Tag Archives | Counterculture

These Mean Streets

These Mean Streets

It’s dark. It’s early. It’s Monday.

And my new “medicine” didn’t keep me from a sleepless night.

Still, I am cabbie. And this is San Francisco. There are paratransits, dregs and (yyyaaawwwnn) suits all in need of transport across this great city. (And a landlord in wait of rent.)

I shall persevere!

Stumbling in through the lot of ‘ol Citizen’s Cab, I’m headed towards Kojak in the office. However, en route, I spot a grey Nissan Altima over by the hose sporting a suction-cupped smartphone and tell tale “U” sign adhered inside of its windshield. There’s an older black man with a SF Giants baseball hat – with the price tag still dangling on the brim – washing down the tax… er, his car.

Hey! It’s Crooks! (Sometimes taxi driver, sometimes Uber scab.)

“Hey, Crooks! Can’t you read? That sign behind you says it’s a $50 fine for washing personal vehicles!… Read the rest

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You Talkin’ To Me?


Tricking Passengers,

Your driver spent the week working on a treat, getting San Francisco TAXI: Life in the Merge Lane… (Book 2) out the door. (See cool promo vid at end of this blog!) Thus, please indulge as we ride along with a Halloween scare of yore…



I call-in to Citizen’s to let whomever know I’m coming in. I’m on the schedule today, but with no assigned medallion.

Bryce answers the driver’s line and sounds frazzled. I write it off to the busy time of the morning – getting day drivers out on the road while at the same time processing incoming night drivers’ keys, medallions, and gate money, etc.

So, Bryce tells me I “can sleep-in and have a cab later… or come in now and screw someone”.

Only half-awake I return all groggy,

“Wait. What are my options?”

I did Halloween with the kids last night and I really need the sleep.… Read the rest

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Martin Wittfooth’s Offering

Martin Wittfooth "Mothers Milk" 2015

Martin Wittfooth “Mothers Milk” 2015

Martin Wittfooth’s Offering

In Wittfooth’s allegorical narratives, animals roam a dystopian world void of human life with the remnants of industrialized society in a state of devastation. Fires rage and oceans surge but despite the destruction, his creatures radiate and evoke a sentiment of oneness. Where they exist life flourishes and the animals in this sense are the life-givers.

The works in Offering explore the theme of shamanism and its current revitalization around the world. Wittfooth delves into the notion that the rediscovery of shamanistic practices, such as reaching an altered state of consciousness, is peeling away our egos and materialistic obsessions and encouraging a connection with nature and to each other.

The artist explains, “The great challenges of our time primarily stem from the repression, predetermined delineation of consciousness and the myriad of other ways by which our materialistic culture has lost its connection with the natural world…The reemergence of shamanism appears to be having a great impact on consciousness around the globe by severing individuals’ attachments to the ego-driven, ideology-based, monotheistic modality that has shaped so much of the human enterprise over the past millennia.Read the rest

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Taking the High Road

high road

It’s 11:30am on Thursday and I’m cruising the Haight for flags, $24 into the green…

I’ve been good about not drinking or abusing nighttime cough syrup over the last week to get to sleep at night. This is due to a jaunt to go see my mom “back east” in D.C., to get help finishing up Book 2 – San Francisco TAXI: Life in the Merge Lane… (Stay tuned y’all!) Anyway, Ma and my older brother gave me crap about my belly while I was there; which is, um, “respectably pronounced”. Aside from my sedentary vocation, this is due in good measure to drinking at night. And the subsequent tipsy feast just prior to bed. Needless to say, my family’s brand of Jewish/Irish-Catholic guilt is VERY potent! Hence, the abstinence.

So, I was clearing out my Facebook notifications last night and smoking a bowl before going down. As I was perusing the San Francisco Taxi Drivers Group, I came across a report from Barry Korengold, one of the leaders of the SFTWA – the pseudo San Francisco taxi drivers union.… Read the rest

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Jel Ena: Through the Gates of Anhedonia by Decadence Darling

Jel Ena "Sanctum Infernum", 2015

Jel Ena “Sanctum Infernum”, 2015

Jel Ena “Sanctum Infernum”
October 29 – December 15
Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn NY


