Amoeblog

#TBT To Earlier Era SF Tech Gentrification Backlash Pt II: Interview with Mission Yuppie Eradication Project's Kevin Keating

Posted by Billyjam, September 10, 2015 04:29pm | Post a Comment

A little over a month ago on a Thursday in late July I ran an Amoeblog piece entitled #TBT To Earlier Era San Francisco Gentrification/Tech Invasion Backlash in which I looked back at a period in recent decades of San Francisco real estate and cultural history when an earlier era of tech fueled gentrification of The City was well underway. It was the late 1990s and while, in contrast to 2015, things may not seem as drastic as they are nowadays it was in retrospect clearly a warning signal of what was to come in 2015 when SF rentals now rival Manhattan's most expensive.  The previous first wave tech invasion was when struggling local musicians and other artists were fleeing San Francisco due to being unable to keep up with increasing housing costs - prompting me at that time to theme and entitle one of the five Amoeba Music Compilations I produced Just Payin' The Rent  because at the time that was about all most artists could at most afford to do (scrape by and barely pay their monthly rent that they hoped didn't get jacked up). It was a period seen by many as the "dot com" invasion of areas South of Market, particularly the Mission District. And it was when a housing rights activist/protester who went by the pseudonym of Nestor Makhno (the name of a pre-Russian revolution era anarchist) operated an ad hoc organization called the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project (MYEP). In 1997 he began a controversial street level poster campaign that involved the sniping of anti-gentrification posters plastered on walls and mailboxes all over the Mission that encouraged fellow longtime residents to slash tires and damage the property of the perceived culprits of that tech invasion of two decades ago. Eight months into his grassroots campaign, that raised the ire of the SFPD and the FBI who he successfully eluded for a long time, he got caught in the act and arrested for "suspicion of making terrorist threats and malicious mischief."

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Win a "Drive" Scorpion Jacket or "Drive" Prize Packs

Posted by Amoebite, January 5, 2012 08:27pm | Post a Comment
Drive JacketDrive is coming back to the Arclight Hollywood for a week-long run starting Friday, January 6. FilmDistrict is raffling off a scorpion jacket from the movie and 10 prize packs during the Q&A with Albert Brooks after the 7:20pm show in the theater on Friday night, January 6!

If tickets are sold out already for the Friday show, fear not. The film will play at the ArcLight through January 12, and the contest will be running all week long on The Drive Facebook page.

Here’s how to enter:

Take a picture of yourself next to the Drive poster in the main lobby of the Arclight Hollywood (by the coffee bar), then post this photo of yourself on the Drive Facebook page NO LATER THAN Thursday night, January 12, 2012.

Easy right?

One random and lucky contestant will win a scorpion jacket, and another 10 people will win Drive prize packs. 

Drive comes out on DVD/Blu-ray on January 31, but you can pre-order it now from Amoeba.com (with free shipping to US addresses, of course):

Drive Blu-ray Drive
Nicolas Winding Refn
$26.98 - (Blu-ray) 

(In which I celebrate four years of rad love.)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 10, 2011 03:53pm | Post a Comment
 
Today the boyfriend and I celebrate the fourth anniversary of our first seeing each other’s faces. Upon awakening this morning, we each remarked that it hasn’t felt like four years, but shorter. In part this could be because we have so much fun together, but it also helps that the season-less weather of LA makes everything feel like one, very long year.

It was music that brought us together, which is funny when you consider we often have such different tastes. For instance, he thinks cranking some Tori Amos while taking a hot bubble bath is swell, while I find the very idea akin to suicide; when curling up with a good book, I like to listen to some classical lieder, an past-time he would typically describe as “poop-facey.”

Our first connection was made on Friendster. You young ‘uns won’t know anything about this, but long, long ago – before there was Facebook (yes, it’s true!) – there was a site called Friendster, which amounted to about the same thing: letting you maintain the illusion that you’re “in touch” with everyone you care about and simultaneously allowing you to seek out companionship with strangers based on what movies/music they list as liking.

“He’s a surgeon who looks like a young George Clooney but oh – I could never date a guy who likes 311 and Matrix Reloaded. Our babies would have webbed feet.”

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Cold Storage: A Hazy Recollection of My Sick Days

Posted by Charles Reece, November 14, 2010 11:55pm | Post a Comment
I've had a horrible cold, and when I'm sick I lie around, sleep through DVDs and aimlessly look about the Web for things to entertain me. Here's some stuff that occupied my time:

"A hero to most," including me, I guess:


Ideological analysis as occasionally practiced on this blog can be tricky. One thing I don't like about so called culture studies (if I can make a blanket statement about a blanket term) is that while it's helped open the possibility of thinking seriously about pop culture, the aesthetic content of its subjects is often lost.  Notions of evaluation are either dismissed or ignored, treated as if they're otiose and old-fashioned. Contrariwise, I'd suggest that even if, in their respective times, both Frank Sinatra and Katy Perry served parallel functions in Ideological State Apparatuses, one shouldn't reduce them to the same level of aesthetic quality. There's something about art, even popular art, that's not reducible to the Culture Industry. Some commodities are constructed better than others. Now, usually I feel like I'm bungling my way through the history of ideas obtained from half-read books which I don't quite understand or explain properly, but when re-reading an old discussion I participated in a few years back, I actually (now from a distance) agree with the thought I was attempting to formulate. So, for posterity, here 'tis: 

