The mayoral roulette

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At the San Francisco Tomorrow holiday party Dec. 8th, David Chiu, Dennis Herrera, John Rizzo, Jake McGoldrick and a host of others who I've seen at these events for at least the past few years were doing their usual schmoozing -- when Ross Mirkarimi, a former SFT board member, showed up with .... Art Agnos. I haven't seen the former mayor at an SFT event since ... I don't know. Since a long long time ago.Read more »

Appetite: Blue Ribbon classics

New York's Bromberg Brothers bring a bit of their welcoming comfort to SF's Renaissance Stanford Court

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Two of the nicest chefs you'll ever meet, Bruce and Eric Bromberg (brothers), spread the warmth of their NY Blue Ribbon Restaurants globally. I have happy memories of late nights at the original Blue Ribbon Sushi on Sullivan Street long before Blue Ribbon grew to multiple restaurants around NYC. As I write, they are on their way to Las Vegas to open their first restaurant outside NY. They are also touring the world to launch their Blue Ribbon Classics menu at Renaissance Hotel bars... Read more »

SFBG Radio: The death drug, Obama's failure and more

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In today's episode, we talk about California's strange adventures with the death drug -- and why the Obama presidency is at stake in the tax debate. Check it out after the jump. Read more »

Progressives oppose Obama's deal with Republicans

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With San Francisco's own Rep. Nancy Pelosi leading the way, House Democrats have voted to oppose the tax cut deal that President Barack Obama cut with the Republicans – a deal most Americans oppose because of its expensive extension of tax cuts for the wealthy – demonstrating that progressives and even mainstream liberals are increasingly willing to push back against a president that has take their support for granted. Read more »

SF Camerawork and YBCA do the right thing (Updated)

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Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before: a Washington DC art institution caves in to right wing politicians and conservative Christians calling for the removal of "controversial" work made by an openly gay artist. Read more »

"The Tempest" star Djimon Hounsou talks Shakespeare -- and Mirren

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Beninese actor Djimon Hounsou has had an impressive career, appearing in a diverse range of projects and earning two Academy Award nominations (for 2002’s In America and 2006’s Blood Diamond). His latest film is Julie Taymor’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in which he plays “freckled monster” Caliban, the rightful heir to the island. I spoke to Hounsou about reinventing Shakespeare, finding sympathy for an antagonist, and sparring with Helen Mirren.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: What was your familiarity with The Tempest before you took on this role?

Djimon Hounsou: None. I had very little knowledge about Shakespeare — I’ve known about his work but to dive into his work, it’s a different story. I have tested for Julie Taymor for [her 1999 film version of] Titus Andronicus before, so that was my first recollection of working on Shakespeare. And that was it. So this time around, I was a little bit intimidated and certainly didn’t want to go the distance with it. But with a bit of trust and encouragement from my wife, I ended up going.

SFBG: What in particular attracted you to the character of Caliban?

DH: Probably his raw nature, his very primal nature of the island, his very passionate desire to get rid of Helen Mirren’s character, Prospera. And obviously the text, the layers of text.

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Hooking starts at home

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Well goddammit if it's not raining again. San Francisco is not a town that is built for this: we don't have fenders on our bikes, our bomber jackets are all made of suede, and our skin melts in even the slightest drizzle. So why not use this shut-in time to create smutty presents for your seductee-to-be this holiday season? Is this pillow turning you on?

“I've been a hooker since I was 11 years old. Back then it was all about smiley faces and rainbows, but I've matured and so have my designs,” states Brooklyn-via-Castro photographer-hooker Kevin L. Muth by way of introduction to his Dirty Pillowz DIY kits ($35). His kits supply all that you need to create retro-looking, shaggy pillows that look like the lead up to a killer money shot. Designs include four stills of man-on-man loving – including one lovely homage to the tube sock -- and two booby pillow pleasers (every woman has them). Read more »

Jackie Beat: "Hung Puerto Rican elves only"

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Generously talented and fantastically energetic (we're talking 8-bit chipmunk here) LA drag entertainer Jackie Beat is in town with her new show "Jackie Beat's All-You-Can-Eat Christmas," Fri/10 and Sat/11 and Brava Theater. It sounds like a real festive hoot. The long-time cabaret circuit favorite, underground club hostess, and member of scandalous electro-revival band Dirty Sanchez pulled out her giant fork and dug into a little interview with us about ambrosia salad, abortion, AM schlock .. and that's just the beginning. Go pay some money to see her!

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Violence please!

William Lustig reflects on 30 years of Maniac

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Christmas is here early, horror geeks: not only is a brand-new print of 1980's Maniac playing the Castro Theatre, but director William Lustig will be in attendance. After the big-screen experience, make sure Santa knows you want the extras-packed 30th anniversary DVD, released by Lustig's own Blue Underground label, wrapped in bloody butcher paper under the tree.Read more »

'Nutcracker' and beyond

Dates to mark on your holiday dance season calendar

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You don't have to be into winter solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa celebrations to realize that there's something about December — the end of another decade this time around, the darkest part of the year — that calls out for treats either for yourself or a friend or two. Here are a few dance-related suggestions between now and the end of the year that won't bust your budget.Read more »

Elizabeth Edwards, breast cancer and the battle for a cure

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When the news hit that Elizabeth Edwards had died at 61, I was sitting in the press box at San Francisco City Hall listening to the supervisors debate the merits of local hire legislation. In fact, I only became aware that Edwards had passed away, because Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier, who was sitting in front of me, was surfing the Internet on her laptop and I happened to see the headline. Read more »

An astonishing tax ripoff

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Calitics alterted me to this amazing blog post by David Cay Johnston, one of the foremost tax experts in the country and one of the few reporters who understands and writes honestly about tax law. Turns out that the California Public Utilities Commission wants to allow regulated utilities to collect money from ratepayers for taxes that the utilities never have to pay.Read more »

Hot sexy events: December 8-14

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So how's this for weird: rich folks get freaky too! Yes indeed, according to our friends at the Bay Citizen, upon the launch of an investigation into her and her husband's possible involvement in an inside trading ring (don't they just always want to get into those things?) Pac Heights lady-who-lunches Annabel McClellan was discovered to be working on the gosh darn kinkiest iPhone app we've ever heard of: My Nookie. 

The app allows users to dish down to the nitty-gritty about their super hot hookups, right down to the positions, location of consummation, and partner used and abused. Share the info with your friends and even send de-personalized My Nookie messages to potential partners with purple anonymous avatars performing the sex event you'd like to try with them. Says McClellan (whose lawyer denies her involvement with the app)'s business partner Milly Hanley to the Bay Citizen, “we are housewives, our kids are older now. We were looking for something to do.” Consider your wealth-induced ennui assuaged, ladies! Now onto the sex events. Read more »

John Lennon, whirled peas, and the British art of tea making

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Yoko Ono’s op-ed tribute to John Lennon in the New York Times today got me tearing up, as I remembered that horrible day, thirty years ago, when I heard that Lennon had been assassinated. I was in my early twenties and still living in England at the time, working in an inner-city school in Birmingham, and I remember feeling that his murder marked the death of my own generation's innocence. Read more »

Class conflict in DC and SF

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There's an unmistakable whiff of class warfare in the air this holiday season, most obviously on the national level where President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans are helping the ultra-rich steal hundreds of billions of dollars from future generations and the country's current needs. But we're also seeing it right here in San Francisco, subtly playing out around who will be our next mayor.Read more »