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Happenings Downtown and Other Places: First Street Pier

Entertainment and Finally, The Military and Torture

So much going on, it’s hard to keep ahead of it all. Let’s start with the night herons, particularly the black-crowned night herons, which are nesting in a tree off the First Street Pier. The book listing when the birds have been seen is in , just a hop, skip, and a croissant away from the pier. If you check it out, between eight and nine in the evening is a good time.

Go see The Best Exotic Magnolia Hotel. It’s thoroughly enjoyable. I can’t show the same enthusiasm for Samuel Beckett’s End Game now playing at ACT in San Francisco. I found it tedious. You can watch it on the computer, where at least you could get up and walk around. I felt a little like the two actors who each play their part from inside a big metal bin. Seats at the Geary Theatre are tight. When I can’t move is when I need to!

On the weekend, I was at Amante, a lovely bar in North Beach in San Francisco. That night the featured live music was led by Dick Winn and Carol Doda, who, as most of you know, gained her fame in the topless era at the Condor Club. A group of musicians—Ken Fishler, John Stafford, and John Hunt provided the music. Various singers popped in and sang in addition to Winn and Doda. It was my era music (old), some even older than me.

While Memorial Day is meant to honor those who have served in our military and particularly those who died, I don’t believe it should be a platform for militarism. Mitt Romney wants us to have the strongest military in the world. Why? How has that worked out so far? We lost 3,000 people on 9/11. Hundreds of thousands have died in our determination to go after those who caused it, many as innocent as those killed that day. War doesn’t really work, but the military-industrial complex shoulders on, usurping the needs of everyday citizens—like for education and infrastructure.

I hope you will watch Bill Moyers show about the torture Americans are responsible for since 9/11. This report, based on 140,000 declassified government documents, tells of abuse of prisoners by American forces. If you find it as disturbing as I did, think about the suggestions of truth and reconciliation and the process which is taking place and can be participated in by any American by going to the site, reading out loud and recording one of the documents. Some believe it to be a transformative experience.

Lois Requist May 30, 2012 at 06:23 PM
The Best Exotic Magnolia Hotel should have been The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

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