Archive for May, 2009

Accounts from yesterday’s gay marriage-related rallies

Here are some blog accounts of people who got arrested at yesterday’s Prop 8 protests in San Francisco:
Will Scott
David Nahmod
David somebody.

The Public Press has a straightforward account here (Thanks, Darren). Also, here’s an account from San Diego of a sit-in at the county clerk’s office. Arrests were threatened but everybody decided to leave quietly instead.

If you blogged about getting arrested or being at the demonstrations in San Francisco, email me at prop8protests at yahoo.com and I’ll add a link to your entry.

It’s all about the context

The website Yelp earlier today sent out email to San Francisco members with the headline Put the Fun Between Your Legs:
yelp_oops1

Provocative, yes — too much so for the sponsor, San Francisco Women Against Rape. A few hours later, Yelp sent out this corrected version:
yelp_correction1

Nevertheless, even the corrected email is full of references to cute boys and double entendres like “Rachel L likes to strap hers on knowing “there isn’t another person out there” with the exact same one” — messenger bags, that is. Well, if the email didn’t get attention the first time, it is now.

Calif. Supreme Court upholds Prop. 8, outlawing same-sex marriage

In a 6-1 decision announced at 10:00 a.m. today, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, a ballot initiative passed in November that outlawed same-sex marriage in the state. Here is the opinion (PDF file). Marriages performed before Nov. 4, 2008 are still valid, the court ruled.

Activists prepare for Prop. 8 decision by Calif. Supreme Court

day_of_decision

The California State Supreme Court tomorrow will issue its decision on the constitutionality of the state law banning gay marriage, which was enacted by the voters as Proposition 8 in November. Some local activists are meeting tonight to plan civil disobedience after the announcement if the decision upholds the law, and another group announced plans to march no matter what the outcome.

The court convenes at 10:00 a.m. and the decision should be known shorter thereafter.

Drivers should avoid the downtown area between Van Ness Ave. and Second St., covering Civic Center and the retail center, where large demonstrations are expected.

Writer-designers to appear at RADAR

Laura Albert, Savannah Knoop

Savannah Knoop (pictured at right in 2007 with erstwhile JT LeRoy writer Laura Albert), who for several years played the role of JT LeRoy in public — as seen here, where she is referred to as “Trannie to the Stars” — will appear as herself in the monthly RADAR reading series Tuesday at 6:00 pm at the San Francisco Public Library. Knoop, a fashion designer, is the author of “Girl Boy Girl,” a memoir about the hoax. (“Knoop” means “knot” in Dutch, by the way, a suitable name for someone with a tangled identity.)

Also appearing is Meliza Bañales, who also designs clothing in addition to being a writer, filmmaker and performance artist, and Chelsea Starr, ditto. These are the kind of people for whom the Bay Area queer arts scene was invented; and if it didn’t already exist, they would invent it. Produced by Michelle Tea (who else?), the reading will be at 6:00 pm at the SF Public Library Main Branch [map].

Unless there is a riot following the Prop. 8 decision by the California Supreme Court.

Another day in the sexual revolution

It’s been a cold, foggy, blowy day. The sun never came out, and tourists hurried into souvenir shops and Walgreens to buy crappy beige SAN FRANCISCO sweaters and hoodies. On days like today you wonder how the hell the city ever became known as the capital of free love, unless it was the urge to get back into bed, and when two people had the same idea, then… Yeah, that would work.

This morning I went to my favorite café, Progressive Grounds at 21st and Bryant. As I sat there reading The Savage Detectives I became aware of a woman with a braying voice having a loud phone conversation — unusual at that café. “I’m twenty-six,” she was saying. “I’ve got long hair, almost down to my ass. I’m 36 double-D. I’m real pretty, I work at Centerfolds…”

I looked up. The speaker was a frankly ugly woman with thin, straight shoulder-length hair. She was in her mid-30s at least, fat, and dressed like a Capp St. hooker in a dirty pinkish party dress and a bright pink puffy jacket. She had on weird hookerish tinted glasses and high-heeled shoes, and she was saying “I just got off work at 4:00 a.m. Yeah, I have pictures on disk that I can send you. Well, what are you looking for? No, I don’t have a cell phone camera. Well, why is that important?”

Then the party she was talking to apparently hung up. The woman went to the counter and ordered a complicated vanilla latte with lots of whipped cream. (The staff at the café treated her with as much respect and politeness as they treat everyone, I noticed. Did I say I really like that café?) Then she took her drink back to the table and, with her finger on an advertisement in the back pages of the SF Weekly, phoned another potential employer.

I was thinking two things at the same time: She is atrocious, but also, she is awesome. She had probably never been pretty. Her voice sounded like the dregs at the bottom of a bottle of beer. But she was working that camera-less mobile phone and lying up one side and down the other about how gorgeous she was. What was the point? What were people going to say when she actually showed up at whatever strip club or massage parlor she was calling? Did she look in the mirror and see herself as she described herself? And how much of the way we all present ourselves is mostly bluff and squinting in the mirror and hoping that other people never call us on it?

