Brooke Magnanti didn't always appreciate the transformative power of writing about sex. As “the most famous call girl in the world,” she wrote an infamous blog in the UK about her life and times as a prostitute. She got famous – although she kept her true identity concealed – and a hit TV show was made of her life. Her frank sex talk kept everyone intrigued, titillated, and humanized sex workers for an online audience. And then the tabloids found out who she was. Read more »
Covering Mayor Gavin Newsom's devious exploits for this story last week, watching as the ever-ambitious Newsom sacrificed the city's fiscal future on the altar of political expediency and his increasingly rigid anti-tax ideology, it seemed as if there was nothing remotely redeeming about this callow, self-serving man. Read more »
I received an email the other day with the terribly alarming subject line "FINAL. THRILLVILLES. EVER. No fooling." Could Will "The Thrill" Viharo, a veteran host of cult movie nights around the Bay Area, be hanging up his fez and smoking jacket for good?
Well, not exactly. Fans already know he's been scaling back his "Thrillville" events since the Parkway Theater closed and the Cerrito Theater changed ownership in 2009 (both East Bay venues, operated by Speakeasy Theaters, had hosted Viharo's regularly-scheduled B-movie extravaganzas). Over the past year, Viharo's taken his show -- which includes his wife and assistant, Monica Tiki Goddess, and usually a pre-movie band or performing group -- on the road, sprinkling a bit of sleaze, gore, trash, and monster mayhem on an assortment of Bay Area theaters.
Now, he explains in his (sorta) sign-off email, "I am giving up the Thrillville road show concept and sticking exclusively to my new home base at Forbidden Island in Alameda, where I'll be hosting my mellower movie series 'Forbidden Thrills' one Monday a month, for as long as people show up. It's a stripped down version of Thrillville — (mostly) public domain cult classics, cocktail specials, prizes, no cover, [and] free popcorn." In other words, you can take the Thrill off the B-movie road, but you can't take him out of the tiki bar. Or something.
The Department of Elections has announced that the Hotel Fairness Initiative was approved for the November ballot. Labor and community groups last week turned in 10,544 signatures, a little more than the required 7,168 signatures needed to put an initiative on the ballot. The Department of Elections did a sample of 500 signatures to check the validity and reported that 478 of the 500 signatures sampled were valid, resulting in a 95.6 percent accuracy rate. Read more »
At the end of a ten-hour hearing to appeal the final environmental impact report for the city and Lennar’s massive Candlestick-Shipyard redevelopment project, the Board voted 8-3 to accept the FEIR, with only Sups. John Avalos, Chris Daly and Eric Mar voting to reverse certification of what they said was a flawed document.Read more »
You might have heard? There's a new pisco on the streets "for bartenders, by bartenders": Encanto Pisco, created by Duggan McDonnell of Cantina, sommelier and spirits guru Walter Moore, and Peruvian master distiller Carlos Romero. Although an authentically Peruvian pisco (distilled -- and already making waves -- in Peru), it's a homegrown San Francisco product, a labor of love from locals who know their spirits. Read more »
Nicole Gluckstern reports on the Bay Area arts and culture scene
It sounds a little strange, but I’ve been thinking about shrouds. Not in a morbid way, just in the practical sense. Mostly I wonder what kind of material gets used. Movie mummy shrouds always seem to be made of cheesecloth, but that strikes me as a little flimsy for a swaddled delivery into the afterlife. Actually, speaking of swaddling, doesn’t it seem a little curious that babies and corpses should be wrapped so similarly -- at least in the days before they invented the Tickle-Me-Elmo onesie?
I had a “hold me closer, Tony Danza,” moment when I first heard the hyper-localized anthem “High Priest of the Mission,” on Mark Matos and Os Beaches’ 2009 Porto Franco release Words of the Knife. I thought Matos sang “the high priest of omission,” then I suspected that maybe he was singing “the high priest of submission,” which gave the song an entirely different slant. Read more »
Could the past be a kaleidescope, a pattern of images that shift with each disturbance of a sudden breeze... and if the shift is everywhere, how would we know?
If heritage remains constant, what changes is the inheritors. In a project that will live in interactive kiosks at the Jewish Film Festival (Sat/24), as well as in our own Internet devices, young artists are using websites to tell tales that only last year would have taken the shape of a movie. Modernity, man. Their theme? “Half Remembered Stories,” subject matter that lends itself to the nebulous, fragmentary nature of our online lives.
The changeover from silent to sound cinema revolutionized the world's most popular entertainment form. As in most revolutions, some heads got lopped off. The industry saw this upheaval as a chance to clean house, getting rid of pricey or difficult talent by claiming they couldn't make the transition. The public went along, suddenly hungry for all things talking, singing, dancing, and new, eager to dismiss yesterday's favorites as old-fashioned.Read more »
Dear Andrea: As long as I can remember, I've had a fascination with gyno play and playing doctor. I've grown more and more interested in the idea of cervical dilation/cervical insertions, but have been unable to find any literature on the subject. I understand that any cervical penetration has the possibility of causing cramps and/or other pain, but I am anxious and willing to experiment with this aspect of such play. Any advice?
Although Republican gubernatorial Meg Whitman claims job creation is one of her top priorities, she recently stated that she opposes the plan to build a high-speed rail system in California – a project that is being eagerly anticipated in San Francisco, its northern terminus. Read more »
18 months after a BART cop shot Oscar Grant, the transit agency still doesn't have effective police oversight
EDITORIALWho murdered Oscar Grant? Part of the equation is the years of neglect of the BART Police. — Assembly Member Tom Ammiano
We're angry, too.
Angry that a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man could wind up with little or no prison time. Angry that the news media whipped up such a fervor over the potential for a riot in Oakland that it almost guaranteed someone would show up and break a few windows. Angry that the jury who decided this case was 400 miles away and included no African Americans.
But mostly we're angry that 18 months after a BART cop shot Oscar Grant, the transit agency still doesn't have effective police oversight. And until the BART board recognizes that it still has 200 poorly trained, poorly supervised,* armed officers on the streets — and that this shooting wasn't an anomaly, it was simply the latest in a series of criminal acts by BART police officers that led to the deaths of innocent people — and until the BART Board starts treating this like the emergency that it is, the problems are going to continue.
The Chronicle was of course referring to five amendments to the city’s massive redevelopment proposal that Board President David Chiu introduced during yesterday’s July 12 meeting of the Board’s Land Use committee. The Chron interpreted these amendments as a sign that Chiu plans to approve the project's environmental impact report, which comes before the Board today, after several groups appealed the final EIR that the Planning Commission approved last month.