This past weekend, San Francisco was a mess of events, parades, street fairs, parties, and people in every kind and color of costume. My brother Wade and his girlfriend Deb joined us from Denver for the 2-day marathon of activites.
On Saturday, in addition to the Love Parade, San Francisco hosted a 50,000-person-strong anti-war march - part of a worldwide protest that day. Many of the marchers kept right on marching into the Civic Center, which was where the Love Parade ended in a gigantic rave with over 200 DJs at 24 different float/sound stages. Meanwhile, just over the hill, the 33rd Annual San Francisco Blues Festival was going strong as well. Saturday night, every club was packed and alive with music and revelry, and PacBell park was sold out, with 40,000 people attending the Green Day concert (a local band).
I couldn't say it any better, so here' a link to Mark Morford's column,
reflecting on the weekend's activities, in the San Francisco Chronicle.
With so much going on Saturday, we (Wade, Deb, Jay, me and several of our friends) went to the second annual San Francisco Love Parade.
The Love Parade started several years ago in Berlin, where it draws over a million people each year. It has since spread to many other countries, and last year San Francisco was the location of the first U.S. Love Parade.
Using the universal language of music as both cause and expression, LoveParade is world famous not only for its eccentrically dressed revelers dancing alongside floats, but also for its celebration of diversity, promotion of tolerance, and fostering of community. Since 2000, the Loveparade concept has been exported around the world, to Austria, Chile, England, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. All Parades share the same motto: to create an international web and platform for electronic dance music, with each city lending its own flavor. - SF Love Parade Web Site
Sunday's Folsom Street Fair
has similar themes of love and tolerance, but with a bit of a sting to it. It's the world's largest leather/fetishwear festival. Attracting 300,000 - 500,000 people from around the world each year, the event raises millions of dollars for local and national charities.
View my pics of the Love Parade.
View my pics of Folsom Street.
(9 photos - WARNING: 2 contain nudity)
few exceptions, I generally don't like things that are cute.
This is good information to know about me because, say you're at the Hallmark store in the mall or, god forbid, Hobby Lobby, and you spot something on the shelf that just almost makes you burst, "Oh that's
cute!" - it's a good indicator that probably you won't want to buy that for me as a gift. Cute is far too overrated, and hogs much of the world's affection - undeservedly, I might add.
Cute is just... well, it's just not me.
Opposite of cute are things that are scary. Scary doesn't get any
hugs-n-kisses. In fact, scary spits on your hugs-n-kisses. As far as scary's concerned, you can take your hugs-n-kisses and stick 'em where the sun don't shine, so you can just hug-n-kiss scary's ass. Well, I'm not a big fan of scary either.
Scary takes itself too seriously, it seems to me, which strikes me as kind of silly. And I'm of the opinion that if you're going to be silly, it oughta be intentional.
So that's why I do so very much
love things that are cute and
scary. In fact, (brain-drops on roses and blisters on kittens!) these are a few of my favorite things.
(Quick aside: Negativland's version of Favorite Things
is a great example of scary and cute in music. Download it. And if you're worried about "stealing" copyrighted material - it didn't stop them, so why let it stop you?)
So, what qualifies as scary and cute? I'll give you a few examples.
A few months ago, the back windowsill of my flat became the new home for a Sunshine Buddy.
Sunshine Buddies are solar powered. Yes, harnessing the power of sunshine, they sit blissfully in your window and tilt their heads from side to side with smiles that radiate pure contentment. Sunshine buddies are inarguably cute.
Well, this particular Sunshine Buddy never seemed to want to rock his head for some reason. But nevertheless, he seemed to enjoy smiling away his days, sitting motionless in the sunshine.
Then one night I stepped onto the patio and sensing movement, glanced at the windowsill. There was Sunshine Buddy, smiling, looking at me, rocking his head from side to side, in the dark. My Sunshine Buddy runs on darkness.
If you've ever felt a chill that pierces clean through you to the very marrow of your bones, you know what it feels like to catch a Sunshine Buddy staring at you from a dark corner. May you never have to experience such sheer terror.
