Several months ago, as my bus pulled up to Broadway and 14th, I first heard Printer Jam being played on my favorite podcast. And immediately I realized that this song, made by Mistabishi, a UK based drum and bass producer, might just be the most appropriate theme song for Oakland government:
Because it’s not that Oakland government doesn’t do anything. Plenty of staff and elected officials work very hard. It’s just that on nearly every big project, something get’s jammed. Courtney Ruby tries to do her job, but Dan Lindheim stands in her way. We have a hugely important project that the Mayor, a Council committee, and staff are all working on – yet none of them are working together. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee fights to keep old parking meters as bike parking and wins, but the meters get removed mistakenly and are only now starting to be replaced.
So yeah, our printer is pretty jammed. The good news is that jams can be fixed. I don’t think the printer is entirely broken, and we’re not at the point that we need to take it out to a field and smash it with a baseball bat, a la Office Space. But it does need to be unjammed. Until then, every time I hear one of these convulted stories about Oakland government and bureacracy, I’ll play Printer Jam. And maybe I’ll start sending a link to the song in emails to Dellums, especially now that I know he doesn’t take constituent phone calls.
(And if you liked Printer Jam, I encourage you to check out the album it’s on, Drop, which was just released last week.)