Sunday, September 27, 2009

Everyone's headed to a quiz this week!

Sunday, September 27, after the Sunday Night Football game ends
Lyon's Den
848 S. 2nd St.
(near 2nd & Christian Sts.)
Subject Round: CARTOONS

Monday, September 28, 9:00pm
Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
1200 E. Passyunk Ave.
(near 9th & Federal Sts.)
Subject Round: PHILADELPHIA

Tuesday, September 29, 9:00pm
El Camino Real
1040 N. 2nd St.
(2nd St. below Girard Ave.)
Subject Round: BEGINS WITH 'Q'

Wednesday, September 30, 7:00pm
12 Steps Down
9th & Christian Sts.
Subject Round: BEFORE & AFTER


Wednesday, September 30, 9:15pm
The Institute
12th & Green Sts.
Subject Round: NEW ENGLAND
All-new quiz north of Market St. There will be food and drink specials TBA; first place wins a generous $30 certificate!

Thursday, October 1, 9:00pm
The Draught Horse
Broad St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.
(Temple University campus)
Subject Round: FAMOUS BREAK-UPS

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William Safire stands corrected


Heer reed him obitiary. Him give Nixon, Reagan oral for a livving.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Everyone's headed to a quiz this week!

Sunday, September 20, after the Sunday Night Football game ends
Lyon's Den
848 S. 2nd St.
(near 2nd & Christian Sts.)
Subject Round: BOARD GAMES

Monday, September 21, 9:00pm

Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
1200 E. Passyunk Ave.
(near 9th & Federal Sts.)
Subject Round: FOOTBALL

Tuesday, September 22, 9:00pm
El Camino Real
1040 N. 2nd St.
(2nd St. below Girard Ave.)
Subject Round: MAGAZINES

Wednesday, September 23, 7:00pm
12 Steps Down
9th & Christian Sts.
Subject Round: ASTRONOMY
Note half-hour earlier start.

Wednesday, September 23, 9:15pm
The Institute
12th & Green Sts.
Subject Round: NEW ENGLAND
All-new quiz north of Market St. There will be food and drink specials TBA; first place wins a generous $30 certificate!

Thursday, September 24, 7:00pm
The Field House
Reading Terminal Market
Subject Round: PHILADELPHIA
This is a University of Maryland alumni event.

Thursday, September 24, 9:15pm
The Draught Horse
Broad St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.
(Temple University campus)
Subject Round: BOOKS & AUTHORS
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Can America Be Salvaged? - great piece worth thinking about

Politics in the Past Tense

Can America be Salvaged?

By DAVID MICHAEL GREEN

I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which proposing a new and better version of corporate-plunder masquerading as national healthcare gets you burned in effigy for being a socialist stooge by gun-toting angry mobs.

I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which the same people who hate you for being a socialist simultaneously hate you for being a fascist.

I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which angry mobs of supposed anti-socialist demonstrators scream at their congressional representatives to “keep your government hands off my Medicare”.

I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which claims that the government is going to start killing off seniors are taken seriously by tens of millions of people.

I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which people are all worked up about government czars, but sat silently while the Bush administration destroyed the Bill of Rights and used a thousand signing statements to write Congress out of the Constitution.

I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which deficits have all of a sudden become the source of enormous anger among people who said nothing about them previously, as the tax cuts for the wealthy, off-budget wars based on lies, and unfunded prescription drug Big Pharma giveaway transmogrified the biggest surplus in American history into the biggest deficit ever.

I really don’t know what to say anymore, about a country in which politicians can rant incessantly about other peoples’ sexual morality, get caught screwing prostitutes, and then still be reelected to the highest ranks of government by trashing the president.

I could go on and on, but what would be the point? The positions of so many Americans on so many policy questions are truly inane – yes, for sure. I wish that was all that concerned me. But it all goes so much deeper than that.

