With h. brown
h. "Court Jester" brown
Court Jester rubs shoulders with Senator John
February 3, 2008
Karen Babbitt is 40 and I don't know anyone
(that's a good thing)
I also didn't know anyone, more or less, at the Obama rally yesterday
morning in the rain following Karen's 40th birthday beer bash
at the Temple Bar, following Salon in the rain where I knew everyone
and they all voted to move the whole thing to the 3rd district
for my campaign for supervisor. 'Cookylooky' says everyone knows
me there - and that's a start - but where to start on this column?
You having fun? I really am. It would seem that involuntary celibacy
does not condemn one to being a miserable shrew like Arthur Evans,
but as I look at the ladies from 18 to 80, sex is never off my
mind. Thanks for that, ladies. Ah, the ladies.
Arm candy and door passes
Popular or threatening guys will do too. No sex, but who you
walk into an event with is recorded by all and the size of their
political balls is definitely relevant. I talked Aimee Iura into
coming to Karen's birthday party and she turns heads.
So does Angela Alioto. As does young Bob Brigham with his Montana
steel-toed boots and flannel shirt and hunting vest (I tell everyone
- from a distance - that he's a bounty hunter and has been showing
their picture around the crowd)
I like to be with the in-crowd.
Santore and I took the Fog City contingent to Babbitt's party
and Aimee came along and everyone thought she was a new flame
for me and I wish it were true and I let them think it and build
my myth. But it isn't, and that's OK because she's an old friend
and they last longer in my life anyway. Probably the same with
Aimee left early, but we hard-core political junkies went on
and on through countless pitchers of beer and discovered that
the mural on the wall across from us was a Charlie Lennon original.
Charlie's an old friend and Luke took pictures of us standing
all under and around it and I'm supposed to watch the Super Bowl
tomorrow with Charlie and Patrick Cassidy ('Journey to Bohemia'
author) with Luke and Bob at my SRO where I have bad TV reception.
h. brown, Elaine Santore, Karen Babbitt, Sasha, and Bob Brigham
But it doesn't matter because we all end up painting the walls
and hanging posters and taking turns at the keyboard of the computer
that John Donofrio gave me and Phil and Marc keep running. I do
YouTube videos of old tunes and Bob knows every political site
on the web and Luke makes everyone prove everything they say and
I always phone Sue Vaughan to tell her that there are the '3 or
more men talking politics' quorum that triggers an automatic call
to a rabid feminist to invite someone with ovaries to hear from
the other side, and she says not to say 'dear' or 'honey' or 'babe'
and gives us her blessing to continue.
Is your life anything like that? I thought not. Too bad for you,
buddy. I mean, honey. I mean, babe. I mean, dear. Why don't guys
complain if I call them all 'dude' and 'stud' and 'bro' and 'cowboy,'
and other equally sexist characterizations?
You following any of this? It's a column about Barack Obama.
It was a rainy day in London
I don't know my place. Never did. It wasn't London either. Everett
Middle School was where we ended up, but not before youngsters,
Brigham and Thomas had their coffee to combat their hangovers
from the previous night's feting of Karen's 40th.
I used my own tried and true hangover remedy and polished off
half of a half pint of Ancient Age as we trudged through the early
morning drizzle working our way up Market from U.N. Plaza, to
the incredible complex that is Everett Middle School sitting on
Church Street on the border that straddles the Mission and the
Castro. Man, what a building!
Daly was standing out in front collecting signatures for his
petition to counter the Lennar takeover of every place every black
person lives in the Bayview and Hunters Point. Their supervisor,
Sophie Maxwell, could care less.
Supervisor Chris Daly collects his 1000th signature outside Everett
I gots lots of problems with Daly. Oh, I love the guy. He's the
Progressives' clean-up hitter for the last couple of years. He's
our thousand-plus yards running back, or all-pro quarterback,
but I'm the grouchy old coach who is never satisfied and keep
'em all humble. All of 'em.
While he gets his ass kissed all around, I come up front and
kicked him in the balls over the Progressive (?) supes baseless
attack on Dick Sklar.
Debra Walker approaches with a friend and she gives me a quick
Ahhh, San Francisco! I walk across the street to get perspective
and Everett is something to look at. They didn't spare labor or
money when the City and the Nation were poorest ant built places
like this and Mission High and so many other structures.
The columns that support the center edifice of the school façade
is flanked by 2 wings that each contain a courtyard of 70-year-old
front façade is supported by fabulous
Corinthian columns that run around 40 feet or more into the air,
made of some kind of jeweled terrazzo, capped by carefully carved
crowns and flanked by an assortment of perfectly balanced Spanish
tile artwork that would draw a nod from Michelangelo.
A woman approaches me for an autograph. I ask her if she's crazy.
