The annual SF Opera summer season is always a treat -- the programmers get a little wild, and the risks, like last year's extraordinary Nixon in China, always pay off in adventurous spirit. (Ticket prices, starting at $22, aren't bad, either).
Honestly, I have no idea how they manage to squeeze all the creativity of three whole productions onstage in the space of one month, but that's opera for you. Kinda magic, kinda crazy, all pretty fascinating.
(Updated below with a response from Manning supporters, who held a press conference yesterday outside Pride HQ and drew attention to the Pride board's own violations of its rules.)
At a feisty community meeting last week, the SF Pride board had set June 7 as a deadline for reconsidering its controversial decision to strip Bradley Manning of his grand marshalship. Late in the day today, Pride issued a statement saying that the community proposals to reinstate Manning had failed to garner consensus majority within the board.
Hey, remember Code Pink during the Bush years? "Why can't those old, shriveled, nagging dyke hags stop screaming about Iraq and stuff," seemed to be the reaction of most of America and the media.
Meanwhile, even many of us wholly sympathetic to their message cringed a bit in our Internet-ringside seats as the valiant fuschia-clad ladies yelled, and yelled, and yelled. Even at Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi! (Clutch pearls.) And hey, they're stilldoingit. Even at Obama! (Clutch pearls tighter.)
Weren't they hurting our cause with all this rudeness? Why could they just sit down at their Dell Gateway computers, dial up AOL, and write a firmly worded comment on the New York Times site like the rest of us. What about civility? WHO WILL THINK OF THE CIVILITY?
Now, of course, with the distance of time and the realization of just how awful that political period was still dawning, it's like, "Thank fucking god someone was doing something real, however quixotic."
And yet, the sorry clutching of pearls in the face of female resistance continues. Why can't women just pipe down about stuff? Especially those whiny ol' man-hater ones.
SUPER EGO One of the best yet worst-kept secrets of the plastic fantastic SF underground has been Vinyl Dreams, a pop-up record shop in DJ Mike Bee's living room. It's been a must for visiting headliner DJs — and those of us who get all giddy at the mere flash of a fresh vinyl platter gingerly unsleeved in a private space. I've long yearned to write about this parlor of grooved delights, where Mike Bee would happily try to get his hands on any underground tune one desired. But a girl must have her secrets. And I'm not one to gossip!Read more »
"We're doing this to help give the community a choice," Ayr told me, sweeping his arm out. "Everyone should have a voice when it comes to issues of land use and green space, which is rapidly disappearing in the city. That's why we're inviting the community to meet here tonight [Tue/4 at 6:30pm, also Sat/8 at 3pm] and see what we're about. This is a land liberation concept, we're calling it Free the Land, or Liberate the Land."
Ayr was leading me around the former site of Hayes Valley Farm, the lauded public experiment in urban farming on an undulating patch that used to be a freeway entrance, which has now been cleared to make way for a 185-unit development on half the the lot (low-income housing is slated eventually for the other half).
Well, not quite cleared. Ayr was showing me around an Occupy-like scene, with an agricultural twist.
The "Wikileaks court-martial" of Bradley Manning began yesterday -- as predicted, it opened "with dueling portrayals of a traitor who endangered the lives of his fellow soldiers [the government's characterization] and of a principled protester motivated by a desire to help society who carefully selected which documents to release [Manning's defense]," writes Charlie Savage in the New York Times.
As that was happening, the SF Trans March stated on its Facebook page, "The San Francisco Trans March will be honoring Bradley Manning on June 28th at the opening of the 2013 PRIDE weekend!!" Manning has identified as transgender; the Trans March organizers stated that they are "retaining Manning's male name and pronoun at the request of his people." (If Manning's attorneys do indeed introduce gender dysphoria as a defense strategy, as they have stated, it will certainly add another layer to this complex story.)
"Hey gurl, where you moving to? Moving to the East Bay, living life the broke way. SF keep your money. FUCK YOUR MONEY!"
In-our-face drag performer Persia has teamed up with phantasmic trio Daddies Plastik to create an ecstatic dance punk anthem for our insane SF economic times, "Google Google Apps Apps." It's really catchy! Gentrify me, gentrify me, gentrify my love.