I feel a boycott of The Black coming on … till they remove the hate stickers.

by on June 11, 2010 · 93 comments

in Culture, Media, Ocean Beach, Popular

Black headshopThe Black, the iconic head shop that has been a mainstay in Ocean Beach “since 1969” – or so the banner draped across their front proclaims – is stirring up the community.  The Black used to be the only place where you would find items of the counter-culture, smoking instruments, sandals, incense, weird, psychedelic posters, … you name it – if hippies wanted it they could find it there.

Over the last 40 years, The Black has been this counter-cultural outpost amid mainstream businesses that line the main avenue of OB. And The Black has survived while many of those “straight” storefronts folded and moved away.

But most of all, when one entered The Black, you felt you were safe, you were among friends, fellow hipsters – there was an aura of tolerance abound, and there were things for sale that were controversial, forbidden even.

But no more.  After all these years, The Black has stepped into the Dark Side.  The store is now proudly selling anti-homeless stickers that say “Welcome to Ocean Beach. Please don’t feed our bums,” replete with a graphic of a thirties hobo with his dog.

Many of these stickers have mysteriously found their way onto municipal signs.  (In fact the OB Rag is running a contest: whoever rips off the most stickers gets a $20-valued prize!) The stickers are professionally made and cost $2.50. Which means The Black is now making money off the anti-homeless sentiment found amongst some of our fellow residents and merchants. However, our roving reporter only found one business with the stickers on its door – South Coast Surf Shop.

We believe that these stickers are very hate-full. They blast all homeless for the transgressions and rudeness of some. Sure, there’s youthful travelers out there who are aggressive and demanding when they ask for change. But there’s others who basically mind their own business and don’t harass anyone. Okay, the store wants to come down on the so-called “trust-fund runaways” – but in doing so The Black and the sticker supporters are painting with a huge broad brush. This is heartless, totally without compassion, and unacceptable for a business in Ocean Beach – a community known for its tolerance of different lifestyles.

With this move into the Dark Side (get it? The Black on the dark side?) many residents and our readers are upset.  Some have vowed to boycott the store.

So, let’s make it official:


That’s it, it’s as simple as that. Do not give your money to the store until they remove the yellow and black peel-offs from their shelves and publicly inform us – the public.  Maybe we’ll get heat for this step, but someone has to say it.

{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

OB_Warzone June 11, 2010 at 11:03 am



Danny Morales June 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm

“Warzone”- A term coined by the real estate industry in the 1970’s for the census tract of North Ocean Beach (NOB) slated for mass redevelopment. The late P. McCoy (no stranger to the real estate industry) and former city council candidate Kathy Blavatt both recognized the utility of warehousing devalued properties, getting them declared as “blight” and turning them over to a redevelopment agency for…
What you see in the following comments is the Class War carried on by other means. Nothing more elegant than that! The question remains like the lyrics of the old labor song: Which side are you on? Well do you punk!


Jon June 13, 2010 at 8:51 am

Whoa! It’s a Danny Morales appearance! welcome back dude!


john June 30, 2010 at 9:03 am

What you call a “war zone” others called “monkeyland”!!!
Yep, there was a sign and everything!
Magic Mountain has nothin’ monkeyland didn’t!
roller coaster and waterslide.
But hey while it’s not really a war zone anymore I remember the people that lived here in the late 80’s and early to mid 90’s- the neighbors who’d drink till they passed out on your couch so you had the duty to draw on their face with magic markers and put a hot dog in their mouth and take pictures… the bikers across the street whose 7/24 activities made sure nobody broke into our cars, the whole mixed crowd, seemed a lot more friendly than now. Yeah property values went up, but did the neighborhood really improve?


Danny Morales June 15, 2010 at 4:00 am



Brian June 11, 2010 at 11:26 am

I think it’s funny… but, my reaction to it wasn’t so much anti-homeless… just a play off the “don’t feed the animals” signs at the zoo. I don’t think the zoo puts those up because they hate the animals and want them to go away. Perhaps the sticker just needs to come with an addendum… “Please do not feed our bums. Your outside food could make them sick. They are on a strict diet of Cutty Sark and Hodad’s leftovers. Thank you for your understanding.”

There’s another store (I forget which) on Newport selling signs that say “Hippies must use back door.” Are you boycotting them as well?


Frank Gormlie June 11, 2010 at 11:33 am

Now, Brian, of course we’ve all seen those signs, but they are FAKE dude, never were they real. Trust me, I know. They’re meant to be funny. These antihomeless stickers are for real and not meant to be funny. Big diff


Brian June 11, 2010 at 11:38 am

Just saw your other article where the Black employee explained the sentiment behind the sticker. Bummer.


