Monday, September 28, 2009

A List of Things I Saw Yesterday at the Folsom Street Fair (NSFW)

Last week it seemed everyone in the bars and clubs I went to was talking up Folsom Street Fair as if it were Sodom and Gomorrah itself.

"It's the biggest event in San Fran," one stranger assured me, "bigger than Halloween, bigger than Pride!"

I was told to expect Mardis Gras with less drink and more kink. Over and over again I heard, "You can't imagine the stuff that goes on there!" "The most outrageous thing you'll ever see" "You'll be totally shocked." I kind of shrugged these comments off, but upon entering the fair yesterday I was chastened.

Apparently you're never so worldly you can't find displays of perversity to flip your wig. Below are a list of things I saw yesterday as I walked around Folsom Street Fair with some pictures (be forewarned NOT SAFE FOR WORK):

  • A furry Piglet riding a furry Winnie the Pooh

  • One leather Daddy whipping three guys at once

  • A completely naked hermaphrodite, bound in rope, being flogged*

  • A game of Twister played by jock-strap wearing twinks to raise money for "Healthcare for Whores."

  • A late thirty-something woman who looked like she just stepped out of the suburbs in her white Keds, modest denim jeans and baby blue tank top, giggling unstoppably as she posed with an incredibly ripped guy wearing only a cock ring around one of the largest flaccid penises I've ever seen.

  • The San Francisco Department of Public Health booth that featured a game in which contestants tried to hurl mini-foam penises through a cartoon's asshole (this would not have flown at the Boston Public Health Commission).

  • A masked man with a super hot body and a massive schlong masturbating out of a third story window as the crowd below cheered him on until he came, showering ejaculate onto the crowd below (luckily I was out of splatter range).

  • "Fetish Tot" dolls (pics here, NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART)

  • Guys in dog bondage gear with leather "paws" over their hands and feet and butt-plug tail accessories (that I swore I saw wag).

  • A booth that was dedicated to helping circumcised men "restore" their foreskin through a process of weights, stretchers, and straps. Also on display at the same table, an artifical foreskin that promises "Natural dekeratinization of the glans (thinning of the existing calloused skin)" and " A feeling of warmth, security and self-esteem" (Sounds like Prozac to me).

  • A guy on a leash laying on his back on the sidewalk as his master offered to let passers-by spit in his mouth.

  • What appeared to be three sorrority girls being whipped within an inch of their Prada by some random dude with a riding crop.

  • A plump woman with pig-tails wearing a pink sun-dress and pink vinyl boots sitting on the sidewalk licking a phallic lolly...

and then...looking to either side...
grinning mischeviously...spreading her legs...
and then...

Ah, San Francisco is there anything you WON'T do?

*This is the second naked hermaphrodite I have seen this summer.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Unbearable Confusion of Meghan McCain

I just don't know what to make of blond, bubbly, valley-girl by way of Sedona Meghan McCain. If she ever looses her blogging gig at The Daily Beast she should become the spokesperson for cognitive dissonance. Ms. McCain fancies herself a social liberal, supporting for full marriage equality and repealing DADT. She is NOT however pro-choice and her justification for her pro-life position is just one of the many confusing and contradictory statements she issues on a semi-regular basis:
During my father’s 2000 presidential campaign, a reporter asked how he would feel if I became pregnant and wanted an abortion. He answered that it would be my choice, sending shockwaves throughout the party...But seriously, here was a father, delicately navigating a question about his teenage daughter and being true to the kind of father he had always been, and the Republican Party was outraged. It didn’t matter that my parents raised me to know that, regardless of the mistakes I might make, they would allow me the dignity and courage to make my own choices...yet the GOP still needed to get involved and have a say in what I did with my body. Here’s what I’ve never understood about the party: its resistance to discussing better access to birth control. As a Republican, I am pro-life...
No that is NOT a typo.

Another example of this dissonance came to my attention today whit this video posted on wonkette.

The video is of an interview Meghan McCain gave to members of American University's newspaper prior to a talk she gave at the university. Throughout the interview Meghan wraps herself in the Rainbow flag, talking up her commitment to gay rights, marriage equality and a more progressive Republican Party:

I consider myself a Republican because of all the issues that its based on, the conventional ideology, and I just, you know, believe that my gay friends should be able to get married just like I can. And I think the Republican party has a long way to go when it comes to social issues. But if you go back to the ideals it was based on social issues have nothing to do with it.
Later on she adds:
The gay community has really been very accepting of me and embracing. And I have a lot gay followers, which has been really amazing to be embraced as a straight woman and a Republican. I just want to show that not all Republicans are against gay marriage. I say ‘gay marriage,’ I agree with gay marriage and not civil unions; I think they should be allowed to get married. And I just hope to inspire and show that it’s possible and there’s new blood in the Republican party.
But in this same interview she is asked if there are currently "Republican politicians or elected officials who embody the idea of the Republican party you're trying to create?"

The answer?

Not exactly No—I would never—on any politician at any time no politician is going to represent 100% what I believe. But I have a lot of hope for a lot of Republicans right now. I mean Lindsey Gram, Sen Leiberman, Eric Cantor, Congressman Aaron Schock I love. I mean I think there are a lot of up and coming people who I think can take the reins. This More progressive ideal.

