Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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December 27, 2005
periodic roundup

Below are some recently gathered tidbits pertaining to coffee:

"caffeine" page from the "Online home of The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs"

commentary on "Caffeine and the Coming of the Enlightenment" from one Karin Cox's blog

Partho cup shrine

Forget "Peak Oil" --- "Peak Coffee"??

and now, the most moving (for me) passage in Joseph Mitchell's wonderful Joe   Gould's    Secret:

[H]e looked the worst I had ever seen him. . . .

His face was greenish gray, and the right side of his mouth twitched involuntarily. His eyes were bloodshot. . . .

Looking straight at me, he looked straight through me. I have seen the same deceptively blank expression on the faces of old freaks sitting on platforms in freak shows and on the faces of old apes in zoos on Sunday afternoons. . . .

We took a booth, and the waitress brought Gould's coffee. It was in a thick white mug, diner style, and it was so hot it was steaming.

Even so, tipping the mug slightly toward him without taking it off the table, he bent down and immediately began drinking it with little, cautious, quick, birdlike sips and gulps interspersed with little whimpering sounds indicating pleasure and relief, and almost at once color returned to his face and his eyes became brighter and his twitch disappeared.

I had never before seen anyone react so quickly and so noticeably to coffee; brandy probably wouldn't have done any more for him, or cocaine, or an oxygen tent, or a blood transfusion. He drank the whole mug in this fashion, and then sat back and held his head on one side and looked me over.

"I suppose you're puzzled about me" he said.