OPINION Steel gates, steeds with silver spurs, lush red carpet lining the streets, uniformed officers guarding velvet-roped grand entrances to fancy costume balls while commoners are arrested if they so much as stop to rest on a nearby sidewalk. Sounds like the days of feudal England, or Marie Antoinette's Paris. Guess again its San Francisco, circa 2010.
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When Mayor Gavin Newsom unveiled his proposed city budget on June 1, he downplayed the severity of cuts to the city's Department of Public Health, noting that they amounted to less than 2 percent. But if Newsom's uneven program chopping becomes a reality, critical social services for some of San Francisco's poorest and most vulnerable residents will be cut by almost one-third.Read more »
It should come as no surprise that Netflix has just previewed its new iPhone app. That's right. Now you can stream unlimited movies for a small monthly fee on your cell phone. Writer Ramu Nagappan of Macworld says it will offer "the full Netflix experience: you can stream video (over Wi-Fi and 3G), view recommendations, browse genres, and access your queue."
There are few fandoms so charmingly enthusiastic as the hordes of video-hounds who treasure Troll 2 (1990), by many accounts the worst movie ever made. This past Saturday night, the East Bay took its turn in the publicity blitz for Best Worst Movie, a documentary about the Troll 2 phenomenon, directed by the ridiculous horror flick’s then-child star Michael Paul Stephenson. Stephenson appeared with his costar George Hardy in San Francisco on Friday, but only Hardy was on hand for the Saturday night screenings at Berkeley’s Shattuck Cinemas.
While much of the mainstream is still poking fun at the hair bands and taking pot-shots at the easy-listening fluff, the '80s have snuck back in for a full-on revival. Kids who grew up in the decade of Ninja Turtles and parachute pants surely have the fondest memories, and two of those kids play poker-faced homages to the era as Holy Ghost! Full of flashy synths and smooth vocals, Holy Ghost goes a step beyond the copycat ambiance of Ariel Pink or the sly winking of Francis and the Lights or Chromeo, passing up tongue-in-cheek for reverence.
Someday, an enterprising cultural archivist is going to compile a history of air-musicianship. I've got to assume that the phenomenon long predates the headbanging era. Maybe it's just because I get a kick out of imagining top-hatted fops sawing away on invisible violins, but the instinct to mime an instrument just seems so natural that I have to assume people have been doing it for centuries. I mean, nobody teaches you air guitar. When you hear a sufficiently righteous riff, the hands just take over. Read more »
Do you remember the first time you heard of Insane Clown Posse? What was your reaction? Did you laugh? Recoil in horror? Or did you thank the trickster gods of pop culture for allowing such a band to exist? Read more »
Like a lawn chair and a cold, sweaty glass of iced tea, summer and songs just go together. This season, music snobs can collectively stop drinking with their pinkies pointed out and start embracing the radio-friendly sound waves breaking before them. And summer 2010 is definitely awash with sounds both large and small.
OPINION Proposition 14, a June 8 ballot measure, would mandate that all candidates for Congress and state office appear on the same June ballot, and that all voters use that ballot. Only the two candidates who got the highest vote totals could run in November. Even write-ins would be banned in November for Congress and state offices.Read more »