"I write so that I don't forget the fascinating and heartwarming things people tell me," explained Chuck Palahniuk. He was at the Castro Theatre Mon/16 to chat about his newest book, Invisible Monsters Remix. Some audience members were disappointed that the event didn't include a book signing — but no one could deny Palahniuk's earnest nature and his deep connection to his fans.
To those who only know Palahniuk as the author of the cult hit Fight Club, one might think the man behind this contemporary classic of anarchy and disgust at our capitalist society could be a shady character. But the mind that concocted that (and other) twisted fables anchors his outlandish tales with an incredibly human element to his characters. If you look beyond Fight Club's bloody mayhem (vividly depicted in its popular film version), you'll find a story of how a white-collar businessman combats loneliness and isolation, and finds fulfillment in embracing chaos. Palahniuk is certainly not afraid of being politically incorrect in his books, but he is a much more relatable guy than you might think.
Remember the time you lived in one of the most exciting, cultured places in the world? Hold up, that's right now. Check our picks for 8 amazing -- and oftentimes free -- ways to spend your nights and days this week.
Jim Nisbet: Old and Cold
Jim Nisbet's protagonist is old, cold, and totally cool. A confusing infusion of mystery, Dexter-style serial murder, and flat-out noir creepiness, Nisbet's Old and Cold follows the wrongdoings of a man who lives under a bridge and will do anything for a martini. All the action is enveloped within our dear city's seven miles of dive bars, beaches, and grey sidewalk. Read more »
Dead set on frying your brain in this sunshine? Fine. Just hit up one of your city's affordable cultural happenings afterwards and your gray matter will have no choice but to call it a draw.
Epicenter reading series
Sip on some of Cafe Tosca's famous non-coffee cappuccino (brandy and hot chocolate, what could be better?) and listen to three members of the contemporary literati. Along with San Francisco-native Josh Mohr, the program will include Joe Meno reading from Office Girl, his new fiction work of artistic detachment and big city love, plus Nathan Larson's The Nervous System, a novel depicting a terrorist-induced dystopia in the walls of the New York Public Library, starring a protagonist dubbed Dewey Decimal. Read more »
Unless the tech kings and queens need to start watching their backs, there's no accounting for the voracity San Francisco consumes all things Bastille Day (Sat/14). Why do we celebrate the anniversary of the storming of a French clink so comprehensively, when Canada Day goes all but unnoticed? Perhaps the answers will be clearer after this weekend -- movies, concerts, food cart explosions, and more will be taking place now through Sat/14 in honor of the Bay's most illogically favorite holiday. Read more »
When it comes to activist journalists (as it often does in these parts), they don't get much more relevant than Jose Antonio Vargas. The anniversary of the 31-year old Filipino's revelation that he is an illegal immigrant -- in the New York Times Magazine, after earning a Pulitzer for his team's reporting on the Virginia Tech shooting no less – may have shook President Obama granting administrative relief to DREAM Act-eligible youngsters. Head to La Peña Cultural Center today (Tue/26) to hear him reimagine our country's dialogue on immigration rights. Read more »
There's no question that a childhood spent growing up Ethiopian in Haight-Ashbury made fertile ground in which to grow a stand-up career. That's where Yanye Abeba is coming from. Abeba is performing in Kung Pao Kosher Comedy's second Color of Funny comedy tour on Thu/21 and Fri/22. Her schtick will be part of a unique line-up -- and afterall, how many other people can pull on the interactions between their first generation African father and the homeless kids on Haight Street for their funny? Read more »
Faetopia Tower Records building, 2286 Market, SF. www.faetopia.com. Through Fri/22, noon-midnight, (event times vary), $10 suggested donation. What's a radical queer to do in the season of commercialized sexuality? Seize an empty records store and fill with blithe faggotry. The crew behind Faetopia is organizing nights of queer cinema, hip-hop and ecology classes, drag musicals, skillshares, and much more — drop in.Read more »
HERBWISE Last year when event producer Michael Gosney staged the first Deep Green Festival at Craneway Pavilion, he was mostly focused on raising awareness of hemp as an environmental and economic resource. But then the past 365 days happened — and with them, the attendant audits, raids, and federal persecution of marijuana dispensaries.Read more »
You were a bad, bad bunny if you missed the killing-it three-tiered Easter egg hats and rampant stigmata injuries at the yearly Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Dolores Park takeover last Sunday. But even if you did make it, Broke Ass Stuart is bringing a free Easter-themed Saturday night pregame event your way. Won't you drink free Pabst, do some (bouncy) foxy boxing, and hunt for Easter eggs with him?Read more »