Turns out she is. Oh well. I cross back across the street smoking
a cigar and attack Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi who forthrightly
answers all my questions about the Progressive board cabal oncoming
attack on Sklar, but it's all 'off-the-record.'
Sklar rebuilt the collapsed sewer system in Hunters Point and
the cable car system before Daly was even born. And, lots of other
things. None of the Supes ever built a tree house. They presume
to judge Dick Sklar, the guy who rebuilt the U.S. airports infrastructure,
as well as the bridges, power plants and water systems of Bosnia?
I count 390 incandescent light bulbs in the 11 classic chandeliers
hanging over the perfectly proportioned auditorium that seats
fifteen hundred or so and is packed for the arrival of John Kerry
who is here to inspire us. A woman standing next to me says the
lighting is bad and she can't see.
George Santayana said that the fulfillment of the expectation
of pattern is the essential ingredient in any aesthetic experience,
and he's damned right. Whomever the hell designed Everett has
read Santayana. Proportion is most important in the human form
and the same it true for architecture. Everyone knows that. I
don't even want to get into the ornate mosaic trim that separates
wall and ceiling throughout the buildings. Let me just say that
it's beyond the grasp of Donald Fisher.
"Martin Luther King was 24 in Montgomery!"
I finally learned something of interest from John Kerry. King
was 33 when he did his 'I have a dream' speech in D.C. I hadn't
realized that either and Kerry gave a good speech. I think Obama
is going to win the Democrat's nomination going away and I hope
he chooses Al Gore as his running mate. Al can't win his home
state of Tennessee, it's true, but that just gives us another
place to dump the nuclear waste that is mostly created there anyway.
Senator John Kerry
Did I get off message? Not possible. I don't do messages. Just
rants. So, who was there for Obama? Barry Hermanson was passing
out campaign literature for his U.S. House run for Lantos' seat.
Mark Sanchez and Jane Kim were also there and Senator Kerry says
that Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the Declaration of
Independence. Is he trying to make me feel like a bigger failure
than I already am?
Standing for Change: Supervisors Chris Daly, Ross Mirkarimi,
School Board President Mark Sanchez and School Board Member Jane
There's a 'truck' out front (hook and ladder 6) and I stop and
talk to the guys a bit. I was a firefighter for 5 years back when
Lincoln was president and have a continued interest in the craft.
Their rig is an 85-footer (straight-bed), which is the same design
I rode back in the day.
They don't have a booster tank (500 gallons of baffled water
hooked to inch and a half chemical hose for quick rescues - the
SF hills preclude that) and they are there as Standard Operating
Procedure when large crowds are gathered. They don't know why
there are no cops. Their union president, John Hanley is there
alongside D.A. Kamala Harris to endorse Obama.
San Francisco Firefighters union chief John Hanley
does his best Howard
District Attorney Kamala Harris (center) listens in on an impromptu
between Vietnam veteran Kerry and a member of the U.S. Army.
The rain continues to patter down. The firefighters won't talk
politics with me but are free with comments on their ride and
the rain. It brings back memories of the days I rode one of these
things to huge fires and even one train wreck. I don't push em.
The Grateful Dead, MoveOn.org, the LA Times, La Opinion, and
Ethel Kennedy endorse Obama within minutes of each other. The
Grateful Dead have scheduled a reunion concert at the Warfield
on Monday to support Barack. The tickets sell out in 20 minutes.
Brigham somehow managed to get tickets.
Luke wants to photograph me at the head of the Deadhead's line
that always forms for these things. I've evolved into a kind of
FogCityJournal.com mascot, with teeth. The Dead do little for
me. Too complicated. I like screaming vocalists, soaring guitars
and loud drums, and bourbon.
We retraced our tracks back through the rain to the Tenderloin
stopping at a little diner at Market and Pearl where I'd always
wanted to eat. I skip the food while Luke and Bob chow down while
I content myself with a couple of Bloody Mary's.
h. brown marvels at Kerry's speech with Bob Brigham of Calitics
while waiting for a bevy of breakfast Bloody Mary's.
Life is good and some customers engage us about the Obama rally.
Two black lesbians with a little girl are animated in their support
of the junior Illinois senator. A lady abandons her counter seat
and Thomas gives her a rundown of the event as she beams and goes
off uplifted to do her laundry.
Back at Casa Brown we drink beer and bourbon and surf from one
internet political site to the next, including MySpace.com/MTV's
presidential candidates forum.
The rain continues to fall and it is a load off my mind. Old
people worry about drought more than young people do. Luke partially
deflates the Cadillac air mattress that Hope Johnson gave me last
week and turns it into a comfortable recliner.
I settle into it and pass out. When I awaken the guys are gone
and the daylight has turned to dark. I look out the window. It's
raining. I open a beer.
Obama for president
Happy birthday, Karen
Patriots 50, Giants 7
h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com,
an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h
is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and
a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email
h at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists
published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of
Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms
and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.