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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

Hot sexy events Sept 29 - Oct 5

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With Folsom's fumes still coming out of your pores thanks to this week's weather's surprise cameo by Death Valley, you are perhaps wondering the best spot to get hot and sweaty with your newfound best trick. We got you covered -- as we do each week here in the schvitzy dungeon of the SFBG stables. Read on for porn parodies, artistic foreplay, and techno-free touching.

 

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Appetite: Highlights of SF Cocktail Week, part 2

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That fizzy, magical week during which cocktails take over our fair city has just washed over us. Here are more highlights -- check out part 1 here.

9/26 - Cocktail Cookout on the Island  Read more »

Lending art in the TL

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Throughout the course of writing my feature story about the Tenderloin this week, which looks at the role art is playing in the gradually changing neighborhood, a couple of questions kept cycling back into the forefront of my mind. What should be the role of art in community-building? What kinds of art benefit the residents of a neighborhood? It's tough to categorically define the answers, but Rick Darnell and the North of Market Community Benefit District's plans for a TL art lending library come damn close to a perfect score.

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Getting our rocks off: a historical perspective

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San Francisco is waiting for its Boogie Nights. Unbeknownst to Hollywood, our fair berg was the infant creche of hardcore pornography, spawning a subculture of porn theaters that thrived despite police harassment and political pressure.

We were number one! Luckily, a few brave men are resurrecting our porn golden age money shot – read on for a first look at documentary The Smut Capital of America and an interview with the director himself, Michael Stabile.

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Why "The Social Network" isn't just "the Facebook movie"

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Based on the founding of Facebook and Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires, The Social Network has already received rave reviews from critics. I offer no dissent: the film is unquestionably one of the year’s best. I recently spoke to three of its lead actors — Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Armie Hammer — and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.

We’re all Facebook friends now. (Lie.)

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Appetite: Highlights of SF Cocktail Week, part 1

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The magical settings, moments and drinks were many in the 4th Annual SF Cocktail Week, which set the bar high for all future Cocktail Weeks... consider attending next year, as it's far from being just for drink aficionados. It's for those who love a memorable party done in true San Francisco style.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Yoko, Fillmore and Clay

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Life and death in Sunnydale

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Photographs by Sarah Phelan

On the first Friday afternoon in September, as most folks were trying to get an early start on their Labor Day weekend, C.L.A.E.R. director Sharen Hewitt and her advisory board member Carrie Manuel welcomed friends, family, neighbors—and a handful of D10 candidates—to a basketball hoop dedication ceremony outside C.L.A.E.R.’s office on Brookdale Ave at the heart of the  violence-racked Sunnydale housing project in Visitacion Valley.

By afternoon''s end, Hewitt had managed to get D 10 candidates Malia Cohen, Kristine Enea, Chris Jackson, Tony Kelly and Marlene Tran shooting hoops with a dozen African American youngsters who live in Sunnydale, the city's largest public housing project, and talking about what they have learned about life and death in this deceptively pleasant-looking sun-and-fog bathed spot that overlooks the Bay, backs onto McLaren Park and the neighboring Gleneagles Golf course--little knowing that within two hours, yet another young black man would be fatally shot one block away from C.L.A.E.R.'s office. Read more »

Needed: a public health master plan

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California Pacific Medical Center's plan to build a massive new regional hospital on Van Ness shouldn't be under the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission

EDITORIAL More than 100 people showed up at the Planning Commission Sept. 23 to oppose California Pacific Medical Center's plan to build a massive new regional hospital on Van Ness Avenue. Most were neighborhood residents who raised an excellent point: what, exactly, would the shiny new $2.5 billion hospital offer for low-income people in the Tenderloin?

And that's just the starting point for discussion. The new project is a piece of a much larger plan: CPMC wants to shut down part of its Laurel Heights campus, reduce the number of beds and the scope of service at St. Luke's, turn Ralph K. Davis into a specialty facility, and reshape the way health care is provided in San Francisco.

That's a huge deal — but right now, the city is looking at the projects piecemeal. That's poor public health policy and poor land-use planning. In fact, there's no real way to evaluate the Van Ness hospital in its proper context — the Planning Commission, which will rule on the development issues, is hardly the best venue in which to discuss the future of health care in San Francisco.

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False witness: Yael Hersonski on "A Film Unfinished"

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Documentaries that “tell” the Holocaust tend to employ archival footage generically as a kind of historical flavoring. It’s rare that we are asked to contemplate either the provenance of the images or the individual lives depicted. Yael Hersonski’s A Film Unfinished simultaneously confronts both of these gaps with a taut historiography of several reels of Nazi propaganda footage. Even in the German film’s inchoate form, we easily apprehend the propagandistic moves to further manipulate an already constructed reality (the Warsaw Ghetto) for objective “proof” of the necessity of Hitler’s Final Solution. And yet here before us, flowing at the speed of life, are the faces and places that would be destroyed within months of the filming.

Hersonski attempts to extricate the documentary value of this footage using frame-speed manipulations and edits which call attention to telling movements. She also films elderly survivors watching the footage alone in a darkened theater. In their capacity for recognition and incredulousness, they unravel the German point-of-view. By weaving these live responses with diary entries of those consigned to the ghetto along with the deposition of a German cameraman, Hersonski draws a fragmentary, highly specific account of the Holocaust’s crisis of representation. We discussed the film in a recent email exchange.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: The question of how to use archival footage responsibly is one that haunts the great Holocaust-themed films — Night and Fog (1955), Shoah (1985), and the films of Péter Forgács all find very different solutions. Can you describe the way your own attitudes regarding the appropriation of this archive developed during the time you worked on A Film Unfinished? Read more »

Endorsement interviews: James Keys

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James Keys, a former legislative intern in Sup. Chris Daly’s office now running for supervisor in D6, is making economic and social justice the centerpiece of his campaign. He talks, for example, about using city resources to make sure that SRO residents have a chance to move on to more traditional apartments. “We have a lot of housing in the pipeline,” he told us. “But I’m not sure if people are really moving in.”Read more »

A hardly strictly kind of guy

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It is not everyday that a San Francisco Bay Guardian culture writer finds herself going for an interview in the Financial District. Something about the fumes of avarice making poor atmosphere for the creative process. But high above the Starbucks and town cars is the banjo-packed office of a rich man who puts on the best free bluegrass festival of the year. And so, for Warren Hellman and his Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (Fri/1-Sun/3), I braved the world of name tags and extravagant corner offices.

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SFBG Radio: The GOP and fear of the "other"

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Today Johnny and Tim talk about the bill that the Democrats are using to fight back against Republican nonsense -- and why the GOP is all about scaring white people. You can listen after the break. Read more »

Newsom campaign also plugging Sparks

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UPDATED WITH RESPONSE FROM SPARKS.

Gavin Newsom's campaign for lieutenant governor might have a tough time beating moderate Latino Republican Abel Maldonado – indeed, even many of his local allies privately tell us they fear he's going to lose – but it is still using some of its significant resources and energy to promote the candidacy of Theresa Sparks, whom Newsom endorsed to replace Chris Daly on the Board of Supervisors. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Jessica, 19th Street and Valencia

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