The Performant: Epochalypse Now

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Embracing the great unknown
 
While it could be argued that every day represents a new year, with each date falling exactly one year after the last, like unconscious clockwork, there’s something comforting in the ritual of observing the change in calendar year en masse. A time to take accounts, and make new goals. A time of psychic housekeeping: ridding oneself of the spiritual and mental detritus of the past, in order to make space for a future as yet undefined.

All of which is on my mind as I prepare to bang out my last Performant, at least for the time being. During the last three-and-a-half years I’ve witnessed hundreds of performances, featuring thousands of performers, in venues large and small, each one a brief, incandescent flame feeding into a bonfire of epic creativity. House concerts, punk shows, spoken word, street festivals, performance art meditations, live comedy, high drag camp, amateur wrestling competitions, robot soccer, battle rap, obscure cinema, alternative dance, home theater, and circus arts have all found a place in the Performant, proving, I hope, that just as borders geographical and psychological can be transcended, so too can artistic ones.

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The Tamale Lady finds a home

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The Tamale Lady, aka Virginia Ramos, finally has a restaurant to call her own (for real this time).

Mission Local reported today that Supervisor David Campos has secured a storefront for the Mission's favorite bar-hopping foor purveyor, a location at 16th and Mission. 

Sup. Campos' aide Nate Albee confrimed the move with Mission Local:

“It will be her very own place,” Albee says. “We pulled out all the stops, and it took six months, but we found a place.”Read more »

Nite Trax: Comedowns are for losers! New Year's Day parties

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You know what happens if you stop, don't you? The New Year's Eve hangover catches up. So why not just power through the next day with some of the most fortifying party crews in town? Si se puede, honey.

Here's the wheres and whenfors of one of the few days left when SF feels truly old school underground, and you can party for 28 hours straight. All whirligigs start Wednesday morning or afternoon:

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No decision yet following charged hearing to stall City College closure

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At a Dec. 26 hearing in San Francisco Superior Court, the City Attorney’s office argued that City College of San Francisco should not be shuttered, as long as San Francisco’s lawsuit against a regional accrediting commission remains in court.

The two-year community college, which serves roughly 85,000 students, was notified earlier this year that the regional Accreditin​g Commission for Community and Junior Colleges would terminate its accreditat​ion in July 2014, rendering the school's degrees worthless.

It would be forced to close.Read more »

A look back: The "Candlestick Swindle" in '68

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San Francisco spent this week saying goodbye to its beloved foggy stadium, Candlestick Park. Amidst the farewells, the Guardian spotted a post from sports blog Deadspin, which reprinted one of our articles from 1968  titled, "Before We Build Another Stadium... The Candlestick Swindle." Read more »

Holiday greetings and an early start to the New Year!

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Special graphic for the Bruce blog by Louis Dunn, former Bay Guardian art director, graphic artist, and cartoonist. Selections from his work can be seen at LouisDunn.com

Gap in the hot seat over horrifying animal rights video

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An investigation conducted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has revealed flat-out cruelty in the practice of harvesting angora fur. Now PETA is targeting Gap, a San Francisco-based clothing retailer, with a call for it to ban the sale of angora products altogether.Read more »

The Performant: To Boldly Go

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Resurrecting the Exquisite Corpse
 
Welcome to the Starship Dental Prize. A vessel so intrepid it dares to probe the darkest, dankest folds of outer space, not to mention the incandescent snarls of surrealistic whimsy. Fish. Squonk. Celine Dion. Her stalwart crew includes a sassy computer powered by illogic (Becky Hirschfeld), a vodka-swilling ensign Anton Anton (Bryce Byerley), psychic science officer Mentoo Fractosa (Chandler White), and a pelvic-thrust obsessed captain Oliver Clozoffe (Jody Frandle). Her mission, undetermined. Her story, as yet unwritten.

