Archive for October, 2006

San Francisco

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31, 2006 by Frizz

My friend Jerry and I where talking on the telephone and I told him how much I miss living in San Francisco. After we hung our phones up he sent me a text message asking me to blog about why I love and miss San Francisco. This is my humble attempt to explain why I miss and love that city so much.

I moved to San Francisco in 1995. I drove across the country from Pennsylvania. After about 8 days I found myself in this city on the West Coast that brought my imagination to life. I was with my partner at the time. We showed up in SF and shacked up with a couple. They were Joey and Uncle Larry who we lived with for about 3 weeks until we found our own place. I was at first afraid because I had never lived in a city before. But, after a few weeks I got used to it. Uncle Larry was my first teacher in SF, a good guy who made my adjustment an easy one. My partner and myself found a nice little studio apartment at 22 Elgin Park. I got a job at the Wherehouse on Powell St. right next to the cable car turn around. It’s not there anymore. But, it was a place that I felt very comfortable working at. I made some really good friends. I was only making $5.25 an hour. The money didn’t mean as much as the people that I worked with. They were really good people and I still wonder what they are doing to this day.

After that I had different odd jobs in San Francisco which for me was the only way to live. I worked at Williams-Sonoma. University of Phoenix Online. Astrology.com, and Gay.com. I lived in many different places while I was in residence there. Me and my partner lived alone for a time. We then lived in a house in Twin Peaks with housemates. That is where we ended our relationship and he moved and I continued my own life in the city.

The life that I started was a life that I would have never thought I’d have had when I was a 16 year old kid living in Lancaster County, PA. I had imagined a different life for myself. My parents have always been supportive people. I could not ask for better parents. They focus on my happiness. They are parents that I see myself being if I ever have children someday. My life in San Francisco at least gave them a place to visit far from the life they know. I’m going on a tangent and will get back to San Francisco.

Back to Jerry~ asking me why I miss and love San Francisco. I miss San Francisco because it was the place that I discovered who I was as a person. I taught myself, with the help of this city to take control of my life and move it forward for the positive. I walked thru Market Street and gave cigarettes to the homeless. I protested at City Hall when I thought that was something I should do. I took Muni to work and was sometimes very uncomfortable because of loud people. I discovered Ethiopian food. I went to gay bars and felt like I was a part of something. I went to the Power Exchange and, did whatever you do at the Power Exchange. I hung out with Michael Stipe at the Hole in the Wall. I meditated in Alamo Square. I went to the ocean and breathed in the scent that only the ocean can give. I met friends that will be friends until the day I drop dead and even after. I cruised in Buena Vista Park. I got so drunk I would take a Taxi and try my best to give them my address. I enjoyed getting pizza at Marcello’s on Castro. I would walk the streets at 4 in the morning and feel perfectly safe. I’d play with dogs in Dolores park. The Lesbians love it when you play with their dogs. I danced in South of Market with glitter on my face. (before all the night clubs closed down.) I made it through the dot commers and the dot come bust. I invited homeless over to my apt. and ordered pizza and chatted with them until the sun came up. I made love to many beautiful people, and some not so beautiful. I volunteered at Glide church and had a wonderful talk with Rev. Cecil. I saw tons of concerts at Shoreline and in Oakland and at The Independent and The Great American Music Hall and The Fillmore. I ate Sushi at the best Sushi House that I’ve ever been to, Aikiko. I met my cat Skeeter who was with me most of the time I was there and was truly one of the loves of my life. I met people who were so different than me. But, so much the same. I would watch the seals at the Wharf and communicate with them. I spent time at Geary and Van Ness talking with and becoming friends with drug dealers who sold crack. I went to many raves. I religiously visited the AIDS grove in Golden Gate park. I drank Humboldt Hemp beer. I became a regular at various places. I danced to Grateful Dead music on Monday nights at Nikki’s. I had a gay doctor, Dr. Sauer. I was a huge supporter of Matt Gonzalez but thought the whole election was stupid because in SF, it was a liberal against a more liberal. I met young and old hippies who talked about “moving forward.” I went to parties and didn’t quite remember everything that happened the next day. I went to Burger King and bought 30 Whoppers and passed them out to people in the Tenderloin. During El Nino, I danced in the rain in the middle of the street with a huge smile on my face. I put myself in very risky situations and survived. I would go to Dolores Park and just look at the beautiful view of the city and cry and consider myself so lucky. I would be on the bus and curse the people who would ask for directions, when i really needed to be somewhere. I would sometimes bitch about the people asking me for a cigarette. I would eat the most amazing tofu dinner. I would sit in my apt. and be way to afraid to deal with the world or the city. I would set my alarm and hit snooze because I thought being up at 9 AM was just too early. I would go to the Crab Shack and have a pound of crab legs even though I was a vegetarian. I got a Jamba Juice every day before work, regardless of where I was working.