Dave Gilbert June 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I believe that back in the late 60’s there was a “Hippies use the back door” sign on that restaurant that’s on the S/W corner of Newport and Bacon.

I think it was Pat James who remembered that bit of OB trivia. Apparently the restaurant owner had a problem with them.


Frank Gormlie June 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Dave, nope, nada. That sign was always a joke and was never used as a real sign. It was bad for awhile in OB for hippies back in the late 60s and early 70s, greedy landlords, biased businesspeople, harassing cops, societal attitudes, but not that bad!! How many hippies experienced standing on a corner and some redneck drives by and screams: “Get a haircut!” or “Get a job, ya bum!” ?


Dave Gilbert June 14, 2010 at 10:22 am

Well Frank, by everything that I can uncover, the story IS true. Though it was before your time here I’m pretty sure that you were there when it was told, which is making me think that it may have been Gary Gilmore and not Pat James who shared that bit of OB history with a Rag meeting a while back.

The sign may be viewed as a joke these days, and not actually used at that restaurant in the late ‘60’s but that sentiment was very real, hippies were not allowed to use the front door there and that’s what bore signs of that “intolerant” ilk.

I won’t ever boycott the Black because not only do they employ locals who are willing to work for a living, but they always treat me nice, are very knowledgeable and have one of the coolest stores on the west coast. ;)

I think it would behoove the OB Rag to find something better to do with it’s time besides threaten the livelihood of hardworking locals while causing a bigger divide within our working community.


Frank Gormlie June 14, 2010 at 10:56 am

Dave, I think we just have to agree to disagree. I was a hippie during those times 68-76 and that sign was not real. But go ahead and believe it if you must. I already have described the hard prejudices that hippies faced during those days so it’s almost as if the sign was real. (We’re talking about a sign displayed in at least one OB business that reads: “Hippies use side door.”)

I think that a real sign or a real sticker that disparages an entire group of people who are part of our/your community is a serious thing. So The Black must accept the consequences of its actions (or non-actions in this case maybe). The people who ordered and sell the sticker are the ones causing the “bigger divide within our working community”. The sticker has obviously upset locals. You don’t care that they are upset, you just don’t want us to upset the workers at the Black? You even think ARCO/BP “rocks” for some reason which I can’t follow. You’ve always been a ‘get-along-with-everybody’ type of guy and I respect that. It’s not the person who yells “fire!” when they see the house burning who caused the problem, it’s the person who started the fire – either intentionally or unintentionally – who caused the problem.

good day to you.


Dave Gilbert June 14, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Frank, I never said ARCO rocks, I said the Black did. I said ARCO has the lowest prices in town. You might want to go back and get your facts straight before you start accusing of people of things they didn’t say or do. Hey, there’s always a 1st time, right?

The sticker say’s “don’t feed our bums” not “don’t help the homeless”. But if I understand you correctly, you would rather lump the homeless people that want help for themselves in with the same bunch of bums, vagrants & panhandlers who refuse to work, so that you can punish hard working OBceans at the Black for some sort of principle that only you and a handful of your readers subscribe to. Is that correct?

For someone who’s supposed to care about the community of OB, you sure have an odd way of showing it. I’m left wondering what you would have done if the Black was advertising at the OB rag…what would you have done then? Is this sour grapes because the Black didn’t feel the need to advertise with you, so now you’re going to show them? Perhaps then, you should go to every single business in OB, check their merchandise, decide what we the public should be allowed to buy or not buy and then let us all know, I’m sure that we all can’t wait to hear from our fearless leader.

I also think that you’re in for a rude awakening when you find out how many people of OB and beyond support the Black and that their numbers far outweigh the few folks that are parroting your screwed up sentiments on your blog.

Your street cred is at an all-time low. If you truly want to do something about the homeless problem here in OB, why not open up that huge backyard and those garages at your place out in Lemon Grove. Hey, I’ve got 4 “dudes” just hanging out in front of my building, getting drunk, stealing free Wi-Fi…they don’t eat much, or have any motivation but though they do drink a lot! Maybe they can be your new news team and do all that free work for you that you seem to need and request so often.

One last thing, before you delete this post, please do me a huge favor and delete my name from the side bar of the OB Rag too. I think you’ve truly lost sight of what’s important to ALL of the people in OB, especially when you turn your back on hard working OBceans and side with the bums, vagrants & panhandlers who are turning our town into their own personal garbage pit.

ehhh, good luck with that!


