SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27th 7:30pm COMMUNITY OPEN MIC--HOSTED BY COUTH BUZZARD'S THEO DZIELAK Hey, we had so much fun at the last weekend Community Open Mic, we decided to do it again. There is so much talent in our Community. Come Strut you stuff: Music, Poetry, Stories, Dance, Rants, Whatever. No Cover. Sign-up at 7pm Come early. Great Food and Drinks--including beer from Fremont Brewing--available.
Writer's Group Now you have two Writer's Groups to choose from: Writing with Marilyn meets every Monday at 7pm and is for those need fun exercises to perk up their creative muse. Writer's Sharing Group is for Writer's already working on something, wanting friendly tips and critiques. Every Tuesday at 7pm.
In today's Seattle Times, columnist Danny Westneat wrote another story on the impending last breath of bookstores in Seattle and the nation. You can read it here at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2010939207_danny31.html. If you have the time, read the reader's comment too. Overall, the comments possess a more nuanced and accurate take on what is happening and will probably happen to books and brick and mortar bookstores. Some of the comments are unintentionally hilarious (and provide this author with future comic material), such as the following from Paul000: "The independent bookstores in Seattle serve a niche of people that mostly includes liberal women (who probably are the biggest book readers), homosexuals, and other "progressive" urban types. If you don't want to buy that type of literature, then you are out of luck."
Well, there you have it: Liberal women, progressive urban-types and homosexuals. While Couth Buzzzard Books Espresso Buono Cafe certainly enjoys catering to those three demographics "types" we also believe that the future of independent bookstores is contingent upon serving everyone in our "community."
And serving community is an vital bookstore function missed in the Westneat article.
Sure bricks and mortar bookstores are closing here in bookstore-rich Seattle and across the country. But places like Couth Buzzard Espresso Buono serve needs--primal needs perhaps--that online booksellers and Kindlesque devices can never, never meet: the human need for true, face-to-face social contact, communication, interaction: instantaneous communication--faster and more giddy-inducing than any Giga Network number promised by any Corporation.
And speaking of Corporations, online buyers of books and of downloads for their Kindle-Ipad-UPlod devices should contemplate the fact that for each "purchase" they make, their "profile" is being scooped up and "gathered" and stored, and plugged into unimaginative algorithms of market stereotypes and then spit back out to them as personable "We Recommend Just For You" embedded and unavoidable Pop-Up advertisements, which also serve the purpose of cataloging your reading "habits" for use by these web-based corporations for future "market" strategies, and for sale to other corporations that also do not have your best interest in mind, and, perhaps also to government agencies who--as they have in the past-may take an interest in just what is (your name) reading these days.
Well, there is no gathering of buyer information at Couth Buzzard Espresso. We are a Free Speech and Privacy Honored Zone.Our goal is to stock a complete variety of books, from best sellers to collectibles and obscure titles, and to serve as a physical meeting place for all people in our true "community." It's not just about books, its about knowledge, and sharing and coming together, creating community, One Book, One Cup at at Time.
Maybe Danny Westneat should have interviewed us before writing his Obit to Bookstores column.
"With liberty comes excess. I mean, if you want to play it safe then you're not going to have liberty. The safer you are with guarding those things that you value, those speech codes that you value, the more you invite tyranny, the more you invite suppression, the more you invite censorship."Ron Collins (author/scholar at the First Amendment Center).
Thinking about these thoughts lead me to remember the Old Couth Buzzard and it's "George Carlin" Discount offer. I put up a sign right after learning of the death of that great, essential even, comic and social commentator. Next to a photo of George, I posted: "Say One Of The Seven Banned Words and Receive 50 Cents Off Of Your Book Purchase!" Most of you know of Carlin's famous routine about the seven words that the Federal Communications Commission bans from the airways. In a famous Catch 22 situation, the FCC will not tell you which words are banned because, well, they are banned. Carlin mock just idiocy, and his case went all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Anyway, one of my most pleasant surprises was watching the almost child-like glee arise in those customers who took up the challenge. Saying "those" words in public!? In a store!Some customers knew all seven words, and then, playfully asked for $3.50 off.