Blah blah blah. This is why I miss San Francisco Jerry. I miss it because it brought me life. It brought me vibration. I felt whole when I was there. I’m not there anymore. I’m in a different place. The place I’m in now also brings me life. It doesn’t matter where you are physically. But, the state of mind you are in. Rehoboth Beach is not very different than San Francisco. It’s something else. I may cry because I miss being in San Francisco. But, I will also smile because i’m not in San Francisco. Someone once said, “Wherever you go, there you are.” That makes sense to me.

For me, one of the greatest moments in television

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29, 2006 by Frizz

So Here’s the News

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29, 2006 by Frizz

I’m so fucking tired of the news channels trying to be E entertainment or Comedy Central or any other type of bullshit. We live in an age where we have a choice to watch whatever the fuck we would like to watch. For instance, there is E. I can get the scoop on the bullshit celebrities who actually mean nothing. But, for some reason (or for the most part) these jackasses actually do mean something. I can watch MTV who, do not play videos anymore but play crap like Parental Control and Next and I’m gonna make a car look good, and my mom wants to fuck you so now you date my daughter. Then we have the Food Network, who’s stars make some good food. With, the exception of that fat bitch who likes to fry everything. We have ESPN and the sports networks who cater to the sports fans. Very cool. I check that out many times. Don’t forget PBS. How can you not like Big Bird and Elmo? TBN is always there. Whenever we are feeling guilty about not serving the Lord we can call their number and donate some money and we will feel better. OR we can get healed of cancer just by watching the right program. Then, of course we have our news channels. Jesus Christ, how far have we taken freedom of the press? When I watch CNN, Fox News or MSNBC, I don’t want to see a goddamn celebrity selling a book. I want the news. Am I crazy for that? I want you to tell me the fucking NEWS. I love Bill Maher and Jon Stewart. However, Bill and Jon stop going on CNN to sell your fucking books. This is the news. You mean nothing to the news. Go on E or MTV or Comedy Central.

Every fucking channel that I am paying 54 dollars for (and I don’t even have digital) are all the same. I’m begging CNN, Fox and MSNBC to tell me the real goddamn news that is going on the world. Tell me about the kids in Africa who are starving. Tell me about how our country is dying and how we don’t eat enough organic food. Shit, you are so fucking Hollywood you actually make Paris Hilton look like she has talent. STOP. This isn’t what our fore fathers meant when they said, “Freedom of the Press.”

We are continually blasted with the drama and the hollywood that the news provides. Each of the major news stations reports the same goddamn shit over and over again. Luckily I have a remote control so I can flip back and forth. It’s the SAME FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE the next time you watch one of these bullshit news shows like “The Situation Room, Hardball, Scarborough Country.” etc…..Please consider contacting them and saying, “enough.” Enough of playing Hollywood. You are a NEWS organization.

Let’s get back to the news telling us the true news. Because, I don’t really give a fuck about Paris Hilton crashing a car. I don’t give a fuck about Brad Pitt not marrying his girlfriend. I don’t give a fuck about Tobey McGuire playing Spiderman. If I want to know about that shit, I will watch E. I will watch MTV. I will watch VH1. I certainly don’t need CNN telling me about it.

The Sky is Falling

Posted in Uncategorized on October 22, 2006 by Frizz

No not really. It’s just the Orionids Meteor Shower. I’m spending the night at parents tonight in Amishville USA and have been spending time hanging out back in the pitch dark looking up at the stars. There is nothing like being in a peaceful place looking up and trying to fathom even a little bit of how truly insignificant I am when it comes to the Universe. How insignifigant the whole planet is. The stars can just so humble you into a ball of humbleness which if you play it right is such a great feeling.

I had forgotten about the Meteor shower when I initally went outside to have a smoke and just look up. But, then I started seeing them flash across the sky and was reminded that tonight is the peak night. Of course one cigarette turned to about 4 before the chill air got to me. What a site it was. It came at a good time as well. We had a celebration for my niece Samantha today for her birthday (the reason i’m visiting) and then after that I decided to take a drive. My folks house and where I grew up is a little less than 5 miles from the Amish School house in which the tragic shooting occured. That school house was there my entire life. I passed it all the time. In fact there is a community pool across the street where I swam every summer for years.