Danny Morales June 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Dave-The hem of you’re garment is showing. I thought you were beyond the slime and the muck of ad hominem argruments. Obviously your feelings were hurt. Wanna hug? How about a cookie? Otherwise… What purpose does your anger serve? Is there a matter of principle involved? Whatever happened to “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere!”? or am I just another old fool who had sometimes a strange notion? Like Ernie said, “Sad, really sad…:>(


Steve A. June 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Dave, you said:
“I believe that back in the late 60’s there was a “Hippies use the back door” sign on that restaurant that’s on the S/W corner of Newport and Bacon. ”

Nope, prior to ’74, the S/W corner of Newport and Bacon was “Zeke’s Antiques”. It was one large antique store, from the corner clear up to The Black.
It was not a restaurant. I got to know Ma & Pa Zeke (Mr & Mrs Greene) pretty well. Mr. Greene was a great, funny guy. Probably in his 70’s at that time. He’d come visit with me daily, as I toiled in the leather shop at The Black, offering up what he thought were good ideas of what we should sell.

Now…, to set the record straight, facing on Bacon St., at the rear of the antique store, was a walk-up service window, with a sign advertising: “Ma Zeke’s Fried Chicken”. Where they sold boxed chicken dinners, “to-go”.

About the sign?
Yes, I remember the sign. It was actually in the antique store and it was a “joke”. You had to know “Pa Zeke”. The joke was, that…, well…, “Zeke’s” had no back door.

In ’74 the “Zeke’s” retired for good and sold the building to a group of Mercedes driving yuppies (can’t remember their names) and they turned the building into “Our Perry’s Pizza”.

Steve A.


OB_Warzone June 11, 2010 at 11:34 am

This is going to backfire. Go look at ALL of the bumper stickers, posters, tshirts, adult toys & more at the Black. I bet you’ll find a ton of other obscene things. To target one sticker and boycott the store, when they sell many more questionable items is outrageous. What’s the take on “Get OB out of the U.S.” sticker? I like the US & I like OB….but I wont be boycotting a store over it.


obsteven June 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I’ll add them to the list.


Seth June 12, 2010 at 12:36 am

For whatever it is worth, which isn’t much, it’s “U.S. Out of O.B.” I only know that because it is on my fridge. I thought it was ironic enough to buy.

Small distinction, but a totally different message.


Frank Gormlie June 12, 2010 at 10:16 am

OB Warzone, the “US Out of OB” has been around since the late seventies, I believe. You don’t think it’s funny? It’s funny and a great sentiment.


Ernie McCray June 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm

It’s really sad. The Black of all places. No humor here at all as there is no humor in someone being on the street. The fun in”Hippies Must Use the Back Door” and “Get OB out of the U.S.” is so evident, so about the freewheeling culture that is OB, so ripe for a “playful buzzed relaxed after a day of work” mind. Priceless. Stirring up negative attitudes regarding those without shelter. Mindless. Heartless. Soulless. Regrettable. Boycottable.


OB_Warzone June 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm

DO they:

throw up on your patio?
fall asleep on your doorstep?
borrow your garden hose w/o asking?
pour out empty cans and bottles next to your kitchen door?

Hard to find shelter when you’re hammered all day.


Ernie McCray June 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

I get so tired of attitudes like yours. No, they aren’t throwing up on my patio, falling asleep on my doorstep, borrowing my garden hose without asking or pouring out empty cans and bottles next to my kitchen door – and I would be pissed off if they were and I’m glad as hell they aren’t. But having been in a category of people who are hated just because of WHO we are, I have enough compassion for people to not lump them all in the same bag and I definitely wouldn’t create a hateful sticker that would arouse unnecessary hate and possibly physical harm to them. Life can be a bitch and then you have no home. And if “they” are doing such things to you as you have mentioned and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop you might join the forces who are trying to provide help. Work to make your community better. It’s not easy.


i'm just thinking June 12, 2010 at 8:02 am

I think you missed the point. It is NOT who they are. But the conduct and activity they are involed in is what the issue is.
Go to the seawall and watch , go to the pier take a walk 1/2 way down see the crack being smoked on the bench’es , go to the cliffs see the crap left behind, take a GOOD look at the faces of people who come to OB to spend money they cant wait to leave after seeing the rif raf on the sidewalks. Go talk to several of the 440 buisness owners you might get it then. Read the message board on NBC after the story ran last night. See what people think of OB…they call it a shit hole….
Who are the forces trying to provide help? Please list names and phone numbers.


