San Francisco Institute of Possiblity


San Francisco Institute of Possibility announces that it will NOT conduct a massive publicity stunt to mock the America’s cup, as that would be redundant.

Sailing sailingSan Francisco, CA, Sept. 12, 2013 –San Francisco Institute of Possibility (SFIOP) Executive Director Chicken John Rinaldi announced today that he is cancelling a series of planned public events to satirize the America’s Cup, as there is simply no lower the race can fall at this time.

“When this whole thing started, it was a very exciting time to do parody in San Francisco.  The SFIOP Board of Directors and I thought of a million ways we could make fun of the Cup race, and the lousy deal the city took to host it, and Larry Ellison and his billionaire cronies,” Chicken John said.  “But as disasters kept piling up it just stopped being funny, you know?  I mean, Ellison’s team was caught cheating after a man died, leading to the New Zealand yacht competing in a race against itself.  How do you satirize that?”

Added Rinaldi, “Oracle’s key sailor is named ‘Dirk de Ridder.’   That alone is pretty funny.  Also, the amount of money the city is going to have to pay for this debacle keeps climbing.  It’s now at, what, $13 million dollars?  That we’re paying so a billionaire can have Dirk de Ridder sail a yacht through our bay?  Being funnier than that for free is just not worth the effort.”

According to SFIOP Board Member Joshua Marker, the organization had a number of public stunts planned, including:

  • Dressing as 19th century commodores and shouting fake nautical commentary to one another during races.  (“Aye!  He’s cut his jib!  That’ll blow the stern barley sail off the mizzen boom!”  “Yer right!  But if New Zealand’s north-set flying hitch holds true they’ll jump 10 spans!”)
  • Posting a large electronic sign at each race to count the amount of money the city was losing per second.
  • Hosting a “Larry Ellison Kissing Booth” that would be hosted by a man dressed as Larry Ellison, and patronized by a line of people dressed as Ed Lee.
  • Having Larry Ellison look-alikes walk through the crowd at races asking viewers for spare change and public development rights.
  • Mermaids

“But,” said Marker, “in the end nothing seemed funny enough for a debacle like this.  I mean, the sailors are calling their own catamarans ‘godforsaken deathtraps,’ John Avalos says the Board of Supervisors was “fucking played,” and this was supposed to make up for the 49ers leaving town?  Which they did because Gavin Newsom proposed that they build their new stadium on a radioactive Superfund site?  There are so many levels of comedy and pathos here … so many bad decisions, on top of bad decisions … we just couldn’t keep up.”

Added Marker, “The idea … I’m not making this up … is that the city would make back all its money on hotel taxes from the hundreds of thousands of people coming to see Larry Ellison’s sailboat race.  That’s actually a real thing that people in government believed.  I said ‘How do you parody that’ at our last meeting, and everybody just shrugged.  So we’re done.”

The San Francisco Institute of Possibility is dedicated to creating a sustainable ecology of art that builds, tests, curates, and stewards new models for civic engagement and participatory creativity.

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