The annual inevitable rolls around. Restaurants, movie theaters, and streets are filled with hand-clasping couples with manufactured bliss in their eyes. The Hallmark "Making Holidays Is Our Business" Corp. cashes in on the love cow yet again. Well, love ain't for everybody, and on this lover's day you can shamelessly toast all those walking breakups-waiting-to-happen.
Ten artists remember that early '80s MTV anthem with "Love Stinks," an exhibition of dark and comical takes on the universal human desire. Lori Hanson's expressionist triptych of pigs indulging their carnal desires might just stymie yours. If you've sought companionship in the endless offerings of a free rag's last 20 pages, you may be surprised to hear your own voice in Chris Komater's Personals, an audio installation of snippeted voice-mail responses to an ad. Laurie Long explores the recently banned practice of Japanese schoolgirls selling their underwear to businessmen in Panty Vending Machine. Artists are honored at an opening reception for "Love Stinks" from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Gallery Luscombe, 3040 24th St. (at Harrison), S.F. Admission is free, and "Love Stinks" is up through Feb. 26; call 285-8545.
If wallowing in self-pity is more your style, sign your soul away to "Heartbreak Hell." Singer/songwriter Ira Marlowe hosts an evening of local vocalists bent on conjuring the worst despair through depressing love songs. The show starts at 8 p.m. Monday at Amnesia, 853 Valencia (between 18th & 19th streets), S.F. Donations accepted; call 970-8336.
Give your broken heart a kick in the pants at "Tough Love," an evening of "quit your bitching" spoken word from Lydia Lunch, Blag Dahlia, Thomas Roche, and Cara Bruce. The show starts at 8 p.m. Monday at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $5; call 861-5016.
OK, so love ain't gonna bloom, but a little action might take the sting out of things. Even if you can't get some, you can at least watch. The San Francisco Zoo's Sex Tour 2000 gives voyeurs the chance to satisfy beastly passions as guides describe, and hopefully spotlight, various animal sex acts and habits. Will the gurgling mantra of love-struck rhinos inspire similar impulses in you and yours-to-be? Only the elephant knows. Tours begins at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. on Monday, at the San Francisco Zoo, 1 Zoo Rd., S.F. Tickets are $40 (reservations required); call 753-7165.