The entire premise of a self-ruling democracy rests on some reasonable degree of rationality and some reasonable degree of an ability to discriminate between real information and falsehoods.

Today’s American democracy seems to lack these qualities in increasingly abundant amounts.And yet it goes deeper than that still. The entire premise of a society – any society, democracy or not – is that it possesses a certain degree of shared community, a ‘we-ness’ that transcends narrower tribalisms and self-interest in critical ways and at critical moments. That too has unraveled of late. Think of the nice white men with shotguns blocking the exit from flooded New Orleans during the worst moments of Hurricane Katrina.

Looking at America today, it all feels so very past tense to me.

In some very profound ways, this is not the place nor the time you’d expect the implosion of an established democracy and society. To be an American is to be a member of the richest and most powerful nation on Earth. If they’re not whining so much in Botswana these days, who the hell are we to?

On the other hand, though, it makes a lot of sense. The moment correlates precisely with the peaking of the empire several decades ago, now further exacerbated as the deep wells of remedial pillaging – our credit cards, our mortgages, our children, a rising Chinese middle class, brown people everywhere, the environment – have disappeared entirely, with nothing but despair and moral dessication left in their place. Moreover, the folks most aggrieved and most estranged from their senses of late are precisely the people who were bought off of their sanity at every turn with the latest form of bigotry du jour, used to assuage their ever-diminishing sense of relative social status. Over and over again, the people I see on my television screen acting absolutely and incoherently stupid in their senseless rage seem to be little more than fat, white, Southern, sixty-something racist good ol’ boys.

Well past their sell-by dates, they’ve of course gotten tremendous help cranking it up again. That’s no surprise. I’m not sure these crackers are smart enough to even be stupid without coaching. As Lyndon Johnson used to say: “Couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel”. Lucky for them, those marching orders come from a host of politicians and media whores who, in an even moderately just world, would receive a wee taste of Abu Ghraib in repayment for the reckless destructiveness they’ve fomented upon the always precarious edifice of liberal democracy. There’s special place in Hell reserved for these shouters of “Fire!” in crowded theaters, these bloodsucking bottom-feeders, especially since they are being paid so handsomely for their faithful service as prolocutors for predators.

I doubt anyone has ever reminded us of this ongoing danger more eloquently than did the famous American diplomat, George Kennan, when he wrote: “The counsels of impatience and hatred can always be supported by the crudest and cheapest symbols; for the counsels of moderation, the reasons are often intricate, rather than emotional, and difficult to explain. And so the chauvinists of all times and places go their appointed way: plucking the easy fruits, reaping the little triumphs of the day at the expense of someone else tomorrow, deluging in noise and filth anyone who gets in their way, dancing their reckless dance on the prospects for human progress, drawing the shadow of a great doubt over the validity of democratic institutions. And until peoples learn to spot the fanning of mass emotions and the sowing of bitterness, suspicion, and intolerance as crimes in themselves – as perhaps the greatest disservice that can be done to the cause of popular government – this sort of thing will continue to occur.”

Hear, hear. Sorry to say it, George, but you’re lucky to have died when you did. It’s only gotten so much worse in just the last few years.

And while the O’Reillys and the Reagans of our time have joined forces to turn “the counsels of impatience and hatred” into an entire political party and more, they are, of course, mere conscious tools of the Big Green Greed that ultimately drives the system. They know they are prostitutes, but the money’s good. And so is the fame and adulation – no small thing for these sorry critters. Look at the Becks and Limbaughs and Gingriches of this country. Were there ever people in this world with so much self-esteem ground to be made up from the transparent ostracization of their younger days? Were there ever individuals so obviously motivated by retribution against everyone who treated them like the jerks they were in their formative years? Was there ever a walking warning sign more brightly flashing about the costs to society of youthful bullying? I’m sorry Glenn, I’m sorry Rush, I’m sorry Newt. I know when you were younger you were pudgy fast-talking smart-ass petulant pricks who made up in wedgies from bigger guys what you never got in attention from attractive women. But isn’t about time you stopped taking it out on America? I’m sorry you got your ass kicked on a weekly basis, but I didn’t do it.

