Sad to see him go, but everything has an end: Thanks very much for the interview, and it's great to hear from Joel Hodgson ["The Last Reel: MST3K's Joel will riff no more forever." Emilie Mutert, arts, 10/16]. Although it's sad to see Cinematic Titanic end its run, I also believe it's important to let creators move on to new territory when they see fit (they know best when to try something new). I was really happy to see Joel's comment that "I Accuse my Parents" as his favorite MST3K episode; that's one of the very best from the whole series with some of the greatest jokes ever. What a great soul, I can't wait to see what Mr. Hodgson continues to do in his remarkable career. Thank you for these great questions.
A Different Light
Katy St. Clair should lose the remote and find religion: Based on the editor's tease last week that Katy St. Clair would be writing on another opiate of the masses, I expected that she would bring her gimlet eye to religion ["The Guiding Light," Kill Your Television, arts, 10/16]. Instead of visiting saloons and observing lounge lizards, she'd be a non-sectarian dabbler in the religious community. That would be a column I'd like to see. A column about TV, not so much.
Shaking It Up
Glad to read new voice on San Francisco's bar scene: First I'll qualify my nonpartisanship: I am a longtime fan of Katy St. Clair. I recall her 2008 cover story about her gastric bypass, and appreciate someone local at the SF Examiner on the imperative snarky celebrity gossip beat. But, I often felt, reading St. Clair's column that I, and the city, could use a diligent reporter asking practical questions about breadth of spirits selection, and a comprehensive detailing of the environment. So, I'm excited to read what Wachs ["Naming Conventions," Distillations, Benjamin Wachs, 10/16] will add to the health and education of the city's sophisticated saloon-visiting populace.
Blog Comments of the Week
Cyclist says the light times on Valencia don't add up to a smooth bike flow: As someone who cycles down Valencia daily, I disagree that the green wave lets you "move at the right speed" and has all the virtues attributed to it in this article ["The Rising Tide of Bicycle 'Green Waves' in S.F." Leif Haven, the Snitch, 10/11]. By setting the lights to a fairly slow standard, it leads many law-abiding bicyclists to artificially slow themselves (via not pedaling, pedaling slowly, or simply riding to the light and stopping). It leads non-law-abiding cyclists to run the lights when they can. I personally think the green wave lights on Valencia are set at least 4 mph too slow — a minimum of those actually pedaling at their own pace go from the light on one block turning green to the next light without stopping. Drivers, of course, are even more frustrated by this unnecessarily slow timing (though they'd probably still be frustrated at a more reasonable bike speed).
In last week's film section we stated the incorrect date for the San Francisco opening of 12 Years a Slave. It will open in San Francisco on Nov. 1.