Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Scott Wiener and "good government"

Photo by Keeney + Law

Aptly comparing Supervisor Wiener to a machine in its cover story last week, the Bay Guardian  notes that he's "relentless, driven, prolific---and changing San Francisco in sometimes alarming ways." Wiener is a relentless self-promoter and a media slut, but fortunately he's had no success in changing the city. His proposal to dilute our initiative rights---oddly not mentioned in the Guardian article---was rejected by city voters, and his CEQA "reform" was rejected unanimously by the Planning Commission. Randy Shaw nicely deconstructs Wiener's latest condo conversion initiative in Beyond Chron (Shaw's good when he writes about housing, which he knows something about).
 
What's left of Mr. Moderate's policy initiatives? There's the nudity issue, which Wiener botched in the first place, with his fatuous notion that all the nude guys in the Castro need to do is put napkins under their privates when they sit down.
 
There is something robotic about Wiener's policy attacks, since he is Terminator-like in how he keeps coming at us. But while the Terminator was well-programmed to kill one person---and everyone in his way---Wiener's programming is about "good government," which his programmers at Harvard Law School---or wherever he was assembled---left too vague to make him an effective android. He's like one of those automatic vacuum cleaners that circle the carpet and bump into furniture but still don't get the carpet clean.
 
Note that in his initiatives Wiener is unable to provide examples of the problems he's supposedly addressing. The only examples of the abuse of CEQA he's given are clearly invalid. Same for the initiative "reform" rejected by city voters.

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Another vulgar, overproduced halftime show

If you have the thighs of a fullback,
you should keep your pants on.

Hard to believe that some critics thought Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime performance was a great success. Seemed like a lot of grotequely overproduced flash and noise to me. Kia Makerechi had this take on her performance, maintaining the HuffPost's record of being wrong on everything:
 
For some, Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show was to be the Big Game's finest moment. But for all who tuned in to see the singer perform, it's clear she brought her A game. Beyonce worked through a medley of her hits, including "Love on Top," "Crazy in Love," "End of Time," and "Baby Boy" before she was joined by Destiny's Child bandmates Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. The trio started with "Bootylicious" and worked through "Independent Woman" before collaborating on "Single Ladies," which is a Beyonce song. Rowland and Williams then left the stage, leaving Beyonce to perform "Halo" solo.
 
If that's her "A game," I'd hate to see any other letters in her alphabet. I couldn't understand any of the lyrics of her "songs," if that's what they can be called. It's surprisng to learn that she was singing more than one song, since it all sounded the same. Her performance wasn't as bad as Madonna's last year if only because she's younger and didn't clutter up the stage with as many back-up dancers. But if you're a real singer, why would you choose to perform half-naked and do the bump-and-grind like a burlesque performer from days of yore?

See also Ken Levine on the Super Bowl commercials. Thanks to the excellent James Wolcott for the link to Levine's blog.

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