SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 6th) -- The return of liver cancer has afforded me an unexpected opportunity to contemplate the National Pastime.
As I emerged from a bout of chemotherapy in late September, the San Francisco Giants were locked in a neck-and-neck drawdown with the San Diego Padres for a post-season play-off spot and Baghdad-by-the-Bay was abuzz with pennant fever. Read more »
The political season must be in full swing because yesterday I was accused of racism, twice, both times by white men promoting different candidates of color. And both times, the accusations had no merit, but both men are so blinded by partisan allegiance they have refused to drop a tactic that is poisoning our political dialogue and creating unnecessary divisions in San Francisco's progressive movement.Read more »
Local Arts: Arse Elektronika weekend and arses up at Dodgyfest III
Couldn’t make it out to the “Oscars of computer art” at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria? Me neither, but thanks to Viennese techno-prankster collective monochrom, I could stay in San Francisco and experience a slightly more warped version at the 4th annual Arse Elektronika instead. An exploration of sex, tech, and space -- inner and outer -- Friday evening’s lineup of lectures and presentations turned the Center for Sex and Culture into a grown-up game of show-and-tell.
I read BeyondChron every day, and Randy Shaw, who operates the site, and Paul Hogarth, his managing editor, often have interesting commentary. But I’m constantly annoyed by people who run what by any stretch is a journalistic operation, but don’t follow the basic rules of (even alternative, activist) journalism: When you’re going to say something nasty about somebody, you call that person for comment.Read more »
It was one of those knockout weekends during which rabid electro kids and throbbing bluegrass fans, twirling gay flaggers and hot-pink breast cancer walkers all blurred into, well, a blur. Hell if I remember most of it. But it's a dazzling blur, a blur you can really take a shine to, kind of Brazil-shaped with opalescent edges, undulating there in the partially cloudy air, a 4G jellyfish lingering on the event horizon.Read more »
Walking up to Bimbo’s and seeing “Jon Spencer Blues Explosion” sprawled across the marquee in big, bold font, I kept thinking how crazy it was that the group hadn’t performed in SF in over eight years. Though just coming off a five-year hiatus, JSBX has been spewing their sweaty mix of punk, blues, and good old-fashioned rock and roll for nearly two decades. With all three members of the New York trio well on their way into middle age, last Wednesday (9/29/10) was a reminder that these guys were doing their thing long before groups like the White Stripes or the Black Keys were even blips on the radar. And beyond that, it proved they haven’t lost a single step. Read more »
On every level — federal, state and local — the Nov. 2 election is critical. Californians will decide whether a billionaire with no political experience and a failed business executive with right-wing views should be the next governor and senator. They'll address a long list of major ballot measures. In San Francisco, voters will decide the balance of power on the Board of Supervisors, weigh in on ballot measures that could deeply affect the local budget, and decide whether this city wants to allow a harsh crackdown on the homeless.Read more »
Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Eileen Hirst reminded me today that 75-80 percent of the people behind bars at the San Francisco County Jail are still in the pre-trial stage. Hirst first shared that stastic with me earlier this year, when the jail got dumped from the list of buildings that will be earthquake retrofitted, if voters approve Proposition A this fall.Read more »
We ran out of space in today's print edition and couldn't publish either of the two opeds I wanted to run, so I'm posting them here. The first one is by the chairman of the SF Democratic Party.
By Aaron Peskin
As one of the most Democratic cities in California, San Francisco has a special responsibility to make sure we help elect a Democratic ticket on November 2nd. We always take that responsibility seriously – but this year we will have the pleasure of helping elect our own to statewide office: Gavin Newsom as Lt. Governor, Kamala Harris as Attorney General and even native son Jerry Brown as California’s next Governor.
To hear father and son artistic team Rene and Rio Yañez talk about San Francisco's Day of the Dead celebration is to realize how much the holiday has taken on its own light here in the city. “It's about personal experience, but also politics,” Rene says. The duo have crafted another year of homage to the dead around us -- and in so doing also reflect a shifting scene in San Francisco art.
No art event in the city reflects evolving tradition more than the Yañezs' yearly exhibit of Dia de los Muertos altars at SOMArts Cultural Center (opening Fri/8). As the three of us sit in Rene's office at SOMArts next to the cow brain in a mason jar on top of which the elder Yañez -- the center's director of special projects -- has stacked a pair of headphones and a plush Taco Bell chihuahua, Rene tells his son and myself about the first public Day of the Dead celebration in San Francisco. Read more »