March 30, 2008

The blame game, ad infinitum

Though it's become the centerpiece of the Beltway argument for troop withdrawal, it still never fails to nauseate me:
The only way to get the Iraqis to accept responsibility for their future is by no longer extending them an indefinite blank check, intensifying diplomacy and withdrawing our troops swiftly, responsibly and safely.

-Lee Feinstein, national security director for the Clinton campaign

March 25, 2008

Jens Lekman @ Bimbo's 365

Oh, there was many a hipster, to be sure, donning plaid just like the headliner, and their "very unique hairdos" (as David sarcastically sniped). They were out in full effect, professing their "man crushes" and demanding their favorite songs. One was met with an uncharacteristically firm rebuke from Jens: "No. You can't get everything you want in life." But he couldn't keep a straight face long enough to be make his annoyance believable. This guy is too sanguine, too sweet to be cold -- dancing giddily around the stage with his band, all in matching outfits with matching keys around their necks, arms outstretched like airplanes during an electronic instrumental interlude.

No, the hipsters couldn't dissuade me. After all, with a"boyfriendable baritone" and "deadpan style of singing" reminiscent of Stephen Merritt*, what other musician is charming enough to make even the most mundane minutiae lyrical? Seriously, who else can pull off a line like this:

So you pick up your asthma inhaler
and put it against your lips
and oh those lips I've loved

or this

I was slicing up an avocado
when you came up behind me
with your quiet brand new sneakers

or my favorite,

Oh, I still remember "Regulate" with Warren G.
Could that have been back in the sweet summer of 1993?

Hell, he made a song out of Google Map directions!

Wasn't really expecting him to be a comedian, though I guess those witty lyrics had to come from somewhere. He related a story of telling his audience in Florence how he marvelled at what a beautiful city they lived in, and learned his lesson after the show when some fans cornered him and angrily insisted it was a shit hole. So he did a little reverse psychology -- "I hate San Francisco, with your rainbows, and your tiny tiny hummingbirds, and your cute boys and girls...fuck San Francisco. This song's for Oakland." Cheers all around, natch.

He played Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill during an encore, violin and cello subbing for the horns like at this show in Italy:

Reminds me of clapping on a street corner in Santiago...

*Talking smack about hipsters and then linking to, the irony's not lost on me.

March 21, 2008

Grist outdoes itself

Young McHipster has a farm, e-i-e-i-o. And on her farm, she has organic produce, e-i-e-i-o. With a CSA here, and a trucker hat there, here a market, there a Pabst, everywhere an urbanite. Young McHipster has a farm, e-i-e-i-o!

Reminds me of one of those "overheard in San Francisco" moments I had with my housemate at Dolores Park a while back--couple d00ds of the hipster persuasion were sitting near us guzzling (of course) Pabst, and this is their prototypically perfect exchange:

Hipster 1: You're not rockin' the fixie today, man.

Hipster 2:
Nah, too many hills.

March 20, 2008

Didn't know they had a name for it...

More brilliant reporting from the Chronicle:

The rhetoric Wednesday was not as heated. Direct Action coordinated this year's protest but seemed aware of what has been called the "Code Pink conundrum," in which the activists are so shrill and unpleasant that even those who agree with them are turned off by their tactics.

Update: From the ANSWER Coalition flyer--


I've heard of casting a wide net, but wow...that covers just about everything.

March 12, 2008

...but I thought empanadas were the new cupcake?

So I know I said I'd blog about our office cupcake tasting, but then I found the post that might've served as inspiration for the day that almost ended in tragedy...delicious, iced tragedy.

I was completely torn between Kara's Cupcakes and That Takes the Cake, but ultimately my chocolate bias won out and I gave the nod to Kara's because of the Fleur De Sel. With that said, I think That Takes the Cake has the most original cupcakes in terms of flavor combinations and cake textures.
My thoughts exactly. I can't believe we did this the week of Thanksgiving. Oh wait, yes I can. And did I mention my housemates and I are hosting a cupcake party soon?

You know, Nosheteria (best food blog name evar) says cupcakes have become passe, but it's gonna take a helluva lot more than them falling out of fashion for me to stop fiending.

The mother of all markets

Back when local food was more necessity than movement:

Alemany Farmer's Market, 1953
Originally uploaded by Telstar Logistics


Seems every time there's some sort of significant shift in where I'm at, I rename the blog. So it's been almost 6 months since I moved to "The City"...long overdue, but maybe now that I've got a purty new masthead and links to boot I'll have more of an incentive to post.

March 11, 2008

Required Reading: "The Face of Feminism" Edition

Thought I'd share a coupla things I read over the weekend that struck a chord.

>>Jessica Valenti on "The Sisterhood Split" -- this captures a lot of what I've been feeling about the dialogue around Clinton's candidacy and reactions from mainstream feminsim:

...Herein lies the reason so many of us are loath to discuss intrafeminist problems publicly. We know that Clinton supporters are taking heat from sexists--whether at home, at work or from pundits who relish talking about Clinton's "shrill" voice or whatever thinly veiled misogyny of the day is on cable news. We don't want to provide the backlash more fodder. We also know how hard our feminist foremothers fought to be here and how important the moment is--and we want to be a part of it. I certainly do. But not at the expense of what I believe is best for women, and not just because a movement that assumes it knows what's best for me tells me to.
This is refreshing after reading Astrid Henry's "Not My Mother's Sister" -- a book reviewed on by Feministing's "Not Oprah's Book Club" with a cover more befitting "Ya Ya Sisterhood" than a somewhat dense scholarly deconstruction of the generational lines in the sand drawn between 2nd and 3rd wave feminisms. And by dense I mean that the footnotes and bibliography were as long as half the text itself, and my head just isn't in the game anymore when it comes to academic writing. Too much writing for email, where there's a premium placed on punchy prose (and did I mention aliteration?). But I'm rambling...I like that Henry is trying to get at the roots of intergenerational infighting in order to shore up the movement and refocus energy outward, but I think I prefer Valenti's approach:

...feminists make a mistake in prematurely calling for unity. Instead of glossing over the problem with the rhetoric of sisterhood or having an elite group declare the dispute settled, let's own the conflict and use it to make real progress.
>>On the topic of global feminisms, Alternet's Joshua Holland asks "Is Islam Really Stuck in the 12th Century on Women's Rights?" A lot of what I've read from him has challenged the "clash of civilizations" contingent and called out Islamophobia and Western ethnocentrism, and this was no exception:

The bottom line here is that increasing women's civic, political and economic participation is a good fight, and an incredibly significant one. Focusing primarily on the status of women in Islamic countries to rid ourselves of the stigma of our own inequalities or to justify Western hegemony over the rest of the world is not.
I had to read this at least five times before it really registered:

Portuguese women got the vote in 1976, Swiss women in 1971.

No. Words.

March 02, 2008

Mission Mural Tour

Where I work, the last Friday of every month is reserved for "Final Friday Funday" office fieldtrips -- er, off-site meetings? So on leap day, a coworker took us on a walking tour of the murals in the Mission.

Check out all the photos here -- particularly the Megatron-esque gentrification monster. Most photos were taken in Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley by Mark F. and myself.

Silhoutte portal reveals a previous incarnation
of constantly repainted Clarion Alley

Precita Eyes is a community-based mural arts collaboration that offers weekend tours and curates many of these pieces.