Archive for the ‘Cults’ Category

The truth is right behind the roller coaster at Great America

Master of the Universe

Master of the Universe

I went yesterday to ConspiracyCon, which is exactly what you’d guess it is: a convention of conspiracy theorists. UFO chasers, 9-11 deniers, tax protesters and this year’s big favorite, explainers of the current economic crisis.

Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Obama and his administration are pawns of the international banking conspiracy, and it’s all led by former Jimmy Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and the many “secret societies” from the Trilateral Commission to the Bohemian Grove.
  • The reason Ron Paul supporters also have UFO conspiracy DVDs at their booth is because if the government let us know about and learn alien technology, it could go a long way toward solving our country’s energy problems.
  • No plane actually struck the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001; the damage was the result of planted explosives. This was vouchsafed to me by an extremely energetic and dedicated young man who was giving his DVDs away for free. He had a very elaborate set of xeroxed photographs with the “real” flight path of the airliner, a professionally-produced series of animated graphics which showed the difference between the fake flight path and the real one, and so on.
  • If you experience sudden headaches or body heating as you walk down the street, this is called “electronic harassment” and is the work of the NSA, which can read your driver’s license from space.

This last was given to me by a very sane-appearing man, who said it in the same tones you might use to explain how Twitter works for someone who’s never used it. Everyone was very nice, and very talkative. All I had to do was say to someone, “You seem to have a lot of literature here,” and they’d talk for five minutes without taking a breath.

The best moment was during a presentation by one Webster Tarpley, an animated gent who made a presentation on the conspiracy between Obama and the bankers. At one point he showed pictures of the heads of Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs. When no one in the audience could identify all three, he began ranting, “These are the people who rule the world! Never mind the politicians, these are the real rulers! Maybe if you put down your UFO book and paid attention we’d be better off!”

ConspiracyCon continues today at the Santa Clara Marriott.

Dept. of Weinerschnitzel: radio host banned from the U.K.

weiner.gifLocal comedian Michael Weiner, who broadcasts nationally as a right-wing foamer called “Michael Savage,” has been banned from the U.K. for promoting hate speech. The Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci has an exclusive interview with the radio talker and former Allen Ginsburg groupie, whose previous utterances have included an allegation that autistic children are simply badly behaved kids who need more parental discipline.

It’s not just his radio broadcasts that are banned. Weiner himself is banned from entering the U.K.

Zen priests 87, firefighters 80

New priests at Zen Center. Photo by Catherine McPhee.

After the San Francisco Zen Center ordained three new priests last month, Zen Center blogger Greg Fain pointed out that a University of Chicago survey found that clergy had a very high job satisfaction rate, even better than firefighters. “We beat firefighters! Whoo-hoo!!!” he exulted.

Writers with Drinks, Pamela Z, Easter vigils

pamela_zTonight Writers with Drinks features Pam Houston (Cowboys Are My Weakness), Stacie Boschma (Happy Rainbow Poems from the Unicorn Petting Zoo), Laurie R. King (Touchstone, The Art Of Detection), Sean Stewart (Cathy’s Key, Yoda: Dark Rendezvous), Regina Lynn (SexRev 2.0, Sexier Sex), and Minal Hajratwala (Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages To Five Continents). As usual, it’s at the Makeout Room, 3225 22nd. St. near Mission in San Francisco, starts at 7:30 pm, and benefits the Center for Sex and Culture. I’d go just to hear Pam Houston read — she’s always terrific.

If you’d rather see something artsier, experimental music maven Pamela Z (pictured at left) is presenting the second in her ROOM series of performances, tonight at 8:00 pm at the Royce Gallery, 2901 Mariposa St. at Harrison.

And if you’re up for something mystical, dark and theatrical, attend one of the many Easter Vigil services held at Christian churches tonight. Classically, a congregation would meet in the “undercroft” of the church, the sub-basement where the skeletons are buried, to remind them of the tomb from which Jesus rises. Nowadays you’re more likely to find yourself in a candle-lit church basement, but the service is still great theater, with scripture readings that move from the creation to the exodus from Egypt to the passion and resurrection. Good bets are Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in North Beach, 8:00 pm; St. Gregory Nyssa Episcopal Church on Potrero Hill, 8:00 pm; Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill, 8:00 pm; or St. Francis Lutheran Church in the Castro, 7:00 pm.