The New Couth Buzzard Books Espresso Buono Cafe continues with it commitment to celebrate one of this country's most important freedoms: Expression. We are, indeed, a Free Speech Zone. A Free Ideas Zone.
For how else are we to discover how best to move forward as a community, as a people, as a country, as humans unless we have the forum to fully express ourselves, to listen to each other.
Our format will be guided spontaneity. The Supreme Leader of the Pack, Marilyn Stauter will suggest various topics, beginnings, ideas from which we all can write. This will be a No Criticism group. Contact Couth Buzzard Espresso Buono at theo@buonobuzzard, or Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206 633-5687.
It seems to me that a typical independent bookstore or coffeehouse offers visitors an opportunity to come alone to read or with a small group of friends for quiet, undisturbed intellectual conversation. Public discussions and debates are really not part of the ambiance. The music smoothly wafts from the speakers to reinforces this privatized, public experience. Perhaps someone sits in a corner with laptop or pen composing deep-felt thoughts. The calm and quiet are so necessary in our quick-paced, don't think twice world.
But, we need--and I know need is a loaded word--something more too. And that is what I believe the new Couth Buzzard Espresso Buono Cafe offers. A public place to come together as a community; to discuss; learn; laugh; hear different music; and, yes, even to disagree. Openly, in good spirit, one book, one cup at a time.
This Public Openness is nothing new. In fact it all goes back to those original coffee houses in 18th Century England. Coffee houses sprung up during the rapid rise of Industrialization; a place to meet after a hard days labor. They called them Penny Universities. (Not related to Penny, our great Cafe Manager!!!) Following is a long quotation from an article by J. Pelzer, called The English Coffee Houses.
Instead of paying for drinks, people in the eighteenth century were charged a mere penny to enter a coffee house. Once inside, the patron had access to coffee, the company of other customers, pamphlets, bulletins, newspapers, and news ‘reporters.’ These reporters were called "runners" and they went around the coffee houses announcing the latest news, like we might hear on the radio today. Before television advertisements and bulletin boards, people visited coffee houses to hear about the newest developments and business ideas.
One of the most unusual aspects of this environment was the eclectic groups of people that ran into each other at a coffee house. In a society that placed such importance on class and economical status, the coffee houses were unique because the patrons were people of all levels. For example, a merchant could converse with a prominent businessman. Anyone with a penny could come inside. Students from the university’s also frequented coffee houses, often spending more time at the shops then at school. It is easy to imagine the wide range of ideas that were produced as a result of this intermingling of people. The term “Penny University” is often used in reference to the eighteenth century coffee houses because of this reason. Coffee houses encouraged open thought and gathering of community. This environment, which was so conducive to intellectual discovery, could almost be called a school of social learning. To some people this was probably more of a school then rigid classrooms where people could not step out of a particular social role.(End of Quote.)
Well there you have it. How far have we evolved--or is it devolved?--from public places like the Penny University? In our small way,we are striving to reestablish that community discourse. We are open to your comments and suggestions on how we can best achieve this at the Couth Buzzard Espresso Buono.
She then asked me where she could find the fiction. I think she bought a Margaret Atwood book.
We are looking to re-build our Science Fiction collection. Pleasese come on by and bring in your Science Fiction books for trade, and purchase some books too.
Please, feel free to send us tips, suggestions, comments to help us grow into a true community space.
Don't forget our Grand Re-Opening all day and into the evening on Satruday, January 16th. Food, talk, entertainment, and, in the evening a Special Cabaret. Volunteers to help with the day are also needed.
There are a few things we could use:
* A big comfy, clean reading chair for one of our nooks.
* A small comfy couch.
* Some clean rugs in a variety of sizes.
* Your crafts and art that we can display in our store.
* Books, books, books. We are especially looking for good fiction, science, philosophy, and books on Agnosticism and Atheism(we have tons of various books on religions).
*Clever, eccentric Knick-Knacks to place in our store.