Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What a Week

What a week for reflection. First George McGovern and Russell Means walk on, now Judge Betty Binns Fletcher passed away.

While many remember the anti-war 1972 presidential candidate and the American Indian activist/film star, not so many recall Judge Betty Fletcher of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for her 33 years devoted to justice for immigrants, Native Americans, free speech, equal opportunity and environmental protection.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

One of a Kind

The annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind event. Featuring indigenous films from Nunavut to Navajo, Karuk to Quebec, the festival reveals the modern challenges indigenous peoples face in keeping their languages, traditions and values alive. Starting on November 2, the 37th festival hosted by the American Indian Film Institute is one not to be missed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ready for the Pros

I think it was the late Hunter S. Thompson who said that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Reading the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Fog City weirdness is apparently ready for the pros. As a partisan observer of the New College of California debacle in 2007 -- not to mention the Proposition K ballot initiative sponsored by pimps and brothel owners in 2008 -- I know from whence I speak.

Today's Guardian, in fact, has two articles about San Francisco weirdness: the Rally for Ross in support of the reinstatement of Sheriff Mirkarimi, who was removed by Mayor Lee for allegedly assaulting his wife, and the San Francisco Association of Realtors video attacking pro-tenant Supervisor Eric Mar.

Noted in the rally lineup is former San Francisco Supervisor and distinguished professor of the now defunct New College, Harry Britt, who, like Eric Mar, was a staunch supporter of the 1995 and 2007 student rebellions at New College. Mar, who in 1995 worked at the New College Law School, was one of the few employees of the college to risk his job to bring democratic accountability to the school.

Likewise, Britt remarked in the 1995 Bay Guardian expose of the loony New College president Peter Gabel, that if they failed to hold the corrupt, cult-like board of trustees accountable, it would mean the eventual downfall of the Bay Area flagship of radical higher ed. Prophetic words, indeed.

While weirdness in the abuse of authority is not unique to the City of Love, San Francisco does mange to exhibit its own special style of dealing with it. It's one of the reasons we love the place.