It looks like Santa came early to San Francisco, and he dropped off a big yellow pile of passive aggression on our doorsteps.
For those of you born after 1950, these are phone books. Former trees, phone books are thick compilations of instantly-obsolete information that can easily be obtained elsewhere. Each year, these volumes are foisted upon a non-consenting public, then immediately recycled.
In May of 2011, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation restricting delivery of these wasteful anachronisms only to those residents who give their approval, either in advance or in person upon delivery. A trade group representing the publishers of the Yellow Pages then sued the city, claiming First Amendment rights, and the law has been on hold ever since.
Thus, today’s deliveries.
As if to stick a thumb in our collective eye, the Yellow Pages we spotted in the Lower Haight today came individually wrapped in yellow plastic bags — especially ironic, considering SF’s well-known ban on plastic bags which went into effect earlier this year. (These yellow bags are at least recyclable, for what it’s worth.)
And the cherry on top has got to be this message, printed on the bags:
Yes resident, we know what decade it is, so visit our website and download our apps — but by all means, please also enjoy this encyclopedia, because it’s so much heavier and less convenient.
Ah, Yellow Pages. You know how much everyone hates you, but apparently you don’t care. We kind of have to respect you for that. But after we respect you, we’ll immediately recycle you.
Update 11/30: For some background on the stalled ban, and info on how to opt out of receiving the books, check out this story from our friends at SFAppeal.