While tourists chase beatnik ghosts, they often ignore
aspects of the current pop culture scene, such as graffiti artist Elvis
Christ. Wouldn't it be ironic if future
tourists envied the folks in 2012 because of their opportunity to see
contemporary San Francisco art history as it was being made?
Tourists walked right past Elvis in San Francisco, earlier this week.
Finding a story on the Hispanic Business website about a trust fund that the Republican Party's presumptive Vice Presidential nominee had "forgotten" seemed like a good topic for a column but since the Republican Party's "presumptive" nominee has based his campaign on his business record and has refused to release his tax records which would clarify questions about his qualifications for the Presidency, and since that clever bit of coyness seems sufficiently alluring to earn the fellow a virtual tie in polls; we deem the prospect of doing the work to produce a column that offers intelligent analysis of the implications of an overlooked trust fund an example of absurdity for inclusion in the Dadaism Hall of Fame.
The fact that this week's polls show that the Presidential race
is a toss-up, means that the only people who will question the final results
that are produced by the electronic voting machines in November will be
conspiracy theory lunatics. It also
means that it is too late to present facts which might help informed citizens
change their mind about which candidate will get their votes. As the croupier would say when the roulette
ball hits the wheel: "No more bets!" The die is cast. It's time to write columns about sailing
ships (the America's Cup
competition has started in San
sealing wax, cabbages, and kings.
Would people who doubt the existence of global warming because it is based on the opinions of scientists be likely to consider the validity of an effort to use Schrödinger's cat as a metaphor that explains the three card Monty game Mitt Romney is playing with his tax returns? "Ah, hah, Mr. Romney. you have the Maltese cat? You are a card, sir."
We sent a link to the forgotten trust fund story off to
radio talk show host Mike Malloy because he has more media clout and a bigger
People seem to find the fact that TMZ found and published a photo of Paul Ryan without a shirt more interesting than the forgotten trust fund (or the completely ignored story about Paul Ryan's girlfriend while he was in college. [Google News Search hint: "Paul Ryan girlfriend college"] Keli Goff at The Root seems the reporter who got the scoop)
We have been intending to shift the focus of our columns to
feature topics such as the effect the death of singer Scott McKenzie might have
on tourism in San Francisco because that, at least, might lure some new readers
from across the big pond, to this website.
Tourists from all over the world arrive in San Francisco and, equipped with maps, and then go walking around the various neighborhoods trying to imagine what it was like being there in the past during the Beatnik era.
Back in the Sixties, one had to dig deep to learn that the
area around the Bus Stop bar had been called "Cow Hollow." That was the past. The Beatniks had come (the location of the
legendary Six Gallery was about three or four blocks away) and gone but who
cared about the writers from the past when everyone was hip to Flip Wilson's
comedy routine about "The Church of What's Happening Now!"
Learning to drive a stick shift V-dub on the streets of San Francisco at the time when folks were still chuckling because of Bill Cosby's comedy routine on that very topic wasn't funny because you could very easily get into a car crash whilst learning to make the deft maneuvers with the clutch pedal and the brakes. Yeah, forty years later it may seem amusing, but not when it was actually "going down." There were laws governing how the front wheels of a car had to be positioned when parking on one of the famed hills.
Who cared about Beatniks when the cast recording of "Hair"
was ubiquitous? Beats were from a
different decade. Jack Kerouac was an
old man in his forties reportedly living in Florida.
The Mamas and the Papas, the Doors, and the Jefferson Airplane were young
and most likely would be playing a gig at the Filmore West very soon.
Back in the Fifties, when the Beat Generation in San Francisco was a popular media topic, the beats would have been talking about topics such as: the Bay area disk jockey Don Sherwood, Herb Caen's columns, and the arrival of the New York Giants at their new west coast home.
The beatniks had had their day and when the hippie era
arrived it was time to enjoy KFOG and KABL radio, read Herb Caen's columns,
talk about Benny Bafano's sculptures, see the Fantasticks, and voice an opinion
about the War in Vietnam.