Let's back up a bit. Dog Bites awoke last Monday evening to headlines that set our tail wagging: an announcement that New Times, the parent company of this fine publication, was merging with Village Voice Media to produce weekly newspapers in 17 markets nationwide. In other words, the country's two largest purveyors of so-called alternative journalism (Village Voice owns five other papers in addition to the flagship in New York) would now be one company. And Dog Bites, for one, found ourself with some unanswered questions.
To wit: What on earth would we wear in the photograph accompanying our new, nationally syndicated column? Could we now, finally, put "media elite" on our business card? And is finding an apartment in New York really as hard as everyone says?
Alas, we soon came crashing back to reality. There would be no syndicated column, no move to the Big Time -- indeed, no changes at all for your trusty correspondent, save a renewed focus on barking up the wrong San Francisco trees. If only our colleagues across America (and this is still America, isn't it?) would swallow a dose of the same reality pill and quit hyperventilating over a merger.
But until then, how could we be accepted? How could we show our brethren in alternative journalism that we wanted to be just like them? And then it hit us: endorsements.
Why didn't anyone tell us about this before? Rather than report with nuance and depth on complex local issues, we could just tell our readers what to think and whom to vote for! What's better than dispensing knee-jerk dictums or citizen groupthink to prove our strong ties to the community? Taking the latest issue of the San Francisco Bay Guardian as our guide (and who doesn't?), our Dog Bites correspondent took a stab at some of the critical issues we were contemplating in the run-up to the Nov. 8 election. Enjoy! Vote! And obey!
SF Weekly Endorsements
These aren't perfect times, and we don't have perfect choices, but breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. And nutritionists agree! We're endorsing Grape-Nuts. For all its drawbacks, this cereal is very much the candidate of the progressive movement. In fact, after a brutal and ugly re-election campaign last year in which downtown forces spent a lot of money and played a lot of dirty tricks to try to oust Grape-Nuts, the cereal has absolutely no loyalty to the folks who are most abusing the system. So, yeah, vote Grape-Nuts. Definitely not Cap'n Crunch. Cap'n Crunch is a warmonger.
We struggled with this one. Transpo. Totally important. Basically, it came down to one question, in three parts: Where do we live, where do we work, and what line is between those two points? We decided to endorse the N Judah.
Local Liquor Store Clerk
Ray, who works at George's. Sometimes you wanna go where at least somebody knows your name. Ray doesn't know our name, but he knows our face, and from time to time lets us slide for a few days with the old dinero. We could've endorsed George, but dude, people named George aren't cool.
Indeed, you should proposition G, assuming "G" stands for Gina, that foxy new intern.
Be honest: Does "B" stand for Bill? Might wanna wait a few more dates with Bill. Hey, we like him and all, but the other day, in the break room, Bill was like, "Check out my new kicks," and, frankly, people who talk like that are trying just a little too hard. All we're saying is, go out once or twice more with the guy, see if this "kicks" business is a regular thing with him, or whether it was a slip-up. This stuff happens.
Source for Getting Your Endorsements
Felicia, Steven, and the rest of us sat around talking about this one for a while. Then we ordered a pizza, watched some pre-season hoops (go Sonics!), and finally decided what to endorse when it comes to a source for your endorsements: the inside of your own mind. That's right, believe it or not, you have the power for rational thought. Understanding this fact, we're endorsing you, your principles, and your good judgment. Now get out there and make some decisions! (Garrett Kamps)
Embedded in Leah Garchik's Chronicle column is a box called "Public eavesdropping," which features the overheard bons mots of housewives buying arugula in the Marina Safeway and the like. We realized recently, however, that the enlightened whimsy of these items sounded awfully familiar, which gave us an idea for a little game. Below are nine "Public eavesdropping" items and the captions to six New Yorker cartoons in the Oct. 24 issue. Can you tell which ones are which?
1) "We're driving upstate to take in the gorgeous display of colorful locals."
2) "That's nothing. I made one pair of underwear last a 60-day tour through Europe."
3) "If he's not going to shave his face, then I'm not going to shave my legs."
4) "No, I don't think we need counseling. This is our first date."
5) "This is the orgasm I've been waiting for."
6) "So you called to tell me you don't feel like talking?"
7) "That was great, Howard. The perfect antidote to mindless summer fare."
8) "It's amazing how much the culture has penetrated the counterculture."
9) "I wonder if the ghosts wear tie-dyed sheets."
10) "It was better before God took up knitting."
11) "I try never to eat a burrito bigger than my head."
12) "Do you still have your gallbladder?"
13) "Remind me what our other roommate's name is."
14) "Don't you just love that new cat smell?"
15) "I'll be happy to give you innovative thinking. What are the guidelines?" (Tommy Craggs)
New Yorker cartoons: 1, 4, 7, 10, 14, 15; "Public eavesdropping": 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13