I literally haven’t been to this Jack In The Box since the 1990’s.
In fact, as I recalled something that happened there to a friend and me once, I was doubtful whether the restaurant was still open. Seems the urban landscape in much of SoCal has changed drastically over the past few decades, a frantic obscene architectural evolution which has laid waste to a great many structures that existed more than 20 years ago. Chances are that if something was standing or doing business 30 years ago in this coastal hellhole, it is now gone, or revamped, poof, like a puff of smoke, replaced by the latest, stylish, infinitely more trendy monument to modern consumerism.
Alas, a quick visit to Google Earth confirmed that the Jack In The Box of my own private lore was indeed still standing (at least as of May, 2017, the imagery date).
The moral of the story here is that low-brow greasy overnight food is a persistent market that cannot be denied, regardless of the changing culinary motifs of the day. Jack In The Box ain’t goin’ nowhere.
Anyway, there was an afternoon, a Wednesday afternoon.
I was unemployed at the time, having lost my job the previous October. My friend, Joe, had a job but I believe Wednesdays were one of his days off. As we liked to do, we ventured out this Wednesday afternoon with big boozy plans in our eyes. As with all good drinking excursions, food must be consumed in preparation for said alcoholic activities. And as everyone knows, and one of the reasons Jack In The Box thrives, all food consumed adjacent to heavy drinking must be greasy, salty and ludicrously filling. This applies to food consumed before and after a good depraved drinkathon. We chose to do our greasy eating before hitting the bars. We might very well have chosen to do it after and thus join the cacophonous insanity that settles upon Jack In The Box restaurants at 2am. But since we had the day off and time was eagerly on our side, we chose to eat first. Since we were headed to Pasadena, we stopped at the Temple City Box, pictured above, which was located strategically on the way. It was the lunch hour and the restaurant was relatively crowded.
Joe and me ordered our food (separately as we weren’t in any financial condition to be spotting anyone but ourselves, especially for such luxuries as Jack In The Box cuisine) and settled in to gobble up our alcohol-diluting greasebombs. My back was facing the front door and Joe, sitting across from me, had a full frontal view of the glass door. As were eating and talking shit, invigorated by the excitement of our upcoming booze outing, Joe became distracted by something behind me. He laughed mockingly. “What’s up with that old Lady?” he wondered.
I turned around and saw what he was looking at. A decrepit elderly woman with a full head of silver hair was frantically waving her arms and making contorted faces at us from outside at the other side of the glass door. I began laughing too, unkindly, because I was. We both laughed as we watched the lady gesticulate crazily while making bezerk faces in what we presumed was an insane fit of geriatric dementia. She was toying with us and we returned the favor. Or so we thought.
Joe’s expression suddenly became serious and he mumbled something before jumping from his chair and running toward the door. I continued laughing at the old lady’s flailing antics. I was a bit slower than Joe. He ran to the door and opened it quickly. The old lady thanked him as she entered Jack In The Box to eat.
“She was asking for us to let her in! She was too old and couldn’t open the door herself,” Joe exclaimed as he sat back down. I stopped laughing. I was hungry and just wanted to drink. In fact, it was while were settling into a Pasadena bar a couple of hours later that police in riot gear kicked everyone out and closed Colorado Boulevard down as a “precaution.”
It was April 29, 1992, the first day of the Rodney King riots.
I devoted most of my vacation day to cleaning up my computer files and directories. Not exactly the most scintillating way to spend a day off for most normie types, but I had a great time. Would do again.
I found this old photo I took at the FYF festival here in Los Angeles in September, 2012. There was a large brush fire burning in the mountains (it was dry, arid hell-season here) and the ensuing smoke eruption which hanged lazily in the sky looked ominous, even apocalyptic. This particular photo contrasted a wimpy-looking hipster attendee quizzically studying the scene. Well-timed visual dichotomy, I felt. The photo has lingered around my hard drives for the last 5 years and I thought to convert it to a meme today.
Not all days off go to waste, and I bring you…hipstergeddon.