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Read this: 11 national news outlets cover SF’s tech culture war

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Those of us in the Bay Area have long followed the rising rents, floods of evictions, and growing resentment between long-time Bay Area residents and the new tech elite. Now it seems the national media is catching on. National reporting of the Bay Area class war is on the rise.

We’ve rounded up some of the more colorful coverage, which runs the gamut of different perspectives (even among the so-called “objective” news outlets). Some say the resentment is understandable, some say the blame against techies is misplaced. Some, like The Huffington Post, reached out to protesters for interviews, while others simply reblogged local reporters’ Tweets and video - including the Guardian’s. 

Regardless of which of the articles you most agree with, the one thing we can all agree on is that things are changing fast. Just this week, Mayor Ed Lee announced his plan to prioritize and streamline construction of affordable housing in San Francisco. And the mayor’s pal, Ron Conway, announced via a press release today that local tech/government partnership group SF.citi will form three committees to address rising inequality in San Francisco: one on housing (led by SPUR’s Gabriel Metcalf), another on philanthropy (shaking down rich peeps for cash), and another on education (hoping to form a tech pipeline from SFUSD to SFSU to jobs). 

But why blockade the tech employee’s buses? Why not protest the mayor instead? Read more »

Promo: BRAVA’s NYE Comedy Fiesta tickets are on sale now!

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BRAVA’s Annual Comedy Fiesta will be the Mission District’s one stop destination to get your laugh and your dance on!

Join Marga Gomez (LOGO Network, GLAAD Award Winner) and special guests (2013 Best of the Bay winner) Dhaya Lakshminarayanan and Micia Mosely. Mario Montes (Comedy Bodega) will emcee as we laugh our way into 2014.  The Comedy Fiesta will be immediately followed by a Countdown Party with DJ Mark Mark and free champagne for all at midnight.

Buy your tickets NOW at brava.org!Read more »

Joy to the stage: Smuin Ballet's 'The Christmas Ballet' is a tradition worth keeping

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Smuin Ballet's The Christmas Ballet, which the late choreographer Michael Smuin premiered in 1995, has earned its spot among the myriad of Bay Area holiday entertainments. This year's opening night at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — performances run through Dec. 28 — was packed with a casually dressed yet festive crowd of all ages, including grandparents with their elementary school age charges. (Gratefully absent were the toddlers that flood ballet performances). It was probably the most diverse and receptive audience an evening of ballet can muster these days.

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A century after the Raker Act, San Franciscans are still illegally denied public power

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The San Francisco Examiner has a good story on today’s 100th anniversary of the signing of the Raker Act, federal legislation that allowed San Francisco to build a dam in Hetch Hetchy Valley, a campaign championed most fervently at the time by the Examiner’s then-Publisher William Randolph Hearst.Read more »

The Burning Man Project's boring bait-and-switch

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In a series of stories earlier this year, I outlined how the board that controls Burning Man doesn’t appear to be “relinquishing our control” over the event, as founder Larry Harvey announced would be happening in 2014. Read more »

Mayor Lee addresses Google bus controversy

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At a press conference on affordable housing today, the Guardian asked Mayor Ed Lee about San Francisco’s favorite pinata: tech buses. The monstrous private shuttles, which daily whisk tech workers away to Silicon Valley, currently use Muni bus stops without paying fines, like most private autos do. 

In Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe’s article in the print edition of the Bay Guardian this week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Paul Rose tells her that although there is a proposal in the works to regulate them, the SFMTA won’t profit a single dime from the plan. 

“We are developing these policies to better utilize the boarding zones for these shuttle providers," Rose said. "What we're trying to do is provide a more efficient transportation network."

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Tech sets out to help the homeless

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Google “tech,” “San Francisco,” and “homeless” right now, and you will undoubtedly find the tale of Greg Gopman, former CEO of AngelHack, whose notorious Facebook comments comparing homeless people to “hyenas,” among other things, earned him a viral dose of public shaming delivered via Twitter and the blogosphere.Read more »