Posted on February 17th, 2014 4 comments
(Translation: Let’s take a history lesson from 1955)
Hep talk, Jive, hipster lingo…It all started with jazz musicians back in the 1920s and 30s. It’s generally accepted that “jive” started as a kind of code, especially to warn your fellow musicians about an impending police raid on the speakeasy you happened to be playing in that night. From there it took off into just a cool way for these kats (musicians) to differentiate themselves from the squares, and from there is took off into any USA culture click that considered themselves gone, out, way out, and in possession of a coolness that the cubes could never dig. Dig?
Sent to me 20 years ago through a very un-hip but easy-to-use channel, “email”, this is a list of the hippest words with their American translation. I’m not sure, but I believe this dictionary was originally printed in Mad Magazine, c. 1955
ABE’S CABE – a five dollar bill
BIG GEORGE – a quarter
BLAZE – to go
BLOOD – wine
BREAD – money
BRIGHT – day
BROWN ABE – a penny
CHEATERS – eye glasses
CHLOROPHYLL GEORGE – a dollar
COOL – nice
CRAZY – odd
CRIB – house
CUBE – 3-D square
CUT – make fun of
CUT OUT – leave
DIG, TO DIG – to understand
DUCE – a two dollar bill
ENDS – money
FLICKS – movies
FLIP – react enthusiastically
GONE – wonderful
GREASE – eat
HENCHMEN – friends
HOLLYWOOD EYES – cute girls
HUB CAP – important fellow
JAMS – bop records
JELLY TOT – young hub cap
LATER – I’ll see you
LAY DEAD – wait
MAN – opening word when addressing a kat
MAN, MY – friend, comrade
MAN, THE – Stan Kenton
NOD – sleep
NOWHERE – condition of a cube
OUT, THE OUTEST – best
PLAYER – popular fellow
QUIT, QUIT IT – leave
RANCH – house
RANK – stupid
SCARF – eat
SCROUNGY – bad
SIDES – bop records
SILVER JEFF – a nickel
SILVER WING – a half dollar
SLAMMER – door
SONNET – radio commercial
SPLASH – rain
SPLIT – to go
SQUAT – sit
SQUARE – one who is nowhere
STOMPERS – shoes
STONED – ecstatic
STROLLER – car
STRUGGLE – dance
THIN ONE – dime
TICKS – minutes
TUNES – bop records
TURKEY – square
WASTED – broke
WHEELS – car
WILD – nice
YARD, A YARD – a hundred dollars
Dig it how some of these terms are still cool today, like ‘dig’ and ‘cool’, along with ‘scarf’, ‘player’, ‘crib’ and ‘jams’. I also particularly dig that “The Man” is Stan Kenton (see previous post). Well, it’s a bop dictionary, after all.
Compare to the 1958 “COOL” Magazine Hipster Dictionary, one that was more for the masses, not so much for Bop jazzers. Some common ground, of course, but a lot more words for ordinary things. Bop musicians didn’t need so many words. They said very little, saving their strength to play all those notes in their complicated Bop charts. Wild, man, wild.
-Guest Post by Zoot Jackson, Gobble Pipe blower and swingin’ kat extraordinaire.
Posted on September 11th, 2013 1 comment
Just as the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 changed the course of American history (and directly led to the mid-century era that we love so much), the attacks on 9/11 changed America and Americans again. Personally, I think part of that change came in the from of more people having an appreciation for our culture, including our past.
The new Freedom Tower is being built…and what are they comparing it to? The height of the Empire State Building. Ellis Island is currently undergoing its second restoration in 25 years, after being neglected for decades. Classic cars are more popular than ever, with several TV shows dedicated to them. There is even a Tiki Bar in New York City again, after so many years without one.
We’ll be visiting New York City this weekend, including Ground Zero. I am not a New Yorker; I only saw the World Trade Center Towers once, in 1986. I looked up. It was amazing. It will be amazing to stand where they were, where the new tower is now. I will remember the 3000 people who lost their lives to a gang of whacked-out hoodlum cowards. And I’ll recognize that we haven’t had an attack in America since then.
Today, I raise a glass to all those who endangered or lost their lives trying to save other on this day. To the victims and their families. To everyone who was impacted by this horror.
– Christopher Pinto
Posted on January 21st, 2013 No comments
It was the morning of Sunday, September 15th, 1963.
In New York City, a group of white ad execs had breakfast in a diner. They noticed a black family walk in, dressed for church. They thought it unusual for blacks to be in that part of town, but not unheard of. Everyone went back to eating breakfast without a second thought.
At the same time in Birmingham, Alabama, a white supremacist and member of the local KKK planted a bomb under the steps of a church known to be a place where civil right leaders met. The bomb exploded at 10:22 am, murdering four teenage girls (Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14) and injuring 23 others. This bombing was in response to the attempted desegregation of Alabama.
After the bombing, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (among others) voiced their outrage. But Dr. King went beyond voicing outrage. He wired Wallace that “the blood of four little children … is on your hands. Your irresponsible and misguided actions have created in Birmingham and Alabama the atmosphere that has induced continued violence and now murder.”
