Pets Are for Playing
On this summer's national Kill Zinesters Tour, accompanying the publishers of the zines Ben Is Dead and Genetic Disorder in a Winnebago is Bunnyhop, a home-grown effort perhaps best known for last year's cease-and-desist order from cartoonist Matt Groening (see "Silly Rabbits," Samples, Jan. 31). But after a paperwork scolding from attorneys over the misappropriation of Life in Hell's "Binky" character, one wonders how Bunnyhop has fared lately. The recent issue No. 7, the "soft and fluffy issue," features pop-culture roundups of ephemera like Fraggle Rock, San Francisco burrito tasting, "'80s teensexploitation boobie flicks," the band Stereolab, and other cuteness. And yet one article jumps out from the pack, soft and fluffy yet with a dose of adolescent evil: "What's the Worst Thing You've Done to Your Pet?"
Ashlea once kicked her aunt's dog down a flight of stairs; the animal was suffering from cancer, and its "scabby tumor/lesions started to BLEED! It was gross."
Then there's Jenny's friend Stierch, who went camping with a boyfriend and fed a raccoon a Twinkie laced with acid. Shortly thereafter, when the two had forgotten the episode, they were startled by a tripped-out coon that sped out of the woods, hellbent for "the beacon of light that was their campfire."
That expression on your face can mean only one of two things -- either you're totally sickened by this, or you've been there yourself. If you can't find Bunnyhop in stores, send six bucks to PO Box 423930, San Francisco, CA 94142-3930.
It's OK to Be Obnoxious
In these sanitized days of millennium's end, where election-year politicians dare to bad-mouth Hollywood action movies, it's more and more difficult to escape the oh-so-sticky No-Pest strip of family values. Nearly all the Internet access provider companies warn their customers about the penalties for transmitting filthy or inappropriate information, from AOL to CompuServe, Microsoft, and AT&T. Fortunately, this is San Francisco, where companies like the Little Garden Net are allowed to flourish.
Named after a Korean restaurant in Palo Alto, the Little Garden was founded in 1990 by libertarian computer jocks, whose backgrounds include Apple, Sun, FidoNet, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. From their current offices at 16th and Mission streets, they pride themselves on being one of the few Internet access providers that take a complete hands-off approach to their customers.
Company co-founder Tim Pozar compares TLGnet's function to that of the telephone company. "We just supply the pipe," says Pozar. "You can come to us, you can do whatever you want." (Note: TLGnet's official contract does not protect you from liability.)
Pozar adds that although the company has recently been purchased by Best, the sale "has not changed our policy." Best/TLGnet can be reached at (415) 487-1902.
Poetry in Motion
You don't need to thumb through books at City Lights to enjoy local poetry; you don't even have to hide behind a pint of beer during Monday night readings at the Chameleon. All you have to do is walk around the city.
One anonymous creative sprite affixed these immortal words to the wall of Doctor Bombay's in the Mission: "Every town must have a place where phony hippies meet." Hmm, food for thought, although the phony hippie meeting place certainly isn't Bombay's.
Another poet chose his canvas to be the sidewalk at the corner of Dolores and Market, where -- artfully stenciled in paint -- are the words: "On my dick -- unprotected -- your closed eyes rolled to heaven. Watching movements of a world I can't get to anymore. Pools spread from your heart and stomach -- water flows under the door. You're dying to feel what you want to feel: It's up to me to feel the awe."
Awe can also be felt in last week's West Coast edition of the Sunday New York Times, where a very, very thoughtful sentence of free verse appears on the cover page, above the fold: "Ross Perot has won the Presidential nomination of the Reform Party, the organization's officlst y18refo*ials [sic] announced here today, setting the stage for another unpredictable campaign that supporters hope will establish an enduring third party in American politics." Not to mention an enduring election-year insight.
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