Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No Torch Hide & Seek

The Olympic Torch was in San Francisco in 1960. I guess that the leaders of Squaw Valley, CA wasn't as mired in human rights controversies as the current leaders in Beijing.

Thanks to our friend the Super Fabulous Pretty Librarian (SFPL) for the photo!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Globalization, Irony, Passion

The Olympic Torch was carried through SF yesterday, not without controversy or irony. I went down to the ballpark to shoot some video - see it here.

What really struck me was the enormous gap in thinking between the Pro-Chinese and other protesters (Darfur, Burma, Tibet, Human Rights, etc. etc.) When I talked to a few of the Chinese (who had enormous red flags), they universally expressed these thoughts:

1. The Dalai Lama is a liar and is using naive westerners to make China look bad. (Nobody could explain why.)
2. Tibetans are better off under Chinese rule.
3. The Western media is biased against the Chinese, and westerners are naive for believing what we're told. (Given the ridiculous television coverage of the protests, I kind of agree with the latter statement.)
4. The Chinese do have free speech, but they don't need it because all is well in China and they're better off than they used to be.

Nobody that I talked to seemed to have any clue about why the Darfur people were protesting. One man did say, "Darfur is a liar."

Globalization isn't going to bridge vast cultural differences. It will make a lot of money for a few people though.

Natch, there were a few moments of humor. I especially liked these kids.

Like I said, the day was not without irony.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Teen Jesus

When I saw these excellent Holy Family figurines at Community Thrift yesterday, I started to think about what kind of teen Jesus would have been. My friend Mary Jennifer Hewett tells me that there's a story about teen Jesus acting up in a temple or something. I haven't heard it, but it sounds about right.

Here are Teen Jesus and his parents at the Sunday afternoon wine tasting at Castro Village Wine Shop.

I like thinking about what Teen Jesus is saying:
"Shut up, Joseph. You're not even my real father."
"Sure you like that Downing Family Zin, but it's not like it's imbued with the Holy Spirit."
"Can we go now."

Look for more Teen Jesus in upcoming entries.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Passing Through the City

When I decided to start walking to work every morning, one of my main concerns was what would happen to my blog. Initially, it was a vessel for my complaints about my morning Muni ride. While my evening rides home continue, my irritation level is generally far lower in the late afternoon. Perhaps it's that I go home to my family, or maybe it's the passage of time. Petty irritations seem less word-worthy the next morning when I turn to the my blog.

Now, with the daily morning walk (about three miles) through the city streets, I'm starting to develop theories about the reliable activities on certain blocks, the cyclical nature of the city's psyche, and how the delivery of general assistance checks impacts the mood on the street. There are a lot of things that are predictable (like that I'll see at least three people spit during my walk) and some things that are surprising, like the couple in this picture.

I was touched by their casual affection and their little backpacks.