By Ruby Toosday

I was probably in some altered state when I chanced a glance at the Finocchio’s ad in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Pink Section. Finocchio’s was a safe, touristy female impersonator club on Broadway that had been around since the ‘30s or so. Their headline advertised “Fabulous Female Impersonators,” which for some reason brought to my mind, “Fabulous She-male Impersonators.” But what would a She-male Impersonator be? Switching to Spock mode, I deduced that to impersonate a she-male, one would have to be a female dressed like a drag queen. 



By Arielle Madnick

This is a pep talk for all those new and starting artists, or for those who have been around the block and just need to get back to the basics. This is something I went through and am still going through. I think every artist, at one point, must go through. I hope that it helps give context and perspective to all the starting artists out there who think that they will never be good or achieve their artistic goals.


By Alex Makayev

During George W Bush’s presidency, he was called many things:  ‘President,’ ‘Dictator,’ ‘Commander in Chief’,” or ' War Criminal.’  What is certain is no one ever referred to him as George 'The Artist.’ But in 2013, a hacker broke into the Bush family email accounts and leaked George's paintings.  The most shocking pieces were self-portraits of the Commander in Chief in his bathtub… naked.  He has since released dozens of portraits of dogs and dignitaries that he met through work.  And he is not alone; many iconic world leaders were also painters in their spare time, and I set out to get an expert's opinion on them.


By Juan Rodriguez

He towered over all those getting off the bus, in an oversized grey sweat suit and a generic brand of sneakers, holding a near empty plastic bag of all his belongings through the years. Joseph, my best friend since the age of six, stood less than five feet away from me, still recognizable from the last time I saw him when I was fourteen. His nappy hair grew into an Afro. Besides the scar right below his eye, his soft facial features remained, along with his God tired smile.




By Alexander Nazarian Nigro

This week's opinion: The American public is at fault for its own government's inability to affect real, positive change, and, in fact, actively encourages bad behavior amongst politicians.


By Thomas Paper

Political ideologies are failing to keep pace with the rapidly changing collective mind. Government** and media are forever sniffing the air for the polarizing points, which sell ad-space and win elections; but with the sheer magnitude of information and opinion being shared, people are less apt to become polarized around an ideal. There are too many opportunities for a change in opinion. When once it was easy to maintain bigotry through a regional divide, now a former homophobe has to adapt to his or her child's coming out—or a staunchly anti-Islamist has to admit that the halal restaurateur is a "decent guy and really knows how to cook a kebab.".   



By P Segal

If there is truth in chaos theory, which posits that each small event has consequence throughout the chain of complexities that make our world, it suggests that if we can fix one thing (in a ecologically friendly, politically correct, and fiscally viable way) that it will have a positive effect on the human population as a whole. As theories go, chaos theory inspires the congenital doers and fixers among us to make something better, but one of the most profound questions we face is, “What do you try to fix, in a world with so many things gone wrong?”



By Larry Roszkowiak

Calvin was an overweight First Class Radioman who hated me from the day I came on board. He had a bright tattoo on his huge left forearm that read Elaine.




Jane Elliott | Kinder, Gentler Robots

Bay Area artist Jane Elliott read a poem by Richard Brautigan, “All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace,” and started to think about what machines of loving grace would look like. Clearly not the invincible terrors of dystopian fantasy, the robots began as drawings and evolved into 3-dimensional wall hangings. About the robots, Elliott says this:


SuZen | Fine-art photographer, graphic designer, educator and peace-activist

Over the years, SuZen has exhibited her photography in museums and galleries internationally including Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY and Zabriskie Gallery, in NYC, Her work is in numerous collections including the Library of Congress, Denver Museum of Art, and Bibliotheque National of Paris.