Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010
Better than: Going to church for church stuff.
San Franciscans complain about the "war on fun," but sometimes it isn't The Man, or the ABC, or even a rogue police officer that gets cool shit shut down. Sometimes all it takes is one really dumb-ass teenager, high on a combo of substances and stupidity, to threaten the short life of a really great party. Last night proved that fact--as the existence of the very classy, celestial, and surreal monthly EpiscoDisco
was laid on the line when some stoned-acting chick in a white knit hat apparently had to leave her mark under the holy water. That's not
gonna get her closer to God.
Up until that point, patrons of this unique gathering--hosted, since last April, by Rev. Bertie Pearson, and mixing DJs with art installations, heathens with religious types--were piously behaved. We arrived around 8 p.m., and an eclectic mix of women dressed for the adult prom, women dressed for an avant guard catwalk, dudes dressed as normal dudes, and one guy in a giant fake mustache chatted informally throughout the historic cathedral. Once you walked through the heavy doors, there was a reverent hush to the place, which, even though this was a cathedral, you wouldn't necessarily expect for event with "disco" in the name.
Sure, things were a little racier than normal--one couple decided to go for a marathon makeout under a large crucifix near a gold painting of John Donne. And under a giant statue of the Lord, bartenders served little plastic glasses of pinot gris along with sparking water for a small donation. But the vibe was very civilized as DJs broadcast the echoing beats from Stevie Wonder's "Love Light in Flight" and "Feels Good" by Tony! Toni! Tone!
It seemed most folks were leaving the dancing for a later hour. They were content instead to casually walk the grand space and discover the various rooms and sculptures, light a candle for a prayer, or test the prayer cushions by the pews. It was a polite gathering--so much so that one twentysomething gentleman, donning a large caramel-checkered fur in the stairwell, waited until the steps were clear before popping the cork on his bottle of champagne. From the 1,000-flower art installation hanging from the ceiling to the pastel-hued film shorts, the vibe was set on arty class. Until that kid grabbed her marker and aimed for the holy water holder.