Though I’m thinking about it now.

It takes a willful act of ignorance (something we see a lot of these days) not to perceive the United States as the latest in history’s falling empires. Like Rome, the true contribution of its sometimes great ideas has ultimately been substantially buried under the rubble of its ill-fated decision to greedily grasp the nettle of empire. Unlike Rome, this puppy is taking decades, rather than centuries, to collapse.

Empires come and go, of course. Rising and falling is what they do. It’s their job in life. What is truly frightening to contemplate, however, is what happens when an empire falls in the era when technological capacity absolutely dwarfs political maturity? And what happens if that occurs not just anywhere, but in arguably the most immature, self-serving and self-indulgent of developed societies on the planet?

The only model we have for this so far is the Soviet implosion of two decades ago, though even that is only a partial representation, since the Soviet bear was no match for the American boor in piggishness. Even so, that history does not bode so well, outward appearances notwithstanding. We should all collectively be walking on eggshells thinking about the tens of thousands of strategic and smaller tactical nuclear warheads that may or may not be accounted for. Nor is the renascent and rather irredentist new Russia necessarily a pretty picture either, a fact that may become increasingly relevant in the coming decades. Still, all this noted, the Russian imperial collapse has to be said to have been relatively uneventful, closer to the post-war British and French experiences than to any cataclysmic end of days scenario.

I wish I could be so sanguine about the implosion of the American empire. In one sense, it was probably a good thing for the Russians to go through this experience with only a fake democracy and repressed civil liberties in place, and some serious if undemocratic quasi-dictators running the show. It might have saved the country from the worst elements seizing control. I don’t much care for the product of American democracy and political discourse as things now stand. Imagine how it might all turn out under real duress, with the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs further egging on both the angry rabble on the ground and the Sarah Palins in the political sphere.

I’m tired of overused Nazi references these days, but the most salient analogy has to be to 1930s Weimar Germany. The economy is broken, the political system is broken, the public is struggling, angry and full of nationalistic rage at their country’s failure to possess all the riches and glory it and they deserve. And so say bombastic demagogues, backed by a small army of street thugs, and offering both a scapegoat and a solution. Given a democratic election in which voters can choose between a dynamic, assured and energetic salvation figure, on the one hand, and an enervated, inept and passionately passionless status quo government, on the other, it’s not hard to figure what will happen. And what did.

Above all, what is wrong with this country (and what therefore inevitably becomes the world’s problem too – just ask the people of Iraq), is not so much the vicious thugs who would just as soon vacuum it free of any piece of wealth they can get into their hands as take their next breath. Nor is it the existentially petrified Confederate Crackers for Jesus who find that hate and violence is a pretty decent emollient to mitigate for the moment their otherwise completely debilitating fears.

That stuff always happens, though admittedly not often quite like this.

What’s really wrong is the near total absence of prominent political figures willing to sacrifice much of anything to protect their country from these depredations.

It’s been so long now that I’ve forgotten for sure, but didn’t they used to call that patriotism?
---
David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York. He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles (
dmg [at] regressiveantidote.net), but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. More of his work can be found at his website, www.regressiveantidote.net.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Watch ignorant Mummers and Joey Vento make an ill-conceived half-argument on immigration

This is just hard to believe, the B. Love Strutters' 2009 Mummers Parade entry, which somehow escaped my attention until now. What's a parade without fanning the fires of hatred?



I should point out that although Ray's Happy Birthday Bar is the official meeting point for B. Love, I have never seen a single person I know to be a member in the bar when doing the quiz on three different nights over the past two years and change. They just appear to have meetings there. I suspect like most Mummers these days - and Joey Vento for that matter - many of these guys actually live in the 'burbs and come into Philadelphia only when the city can do something convenient for them.

