We've all compared real-life events to those in fiction — hell, I did it today, when I mentioned an episode of a TV show that a BART collision evoked. But at what point does an insistence on making parallels between the world in which we live and the imaginary world veer from making issues accessible to making the speaker sound a little troubled? Has outgoing District 11 Supervisor John Avalos crossed that line?
It was early December when Avalos began comparing the goings-on in San Francsico's city hall to Game of Thrones, a popular series of sci-fi/fantasy books adapted into an even more popular television series on the Home Box Office network. The property, which takes place in a fictional universe, contains dragons, giants, prophetic dreams, astral projection, and reanimated dead people. San Francsico's city hall has none of those things, unless Aaron's Peskin's second stint as D3 Supervisor counts as reanimation.
And yet Avalos, who did not respond to a text requesting comment at publication time, continues to insist that the gold-domed palace across from that park that smells like pee is the stuff of Thrones author George R. R. Martin, not (as others suspect) Parks and Recreation.
In an interview with temporary Chron columnist David Talbot, Avalos continues to beat the dead Dornish sand steed he started flogging last month when he told the Ex that "I expect the Lannisters [the moderates and the mayor] have a good shot at holding on to the Iron Throne. About a million dollars of tech, real estate and POA [Police Officers Association] money went into giving Cousin Lancel [Ahsha Safai] a seat on the small council. I’m sure they’ll be calling in the chits."
But it wasn't all GoT/San Francisco shippery in today's Talbot! Avalos, whose last day as Supe is Friday, is ready to dish all the dirt. Here are some of my favorite quotes from his most recent vent session:
On Ed Lee:
Ed has totally checked out from the daily business of governing the city. He’s a puppet king, like Tommen in ‘Game of Thrones’ — his strings are pulled by those who wield the real power, the corporate lords of tech and real estate.
...who Avalos fondly remembers as the guy who didn't even want the job of mayor:
He didn’t even call me back when I phoned him. Later, when I saw him, he started waving his hands in the air and saying, "I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to do it!" He was almost shouting. I said, "Don’t worry about it, Ed."
On Lee chief of staff Steve "Tyrion Lannister" Kawa:
He’s zealous about maintaining the city’s fiscal solvency and keeping big business happy. But he just doesn’t care much about urgent social issues like displacement and affordability.
In fact, it's when it was rumored that another possible mayor might replace Kawa that Lee was appointed, Avalos claims:
I still felt that Ed didn’t really want the job, but it was all arranged and he just went along with it. It was all about keeping the status quo in power.
On London "Cersi Lannister but 'a lot more savvy'" Breed, who Avalos suspects will be Lee's successor:
If London decides to run, she’ll wipe the floor with (Supervisor) Mark Farrell...[she]has a compelling personal story that gives her a unique perspective on the lives of African American families and low-income people. She has evolved into a shrewd and charismatic politician, but I’ve always seen her as someone who has lifted herself up on the rungs provided by the corporate establishment. She is very likable, but is flawed by pride and vindictiveness and a lack of consistent vision for social justice. At this point in her career, she has the ability to sell out completely, or to broaden her vision. She has to decide what kind of leader she wants to be.
But before we get there, there's the matter of Lee's legacy:
He kept the lights on, that’s about his only accomplishment. He’ll be known as the mayor of displacement, when thousands of San Franciscans lost their homes. He never stood up to power — he just doesn’t have a backbone.
Sadly, the current version of the Dothraki dictionary does not contain animal sounds, so I'll have to resort to onomatopoetic English for this one: Meeeeee-ow, Supervisor! Meow!