Archive for December, 2017

When Coffee Shops Were Illegal

December 28, 2017

Regardless of taste, I’m eternally grateful for Starbucks. During the era of diner coffee slowing boiling into bitterness in glass Bunn carafes, when from coast to coast in America we drank nasty cheap mud, I moved to New Orleans and got used to the real aromatic delicious brew. Not from Starbucks, which wasn’t there yet, but from the centuries old tradition of small coffee houses, from Cafe du Monde to Coffee on Royal. Then I moved to Atlanta and felt thrown back into time. There were no specialty coffee shops in Atlanta. In fact, and this is for real, coffee shops were prohibited by law within the city limits. It turns out that during the 50’s and 60’s coffee shops became synonymous with beatniks, hippies and race mixing and as such were viewed as a danger to decent society and closed down en masse. When I moved there, “Gentlemen’s Clubs” advertised their “heaven and hell dungeons” on giant billboards, but you couldn’t get a decent cup of coffee lest your morals be imperiled. Thank god for Starbucks. With a major metropolitan market and the Olympics on their way, the coffee kings used their quiet diplomacy to convince the city leaders to strike the anti-coffee prohibition from the books. By the time I left there were a half dozen Starbucks and twice that of their competition, and I could walk down the street with my five pound Sunday paper and work through a couple of cups while reading it front to back.


What the “Conservatives” will reap

December 5, 2017

Republicans just went all in for Roy Moore, the molester of 14 year old girls. Evangelicals were already there. What does this mean for the future of those institutions?

Think about the generation that is currently forming their political and social viewpoints. For centuries, the overriding assumption in this country has been that minorities are thuggish, incurious, lazy, driven by emotion rather than reason, have poor self control, and can’t stop themselves from a downward spiral because they are slaves to their crudest impulse. This is all hogwash, but my point is that it was a default perception that every successful minority had to overcome. We’ve now had 8 years of a cool, calm and collected thinker in the White House, a minority, followed by 10 months of an old white man who is thuggish, incurious, lazy… well you get the idea. This is the template that anyone over 15 or 16 is going to have as their default.

On the Republican Party side, since St. Ronnie and his Apostle Jerry Falwell, the default assumption is that the Party is fiscally responsible, will protect America from its enemies, will champion moral causes, are champions of the working class etc. But any fresh-eyed observer, anyone who is forming their worldview post 2008, knows this is all crap. Again, their default perspective will have shifted.

And on the religious side, whoa. Let’s just say that the more times a day some phony says “Jesus” the more likely they are to be a supporter of a pussy grabbing racist thug and his child molesting pervert in Alabama.

This shift in perception will feed upon itself. Decent people will move away from the Republicans, the Evangelicals and all the other Christian phonies. And by rallying around the decadent and immoral, the thuggish and the stupid, by actively defending them and promoting them, those institutions will become magnets for perverts, liars and other  bottom feeders.

Don’t get me wrong. As far as I know there is nothing in, say, Evangelical Christianity itself that would make someone more immoral, rather than less. But any institution that becomes known for sheltering wrongdoers becomes attractive to other wrongdoers. And, for example, middle aged men whose primary goal in life is to chase after young teenaged girls or boys (or worse) will have no moral qualms about wrapping themselves in the cloak of Evangelism or Republicanism or whatever else they feel will have the suckers defending them when they get caught.