Yes, that's a guy in an Obama mask -
blackface having been struck from the parade only within my lifetime - throwing green cards (which in reality are any number of colors) to the heathen A-rabs, filthy Mexicans and sneaky Chinamen who want to steal your jobs, make babies and order cheesestakes in Uighur, Tamil, Albanian... basically anything but English. This isn't "satire", it's the way these skinheads-with-hair see the world.

This
gutter bigot asshole gave the parade $40,000 in a public way in exchange for a platform for his divisive politics of hate, which is his marketing plan. I'm going to puke if I hear one more moron talk about how much "charity" money Vento gives. All this sick fuck does is use the deaths of cops and soldiers for his marketing purposes. There's a big white racist market out there, and Vento taps into it with relish. He rolls in it and carries around the smell. A cop shooting must make Joey jizz his pants; he can buy $50,000 worth of advertising in the local press with a $5,000 donation to a widow.

Hundreds of thousands of Philadelphia area small business owners quietly give tens of millions to causes that help people without dividing the community. There's not combined coverage on that to equal Vento's self-generated legend.

Vento simply hates Mexicans, the people who do Philadelphia's shitwork, actually live in the city and have saved the goddamn "Italian" Market - which provides Vento with a living - from being an empty ghetto. Joey Vento hates that
La Lupe is on the same block as him and that their Mexican food kicks his Johnny-come-lately cheesesteak stand's ass in quality. Vento lives in New Jersey. If he really loved the city he'd live here, and be paying property tax on his residence.

Here's proof that Vento doesn't give a flying fuck about immigrants learning English. I
attempted contacting Geno's about a donation to the ESL program at the Nationalities Service Center where I used to volunteer as a teacher. (I also kicked some anti-immigrant ass at a Johnny Goodtimes quizzo for this purpose.) I never received any response whatever from them, not even the courtesy of a "no." This charity works to solve a problem that Vento makes money from complaining about loudly. Solving that problem takes an issue away from him, and wouldn't sell well with his racist customer base. "Wait... help the Mexicans learn English?!" Does... not... compute.

Fuck Joey Vento, fuck B. Love and fuck Geno's, the poxy little overpriced tourist trap stand where neon goes to die. Here's something you can do for us, Vento, how 'bout you put out some porta-potties so that your drunken customers stop peeing on your neighbors' steps? And you know what, Joey? I've heard you speak what you call English, and you're not very good at it. If we made citizenship dependent upon an English test, Vento would be the first deported. Problem is, what other country would take him? For starters Joey needs to learn when to use quote marks. There is no reason whatever to throw quotes around "Speak English" unless you mean that ironically.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

?

Sunday, September 13, after the Sunday Night Football game ends
Lyon's Den 848 S. 2nd St.
(near 2nd & Christian Sts.)
Subject Round: FOOTBALL

Monday, September 14, 9:00pm
Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
1200 E. Passyunk Ave.
(near 9th & Federal Sts.)
Subject Round: MYSTERIES

Tuesday, September 15, 9:00pm
El Camino Real
1040 N. 2nd St.
(2nd St. below Girard Ave.)
Subject Round: HOLLYWOOD BABYLON

Wednesday, September 16, 7:00pm
12 Steps Down
9th & Christian Sts.Subject Round: FAMOUS STREETS
Note half-hour earlier start. This week I promise I will do the actual Famous Streets round.

Wednesday, September 16, 9:15pm
The Institute
12th & Green Sts.
Subject Round: PHILADELPHIA
All-new quiz north of Market St. There will be food and drink specials TBA; first place wins a generous $30 certificate!

