By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
Let Antoinetta Decide
As a transsexual I applaud your respectful treatment of Antoinetta Stadlman in Matt Smith's cover story "Queen of Sixth Street" (May 21), but wonder why so much focus was on her since the article was on the Sixth Street project area committee. Why should she be singled out?
I'm impressed you got the pronouns correct ("she" and "her") and mentioned her many positives, but your scrutiny smacks of sensationalism: splashing your front page with her and stating she "dreams of reigning over the multimillion-dollar redevelopment of Sixth Street." As only one voice in a group of at least 10 committee members, how can she "reign" over the project?
Reading the article carefully, it's clear that politicking and feuding were common among many candidates, so I fail to see how Stadlman is different from any of them, except that she's a transsexual ... BINGO!
The truth is that transsexuals make good copy. She's used to ensure your paper is picked up and read. A TS is always good for "freak" appeal. I have done several national and local TV talk shows, and they're always run during sweeps week. You're doing the same thing with Stadlman, using transgender titillation (pun intended) to sell advertising space. I've quit doing the shows unless I have something to promote, and if Stadlman has higher political aspirations, she probably doesn't mind the coverage. Is it possible to enjoy the limelight without being exploited? I guess it depends on how it's done. You get a C minus this time, SF Weekly.
Rodriguez to Riff Raff: Ruff Ruff
After wading through the waste-of-space article in the May 14 SF Weekly about Boz Scaggs' Come On Home ("What's Wrong With This Picture?" Riff Raff), the only resulting benefit was that it drove me to the dictionary to learn some new words. What the hell does "genitorture" mean? After failing to find the word in the English dictionary, I had to consult a multilingual friend to discover its meaning. The article was listed in the music review section but was tripping on the cover design of the CD ... what? I think the CD kicks ass -- musically and artistically. Remember, big words don't necessarily mean big thoughts. By the way, since when did Bill Wyman become the personnel director in charge of job descriptions for the Chronicle ("Selvin Watch [The Special Edition]," Riff Raff, May 14)? I'm sure Joel Selvin would also like to know. Final (novel) thought: Stick to reviewing.
Eggers a Bad Egg
I'm sometimes amused by Dave Eggers and his cartoons. After all, I'm a lifelong socialist and gay activist so I usually can see his point, although I think more often than not he's too strident and lacking in humor.
I think the proposed stadium is a rip-off. I'm also no fan of Jack Davis, though I find him a fascinating subject of study and admire his Machiavellian ruthlessness. I was nonplused, however, by Eggers' May 14 "cartoon" ("Some thoughts on why what was said and done at the Jack Davis party is indeed significant, and newsworthy and of far-reaching consequences despite Mr. Willie Brown's claims to the contrary," Smarter Feller!). It was nothing more than a pedantic, dull, and ultimately misguided sermon on Eggers' elitist understanding of politics.
Mayor Brown is voicing the deeply held and warranted belief of many residents and commuters when he slams the Muni drivers and sanitation workers. He is reflecting that the generally progressive-minded people of San Francisco and its environs are fed up with pampered, whining incompetents who give union labor a bad name. In this instance, Willie Brown speaks for the people, and Eggers is being protective of a bureaucratic class that, in general, has abused the system and the generosity of San Franciscans.
In this whole saga, for which the "news" media should be ashamed of itself, the truth of the matter is that it is none of their damned business to vomit yellow-journalistic tabloid stories about a private party across the table of the public consciousness. In some cases, doing so was just a greedy desire to get a bump in ratings or circulation. In others, it was as cynical a manipulation of the political process by his enemies as Jack Davis has ever engaged in.
Nurses Don't Wear Ties
Lisa Davis points up very nicely the tissue of lies that Sutter/CHS Corp. is attempting to place over San Francisco ("Health Feud," May 14). About 400 people celebrated May Day by marching on Sutter's San Francisco headquarters to protest their abuse of Visiting Nurses and Hospice (VNH) workers.
I have cared for people with AIDS and have seen how only direct action has affected the malign neglect that puts market share above public health. I think I have a better understanding than the wealthy Sutter executives who hide behind security guards, union-busting consultants, and public relations flacks like California Pacific Medical Center's Sara Kelley. These health conglomerates campaigned against both universal health care initiatives while taking millions of dollars from the public via Medi-Cal, Medicare, and San Francisco AIDS contracts.
Kelley protects [CEO of California Pacific Medical Center] Dr. Martin Brotman from meeting with the workers, treats the delegations from the community with contempt, then claims, "We don't know that it's the workers who are behind this." I guess the McCarthy era never died; that would explain the mobs of human resource employees who take copious notes, make videotapes, and call the police when we have pickets and barbecues.
Picketing and demonstrating is uncomfortable for those whose careers are built on layoffs and "restructuring." But when all is said and done, it is the health care worker, not a robot or a corporate suit, who will be there for the community.