Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Newsletters you can trust


SF, Ep. 28

April 9, 2010 — Hundreds packed the Elbo Room for the latest skirmish that saw Jake Swearingen narrowly defeat Alexa Dooseman in an outrageously brilliant game of green light red light!

But before the finale was even a consideration, round one offered guy-on-guy literary action with Litquake’s Ransom Stephens (The God Patent) against Swearingen (Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008). Swearingen won the book toss and in true let’s-do-this-thing! fashion, launched into a dry satire of life in post-apocalyptic San Francisco, his BoBo narrator limited to a fixed gear bike in the burning city. Eventually, he makes his way to a survivalist compound in the central valley, only to become someone’s "bride." Ransom Stephens, garbed in Oakland Raiders regalia, read a powerful passage from his novel, in Dodge gets Foster drunk and encourages him to commit suicide during a game of Spin the Revolver.

As the judges (feminist/humorist Tracy Clark-Flory (, yogi Mark Morford (San Francisco Chronicle), and Mother Jones human rights reporter Mac McClelland deliberated, hosts Elissa Bassist and 826 Valencia's Justin Carder read audience questions, but failed (in this observer's opinion) to determine if the current economic climate justified using one’s own blood as salad dressing.

The judges cheers to their decision while the hosts answer questions from the audience. Click the picture to see more partying shots.

The judges declared emerging talent Swearingen the winner of the round.

Round two shifted gears: Girl-on-girl action, literally and thematically! Alanna Nemzoff Coby v. Alexa Dooseman. Dooseman's tale of cross-country cultural clash — two liberal MFA recipients stopping for a bite to eat en route to safely liberal California — was countered by Nemzoff Coby's essay question confessional in which a young women perceived as a lesbian outs herself as a helpless hetero, shaved head and fashion choices notwithstanding.

Again the judges found themselves conflicted, but Dooseman's narrative style won the round.

For the final round, all joking was set aside as the winners braced themselves for a serious, take-no-prisoners match of Red Light/Green Light. As the writers halted their way across the stage like palsied frankensteins, tall and lanky Swearingen had a clear physical advantage over the diminutive Dooseman. One final reach for the far wall, and the title was his!

Ep. 28 winner Jake Swearingen offering conciliatory remarks to Ransom Stephens. Click the picture to see more partying shots.

Please see Evan Karp's fantastic videographer skills of the nights' drama here

References (14)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>