It takes guts to stand up to a Governor, especially to accuse him of having a direct impact on the cause of four children’s murders. But that’s what Dr. King did. He fought. Not with his fists, not with guns or dynamite. He fought with the power of his words, and 50 years after that tragic event we still hear his voice. It doesn’t matter if we saw him live, on TV, or in a taped speech years after his death. His spirit and legacy live on.
Here’s last year’s post on Dr. Martin Luther King, including the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Here’s a timeline of Dr. King’s accomplishments, courtesy of OnlineCollegeCourses.com.
-Tiki Chris for Tiki Lounge Talk
Posted on December 7th, 2012 No comments
December 7, 1941. To most of us, it seems like a thousand years ago, and at the same time just yesterday. I suppose it depends on how much you realize that infamous day, and World War II, affected our parents and grandparents, and still affects us today. Although it’s true that Hitler was changing the world in Europe, it wasn’t until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor forced America full-on into the war. Had Japan not attacked, we may have never committed to the fight in Europe (American sentiment at the time was mostly one of support, but not one of entering England and France’s war). Germany may have conquered all of Europe. It may or may not have conquered Russia, it may or may not have set its sites on the U.S. But one thing is completely clear: The events of the morning of December 7, 1941 allowed the first domino to fall in the chain of events that lead America to become the strongest nation in the world.
On a happier note, there is one very good thing that came out of America’s involvement in World War II: Those soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors who survived the war in the Pacific brought back with them a love of the tropics, palm trees, grass shacks and exotic women…which led to America’s love affair with Polynesian pop and the wonderful world of Tiki.
Here are some video clips that I relate to Pearl Harbor Day, and WW2 in the Pacific general. Take a few minutes and allow yourself to go back in time…
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Movie Trailer, 1970
Pearl Harbor Attack Scene
Pearl Harbor, 2001
In Harm’s Way
John Wayne, 1965
Bali Hai, 1958
From Here To Eternity, 1953
The Sands of Iwo Jima
Final Scene, Infamous Flag Raising, 1949
Posted on December 5th, 2012 4 comments
December 5th marks the 79th anniversary of overturning one of the dumbest amendments ever added to the American Constitution: The 18th Amendment, also know as PROHIBITION. This was a perfect example of how a small but vocal group of dingbats could manipulate the government into getting their way. Thank God we don’t have that today (yes, that is sarcasm). Anyway, the 18th Amendment made it a federal offense to make booze or even just take a drink. This was supposed to stop men from become alcoholics, beating up their wives, losing their jobs, etc. etc. and to keep women from losing their virtue, becoming prostitutes and having any kind of fun whatsoever. Instead, it created the bloodiest band of criminals in our history: Gangsters. Finally, on December 5th, 1933, the federal amendment was repealed, and eventually (though not fast enough for most people) the states all repealed their individual laws. Well, most of them. As far as I know you still can’t buy booze from a liquor store in Atlantic City on Sunday night, and Ocean City, NJ is still a dry town…meaning yeah, you can’t even get a glass of wine with dinner. Then again, it’s kept Ocean City kind of nice. And it’s a short drive to Somers Point to Circle Liquors.
Here’s last year’s post, that I though was a lot of fun and worth reposting:
On December 5, 1933, the United States came to its senses and ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing the most ridiculous laws ever enacted in America…Prohibition. Yes, in case you missed that little tidbit in History class, from 1919 to 1933, it was illegal to make, sell, import, export, drink, look at or dream about alcohol. These laws were pushed through by a small but loud group of extremists who kinda thought making liquor illegal would stop people from drinking it, thus ending all problems of crime, mental illness and poverty in the US.
In walks Al Capone, and a whole lot of other smart guys like him. Up starts bootlegging. Crime shoots up, innocent people are killed (or jailed for having a slug), distilleries go out of business and moonshiners rake in the bucks. Yea, that worked really well, huh?
So in 1933, in the height of the Great Depression, the government ratified the repeal of these silly laws. YAY! Depression lessened immediately, gangsters went legit, and even though the economy was still bad nobody cared because they could get tanked on Jack while digging the tunes of Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway. If it weren’t for Hitler, the 30’s would have turned out all right.
So celebrate today with a swig of your favorite booze, a shot of hooch, a teacup of gin, a pull of beer or a refined cocktail in a highball glass. Whatever your pleasure, imbibe…for today marks the milestone when the US Government decided they should stick to governing and leave individual freedoms alone:)
Note: If Prohibition had actually worked, this would not be Tiki Lounge Conversations. It would be “Tiki Juice Stand Talk” and the conversations would be about playing Lawrence Welk tunes on my C-melody sax while drinking lemonade and driving my 1984 Chevy Citation. YUCK-OLA
Learn a little more about Repeal Day at http://www.repealday.org/
-Tiki Chris P reporting from the party room at Tiki Lounge Talk, the alcohol-endorsing blounge for Tikiphiles and retro swingers.