THE FEATURED FILM at this weekend's Mendocino Film Festival is — ta dah! — Who Bombed You Know Who, featuring Darryl Cherney who will be present “for what promises to be a lively discussion.” Saturday night, Crown Hall. A narcissistic monologue is what the saps who pay their way in will get, as Cherney and the handful of cult brains who've lived off the “mystery” for more than two decades now continue to pretend that everyone except Judi Bari's ex-husband did it. Besides which, when's the last time Mendo did lively?
PORTRAIT OF GEORGE is causing a stir in The City. The brilliant sculpture of the assassinated mayor by Robert Arneson was denounced as, you guessed it, inappropriate by then-mayor Dianne Feinstein. Mommy thought it a little too much for public display at the time, not reverent enough — that, and Moscone's widow and kids were also offended by it. But the thing is brilliant in depicting a modern pol in all his superficial complexity, and Moscone, an archetypal liberal pol with, as we learn in David Talbot's excellent Season of the Witch, an unquenchable desire for black women, was complex in a Kennedy-ish way, with the wife and the kids for show, the other life of young babes and cocaine the real life. It always seemed to me that Moscone's political gift was his recognition that San Francisco was not the city of his youth, that the demographic had changed and that the Saint Ignatius-Sacred Heart mafia that had run The City either had to accommodate the newcomers, a mix of gays and neo-beatniks and Hispanics and Asians, with black people already by bulldozed out of the Fillmore, or lose power altogether. Dan White was the old Catholic mafia's hit man, but he couldn't stem the tide by killing the new demographics point men, and Frisco soon became what it is now — a serene playground for the well-to-do with the only interesting piece of local art generated here since Diego Rivera's murals being Arneson's Portrait of George.
THE ASSEMBLY has also approved AB1993 which, if it passes, would prevent unlicensed drivers from losing their vehicles. As most of us know, immigrant Mexicans, often have their cars impounded at routine traffic stops that discover an unlicensed person behind the wheel. This bill would permit local law enforcement to decide to impound or not impound, with the unlicensed driver allowed to call someone with a valid license to pick the car up. Naturally, the anti-immigrant lobbies and the Mex haters are opposed.
ROBERT JOSIAH TRUPIN, Bob, peacefully passed away May 24th at his Comptche home with his beautiful wife Ann and beloved dog Gus at his side. Mr. Trupin, born, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York, was a physicist and teacher but spent most of his career inventing a solar heat water pump out of nickel-titanium alloy, NITINOL. He served as a volunteer firefighter for the Comptche fire district for many years. Mr. Trupin's lifetime focus was on the survival of Israel and he volunteered in Israel for both Gulf Wars. All who knew Bob loved his sarcastic self-deprecating humor from the Battling Bagel to the Slumber Head. Although, Bob enjoyed many worldly accomplishments his greatest was his ability to live a simple, country, life with his wife Ann on their land in Comptche. His wife of 37 years, 4 of his 5 children, 5 grandchildren, his sister and many lifelong friends survive Bob in death. He will be greatly missed. A Memorial will be held July 22 in Comptche. Bob requested donations be made to the Comptche Volunteer Fire Department and to Israel. “SHALOM”
IT ESCAPED OUR ATTENTION at the time, but President Obama very nearly selected our local Congressman Mike Thompson as Secretary of the Interior in 2009. At the last minute, Obama picked Colorado Democrat Senator Ken Salazar – apparently because Thompson was from California, a no-go-zone because Republicans might not approve. Obama wanted somebody the Republicans would like, not just approve. (Or possibly because Salazar wasn’t polling well against a Republican senatorial challenger and needed a favor. Who knows?)
THE POINT? Congressman Winebottle actually was endorsed for the Interior appointment by none other than the Sierra Club, proving yet again that the Club is nothing more than an extension of the most reactionary elements of the Democratic Party. Thompson has promoted himself as an “outdoorsman” who cares about fish and wildlife — primarily by posing with a hunting jacket now and then, or promoting and voting for funding bills which help put fish and wildlife on the dinner plates of hunters and fishermen. But Thompson’s financial supporters know that the whole outdoorsman schtick is just for show. Thompson’s primary allegiance is to Big Wine and other corporate sponsors. His top five contributors for 2011-2012 were “The Blue Dog PAC” (an organization of Republican Congressmen who happen to live in Congressional Districts with a majority of Democrat voters), Gallo Wines, the National Association of Convenience Stores (!), Unite Here (a tourism workers union, not known to exist in Thompson’s district), and Investment Co. Institute (a mutual fund lobbying group). By industry, Thompson’s biggest funders were Beer, Wine & Liquor, Insurance, Health Professionals, Lobbyists and Pharmaceuticals.
RESPONDING to Thompson's initial Interior appointment consideration back in 2008 before the Sierra Club’s official endorsement, Victoria Brandon, chair of the Sierra Club Lake Group, said, “As far as I know the Sierra Club has not taken a position on this possible appointment, and I personally am of two minds: Thompson would undoubtedly be a superb Secretary of the Interior, but the thought of losing him as our Congressman is dismaying to say the least.”
WE’RE OF TWO MINDS TOO. On the one hand, with the Interior Department appointment we would have at least been rid of Thompson. On the other hand, the Mendocino National Forest might have been leased out to Gallo for industrial sized vineyards, instead of the industrial sized pot grows that are out there now.