And We Thought We Were Bitter
In SF Weekly's desperate (if occasionally successful) effort to be the anti-Chronicle, you have devised a shameless sham called the Black Box Awards (April 8) for the "Best of Bay Area Theater," which demeans the word "theater" -- not to mention "San Francisco" and indeed "best" -- by singling out some of the most hapless, pathetic, thumb-sucking efforts by the not-ready-for-prime-theater players in the city.
Most of the junk you honor is so laughably bad that it doesn't even warrant a review, let alone an award: puerile, futile, and infantile vanity works, loony stunts, and fashionably nihilistic, ersatz-avant-garde navel-gazing psychobabble performed by people unable to get work on any stage attended by playgoers not among the company's immediate family, circle of friends, or ass-kissing colleagues.
Wallace A. Sternberg
Adult Puppet Theater?
A standing ovation for your first SF Weekly Black Box Awards! Thanks also to my favorite theater reviewer, Carol Lloyd, for her lead article. I also have long praised these black box performers as rich and varied extensions of our wonderful San Francisco neighborhoods, some of which (sexual, political, etc.) may or may not have geographical boundaries.
Also thanks for including puppetry as an award, plus the many other references to puppetry in your issue. This art form is advancing from kiddie shows only, through being a novelty within a play -- sort of like the mandatory piece of parsley on a plate -- to being accepted as an adult form of theater.
Elisheva A. Hart
This Is Not a Snide Headline
Douglas Freelon wrote you a perfectly reasonable letter (April 8) inquiring about your acceptance of tobacco advertising, and challenging you to print it. To your credit, you did, but with only a snide headline added ("Oh, Yeah?"). I challenge you further to print this, but with some kind of substantive reply about why you accept subsidies from marketers of toxins, and what, if anything, you might do about what Freelon so aptly termed the "crass hypocrisy behind SF Weekly's crusading facade." If necessary, go ask New Times' corporate headquarters if there is truly anything in their value system beyond the bottom line. But please don't hide behind facile cleverness this time.
San Francisco Medical Society
Hey! You Leave Paul Nave Out of This!
Nice to see Jeff Stark wrote his South by Southwest story on the flight to Austin, not the return ("Year of the Elephant," Music, April 1). Had he left his provincial haughtiness and "I was there when" braggadocio back in the Bay Area, and packed instead in his carry-on journalistic aptitude or, better, an original fucking thought, perhaps he would have noticed Austin for what it is: a booming cosmopolis with an admittedly second-rate food scene (compared to San Francisco, what isn't, dipshit?) but a music atmosphere that blows doors on San Francisco, hands down.
Reportage 101, Jeff: Leave your predeterminations behind, lest you reveal your true, rock 'n' roll journalist self -- yet another weenie who couldn't get laid in high school.
P.S. How about a tag-team bout up in Marin next month: Paul Nave and Roky Erickson vs. Boulware and Stark?
The Beauty of Newsracks
Thanks for exposing the newsrack non-problem (The Grid, April 22). The city of Berkeley is considering "modular multirack pedmounts," which would eliminate all free-standing racks in a 200-yard "exclusionary zone" without giving the public a chance to question the assumption that newsracks constitute "blight." Broken windows and junked cars might qualify as blight, but newsracks are beautiful, and not just because of the cubist quality of their different shapes and colors. Newsracks mean people are writing, publishing, and, above all, reading; no ordinance that burdens this miracle should be tolerated.
In our review of Mary Stuart ("The Final Cut," Stage, April 15), the genealogy of the title character was given incorrectly. Stuart was the daughter of Scotland's James V.
In last week's Night & Day section, several events were inadvertently listed on the wrong day of the week due to a production problem.
SF Weekly regrets the errors.