The school house isn’t there anymore. Bulldozed down and the pieces taken to parts unknown. It’s just a field with flowers all over the fence and no parking or standing signs on either side of the street. Seeing the empty space brought the reality of it all knocking me upside the head and coming back with a left hook, putting me on the ground.  I watched the news when it happened. I blogged about it in earlier posts. But, seeing the spot where the school used to be brought it home. My niece who turned 3 will have no idea that a one room Amish school house even was built there. When she drives by after getting her license in 13 years, she will see a field. Just like so many of the other beautiful fields that stretch out across Lancaster County. However, this field will be the most beautiful of all of them.

Keith Olbermann says it very well

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2006 by Frizz

The Fool on the Hill

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2006 by Frizz

A good friend of mine posted a video on his myspace page of what could be considered a modern day fool. In past times the fool or court jester would be brought in when the king needed a laugh. Laughter was thought to be a cure in some ways.

All jesters and fools in those days were thought of as special cases whom God had touched with a childlike madness—a gift, or perhaps a curse. Mentally handicapped people sometimes found employment by capering and behaving in an amusing way. In the harsh world of medieval Europe, people who might not be able to survive any other way thus found a social niche. (wikipedia.org-court jester)
The fool was given permission to say what others would be put to death for. Thus providing balance to kingdom. The fool, “as jester provides an institutionalized link” with the excluded forces and energies, and in so doing, embodies “the principle of wholeness….reinstating in measured form the primeval condition before the seperation of the kingdom from that with which it excludes.” (William Willeford, The Fool and His Scepter: A Study in Clowns and Jester and Their Audience. p. 155)

One of the Hollywood versions of a fool that comes to mind is Robin Williams in the Fisher King. If it’s a movie you haven’t seen you should make a point to see it. If it’s a movie that you haven’t seen for awhile I recommend you watch it again. Robin’s character to me, shows the wholeness of what the fool archetype is.

Everything needs to have balance. Therefore the fool can not be the only archetype that is present in one’s life. However, it’s important for the wholeness that it is part of. After living in San Francisco for 10 1/2 years I came in contact with my share of homeless people. Unfortunately some of them are mentally ill, or addicted to drugs. But, if you listen to what some are saying, you will hear a lot of important things that come out of their mouths.Fortunately, the fool is not only found in homeless people. They just seem to be a good example to perpetuate the fool archetype in modern society.

We all have some form of the fool inside our make up. For some, it is much stronger than in others. But, it is there. It’s always beneficial to look at the fool but to not overanalyze it. With everything, just let it be. Allow it to grow at it’s own pace. Allow it to show it’s humor AND wisdom when least expected. When the fool is controlled (as I’ve experienced in myself) it can cause damage to others that could take a long time to heal. The fool is that powerful.

The Death of Organic

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2006 by Frizz

The Sad Death Of ‘Organic’
How weird and depressing is it now that Kellogg’s and Wal-Mart are hawking ‘natural’ foods?

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Friday, October 13, 2006

 

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Iwas a little unprepared. The commercial came on and I heard the familiar ukulele strums of the late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s famous and famously beautiful version of “Over the Rainbow” (I know, but it really is quite lovely) and my first reaction was merely to cringe and wince as yet another exquisite and plaintive song was whored out to the advertising demons, just one of thousands. But then came the barrage of images: the requisite shot of the Perfect Mom feeding her Perfect Child some sort of Perfect Food, all bathed in soft morning breakfasty light with happy trees peeking through the windows of the Perfect Kitchen in some utopian hunk of Perfect America, a bizarre scene that of course does not exist anywhere on this planet given how there weren’t three empty wine bottles and some used underwear and a stack of dirty dishes and a fresh bottle of Xanax and an open newspaper offering up giant headlines about murders and nuclear warheads and Korean sex slaves anywhere in sight.

And then it happened. The logo. The product shot. The soothing voice-over. It was a commercial for a brand-new product: Kellogg’s Organic Rice Krispies. And your heart goes, Ugh.

You say it aloud and the words tend to catch in your throat and make you sort of gag. Kellogg’s Organic Rice Krispies, with “organic” in big scripted flowing font across the top of the box, all steeped in bogus warmth and happiness and false notions of health and nature and protecting your Perfect Child from the millions of icky poisons and unhealthy crap churned out by giant megacorps exactly like, well, exactly like Kellogg’s.

Kellogg’s Organic Rice Krispies. It’s sort of like saying “Lockheed Martin Granola Bars” or “Exxon Bottled Spring Water.” Self-immolating, and not in a good way.