Ernie McCray June 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

Been to the seawall fairly often; walked the pier all the way out and back many times; seen the crap left behind at the cliffs; taken a GOOD look at the faces of people who, like I do, go to OB, some of them clinching their purses a little tighter when they see me because of WHO I am and because they think they know “the conduct and activity I’m involved in” when I’m just there to walk and maybe shop or eat – never been eager to leave, as OB, to me, is not a shit hole but one of my favorite communities on earth… I get it. There’s a problem. And, I admit, I visit and leave but there’s a similar problem, not as serious, in my hood, Golden Hill/South Park. There used to be an old homeless woman near a few food places and I would save some leftovers for her every now and then when I dined out. She always, trying with her eyes to not show her desperation, would render a soft “Thank you.” And I would walk away sometimes teary eyed mainly because I didn’t know what else to do because homelessness seems so overwhelming to both the victims and those of us looking on like so many OBceans. But out of respect for people like that beautiful woman I would never create a sticker asking someone not to feed her. And I would state such on a forum like the OB Rag. That’s got to be “help” to some very small degree. Sometimes we have to do at least the least of what we can do. This problem with “bums” is not going away.


bcsy June 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Boo hoo, I too was homeless many years ago, in a city where people freeze to death in the winter, and not only do I think the stickers are funny, but I think they are timely. Difference between homeless and bums. A few of those differences are drug and alcohol addiction, motivation, criminal intent, etc. No one doubts the benevolence of OB. Because some of us are fed up with the dreggs of our town doesn’t mean we are anti-homeless, you might be surprised how many of us work hard to help our homeless neighbors.


Frank Gormlie June 15, 2010 at 10:31 am

Boo hoo – it’s too bad you don’t have more compassion for those you left behind on the street homeless. Explain to us how you “work hard to help our homeless neighbors” – your claim.


JMW June 12, 2010 at 11:25 am

OB _Warzone, Maybe you’re getting the short end of the stick here. Of course, that’s not right, good, or fair, but I think you’re making a big mistake to use the behavior of some thoughtless people to put down all people who don’t have homes. Not everyone who has fallen into this category is a bum. There but for fortune go you or I. Doubtless people make bad decisions and must, in the end, pay for most of them. I’m wishing and hoping you won’t make one here.


Charley June 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm

So what’s the real issue here ? That some people are intolerant of a business marketing a product which violates their ethical values ? Frankly, the sticker points to a problem in the community, maybe not in the “nicest” way, but they have a right to market a product expressing an opinion. To boycott a business because of what they represent or do is American as Apple Pie; perhaps we should boycott Hodads because their hamburgers contain meat, Sunshine Co because they sell alcohol, Southwind because they promote the surfer mentality…i could go on. Perhaps we should figure out how to solve the problem, not castigate people for how they point it out.


Ernie McCray June 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm

How it’s been pointed out is a big part of the problem. It’s in our face. I’m a vegetarian but I’m not going to boycott Hodads for selling meat because selling meat is alright with the world (I simply order the veggie burger), as is selling alcohol, as is surfer mentality, whatever that is. But it’s high time we curtailed sheer hatefulness in our country. It, too, is as American as Apple Pie. And the OB Rag has surely made efforts to solve that problem.


george June 12, 2010 at 7:40 am

“Welcome” and “please” don’t exactly scream HATE seems to me it points out a bigger problem. Homelessness pay attention. It took a sticker o open your eyes. And now its about a sticker. OPEN YOUR EYE. The problem on newport gets bigger each day. How do we fix it ? Please don’t feed OUR bums?


George (GrokSurf) June 13, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I didn’t realize there’s another George that posts comments here. In the future I guess I’ll go back to signing myself GrokSurf which is unlikely to have a duplicate. :-)


JMW June 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

When you demonize, you’re making a mistake, usually on purpose and for a selfish reason. How would you solve the problem? Better yet, how would you define the problem? Hate is hate no matter how well justified it may seem.


strandedinOB June 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm

This definition is from Dictionary.com. I do not see the word homeless in this definition…those of you equating “bum” with “homeless” and stereotyping.

bum? ?[buhm] Show IPA noun, verb, bummed, bum·ming, adjective, bum·mer, bum·mest.
1.a person who avoids work and sponges on others; loafer; idler.
2.a tramp, hobo, or derelict.
3.Informal . an enthusiast of a specific sport or recreational activity, esp. one who gives it priority over work, family life, etc.: a ski bum; a tennis bum.
4.Informal . an incompetent person.
5.a drunken orgy; debauch.


oBak June 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

From Google:define
In traditional American English usage, a tramp is a long term homeless person who travels from place to place as an itinerant vagrant, traditionally walking or hiking all year round. In British English meanwhile a tramp simply refers to a homeless person, usually not a travelling one.

A Hobo is a migratory worker or homeless vagabond, often penniless. The term originated in the western–probably northwestern–United States during the last decade of the 19th century.

A derelict is a person without a home, job, or property

So yeah, the second definition has homeless three times.


