Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Signs of summer in San Francisco

It must be summer, because the San Francisco Mime Troupe launched its annual show in Dolores Park this weekend. Fortunately, it was the rare July weekend when sun won out over fog.

Best news first: 2012 - The Musical! is the most entertaining show I've seen by the company in years. It weaves together leftist disappointment with the Obama presidency, apocalyptic Mayan prophecies, the terror of ecological and social collapse and familiar political and social villains in a happy, nutty, potpourri. If you are in the Bay Area this summer, catch it. Free shows will continue in the parks through Labor Day and then the troupe goes on the road for theatre performances.

In deference to the troupe's request, I took no photos of the actual performance. I did however catch this shot of a couple of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence offering an "invocation" before the play. They provided the only bad moment of the afternoon -- their brief appearance flunked drollery; instead we got self-centered, dumb and dull. I was surprised.

If I sometimes greet the arrival of Mime Troupe season with some dismay, it's because some years I've put in too many hours at the shows working the ready-made crowd in support of good causes. That's not something I'm doing this year, but lots of good people were on the job. This woman was registering voters and collecting signatures for a state level proposition to force corporate donors to disclose their political contributions. The idea is important. No company that spends a lot on advertising wants its brand undermined by revelations about which politicians it is buying. Let's hope we can win this one.

As he has been for years, Dan Bechler was on hand for Single Payer Now. If we ever get to a sensible "medicare for all" system in California, Dan will deserve big props. Our local reps already know what's good for them on these votes. Single payer has gotten through the legislature twice, but not past any governor yet. It is not as far away as we might sometimes think however.

This union member was collecting signatures for an initiative to tax oil production in the state. If it makes the ballot, oil companies will pour out money like water to try to drown it. Last time we voted on this, they prevailed.

Only two of San Francisco's dozens of mayoral candidates had a presence. The election is this fall. Perennial Green candidate Terry Baum had an active crew.

Meanwhile a supporter of contender Supervisor John Avalos patiently hunted for registered San Francisco voters who could sign her guy's petitions. Candidates save money and build support by collecting signatures instead of just paying a fee to get on the ballot. She reported that a high proportion of the crowd came from outside the city and consequently weren't her target.

As we left the performance, we came across this fellow who had been collecting signatures by going door to door for a measure to overturn a private development plan for the Park Merced housing complex. Tenants say the project is just a scam to evade rent controls and replace elderly tenants. He might have done better at the Mime Troupe, though he would have had to work to explain to most San Franciscans where the remote oceanside development is located.

Yup -- it's summer. The Mime Troupe is out and so are the folks who practice democratic action on the streets and in the parks. A good time was had by many.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

Mimes and Activism!!!! Only in San Francisco where I left my heart long ago!

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