San Francisco awoke last week with too many layers on our faces and too little on our body. Collars, choke chains, whips and public urination all made our weekend at Folsom Street Fair exhausting.

Surprisingly, NOT a Roman Cosplay event.
Surprisingly, not a Roman Cosplay event.

At the crack of dawn, and at the crack of a whip, Sunday began what is known as the  “the world’s largest leather and fetish event.” Spectators flocked from around the nation to see what some call the world’s largest hub of “sin, sex and spanking.” Folsom Street Fair is held on the last Sunday of every September on, well, Folsom Street. Despite the enormous and obvious presence, unsuspecting tourists were in for a surprise when their snapshots were tainted with cum-shots and taints. Participants wore everything from full latex suits to nothing but brotherly love and pride. read more »

Here’s to Summer! The lazy days when skin and the leather of couches become synonymous, when the only thing to interrupt your afternoon slumber is the jubilant music of passing ice cream trucks and the naive laughter of children, unaware of the coming zombie apocalypse. Free of finals, papers, and Yoshua, enjoy your free time my fellow students — you will not bask in such luxury again.

No, not because the world is ending in December (we still expect our presents), but because you go to Cal, so suck it up. Now is the time to do all the things, do all the people, and get jiggy with it. Here at the Clog, we endorse hedonism (with protection) but in its most efficient, optimal sense. So here is a club crawl to guide you through your counting days of freedom before you’re back dodging flyers and 4.0’s at Cal once again.

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Since we’re all in such close proximity in San Francisco, we figured it was only going to be a matter of time before we had to talk about gay things. More specifically, we’re talking gay clubs, because gay or straight, we’re pretty sure you’ve already been to (or are going to go to) one at some point or another. And, whether you’re a club veteran or a newbie, we figure you can always use some advice on how to behave accordingly (in various situations). So, next time you head to a gay club, here are some things to keep in mind: read more »


Former kosher butcher and Berkeley J-School alumnus Jon Mooallem gayed it up last week on “The Colbert Report.” His recent article in the New York Times Magazine entitled “Can Animals Be Gay?” chronicles the homosexual advances observed in some 450 nonhuman species. We’re talking lesbian albatrosses. Er … Lesbatrosses? Albatresbians? Female koalas shacking up. Male dolphins, you know, sipping Cosmos in the Castro dressed like Lady Gaga.

Despite identifying as a straight human himself, Mooallem’s article offers a provocative contribution to queer theory.

Image Source: arimoore under Creative Commons
Colbert Report – Jon Mooallem [Colbert Nation]
Can Animals Be Gay? [NY Times]

Gay or Straight, Say No to 8! You like it? We just came up with that right now. Proposition 8 is titled “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Act.” Wow. It’s like the writer of this act didn’t believe in the cause him/herself. To soften the blow, the proposition is sometimes known affectionately as “The Californian Marriage Protection Act.” Is there something we missed? Whose marriage does this act protect?

Google just blogged about their stance against Prop. 8. Google argues:

” … we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.”

Touching. It almost doesn’t seem right for a company to take a stance on such a personal issue, but apparently this particular proposition hit a little too close to home. Just how close? We’re dying to know. In the meantime, we think Google should decorate their logo on their start page with rainbows and queer wedding cake toppers.

Image Source: whorange under Creative Commons
Our position on California’s No on 8 campaign [Google blog]

On Tuesday, the Clog talked up the world’s most famous giant, gay, British, ex-NBA basketball player. Here’s our interview with one John Amaechi.

Clog: What do you think the biggest myth we fans buy into about the NBA?

JA: Uh, that they do it for nothing.

Clog: Do the players care?

JA: Deeply yes. A vast majority is highly professional in some of the ways the other leagues are not. That’s not–it’s not fairy tale land. It’s not this place where people are so in love with sports that they care about nothing else.

Clog: At our school, you spoke of the business culture of the sport. About how fans want to believe that players are caught up in winning, when the players have been conditioned to care about making money. Does any particular example of this sterile business culture stick in your mind?

JA: Is there nobody who watches basketball games and realizes it’s a corporate sport? It’s full of corporate sponsors. Executives sit in the front row.

Clog: You spoke of certain players dumbing themselves down, specifically mentioning Mark Jackson. Why do you think they do it, and are there any other guys like that whom you could name?

JA: There are lots of guys who are much sharper than they come across. I don’t know about naming them. Why do they do it? There’s a prerogative for people to just fit in, and being that person who writes poetry or goes to the theatre or studies, the person who’s smarter, it doesn’t do him any favors to stick out like that. People want to be outstanding for their athletics alone.

Clog: Now, we at the Clog sort of feel that David Stern is out of touch with basketball fans currently. Perhaps this is because a fear of black hip-hop culture has clouded his recent judgment. What is your assessment of the commissioner and the job he does with promoting a largely black league to a largely white audience?