Let's unpack this person by person shall we? Exactly how up and coming, and progressive, are these Republican officials?

Lindsey Graham
Age: 54
Years in Congress: 15 (8 in House 7 in Senate)
Progressive?: NOT AT ALL. Befitting a man who took Strom Thurmond's Senate seat (and is rumored to be gay) Graham supported a constitutional ammendment to ban gay marriage, supported a bill to ban gay adoptions in Washington D.C., has worked tirelessly to overturn roe v. wade, voted against a bill that would have provided, "100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives," and voted to strike down money set aside for family planning in US aids money abroad.

Joe Lieberman
Age: 67
Years in Congress: 21
Progressive: Joe Lieberman would be quite progressive for a Republican if he wasn't an Independent (and a "reform Democrat" before that). So not a Republican, not young, not up and coming. Next.

Eric Cantor
Age: 46
Years in Congress: 9
Progressive?: No. Known as an obstructionist against Democratic legislation. Voted for a anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, voted against a bill to prohibit employment discrimination against gays and lesbians, also doing everything he can to overturn Roe V Wade, and also "Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror."

Aaron Schock:
Age: 28
Years in Congress: 1
Progressive?: He is young (and quite handsome) and new, but is he part of this "more progressive ideal?" No, not at all. "On April 29, 2009, Schock voted against amending federal hate crimes laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability" And a news story profiling Schock posted on his website notes that the freshman Congressman has, "a solidly conservative philosophy and voting record on abortion, gun rights, gay marriage and other bread-and-butter conservative issues."

No one is expecting Meghan McCain to be the next great political commentator. At best she seems to resemble a spoiled Carrie Bradshaw, at worst a lobotomized Maureen Dowd. It's just rather irksome that Meghan McCain is essentially building a name for herself by standing out in favor of marriage equality but doesn't pause to voice support for politicians of her own party who legislate discrimination against gays and lesbians. Maybe she can bridge the gap between these two extremes by finally coaxing Senator Graham (and Congressman Schock) to come out of the closet?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Wander/Wonder Blog is back!

My dead computer is RESURRECTED!


So funny story...
Oh about three months ago, shortly after announcing I would be blogging my West Coast sojourn, my computer died. I was in Seattle at the time and went to the only Mac store I could find in Microsoftland which was a small mom and pop place that was in no way was affiliated with Apple as either a corporate entity or a purveyor of store franchises. This place had no white walls, no glass staircases, just a dingy carpet and suspended ceiling. The pubescent boy attending the tech support counter informed me that the reason my computer wouldn't turn on was that the mother board had crashed, a replacement would cost around $600 and take two weeks to install with their current backlog of repairs.

I was also told that on the positive end of things everything on the hard drive should be fine. In short I had the Jean-Dominique Bauby of computers, my Mac had locked-in syndrome. After phoning another computer repair shop in Seattle and receiving the same diagnosis I decided to deal with my computer at the end of the summer when my traveling was done. I schlepped my comatose computer from Seattle to Portland, from Portland to San Francisco where it stayed with sympathetic relatives while I went up north to Eureka California, and then south to LA , and then to Burning Man.

Finally yesterday I bit the bullet and brought my non-responsive Mac to a computer repair shop in Berkeley. "Here take it , fix it!" I cried, dramatically shoving the laptop case across the counter to the clerk. "I'm told it needs a new mother board. I know it'll be expensive, hundreds of dollars to be sure, it may take weeks to repair, but I NEED my computer! I can't keep working off my Palm Pre and begging friends and acquaintances to use their computers like some sort of LEPER!!!!!"

The clerk who was young but old enough to have facial hair took in my histrionics calmly before asking, "so what exactly is wrong with your computer?"

"It won't turn on!" I cried.

"Have you tried using a different power cord?" He asked.

Did this guy think I was an idiot? "It can't be the power cord, when I plug the power cord into the computer the light at the end of the wire goes on."

"Let's just see what happens if we use another cord." The clerk said undeterred and made his way to a bin sitting on a shelf across the room. He dug through it until he had found the right cord, returned and plugged it into the computer. He hit the power button and the computer emitted that Zen-like "Ommm" start-up noise that Macs make, the screen flickered on, and I stood there in utter silence.

"The power cord'll be $50." The clerk said.

"But- but- they said in Seattle that I needed a new mother board!"

"Apparently not" replied the clerk.

"But I don't understand, the light at the end of the cord went on when I plugged it in."

"Yeah but if you look at the end of the cord you can see the metal casing around the prong is cracked, see right there."

"You mean I've been without a computer this ENTIRE summer because I just needed a new cord????"

"Guess so, but hey it's cheaper than getting a new motherboard! And you'd be surprised at the number of people who have this same problem and just throw out their computers!"

The moral of this story, never ask for Mac tech support in Seattle.

I keep trying to tell myself this whole thing has been a blessing in disguise. That I've been more present this summer in my travels because I haven't had my computer to distract me. Or that being without my own computer for three months has made me appreciate having one even more now. I suppose all this is true, but still...just a freakin power cord?!

Stay tuned for more posts now that Wonder/Wanderblog central is operational again.