Kenloc June 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm

definition #1 defines most of the ob homeless.You can offer them a job and they wouldn’t want it.They just want money so they can go get some weed or get drunk.I have friends who do the same things but they work for money and buy it themselves.True, there are plenty of homeless folks that are there because of bad circumstances. Then there are those who “don’t want to live in 4 walls”,who don’t want to be part of society but want to be looked at as equals.Some are on the run from something,some have homes they don’t want to go back to for whatever reason.Some just wanna be drunk all day and look for a nice tolerant community to squat in.I’d say most homeless in ob are the latter.not all,but most.I’m starting to think many in ob like the homeless here because they deter the “gentrification”of ob.


david June 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm

red america, blue america
red OB, blue OB
no purple america, no purple OB
uncivil war coming soon
tweet tweet


tj June 12, 2010 at 6:30 am

Many Americans have gotten very cold hearted, especially as their personal wealth has been threatened by the Great Recession. Rather than giving credit where credit is due – they seem to prefer taking out their frustrations on one of the the symptoms of the problem (those most affected by greed), & least able to fight back.

The “liberal” cities (Laguna Beach, OB, Irvine, etc) & their peoples – are treating the disavantaged the WORST.

“Do as I say, not as I do” – is the creed of liberal hypocricy.

Now haters from all political persuasions have a bond – their hate – as a peverse common ground.

“There, but by the grace of God, go I.” John Bradford

“Hypocrisy is my least favorite sin.” Mark Twain



Jon June 12, 2010 at 6:55 am

You bring up a really good point tj…the same goes for the recent uptick in anti-immigrant sentiments across the country. Tough economic times appear to make people take out their frustrations on the most vulnerable in our society.


strandedinOB June 12, 2010 at 10:05 am

I’m sorry…but did you compare Ocean Beach to Laguna Beach and Irvine? Isn’t there a huge financial discrepancy between those locations? I live in OB and have visited Laguna and Irvine many times, but I have never seen a bum stabbing in front of their local libraries. But you are probably right…I should go check out that show on MSNBC “Laguna Beach Runaways” and realize your amazing insight to our “liberal” cities.


Frank Gormlie June 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

stranded – So you’d rather have OB look and feel like Irvine and Laguna Beach? Are you serious? They’re totally gentrified and tourist-oriented and corporate dominated. Please.


strandedinOB June 12, 2010 at 11:04 am

Hi Frank,

You clearly misunderstood me. Ocean Beach is drastically different than Laguna and Irvine. I was mocking the comparison of the very different locations. If I wanted to live in a place more similar to Irvine or Laguna, I would probably move to La Jolla or Del Mar, but since I stated that I live in OB (as I have for two years now, and SD all my life) and understand the difference from a homeless person that is in a dire situation and needs help, and the “bums”(please see the definition in an earlier response) and “street kids” that have offered to sell me drugs under the pier since I first started coming to OB, I find the comparison hilarious. I brought up the point that there have been news specials about “Ocean Beach Streetkids”…not Laguna Beach or Irvine. I have also seen countless SD news special throughout the years of the violence of “Bums” in Ocean Beach. So to answer your question, no I am not serious.


Frank Gormlie June 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Sorry for misunderstanding.


Wireless Mike June 12, 2010 at 7:51 am

Imagine that you lost your job, couldn’t pay the rent, got evicted, and had nobody to take you in for free. You’re living on the street and seen by some people as a bum. How do those stickers make you feel?

Play Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” and listen to it in the context of today’s economy.

These days, hatred is “In”. I am disappointed that The Black, OB’s mainstay of alternative lifestyles, would participate in mainstream society’s intolerance.


BillRayDrums June 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

I too am a panhandler, being a self-employed musician/geek…make my living from being creative, I’ve often thought of this scenario. What if? What if I lost my hearing or manual dexterity and could no longer play drums?

Were I to end up on the streets as a homeless person, first thing on the list of crisis measures would be to find a place to take a shower and wash my clothes, then set about finding some gainful employment doing tech work or hey! even sweeping a floor. Then I’d save enough money to find a small inexpensive place to “start over”.

Many of the “travelers” are there by choice…their own choice. It’s they who set about on their Kerouac adventure and end up here with a dog, a woman, and sense of entitlement that “Ocean Beach is a place we can live off the fat of the land”. And they are 100% right. I’m very thankful that none of them have children on the streets with them! BTW, what happens with these young girls when they DO get preggers? Sometimes I ponder that thought.

If the travelers can contribute to our local fabric, I have no problem with them and will give them $$ if they give me a song, a joke, or in some cases a simple “hello” and not this “can you help me and my girlfriend get bus fare to leave your town?” And you end up seeing the same kid all summer long still “trying to raise bus fare”…don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining!!

