Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bears, Boars and Buddhas

In honor of the 13th Annual International Bear Rendezvous in San Francisco, we went to the afternoon beer bust at the Lone Star saloon on Saturday.

The "Bear" movement is a reaction to the thin, manicured gay boy look that has been the predominantly marketed flavor for decades, though the movement's insistence on men having to be large and hairy to be considered attractive is equally as absurd. Still, as a marketing device, it certainly seems to be lucrative.

The nonprofit beneficiary of the beer bust was the gay Alexander Hamilton American Legion Post... of whose leaders is John Caldera.

He seems to be everywhere you turn these days. The evening previously Mr. Caldera was playing wine hostess at Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's art opening which is covered in the post below.

This year, the International Bear Rendezvous folks had moved their headquarters from the Market Street Ramada to the Van Ness and California Holiday Inn, and I'm sorry not to have walked by. Watching Japanese tourists negotiating a lobby filled with legions of 300-pound bearded men with nametags kissing each other is a sight that really shouldn't be missed.

However, The Bears must have had planned activities at the Holiday Inn because the assembled beer drinkers at the Lone Star were the same old shamans who usually show up on Saturday afternoons, minus one of our beloved buddies, Jess Johnston (above) who died suddenly of pneumonia last month.

The gay state assemblyman, Mark Leno, had obviously been misinformed about the nature of the crowd, because he welcomed everyone to San Francisco even though the vast majority were locals.

Leno also probably shouldn't have arrived quite so late into the beer bust because the crowd was well-lubricated and in a mood to heckle the politician.

The next day I went to the Asian Art Museum to find porcine imagery since we have just entered the Year of the Pig, or the Boar, or whatever you prefer to call it. Strangely enough, though there was dragon, monkey, elephant, and other animal imagery galore throughout the museum, the only pigs I could find were the tiny jade figurine one puts into the hands of the dead (above), and a Japanese netsuke of a tiny boar with a monkey on its back (below).

In any case, here's a Happy New Year to those lackeys of the Chinese Communist Government, Rita Hao at SFist and M.C- at The Standing Room.

And here's a ceramic Chinese Buddha from the 16th century for Miss Heidi and everybody else.


heidi said...

Happy Pig Year to you! Thanks for making my Buddha wishes come true.

sfwillie said...

Is that Thad in the third picture down?

sfmike said...

Dear sfwillie: No, that's "Turquoise Man," who usually graces the strange gay bar on upper Polk Street called The Cinch. He was at the Lone Star to support his fellow vets, I think. In any case, he was charming.

Anonymous said...


Nexttime you should check the iteinerary with the BOSF group. All the IBR candidate events occurred at the Eagle not Lonestar for the 2007 event.

Diana said...

In Buddhism, a buddha (help·info) (Sanskrit: Awakened) is any being who has become fully awakened (enlightened), and has experienced Nirvana.

In the Pali Canon and the Theravada tradition, the term 'buddha' usually refers to one who has become enlightened (i.e., awakened to the truth, or Dharma) on their own, without a teacher to point out the Dharma, in a time when the teachings on the Four Noble Truths or the Eightfold Path do not exist in the world, and teaches it to others. More broadly, it is occasionally used to refer to all who attain nirvana. sportsbook By comparison, those who awaken due to the teachings given by a Buddha are known as Arahants, a title also applied to Buddhas. Arahants and Buddhas are the same in the most fundamental aspects of Liberation (Nirvana), but differ in their practice of perfections paramis.

In the Mahayana tradition, the definition of Buddha extends to any being who becomes fully awakened. The Theravada Arhant would be considered a kind of Buddha (although not generally by Mahayana Buddhism itself) in this Mahayana sense, and this usage also occurs in the Theravada commentaries.