‘Propaganda’ suggests Mixon is ‘greatest cop killer of all time,’ among other things

A posting on propagandapress.orgwhoever they are — about Lovelle Mixon, the Oakland parolee who gunned down four Oakland cops, includes a fake URL that suggests, among other things, that Mixon is the “greatest cop killer of all time” and is “getting his dick sucked by virgins” in some unspecified hereafter. Click the thumbnail for a full view. The URL is, of course, non-existent; the post explains that it was “was removed from the web for being too offensive to big.whitey.”


Just another SF sex cult

Courtesy Salon’s Broadsheet blog, I caught this NYT story on a cultish Folsom Street community, One Taste, in which fully clothed men daily get women off before breakfast. Not to be confused with the Center for Sex and Culture’s Masturbate-a-thon (it’s not til May 2).

Justin Juul of the SF Bay Guardian reported on One Taste last month, making it sound like the worst hell imaginable. “We spent the rest of the afternoon doing one-on-one vulnerability exercises,” is only one sentence from the sad tale. I was reminded of the legendary men-only workshops taught in the 1990s by a well-known San Francisco performance artist, who made his naked attendees stand in a circle with their dicks tied together with string to demonstrate their interdependence. Scissors were not permitted in the room, alas.

‘Breathers’ author to appear at Writers with Drinks

S.G. Browne

S.G. Browne

The first novel by S.G. Browne, who lives in the Santa Cruz area but has attended a writer’s group in SF for years, is called Breathers: A Zombie’s lament. The comic take on the undead, who shamble around a small California town, attend Undead Anonymous meetings, and try to stay out of the grips of the SPCA, is also a romance, between the main character and a recently suicided young woman. It’s also a story of temptation, once the zombies find out that the secret to fighting decrepitude is to comsume, yes, the flesh of humans, or “breathers.”

The book, which is being released today, was recently sold to Fox Searchlight with Diablo Cody slated to produce. Browne appears Saturday at Writers With Drinks. I spoke to him by phone yesterday.

My interview after the jump

Want another headache? Sign Manny

As the Barry Bonds saga winds excruciatingly through the courts and Bonds himself ages on the shelf until his legal problems are finished, fans in both southern and northern California watch with appalled fascination the spectacle of the Manny Ramirez contract negotiations. On Thursday night the negotiations between the Dodgers, for whom Ramirez last played, and his agent exploded into public recriminations as accusatory emails flew back and forth. The more things like this happen, the more Giants ownership has to wonder, do they really want another headache like the one they had with Bonds?

Bonds’ trial was postponed indefinitely after his “friend” and former “trainer” Greg Anderson again refused to testify about what he knows about Bonds’ steroid use, which he allegedly facilitated. Anderson spent a year in jail on contempt charges already, and he might be headed for another spell if this keeps up. Yesterday on KNBR Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert went on a hilarious riff about how the prisoners and guards at the Pleasanton federal lockup where Anderson vacations probably ask him for Bonds memorabilia and that the prison is likely festooned with Bonds signed balls, jerseys and posters.

S.G. Browne’s "Breathers" sold to Hollywood; Diablo Cody to produce

Santa Cruz writer S.G. Browne‘s book Breathers, a comic zombie romance which he describes as “a classic story of suffering and redemption, like The Color Purple or the New Testament, only with cannibalism” has been sold to Fox Searchlight, with Diablo Cody set to produce. (Cody is last year’s slumdog millionaire, as it were — her Academy Award for the “Juno” screenplay vaulted her to fame and Hollywood power.) Browne, a former Disney screenwriter, will be appearing at next month’s Writers with Drinks as well as other venues after the March 3 release of his book.

Noe Valley’s Bell Market closing Sunday

The Bell Market in Noe Valley is set to close at 4:00 pm on Sunday, Feb. 15, according to signs posted on the store. I went in there last night to buy some baby food (for the cat — I don’t have any babies) and they were totally out of what I wanted. A look around the store revealed that many shelves were already bare, with empty banana cartons lining the empty bottom shelves.

Curbed SF has been saying that Whole Foods is taking over the location. Their most recent post on the matter says the location is expected to open in the fall, leaving more than six months for renovation to take place.

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