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How a high-minded countercultural experiment ended up on everyone's bucket list

This Week's Paper

weekcoverGrover Norquist brings the Black Rock blues as Burning Man Jumps the Shark! Pro-Palestine protesters block the boat, fed-up teachers take strike vote, and crack cocaine sentences may soon get smoked. Plus: Myron & E lay down street soul at Noise Pop, Nick Monaco belts out his Mating Call, and Aubrey Plaza slays in Life After Beth. Articles Online | Digital Edition

From the Blogs

What not to wear


Predictably, I have no idea what I will be wearing for Halloween. The predicament of an anti-brand costume shopper is a dire one in today's Halloweenie world -- we are forced down one of two routes when celebrating everyone's favorite not-for-kids-anymore holiday. You can (a) do the decent thing and spend hours rummaging through every Goodwill in the city for high five kudos at the house party this weekend or you can (b) drop a cool fifty on a prepackaged 'stume everyone's going to "get" immediately. Read more »

Wikileaks, military families and the importance of voting rights


As Wikileaks' Iraq war logs continue to reveal the disturbing reality of Bush's illegal war, and its founder, Julian Assange, continues to be demonized for leaking this information, military families are left wondering if their loved ones were endangered by the actions of rogue military contractors, if Iraqis were tortured by other Iraqis because of the failure of the Bush administration to crack down on this abuse—and whether the same thing is happening in Afghanistan. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day


Today's look: Mirissa, Fillmore and Sacramento Read more »

sfbg radio: the jobs picture


Today Johnny talks to economist Johnny Venom about the jobs picture. Listen after the jump. Read more »

D10 candidate Eric Smith on Local SF


Coming into work this morning, I was greeted by the sight of D10 candidate Eric Smith standing under a San Francisco Bike Coalition tent near the railroad/freeway intersection at 16th and 7th Street in Potrero Hill.

Curious, I stopped by their tent where I was greeted by a hearty handshake from Smith, and plenty of input from the Bike Coalition’s Marc Caswell and League of Conservation Voters president Amandeep Jawa about why they support Smith. Read more »

Overcoming a foreclosure, Cohen promises to be a "fierce advocate"


D10 candidate Malia Cohen deserves kudos for publicly confronting rumors that she was facing a foreclosure--and for vowing to be a strong advocate, in future.

“I first addressed the rumors publicly a month ago,” said Cohen, who returned to the topic of her foreclosure earlier this week at a San Francisco Housing Coalition candidate night.

You can watch the entire proceedings of the Housing Coalition’s candidate night by clicking on the video clip at the end of this post.Read more »

The cheapest seats


Of course the Guardian staff didn't have the dough for tickets to Game Five of the Giants and Phillies battale royale for the National League crown. But hey, the real party was outside the park -- so Caitlin Donohue (by land) and Rebecca Bowe (by sea) staked out where the real fans were hangin' -- and caught a little animalistic behavior and political fracas in the bargain. What more could you ask of a ball game? Game Six is on Sat/23 at 4:57 p.m.

Republican who wants to overturn rent control pumps $200,000 into district elections


Thomas J, Coates, a big time investor in apartments and mobile homes, has dropped a total of $225,000 into five independent expenditure committees that are trying to push conservative-friendly candidates and measures over the victory line this fall. Read more »

Creative forces unite against Prop. 23


Proposition 23, bankrolled by out-of-state oil interests, threatens to reverse California’s environmental progress by suspending its landmark climate change legislation,  Assembly Bill 32. Titled the Global Warming Solutions Act, AB32 would place enforceable limits on major polluters and spur the creation of green businesses. But if voters approve Prop. 23, progress on transitioning to clean energy could be stalled for decades. The Guardian published in-depth coverage of Prop. 23 in the Oct. 13 issue. Read more »

Erotic Exotic Ball putting its clothes back on


It's a dark day for voyeurs of Dutch fetish models, mini Michael Jacksons, and lovers of spectacular: Exotic Erotic Ball and Expo 2010 has been canceled. The reason for the kibosh on this 31-year old SF tradition? Not as many people trying to get freaky this year. This from Exotic Erotic PR perv, Christopher Buttner: Read more »

Ignoring Cheney's real victims


Dick Meister. former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for a half century. Contact him through his website,, which includes more than 250 of his columns.


So, as the Washington Post 's Paul Farhi reported recently, hunter Harry Whittington is still suffering from the effects of  being shot accidentally by hunting partner Dick Cheney in Texas four years ago.

I'm sure we're all sorry about that, about how Whittington still has the lead pellet that pierced his larynx when the then-vice president swung around abruptly and fired away at a flight of quail. We're of course sorry, too, about the 30 or so other pieces of shot still inside Whittington out of some 200 that slammed him, and the scars he bears. Read more »

Appetite: Del Maguey and the glories of mezcal


There's mezcal and there's Del Maguey. You may have heard me talk about Del Maguey mezcals and the line's founder, Ron Cooper, in the past. A session with the gentle yet passionate Ron (like his mezcal seminar at 2010 Tales of the Cocktail) is an experience you're not likely to soon forget. Even the way he describes fermentation stays with you: "wild creatures eating sugar, farting carbon dioxide, pissing alcohol!"

I'm leaving for Mexico next week, so sipping Del Maguey was getting me in the south of the border mood -- even though I'm going to Tequila vs. Oaxaca, where most mezcal is produced. For the unfamiliar, mezcal is a spirit made from the heart (piña) of the maguey, an agave plant native to Mexico. Piñas are roasted underground, giving mezcal its distinctive smoky properties. Mezcal is the peaty scotch of tequila, which by definition is a mezcal made specifically from blue agave in Tequila, Mexico. Read more »

Hold onto yer Wiggs, change comin' to Western Addy


Morgan Fitzgibbons isn't thinking small when it comes to goals for his Western Addition sustainability group, the Wigg Party. “We want to make our community a leader in the transformation in resilience,” he tells me during our coffee date to discuss the group's upcoming anti-boycott “carrotmob” at Matching Half Cafe (Sat/23). 

It's no coincidence that his language sounds a little new age-y. The basis for Fitzgibbons' vision for the Wigglers seems grounded in the PhD of Philosopy, Cosmology, and Consciousness he received at California Institute for Integral Studies. “We're these sacred beings,” he tells me earnestly of his San Francisco community. “This is a sacred movement – I want people to look back in a hundred years and see that.” Read more »

Appetite: Three beef sandwiches that get it right


In today's Appetite installation, Virginia Miller ranged near and far (in a fabulous pair of vintage pumps, as is her wont) in search of the meatiest hunk of sandwich available for hungry city souls. Sink your teeth into one while watching your -- cross your fingers -- new league champion baseball team. Go Gigantes! 

1. Deli Board's Boca Read more »

Inside Iran: journalist Houshang Asadi reads in Berkeley tonight


Iran's authoritarian regime still gets away with locking up artists and intellectuals for their opinions. (The renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi spent three months in prison this year for speaking his mind in public.) The contours of this system of political persecution come to the fore in the most personal and riveting of terms as longtime Iranian dissident, journalist, and author Houshang Asadi talks about (and reads from) his new memoir, Letters to My Torturer: Love, Revolution, and Imprisonment in Iran, in conversation with journalist and author Jonathan Curiel (Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots) at Berkeley Arts and Letters. The event is co-sponsored by the National Iranian American Council, Amnesty International, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

Read more »