October 2011

Occupy US

I’m trying to be a radical, i really am.

I mean, i just read me some Chomsky (see “Radical Chic”, above) to fan the flames of my outrage, and i’m tracking with great interest the Occupy Wall Street protests and their national spinoffs.

But it’s really hard to be a radical when i’m being outflanked by folks like Mitt Romney, who as recently as the 4th of October was calling the protests “dangerous…class warfare” but has now turned around to the point of offering lukewarm support.

Last Wednesday i rode down to our Federal Reserve Bank to offer my lukewarm support for our OccupySF encampment, figuring i’d roll along with them for a few blocks of their planned march through the financial district.  Of course i’ve got so senile that i neglected to take along the modest sign i’d printed.  Sigh.

And when i arrived and started talking with people, my impression was similar to that recorded by CW Nevius in his Chronicle column yesterday.  The Occupy folks in SF are hardly the radical fringe, with many of them seeming as middleclass as i am, with logistical support from local nurses and other groups.

Dare i hope that what we are seeing here is leading to a turning point like that which happened in America a bit over forty years ago when suddenly the majority of the nation woke up one morning understanding that our leaders had deceived us and led us into a quagmire in Vietnam?

Actually, it looks like we’ve already reached that point with regard to our wars in Aghanistan and Iraq.  The next step is for the majority to understand that the whole purpose of the nation as it now exists is to enrich the 1% and that they now control all three branches of our government.  This may be our last chance to tip the scale the other way.

But i was tired and gave up waiting for the march to begin.

Although i did go ahead and stop at Smitten on the way home for a couple of scoops of the Tcho chocolate.

The rest of this story is that the march later that afternoon was a model of decorum on the part of both protesters and police, and that the encampment was broken up peacefully during the wee hours of the next morning but was rapidly reestablished.  My friend Mark reports that there is now another encampment in front of the Federal office building at Seventh and Mission.

On the afternoon of the 13th i rode down to the Fed Reserve building again to swell the crowd didn’t stay long because they were having an organizational meeting and i couldn’t hear much of what the speakers were saying.

And besides, that evening i saw a poll that Fox had taken of its viewers, revealing that 70% of ’em agreed with the economic outlook of the Occupy movement.

So i think my work here is done:-)

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Smitten

To start, a pic to show you that San Francisco continues to keep pace with works by the most acclaimed street artists.  This one has just got to be by Eine.

Eine, Octavia at Linden

I’d been reading about Smitten (click on this link!) and thinking, Oh Please.  A little too over the top, a lot too precious.  But my curiosity finally got the better of me and i went to Octavia Boulevard at Linden and stopped at their store made out of a shipping container so i could taste a serving of ice cream prepared to order for me in about a minute in this awesomely high tech liquid nitrogen-cooled machine.

Well, see, the main factor determining the smoothness of ice cream is the size of the ice particles, and the colder the preparation environment, the smaller the particles.  Thus the liquid nitrogen.  And thus the dramatic clouds of water vapor that look like steam when they squirt the liquid nitrogen in.  So watching ’em make your serving is an entertaining show and a tribute to Robyn Sue Goldman, the brilliant young woman who invented the whole thing.

And then you get to taste it.  OMG.   Smooooooooooooooooooth.  Best ice cream on the planet?  Yep.  Most expensive?  Probably.  For the price of two scoops of it, you can buy a gallon tub of Safeway’s house brand.  And that’s why the American poor are mostly obese since it takes a gallon of Safeway’s to provide the satisfaction contained in two scoops of Smitten.

The problem is that the place is just three blocks off Market, and on my way to and from almost everything.  Only four flavors at a time, but all you need is the Tcho‘s chocolate.  Go ahead and worship at the feet of Ecstasy.  Yes, that’s the Smitten store already there at her feet before you.

Ecstasy

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Fall Fashion Update

Regarding my earlier comments about men’s mothers buying their underwear until the bride takes over this task, i’ve been informed by a couple of reliable sources that, on the contrary, their underwear and socks are the only items of clothing that their wives allow them to purchase for themselves.  Although, that said, i was just informed by my friend Sue that she feels pretty sure that her SO of many years is still being supplied with underwear by his mother.   So it can go either way.

Now about those newfangled socks i wrote about last month in The Fashion Police.  I took a clipboard into the gym the other day to do a careful survey.  As it turned out, the clipboard was unnecessary, as the only other human being in the entire gym besides myself who was wearing traditional, visible socks was this old walrus with whom i shudder at the very idea of expressing sartorial solidarity.  Ummm, continuing to show solidarity.

So something has to be done.

I dug deep into my white sock drawer and unearthed in a sedimentary layer at the back a pair of those tube socks that were popular in the seventies.  And since that was before most of the folks in the gym were born, i won’t look hopelessly out of fashion and in fact might very well spark a new trend.  I’ll wear ’em tomorrow morning.

With shoes.  The scabs and scars are optional, but all us athletic guys are sporting ’em.

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