WEEK IN REVIEW: impassioned hypocrisy, mastermind letdown
Carey Tennis hosted Portuguese Artists Colony this month as Caitlin Myer, founder of the San Francisco-based series visited Portugal for the first time. Not only did Tennis take the opportunity to show us how it was done in the old days, but he also tried to read some of Jason Flores-Williams‘ writing; having spent the entire show drinking and carrying on so loudly with some of his cohorts that they had to be shushed in the back room, Flores-Williams cut Tennis off to harangue, rather passionately, the many hypocrisies of hipsterdom. “Hipsters are to gentrification what fluffers are to the porn biz; we get the area ready for the big pricks to come in and blow their load.” Meanwhile, at least three people who call Tehama Street “home” were trying to sleep outside Fivepoints Arthouse.
I’m talking about forging new myths. I’m talking about creative resistance that scares the shit out of rich robots, sex and the city slaves, stockbrokers, cultural gatekeepers, and the pigs in fucking power. I’m talking about dangerous expression that will make Todd and Ashley think long and hard about moving into the hood, and exposing the little banker to the new hip warriors of the American night.
Despite the irony of the situation, Flores-Williams’ reading was a most impassioned diatribe and a straightforward brutality the likes of which might wake some people up around here… beyond the homeless.
On Monday, while Myer was leading a version of Portuguese Artists Colony—yes, in Portugal—New York-based magazines Guernica and BOMB enjoyed a rare Bay Area convergence to host a meetup with San Franciscans at the Makeout Room. “Please introduce yourselves to us and tell us about what you do—and how you do it,” said the Facebook evite. “We’re curious to hear from San Franciscans!”
Maybe we’re on to something; maybe they think we have lots of money and don’t know what to do with it! (There’s no money.) Or maybe, as Flores-Williams suggested, the key to our success here is the mentality that “there is nothing outside our kickball scene.”
On Tuesday, the submission-based series Writing Without Walls debuted at Project One Gallery with a showcase of six writers, all students at the University of San Francisco. A strong first reading despite technical difficulties, the group made a case for the innate integrity of the submission-based system. There were no introductions, the authors were asked not to banter (mostly abiding), and the series will move around—not only the city, but to the East Bay and back, too. There was a DJ, and next month they plan to have some authentic Egyptian dancing.
Innately political, though couched in community, such series might possess the pizzazz to attract enough support to reach beyond the confines of our kickball league. Ww/oW is accepting submissions for their second show through Tuesday, Jul 5.
At intermission, co-host Phil Genaldo led a round of applause for two of Quiet Lightning‘s board members, and another round for Sean Labrador y Manzano, all of whom were in the crowd. New communities are establishments here? What does that mean? Quiet Lightning was in The San Francisco Chronicle this week, and is accepting submissions through Thursday, Jul 14.
Also on Tuesday, rain forced the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival to postpone their Youth Speaks program. It has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 19.
Finally, Neil Gaiman came to Berkeley this week, thanks to Booksmith and Berkeley Arts and Letters. A sold-out crowd at the First Congressional Church of Berkeley hung on every one of the writer’s words, even when they were without substance, haughty, or downright dumb. At least a few people—even those who really, really wanted to like the man—were disappointed. It just goes to show that sometimes, a ticket with ‘no names’ is the best kind of ticket.
Stay tuned for a preview of this week, up later today.
It was nice meeting you. Thanks again for coming to our debut Writing without Walls reading event at Project One and thanks for the mention above. One small correction: we actually had writers reading who are enrolled in three different Bay-Area MFA programs: University of San Francisco (Margaret Ann Mabry, Brian Martin, Karen Biskopink), San Francisco State (Jason File) and California College of the Arts (Jeremy Ravdin, Paul Blumer).
Thanks for the correction, Jeff. A good one it is!
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