After the second phone call she checked her messages, collected her things, and departed.

Giants on sale

Perhaps frightened by the acres of empty seats at San Diego’s Petco Park this week, the Giants are selling half-price tickets to some of next week’s homestand through the Travelzoo website. Click this link: http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ticketing/supergroup.jsp?group=travelzoo and enter the coupon code MAY to get the discount on games of May 25, 26, 27, and 29 — including the day game on Monday, May 25, Memorial Day. However, they add their fees onto the order, so check the total before you pay.

Another local blog: Baynewser

Joining the ranks of locally oriented blogs (locablogs?) is MediaBistro’s Baynewser, a new companion to that company’s Webnewser, TVnewser, Galleycat (a publishing industry blog), Fishbowls NY and LA, and several other properties.

Baynewser is edited by E.B. Boyd and sportswriter Jason Turbow.

What do you do on public transit? Nothing… or something?

Macarthur BART, photo by Robert Schwandl

Local photographer Thomas Hawk made a very interesting post on his website today, reporting his “unscientific survey” of what commuters were doing on his 9 a.m. BART train from MacArthur to Embarcadero this morning. He didn’t ask anyone what they were doing, relying on his own observations. Most people were “doing nothing,” he found; others he broke down into “other” and into several categories of reading. See his post for the stats.

I love the idea of noticing what others are doing, and recording it unobtrusively and reporting it. It sounds a bit creepy when put that way, but there’s nothing wrong with doing so in a public space. I’d love to see people do this exact thing from time to time: walk the length of a bus or train and compile the same stats, or different ones. It’s just as valuable and interesting to report on skirt lengths, how many people smell, or the number of people wearing glasses.

That said, it’s interesting that Hawk happened to sort his survey by media consumption, and that he expresses surprise that “so many of the people on BART were simply doing nothing (this included sleeping as well).” Of course, BART, and public transit in general, is a great place to read. I’ve sometimes gotten on a BART train and ridden all the way to the end of the line and back just to have a comfortable reading experience uninterrupted by phones, people I know, my cats, or trips to the refrigerator. But those who were sitting quietly “doing nothing” may have relished the chance to do so as much as the people who were devouring media. As someone who sits in front of a computer all day and, often, much of the evening, I find it nice to have a time where I can’t do so — this includes driving, going to the ballgame or the symphony, and yes, “doing nothing.”

By the way, I just noticed that BART has a page on its website where it collects blog and Twitter posts about BART.

Face The Music This Week: Jello, McLagan, Ruby Howl, etc

Lots of good music has been, and continues trickling through the local live music stream lately, and this week is no exception. Tonight, the amazing and amusing Dengue Fever is at The Castro Theater, while the Red Devil Lounge offers up a rare opportunity to see Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan’s latest band. The silver haired Brit who relocated to Austin TX, continues his legacy as a road warrior with a resume including too many greats & near greats to mention in one blog post. If you are familiar with the Faces and Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones or Billy Bragg…you have likely been exposed to his key tickling skills.Macs Latest Release on his Maniac imprint Never Say Never

His latest indie album is a solid & sincere effort from a veteran rocker, and of course he’ll likely spice up the live set with old faves, possibly dating back to his first chart topping days circa 1966 with Steve Marriott & Ronnie Lane in The Small Faces.

On Thursday night, while Bimbo’s in North Beach features Cake, meanwhile the deep down underground will possibly be sucked into the Vortex Room with Mr. Lucky and the Ramshackle Romeos. Others may be down on Harrison @ The Eagle Tavern. Bands playing there include former Nice Strong Arm bandleader Kevin Thompson’s new project “bun bun bun” and Sunward Spike. Ruby Howl hits the stage in the middle slot, a band featuring the talented alterna-chanteuse Laurie Hall who has played in numerous local combos over the past couple decades. Maybe you saw her with her mom in the Hall Flowers, or with her sis in Ovarian Trolley, or perhaps opening for the Pixies reunion at The Greek with Knife + Fork. She knows her craft and has a new band called Ruby Howl plying their trade with her husband Pat and a somewhat shy drummer who wishes to remain anonymous. More info on Ruby Howl at
http://www.myspace.com/rubyhowlPat & Laurie

Friday night , two soul music legends hit the stage on a double bill at the Independent, Booker T. Jones of the MG’s preceded by Detroit’s own Bettye LaVette, both of whom are promoting new albums on the Anti label, an Epitaph offshoot.

On Saturday night @ Annie’s Social Club, old school punkers will be in force catching Social Unrest, and Ribzy as well as the debut of Jello Biafra’s latest unnamed musical project. Before leaving on a reunion tour with his old band, Faith No More bassist Billy Gould will be backing Biafra alongside drummer Jon Weiss and guitar wizard Ralph Spight of Victim’s Family. If you get bored of the jurassic punks onstage at this Alcoholocaust, head to the backroom and be yer own D.I.Y rock star via the punk schlock karaoke set up…

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