Well I don’t, nor have I ever, presumed to be anything more than what I am. Which is basically a two-bit hustling blogger with no real name or cred to speak of. Blogging is a fun frolic in the mental hay, but it does not consume my life.This digital train wreck of mine has been meandering the surfscape since August, 2009. A long-ass time; a lot of rambling and inanities, and one day I will perhaps take it more seriously, or maybe I’ll simply tire of the whole rigmarole. The thing is, if you set personal goals or thresholds for yourself in the realm of blogging, it is easy to get diverted from the matters at hand and frustrated, and I imagine a lot of prospective bloggers get bored and dismayed, and just drop the whole activity altogether, especially if using one of the many free blogging platforms available. It’s easy to walk away when you don’t have a monetary stake in your diversion.
Point being that occasionally I look inwards and consider this whole blogging adventure anew, and I always, always, find more amusement at hand than the slightest modicum of concern. And I resist all attempts by my ego to fluff up my bullshit beyond what it is. Bullshit. My opinion, my cyber-corner.
Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the Oval Office, which began with his notorious lambasting of illegal aliens in the Summer of 2015, has been the greatest source of fodder for this blog. Too much so, it seems at times, but in keeping with my free form, no fucks-to-give approach, I have spent countless column space devoted to all things Trump.
Recently, I read something that caused me to perform a search query here in order to refresh my memory of something I penned about Donald Trump during that chaotic period following his announcement for POTUS candidacy.
The results were plentiful. The P.T. Barnum narrative apparently struck a chord with me.
Beginning in July, 2015, on the coattails of Trump’s announcement. I was assuredly not on board the Trump train yet. I was a detractor for several months before I saw the light. Essentially I called Donald Trump a sucker, and by extension, anyone who supported him. My exact words:
By November, I reconsidered. And now it was I who was the sucker. I wrote (with another allusion to P.T. Barnum):
And none of this has changed, but, I am announcing, reticently, that I will support Donald Trump in his bid for President of the United States in the 2016 election.
I will support Donald Trump, the political rabble-rouser.
I will support that Godforsaken hair mop and the incessant trigger-happy stream of schoolyard provocation that pours out his mouth insofar as it clears out the staid, immutable political quagmire that has become American politics.
I support Donald Trump, the catalyst to action and awareness on the part of those so blind, they don’t know of the other world we, their humble constituents, live in. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that any action is better than none.
I do not support Donald Trump, the person, the politician, the P.T. Barnum lowest-common-denominator entertainer. I do not support the superficial, sloganeering, materialistic hedonist. I do not support the hot-aired figurehead and pop culture utilitarian whore and psychological manipulator whose only bottom line is Donald Trump and his nausea-inducing bling persona.
The American political world is a repressed, elitist swarm of insulated symbols in smart suits who do the bidding of the 1%-ers which involves implementing and supporting policy largely adverse to the well-being of most Americans. American politicians smile at us, beg for our allegiance, but feel absolutely no compunction about selling our dignity and sovereignty down the river once the bankers and corporate elites come knocking and demanding inequality for the sake of superficial egalitarianism.
Donald Trump is a billionaire showman who, innately, is no different. I expect nothing to change, in terms of federal policy, but I do expect that, should he become POTUS, there will be a sea change of alterations of the cloistered political mentality that subsumes the hallways of Washington D.C. In familiar parlance, his chaotic, ghetto presence (and Donald Trump is the ultimate ghetto politician) will “stir up things” in the national capitol and perhaps, this is a good thing.
By January, 2016, I had gone full P.T. Barnum. Now I distinctly made the comparison, one which had nebulously filtered into my previous posts.
Donald Trump’s show is on the road and coming to your town soon. Forget that wrestling mayhem for a bit. Hunker down, pull out the popcorn, and enjoy some Presidential action, brought to you by Donald Trump and his band of merry marauders. Soon protesters, starved for attention, will begin to relish the spotlight that can predictably be acquired at any Trump rally, and they will show up in all their glory and the unwritten script will commence. Get off my stage! You’re outta here, go back to [fill in blank].
Oh, speaking of which, Trump’s enemy-of-the-stage clearing theatrics reminds me that famous (OK, not that famous) conservative talk-show host from local Los Angeles television back in the 1980’s – Wally George.
