To the Death Star, Han!

We joined the battle, but our skills proved to be no match for the professional combatants (dorks).

A long time ago (last week), in a galaxy far, far away (the Presidio), Dog Bites navigated our trusty star cruiser (our girlfriend's 1990 Subaru Impreza wagon) to the war-torn forest planet of Endor (the camping and picnic area). There, a garrison of Imperial storm troopers and members of the Rebel Alliance (Star Wars fan club dudes dressed in homemade costumes) stood guard over a set of top military strategists (video game reviewers) who were brought in from the far reaches of the cosmos (mostly San Jose, but one guy was from England) to play the newest game from LucasArts. In discreet shelters (catering tents covered in camo netting), these clustered mercenaries took posts at interconnected battle stations (multiplayer video game consoles) to determine the fate of the rebellion (in 10-minute installments, with players gunning down anything that moved). As the twin moons rose over the camp, fierce battling inspired rallying cries from the combatants ("Yoda just got his ass kicked!" "Leah is so going down!"), who barely paused to enjoy modest (box lunch) provisions (the turkey pesto: particularly tasty). To relieve the fatigued warriors, we joined the battle, testing our heroism with the weapon of our choosing (Xbox), but our skills proved to be no match for the professional combatants (dorks).

When an informal cease-fire was declared (short attention span), the battered heroes warmed themselves by the campfires (buried Weber grills) to enjoy one another's company and share stories of upcoming engagements (releases from gaming industry darling Rockstar Games). With the most expert soldiers engaging in casual revelries, the Imperial storm troopers and the members of the Rebel Alliance left their patrols and quickly took the abandoned turrets, treating each other to the most spirited (shit-talking) skirmishes of the evening. Dog Bites again enlisted, figuring we would fare better when matched with less brutal opponents (nonprofessional video game jocks), but our resounding, swift annihilation was similar to the first campaign. As we finally made our leave from the forest enclave, we were bid a hearty farewell ("May the Force be with you!"). (Nate Cavalieri)

Cameras in Bathrooms Are a Great Idea. Really.

When we think of Andy Warhol's infamous Factory -- an artistic housing unit, of sorts, that prompted generations of bad art students to throw bad theme parties -- we think of tinfoil walls, strung-out socialites, gorgeous chicks with dicks, and bushels of barbiturates. Imagine our excitement, then, when we heard about "Diamond Dust," a gala celebration for the "Pop! From San Francisco Collections" exhibition at SFMOMA, which promised to celebrate "the glamour of Andy Warhol's notorious Factory headquarters in New York." We daydreamed at the thought of lounging around the museum, blazingly hip, in an orgy of art, sex, muscle relaxants, and booze. Art-rock bands with their backs to the audience! Eating disorder-enriched models! Rock star overdoses! Everything we'd gleaned over the years by watching movies like Basquiat, I Shot Andy Warhol, et al. titillated us.

Unfortunately, we were duped. Sure, the party itself was fantastic -- we declare any event with an open bar a smashing success -- but SFMOMA's idea of the debauched Factory apparently involves catered food (our favorite: dollops of tuna tartare balanced on Ruffles-like wafers), free lip balm samples, and gift bags courtesy of Macy's. Hardly the doped-up, Caligula-like orgies we had fancied.

The installations, though, were delightful. Hairstylists at Glama-Rama! made couture wigs using material ranging from vibrant, piled-high hair to hypodermic needles and pills. The Low Energy Lounge was a cluster of large beanbag-ish chairs that were meant to mimic light bulbs and to "remind you that we are sucking dry the planet's resources." We thought they looked more like large garlic bulbs. "It's like a tribute to Gilroy!" chirped one smartly dressed elderly woman, and we couldn't have agreed more.

But the best exhibit, fittingly, was in the bathroom. Through cameras and TVs in both the men's and ladies' rooms, the men could glimpse what the women were doing at the sink (lots of girlish chatter, freshening up, and gawking), while the women could watch the men washing their hands and leaving red-faced, because men turn deaf and dumb upon entering a bathroom. This camera gimmick should be a staple in restrooms everywhere. Break down those gender/bowel movement barriers, we say! And there's nothing like having your 15 minutes of fame consist of washing your hands after taking a piss.

So, after having sucked down four to seven (or so) glasses of chardonnay and vodka, Dog Bites had fun with the TVs by pretending to snort bumps of cocaine from our car keys in front of the camera. Right then, the bathroom door burst open and a verboten female entered to beg us for "just a taste, please" of what we were feigning to inhale. After catching on to the improvised, phony nature of our drug abuse, she snapped, "Oh, fuck off, seventh-graders," then turned around and left. Using up our 15 minutes of lavatory notoriety, we left the bathroom chortling like, well, seventh-graders.

We never got to dig on the groovy vibe of the Velvet Underground or pop a few sweet blue Valiums into our mouth, but we did receive a nifty gift bag at the end of the night. Filled with sundry kitschy, useless bits of crap (ReadyMade magazine, pop art mementos, an underwater disposable camera, and a cheap little flashlight key chain), it was, somehow, perfectly appropriate -- the kind of kitschy, useless crap that Andy himself probably would have loved. (Brock Keeling)

 
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