The ones whom I think need one of these stickers literally tattooed on their forehead (Please, don’t make me invoke Godwin’s Law) are the ones who loudly hit people up for $$$ while their girlfriend is yakking on her cell phone (I guarantee someone remote is paying that bill…). It’s disingenuous and if you really want to see the far end of entitlement look no further than that stand-up guy in the news lately Johan VanDerSloot.

So to finally answer the question “If I were homeless and saw one of these stickers how would I feel?” Honestly, I would be amused at the sticker, motivated in a sense but at the end of the day probably wouldn’t feel anything at all because I’m not a bum, even if I were homeless. If someone is offended by that small graphic then perhaps it’s time for them to examine their own motivations and own self-image and make changes so that they too are NOT bums.


CJ June 12, 2010 at 8:38 am

i support the black and any other businesses on the block displaying these stickers on their storefront. you think all the trolls and bums are helping business? they are several of them hanging in front of all these shops smoking, swearing, begging, littering, tweaked out and harrassing the residents/families/tourists everyday! this is OUR town and they need to learn to respect or split!


Frank Gormlie June 12, 2010 at 10:28 am

Welcome to OB, CJ.


jon quate June 12, 2010 at 9:11 am

I guess I’m curious if anyone actually spoke to the management of the store to ask them not to carry stickers that are offensive to the community, or was the boycott the first reaction?


Jason June 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

Are you guys serious? Of all the things in the black and you choose a stupid sticker that is a joke just like all the rest of them. I am an employee of the black and i assure you all the sticker was not an attemt of revolution on the homeless in OB but a joke about the bums that get angry because the hard working townsfolk of OB want support their meth habits. I think we have alot more important issues to deal with than a stupid sticker. Come on lets focus on things that actually matter. This is my personal opinion and i am not in any way speaking on behalf of the black.


Kenloc June 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

it is quite funny that peeps are riled up over a sticker sold by a head shop that sells pipes,dildos and guitar picks.only in ob).I’ll still get my pipes and picks from the black Jason)


story June 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Personally I find the suburban clientele at Pizza Port to be more offensive than the street people.


Kenloc June 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm

lol story


Frank Gormlie June 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Huh? What’s wrong with pipes and dildos?


Kenloc June 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm

theeeeeeese are a few of my favorite things…………………..


Danny Morales June 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm



Wayne Roche June 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

When I lived in OB in 78 & 79, there were homeless. Hell, at one point, I was one of them. Yes, there were the ones that were rude and caused trouble, but that was a very small percentage…and it still is. Most of them would love to work and be a productive part of the community…if someone was willing to offer the opportunity…which brings me to my next point. In OB, like in most, if not all towns, there are also the “other” trouble makers. You know the ones that smoke crack or get drunk everyday, hang around the streets harassing people and scaring them. They also piss on your doorstep, throw garbage on your lawn, and occasionally, stab your friends. The difference is theses “others” work and have homes and families. Nobody calls them trolls or bums. There’s no stickers being made about them, and no blogs like this one referring to them. And don’t tell me that they don’t exist, because they do and you damn well know it! Do you hate them? Do you want to run their sorry asses out of town? No you don’t because they’re your brothers and sisters, your friends and neighbors. What if their erratic behavior caused them to lose their job and end up one of the homeless. I’ll bet you’d rather help them find a way to better themselves. Of course you would…that’s what caring and brotherly love is all about. And that friends, is my point.
You can bitch about it all you want, but until you actually start doing something to peacefully eliminate the problem, like offering work,for example, then you’re just as much to blame for this situation as anybody else is. Sure, you might say “why should I help them?” Well, if someday, by some unfortunate event, you end up being homeless, you’ll be able to answer that question all by yourself!
I’m not saying that it’s going to magically make the problem go away, but if enough people tried to help, maybe in time it wouldn’t be the problem that it is today. The key word is “help”…and pray that you’re never in their shoes.


Dyniese June 12, 2010 at 11:28 am

I cant believe so many people are in such an uproar about a sticker that the majority of you havnt even read correctly. It states not to feed our BUMS! Not homeless. There is a diffetence.


Wayne Roche June 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I know I’m not exactly sticking to the storyline here, but the stabbing on the beach today is a very good example of the problematic violence in OB that has NOTHING to do with the homeless, although I’m sure someone will find a correlation due to the new stickers being sold at The Black for a tidy profit. If they don’t take the stickers off the shelf, then maybe The Black should take the money they make from selling their hate stickers, and donate it to those who need it. They’ll be doing their part in helping and they might even be able to use it as a nifty little tax write off….sweet!


