Saturday, January 30, 2021

San Francisco Anti-Abortion Protest

The annual Christian anti-abortion march through sinful, godless San Francisco took place last Saturday, with protestors clutching printed signage as they streamed down Franklin Street from St. Mary's Cathedral.
It was a smaller crowd than usual, probably because busloads of believers from around the Western United States did not make the trip this year on account of the pandemic. The disease still didn't stop about one-third of the marchers from defiantly walking around without masks, and when I asked a couple of SF Park & Rec Rangers in Civic Center Plaza why they couldn't be arrested, they shrugged their shoulders and replied, "There's no legal mask mandate."
The struggle between secular society and religious authoritarians is currently a global war, one that seems to be characterized by a need to keep women in their place. The United States was founded as a secular society, and the religionists have been fighting that reality ever since.
Most of my life, I have had a live and let live attitude towards religious people, but after the last four years of watching Christian fundamentalists attempting to enforce their moral beliefs on society at large, my patience seems to be gone. So I opened the window last Saturday morning and unleashed a loud torrent of obscenties at the marchers that surprised even me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

MLK Ferry to Oakland

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was freakishly climate change warm last week, so I went to the shoreline at the Ferry Building. To my surprise, the Oakland/Alameda Ferry was running on a weekday work schedule rather than the holiday/weekend one. The ferry service has not been operating on weekends since the pandemic began.
Even though I was in shorts and a T-shirt without any layers, I impulsively jumped on for a round-trip boat ride through the Port of Oakland, Alameda, and Jack London Square before heading back to San Francisco.
It was an excellent boat ride in all respects.
Past the cranes at the western tip of the port, there is a park at water's edge which I had never noticed before. It's called Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, and you can drive down Seventh Street in Oakland to hang out there and watch the bay from the vantage point of a commercial port. Will report back once we've checked it out.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Birds and Carts at Oyster Point

On an overcast Sunday, we hiked the shoreline path at Oyster Point Marina...
...and sat down for a picnic in front of a group of feeding Canadian geese...
...who left us alone, unlike a few demanding seagulls who were insistent we share our sandwiches with them (we did not).
The southern section of this trail ends near the San Francisco Airport and a Costco, with the extreme low tide revealing dozens of shopping carts rotting away in the muck.
It looked like a visual metaphor for what we are soon to discover about the looting and destruction at the White House by the Orange Mussolini and his accomplices.
But let us not dwell on our collective PTSD and instead focus on the beautiful sense of relief that we have escaped full-blown fascism in this country by a feather.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Christian Thugs at the Civic Center Garage

On Sunday afternoon, a Christian evangelical group held a maskless, in-your-face service in front of the elevators to the underground Civic Center Garage.
This particular group looked familiar from a similarly agressive, obnoxious incident last November at the Hayes Open Streets. In both cases, young men were testifying over an amplified speaker about the sins of homosexuality and transgender children, an odd obsession for a group in their teens and early 20s. Last November, I got in their faces and demanded they put on masks or leave. One of them grabbed at my mask while yelling, "That thing is killing you, man! Just take it off!"
This insanity has been empowered for the last four years by the evil ones in Washington, D.C., and it's time to put a stop to it. If they want to convene among themselves, spew hate speech, and pass around COVID-19, go for it, but they do not have the right to plop themselves into a literal public square and endanger others. Get to work, SF Rec & Park Police. It's time they had their asses arrested.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Ocean Beach Animal Life

We visited Ocean Beach again last Saturday, and it was another freakishly beautiful Global Warming afternoon.
The onset of low tide was again graced by birds in a feeding frenzy...
...while darting forwards and back from the receding and surging ocean.
There were plenty of surfers in wetsuits venturing further out...
...along with amateur crab fishermen in clothing trying to snag some Dungeness, newly in season.
Though the water was about 53 degrees Fahrenheit, there were a few intrepid souls braving the elements without protection...
...including the young woman above who appeared to be naked but was wearing a tiny thong.
The older woman above started yelling at me, "Did you ask HER if you could take her photo?" I don't take kindly to the policing of my photography ethics, so I yelled back, "Mind your own business, and put your fucking dog on a leash because he's bothering people and birds." It was very stupid, but people's nerves are shot after the Capitol insurrection, and it probably did us both good to yell at each other.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Let's Get Physical

Since the pandemic began last March and shut down just about everything in Civic Center, the public face of the neighborhood has been populated mostly by the dispossessed, the drug addicted, and the mentally ill.
So it has been delightful to recently see a noontime dance aerobics group start up in the Civic Center Plaza across from City Hall.
It feels like a small miracle of happiness in a landscape of despair.
The leader looks like a bit of a lunatic...
...but his joy is so infectious that it's impossible not to smile and want to dance along.
The dance exercises are sweet, simple, and perfectly low-impact for middle-aged bodies. I wanted to join in myself except that I have never been able to master a dance routine to save my life.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Praise the Lord and Die

Sunday was grey and chilly but we needed exercise so it was back for a walk on Ocean Beach.
Near the North Windmill section of the beach, there was a maskless crowd at the shore playing recorded Gospel music.
It seemed that this was a public baptism, with two men baptising two women in the wild waves and currents of Ocean Beach.
For a moment, I thought they were going to be swept from the shore and drowned, as the local signage puts it.
There was much rejoicing and hallelujah-ing among the group as the barefoot women courted pneumonia in their religious exhilaration.
Although giving them credit for holding their event outside, the maskless hugging among this group made me furious.
Plenty of people have behaved badly during this pandemic, but evangelical Christians piss me off the worst because they are supposed to be helping others.
God's grace and a vision of heaven were surrounding them on that beach, and instead they were focusing on their own absurd rituals.
A half mile away there was an authentically sacred vision where a father was initiating an enthusiastic son into the rough surf.
You could see waves of reciprocal love flowing back and forth from both, which is where god resides.