Thursday, September 17, 9:00pm
The Draught Horse
Broad St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.
(Temple University campus)
Subject Round: WORLD WAR II: THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL
Here's the deal: We have a large number of undergrads for the quiz this year, and management thinks 9pm is as late as we should be starting the event. What I'll do is start shortly thereafter, not rush things, and catch anyone who wants to play up on the first two rounds on the side if you get there before I do Round 3. I think this will work.
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Monday, September 7, 2009

My weekend rummaging tales of triumph and woe

My two primary vices are records and books. My apartment is heaving with collections (or perhaps accumulations) of thousands of both, and for many years a large portion of my disposable income has gone into rummaging used record and book stores, flea markets and, yes, even perhaps your trash for prime selections of the rare, strange and wonderful.

I had a mixed bag of expe
riences this Saturday, and I'm going to share those whether you like it or not. I'm sure anyone who likes to dig through used stacks of anything can relate. I know some of you are hardcore record and book "collector scum" (as MaximumRocknRoll used to call us) yourselves, and others of you I imagine have lots of Pokemon pogs in the closet.

And hey, feel free to share tales of your best finds and best almost-finds of whatever you collect in the Comments section. I've been carrying this blog's content solo for far too long now.

On the plus side, I scored some cool items at an upper-tier flea/antiques market. For $1 I got a Sherlockian quarterly journal of the Baker Street Irregulars from 1967. For just $2 I purchased a National Lampoon "B[r]e[a]st of... Sexual Humor" from the mid-70s, in nice shape too. I got a Laff pin-up bikini magazine from 1952 for a five-spot, and spent the same on a '50s hardback "adult" (although rather tame by today's standards) cartoon baseball book, on a humor hardback in the Peck's Bad Boy series from 1903, and also spent a Lincoln on a tongue-in-cheek 1907 book of supposedly ancient Persian (but actually contemporary Manhattan) courting advice called Maxims of Methuselah.

That's a nice day's haul for $23.


I was also able to get nice original LP copies of Ten Years After's Cricklewood Green and two
Richard and Mimi Fariña albums, all for $1.50@. These were at a thrift store, about which more below.

On the downside we have the Ones That Got Away, the tales of woe I can't shut up about, and with
which you might be able to empathize.

I was about 5-10 minutes shy of the biggest jazz album score of my life. I'm not a big jazz guy, but I know a few cool things when I see them. Parked in front of 4 big boxes of freshly arrived LPs, presumably from the same Baby Boomer-aged source, at a thrift store I habituate - and which seldom gets any cool records in - was an enormously wide senior citizen and his equally wide daughter. Two lifetimes of Whoppers stored as flank meat literally boxed me out as I helplessly watched the duo work their way though a corner-stored stash of LPs. I could only flip through their leavin's, which wasn't much.

Father and daughter were a bit of a musical, if not culinary, Jack Sprat and wife. Father could listen to no rock, whereas daughter could listen to no jazz. They worked as a team handing each other albums from the opposite genre at a quick pace. But father took almost every jazz album and put it in his "keep" pile, while daughter did the same with the rock. At first I thought that both were rejecting almost every album, but I almost lost a hand trying to check out what was his "keep" pile when I mistook it for the leftovers. Short of assault and battery, I had to wait for them to be finis
hed with each box, minus 90% of its contents, and hand the leftovers back to me.

I had the distinct impression that the operation was hurried along because I appeared to be exactly what I was - the interloping bastard who arrived five minutes too late and who was about to pick out all the good stuff.

Most of the rock stock was pretty common and didn't look very valuable or interesting. I think I scored the albums I did because the daughter didn't know who the hell Ten Years After or Richard and Mimi were. She kept a lot of common and pretty beat up Doors, Stones, Beatles etc. I only coveted her Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, which looked nicer than my copy at home.

The father, about 65 or so, killed me though. He put his stack of about 90 LPs in a cart, and did so without checking the condition of the vinyl on any of them, which I thought was a pretty rookie move. I then watched him wheel the cart into a different corner of the store and then begin checking the condition on the vinyl of each. I was actually dealing with a ruthless operator. He did so with his back to me, shielding the haul, and it looked pretty much like Gollum inspecting his Precioussss. They must have been in good shape, because he put precisely one LP back and kept the rest.

