Oakland’s new Museum of Capitalism opens Saturday

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Animated Logo from Museum of Capitalism

Subversive pop-up display imagines a post-supply and demand world

Anyone trying to buy or rent a home in the Bay Area these last five years has been getting a near daily lesson in the realities of a capitalist economy.

But for some perspective that doesn’t hit quite so close to home, consider a trip to Oakland’s latest museum.

The incoming Museum of Capitalism (whose Instagram account describes it as “coming soon—too soon”), a pop-up enterprise in Jack London Square set to open its doors on Saturday, says that its mission is to “remember capitalism through art, artifacts, and exhibitions.”…

Yes, in a bit of subversive cheek, the new institution imagines itself the product of an alternate reality in which capitalist economies died out. 

“Much of the evidence of capitalism is either eroding over time or simply not known or easily accessible to the public,” the curators write on the museum site, adding “Our educational work is crucial for establishing justice for the victims of capitalism and preventing its resurgence.”…

Admission is free of charge, but donations are encouraged—presumably a “from each according to his ability” principle in action… (more)

The real irony here is the replacement of galleries and art exhibitions by sports arenas, driven home by the huge crowd expected in Oakland to celebrate the Warriors big win on Thursday, that anticipates over a million people on the parade route. Sadly our Capitalist society is taking us backwards to worshiping sports stars, like the Romans in the Colosseum.

City to throw free Summer of Love concert in Golden Gate Park

Sam Whiting : sfchronicle – excerpt

People signed the banner celebrating the Peace Sign at the 2009 Summer of Love Concert. photo by zrants

After twice rejecting an independent producer’s plan to hold a free concert in Golden Gate Park to honor the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will throw its own free concert on June 21.

The Surrealistic Summer Solstice boasts it will feature members of the Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Chambers Brothers, as well as “over 40 legendary musicians” in a jam that builds to a lighting of the Conservatory of Flowers in mandalas of psychedelic color.

“This is fundamentally a light installation where we are going to have music,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of Rec and Park.

That is not how Mill Valley promoter Boots Hughston sees it. Announcement of the June 21 event comes less than a week after Rec and Park staff rejected his second application for a scaled-down free concert to be held Aug. 27 in Golden Gate Park’s Speedway Meadow.

“Basically, they are trying to steal our event,” said Hughston, who was first denied a permit for a huge Summer of Love 50th anniversary concert June 4 at the Polo Field. In late May, he was offered the Aug. 27 date at smaller Sharon Meadow, pending permit approval, but that, too, was nixed when he allegedly violated terms dictated by Rec and Park staff not to announce the event… (more)

San Francisco City Hall is drenched in controversy over the on again off again Summer of Love Concert. They can’t seem to understand the importance of tradition when it comes to celebrating this event. Hint, it is not about a light show in the Conservatory of Flowers. It is a about Flowers in our hair and peace signs. Remember Peace signs?

 

Mayor Ed Lee – Support the 50 year Anniversary of the Summer of Love

Open Letter to the Mayor of San Francisco:

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Mayor Ed Lee,

So far this concert has had more interference than Super Bowl and it is coming from City Hall. You wasted no time in supporting big sports events that close down major sections of the city for days at a time and cost the taxpayers and small businesses millions of dollars. Why not support a free concert that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love festival when the world needs Peace and Love now more than ever?

Where are all those liberated people who filled the streets with protest when Trump was elected who marched for women’s rights, LGBT rights, human rights and peace? Where are the protests and support for a free music event that celebrates the movement that started it all? Are we so jaded that we forgot all those who fought for our freedom and sanctuary status? Why are there no new protest songs on the top 40 list?

Does San Francisco only support events that involve millions of dollars and walls and fences in SF while protesting Trump’s wall with Mexico? Get with it Mayor Lee. Dig out your 60’s gear, peace signs and pipes and lead the parade for the Summer of Love, or at least kick it into high gear now.

Concerned Citizen of the world

Pot and Pinot Unite

By Zack Ruskin : sfweekly – excerpt


Wine and weed pairings are coming to pot-friendly Sonoma County now that cannabis is legal for adults in California photo by Zrants

Up in Sonoma County, Sam Edwards gives marijuana the Merlot treatment.

Sam Edwards is a third-generation Sonoma County resident, and while wine will always be the chief export of the region, he’s applying the tasting format to another plant that’s also grown with immense love and care.

For the past two years, Edwards has hosted pairings that offer attendees the chance to taste cannabis without actually getting high, and pairing the plants with suitable wine. The Sonoma Cannabis Company co-founder says the idea is part of a larger mission to appreciate the sensory complexities of various pot strains.

“These cannabis wine pairing dinners are not about consumption,” Edwards explains. “If you’re doing a tasting club for wine in a professional sense, sometimes you’re doing a tasting at 8 a.m. You’re not consuming. So we’ve figured out ways that allow for these tasting formats but do not incorporate any cannabis consumption.”…(more)

New job opportunities may blossom due to the new legalization of pot in California unless Sessions has his way and decides to invade the state with feds. Cities and counties are working on setting up new business regulations, in anticipation of a new robust market in cannabis products.