Elvis was far more successful at doing rock & roll than his black predecessors. That's in large part because of the cultural context -- racism, in particular -- and how it shaped the music industry's expectations of what would sell and what wouldn't to a "mass" (read: white people with some disposable income) audience. Acknowledging (or analyzing) such reasons as his whiteness and male beauty shouldn't be a substitute for his very real and obvious talent. It wasn't merely because his music came in a readily digestible package (though it did), nor merely because he was more "iconic" or "mythic" than Big Mama Thornton (which is just another way of stating he was more easily commodified than a fat black woman in the 50s). The culture industry was what it was, but Elvis was what he was, too. [...] Lomax could've recorded Elvis on a porch in the hills and that talent would still be there.
-- from a thread on a comic book messboard in 2007

In other words, Chuck D was wrong to reduce Elvis' appeal to racism only. I had a lot of fun reading that discussion again. It's the kind of saltatory debate that could happen only after geeks began forming subcultures on message boards. Maybe it's just me, but with blogs now having taken over, you don't quite get the same level of wild rancor in tête-à-têtes between rival geek ideologues.

Herzog hates hippies:

   Brad: "Hey! Stop meditating, okay; open your eyes! Look, this is the river! This is
reality! We want people to think, come up with a coherent argument."


If I were to list my dream cast of living actors, it would be almost identical to that featured in Werner Herzog's latest, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009): Michael Shannon (Brad above), Udo Kier, Grace Zabriskie, Chloë Sevigny, Willem Dafoe and Brad Dourif. Really, each of them tweaks certain pleasure centers in my brain, making it impossible for me not to love this film. It's the story of an academically inclined actor, Brad, whose grasp on reality begins to dissolve, resulting in a murder and then a hostage situation. Told mostly in flashbacks, it feels like a series of lunatic comedy sketches, done with that really dry style Herzog has. I'm not sure whether he's becoming more like David Lynch or vice versa, but the latter's company "presents" the film, and there's definitely a kindred spirit on display. The scene quoted above is one the best, encapsulating Herzog's coldly Darwinian view of nature that was the basis for Grizzly Man. Rather than being one with nature, either through anthropomorphizing bears or meditating our consciousness into the Oneness, there's always going to be an otherness that demands our respect and fear. 

(In which Job does the least he can do.)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 19, 2010 09:34pm | Post a Comment
I have a tummy ache. Do you think it’s the weather? The volcano? Or maybe that I decided to conclude my late lunch with a third of a pack of butterscotch chips?


Even the word “butterscotch” is delicious to me. Having a crush on both butter and scotch helps. But take it from me: there’s more to making this delicious concoction than merely mixing butter and scotch together. I learned the hard way.

Well, that’s about it for now. Hope you found this blog entry both educational and entertaining. Bye!


…I’ve just been informed that the above paragraphs weren’t enough to qualify as proper Amoeblog entry. Apparently my editors think that, so long as they’re paying me to write a blog about media and art, that there should be more to an entry than a quick cautionary tale about mixing dairy and booze. I’d tell them to lump it, but I really need the money to buy butterscotch with.

Well, as a music addict, pretty much any subject can lead to tunery. For instance, after writing the word “butter” five times in this entry, I now have a song stuck in my head by 1980’s act Martika, perhaps more famous for not being Madonna than anything else. Most of us know her one-hit wonder single "Toy Soldiers," but the song that’s playing in the jukebox in my brain is…

Okay, before I tell you, let me explain: This is one of those songs it’s so easy to mis-hear. You know the type: a song who’s lyrics are obscured or sung in such a way that it allows you to sing the wrong words, sometimes for years. In the case of the following song, I always hear her singing about butter. And honestly, maybe because I’m not what you could call a Martika fan, I think this song is improved if you think she’s singing about butter.

“Like butter! How could I do without you?” the chorus goes.

So listen now, and imagine that that’s what it’s all about…


And now, because Martika always makes me think about Madonna, I can’t help but mention my tampering with her song "La Isla Bonita," a ditty I’ve always hated, except for the dumb thrill I get in singing along with it incorrectly. According to me, the opening line of the song is:

“Last night I dreamt of some bagels…”

This is followed not long after (as the sun rises in the video) by:

“Young girl with eyes like potatoes…”

Madonna doesn’t want me to post her videos on the Amoeblog. She’s held a grudge on me ever since I used her roite bindele to floss my teeth. DENTAL HYGIENE IS IMPORTANT, MRS. CICCONE! Anyway, you can still see the video by clicking on this rather wordy link I have constructed right here where you’re currently looking with your eyes.


L'Chaim!

I wonder – have I written enough yet? I feel like I’ve covered a lot of important territory, and I don’t want to overwhelm you with information. It’s important to know your threshold for new data.
[10 minutes later]

I just went to ask my boyfriend what I should blog about. First, he suggested I talk about flagellum.



Flagellum. Really. Well, I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I’m willing to bet you want to hear about flagellum about as much as I know about it. Which is not at all. What an unhelpful boyfriend!

His second suggestion was that I post a photo of our new kitten, Maybe. I told him I didn’t think the Amoeblog was an appropriate venue for posting pictures of pets; that’s the sort of thing one does on Facebook so your boring friends get the chance to give you a “thumbs up” and feel like they’ve stayed in touch. But he got insistent!

“Post a picture of her and then add some songs about kitties!” he squealed. And for a moment, blogging about flagellum didn’t seem like such a bad idea, after all.

But because I love him and because this entry is kind of hackneyed anyway, here you go, Earthlings…


This is Maybe. She looks cute but she laughs at racist jokes and leaves the toilet seat up. Just sayin'.

























I’m pretty sure all this qualifies me for a least enough paycheck to buy more butterscotch. Here’s hopin’.
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