Muhammad Ali and the Diet Mirror

Thirty-Five Years Ago
There are two ways to play the blues: One is for a band to launch an uncommitted 12 bars to flesh out a sagging set, jam on one riff relentlessly with tons of soloing, and then dispense with it when the leader’s watch indicates breaktime.

The other is to man the stage with the intention of raising the roof, to wail in the best of the Chicago tradition. Here the blues must be electric, sharp, and driving, able to carry a crowd to a sustained holler and stomp high.
“WHITES ON BLACKS AND BLUES,” Ted Navin Burke, October 30, 1975

Thirty Years Ago
If there is a country in this world whose citizens are more obsessed by and fixated on the image of the slender body figure and dieting to attain that figure than are the people of America, I do not ever want to live there. One of the few positive things that can be said about Russia is that everyone there resembles a potato and thinks it just wonderful.... And, within our unique system of American-style capitalism, more than a few enterprising people have seen that in fat, as in almost every other affliction, including cancer and old age, there is money to be made.
“MUHAMMAD ALI AND THE DIET MIRROR,” Stephen Heffner, October 30, 1980

Twenty-Five Years Ago
Everyone is having a grand time, until your five-year-old looks across a part of Mission Bay to nearby Fiesta Island and asks you if the heap of ominous gray material looming up above the jet ski riders is Magic Mountain. Well, no, you tell him, it looks like, uh, well, naw, it couldn’t be...but you’re wrong.

That pile, nay mountain, is the solid remains of San Diego’s sewage, growing at a rate of 60 tons a day.
CITY LIGHTS: “GONNA BUILD A MOUNTAIN,” Neal Matthews, October 31, 1985

Twenty Years Ago
[W]hen I put on Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth it sounded 20 times better to me than it did two years ago, when everybody else was spasming over it. A lot of Sonic Youth’s previous music sounded like a valid idea gone haywire, combining a mistaken belief that playing middling rock structures on out-of-tune instruments elevates them to high art, with vocals so world-weary they sounded like jokes, which they might have been.
OF NOTE, Mike Keneally, November 1, 1990

Fifteen Years Ago
Backers of mandatory water fluoridation thought they had finally won their decades-long battle this month when Governor Pete Wilson signed a bill requiring cities to put the controversial chemical in their water supplies. But the state’s last biggest holdout, the City of San Diego, may not go along so easily.

As far back as 1954, city voters approved a municipal ordinance forbidding the addition of fluoride to its water supply.

The new state law, which takes effect January 1, would preempt the city’s ordinance.
CITY LIGHTS: “LOOK MA, NO FLUORIDE,” Thomas K. Arnold, October 26, 1995

Ten Years Ago
[Alonzo] Horton recalled how the new city started to develop. When he came back after a lengthy trip to San Francisco, he set about selling lots. There was a need for open space, so land was set aside for a large city park. There was the need for a cemetery, and in 1869, he, his brother-in-law, and others met to plan it. They decided to locate it on what was to be the city/county line, about three miles east of New Town. Augusta Sherman named it Mount Hope Cemetery, his final destination this day.
“OUT OF THIS WORLD AT MT. HOPE,” Barbara Palmer, October 26, 2000

Five Years Ago
Yung Tage says he has a couple of ways to make sure his Saturday show goes off. First: only wear dressy white or cream-colored clothes.

“We got it from Puff Daddy. It’s an elegant thing. Gangsters may come, but if you’re wearing white, the chances of people fighting are less. If a troublemaker does come in and wears white, he’ll look stupid if he causes problems.”
BLURT: “CONTAGIOUS RAP,” Ken Leighton, October 27, 2005

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