He was a firebrand, part right-wing basket case, part P.T. Barnum.
His show was called the Hot Seat and the ploy was that Wally George hosted guests who did not see eye-to-eye with his conservative views. This made for great entertainment. In many cases, the guests overstepped their bounds of propriety just enough to trigger a Wally George tirade which inevitably ended with him shooting up rapidly from his chair, waving his arm in a gesture of violent dismissal, and yelling at the guest, “Get off of my stage!”
It was a shtick, much like Trump’s, and the audience ate it up every time.
In fact, we looked forward to it. I suspect much of Donald Trump’s crowd/security antics feed off the same type of rapt amusement, and I don’t foresee such displays stopping anytime soon. In fact, the audience is clamoring for more.
The Barnum reference here was actually directed at Wally George, not Donald Trump, but the implication was blatantly obvious.
The final two posts that included the “P.T. Barnum” search string were in February and December of that year. I aired some dubious postulations in both, another liberty of running your own blog. It’s fun to guess out loud and there is no price to pay when you have no editors or board of directors. Freedom is nothing left to lose…
Obviously the guy is a sensationalist entertainer, a showman, PT Barnum, whatever. But what if, beneath that frat boy veneer, lives a sincere striving public servant? Can it be much worse than the other candidates who parse their speech but still manage to say nothing substantive?
It’s juvenile, glib, immature, this creature called Donald Trump. Well you know…maybe this is the new dialog. Maybe he is the first social media President of the United States, the first #hashtagpotus, the one who finally blurs the line between respectability and public revelation. The internet’s new paradigm has long eluded national politics, but the time looks as if it has arrived on Donald Trump’s bouffant.
I posted something in July, 2015, in which I likened Donald Trump to P.T. Barnum. I alluded to his supporters as “suckers.” Ironic…now I am one.
My analogy still stands, however.
I do believe Donald Trump is a masterful self-promoter and I especially believe he relishes the carnival atmosphere of this year’s Presidential election and the ensuing dust up. He thrives on the sideshow. The more chaotic, disordered and three-ring-circus the atmosphere and spectacle, the more giddy and energized he becomes. But this is exactly the personality and temperament required for a public official bent on inserting upheaval into a stagnate, frozen political system that has grown to thrive on apathy and consumerism and complacency.
If you want a Politician for the New Age to usher in change, he will need to be a bit on the hyperbolic and exaggerated side of the spectrum. A carnival barker.
As such, I don’t think he is beyond engaging in certain “dubious” practices perpetuated by his own hand if the ostensible aim is to inject his narrative through engaging bits of drama.
In fact, I sometimes wonder if the Jill Stein Show is his doing.
Lesser bloggers might think they had a direct hand in the whole affair, but I realize that is not the case here. I doubt I’m the genesis of anyone’s idea nor that I am horribly original. Besides, any sort of Donald Trump – P.T. Barnum analogy is not a far stretch and should have occurred to many.
I just happened to write about it.
Still…nyah nyah to the Hartford Courant, and specifically, to Jennifer Tucker. I was first!
Tucker is obviously still stuck in the leftist anti-Trump rut, awash in tired tropes peculiar to the elitist intelligentsia.
Trump and Barnum also both recognized that celebrity (their own, and their association with famous others) could be a key in the manufacture of success. They learned to profit from the vague notions of what counts as entertainment. Barnum deliberately created controversy: by producing a fake mermaid, for example — and then leaving it up to the public to judge the facts. He candidly stated, “Newspaper and social controversy … served my purpose ‘as a showman’ by keeping my name before the public.”
There are differences, however, in their approach to fraud, for Barnum mocked the illusions that made him rich. He exposed the artifice behind his hoaxes, such as how spirit photography was done. His 1865 book “The Humbugs of the World,” an exposé of “deceits and deceivers, in All Ages,” displayed self-awareness and irony, as well as a talent for fraud and the creation of deceptive appearances. Moreover, Whalen has noted, Barnum extended the tradition in Greek comedy in which an author’s building up illusion is punctured with self-conscious commentary about the difficulty of artistic creation.
