Tag Archives: San Francisco

Happy Pride, Everyone

Pride Sunday



Happy Pride everyone, in San Francisco and points beyond. No, I’m not there (at SF Pride), I’m afraid. I’m at Temple Fine Coffee and Tea, seeking caffeine and kibble. As in, consuming the former and tryna bring home the latter. But rest assured, even from 85 miles away I’ll spend the next 6 days tryina get that unh-chah-unh-chah-unh-chah-unh-chah rhythm outta my head. Somebody play some Tchaikovsky for me?


How to Start a Revolution

The truly great documentary How to Start a Revolution screens again this weekend at SFIndie’s Docfest. This isn’t some abstract exploration of modern life; it’s an example of revolutions get made in places like Egypt. Give a damn about American politics, economic justice, Occupy Wall Street? I suggest you track this film down, or see it at Docfest if you can, and/or read Sharp’s classic text on non-violent revolution, From Dictatorship to Democracy.

(The film screens at the Roxie in San Francisco next Saturday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 26, both at 7:15pm.)

Here’s my review, from SFAppeal:

How to Start a Revolution

at SFIndie‘s San Francisco 10th Annual Documentary Film Festival (Docfest)

reviewed by Thomas S. Roche for SFAppeal:

How to Start a Revolution (Dir: Ruaridh Arrow, 2011) explores the world of Gene Sharp, an American Nobel Peace Prize nominee and author of the influential book From Dictatorship to Democracy, which helped guide the leaders of revolutions in spots as far-flung as Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Burma, Thailand, Bosnia, Indonesia, Zimbabwe and Venezuela. Sharp’s seminal book is considered contraband anywhere that violent dictators quake in terror at the power of nonviolent protestors. Sharp has been called the “godfather” of nonviolent revolution, and many leaders of nonviolent movements have traveled to visit him.

Read the rest at SFAppeal.com.


[SF Appeal] Is LGBT Burnout To Blame For Castro Bookstore’s Closing?

gay_flag_lede.jpgThis past weekend, a post by Scott James in the Bay Citizen tipped me off to the rumor that San Francisco’s venerable LGBT bookstore, A Different Light, will likely be closing down this spring. It’s one of the only LGBT bookstores left in the U.S., so its closing, in addition to being significant for many in the San Francisco community, is a hallmark of the collapse of independent and specialty bookstores nationwide.

Modern Times, a great independent and progressive but general-interest bookstore not far away in the Mission, has lost their lease and is closing, albeit, they say, only temporarily. In a widely repeated story that never fails to bring LOLZ among my friends, a Modern Times staffer supposedly once told a customer they didn’t stock Ayn Rand books “on political grounds.”

I won’t claim the Modern Times story about not stocking the right-wing Cato Institute’s spiritual godmommy Ayn Rand isn’t apocryphal, because at this point I can’t remember who said it. But if it is apocryphal, it’s by accident, not by design. Modern Times is an explicitly progressive and aggressively opinionated bookstore with a robust selection of left-wing political treatises, race and class deconstructions and prison literature — in addition to plenty of radical queer texts.

While I imagine some of Rand’s more clueless followers might howl and sob against liberal “censorship” at a store like MT or claim that it’s a “slippery slope” from not stocking Rand to burning Korans, they’d be full of it. Bookstores with agendas choose what to stock. They reflect not just their clientele, but the world they wish to build. In selecting what texts to stock, they create a worldview that attracts the like-minded and helps educate the not-yet-like-minded. All bookstores are political; most of them just don’t know it.

What do we make, then, of A Different Light, a gay bookstore unable to survive on the Gayest Block in the Universe?


My Sucky Valentine 2011!

If you’re in San Francisco, please join me on Valentine’s Day at My Sucky Valentine!

Monday, February 14, 2011
Doors 7pm, show 8pm
Donation: $10-$20 sliding scale (no one turned away for lack of funds)
A Benefit for The Center for Sex and Culture
1519 Mission Street, San Francisco

Venue Web Site: http://sexandculture.org/
Event Facebook Page

Advance tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/155881

Love is all you need! Unfortunately, sometimes in the world of romance what you get instead is a razor-blade casserole of betrayal, crossed wires, conflicting needs and their resultant existential loathing — or, if you’re really lucky, whacked-out in-laws and the occasional federal indictment.

My Sucky Valentine is a high-octane flight of moonshines for the doom-minded romantic. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day date for those of… us whose relationships with our significant others and/or stalkers haven’t brought us that heady sense of bliss promised to us on easy-rock radio. Or if you’re currently steeping in the not-yet-rancid milk of marital joy, My Sucky Valentine will remind you that there’s plenty to be thankful for — and look forward to! Expect tales of crazy exes, self-destructive obsession, zombie love, reacharound-free romance and heartache, heartache, heartache!

Featuring spoken-word performances by Thomas S. Roche, Sherilyn Connelly, Charles Gatewood, Carol Queen, Kirk Read, Julia Serano, Simon Sheppard, and horehound stillpoint.

A sensual sassy silent auction during the event, so bring your bidding attitude!

At the Center for Sex and Culture

1519 Mission Street
San Francisco
Hosted by Thomas S. Roche

Produced by J. Bouvier