Arts and CultureSan Francisco

Bring Back the Bay Guardian — and Win a Metaphorical Unicorn!

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Guest post written by Marke B., former publisher of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, current publisher of 48 Hills.

Friends, is this the San Francisco you dreamed of? The sparkling, golden dream of freewheeling political experiment, debate, and protest; colorful art, poetry, and music that fly completely free from rent-money and basic-bro anxiety; diverse culture, nightlife, and style that springs from pure expression rather than some lame-ass PowerPoint marketing plan? Are you finding the fellow freaks you seek? Or merely feeling more and more like a consumerist pawn, so anxious to fit in that you actually believed “normcore” was a thing? Me too.

And when was the last time you read something local that spurred you to fervent action, dazzled you with creativity, or blew you away with an uncanny truth? (Besides on Broke Ass Stuart’s site, that is.)

Sure, you keep hearing talk about the “Real San Francisco” — but what is this mystical “Real San Francisco” unicorn, and upon which meadows of legalized cannabis, organic wheatgrass, GMO-free peashoots, and flashing pink microdots does it graze?

lil b

Welp, what if I told you that the “Real San Francisco” was currently locked in a Bayview warehouse storage unit — and that YOU hold the glowing key to its unbridled release, that you and only you can help it gallop out of its concrete confines, shaking its long, lustrous Mane of Power in the bright Bay sunshine? (Watch out for glitter showers.)

OK, this is getting ridiculous and the whole unicorn thing is kind of played out. But basically: I’m Marke B., former publisher of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the independent, alternative weekly paper that was the voice of progressive San Francisco politics, arts, and culture for almost 50 years. It got shut down by its new corporate owners last year and the staff was thrown out on its ass. But that hasn’t stopped the Bay Guardian from representing everything that was and still is great about San Francisco.

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The very first SF Bay Guardian came out in 1966! This is it!

And hey! We just won the rights to the Bay Guardian back! We want to relaunch it, bringing back that Real San Francisco feeling by covering and reinvigorating the progressive politics, alternative arts, groundbreaking music and nightlife scene, and just plain crazy joy that used to flow freely through SF’s thrumming main thoroughfares and naughty back alleys. That includes legendary features like the original Best of the Bay, our Clean Slate Election Endorsements, the annual GOLDIES Arts Awards … heck, maybe even our infamously useful Nude Beaches Guide.

We also want to rescue our archives from that Bayview warehouse storage unit, properly sorting, storing, digitizing, and putting online 50 years of amazing local history — everything from early Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix concert ads to 1980’s fashion spreads and ’90s record reviews, writings by Allen Ginsberg, Alice Waters, Armistead Maupin, Rebecca Solnit, and tons more. And of course, 50 years of progressive political coverage that spoke truth to power like no other. Everybody needs to see this stuff.

We need your help to release that damn unicorn! Join us over the next month as we rally the Guardian community at our Indiegogo page, post Guardian flashbacks on our rebooted Facebook page, and take back the Bay. We’re all in this together — never let boring corporate forces trample your incredible San Francisco spirit. Let’s Bring Back the Bay Guardian!

SF Bay Guardian

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

I've been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York, but to those familiar with my work, I'm just "that douchebag who writes books about cheap stuff and drinks a lot".