muster will instead be sullied with mindless destruction and even violence. Celebrations that for a moment are safe for females, inclusive of all ages, and composed of all backgrounds, become the province of drunk young men and police narrowing their perimeter. Eventually things devolve into broken windows and dangerous spectacle, and the cops snuff out the party with force.
This is not the fault of the drunk young men. After all, they are the guests at this party. The City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Giants are producing this event. They need come to terms with the fact that they are throwing a party. And the only kind of party that can metabolize the torrent of energy unleashed by a World Series win is a legitimate dance party.
It’s best to let our imaginations run with this.
First of all, a police-produced dance party is also going to have to play far funkier music than they are probably comfortable with. Until proven otherwise, people will dismiss the idea of a police dance party as a setlist full of bloodless compromises and tone deaf Top 40. The police will have to go the extra mile to establish immediately that people are allowed to take the freak out. We need to know that is alright to be a little intimate.
They’ll need to get that message across to people of all ages and backgrounds. This party isn’t the exclusive province of the young or cool, but instead, as many people as we can include. There are a ton of other things the police can start doing to get the vibe right and keep it going:
- Ditch the guns. Otherwise one of us will have our hands up eventually.
- Ditch the staid uniforms. Police throwing a dance party need to look fresh. Maybe some all white suits with matching shoes.
- Hire some dancers or and learn to dance yourself. Consider bringing on a lighting engineer to help you outfit those helicopters and drones.
- Bring more bottles of water than you think we’ll need.
This is no easy feat. Inevitably, it will demand leadership from only the most talented and beloved pop and hip-hop stars we have. To throw excellent dance parties, police departments everyone will need to draft celebrities into public service.
San Francisco could lead the way with an interim appointment of Del the Funky Homosapien. Obviously Beyoncé has first right of refusal in Houston. Black Thought and Questlove are Co-Captains in Philly. Common runs Chicago, Macklemore runs Seattle.
In the meantime, we will have to settle for some movement from the grassroots. With the help of friends, I’ve put together a first pass a playlist for a public dance party tonight on the Streets of San Francisco. I have no doubt ya’ll can do even better. Make your own playlist, share it, and maybe try to get the party started on the right foot tonight: open.spotify.com/user/alanjose...