Category: Arts and Letters

The Automat

An automat is a fast food restaurant where simple foods and drinks are served by vending machines. The world’s first automat was named Quisisana, which opened in Berlin, Germany in 1895.

The first automat in the U.S. was opened June 12, 1902, at 818 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia by Horn & Hardart; Horn & Hardart became the most prominent American automat chain.

The automats were popular with a wide variety of patrons, including Walter Winchell, Irving Berlin and other celebrities of the era. The New York automats were popular with unemployed songwriters and actors. Playwright Neil Simon called automats “the Maxim’s of the disenfranchised” in a 1987 article.

Wikipedia

I didn’t have any money to come into the city and go drinking—I was still flopping (in more ways than one) at my parents’ Brooklyn apartment—but I could always lay my hands on a quarter. So one Sunday night I took the subway to Manhattan (a nickel), spent two cents on the Daily News and two cents on the Daily Mirror, and went to Horn & Hardart, the automat where for a dime you could get a roll and the best baked beans that were ever made. Then I headed for Leon and Eddie’s.

Alan King. NAME – DROPPING: The Life and Lies of Alan King

Keith Richards’ 10 Classic Roots and Reggae List

1. Stagolee – Jesse Fuller, 1958
This says something about the way I feel. There is a mixture of music in him: ragtime, blues, folk and country. And he’s a one-man band.

2. When Did You Leave Heaven – Big Bill Broonzy, 1951
He was the best-known American blues player in England in the Fifties. There’s footage of him singing that song, in a barroom in Belgium or something. Check it out.

3. It Hurts Me too – Elmore James, 1957
Brian Jones introduced me to Elmore. His voice is so compelling, and that seemingly effortless slide playing was unusual. What struck me was how Elmore James looked a bit like a school teacher, very respectable.

4. Blues Hangover – Slim Harpo, 1960
The sheer swampiness of this – it had the be here, especially because he puts the whole band through a hangover at the same time.

5. Key to the Highway – Little Walter, 1958
It’s the sheer sound, the way the band is right behind Walter. It’s the best version of the song ever.

6. Piece of My Heart – Erma Franklin, 1967
Janis Joplin did a good job covering this. But Erma’s got the stuff. She was Aretha’s sister. Erma is rougher. Aretha’s voice was more pure.

7. In a Dis Ya Time – The Itals, 1998
The Itals are in reggae’s harmony tradition. It is the pinnacle of how reggae can sound.

8. Innocent People Cry – Gregory Isaacs, 1974
Isaacs has written some incredible songs. It took me months to find this in Jamaica. I was asking around for “Chookie No Lookie” [the chorus]. Everybody’s giving me a blank stare. Thein it was, “Oh, you mean ‘Innocent People Cry’. How did he come up with that title?

9. Memphis, Tennessee – Chuck Berry, 1958
I think he’s playing everything except the drums and a little piano. There is something about the way the guitars mesh together. I have to doff the old hat. The greatest.

10. 32-20 – Robert Johnson, 1936
Hey, it’s about guns.

“When you’re asked to do these sorts of lists, you don’t want to come up with the obvious stuff. We know the classics. We’ve seen thousands of those lists. I was trying to think of stuff that’s slipped between the cracks. This list is a mixture, some of the essences that appeal to me. I look at this and think, ‘That’s a pretty good list. I can live with it.'”

Keith Richards
The Playlist Issue
Rolling Stone, December 9, 2010

See also, Mick Jagger’s 10 Classic Blues Playlist – Now With Notes

What is a truth you don’t like accepting about yourself?

What is a truth you don’t like accepting about yourself? from AskReddit

NotDepressed1224
I either think too high of myself or not enough of myself, there is no in between

kaazgranaat2309
Im lazy and have no dicipline

squashishous
I can naturally be mean if I don’t think carefully before I speak

ollieliotd
I’m paralyzed with indecision and feel like I keep making panic moves.

3VD
I don’t treat my body well and I have a lot of crutches that will impact me later in life.

PlumbusFungus
I can get emotional over stupid things. I try not to and I recognize it happening but feel out of control over it

No_Web_9121
I am not special or more talented than anyone else, I am literally more or less average. I guess its not bad, I don’t hate it, but doesn’t mean i like it

Rock and Roll Dream – Onstage with Kiss

Countdown. Then the shove and I’m on stage, moving like I’m unremotely controlled. Forgetting completely that I ‘m in front of 5,000 people participating as one fifth of this sadistic cheerleading squad, bobbing and gyrating in instinctively, I no longer hear the music, just a noise and a beat. On cue I strut over to Simmons’ mike and lean into it and sing. Singing loud without hearing myself, oblivious to everything but those four other beings onstage. Gene whispers for me to “shake it” and I loosen up a little more, until I feel like a Vegas showgirl going to a go go. Suddenly it strikes me: I like this. And I venture a look at the crowd, that clamoring, hungry throng of bodies below me. All I can think at that moment is how much all those kids resemble an unleashed pit of snakes, their outstretched arms bobbin and nodding, as if charmed by the music. I wonder if they will pick up on the hoax? But they keep screaming and cheering, so I might just as well be Peter Criss, unleashed from his drum kit, as anyone.

“I Dreamed I Was Onstage with KISS in my Maidenform Bra”
Jaan Uhelszki
Creem, August 1975

Teaching Indifference – Lesson of Bells

The third lesson I teach is indifference. I teach children not to care too much about anything, even though they want to make it appear that they do. How I do this is very subtle. I do it by demanding that they become totally involved in my lessons, jumping up and down in their seats with anticipation, competing vigorously with each other for my favor. It’s heartwarming when they do that; it impresses everyone, even me. When I’m at my best I plan lessons very carefully in order to produce this show of enthusiasm. But when the bell rings I insist they drop whatever it is we have been doing and proceed quickly to the next work station. They must turn on and off like a light switch. Nothing important is ever finished in my class nor in any class I know of. Students never have a complete experience except on the installment plan.

Indeed, the lesson of bells is that no work is worth finishing, so why care too deeply about anything? Years of bells will condition all but the strongest to a world that can no longer offer important work to do. Bells are the secret logic of school time; their logic is inexorable. Bells destroy the past and future, rendering every interval the same as any other, as the abstraction of a map renders every living mountain and river the same, even though they are not. Bells inoculate each undertaking with indifference.

Gatto, John Taylor. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling 

Amazon Review Translation Example

4.0 out of 5 stars Bon roman
Bon roman qui est écrit de manière simple.
La lecture se fait d’un trait.
On est plongé progressivement dasn la descente de Travis.

4.0 out of 5 stars Good novel
Good novel that is written in a simple way.
Reading is done with one stroke.
We are gradually immersed in Travis’s descent.

* I think this is automated translation. Could be wrong.
From this page: Taxi Driver by Richard Elman. (Looks like a novelization of the movie Taxi Driver. I’d check it out but dig those prices!)