Archive for June, 2007

From my cell

Somewhere outside a man shouting his god’s judgment.

Somewhere outside the sun burning itself to the ground.

Somewhere outside flowers sheltering their pistils.

Somewhere outside the finger of a tree floating on the water.

Somewhere inside maggots squirm and feed.

Somewhere inside a severed head still speaks.

Somewhere inside a rusty nail pins the wings of a dove.

Somewhere inside the power cord for the fridge is tripped.

Somewhere inside a beetle’s mandibles gape wide.

Somewhere inside a thirsty well with no bottom.

Somewhere inside a labrynthe of broken wands.

Somewhere inside the gasping of a bee’s final fight.

Somewhere inside a gate is breached.

Somewhere inside a box i fear to open again.

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Prevent eviction of Street Spirit’s editor

On a real serious note, here’s a call out for someone who works tirelessly on poverty issues, fighting anti-homeless laws and also providing education and employment to homeless folks every day.

Link to Freedom Voices website: http://freedomvoices.org /streetspirit/

I’m writing to bring some sad news and a request for help for our fellow journalist Terry Messman. As many of you know, Terry Messman is the founding editor of Street Spirit Newspaper, one
of the outstanding examples of street newspapers and progressive journalism in the
country. Terry has dedicated over 20 years to organizing with homeless people in various ways, from occupying and winning housing for shelter to the brilliant advocacy journalism he has practiced in Street Spirit for over a decade. In addition to providing a free speech venue for poverty rights, peace and social justice views that are censored by the mainstream, the paper provides income for scores of homeless people who act as vendors earning honorable income selling papers on the street.

In one of capitalism’s ugly ironies, Terry is now facing possible eviction and homelessness.

… continue reading this entry.

Movie Review: El Calentito

El Calentito

Las Sioux

Director: Chus Gutierrez

Starring: Veronica Sanchez, Juan Sanz, Lluvia Rojo

Spanish release: 2005

I saw this movie at San Francisco’s Frameline last week at the Castro Theater. Frameline is San Francisco’s annual lesbian, gay, queer and transgender film festival. (There’s hardly anything addressing a bisexual audience.) An organ player rose up from a pit in front of the screen and entertained the audience just before the showing.

I don’t go to the theater much. Tickets are expensive and i feel bad when i see a movie that sucks. Movies that i do go to el cine for: those with great visuals and/or when music is an important part of the story.

It’s 1981 and nightclub scene in Spain is shaking as people find themselves freer to express their individuality, a quality long suppressed under Franco’s dictatorship. El Calentito is one site of rebellion, where youth party to punk rock, score hits, and well, score. But not Sara. She lies plastered on the floor of the restroom after witnessing her boyfriend making out with another woman. Rescued by Carmen, one of Las Siux, an all-women punk rock band one singer short of a trio, Sara is convinced to fill in at a record label meeting. You pretty much can guess what happens for the rest of the movie – except for some characters’ reactions to martial law when military fascists stage a coup.

El Calentito reminds me of an Almod√≥var movie, but with fewer plot twists. Chatty transexuals? Check. Lesbian/gay side character? Check. Controversial Catholic sexual imagery? Check. Linear plot, unimaginative lyrics, a few tired metaphors; but historically interesting and very high energy, El Calentito is a good popcorn sort of movie. It just might have you jumping up and shouting “¬°Libertad!”

Anime Review: The Place Promised in Our Early Days

Screen captures of Place Promised in Our Early Days

Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho/ Beyond the Clouds, The Promised Place

Aka The Place Promised in Our Early Days

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Japanese Premiere: Nov 2004

US Premiere: May 2005

“I always have a feeling that I’m losing something” – Sayuri Sawatari.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days is a blend of romantic fairy tale and science-fiction set in a parallel reality of post-WWII Japan. In this reality, Japan is split up, with one section controlled by “the Union” and the other controlled by the United States. An everpresent mystery is the role of a tower that stretches as high up as far as the eye can see, designed by an engineer with a crucial relationship to one the main characters.

As the story begins, two junior high boys, Takuya and Hiroshi, are making plans for the summer. They spend much of their time rebuilding an old airplane that they discovered using money, parts, and advice from their summer job at a munitions plant.

… continue reading this entry.

Iranian American Woman Artist & “On Orientalism”

Don’t know if i’m able to attend the film screening, but i do plan on seeing Taraneh Hemami’s installation artwork.

Film Screening Curated by Sana Makhoul


Featuring Edward Said: On Orientalism &
Introduction to the End of an Argument

Wednesday June 27, 2007 @ 7pm
$5-$15/sliding scale, general admission

Intersection for the Arts teams up with curator Sana Makhoul to present a film screening featuring two films presented in conjunction with Taraneh Hemami’s Most Wanted, the latest exhibition on view in our gallery http://www.theintersection.org/calendar/program_gallery.php .

Edward Said: On Orientalism includes an engaging and lavishly illustrated interview with the late Edward Said, whose book Orientalism has been profoundly influential in a diverse range of disciplines since its publication in 1978. Said talks about the context within which the book was conceived, its main themes, and how its original thesis relates to the contemporary understanding of “the Orient” as represented in the mass media.

Introduction to the End of an Argument features a combination of film, documentary news coverage, and excerpts of “live” footage shot in the West Bank and Gaza strip. This film critiques representations of the Middle East, Arab culture, and the Palestinian people produced by the West.

Hafiz i am not (re-rendering of How does It Feel to be a Heart?)

The Hafiz poem, as translated by Daniel Ladinsky, is at http://www.ebblog.dk/1145/perma/14979

Once a young woman asked me,

“How does it feel to be a man?”

And i replied,

“I am not sure what you mean.”

Then she said,

“Well, aren’t you a man?”

And this time i replied,

“Am i a man if i wait in line to use the women’s restroom when there is no line to the men’s?

when, on the telephone, people assume that i am a woman?

when, in person, people are often uncertain of what my gender is?”

And the woman responded, “But you are a man.”

At this i replied,

“Is there a contest that one wins

for corralling somebody into a pen?

If you are seeking to know yourself

Do not look to me.

If you are seeking to know me

You do not know how to see.”

TransForming Communities

I am reminded that one of the reasons i don’t go to many transgender events because i often wind up feeling more lonely when i leave than when i arrive.

“TransForming Communities” at the LGBT Center in San Francisco

(www.queerculturalcenter.org)

TransForming Community explores the friction at the intersection of contemporary trans and queer communities. With a burgeoning transsexual community growing in tandem with a genderqueer movement, what are the issues that arise when non-trans queers share cultural space with transpeople and genderqueers? With distinctly different needs and identities, what needs to be worked out between the transsexual and genderqueer and queer communities?

Of this year’s performers, the one whose speech/poem that got me thinking most was that of Buck Angel, a female-to-male transexual person (transman) who is proudly “a man with a pussy.” A man who states that he doesn’t like being called a “trans-advocate” because he transitioned to become “a man, not a transman” and because he gets more support for who he is and the work he does from gay men than from transgender people or any other queer people.

… continue reading this entry.