Signal Wave

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Hey, everybody!

Here's what I'm listening to lately:

One of the all-time biggest-hearted feelgood songs I've ever heard. Also very sharp. Look at the first stanza:

They put a parking lot on a piece of land
Where the supermarket used to stand
Before that they put up a bowling alley
On the site that used to be the local palais
That's where the big bands used to come and play
My sister went there on a Saturday

That's one of the best summations of the decline of British and American culture from the 50s to the 80s that I've ever heard. Look at the land use. First the land is used for a "local palais," a dance hall where people come together every Saturday to dance to live music. Community, romance, art, fun. It gets replaced by a bowling alley, removing the art and most of the romance--but at least people are still coming together to have fun. Then the bowling alley is torn down and replaced by a supermarket. Art and romance remain gone, fun is removed, and community is weakened. It's now incidental to the actual purpose of the place, which is not human connection or fun, but commerce. Finally, the land gets used for a parking lot. What used to be a place for dancing has become a place for parking your car.

The day they knocked down the palais
My sister stood and cried.
The day they knocked down the palais
Part of my childhood died, just died.

The first part of that stanza is fictional; Ray Davies did indeed write the song for his real-life sister, who gave him the gift of his first guitar. But she never saw the palais knocked down:

"Come Dancing" is a tribute to the Davies brothers' sister Rene. Living in Canada with her reportedly abusive husband, the 31-year-old Rene was visiting her parental home in Fortis Green at the time of Ray Davies' thirteenth birthday—21 June 1957—on which she surprised him with a gift of the Spanish guitar he had tried to persuade his parents to buy him. That evening, Rene, who had a weak heart as a result of a childhood bout of rheumatic fever, suffered a fatal heart attack while dancing at the Lyceum ballroom.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_Dancing_(song)

That evening, Rene decided to go dancing with friends at the Lyceum Ballroom in the West End. This was not, in the opinion of her doctor or her mother, a good idea: Rene had had rheumatic fever as a child, and it had weakened her heart. But, as Ray would write later in his autobiography, she had always loved to dance, and her life was hard and her violent husband very far away; she was not inclined to deny herself a cherished pleasure. On the dance floor of the Lyceum that evening Rene collapsed and died, as the big band played a tune from Oklahoma!

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/jacobs/come-dancing/

Not a bad way to die, though too soon.

What I'm currently watching:

street food.jpg

I strongly recommend this series, both because it details many traditions of delicious food, and because it is, very much a story of the 99%. These people are working harder than some people could probably imagine. All of them begin with a story of hardship of some kind, with struggle, without any sense of real negativism. This is some of the most honest television I've seen in a long while.

I think this series might have been motivated by somebody becoming aware of an international crackdown on street food vendors--in Japan, most of them have already been driven off the streets; in Thailand, they are currently driving them out. They are probably safe in India, because almost no one who isn't rich or a professional cook actually has a kitchen in India.

Sarah Orleans Reed of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) sees the Street Food series as a crucial wake-up call:

Netflix’s hit new series “Street Food” is more than a glimpse at the world’s finest street-side chefs. While other shows, most notably, Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” have featured the down-home goodness of street cuisine, “Street Food” may be the first to acknowledge the threat street-food vendors face in increasingly exclusionary cities.

Take Bangkok: It’s no surprise that the city’s globally beloved roadside vendors are the first featured in “Street Food.” But since 2014, Thailand’s military government has waged an open battle on the city’s street vendors, forcing workers to abandon their businesses or work in the shadows.

At Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), we analyzed news on vendors from six continents for 18 months and the results show an alarming portrait of widespread hostility toward these workers across Africa, Asia, and Latin America; in cities from Bangkok to Buenos Aires, Lima to Lusaka. These national and local governments enact policies that ban or criminalize these jobs that workers need and services consumers demand. That’s why Netflix’s “Street Food” is timely.

https://www.citylab.com/perspective/2019/05/netflix-street-food-vendors-...

It's not surprising that street food is under siege. Mom-and-pop shops run by people with little money who become successful through hard work and the long perfection of traditional recipes, with loyal customers from all levels of society, all jostling elbows together eating outside...well. That's not precisely what keeps the gears of corporate capitalism working, is it?

May all those vendors live long and prosper, and their customers eat well.

How are you all today?

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Comments

QMS's picture

Dancing is a good way to go.

