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Saturday, August 16, 2008

QUESTION: Bring It Back

The local newsweekly/arts publication Metroland had a civer story last week called Bring It Back, things "vaudeville to roller disco and trolleys to pterodactyls" that the writers want to see return. I'll tell you my three, and you tell me yours. You are not limited to three, BTW.

1. Single-screen movie theaters. Generally, they were not only much larger screens, but the place was more ornate as well. Love to see films at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, not that far from Albany, NY. Even if the movie's not good, the experience is still worthwhile.

2. The Ed Sullivan Show. Yes, I know Ed's dead. I'm talking about something as eclectic as the Sullivan program, where you wade through the guy spinning plates to see the singer you really want to see, and realize that you sorta LIKED the guy spinning plates, either genuinely or as kitsch.

3. Public civility. Yes, I'm old-fashioned, but I really HATE it when people on the bus/on the street curse in front of my four-year old daughter. Yeah, yeah, "she'll learn it eventually", and "everybody curses" (not true, BTW) and "it's just words" (true in a George Carlinesque way, but still), blah, blah, blah. It still bugs me. My aversion in that situation should be differentiated from language in music, books, movies, blogs, etc., where one generally can choose to be, or not.
Sidebar: I've said this before, but the overuse of cursing minimizes the power of the words. If/when I say "F*** you!" to you, you'll know that I'm royally p.o.ed.
From, this Madonna quote: "I always thought I should be treated like a star." Shouldn't we all feel that way, really? Madonna turns 5-0 today.



Uthaclena said...

Single-screen theaters and public civility, yeah, let's hear it for those fine fine anachronisms!!

My three:

1) Driver Courtesy: you'd think that they had repealed the laws requiring a driver to signal before turning (signaling while turning just ain't good enough); adjusting your speed to allow other vehicles to enter from side-streets; and, get off the d@m# cell phone!!

2) Naming Civic Arenas after the city or historical reference: It's not the "Times-Union Arena" any more than it was the "PEPSI Arena; it's the Knickerbocker Arena!! I've seen the PNY Bank Stadium somewhere, and a whole host of corporate names; can the "Viagra Towers" be far behind?

3) Habeus Corpus in Federal Law!! No, I don't believe them when they say we have 'reasonable suspicion' or 'secret evidence,' they have given me no reason to 'trust' them, that they're looking out for our collective security. Show us the evidence, damnit!!

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

MY THREE THINGS WOULD BE: 1)Full Service Gas Stations, considering the price we are paying for gas, one should get some service. 2)Would like to see them bring back the weekly tv show "The Hit Parade", counting down the hits to finally the number one for that week. and finally 3) Clerks and sales people that properly count back your change when paying in cash---and whatever happened to getting discounts for Cash?

Roger Green said...

Gary-An old boss of mine was complaining 25 years ago about clerks and change. When the register went down. He wanted to buy milk (99 cents) and a newspaper (35 cents) both non-taxable in NYS. Could he give the clerk $1.34 and walk out? He could not, because the clerk could not calculate it.

Move to Oregon (or New Jersey):
Why is it illegal to pump your own gas in New Jersey?

The Garden State is one of two states where it's illegal to fill 'er up yourself. Only gas station owners or employees can pump gas in New Jersey and Oregon -- "the only two states atavistic, sadistic, and masochistic enough to still require thousands of 'professionals' to waste time, money, and inconvenience customers," according to one columnist.

The ban on self-service gas stations is a highly combustible issue and makes for some heated debates. New Jersey passed the law making it illegal to pump your own gas in 1949. At the time, legislators felt it was too dangerous to have untrained people dispensing such a flammable liquid.

That may have been sensible at the time, but pumping gas is much safer today, and some motorists feel the ban is outdated and needs to go. Opponents of the law argue that removing it would lower the cost of gas and make refueling much quicker and more convenient. Proponents of the ban argue that it creates jobs and customers like full service.

Whatever your position on the matter, next time you're in Jersey and need to refuel, take the opportunity to relax in the comfort of your car while the gas station attendant does the dirty work.

Uthaclena said...

Actually, Gary Olde Dhude, there's a gas station local to me that is offering an 8 cent discount for cash payments, and I recently saved $1000.- on tree removal service by paying with "Dead Presidents!"

Cash is good.

Uthaclena said...

roger green, aye, clerks that can't calculate are endemic. I recall an incident at a fast-food restaurant where the charge was something like $6.13, and I gave the guy at the register a ten, a single, and fifteen cents, and he kept trying to give me the single dollar back. Finally a gray-hair who apparently had come out of retirement, snarled at him "Give him five dollars and two cents!!" and he shrugged and did, but obviously had no clue as to why he was doing so.