Activism

Out: The Glenn Burke Story Opens Tonight at the Castro Theatre

 Glenn Burke 

On the heel of World Series fever here in San Francisco, a different look at the game is being screened tonight in the Castro Theatre. Out: The Glenn Burke Story is a film about a man who made two major marks on major league baseball history  way back in 1977. At the end of the season in '77, after former Giants coach and then teammate Dusty Baker hit a homerun, Burke gave Baker a high-five. Later when Burke hit his first homerun, Baker returned the high-five favor, cementing Burke as the creator of the now universal sign of recognition, triumph, and comradery— the high-five. Also in 1977 (1977 people!) Burke became the first openly gay baseball player in MLB history when he disclosed to teammates and the managerial staff at the Los Angeles Dodgers that he was a homosexual.  At the time, one of the most conservative teams in baseball, the Dodgers went so far as to offer Burke a bonus to get married to a woman to keep his homosexuality a secret, which he declined. He later dated Dodgers Manager Tony Lasorda's estranged gay son before being traded to the Oakland Athletics, despite helping the Dodgers make it to the World Series. As if we needed another reason to hate the Dodgers…

To this day, Burke is the only openly gay baseball player in MLB history. Go see his story tonight.

More Info: Movie trailer.  Order tickets.

One Day This Kid...

David Wojnarowicz (1954 — 1992), Untitled (One Day This Kid…), 1990

Before you read any of this, stop. Read the text surrounding the little boy in the image above. Great, thanks.

On October 28th, Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes wrote that the artist David Wojnarowicz seems important right now. Green authored this post about Wojnarowicz, the New York artist who gained notoriety in the East Village art scene of the 1980s, in wake of hearing about the rise of anti-gay bullying and the gay teenage suicide epidemic sweeping our nation. Wojnarowicz's work was created 20 years ago, but as we have seen so recently, his words are still very relevant. I'm also pretty sure that any person growing up LGBT or questioning can attest, anti-gay bullying is nothing new to the community. But finally, there's some major action going on to spread the word that It Get's Better.

In his post Green called for the Museums that have Wojnarowicz's Untitled (One Day This Kid…) in their permanent collection to place the piece on display immediately in order to engage the public with this honest depiction of growing up gay in America. Apparently, none of the five museums Green listed have placed this work on view yet. However, the amazing people at P.P.O.W. Gallery who represent Wojnarowicz's estate are doing their part to use the power of art to effect change in our communities. The above piece Untitled (One Day This Kid…) is now available for download through this site. As Wojnarowicz's said in his book Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration, “bottom line, if people don't say what they believe, those ideas and feelings get lost. If they are lost often enough, those ideas and feelings never return.” So read it, print it, post it, share it. Because sharing is caring, and in this case it might just help save some lives.

Bay Area Journalists Protest Mehserle Sentencing

A coalition of media organizations marched through Oakland Friday evening in protest of the “light sentence” given to former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle.

“We're marching against racist, fascist cops and the courts that support them.  We are all Oscar Grant, ” said a spokesman for KRON-TV 4.

The press pool marched through Oakland following an peaceful rally at the steps of City Hall, where nearly 500 people gathered to remember Oscar Grant and denounce Mehserle's sentence.

As darkness fell, the crowd of journalists, interns, photographers, and unemployed Berkeley graduates became agitated by the lack of front page stories.  One San Francisco Chronicle intern, who declined to give her name, paid a bystander 75 cents in quarters, a half drank Four Loko, a Muni transfer ticket and some weed to jump on a taxicab at the intersection of 14th and Broadway.

Soon after, the journalists, joined by a few dozen civilians, began marching down 14th.  It was rumored that the mob was headed to the Fruitvale BART station, where Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant on January 1st, 2009, causing BART officials to shut down the station.

As the march proceeded down International Blvd., numerous windows were smashed and a half-dozen cars broken into by six actors followed by camera crews.

    

Sensing a growing frustration amongst the press with the general lack of violence and destruction by bystanders, Police Chief Anthony Batts ordered Officers to arrest people on sight, as a measure to “help alleviate the bloodlust.”  By 8pm over 100 individuals were arrested and lined up in front of a taped-off press box on 6th Ave.

    

As the night wound down, a photographer could be heard exclaiming, “drinks on the Examiner!”

Ready, Set, Riot?

As the entire internet knows, Mehserle was just sentenced to an appallingly minimal 2 year sentence, with credit for time served.  People have been quick to point out that his punishment for the wrongful killing/murder of Oscar Grant is less than the sentence Vick received for torturing canines.  

KevMo is already on the scene and reports that Foot Locker (above) has definitely learned from their past mistakes. So far the crowd is at about 300 and is generally subdued. More updates as the scene develops, but from the look of things it appears that SF might have finally upstaged Oakland in the riot department.

There's No Rally Like a Civic Center Rally

I had wanted to check out the SF Sanity Rally over the weekend, but it was kinda wet outside and some Chris Farley movie was playing for the millionth time on basic cable, so, yeah, I clearly couldn't go.  Thankfully Steve Rhodes showed up and filled the internet with 500 photos, so now I can feel like I was there.

(photo by Tenderloin Geographic Society, who I know wasn't the focus of the piece, but goddamn that cat lady sure can make a mean set of signs)

Viral Video Attempts to Sell Voters on Prop 19, "Mark of the Beast" Not Sold

Someone made a design-heavy video in attempt to sell employees of the Googlebooks and readers of thedailywh.at/boing boing/laughing squid/other memetumblrs on the merits of voting for Prop 19.  Admittedly, I dig the video myself.

On the flip, SF street artist Eddie Colla (Correction: the artist was “Mark of the Beast,” Eddie only took the photo) isn't really sold on the prospect in living in a state full of McMarijuanas':

Olive Alley's Anti-Authoritarian Street Art

As the rain subsided in yesterday afternoon, I decided to walk the two and a half miles from the Mission to Golden Era so I could stuff my face with vegan drumsticks.  Unfortunately the much-anticipated Sunday Streets event was a total bust, but even without the streets being closed to traffic, there was still some great street art to look at from the sidewalk.

At one point I made my way down a short stretch of Olive Alley, which may not be as popular as Clarion, Balmy, Osage, or Lilac in the street art world, but nevertheless had some quality stuff to look at:

This particular piece features a mess of quotes written upside down (I rotated the below image) from classic anti-authoritarian figures like Chris Rock and Johnny Depp.

Finally, directly across the street was this friendly message:

(If you are interested in looking at more photos of viewing larger sizes, I uploaded a batch to Flickr)

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