One of our local roach coaches caters to the Portuguese community. Roy's mama and avo do the casserole cooking in the old family kitchens in their triple decker in Fall River.. Some traditional, mostly comfort food with a hot grill for burgers, chicken and chorizo. He scribbles people's purchases and the workers square up come payday. No interest. Mostly cash. Now that's anti-capitalist!

Listening to 'The Coast' KOZT 95.3 FM Fort Bragg, CA. Their program 'Wee small hours' runs thru the night commercial free till 6 am west coast time, so I get to hear a lot of great tunes till 9 am, being on the east coast.

Cheers!

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7 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@QMS

Are you, also, on the left coast? Sounds like CA, at least, has not driven its street vendors underground. Odd, because I would have expected them to, actually, in the land of Google and Feinstein.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

You don't see them disappear from downtown, those have guaranteed client bases... instead anywhere that people are hanging on, near the edge, they're going out of business. I'm seeing parking lots devoid of their presence again. Seeing more homeless encampments.

Which I think is a perfect metaphor as well for the way things are going.

In RL, things are going ok. Still want to throw my daughter's music teacher through a wall. This time it's for 12 emails about a 6 hour marathon "Volunteer" opportunity to raise money for Nike. Yep, all going to be done on facebook. All the parents need to sign up and support their student! With no respect due whatsoever, I will happily tell the guy to fuck off. My daughter is a musician is SPITE of his money grubbing, pathetic emphasis on everything EXCEPT playing their damn instruments. He has been telling the kids for years that any music question other than playing his songs will be covered in "Music Theory" which my daughter doesn't want to take because it means she would have to interact with him MORE. Ugh.

Such is the state of Corporate Education.

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5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

You don't see them disappear from downtown, those have guaranteed client bases... instead anywhere that people are hanging on, near the edge, they're going out of business.

AggressiveAggressiveAggressiveAggressiveAggressiveAggressiveAggressiveAggressive

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

Assuming she doesn't rent her instrument from the public schools, like I did, she doesn't need them. Getting instruction is good, of course; it's good to have teachers. But it sounds like that guy's not teaching her anyway.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal And he dislikes me as much as I dislike him, I'm sure. No teacher likes a squeaky wheel who complains about the curriculum. Which is why I confine my criticisms to fundraising and ticket prices. Smile

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4 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Shahryar's picture

@detroitmechworks

I hear that famous block of carts (SW Alder) is going, or maybe it's already gone.

https://www.wweek.com/news/2018/12/20/goodbye-alder-street-food-cart-pod...

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2 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@Shahryar to fork over ten bucks for lunch anymore. Which is why the food carts used to cost five bucks, but then, somehow the price kept rising, and people realized that they could just go into a restaurant for the price they were paying.

If I ever opened a food vendor I'd go with cheap and effective for getting through a work day. Preferably portable. Too many folks are going with stuff obviously geared for sit down meals, which is the opposite of what people are looking for when going to a food cart. If you need a fork for it, probably a bad choice, IMHO. (My favorite food cart lost me when they increased their portion size to the point where it had to be sit down to enjoy it. Not FUN to eat there anymore, and that was kinda the point...)

So, apologies if I'm shitting on anybody's dream of opening a food cart/restaurant. Just being honest about the fact I can't afford to go out to dinner much. The Costco Hotdog soda combo is still the best deal in town, IMHO. I'm certainly not going to fork out 8-10 bucks for a new type of meal that I'm not even sure about. Last time I found Eggshells in it, and I know that I didn't order that... You take your chances with the carts, I know, but these days, there seems to be a definate attempt to start a 'Branding" at every single cart, and it just gets... ugh...

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3 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

enhydra lutris's picture

a lot of places here in CA. I can't guesstimate how much is tradition but taco trucks and helado carts have been around a long time, plus wandering tamale ladies selling from carts or baskets, door-to-door even, from waaay back, hot dog carts and pretzel carts too paved the way so that we now have food trucks (and carts) containing every imaginable sort of cuisine. I am sure that there are plenty of places where this is not the case, but it is definitely big along the coast. In the bay area there are even phone apps to tell folks where their favorite taco truck is at all times.

have a good one.

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

Of course, I like mine in more of a Caribbean style (without chili or a bunch of sauce dumped across the top), but you can't really go wrong with masa flour. Yum!

up
5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Not that it's still actually morning, here.

up
5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem