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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fail Whale, San Francisco Style: How Else Can You Encapsulate City-Centric Inadequacy?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge The N is Near - AUDREY FUKUMAN
  • Audrey Fukuman
  • The N is Near

UPDATE: Winner of our San Francisco-centric Fail-Object Contest gets tickets to this weekend's Mill Valley Film Festival. Get Crackin'!

We'll admit it -- we approach Twitter and the like with the apprehension of a troglodyte suddenly confronted with a Norelco electric razor. Sure, there could be a use for this thing -- but we're busy painting antelope on the walls. And that's a marketable skill!

Still, even we were enthralled with the above San Francisco-centric "Fail Whale" takeoff. It's the "N-Judah Fail!" logo, created for the quality local blog N-Judah Chronicles by designer Lauren Oliver. As a daily rider of the Fightin' N, we can attest that a flock of birdies would be most welcome on many occasions.

Incidentally, if you're looking for an explanation of what the Fail Whale is, you're asking the wrong guy. To the best of our knowledge, it's the cute image that comes up when Twitter is overloaded. It is much more appealing than the Blue Screen of Death.

Anyhow, this is hardly the only local version of the now ubiquitous Fail Whale. When you hear the term "Whale Rider," don't think of an adorable New Zealand Maori girl. Think of the erstwhile mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom!

click to enlarge AUDREY FUKUMAN
  • Audrey Fukuman
By the way, jokes about what Newsom's doing with the whale's blow hole reflect your own perversions, not the mayor's.

Anyhow, there's plenty more failure to go around in this city than the N-Judah and City Hall. So we're opening it up to you, our creative readers. Send us your San Francisco-centric "Fail" images along the lines of the two posted here.

You can upload them to our Flickr group, direct mail them to us at, or e-mail them to me. We're making this easy for you.

Send us lots of pictures, San Francisco. How can we fail?

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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