November 27, 2009

Man in green sneakers reads Sartre. Dog arrives.

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The Sartre book was "Nausea"  — great title for reading in a café. And the combination of Sartre and a café got us talking about Sartre's waiter (in "Being and Nothingness"):
Let us consider this waiter in the café. His movement is quick and forward, a little too precise, a little too rapid. He comes toward the patrons with a step a little too quick. He bends forward a little too eagerly; his voice, his eyes express an interest a little too solicitous for the order of the customer. Finally there he returns, trying to imitate in his walk the inflexible stiffness of some kind of automaton while carrying his tray with the recklessness of a tight-rope-walker by putting it in a perpetually unstable, perpetually broken equilibrium which he perpetually re-establishes by a light movement of the arm and hand. All his behavior seems to us a game. He applies himself to chaining his movements as if they were mechanisms, the one regulating the other; his gestures and even his voice seem to be mechanisms; he gives himself the quickness and pitiless rapidity of things. He is playing, he is amusing himself. But what is he playing? We need not watch long before we can explain it: he is playing at being a waiter in a café....
The name of the restaurant was — aptly! — The Daily Grind.

26 comments:

BJM said...

Slightly digressing...ever notice that dogs have finely tuned bullshit detectors?

Reading Sarte in a cafe is so 60's unless one has Kindle.

Robert said...

Let us not forget the Sartre cookbook.

http://pvspade.com/Sartre/cookbook.html

class-factotum said...

There is a comic book hidden inside that Sartre cover. Or porn.

Bissage said...

God took away my mind control beam because I was doing stuff like making that man and that woman fall instantly and madly in love and drop everything and have red-hot sex right then and there while everyone else watches.

Kirby Olson said...

At some point I would love to know what you two are doing in Albany. I assume you are visiting relatives for the holidays, but why then are you dining out in public? Are you going to visit the Institute of History and Industry? they have a whole floor of cast-iron stoves with intricate carvings.

Nobody ever goes there.

JAL said...

Does anyone you photograh in public
1) know they are being photographed?
2) Ask you why?
3) Object?
4) Have you ever had someone in your public places photographs who recognized you?

Just curious.

I mean -- it occurred to be that maybe the Sartre guy, Mr. Green Shoes, will cruise by here in the next few hours serendipitously and go "OMG! I'm on Althouse?"

And then -- (Or then?) -- the woman might come by and read Bissage and go "!!OMG!! What kind of place is this place!?!"

Just askin'.

JAL said...

Before that there was the Man in Green Jeans who read Althouse.

Kirk Parker said...

"The Sartre book was Nausea — great title for reading in a café."

More like, great title for reading while wearing sickly-green sneakers.

Adele Mundy said...

Is it an actual rule that you have to be a pretentious git to drink coffee at one of these places?

Theo Boehm said...

Robert: The Sartre Cookbook is an excellent idea.

Unfortunately, the author needs to know a bit more about French cooking, not to mention Sartre and the others.

But I know it is so bourgeois to say that.

My wife is a French editor and a superb cook. She says she will improve the cookbook when she is through amusing herself pretending to write lessons for undergraduate French students, who will then be able to sit in cafés pretending to read Sartre.

Palladian said...

Here's upper-class commies Mr and Mrs Jean-Paul Sartre sitting on a proletarian sofa enjoying a proletarian cigar and proletarian drinks while staring rapturously, in that special French way, at murderer and commie thug Che Guevara.

john said...

Palladian - champagne communists.

john said...

It is both disturbing and unappatizing to see a dog emerge from what is probably the kitchen of a restrauant called "Daily Grind".

Adele Mundy said...

It's all well and good that they met him and all but did they get the t-shirt?

john said...

... unless it's a Korean restaurant.

JAL said...

Adele --

No.

You just have to have a MAC Air.

JAL said...

Just checked out the cool Sartres.

Why do all murdering jack boot thugs wear jack boots?

I'm not a big Scott Peck fan, but he had some interesting things to say about how evil manifests itself in the 'nicest' ways: Sometimes all intellectual and repectable and stuff.

rcocean said...

Poor Sartre - one day you're a WORLD FAMOUS "intellectual" - the next, your only audience is guys wearing Green Sneakers.

Honestly, I never could understand his philosophy. Could someone give me the "I'm kinda curious, but not too much" summary?

William said...

Heidegger's reputation is doing the porcelain swirl. Can Sartre be far behind?.... If you don't think sex is dirty and disgusting read about his love affair with deBeauvoir. She would seduce her teen age students. Then she would pass them off to Jean Paul. Then they would discuss the girls. They got the most pleasure from the discussions....This iconic feminist and her philosopher king lover told us how to live authentic lives. As if. I am filled with nihilism and despair when I see earnest young men, as pictured here, reading Sartre's endless, self serving exposition of his own irritability as some kind of insight into modern life.

William said...

But Camus is still a cool guy.

miller said...

That picture certainly is a Sartre for sore eyes.


I crack myself up.

Theo Boehm said...

It all took a wrong turn with Rousseau.

Theo Boehm said...

John: Actually, I think of them as Sancerre communists.

JAL said...

What was the ELVIS ice cream (?) like?

You didn't try it?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

They are liable to get in trouble with the Food and Dog Administration.

former law student said...

Man in green sneakers reads Sartre. Dog arrives.

Was he waiting for Dog (O.T.)? Or perhaps the Old Testament God?

Is it an actual rule that you have to be a pretentious git to drink coffee at one of these places?

Gratuitous slam at our hostess aside, students must read more books in less time in college than at any other point in their lives -- books the likes of which he'll never read again.

He's not showing off -- he's got to get it read.