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A new book collects George Kuchar's shouts and murmurs

This Week's Paper

coverDavid Campos for assembly, Wendy Aragon for City College board, soda, Muni money and the anti-speculation tax round out a controversial list of election 2014 ENDORSEMENTS. Plus: Yarrr, it's the Treasure Island Music Fest! And a new book collects George Kuchar's shouts and murmurs.  Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

Hasan Elahi's surveillance protest art

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Hasan Elahi seems awfully jocular for a guy who is under constant surveillance. We're standing in a room lined with 64 monitors, on which flash photos of his personal life from over the past seven years. “There's gas stations, all the beds I've slept in,” the artist narrates as the slideshows progress. Rutgers, Brooklyn, Santa Fe, Philly, an unidentified toilet. “All the toilets I've ever done anything in,” he grins, checking to see if we get the joke.

Nowadays, Elahi is the one instigating his own surveillance. But the Bangladeshi American, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, was once detained at the Detroit airport by INS, who then turned him over to the FBI for six months of “interviews” regarding his international travel habits. His project of comprehensive self-documentation, now on display for an exhibition at the Intersection of the Arts (and opens today, Weds/2), grew out of this “terrifying” experience. Read more »

5 Things: March 2, 2011

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Each day, our staff picks five (or so) things that may interest you

>>1. FAREWELL, FUDDLED FERNER True local character Henry Africa, the inventor of the fern bar, has died. Long live the fern bar!

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American Idol: The boys bring it

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I'm not taking it all back (yet) cuz I still think all the tears and drama are stupid, but Ihave to say: the guys brought it last night. Not a single contestant truly sucked (except Jordan, who almost truly sucked, but he's a jerk anyway). Some were absolutely spectacular. Doing Screamin' Jay Hawkins on Idol is nuts, so much could go wrong -- but Casey Abrams pulled of "I Put A Spell On You" in a way that seemed almost impossibly brilliant. Read more »

The unseen enemy

HAIRY EYEBALL: Trevor Paglen photographs the invisible, and Deva Graf sculpts contemplation

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Trevor Paglen's photography has always been about making the unseen visible. His luminous chromogenic prints unsettlingly reveal that the machinery of war and surveillance controlled by the military-industrial complex is more often than not hiding from plain sight; one need only have the right high-powered lens to gaze back.Read more »

alt.sex.column: Once bi-tten

Some second thoughts on bisexual advice

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Dear Readers:

In a recent column I asked the, um, asker (how can I have had this column for over a decade and still not know what to call the people who ask me questions?) what exactly she thought people would assume about her if she came out with it and identified herself to new acquaintances as bi.Read more »

Beware the billionaires behind pension reform

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SEIU Local 1021 leader Gabriel Haaland just pointed me to a Chronicle op-ed in which David Crane asks if public employees should have collective bargaining rights:

The Chron describes Crane as a Democrat, who was an adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and now lectures on public policy at Stanford University and serves on the UC Board of Regents and the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Read more »

Noise Pop Live Shots: robbinschilds at SF MOMA, 02/24/2011

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The fact that there was a dance performance going on as part of the annual music festival Noise Pop, was unique in and of itself, but then it was happening at the SF MOMA, and I knew I had to go check it out. Read more »

Editorial: The mayor's race: beyond compromise

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The litmus test issue: Either you're for public power and against Pacific Gas and Electric Co., or you're opposed, weak, or ducking — all of which put you in PG&E's camp.

The race for mayor is now fully underway, with eight candidates declared — and at least four are fighting for the progressive vote. It's a remarkably open field — and the fact that there's no clear frontrunner, no candidate whose money is dominating the election, no Willie Brown or Gavin Newsom, is the result of two critical progressive reforms: public financing and ranked-choice voting.

In fact, those two measures — promoted by the progressive, district-elected supervisors — have transformed the electoral process in San Francisco and undermined, if only somewhat, downtown's control. Read more »

Messages to the next police chief

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While researching Tasers in the wake of last week's police commission hearing, I came upon an online series published while the city of San Jose was considering candidates for police chief. Created by Silicon Valley De-Bug as part of an effort with San Jose's Coalition for Justice and Accountability, the project featured the messages of people who wished to share their personal stories with the next top cop. Read more »

Why does anyone still trust PG&E?

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The Bay Citizen's got a good report on how PG&E cobbled together the San Bruno gas pipe out of bits and pieces of whatever was around, and a nice liveblog of the NTSB hearing on the explosion. Read more »

5 Things: March 1, 2011

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Each day, our editors pick five (or so) things that might interest you

>>1. FEEL THE HEAT Here is a map of downtown San Francisco's extensive underground steam delivery system.

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The Chronicle doesn't like democracy

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Remarkable editorial in the Chron today on the mayor's race. The point seems to be that there are too many candidates:

If most of this herd stays in the race, no door knob, mail slot or voice-mail queue will be safe.

Too many people running for office. Too many choices for the voters. Imagine how awful that could be. And to what do we owe this tragic set of circumstances? Ranked-choice voting and public financing.Read more »

John Ross memorial takes the streets

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A standing-room-only crowd gathered at United Mission Presbyterian Church on 23rd and Capp Feb. 25th to remember Guardian correspondent and hell-raising investigative poet John Ross. John's old friends Q.R. Hand, Hermann Bellinghausen, Frank Bardacke, Kevin Quigley and me spoke; his kids, Carla Ross-Allen and Dante Ross, gave moving remeberances. Read more »

Bug artist under glass

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Kevin Clarke is riffling through drawers, tossing around their various contents and muttering to himself, “I can’t believe I can’t find the lingerie.”

On every surface of his Richmond home, which doubles as his studio, the instruments of his trade are scattered: pins, needles, razorblades and film. But this isn’t some sort of dungeon, and Clarke’s job isn’t to indulge clients’ fetishistic fantasies. His trade is insect art, and the lingerie is for his beetles.

Clarke is a trained conservation biologist who now spends his days boiling butterflies and spreading insect wings, creating whimsical dioramas and gorgeous butterfly wing necklaces he bills as “museum quality insect art.” This year marks the first that his company, Bug Under Glass, has been his sole source of income, but Clarke’s fascination with all things creepy-crawly started long ago. Read more »

Noise Pop Live Review: Dominant Legs and How to Dress Well

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Synth and bass, rock and roll, some combinations are easily matched, but when you put How to Dress Well on the roster, pairings aren't as obvious. Dominant Legs' mangy pop was an odd precursor to Saturday night's How to Dress Well performance at Cafe Du Nord, but then again, what flatters eerie falsetto and awkward emotions? 

San Francisco's Dominant Legs played like summer in a bottle. Happy guitars, lots of cowbell and rad bass made the winter weather outside melt. The only thing missing was sunshine, or lights in general. Half the band was hidden from the crowd due to a lack of lighting-- particularly the adorable Hannah Hunt. One disgruntled lady in the audience voiced her disapproval by shouting, "We can't see the pretty girl in the blue dress," to which Hunt meekly responded, "It's green." Case in point. 

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