Kenloc June 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm

You make good points wayne.I personally take exception with anyone trashing our community.Not just homeless folks.I’ve had to ask guys that were obviously not homeless to go party elsewhere and not on front lawn.I’ve seen people peeing in the alleys.I don’t discriminate.If your a douche I don’t like you either.If your not i have no probs.simple.as for the tidy profit they are making,it’s a 2 dollar sticker.I don’t think they have sold many.I doubt they are all planning vacations with the profits from that sticker. now if we can get them to dip into those vibrator profits…..


Wayne Roche June 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Lol…I know that no-ones gonna get rich from the proceeds Kenloc, just vocalizing an idea. Like everyone else on here, I have my opinions and I will vocalize them. As for trashing OB….never! I love OB and wish I was back there. Like alot of folks, I hope that something/ anything I say on here helps someone in some way. If not, at the very least it gives them something to critique!

…as for those vibrator profits…


Jason craig June 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Why will not post comments from the employees of the black? Ive written twice and you will not post


Frank Gormlie June 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Sorry Jason, I was out doing errands and if you’ve never made a comment here before, its held up temporarily. So, yeah, we did post your earlier one. Thanks.


Jason craig June 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm

My apologies for not being a little more patient.


Frank Gormlie June 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm

And again, I know people who work there and I just beg them not to take any of this personally. We just think management is using over-kill and has upset a whole bunch of current and former OBceans.


Wayne Roche June 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm

You’re right Frank. What the Black is doing is just a continuation of the bitching and moaning process that everybody seems to be doing exclusively. Has there been even ONE story about anybody offering work or assistance to one of the homeless? If there was, I know you’d publish it on here. With all the negative press that this issue is getting…isn’t there just one success story?


Shane Finneran June 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Here’s one, Wayne…the Rag’s recent coverage of Lupe Haley’s work in OB:

OB Church Parking Lot Provides Sanctuary for Feeding the Homeless


Wayne Roche June 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Thanks Shane. I did read that. In fact, I commented on it when it was first written. Excellent article and Lupe is an Angel. What I meant was, is there one story about one homeless person that, through someones help, was able to climb up, out of the street, get back into the workforce, and become a contributing member of the community? To me, THAT would be a success story.


momentum858 June 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm

The Black probably did not want this kind of publicity. Homeless issue appears to be one of the top recurring themes past few months.


liveinOB June 12, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I’m going to the Black… Shopping!


bodysurferbob June 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

i won’t be going to the black … and i’ll shop elsewhere … and i’ll get my many friends to not shop there either until they get rid of those stickers. if they’re such a small deal, why does the black refuse to get rid of them?


jon quate June 12, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Mountains, molehills. I find it disturbing that so many left leaning, liberals, have such low regard for the 1st Amendment, when it’s something they don’t like or agree with. This is one issue I think should be seen in black and white, no grey areas here. You believe in the 1st Amendment or you don’t. Personally I think the sticker is disgusting, so I wouldn’t ever buy one, but I don’t think I have the right to tell someone else what to do. Don’t like it, don’t buy it. It’s a business if they don’t sell they won’t carry them. I think this gives more attention to the stickers, which is a mistake in my opinion.


oBak June 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Nobody is saying outlaw the stickers.


Jon June 13, 2010 at 9:07 am

I find it disturbing that so many libertarians and neo-cons abuse our 1st amendment rights and use such a rare privilege in this world as an excuse for spewing hate speech.


Kristin C. June 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I can’t believe there are still people arguing that something like a community-based boycott is infringing on 1st Amendment rights… A refresher, Jon Quate: “freedom of speech” is ONLY in relation to the government. The GOVERNMENT can’t tell the Black they must get rid of the stickers, because that is the government telling them what they can or can’t say.

People in OB who choose to vote with their dollar CAN ask the Black to get rid of the stickers or face a boycott. The people in OB aren’t asking the government to make them get rid of the stickers… Do you see the difference? The 1st Amendment has NOTHING at all to do with this issue. I promise.


Frank Gormlie June 14, 2010 at 7:32 am

bump up


ilovetheoutdors June 13, 2010 at 9:15 am

i am going to buy 25 of them stickers today and put up around voltaire st. plus i wonder if they sell them where the trash meets the sea stickers there to?


Jon June 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

intelligerent commint.


oBak June 13, 2010 at 9:31 am

CPC 594.


Jon June 13, 2010 at 9:22 am

Also, if nobody noticed, Jon is going for a local record of most comments left on a Sunday morning. Yes, I’ve got a mild hangover and a keyboard. lookout OB!


ilovetheoutdors June 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

should you boycott the company that PRINTS the stickers also?