That’s when I heard it. The plaintive wail, the sigh, the crack and the moan and the whimper, like a tree shooting itself in the head. It was the final death knell of the “true” organic movement, breathing its last.

Because yes indeed, it’s over. Organic is dead. Corporations have officially bought it out, the USDA has weakened its definition to near death, Whole Foods has made it chic and popular and profitable and yet has compromised its integrity like no other by being forced to pretty much ignore small, local farms and ideas of sustainability in favor of staggering commercial growth. And now this.

Did you know? Did you already understand the real definition? Because that’s what “organic” was really supposed to mean, way back when: local, sustainable, ethical, connected to source, pesticide- and hormone-free. But the vast majority of organic product now flooding the market only gloms on to that last aspect (and sometimes, barely even that), to meet the USDA’s impotent organic guidelines. Ah, government. There’s just nothing like it to make you want to smack yourself in the skull with a brick.

One example: Stonyfield Farm’s organic yogurt. As BusinessWeek points out, the stuff is made not on an idyllic working farm like the one on the label but rather in a giant industrial factory. They get their milk trucked in from a whole range of suppliers and it’s possible they will soon begin to import some of their organic ingredients — in dried, powdered form — from New Zealand, so as to meet national demand, delivering it all over the country via pollutive trucking companies.

This is the harsh reality, the real cost of mainstream organic. There apparently aren’t enough happy small, Earth-conscious local farms around to produce this stuff in sufficient quantities to feed the entire Wal-Mart nation. Massive compromises have been made. And those compromises mean “organic” is a shell of its former self.

“Organic,” according to the lobbyist-friendly USDA, does not have to mean the food is grown using sustainable (read: nondestructive) farming practices. It does not mean locally produced. It does not mean the ethical treatment of animals. Nor does it mean the companies that produce it need be the slightest bit fair or trustworthy or socially responsible. All it means now: no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, no bioengineering.

So is that enough? After all, the fact that megaproducers like Kellogg’s and General Mills and frightening discount megaretailers like Wal-Mart are going big into organic certainly will translate into an enormous reduction in chemicals in the American diet, thousands if not (eventually) millions of pounds of pesticides and hormones and fertilizer removed from the food chain as a whole. The benefits of this cannot be understated: It’s a great thing indeed.

But there’s a massive snag: Thousands of products now claim to be organic, but many merely replace the chemicals and pesticides with a slew of other industrial, pollutive, destructive processes that easily offset any health benefits — most notably the extra shipping and global delivery these “industrial organic” producers employ to obtain and deliver organic ingredients, which pumps so many chemicals back into the environment it probably counteracts all those saved in growing the stuff in the first place.

(On that note, if you’re going to read one astounding book on the subject of farming, organics, fast food, and the American diet overall, let it be Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” He maps it all out far better than I ever could. It’s your must-read of the summer, even though it’s now fall.)

Whole Foods? Perhaps the greatest mixed blessing of all, an amazing company that has single-handedly done more to bring the organic movement to the mainstream and raise awareness of healthy foods and improve farming and meat-quality standards across the board, not to mention the pleasures of food shopping overall. Yet at the same time, merely by its sheer size and success, they’ve simultaneously done more to dilute the real meaning of “organic” than any other company.

Put another way: Unless you shop at farmers’ markets or quasi-hippie co-ops or unless you do your homework and find a true family-run farm within 100 miles of your home and establish a relationship with them and really begin to buy local, the odds that the next “organic” product you buy truly meets the original definition is about as likely as finding real breasts at the Playboy mansion. And for now, maybe this is just the way it has to be.

Which brings us back to Kellogg’s Organic Rice Krispies. Industrial to the hilt, not the slightest bit locally grown, not the slightest bit sustainable, from the same company that poisons your kid with Pop-Tarts and Froot Loops and Scooby-Doo Berry Bones and cares about as much for the health of the planet as Dick Cheney cares about pheasants. And of course, they ship the crap all over the country in planes and trucks that burn enough oil to make Bush leer and the oil CEOs grin and it’s all just one big happy joke. On you.

But hey, at least they’re helping remove millions of pounds of chemical crap from the food chain, right? At least they pretend to care. Problem is, they’ve merely replaced those chemicals with an even more toxic additive: hypocrisy. Now, can you swallow it?

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Mark Morford Mark Morford’s Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SF Gate and in the Datebook section of the SF Chronicle. To get on the e-mail list for this column, please click here and remove one article of clothing. Mark’s column also has an RSS feed and an archive of past columns, which includes another tiny photo of Mark probably insufficient for you to recognize him in the street and give him gifts.

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