Chatterbox

If the mayoral candidates want voters to pay attention to this year's moribund campaign, they should elevate the level of debate. But given the current crop of lackluster candidates, that might be impossible, so we suggest that a gang of hecklers take to the hustings and degrade the process with the following pump-priming barbs, if only to elicit humanoid responses from the hopefuls. To Frank Jordan, we suggest: "Hey Frank, why did they call you 'empty holster' at the department? Go back to the precinct, doughnut boy!" To Mr. Democrat, speaker emeritus of the California Legislature: "Hey, Willie, is that an FBI indictment in your pocket, or are you just glad to see us here in San Francisco?" To Roberta Achtenberg: "Let's party, babe." To Angela Alioto: "Angela! You're supposed to be the heart -- not the spleen -- of San Francisco." To Ben Hom: "Huh?" And to Joel Ventresca: "Who?" ... San Francisco Chronicle music critic Joel Selvin takes '90s pop to task in his Aug. 27 Datebook piece in which he describes the last five years of rock as probably "the most indifferent, unproductive, and lackluster" in the last four decades. Boiled down to its essence, Selvin's argument isn't that good music can't be found, but that there is no contemporary star with the staying power of -- you guessed it -- the rock gods of the late '60s and early '70s. (Coincidentally, Selvin's marathon run at his pop-music job began in 1972.) The problem with Selvin's complaint is that the music audience is too big these days for just two or three acts to dominate the scene like when he entered the business.

 
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