Wayne Roche June 13, 2010 at 10:49 am

It wouldn’t make any sense to boycott the company that printed them. They were simply filling an order. For them, it was strictly business. If you paid them to print “EAT SHIT ON TOAST” stickers, they would. Hey…that gives me an idea…..ttyl


RB June 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

I am amazed that so many people don’t know the meaning of the word ‘bum’.
Being homeless and being a bum are not synonymous.


Wayne Roche June 13, 2010 at 10:41 am

How very true RB. I know of a guy in the town that I live in, that’s homeless…and he HAS a job. Definitely not a bum, just unfortunate!


RB June 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

It seems people are ready to boycott what they think was said on a sign or what one person thinks was implied. Makes me glad my son is actually taking journalism at PLHS next year. Does anyone think a headline of a story should be edited for accuracy?


ilovetheoutdors June 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm

being sarcasic


ilovetheoutdors June 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Just came back from the black , man i love that store . I bought my sticker and a hat they are cool as hell . fyi they are making shirts should have them next week.
btw, Why dont you guys place your anger at BP and their companies?


Charley June 13, 2010 at 12:57 pm

what a lively and contentious community we have, and the wide range of topics falling under a boycott of the Black because we_don’t_like_what_you’re_selling ! Fun reading….


i'm just thinking June 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Charley you are a newbie…and must live in a remote land…you just not that funny….This is serious stuff…..stickers and bums…it is not a laughing matter. It is almost as serious as the guy selling duct tape wallets a few weeks ago.


Wayne Roche June 13, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I was just thinking…it seems to me that we all have an opinion, some pro and some con, on every issue under the sun, including the ones posted here. We don’t always agree on matters that we feel strongly about because we’re NOT the same. That’s what makes life interesting. Presenting a difference of opinion is not an attack on someones character, it’s simply verbalizing our belief, even if it’s not the popular one. Some of the greatest ideas have been born through debate! I for one, am glad that there is a forum, like this one, where we CAN speak our minds and be heard. Thank you Frank and all the Raggers!
Not only do I like alot of what I’ve read, but I also feel like I’ve made a few new friends as well. There seems to be few people that contribute their views on here on a regular basis, including myself. Being a former OB resident, after 30 years, I’m still concerned about the community that I still love and miss. Who knows, maybe 10 years from now, we’ll all be sitting at the Sunshine Co. having a beer, laughing at all of this…that is unless of course you don’t agree with the beer they sell or the people they serve! (just kidding!)
The way I see It…if enough people speak out about an issue long enough, someones bound to get it right sooner or later. Living in NY, that’s all I can do at the moment, but I do it with an open mind and alot of hope. So, with that in mind, I guess we do have our work cut out for us. Maybe something one of us says on here WILL strike a nerve somewhere down the line, and something really positive will come from it. Now wouldn’t that make it all worth while?

Glad to have met all of you, Wayne


Frank Gormlie June 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Wayne, it’s been a pleasure having your comments. Thanks for the compliment, as we are trying to provide a forum for the community of OB and the people who love it – talk about stickers, here’s a popular one: “Ocean Beach is an attitude not an address.”

We only ask that when people leave comments they comment or argue about the issues and things raised, and not attack others and demonize other humans. Plus we don’t allow racist, sexist or gender-biased comments.


Wayne Roche June 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I hear ya. I still have my “OB” bumper sticker on my guitar case!


HUH? June 13, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Ya can’t please everybody…………just do the right thing yourself and that’s about all you can do.


GrokSurf June 14, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Well, I guess there are bums and then there are bums. As the LA Times wrote last February (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/19/opinion/la-oe-sofaer19-2010feb19):

“Throw the bums out! Either the Legislature and the governor do their jobs on the budget, or out they go.”


john June 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm

1. The Black has a right to sell a sticker with a message on it.
2. Some people agree with the message.
3 . Some do not, it is their right to voice their opposition and boycott the Black for it but I would offer there are more efficient uses of their energy toward their cause than trying to suppress the message or others’ right to voice it.
4. Anyone thinking you have to be a “bum” to be homeless probably also falls for this bull**** that we’re in a “recession” and we’re going to be out of it anytime now. Yeah, just keep working hard and it’s alright.
It’s a full on depression and everything that you skated by with in the past and still had food and rent is not cutting it for more and more folks now. It’s inevitable that a certain number of us reading and commenting here will be on the other side of the fence soon enough, and the services we think will be there for sober intelligent folks to get back on our feet, are taxed to the limit right now.
“But for the grace of God, go I.”
May he not allow the world to be so cold and callous, when you do. Yet there is a balance, if we are too accomodating, we become a magnet which also attracts the stupid in droves- so there is a logical position on both sides.


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