Jel Ena: Through the Gates of Anhedonia  by Decadence Darling

Death is an unknown pleasure. Pleasure is not the addition of something we are without, it is the realization of something that is within. It is through “death” that we awaken this inherent pleasure. When we seek pleasure, small or large, we examine ourselves accordingly. We take inventory, observe patterns, evaluate and assess strengths and weaknesses. Through all of this we judge ourselves. We determine how much of this information we accept or reject. In other words, seeking pleasure is a process of positive acceptance and negative rejection. But what if those things we are adverse to are a part of who we truly are? To dispose of them would make us incomplete. Perhaps in this pursuit of Self we deny our fullness and the thing we wished we were is an empty object full of pain.… Read the rest

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House of Wax: Anatomical, Pathological, and Ethnographic Waxworks from Castan’s Panopticum, Berlin, 1869-1922

 “Lolita” Wax Figure

“Lolita” Wax Figure


On view:
October 23, 2015 – February 15, 2016
424 Third Ave, in Brooklyn, at the corner of 7th Street.

Curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn of TV’s “Oddities” and staged in conjunction with Alamo Drafthouse with introductory text by Dr. Peter M. McIsaac, Professor of German and Museum Studies at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

House of Wax will exhibit a selection of  waxworks once shown as part of Castan’s Berlin-based Panopticum (1869-1922). The full collection, never before exhibited in the US, will later be installed at the forthcoming Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Brooklyn.

Panoptica were popular throughout Europe from the 18th through the early 20th century. Like the dime museums and popular anatomical museums of the US, these largely forgotten spaces fall somewhere between aristocratic cabinets of curiosity and today’s ideas of museums.… Read the rest

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That’ll Be $6.80, Please…


word transam bnw

So, I get an early morning voice mail from Christian. He was just getting off from his night shift. And he sounds exasperated…

“I just want to know; how many times have you been assaulted on the job? I was just for the seventh time in my career! And I’m fucking sick of it!”

Well, me? Zero.

Maybe a switch to day driving is in order? I do recall Rose (cab school teacher extraordinaire) giving us the stats in class… It turns out cab drivers are the second most assaulted vocation in the country, with the first being 7-11 clerks. (Police come in third.)

Anyway, it seems Christian was driving through the Mission last night, headed down Valencia with a fare in back. As he was stopped at a red at Duboce, some drunk Filipino crew walked up on his cab and “the big one” stumbled up to the driver’s (open) window and just randomly punched Christian in the face.… Read the rest

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Say You Want A Revolution

movementFrom Rebel News

For a movement to have integrity, everyone must be true to themselves, yet for that to come about, it needs solidarity of purpose. This is a dilemma. We need one another for critique, for diversity, for sustainability. We need each other to build the myth of a movement.

Without an alignment of collective and mutual best interest, a movement cannot survive. It will collapse in on itself before it attains any sort of critical mass. This seeming paradox is part of what keeps many creative individuals disenfranchised, biting at each other’s ankles. They’re arguing about the wrong things, and focusing their energy and attention in the wrong place. Movements only occur when people learn to work together towards common goals, to hell with the labels.

Living movements require no closed manifestos, no party lines, no armbands, tattoos or uniforms. What is needed is space to meet up and share ideas and collaborate, a means of making the relevancy of our work evident outside the insular and seemingly elitist circles that form around such groups and the ability to eat and pay rent without completely shilling the underlying premise; space, resources, an understanding of mutual benefit, and a determination that goes far beyond any benefit that aesthetic posturing could possibly provide.

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The Godly Colonel Kurtz



I’m cruising east up Market, away from downtown. It’s just me and Citizen’s Cab #137 fishing for fares, as we cross the brink into the Loin…

There’s a dude flagging me up at the corner of 7th, at a red.

Olive skinned with broad shoulders, in his mid 30s, my potential fare is semi-buff and sports an expensive black leather motorcycle jacket unzipped over a Hawaiian print shirt unbuttoned low enough to boast two highly-toned pectorals. Dude’s neck is ringed by a white coral choker framed by semi-greasy dark, wavy shoulder length locks that are pinned back from his face by a pair of wrap-around sunglasses sitting perched atop his head. He is semi-good looking, despite the badly faded navy blue shorts and worn white tennis shoes.

Dude’s casual.

Why not?

I pull over.

But before entering my taxi, my passenger bends humbly into my shotgun window to verify that I am actually agreeing to pick him up.… Read the rest

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No one should ever work. Workers of the world… *relax*!


Bob Black, “The Abolition of Work” via Primitivism:


No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a *ludic* conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

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