I walked over to Seventh Avenue, then up to Christopher Street to buy the morning papers. On my way back I saw there was an argument in front of George’s, so I crossed over to see what was going on.
The proprietor was standing in the doorway arguing with three people he had just thrown out of the joint. One of the men kept saying, “I write stories for The Saturday Evening Post.”
The proprietor said, “I don’t care what you do, Jack, I don’t want you in my place. Now beat it,” and he advanced on the group. They shrank away, but when the proprietor turned to go back in, the man who wrote for The Saturday Evening Post came forward again and the whole process was repeated.
As I walked away the proprietor was saying, “Why don’t you go somewhere else? There are plenty of other places in New York.”
I had the feeling that all over America such stupid arguments were taking place on street corners and in bars and restaurants. All over America, people were pulling credentials out of their pockets and sticking them under someone else’s nose to prove they had been somewhere or done something. And I thought someday everyone in America will suddenly jump up and say, “I don’t take any shit!” and start pushing and cursing and clawing at the man next to him.
— And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks
William S. Burroughs