Monthly Archives: February 2016

Nocturnal and Fog City Pack’s Alpha Party

Had a great afternoon nap on the floor (does anybody else do that?) and a pizza is on the way so I can take a little time to detail the dynamic duo of events we attended last night.

First up was the Alpha party.

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Alpha was produced by the Fog City Pups ‘pack’ at a seedy basement club in a deadend alley near Jessie and 6th. It would take a whole other essay to talk about the conventions of pups/alphas as an intentionally created culture (and I’d probably need to interview a few friends to get the full gist). Anyway, Alpha’s pedigree rests in a regular private party that outgrew it’s origins to becoming a public event. DJs Adam Kraft, Kevin O’Connor, and Jim Collins kept a sexy sensual spare beat bouncing and the club environment was darkly lit.

The occasion for the party was the birthday of pup Turbo and one year anniversary of the founding of the Fog City Pack. The party had promised “hot guys, low inhibitions” and certainly delivered with a clothes check encouraging minimal clothing (lots of leather and jockstraps) and a “red light room” outfitted with three sex slings and cushioned couches that most likely took a beating over the course of the night. We’re friends with a lot of the pups, so Ron and I stopped by as we headed out for the evening. And so did everybody else. Even though Alpha was targeted towards the pups and related sub-culture, the party had amazing buzz and everybody was there.

In all honesty, this kind of event isn’t really our cup of tea – and that is completely fine. But what Alpha was intended to be, what attracted people to it, and what it was were all perfectly aligned for a crowd ready to revel in it. The Fog City Pups did a fantastic job creating an event that was uniquely theirs but also brought in a broader crowd.

Can’t wait for the next one!

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I probably talk about DJ Jack Chang too much. I first discovered him on Tribe.net back around 2006 and found the hours upon hours of music he made available on his website, changmusic.com.

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Lucky enough to have brunch with DJ Jack Chang at Catch. Thanks, Jack!

Even before we ever went to circuit parties we always enjoyed Jack’s dark, harder edged mixes. And so when Ky Martinez told us he just got off the phone with Jack’s manager and that he was coming in at the end of February for the Nocturnal event, Ron immediately started moving his schedule around so we wouldn’t miss the evening.

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Gogo Thomas Julio Rodriguez commanding the box at Nocturnal.

Nocturnal was at BeatBox, a frequent venue for many of these types of events and so it can be a challenge to design the environment of the club to be different and fresh each time. Ky and the gang had moved some platforms around, added some stairs up to the gogo boxes and had some scenic elements that hung from the ceiling which gave the space more height. Expert lighting design from William Brown reinforced the space to keep it elastic and changing shape.

Local favorite Russ Rich opened. He is always spectacular whether it’s prime time circuit, Sunday Funday cocktails, tea dance, or afterhours-y. Always glad to see him at the helm.

Then around midnight Russ’s set ended and Jack came on with a breathless overture with William activating even more lasers and lights in the space and then launching into an expertly constructed four-hour set. The crowd went nuts and enjoyed every minute of it. At around 3:50 or so, Jack’s set eased off as the crowd made their way to coat check and out the door. Ron and I were literally the last two patrons to leave the club.

Ky, Juan, Mohammad, and Cecil put together an amazing evening with Nocturnal – the first of four events this year so stay tuned for the next one.

Update: Jack released the full four hour mix from Saturday.

What Trump Reveals

From Metafilter:

“Donald Trump is playing the role of a megalomaniacal, sociopathic fascist demagogue, and whether he is genuine or simply pandering is beside the point. The point is that in winning, he has finally revealed the true darkness at the heart of the modern American Republican to such an undeniable extent that even the Republican party leaders and professional mouthpieces are forced to beg for mercy.

“Frankly, we need Trump, because we need this fight, out in the open, ugliness incarnate. The Republicans need to be represented by the braying tumor that best reflects the cancer in their souls, and the rest of the nation needs to rise up at the polls in fear and desperation and beat them so soundly that the Republican party is finally forced to give up pandering to their worst populist elements and design a new winning political strategy that includes governing for all of the people.

“We have to let the market decide. But then we have to BE the market. And we have to decide SO resoundingly that we wash the stink of this madness clean. Forever.

“Not sure if trump is really a demon, or if he just plays one on TV, but the Republic is clearly possessed. It’s time for an old-fashioned exorcism, and don’t spare the pea soup. Just wash it away.”