JA: I think that he does a very good job. He’s taking basketball from the brink of collapse to being unbelievably popular. And yes, he’s selling black athletes to white consumers. I don’t think he has tremendous fear, but he worries about the corporate image of the sport. You can’t scare off the sponsors.

Clog: Any other thoughts on the commish?

JA: I’ve always had a good relationship with him, not equipped to know about his business acumen. My absence from any official NBA stream of info was kind of odd.

Clog: You played with Tmac (Tracy McGrady) for a year. Bluntly put, is he as self-absorbed as he seems? Any stories?

JA: One of the hallmarks of being superior in every way is that you are more focused inwardly than others. It seems to be one of things that comes with the territory

Clog: We were also wondering what John Stockton was like?

JA: John Stockton, like, I don’t really have any nuggets. He was just a consummate professional, and I don’t know. He had a family or was interested; he wasn’t involved in the trappings of the NBA.

Clog: And as long as we’re mining for a little NBA dirt, there’s a famed NBA groupie culture obviously. How exactly does it function? And do most players, um, how will we say this, engage in it?

JA: Wholeheartedly it exists. No, it’s not a question of not engaging or engaging. It’s just constantly around. There are people who hang on in different careers, and basketball has its very share. I’ve heard more stories than I’ve seen.

Clog: We can’t let you go without at least one question about the issue everyone asks you about. Well, it’s tangentially related. It seems that people in our culture can often get caught up in battling what they perceive as hatred or bigotry in arts or entertainment. But often, misogynistic and homophobic frat-guy focused commercials get a free pass. What’s up with that? Any thoughts?

JA: Um, I do think that there is a feeling that some people mistakenly think political correctness has run rampant, and now people can express more freely. And there is freedom of speech but you have to accept the consequences. And certainly commercial people are trying to be clever and cute and get a rise. And certainly commercials have drawn that kind of attention.

Clog: Why do you think quasi-gay cultures like sports and frats so often have homophobic elements? Any theories?

JA: I don’t think they are. I think it’s a great excuse for society that they can complain that sports are really the homophobic bits and not everything else. Sports are a reflection of society. It’s condensed into a smaller space. Society isn’t blameless when they see ugliness in their sports.

Interview Recap:

Obviously, we wanted cool NBA insider info from the Amaechster (damn, why does this compelling character not have a sick nickname?). We were tired of the cliché questions regarding Tim Hardaway and what not. We just wanted juicy NBA dirt. Actually, juicy dirt sounds really fucking unappealing.

Anyway, at his talk on campus in April, Amaechi was affable and candid. In this interview, he seemed somewhat cranky and very much guarded. Perhaps our crappy, rambling questions were to blame. Or maybe the grind of a book tour has worn down the formerly loquacious master of the baby hook.

No, it was definitely our crappy questions (none of which pertained to his book, by the way). And it may have been foolish of us to secretly hope for Amaechi to say something crazy like, “By the way, Yao Ming is actually in the closet.”

We previewed it Monday, and now a recap is in order. Here are the highlights and commentary on the amazing John Amaechi talk

  • If it weren’t for his British accent and his drinking a large cup of tea, we’d be scared shitless of Amaechi. He’s fucking huge.
  • The lecture begins with a video on LGBT athletes and their double lives. Interesting stuff, but it can’t hold a candle to the entertainment value of the IBM promo that follows it. Did you know that IBM is the most gay-friendly multinational computer technology company? We didn’t.
  • Damn, J.A. moves around a hell-load for a 6-10, 325-pound dude. We tried taking a good picture of the man, but he’s just too damned peripatetic.
  • J.A. is blessed with that stereotypical British speaking ability. We as Americans are obligated to worship Brit elocution skills. For example, the Clog didn’t even want to use the word elocution in that sentence. Some lord-of-the-lexicon limey convinced us that it was better than inventing the word talkability or calling him a cunning linguist.
  • He has interesting thoughts on the incongruence of being a gay pro athlete, but has no comments on the incongruence of being an athlete who uses the words like incongruence.
  • That’s actually bullshit. Amaechi does talk about the incongruence of being a well-spoken athlete. We’ll put our snide aside for one second just to say that Amaechi is a hilarious, yet thought-provoking speaker.
  • He states the obvious, saying, “Tim Hardaway is an idiot.” That one gets a huge crowd response. We are now all united in our hatred of the T in Run TMC.
  • Just like we sort of said in our preview, Amaechi makes the point that athletes can’t handle his gayness because “they don’t want their own gay activities highlighted.” Hell yea, Amaechi agrees with the Clog. We must be doing something right.
  • By the way, J.A. dishes some interesting gayish NBA locker room activities. The best ones are toenail painting and co-reading magazines naked, or “ass-cheek-to-ass-cheek” as Amaechi calls it. For once, we’re speechless.
  • And we’ve regained our voice. But we’re exhausted. Amaechi held court for over two hours, pontificating on everything from Don’t ask, don’t tell to macho advertisements. The dude clearly loves the academic setting. Here’s to hoping he becomes Berkeley’s most physically imposing prof.