Posts Tagged ‘Diary’

Twitterloin Update: “VILLA AROMA,” Where Something Smells – Recalling SFChron’s “DIARY OF A SEX SLAVE” Brouhaha of 2006

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

As always, start with the Yelp:

“There is a certain je-ne-sais-quoi, a special sort of class, that imbues a neighborhood when it is sporting its very own windowless massage parlor with neon lights and a locked gate even during business hours (ring bell for admittance–I guess they don’t take walk-ins). The “carvings” on the wall seem to be intended to be reminiscent of something Roman.”

Here’s this place today in 2015:

7J7C7130 copy

And now let’s learn about how things were back in aught-six, via the San Francisco Chronicle:





IIRC, this series was the talk of the town. Even back then, it was unusual for a newspaper to devote so many resources on one basic story.

And the story itself was single-sourced for the most part – it seemed as if the Chron simply assumed that everything the subject said about the journey from There to Here was true. Oh well.

Anyway, right from the get-go, the Chron started pulling back a bit, getting rid of photos what were “too sexy,” or something, IIRC.

And then came the blowback, hoo boy. This forgotten webpage has the deets:

“Instead of educating Chronicle readers about the cultural background of South Korea, the world’s 10th largest economy, the “Diary” series dwells at length, and with questionable purpose, on the titillating details of one individual’s forced sex acts and non-typical family history. The Chronicle series includes many cultural inaccuracies and paints a distorted picture of Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city. Busan is an international coastal resort known for its open-air seafood — not sex — markets, and as host of the annual International Film Festival, the largest such event in Asia.”

Oh, here it is, the full Monty, blow-backwise. (And the non-SFGate version is here.)

Oh, scratch that, oh here it is, the Great Concessions:

Among the promises won, the San Francisco Chronicle (owned by the New York-based Hearst Corporation) pledged “in principle” not to syndicate the series, to provide the community more “constructive coverage” and access to the paper, and to continue a dialogue with the community to improve development of stories and their sources. Kim herself remained cautious, however: “We need to maintain a vigilant posture to ensure that there is, in fact, meaningful follow-through based on our initial meeting.” “[The syndication] was of utmost concern to our community members, as we feel the culturally damaging impact would be magnified,” emphasized Kim. ”We had also pointed out to the Chronicle’s management that based on the underlying facts of this case, there is a clear legal case to be made for racial bias,” said Kim.

Now, I may be just a simple hyperchicken, but I don’t think you can sue the Chron in a “legal case” for “racial bias” just because you don’t like one of its stories. Or if you do, you’ll get hit with an anti-SLAPP motion what will suspend your discovery process cold, and then make you wish you never ever sued the Chronicle, like the hardest work for the Chron’s attorneys would be proving up the $50,000 in attorney’s fees that you’ll end up paying to the Chron for bringing your nonsensical suit, for “racial bias.”

Or something like that.

Anyway, that’s what I think about whenever I pass by the Twitterloin’s  Villa “Aroma,” where something smells, even today…

Today on KQED-FM at 10:00AM: “Critical Mass, 20 Years Later” – Michael Krasny – Commute Clot Anniv.

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Well, today’s the start of San Francisco Critical Mass Week 2012.

Michael Krasny of KQED Forum will kick things off with a one-hour show on the history of Critical Mass.

And then festivities will end, of course, this Friday with the big 20th Anniversary Ride the evening of September 28th, 2012. (Not that you’d know it from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition website’s “Chain of Events” section, where all info about CM* is now censored.)

Suddenly surrounded by bicycles:

All the deets:

“It started with a bike ride in San Francisco on Sept. 25, 1992. About 50 people cycled in a pack along Market Street, hoping to earn some respect from drivers who sometimes ignored them or edged them off the road. They called it the “Commute Clot.” Today it’s known as Critical Mass, a movement that’s spread worldwide. Supporters say it promotes cycling and the rights of bicyclists. But critics say it is illegal, clogs traffic and antagonizes drivers. We talk about Critical Mass’ 20th anniversary, and its effects on the city.

Host: Michael Krasny


Chris Carlsson, co-founder of Critical Mass who was part of the first ride on Sept. 25, 1992, and has since participated in Critical Mass rides in Milan, Vancouver and Porto Alegre, Brazil

Hugh D’Andrade, founder of

Rob Anderson, blogger on transportation issues and author of the blog District 5 Diary

Tune in at 10:00 on your radio or on your device, Listen Live.

*The SFBC raises money through fees but it also gets mucho dinero directly from SFGov. So that’s why it endorsed Ed Lee for Mayor even though SFBC’s members generally did not and still do not like Ed Lee. Similarly, Chrstina Olague, Mayor Ed Lee’s hand-picked recruit for District 5 Supervisor, gets endorsed over Julian Davis even though SFBC members actually favor JD. The SFBC is basically a quasi-government agency now, so it’s very afraid of seeming to say something negative about certain members of the City Family. It’s also afraid of hurting the chances of its officers someday getting jobs / health care directly with SFGov / SFMTA. Anyway, that’s why the SFBC is basically a SFGov kiss-ass these days. It will lobby San Francisco government, certainly, but that’s about as far as it wants to go. (Think about it – who would the SFMTA endorse for Mayor?)