Discussion in context.

How Girls Learn Emotional Reciprocity (and Why Boys Don’t)

From that same Metafilter discussion:

“Adolescent female friendships are LEGENDARILY difficult and drama-prone. And they are! Being an adolescent girl and navigating the emotional landscape of female friendship is hella hard! It’s not just media hype to sell Mean Girls narratives! But I think the narrative the media wants to attach to it is “girls are so over-emotional and mean to each other” when actually I think the deeper narrative here is, “Girls make intense emotional demands on their friendships in ways that boys don’t, and girls have hyperdramatic adolescent friendship landscapes because they are learning to engage in reciprocal emotional relationships without an adult to mediate them. Adolescent girl friend drama is children learning to manage reciprocal emotional relationships like adults. Boys friendships are not, culturally, allowed to be so intense, dramatic, or emotionally-involving, so I think boys do not get the opportunity to learn and practice adult interpersonal relationships in the same way, and boys friendships simply do not place the same emotional demands on them. Girls MUST learn to function with emotional reciprocity in their friendships or get shut out of them; emotionality is so proscribed in male friendships that they simply never face that demand.

“So you have a lot of girls arriving in their late teens and early 20s with a decade of watching adult women manage other people’s emotions and considering it a skill to emulate, and then a decade of struggling through the whirlpools of adolescent female friendships and learning to do the work themselves. They’ve served their apprenticeships. They face demands of reciprocity from other women they’re friends with, and they’re accustomed to the idea that relationships involve giving as well as taking.

“Some boys, however, arrive in their late teens and early 20s without having ever had a peer make emotional demands on them, and without having ever had to function in a peer relationship where they have to both give and take. Their closest emotional relationships are with parents, and parent-to-child is give-give-give so the child is take-take-take. I think a lot of these young men, it has literally never occurred to them that someone they are emotionally close to would make any emotional demands on them, because that has literally never happened, because their early childhood years were full of nothing but women, and their adolescent years featured culturally-limited friendships that were emotionally superficial. So some of these guys? Yeah, they finish college and start dating seriously and they’re perfectly nice guys who have literally no idea how to function as emotional adults because they’re only just now starting to practice. They have the emotional literacy of 11-year-old girls. And, yeah, basically someone’s going to end up having to raise them from 11-year-old-ness in interpersonal relationships to adulthood, because it’s not really a task you can accomplish in the absence of other people with whom to be interpersonally related. …

“And Because Patriarchy we’re going to act like that’s just how 23-year-old men act and all roll our eyes instead of recognizing that, no, they’re actually behaving like 11-year-old girls, but it’s pretty embarrassing for them because it’s one thing when you’re 11 but when you’re 23 you really ought to know better. And at 11 you’re just making everyone around you miserable but at 23 you have the full power to ruin lives with your bullshit.

Full discussion in context.

Dating an Emotional Charlatan

From a Metafilter discussion about modern dating and emotional labor:

“A few years ago, one of my friends began dating an accomplished lawyer who made good money. He was charming and generous. He 100% seemed like he had his shit together and could keep up with her. He cooked for her occasionally and his home was clean and comfortable.

“When they moved in together, his mother emailed her a list of links to Brooks Brothers and his measurements. He had never bought work clothes for himself. During the year they lived together, she had to put him on an allowance because he ran out of money most months. He wanted takeout every night and would pout if she offered to cook instead. His idea of helping out around the house was to unload the dishwasher once a week and demand enthusiastic praise for it. At the end of that year he put extreme pressure on her to re-sign their lease. She ended up paying hundreds of dollars to break the lease two months later, when she broke up with him “out of nowhere.”

“I assure you, the men who are good at fooling women into believing they are competent adults and quality partners are good at fooling you into believing the same. This kind of emotional charlatan isn’t someone a few unlucky women meet in their 20s–these men are everywhere, across professions and classes. I’m definitely skeptical of your confidence in determining which men are good partners from the outside. If women–who have a much larger stake in not dating man-size toddlers–are so often wrong, how do you know that your assessments of other men are correct?”

Full discussion.

