May 24th, 2007


"It'd be cool if Haight Street was always like it was back then, when people were all into disco an' stuff."
- TNG, age 11
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PBS will allow "Islam vs. Islamists" to air.
A documentary billed as "the film PBS doesn't want you to see" will at long last get a national audience.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) announced a joint agreement yesterday to make "Islam vs. Islamists" available to the 354 Public Broadcasting Service member stations across the nation as a "stand-alone" TV program, with a little extra embellishment.
"We plan to distribute the film to any public broadcasting station that wants it. We'll package it and also produce some sort of discussion to accompany the film, and give it some context," OPB President Steve Bass told The Washington Times yesterday.
"There has been a lot of debate on whether this program needed editing. Some said yes, some no. When you're dealing with an object of controversy, it is better to let the audience draw their own conclusions," Mr. Bass said.
"As stewards of the investment in public broadcasting, this fulfills our responsibility to the taxpayer," CPB President Patricia Harrison said yesterday.
The often-disquieting 52-minute film explores the struggles of moderate American Muslims at the hands of their radical brethren and gives details about a "parallel" Islamist society that is slowly but surely developing within the U.S. borders. ...

Mission Possible

So suffice it to say that the past week has been very eventful and very wonderful.

I stayed with G at her place in the Mission. (More about G and me in a friends post.) First impression: I remembered that G was puzzled when I complained about San Franciscans being rude. Now I know why: in her neighborhood, they're not. It's a quiet, family-friendly place where people smile at you and say "good morning" even if they don't know you.

(On my third day there I volunteered to take out the garbage. As I was standing on the sidewalk looking for the garbage can, I heard a voice behind me say "good morning". Being absorbed in looking for the garbage can and unaccustomed to genuine courtesy from strangers, I took no notice. The man, quiet-mannered and fifty or so, repeated his greeting. "Oh, good morning," I answered, thinking, 'Okay, Asher, who's the rude asshole in *this* picture?'.)

The move to San Francisco is looking like a definite plan at this point. As anyone knows who's ever gotten me started on the subject, I'm not one of those folks filled with misty-eyed affection for San Francisco. But I'm going to stay focused on the positives.

First and foremost, moving back to SF will allow me to spend more time with TNG. He's eleven now, and getting ready to enter middle school next year. He's been accepted to a good school four blocks from his home. It'll be good for him to have a second parent living nearby. Plus it will make things easier for his mom, who often works evenings and has to deal with child care. If I'm living nearby, TNG will be able to stay with me.

And then I've got some old friends and social networks back there. There's a pal from grade school who's now making a good living in computer animation, and several other people who knew me or Stephanie. Also, there's the Jewish community and several Orthodox synagogues where I used to be a fixture, and a neoconservative political group (founded by Cinnamon Stillwell) that I belong to. Not to mention possible work connections.

And there *are* positives to the Bay Area relative to Portland. Parts of San Francisco are nice, quiet, and friendly. SF at its best is vibrant and exciting. The job market and pay rates will likely be better there, too, which will partly offset the difference in (wince) the cost of living; add to that the saved costs of airfare and lodging for visiting TNG, and it looks very doable economically.

And San Francisco is by the water, which is nice. ("But Portland has the Willamette!" Errrm, yeah, but I said *water* .... )

And finally, of course, there is G. So I'm starting to make mental preparations to leave my beloved Portland - my home for the last seven and a half years - and return to the Bay Area.