REAL EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL
Heavens to Betsy! An earthquake hit wine country, and the upper-middle class are dealing with spilled rivers of their favorite cabernet. While everyone scrambles to pack their earthquake survival kits, we have a few suggestions to go alongside your trail mix and water bottles:
Whiskey (because blackouts are boring)
Brass knuckles (defend your powerless Macbooks)
Condoms (again, blackouts are boring)
Gas masks (for the inevitable Ferguson-like police response to looting)
Hand-crank portable generator (how else to power that iPhone for earthquake Facebook updates?)
Feather boa and MDMA (San Francisco at a standstill is essentially Burning Man + drag show)
Skateboard (as Napa know-it-all’s have shown us, earthquake cracked concrete = freaking awesome skate ramps)
Two of the world’s most acclaimed military bands, the 1st Battalion Pipes and Drums Scots Guards, and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, will be setting the tone at Pleasanton’s 149th Scottish Highland Gathering and Games this weekend. (The tone will involve lots of bagpipes.) The event also features the brawn of the 40th US Invitational Heavy Event Championship, and the grace of the Western US Open Highland Dancing Championship. Plus, it goes without saying, enough living-history re-enactments to satisfy even the most diehard Outlander fan. www.thescottishgames.com
BURNING MAN PILE-ON
We seem to have tapped into the meme of the moment with last week’s cover story, “Burning Man jumps the shark.” The SF Weekly also had a Burning Man cover story, a more uncritical piece written by an event insider that nonetheless slammed the organization’s deceptive transition to nonprofit status. The same day, The New York Times published “A Line is Drawn in the Desert,” a scathing indictment of how rich, clueless tech titans an undermining the event’s stated “Participation” and “Radical Self-Reliance” principles. And the on-playa publication BRC Weekly threw several great articles onto the pile-on, including the searing satire “Ten Principles of Earning Man.” Meanwhile, Burners could have been dodging actual fish, as the playa was flooded with rain at the start of the festival, and entrance gates were closed for a day.
Activists blockaded a Google bus in April to cry foul over an eviction initiated by a Google employee, lawyer Jack Halprin, who’s using the Ellis Act to clear tenants from a seven-unit building he owns in the Mission District. Claudia Tirado, a third-grade teacher, is one of the tenants about to be forced out. She made an appearance at Google’s I/O Conference to try and enlist the tech giant’s help, but according to an interview posted on Mission Local, her search yielded no results. Tirado said she got word back from Google that the company won’t be doing anything to intervene.
NERD FEMINIST RETURNS
San Francisco based video game critic Anita Sarkeesian is back with a new video showcasing the industry’s awful treatment of women (surprised?) in “Women as Background Decoration (Part 2).” She defines the background women trope as video games showing women whose “sexuality and victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty, or racy flavoring into game worlds, designed to titillate male players.” Trigger warning: the video shows many minutes of women mutilated, raped, and otherwise killed in grittily gruesome ways. You know, because X-box and Playstation games are “mature” nowadays. Can’t we all just play Tetris?
BOOTS FREAKS FOX
Local Bay Area artist Boots Riley is known for his radical activism and his penchant for fighting entrenched political power. Cleveland’s local Fox News affiliate apparently didn’t get that message, however, when they asked him onto their show last week before his group, The Coup, jammed for a local music fest. On air, he told Fox “we’re a punk, funk slash communist revolution from Oakland, California. We make everyone dance while telling them about…how exploitation is the primary contradiction in capitalism.” As he spoke, the Fox hosts looked at each other with increasing worry. Afterwards, the Fox anchor ripped into the festival’s organizers, saying the segment wasn’t the time for Riley to “go on a political rant” and that it hurt “the station’s credibility, and the festival’s.” The organizers shook it off, and so did Riley, reminiscing that it wasn’t a surprise to hear the corporate capitalist media rattled by the truth.
The claws might come out, as the Bay Area is about to see dueling cat cafes open this fall — Cat Town in Oakland (www.cattownoakland.org/cat-town-café) and KitTea in SF (www.kitteasf.com). Just kidding: As the wildly popular Japanese trend has shown, there’s plenty of room for spaces where people can come play with cats in need of love and adoption while enjoying a latte.
Ms. Lauryn Hill, she of difficult off-stage antics but usually on-point politics, released a new recording of her song “Black Rage” last week, in dedication to Michael Brown. With couplets like “Threatening your freedom / to stop your complaining / poisoning your water / while they say it’s raining,” the sing-songy tune — modeled on The Sound of Music‘s “My Favorite Things” — has been in Hill’s live repertoire for a while, but takes on especially heavy meaning in the context of the recent police brutality in Ferguson, Mo.