Pregnancy is Nothing But Fearmongering

A mom on Metafilter talks about how everyone thinks her pregnancy was their business:

You’ve never seen a pregnancy forbidden list, have you? Basically the only food that you’re allowed to eat is BROWN RICE. Everything else is going to kill you, or your fetus, in terrible ways and you can’t be trusted to make decisions about how safe your cheese storage is or how likely it is that your root vegetables harbor toxoplasmosis and LOOK YOU’RE NOT SCARED ENOUGH YET. Pregnancy is NOTHING BUT fearmongering, and the refusal to allow women to do their own risk/reward weighing — up to and including jailing them for refusing to comply with (sometimes questionably-supported) medical advice for the good of their fetuses — is sadly common in the United States. … There is literally nothing as infantalizing as being pregnant in the US, and there is absolutely no assumption that pregnant women can make appropriate decisions about their own health or families. NONE. Once you are pregnant you are presumed to be both stupid and irresponsible and adult choices are taken away from you.

From a discussion about the CDC’s warnings about alcohol use for women who are sexually active.

Listen to What Women Say

A guy writes in Road & Track magazine article, ‘When I Quit Cutting My Hair, I Learned How Men Treat Women On American Roads.’ He grows his hair out so when he wears a helmet when he motorcylces, drives mistake him for a woman – and lash out:

The fifty-something man in the aging Lexus SUV was red-faced from screaming as he pulled up next to my motorcycle and lowered his passenger window. I caught fragments of every nasty word I’d ever heard my Catholic-school classmates whisper to each other during recess. Then he slowed the torrent of abuse long enough to enunciate the next sentence clearly: “Bitch, I am going to get out of this car and beat you until you can’t stand up.”

The essay is helpful and useful and it’s good to have this point of view – but it’s another case of not believing the daily experience of many women until a man validates it. Commenters on Metafilter:

“literally all he had to do to learn this lesson was listen to a woman saying ‘this is what it’s like for us’.”

and

“For the ‘we don’t believe this is what happens when women tell us this, but if another man has experienced it too, then maybe it’s actually legit‘ category.”

and

“At least once every time we gals haul horses on a road trip down the interstate, one of the passengers will jokingly, (bitterly) wave our hands in the air and yell, “OMG a woman pulling a horse trailer!”

This is in reference to the fact that there’s something about a woman hauling a five horse trailer with a big engine 4WD that just drives some men to absolutely explode with testosterone. If they were putzing along at 20 mph under the speed limit, they’ll have to speed up to 105 mph to keep you from passing. They’ll blow past at warp speeds for fear that you might get ahead of them on the off ramp. They’ll dive in front of you deliberately when they pass attempting to get you to throw the horses on the floor when you have to slow down. In town they cut you off. Run the light. Deliberately stop in the middle of a lane and peel out. At a four-way, they”ll make sure they proceed out of turn (or not stop.)

OMG! IT’S A WOMAN IN A HORSE TRAILER. SHE MUST BE PUT IN HER PLACE.

and

“until I became a mom, I built and drove stupid fast cars. There is nothing that will provoke idiots than a girl driving a big muscle car. I’ve seen multiple wrecks where some asshole has decided that he needs to go faster than me, or be in front of me,or tries to outdrive me. I’m a trained driver, I don’t street race except where its a street race location, I don’t even go ridiculous speed on public roads. But,I tell you what, I could fire up my Shelby, with her 350 Windsor and her dual hollys, and I could find an asshole who will be angry that I’m driving it in less than 10 minutes. Hell, I’ve been at mustang rallies where people…ok men…were furious that I owned it, refused to believe that I’d built the engine and transmission myself, and would ask if my boyfriend/dad/husband/brother actually owned it. My as camaro got the same reaction. There is a large subset of men who believe woman should be posed on top of cars, not winning quarter mile drag races.

Image from the Road & Travel article.landscape-1454004575-jack

Always Blaming the Worker

From a Metafilter discussion about the NYTimes article Too Young to Retire, Too Young to Die:

“The idea that one can ‘plan ahead’ in an economy where pensions are rarities and student loans a must, is senseless victim-blaming. My parents didn’t ‘plan ahead’ to have a pension upon retirement; that was just what workplaces like theirs offered. And now those workplaces don’t. The folks I know whose savings were wiped out by vagaries of the stock market didn’t suffer from a lack of planning; they suffered from the fact that retirement income is never, has never been, under the control of workers, but always elsewhere. The control is elsewhere, but the blame is always on the worker.”

Photo from the NYTimes article.