ABC = A – – h – – s, B – – t – – ds, and C – – ts!

If you have not heard, or missed this excellent article from the San Francisco Chronicle, the Department of ABC are cracking down on some of San Francisco’s best live music clubs, including the Great American Music Hall, Cafe DuNord, Bottom of the Hill, and Slim’s, attempting to enforce some specious rules, which could potentially end any all-ages shows at these venues, and maybe even force them out of business.

Slim’s has had its share of problems already as they are mired in a legal dispute between some miserable f- -k, who moved into a nightclub area, and then complained about the noise. He’s since moved, but is determined not to let the lawsuit go. This really chaps my hide, as you have to be a complete moron to move above or next to a nightclub, restaurant, or bar and expect to get a good night’s sleep. And then complaining about it, calling the cops, or taking legal action simply makes you a supreme a- -h- -e in my book.

You may have noticed a bit more profanity in this post than I normally use here, or even in my day-to-day life, but my blood is boiling about this one. Both my missus and I are passionate music lovers, who go to see live music as often as our schedules and pocketbook will allow, and to see some of our favorite clubs under the gun, makes us really angry. I could talk for hours (days probably) about the amazing shows we’ve seen at these venues.

In fact, we were at the Great American Music Hall last night to see Glasvegas and Von Iva. I won’t go on about what a great show it was, but before the bands started, we talked at length with our waitress about the club’s legal hassles and conflicts with the ABC. She told us that that Slim’s and the GAMH (both under the same ownership) have spent so much money defending themselves, it was impacting their ability to keep their doors open.

I urge anyone reading this or within the sound of my voice to write Senator Mark Leno, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Gavin Newsom, and your local Supervisor. Let them know that you support all-ages venues in their fight against the ABC, and that you are genuinely concerned that San Francisco is at risk of losing some valuable parts of its cultural fabric.

Be polite. No swearing.

BENDTNER!

That’s right, Nickle-ass, I’m calling you out! You talk a good game, claiming you deserve to be in the starting line-up every match, but lately your play is convincing some Gooners that Bendtner is Danish for FRIGGIN’ GODAWFUL FIRST TOUCH!

How many absolute sitters have you missed recently? How many times has a brilliant pass been undone, by you booting the ball in such a clumsy fashion, that a sure goal opportunity evaporates?

Mind you, Nicky ol’ boy, these are rhetorical questions.

Last night’s Champions League match against Roma was no different. Are you aware the Guardian called you “hapless”? To be fair, they were referring to EbouĂ© as well.

That’s right, hide your face!

You alone are not responsible for Arsenal’s lack of goals. Plenty of your first team compatriots share your inability to find the back of the net recently. But let’s stay focused on you for right now.

Now, there is a method to my madness. Remember, it was not all that long ago, I was deriding William “Big Willy” Gallas and telling anyone who would listen, he should be off. And what happened? He’s been pretty rock-solid in the back four every since. Steady run of play, nary a peep to the press, no outbursts on the pitch.

Of course, I’m unwilling to take all the credit for this turnaround. But should you prove me wrong and start scoring some goals, I’ll know I’m on to something. Until then, cock your ear towards San Francisco, where you will hear the exasperated shouts of BENDTNER! emanating from Maggie McGarrys Irish Pub.

And now for your listening pleasure, AC/DC!

Move on up

Still gutted after Wednesday’s debacle at the Emirates. I guess that’s the difference between Gooners and the Spuds. We see a 4-4 draw as an abject failure while to them it’s a triumph, no doubt worthy of a commemorative DVD and mug. So it’s somewhat of a blessing that 3 days later, we’ve another match to focus on, though the bad taste in our mouths will not so easily evaporate.

When I’m not obsessing about all things Arsenal, my focus has been on the current presidential election. I’m a crusty, cynical person at times, but the campaign of one man has truly been an inspiration. It’s been well over a decade since I actively worked on a political campaign and much longer since there was a candidate that I was excited about, who I believed could effect real change.

While there’s a lot of talk about the money spent (and yes, obscene amounts are being spent) and the usual red state/blue state blather (I’m as guilty as the next), one campaign has sought to put out an overwhelmingly positive message, rising above the bitter rhetoric of his opponent.

One man has told us in a calm and collected fashion, what he believes, and what he’d like to do for this country if elected. The other has spent most of his time railing angrily about the opposing candidate and the media, leaving very little time for substantive talk about himself or his plan for our future.

I’m not naive. I realize that you don’t get the opportunity to represent one of the two major political parties in this country without compromise, tons of cash, and being somewhat beholden to special interests. But after almost 8 years of The Worst President Ever, is it so wrong to want a president is articulate, intelligent, broadminded, and thoughtful? If you want to be President, for chrissakes, act presidential! Only one of the candidates has done that.

Hope. Change. Unity. Resist the temptation to mock these things cynically because our media-saturated culture has reduced them to sound-bites. From where I sit, one candidate has offered us a shot at these things, while the other is hoping for divide and conquer.

So don’t forget to vote. And c’mon you Gunners!

Cheers, Mark