Daniel Clowes has made the leap over the past decade from underground comics hero to a more mainstream identity, with an Oscar nomination for screenwriting, several New Yorker covers, and a comic serialized in the New York Times Magazine under his belt. Despite his raised profile, his newest work, Wilson (Drawn and Quarterly, 80 pages, $15.37), comes closer to home than ever before. The cynical comic strip-based book is largely set in Oakland, of which he is a proud denizen. Clowes recently appeared at Diesel in Oakland, in conversation with McSweeney’s editor Eli Horowitz and the audience. On the setting of the comic, he proclaimed, “I’m pro-Oakland, I’m not sure Wilson is.” He also discussed his forays into film, his debt to Charles M. Schulz and R. Crumb, and the slight controversy over his recent New Yorker cover, among other things.
Today Tim and Johnny talk about Obama's energy policy, Whitman's only hope -- and why it's so silly for the mayor of San Francisco to be pushing a sit-lie law that can only lead to selective enforcement. You can listen after the jump. Read more »
More than 100 concerned citizens, mental health providers, SRO hotel representatives, and clients of San Francisco's community behavioral health programs spoke to the Board of Supervisors yesterday at a Beilenson hearing, which the state requires of counties that slash public health services, decrying crippling cuts in the mayor's proposed budget. Read more »
The Marsh hits the big two-oh this weekend. The one-of-a-kind theater founded by Stephanie Weisman in 1989 has contributed much more than its fair share to performance arts in the Bay Area and beyond. To mark the event, the Marsh is planning a one-of-a-kind celebration this Saturday, June 19: 12 continuous hours of performance, memories, and festive behavior featuring a remarkable assortment of talent under one roof. Seriously, if these were heads of state it’d be like the G20 times two, and the security hassles would suck hard for blocks around. As is, you can just go and watch and talk to these people, who are way cooler anyway.
For more of the lowdown on the birthday plans and insider thoughts on the Marsh at 20, I had thought of talking to a dozen or so of the leading lights slated to be there. But not having a lot of energy this morning, I decided instead to just call Mary Samson — currently crafting her own Marsh solo show and one of Saturday’s Marathon MCs — at her daytime desk at the Guardian.
How's this fix for ailing municipal governments across the country; quit using law enforcement to harass sex workers doing their thing. Good, right? The Desiree Alliance would have to agree. The sex worker led advocate coalition is taking over Las Vegas next month for their annual conference, where they'll discuss implementation of the harm reduction, political advocacy, and health services they provide for fellow escorts. Read more »
Speaking at the June 15 Board of Supervisors meeting, Sup. Ross Mirkarimi introduced a non-binding resolution calling on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to refund ratepayers for the $46 million it spent on a failed bid to pass Proposition 16, a ballot initiative dubbed the “Taxpayer’s Right to Vote Act” that would have impeded the creation of municipal electricity programs. Read more »
A few months ago, Impact Theater premiered Enrique Urueta's Learn to Be Latina, a raucous satire of market-driven multiculturalism that pivoted on the ethnic dos-and-don'ts of the music industry. That production only partly prepares one for Crowded Fire's premiere of the Bay Area playwright's latest effort, Forever Never Comes. Read more »
President Obama had the right Oval Office setting, a moment in time of genuine public outrage with the oil industry, and even an eloquent setup, telling Americans “the time to embrace a clean energy future is now” and saying we shouldn't deterred from bold action by “a lack of political courage and candor.” And then...nothing. Once again, Obama has failed to follow up his rhetorical candor with the courage to do what needs to be done. Read more »
It’s that time of year again! You know, the time when Ulysses happens. That’s right, it’s Bloomsday, the holiday commemorating James Joyce’s epic modernist tome, ranked by the Modern Library as the greatest novel of the 20th century. The novel’s events span a single day — June 16, 1904, the date of Joyce’s first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.Read more »
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (James Kent, UK, 2010) A BBC production set in the northern English countryside of the early 19th century, James Kent’s The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister depicts the amatory adventures of a gentlewoman landowner (Maxine Peake) in search of a “female companion” with whom to live out her days. The narrative is somewhat breathless, the seductions equally so and yet a bit anemic, and our strong-willed, fearless heroine is admirable without being entirely engaging. Still, besides tapping into the Jane Austen slash fiction demographic, this tale of pre-Victorian bodice ripping and skirt lifting among the female gentry offers the considerable thrill of being adapted from the actual secret diaries of the titular Miss Lister, decoded by a biographer 150 years after her death. A documentary in the festival, Matthew Hill’s The Real Anne Lister, offers a complementary version of her story. Thurs/17, 7 p.m., Castro. (Lynn Rapoport)
I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan, Canada, 2009) The title I Killed My Mother suggests a different kind of movie from what it actually is. But that’s OK: though not a crime thriller, the film is still a tightly wound, high stakes drama. Writer-director Xavier Dolan stars as Hubert, the angsty son of the titular mother. When you consider that Dolan’s script is autobiographical — and that he was only 20 when the film was made — his performance becomes all the more impressive. As the mother, Chantale, Anne Dorval is also a force to be reckoned with. Despite its presence as part of a queer film festival, I Killed My Mother is not all that “gay” in the traditional “gay movie” sense. Hubert’s relationship with Antonin (François Arnaud) is secondary — what’s important is how his refusal to share it with his mother affects her. That helps make the movie a refreshing alternative to many more mainstream offerings. Sat/19, 6:45 p.m., Castro. (Louis Peitzman)
Santa Rosa got a little more groovy this weekend for the estimated 30,000 to 35,000 that attended the 32nd annual Harmony Festival, three days that were so epic my ability to narrate them cohesively has been called into question. Assembled here are some bits and pieces from the scene.
Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay
Thomas Kinkade: "painter of light," shameless boozehound. (Also: Doesn't the mugshot totally make him look like a champion poker player or a washed up bookie? I always thought he would be more Bob Ross than Hunter S. Thompson).
A month ago, when BP ascended to the top of the list of corporate villains, the company’s stock took a thrashing. But now the panic selling seems to have gone into reverse: BP’s stock rose today, even as lawmakers in Washington intensified their criticism, other oil companies claimed they would have done a better at handling the spill, and BP said it was speeding up payment of large commercial losses due to the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Read more »