Defunding the NEA Would be incredibly stupid-Here’s Why

By Diana Budds : fastcodesign – excerpt

The National Endowment for the Arts funds local community building, educational programs, job training, housing, and more.

Arts funding has always been under assault, but the Trump Administration, hungry for budget cuts, is now baring its teeth at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in what appears to be the most serious threat to its existence since Reagan’s crusade in the 1980s. Staffers on Trump’s transition team told The Hill that the NEA and its sister organization, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), would be eliminated completely.

Defunding the NEA would be incredibly irresponsible and downright dumb. Federal agencies and departments are nebulous entities, and their responsibilities, scale, and scope are often opaque. The NEA for instance has funded projects related to affordable housing, job training, making sure children have access to playgrounds, historic preservation, resiliency, improving health care, designing better parks, and promoting social justice–along with its mission of funding museums, fine arts, dance, and theater, of course.

If you care about any of these things, you should also care about the NEA… (more)

It is not clear how the president is going to solve the job problem when he is cutting millions of government jobs. Someone needs to mention this job loss issue to him in case it hasn’t occurred to him yet.

A $2.5 trillion asset manager just put a statue of a defiant girl in front of the Wall Street bull

By Rachael Levy : sfgate – excerpt (includes video)

“Who ‘s that girl standing in front of the Wall Street bull?

There’s a new girl in town, and she’s staring down the charging bull. A bronze statue, known as “Fearless Girl,” was installed by State Street Global Advisors a day before International Women’s Day. “Fearless Girl” represents the call-to-action to increase the number of women on corporate boards. President and CEO of SSGA Ron O’ Hanley The statue will stand in front of the Wall Street bull for at least a week (video by webbitz)

The world’s third-largest asset manager has installed a bronze statue of a defiant girl in front of Wall Street’s iconic charging bull statue as part of its new campaign to pressure companies to add more women to their boards.

State Street Global Advisors, a nearly $2.5 trillion investor and unit within State Street Corp., is rolling out the campaign ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.

The huge money manager said it would vote against boards if a company failed to take steps to increase its number of members who are women. State Street plans to send a letter to 3,500 companies on Tuesday asking the companies to take action…. (more)

I am happy to share this young girl’s public show of defiance on Day without a Woman. We need some hope and this gives us some.

How to get involved with ‘A Day Without a Woman’ — even if you’re working

  • Wear red
  • Participate in a rally(more)

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George Saunders Has Some Thoughts About Art in the Trump Era

The hallowed short story author, who recently published his debut novel, explains the difference between our “art minds” and “media minds,” and why we need to pay attention to the former…

Read the entire interview here. I am only concerned with the conversation about art and media. Ellisa questions are in bold text. George answers in regular text.

Despite the fact that the novel is set 150 years ago, it feels very timely. A president, a profoundly good man, is grieving the lives lost in the war between the North and South, the country being torn apart and wrestling with his faith and that image of the distraught father cradling his young dead son. It made me think of President Obama, and all the young men killed by gun violence.

It’s so funny, the way art works. You’re concentrating on the machinery—the linguistic details of the speeches, and moving the characters around and then a system of meaning emerges from that, almost of its own volition. In this case, the material became much darker and sadder than I thought it would be. But it also gave me some truths I wasn’t expecting.

We do love things that go away. We might say, “Oh, God, please just let me die first!” But then you realize: “If I go first, that doesn’t mean the people I love won’t eventually have to die. It just means I won’t be there to have to witness it.” So anyway you cut it, it’s bleak. So . . . then what? How do we live in the face of the bleakness, and how do we live, even, with joy in the face of the bleakness?

I’m curious about the nonfiction piece you did for The New Yorker, “Who are All These Trump Supporters?”.  There seems to be some overlap between that dystopian America you satirize in your early stories that have working class folks at the mercy of capitalism and commercialism, and the Trump supporters in the article.

In my 20s I was really deep in working-class life—I worked as a roofer and in a slaughterhouse. These were my people. So it was fun and difficult to get out there and have a little bit of a confusion about competing parts of myself— the former working stiff versus the current liberal softie. Part of me just wanted to nail that movement, but then there are these nice people, who weren’t used to being interviewed, and weren’t political power players. They were just at a rally. It feels like a really complicated mathematical equation. What produces a Trump supporter? When, to me, everything he stands for just seems wrong. I haven’t figured it out yet… (more)

This week, the folks in Lowell, Massachusetts will celebrate the life of one of their most famous artists and a Florida favorite, Jack Kerouac. How surprised would he be to be remembered in this day of a new anti-art movement. How daunting would this be for Thomas Reese, after joyful years of expanded freedoms to be painted back into the cold prison of suppression. What do these cycles of social injustice and repression tell us about the human condition and psyche? Where does this need to curb our freedoms come from?

Continue reading “George Saunders Has Some Thoughts About Art in the Trump Era”