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.

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

Artist Activist Quandry

This letter is dedicated to all those artists, historians, and humanitarians who find themselves in this quandary of deciding what is important and what is not. I certainly do not have the answer. I do not believe there is one, only questions about the role history plays in the life of our planet  Earth.

Does preserving material artifacts and records of our historical achievements and failures have a lasting effect on the living? How important is it to preserve our art and historical and cultural history? Is it worth losing a life over? Many lives? Like I said, this is not an easy question to ask and impossible to answer, but, if we do take a moment to think about it, it may help us get past our own limited abilities long enough to feel we have a path forward that make sense because we took some time to think about our actions and our reasons to care.

Let us start at the beginning, or the beginning of history as we know it. How do we know it? We look at the ancient material things that were left by earlier civilizations and we ascertain much about how they lived on this earth. But, we do not actually experience any of these physical realities. We rely on “expert” humans who claim to know what the bones of dinosaurs mean. We rely on scientists to explain would they suspect happened when observe the remains of these civilizations and the physical pieces of what is left to indicate they existed. Few of us will ever see any of these articles in person or visit the ancient world and if we do we are not “educated” to understand what we are looking at…

Continue reading “Artist Activist Quandry”

Anti-protest bills would ‘attack right to speak out’ under Donald Trump

By Adam Gabatt :  theguardian – excerpt


This, it is a “Declaration of Dependence” written by Thomas Bruce Reese and a few other artists in 1976, who understood the necessity of proclamations and drama when it comes to protecting the planet.

The ACLU says more than 30 bills have been introduced amid a huge swell of activism, prompting UN intervention over criminalization of peaceful protest

More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was elected, in a moved that UN experts have branded “incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law”.

The proposed laws would variously increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest… (more)

In this context of confused facts and suspect news articles, I am starting to explore the meaning of truth and the importance of placing trust in one’s own reality and experience above all else. Where does our basis for truth and trust come from?

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.

San Francisco Celebrates Pot instead of 70’s Peace and Love Culture

50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love Festival was denied a permit… but San Francisco’s 4/20 Marijuana Festival Will Be A City-Permitted Event

video news link

If Peace and love of the 70’s is your thing, you may join the Summer of Love Club to share your memories: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DoYouRememberThe70sFanClub/

Is San Francisco Losing Its DNA?

By Stefanie Doucette : thebolditalic – excerpt

The iconic DNA Lounge club may be facing the end of its days.

… Currently, the interior of DNA Lounge is looking a little grim and stressed. Jamie flips over a chair to examine a wobby leg and fiddles with it. He’s working hard to fix a lot of things. No one there is trying to hide the fact that the club is in a hard spot, despite seeing moments of massive success over the years: public recognition from Mayor Newsom in 2010, multiple Best of the Bay awards and stage appearances from some of the most famous musical acts in the world.

“We need a quick fix because I am out of money. I can’t make long-term investments because I don’t know how I’m keeping the lights on in the short term.”…

San Francisco has harbored counterculture communities for decades. Where did they all go?

A lot of them are at DNA Lounge — those who have found it, anyway. It’s in the heart of SOMA, at the intersection of 11th Street and Howard, next to Slim’s and along the path of the Folsom Street Fair. To get there you have to walk past several blocks of tents made from plastic tarp and old furniture, strung up underneath the concrete pillars where 101 meets I-80. Over the years, the streets around DNA Lounge have seen these shanty towns grow in proportion to the shiny condos towering over them(more)

No matter which city you live in or near, the gentrification factor is present along with the growing shantytowns, now tent cities. Look around you and you will see the dying DNAs amid the soulless towers and homeless encampments. Who do citizens turn this trend around? We are looking at LA and their Measure S to slow development in that city for answers. In a few hours we will know if they won or lost the battle.

RELATED:

An Elegy for Caffe Med, One of the Last Outposts of 1960s Counterculture (Photos)

The iconic Berkeley hangout — where Black Panthers held meetings and Allen Ginsberg penned “Howl” — closes its doors for good

Telegraph Avenue has been in flux (some might say decline) for decades as long-standing businesses capitulate to fast-food eateries and chain retail. The biggest blow was probably when Cody’s Books closed.

Cody’s Books — along with Moe’s Books, Shakespeare & Co, and Black Oak Books — was a core member of the group of independent booksellers clustered around the north end of Telegraph. Alice Walker, Salman Rushdie, Maurice Sendak and Norman Mailer, among others, all did readings at Cody’s. During the tumult of the ’60s and early ’70s, the store served as a shelter and first-aid station for anti-Vietnam protesters. Its closure in 2006 was widely perceived as the beginning of the end for the avenue’s local and independent businesses. And of the four major bookstores formerly located on and around Telegraph, only Moe’s survives (more)

Ok. This is seriously sad. Caffe med was the first coffee shop I experienced in Berkeley when I got to California. I probably had my first late there.