I have a friend who is a freakishly talented artist from Lincoln, Nebraska who really gets the beauty of scary & cute.
In fact, that's not a bad description of him either.
Remember his name: Paul Tisdale. He's going to be big
I tell you - most likely posthumously, but isn't that the way?
(That's his stuff there on the right)
But of all things scary and cute, my favorite - the one closest to my heart - is an actual living, breathing creature. Of course I'm speaking of that quite possibly insane feline with nearly as many names as the devil himself, Blinker Joseph Pasta Batman Chickenbrain Razor Paws.
Now, if you share my appreciation for cute, scary things, you may want to make a pilgrimage to Italy, to visit the world's most terrifying stuffed pink bunny.
It sits on a mountainside and is two-hundred feet long. According to the artists, the bunny was "knitted by dozens of grannies out of pink wool" and will remain on the mountain for the next 20 years. How cute! And it scares the hell out of me.
So many questions, where do I start? Were these grannies knitting at home alone in their rocking chairs? in a group "Knitting-circle" type setting? or was this some kind of "granny sweatshop?"
If it's made of wool, what will happen when it rains?
Who is going to clean it?
It's going to be on the mountain for 20 years. And for 19.5 years, it's going to be one of the nastiest
things anywhere on earth. Things will start growing on it, and in it. Animals will find ways to nest there. It will smell.
According to the artists, they expect people to climb on it and "relax on its belly." Imagine if you found a child's stuffed bunny rabbit that had been laying outside in the dirt and mud for the past 20 years. Are you picturing it? The dirty, matted fur? The stains and the musty smell? The who-knows-what kind of eggs or weird spores that might be nestled inside it? Would your first thought be, "Man I sure wish that were 100 times bigger so I could climb into it and take a nap!"
But I hope they're right, because I can not imagine a more awesome sight than children and Alpine hikers climbing upon and lounging in the damp and stained folds of a filthy, moldy, stuffed pink wool bunny rabbit corpse - perhaps singing in harmony The Hills Are Alive!
Here's a nice view of the San Francisco skyline that is less often photographed. I took this shot this afternoon from Potrero Hill, a residential neighborhood just south of downtown, near the City's eastern shore. (Click the pic for full appreciation)
I'm planning to incorporate this photo into the banner of my new blog. Don't flip out, dear readers, I have no plans to retire Anarchestra. But if all goes as planned, it does appear that I will also be blogging for my hometown newspaper's newly launched entertainment website. I'll post the link as soon as it's a done deal. Stay tuned!
The English language now has two new
words, fully defined and ready to be used in sentences (and Anarchestra-rules
Scrabble), invented by me, Your Anarchestrator. (You're welcome!)
They don't appear in Webster's (or any other dictionary) yet.
So, you could be the first on your block to use them! How does it feel to be included on the cutting-edge of lexicography?
The first word is prehydrate.pre·hy·drate
:the act of hydrating
in advance of an expected dehydration
Prehydrating is a preventive measure, and could be used in a sentence like the following misquote:
Smart college students prehydrate before a weekend of binge drinking.
- John Ashcroft, U.S. Surgeon General
Your second new word is foresmell.fore·smell
Function: transitive verb
:to smell beforehand
FORESMELL applies to the smelling of the coming of a future aroma by any procedure or any source of information.
Foresmelling is a form of prophecy, if you will - to smell into the future. I might use it in a sentence like the following quote:
Jay, you can not foresmell my farts! - Me, Your Anarchestrator
Of course, the addition of the word foresmell
to our lexicon raises new questions in the age-old debate over free will vs. predestination. Colin's Law (first proposed in 1923 by the great physicist, Colin Brown) states that he who smelt it, dealt it.
But we must now ask, if one foresmells it, can one prevent the dealing of it? More research is needed.
Now, your assignment is to use these new words in active conversation, either written or verbal, at least once in the coming week. This is your duty as an Anarchestra-teer.
You may report back to me, in the comments section of this post, how you used the new words. For using one
of the words, I will award you 200 points and 1 silver crescent. For using both
words, I will award you 500 points and 3 golden sno-cones! So get to yammerin'!