Friday, November 18, 2005

San Francisco in Danger BLog

What’s up with me?
It’s been a busy week here in the bunker.

The Wee Wife made her debut as an actual opera singer this week (as opposed to member of the chorus), in a new work being workshopped by O-Lan Jones (music) and Kathleen Cramer (libretto), called THE WOMAN IN THE WALL. It’s about a medieval nun who is walled up, as a kind of extreme form of eremitism. The Wee Wife plays a Peasant Woman, who urges village children to leave the Woman in the Wall alone, and get back to work.

I missed this event, however, because I was performing at what is becoming a San Francisco tradition, PORCHLIGHT. This is an event produced and hosted by Beth Lisick and Arline Klatte, in which participants tell a ten minute story (without notes) that adheres to a theme. The theme this time it was “Politics.” I talked about serving condiments to Republicans in high school, campaigning for Gene McCarthy, and attending an 80’s benefit for Nicaraguan children. And I was done in under six minutes! Woo!

I was joined by Fiona Ma, my district’s city supervisor, Steven Elliott, a political writer (and frequent contributor to THE BELIEVER), Jack Boulware, local man about town, Lynn Ruth Miller, Mary Spicer (former digerata), and another woman whose name I forget, who told a rather harrowing story of almost dying in a hospital, and how that formed her decision to get into politics.

Free Campari was served. I don't know why.

And then...
On Wednesday, Bill Allard (of Duck’s Breath) and I organized what I believe may be a first – Conference Call Theatre. For an audio project I’m working on, we assembled fifteen or so actors and had them literally phone in their parts, which were recorded on a conference call line. That was fun, and I’m always happy to be your innovator.

In other news….
What’s up with Chalabi? Isn’t he the guy that gave us the bad information that got us into Iraq in the first place? So why is he being given the keys to the city in Washington, DC? Instead of being lauded, shouldn’t he be – I dunno - shot, or something? Whatever.

Back home…
Bill O’Reilly has generated a lot of heat here in San Francisco for his intemperate remarks (intemperate? Bill?). I missed his show, but apparently he disapproved of the way we recently voted regarding military recruitment in schools. Because San Francisco doesn’t approve of the military trying to recruit high schoolers, O’ Reilly reasoned, if San Francisco is ever attacked by terrorists, the military should just let us die.

Nancy Pelosi called his remarks “outrageous.” (I would think that would go without saying, but again, whatever.)

Anyway, here’s what he said on Nov. 8, "You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium and I say, 'Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds.' "

I’ll assume that O’Reilly’s outrage is genuine. (Ha!)

First of all, what is the likelihood that President Bush will ever come within fifty miles of San Francisco, much less that hotbed of liberal activism Union Square? (Well, actually, it's across the street from Macy's, and it's mainly full of low-level white collar workers eating bag lunches.)

Second of all, he’s angry at San Francisco for voting? Isn’t that the most American thing you can do? (Besides bloviating, of course.) You can’t threaten people if they don’t vote the way you want. (Oh wait… I guess you can.)

What about those people, like me, who voted against the ban on military recruitment in schools? Will we be airlifted out in the event of a terrorist attack?

O’Reilly continued: "Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead.”

Want to be our own country? Huh? What would be the point of voting on our country’s issues, if we wanted to be our own country?

“And if al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, 'Look, every other place in America is off limits to you except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.' "

So President Bush can cut deals with al Qaeda as to which cities he can blow up and which he can’t? That's not right!

And it’s just Coit Tower by the way. You don’t need the “the.”

Coit Tower, by the way, was built by Lillie Coit as a monument to San Francisco firefighters, with whom she may or may not have had an unhealthy relationship. At any rate, many San Francisco firefighters went to New York in the wake of 9/11 (and can we retire the phrase “in the wake of 9/11” now?). Understandably, many of these firefighters are kind of pissed at Bill O’Reilly.

John Hanley, president of the San Francisco Firefighter's Union Local 798, said on SF’s KRON 4 news, "Coit Tower is a monument to the bravery of the men and women of the San Francisco Fire Department. When Bill O'Reilly makes an attack on Coit Tower, he's attacking us and our bravery. Mr. O'Reilly, maybe we should bring you into some of our burning buildings and see how brave you are."

Related news
Legendary loon Pat Robertson, when the citizens of Dover PA regained their senses and voted out the school board members who wanted to introduce creative design into the science curriculum, told the 700 Club, " If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city. And don't wonder why he hasn't helped you when problems begin. If they begin, I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that is the case, don't ask for his help because he might not be here."

And thus spoke God’s own extortionist.

Personally, I’d like to see Pat Robertson, on the day the Rapture comes, take a little side trip on his way to heaven and steer himself into Bill O’Reilly, in flames.

In the meantime, if either of them ever need a sneering comment from a San Franciscan, don’t come to me. You just voted Merle out of your city. Don’t ask for my help. I might not be there.


Anonymous Grumpy Old Bastard said...

Quoting: O’Reilly continued: "Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead.”

When I first heard Bill O’Reilly’s comments I must confess experiencing a brief but meaningful moment of bewilderment. Surely, I said to myself (as you might guess, I don’t get out much), he didn’t say THAT…did he? The logic used escaped me. O’Reilly may be a huckster and provocateur, but this was just a bit too far.

It was later, while seated in the bathroom (I do my best thinking there…but it’s best that one try very hard to NOT visualize this) that the implications of Bill’s comments began to sink in. Why not? We of the Pacific Coast (I live in the silicon-based Seattle area) should unite to form the new country of Pacifica – extending from San Francisco up to Prudhoe Bay (although I am tempted to leave Portland, OR out of the mix…they wouldn’t really fit, ya know?). I suspect it would be a couple of months before the rest of the country realized that anything was unusual. And that’s a good thing; it’ll give us time to finish THE WALL. [Maniacal chuckling]

The best part is that if the sovereignty of Pacifica were to be challenged, we can just say that Bill said we should go right ahead.

I shall go now and start knitting a flag.

10:07 PM  

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