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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

The Performant: The Witching Hour -- Puritan girls gone wild and midnight museum marauders

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Checking out the local arts and culture scene ...

There’s no doubt about it—San Franciscans love a rock opera. From the faux-real heavy metal anthems of “Live Evil” to the afterlife explorations of “Exit Sign,” the suicide art movement of “Thanatics” to the human sacrifices of “Wicker Man,” we like our rock operas loud, messy, and tinged with darkness and humor both. So an original rock opera about the Salem Witch Trials seems an obvious pairing between our love of the darkside plus power chords. Appropriately held at the Temple nightclub on Howard, “Abigail the Rock Opera” straddles the SF rock opera line between serious and silly.

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Obama's God

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This country has become seriously weird. Now the president's press secretary has to tell us all that his boss is a Christian, god dammit, and he "prays every day."

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Appetite: 2 delicious food events on the horizon

Grab your fork for Eat Real and an improved La Cocina Street Food Fest

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8/21 LA COCINA SF STREET FOOD FESTIVAL: Everyone who was there last year recalls the nightmare that was the SF Street Food Festival: three hour waits for a bite, only to find much of it gone by the time you reached the front of the line. I went at the 11am start time last year, yet still only got to try two vendors in two hours. At least I was able to hang out in the cocktail and beer garden awhile, as I heard that, too, was an impossible wait before long. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Oil companies, Prop. 23 and Whitman's decline

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Today Johnny and Tim talk discuss the oil companies' attempts to derail California's Green Law and express gratitude to Meg Whitman for burning the public out on political ads. You can listen after the jump. Read more »

What does Chuck Nevius want?

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I'm not sure even Freud could answer that question, particularly re: his latest Chron column, which seems to be complaining that middle-class families don't get a fair shake in the school lottery.

Nevius tells the tale of a couple who lost out in the school-choice lottery. It happens; I know that, because it happened to me. When my son was headed for kindergarten, we carefully chose seven schools we liked, and when the computer was done, we got none of them.Read more »

The more Whitman spends, the more people hate her

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Johnny Angel and I have been talking about this trend for months, and now there's evidence to support our conclusion: Meg Whitman's massive blitz of campaign ads is doing her more harm than good.

From Calitics:Read more »

Eating humble pie with Glendon "Anna Conda" Hyde

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It was with a sinking feeling that I read the comments that Glendon “Anna Conda” Hyde’s supporters left on the Guardian's website last week, after I wrote about the DCCC questionnaires last week—and managed to screw up by omitting Conda/Hyde from my hasty round up.

“How is it that you've omitted Anna/Glendon from your election roundup?” was one of many similar comments made by Conda/Hyde’s outraged supporters. “This looks awfully like PREJUDICE, darlings. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Anna/Glendon's candidacy is not a joke. S/he is one of the most promising progressive voices in SF. Wake up."

So, I picked up the phone, and called Conda/Hyde to offer my humble apologies.

And today we sat down and talked about the role of the media and political endorsement clubs in propping up the marginalization of marginalized candidates and communities—and the role of radical queers in pushing back against the status quo and the political machines. Read more »

Hot sexy events Aug 18-24

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Two words to understand why sex at Burning Man requires some amount of pre-playa study: alkaline dust. You do not want the stuff getting in while you do, lemme tell ya. So it is a very, very nice thing that Pink, one of Mission Control's pansexy sex parties, is providing a primer on playa pussy (Fri/20). Subjects covered in the course? How to look for sexy in the barely clothed insta-city, tips for romping through the heat and psychedelia, and the importance of spray bottles when you're getting with that neon fur-clad bunny you met by the ice stand. Read more »

Arnold's budget casts most vulnerable as The Expendables

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As California’s Budget Conference Committee moves forward with negotiations for the 2010 budget, Assembly member Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) is promoting her movie, “Faces Behind the Governor’s Cuts,” to different Bay Area venues in an effort to send a message to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that his proposed cuts on services ignore the needs of the poor, parents who use child care facilities, and the elderly.

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SF Chamber attacks -- lamely

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The right-wing San Francisco Chamber of Commerce has had a pretty bad track record in local electoral politics in recent years, and its latest attack ads on progressive members of the Board of Supervisors demonstrates why: the group's muddled and hypocritical messaging is barely comprehensible to the average San Franciscan.Read more »

Why I support gun control

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I admit I don't know the details, but it hardly matters: An Oakland kid just died because he was playing with a handgun.

My nephew, who has a couple of rifles and loves to go the the range and shoot at targets, calls me every now and then to tell me that "my president" -- you know, Obama -- wants to take away his guns. I tell him Obama doesn't want his guns, and I don't, either. And I'm a carnivore, so I can't even say I'm against hunting.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Nookkie, Bannan and Green

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In the dumps

HAIRY EYEBALL: Intersection for the Arts' double-decade Recology survey digs up some gems

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From Kurt Schwitters' dwelling-consuming accretion The Merzbau to Tim Noble and Sue Webster's silhouette-casting garbage heaps, making art from the discard pile is by no means a new gesture. It can still be a potent one, though, as evinced by "Art at the Dump," a 20-year survey of the fruits of Recology's artist in residence program at Intersection for the Art's new gallery space in the historic San Francisco Chronicle building.Read more »

Dancethropology

SUPER EGO: Twirling around with Kenny Dope, SF Drag King Contest, Scuba, Bay Vibes Fest, Always Tired, and more parties

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"What you doin' talking all night? If you have so much to say, why don't you call a hotline? The time to talk is not right now. It's time to dance, my friend. Share some of that energy you got on your lips, in your feet."Read more »

alt.sex.column: Mixed marriage

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Dear Readers:

I was halfway through an answer to a reader's very interesting question when said reader wrote back and asked me not to. Instead we're discussing fetishes and how they do or don't mesh well with regular partnered sex. The questioner had done everything a body could do to accommodate the partner's special interests, yet the fetish was proving a more powerful draw than the willing, accommodating live body, and the questioner was wondering if there was really room in the relationship for two humans and an object.Read more »