Even more notably, Barnum cited truth-telling as a necessary condition for success in business: “Let your pledged word be sacred,” he wrote, since “Nothing is more valuable to a man in business than the name of always doing as he agrees.”
His was a captivating personality of course — and perhaps all the more so in comparison with his most prominent 21st-century heir, who takes Barnum’s talent for deception and fraud even farther — but with less of the irony and art (and minus the mermaids).
As usual, Liberals sell Trump short. He is no less “aware” of his showmanship than P.T. Barnum was, and his egregious public trolling is not conducted blindly. Donald Trump is now a politician which prohibits him from referring to his methods in a meta fashion; if he was strictly an entertainer, there would be no harm in this, and if anything, that would serve to increase the currency of his unconventional brand.
But do we need to look further than Tucker’s credentials to arrive at such a “conclusion?” Academic immersion is the last refuge of the pragmatist in today’s parlance.
I’m so happy that this man, and his tiresome, out-of-touch Party, is nowhere near the Oval Office. The greatest thing that happened to the American people, even those who fight it and refuse to recognize it, is that these robotic elites and their oppressive socially virtuous pandering, have left the scene. Only to be occasionally endured when the President who-thinks-he’s-still-vital resurfaces to talk with another tiresome Western cast character and purported interviewer, Prince Harry, on the BBC.
Politicians, and others in positions of power, should stop corroding civil discourse and seek to unify society, the former US president Barack Obama said in a rare interview conducted by Prince Harry for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Obama did not mention his successor, Donald Trump, by name, but said social media could lead to facts being discarded and prejudices being reinforced, making public conversation harder. “All of us in leadership have to find ways to recreate a common space on the internet,” he said.
Obama’s refusal to name names and instead defer to stupid, obvious implications is not clever, and it represents the most mundane form of shade throwing. Yawn.
And the drivel, unleashed, continues. Other than the most brain-dead leftist zombie, does anyone believe Barack’s bullshit? (Or better yet, believe it matters?)
Trump has been fiercely critical of Obama personally and politically since he entered the Oval Office, but Obama in his first interview since leaving office did not take the chance to hit back, possibly reflecting his wife Michelle’s famous dictum: “When they go low, you go high”.
He showed that he regarded his health reforms, providing insurance to 20 million people, as his greatest legacy, and since leaving office he has been using social media to encourage Americans to take up the extended offer of insurance.
Prince Harry and Obama spent part of an often personal interview – the first since he left office – discussing their shared “obsession” in empowering a new generation of young civic leaders worldwide, an issue that lies at the heart of the Obama Foundation, the central vehicle for Obama’s post-presidential public work.
And as all good Democratic politicos are wont to do, Obama’s DNC cult foments an intersection of politics and business to cash in on the backs of imbeciles across America.
Obama continues to prattle on with a multitude of fluff that ultimately applies to a single-digit segment of the populace (and chances are, 90% of this sliver lives on the Coasts).
“This generation is the most sophisticated, the most tolerant in many ways, the most embracing of diversity, the most tech-savvy, the most entrepreneurial, but they do not have much faith in existing institutions.”
He feared their energy, often displayed on the internet, was being held back by “the bias of those who are comfortable with power the way it is currently exercised”.
“Do not have faith in existing institutions” is a tired mantra each generation of on-the-way-out middle agers are fond of. Except, in this generation’s case, lack of faith in existing institutions has manifested itself as complete, juvenile upheaval and overturning of harmless historical artifacts, such as statues and semantic traditions. Obama lauds the current Orwellian climate in which history is rewritten…one in which he is remembered as a “great” statesman.
On December 26, 2004, far beneath, in the Indian Ocean bed, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake tore the ocean floor to geographic proportions. The seismic rupture stretched 600 miles and unleashed a horrific tsunami that destroyed the coastlines of 11 countries resting on the Indian Ocean.
Giant forces that had been building up deep in the Earth for hundreds of years were released suddenly on December 26, shaking the ground violently and unleashing a series of killer waves that sped across the Indian Ocean at the speed of a jet airliner.
By the end of the day more than 150,000 people were dead or missing and millions more were homeless in 11 countries, making it perhaps the most destructive tsunami in history.
Tomorrow marks the 14-year-anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.