The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Monday, June 02, 2003


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"Truth passes through three phases: 1) It is ridiculed. 2) It is violently opposed. 3) It is accepted as self-evident." Albert Schopenhouer. In the United States, rail is currently passing through Phase Two.

From the Cabalmaster:

"Hey, Hey, Mister, what's the matter with you!"
"C'mon, C'mon, Walk!"

The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal is pleased to share a "tip" about an automobile protest song, recorded way, way back in the last century . . . way, way back -- in 1923! Imagine . . . big-city thoroughfares, filled with flashy flivvers flitting to and fro, a frantic, fearsome ferrous flood; foreboding and frightening to pedestrians . . .

"Der Automobile" is not exactly a call to arms by the pedestrian lobby, but a "lament about poverty," decrying "the disparity between rich and poor as seen in America's already incessant consumerist drive." Lyrics, in translation, include the following:

"Not every body can own one
Imagine how they feel
To be too poor to afford to
Ride in an automobile."

We liked it, and you may too, especially if you have an interest in klezmer music.

("Der Automobile," recorded by composer, bandleader and fiddler Abe Schwartz, known as the "Klezmer King," with vocals by Morris Goldstein, October 1923. Original release by Columbia Records. Re-released on CD "Abe Schwartz The Klezmer King," Columbia/Legacy, CK86321, 2002, see here Quotes and lyric excerpts above from jacket notes by Henry Sapoznik.)

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