With nothing to lose I just stood next to him and hoped maybe to be tossed some crumbs. Unfortunately the old man knew his jazz. The item I wanted most was what appeared to be a very clean copy of an original Thelonius Monk LP, which I imagine you could probably throw up on the wall of any Greenwich Village vinyl shop for well over $100. There were two Nina Simone records that looked pretty desirable, and a host of clean copies of hard bop and free jazz from the '50s and '60s that I suspect many into that stuff would soil themselves over.

Fortunately for the old timer there didn't appear to be any Sun Ra; for clean, original Sun Ra LPs at $1.50 a pop I would have had to have grabbed an unabridged dictionary - he set up right near the reference book section - and caved in his skull.

At the same store I also grabbed a 1966 paperback of Velikovsky's crackpot "non-fiction" Earth in Upheaval for about 30 cents, so all was not gloom.

The second tale of woe happened at an overpriced antique shoppe. I was flipping through a very cool century-old travel book when a rigid, thin and aged cardboard-ish bookmark fell out. It had the image of a locomotive printed at the top and a title something to the effect of "A Railroad Boy's Plea." The rest of the card, printed only on that one side, has this incredibly dark, maudlin poem about how the scruffy urchin who handed you this card was once a normal lad, but now with his legs all crippled up - the word "cripple" was actually in there - he'd never have the chance to frolic like the other, normal boys, and is condemned to ride the rails in search of alms. So, in effect, spare some change. At the bottom of the card, in a different font, it read "Please pay what you will." No date on it. Spend enough time on just about any urban subway on Earth and a person who might or might not be deaf will hand you something similar today.

The word "frolic" and the phrase "normal boys" were actually used too. This was a better than average find, depending on your view of the universe.

Now, this wasn't specifically for sale and the store didn't even know they had it. It was in a book no one had opened for decades, and frankly the bibliophile in me was a little offended that evidently no one who worked there had even bothered to open the book when the store bought it. There were a couple of other unmarked sheets used as bookmarks that fell out when I opened it that made that much clear.

I wasn't buying this book at $50, so I started looking at a few others thinking that if i could pick something up for cheap I could throw the bookmark in and give myself a bonus.

There was a Lowell Thomas (a fave of mine!) kids' book listed at $16, cool but I thought way overpriced (and I was right - available on the web for $4 in similar condition.) And an exceptionally cool turn of the (last) century magic trick manual was listed at $75. Basically, nothing in the store was reasonably priced and nothing else was interesting, so there was to be no carrying the thing out in a book on the sly, the same way it came into the store.

Here I made the fatal mistake of trying to go the honest route, the sneaky bastard route having been exhausted. Approaching the counter, the woman asked "See something you like?" Yes I did... and I explained finding the bookmark. I started out pretty cheerful and got progressively more annoyed.

In the past when I've found little bits of ephemera in books or record sleeves, it's been typical for the shopkeepers to either say "Awww, keep it!" or "Gimmie a buck (or a quarter!) for that, that's cool." There's no obligation of course on their end, but usually when you're in a shop and interested in something the people working there didn't even know they had, they consider it a bonus/burden, and are happy to get rid of it.

Not this woman. She said at first she couldn't sell it to me because it wasn't priced. I asked then if she could give it to me; no dice. She called the owner on her cell to ask what to charge me. I said I'd give her a buck for it, plus applicable sales tax if that's what it came to.

The owner apparently asked for a description of the item, with increasing detail, because the woman behind the counter read the whole poem and described the train. She came back with a price of $12.

I suggested that I could have bought a whole darn 70 year old book for $16, thrown the bookmark in and they wouldn't have known the difference. The reply via the phone was that it was hard to price without looking at it.

