One of the first telling primary races is over, and it appears that Blanche Lincoln has narrowly survived a primary challenge in Arkansas. The progressive Dems who fought hard to get rid of a senator who helped kill the public option and might as well be a Republican will be unhappy, but the fact that even with the (tepid) support of the president she only squeaked by with the narrowist of victories sends a signal to other fence-sitting Dems. Read more »
On the brink of the June 8 election, the clock is ticking before the moment of truth on Proposition 16 -- Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s anti-competitive ballot initiative, which has earned widespread criticism for aiming to snuff out competitive community-choice aggregation programs to put a lock on its own power monopoly. Read more »
Glory upon ye, Californians, for your beards have triumphed! Yes, even without the competitive edge of Jack Passion (two time Full Natural Beard world champ and Bay resident, who sat this one out to emcee), the Golden State prospered with three out of four first places at the National Beard and Mustache Championships in Bend, Oregon this weekend. Per his promise, Jack Passion filled us in with what went down with the beardos.Read more »
EDITORIAL Proposition 16 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s monopoly power grab — has to rank as the most venal, corrupt abuse of the initiative system in California history. The utility spent nearly $50 million to pay for a misleading signature drive, mount a campaign of lies and distortions, create bogus front groups, and flood the airwaves with ads — all in an effort to convince Californians to vote against their own interests. It's a case study in why the state needs initiative reform (a ban on paid signature gatherers and limits on corporate campaign contributions would be good places to start).
At press time, we didn't know how the election would turn out — but this much is clear: San Francisco needs to move ahead with community choice aggregation and continue to push for public power anyway.
It should come as no surprise that Netflix has just previewed its new iPhone app. That's right. Now you can stream unlimited movies for a small monthly fee on your cell phone. Writer Ramu Nagappan of Macworld says it will offer "the full Netflix experience: you can stream video (over Wi-Fi and 3G), view recommendations, browse genres, and access your queue."
What do tatooing and rum have to with each other? Well, there's a rum named after one of the most legendary tattoo artists of all time, Sailor Jerry. It's his own personal recipe, distilled in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and is truly a beaut. Bracingly strong at 92 proof, it's got a spiced, caramel burn that goes down smooth on its own as it does in a cocktail (Dark & Stormy, anyone?) It lingers pleasantly while also delivering a punch. Kind of like the colorful Jerry himself? Read more »
There are few fandoms so charmingly enthusiastic as the hordes of video-hounds who treasure Troll 2 (1990), by many accounts the worst movie ever made. This past Saturday night, the East Bay took its turn in the publicity blitz for Best Worst Movie, a documentary about the Troll 2 phenomenon, directed by the ridiculous horror flick’s then-child star Michael Paul Stephenson. Stephenson appeared with his costar George Hardy in San Francisco on Friday, but only Hardy was on hand for the Saturday night screenings at Berkeley’s Shattuck Cinemas.
While much of the mainstream is still poking fun at the hair bands and taking pot-shots at the easy-listening fluff, the '80s have snuck back in for a full-on revival. Kids who grew up in the decade of Ninja Turtles and parachute pants surely have the fondest memories, and two of those kids play poker-faced homages to the era as Holy Ghost! Full of flashy synths and smooth vocals, Holy Ghost goes a step beyond the copycat ambiance of Ariel Pink or the sly winking of Francis and the Lights or Chromeo, passing up tongue-in-cheek for reverence.
Someday, an enterprising cultural archivist is going to compile a history of air-musicianship. I've got to assume that the phenomenon long predates the headbanging era. Maybe it's just because I get a kick out of imagining top-hatted fops sawing away on invisible violins, but the instinct to mime an instrument just seems so natural that I have to assume people have been doing it for centuries. I mean, nobody teaches you air guitar. When you hear a sufficiently righteous riff, the hands just take over. Read more »