I responded that she just gave me a price of $12 without looking at it, so this didn't much hold water. I also seriously doubted, without sharing this out loud, that the woman who owns the shop ever priced anything on more than a whim - I saw no computer behind the counter of this little storefront for example, a sign that the internet never gets consulted - and I further doubted that there are well established prices in any Railroad Boys' Pleas market.

I suggested charging me what the (unpriced) old postcards at the counter went for, assuming this would be a buck or two. The response was that the postcards went for $4-$10 each, apparently at the whim of the counter operator. But for me, having alerted them to an item they were unaware of? $12.

To counter this I raised the issue that no one knew the darn thing existed until I alerted them to it three minutes ago, and since anyone buying the book would have walked out with it for free I deserved some price break as any price at all was pure profit.

The counter-retort was that the unknown bookmark would have come with the purchase of a book, and therefore would not have been given away for free.

My counter-counter-argument was to ask if I could have the bookmark or any other item priced at $12 as a gift with the purchase of any book. Apparently not; the bookmark now cost at least $10, whether I bought anything else or not.

It was a bit like the reverse-haggling scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian. I told them to keep the damn bookmark.

In most of the world's countries, when you express interest in an item an independent shopkeeper will start high, bargain lower, and not let you walk away at the end without making the sale. Here I get the impression that some shopkeepers - usually ones with quaint shoppes - don't really want to sell you anything. Some of them just like being surrounded by their stuff, and if you intend to take anything home, well, that's gonna cost ya. Instead of things having a fixed, reasonable price like at any normal retail store, it's as if I stopped you on the street and asked how much it'd cost to buy the pants right off your ass, right this minute.

The worst place for this I know in Philadelphia is the vintage store near Frank's at 13th and Pine. That woman's open about 6 hours/week, follows you around like you were intending to shoplift, and expects you to come in knowing what item you want without browsing, which is somehow interpreted as a waste of her time.

If you see the railroad item I described above in an area antique shop newly wrapped in plastic with a new cardboard backing and priced at $30, I wouldn't be the least little bit surprised. I tried checking out prices on eBay and couldn't locate an item of that sort, but maybe I'm using the wrong keywords. Anyone know..? She'll likely open all the other books for the first time ever too, just to see what marketable goodies tumble out.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Has anyone seen this movie?

It promises a "howling holocaust of hilarity." Some 21 years after Auschwitz was liberated, someone writing the copy for a comedy thought the word "holocaust" might lighten the mood.
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back to school with the expanded quiz schedule

Sunday, September 6, 9:00pm
Lyon's Den 848 S. 2nd St.
(near 2nd & Christian Sts.)

Subject Round: WONDERFUL WORLD OF WORK - LABOR DAY SPECIAL


Monday,
September 7, 9:00pm
Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
1200 E. Passyunk Ave.

(near 9th & Federal Sts.)
Subject Round: FAMOUS RAYS

Let's try this, seeing as my Mondays were free.


Tuesday, September 8, 9:00pm

El Camino Real
1040 N. 2nd St.
(2nd St. below Girard Ave.)

Subject Round: LATIN AMERICA


Wednesday, September 9, 7:00pm

12 Steps Down
9th & Christian Sts.
Subject Round: FAMOUS STREETS
Note half-hour earlier start.

Wednesday, September 9, 9:15pm

The Institute

2th & Green Sts.

Subject Round: ROCK MUSIC

All-new quiz north of Market St. There will be food and drink specials TBA; first place wins a generous $30 certificate!


Thursday, September 10, see below about time

The Draught Horse
Broad St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.
(Temple University campus)

Subject Round: FAMOUS COMEBACKS
Here's the deal: there's a big group of about 40 people who've reserved for dinner and are playing the quiz after, and expect a quiz in the 9ish range. I know some of you can't do this 'til later owing to class scheduling. I'll try to get this to happen after 9, maybe get anyone coming a bit later caught up, and we can hack out a regular time for the event thereafter.
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