The “Automat for the people” Edition :: Issue #024


Rusty’s Electric Dreams :: Issue #024 :: The “Automat for the people” Edition :: 03:11:2015

Rusty’s Electric Dreams, an inbox zine by pop culture activist Rusty Blazenhoff
Issue #024 :: The “Automat for the people” Edition :: 03:11:2015

Automat for the people 

I was recently discussing automats with someone who didn’t know what they were. My interest in them (and vending machines) levels on obsession, so here’s an entire issue dedicated to the wonderful “self-service restaurants” of the world.

Rusty Blazenhoff

Moo cow creamer for sale
photo by Terry Ewing
This space
intentionally left first press button.

As seen on the Internets

Automat Sells Toys to Youngsters Leksaker 1969
:: Cat-paw-shaped kitchen branding irons

:: “Father takes family on epic road trip to 250 film locations across America”


:: Marshmallow PEEPS-flavored milk: you know, for kids


:: Black toilet paper is a thing and it’s super expensive!


:: The best headline I’e ever written, right here.


:: A Viewmaster ceramic tile




:: This “gun” showers strippers with cold, hard cash. Yes, really.

Real things you can actually buy: nay!

Mini World Vending Machine

Shopkins Vending Machine toy
Last week I told you about Cocktologist Jared Hirsch, and his biz partner Absinthia, who together recently launched a Kickstarter for Hirsch’s super-popular Caged Heat Cocktail Syrup. It’s described as “a seductively spicy cocktail syrup born out of the craft cocktail revival.” 

Well, this week, I’m happy to report that the campaign TOOK OFF LIKE GANGBUSTERS! [Don’t worry, there’s still time to throw some money their way.]

Artist-in-residence: March 2015

Cosmic Worship by zara kand
The Unbounded Factory by zara kand (oil on canvas)


Zara kand will be exhibiting her art with two other female artists at Public Works in San Francisco (161 Erie Street):

Opening night for “Botanical Imagery” is Friday, March 13th from 6 PM to 9 PM

Inspirations from the the forests & greenhouse of the botanical gardens, the fields transformed into feminine mystique beautiful unique artworks. The exhibit will feature works in a variety of media: oil painting, collage & photography. A collective experience of freshness and talent. 

Real things you can actually buy: yay!

Japanese vending machine
Sadie McKee
Watch these movie scenes set in Automats:Sadie McKee (1934) starring Joan Crawford as Sadie. This one is funny, as you’ll see, because she “has it tough, so tough she’s eyeing another patron’s food at the Automat.” It has a sad trombone ending.
Watch this—>>

That Touch of Mink (1962) starring Doris Day and Cary Grant. This clip is cool because shows the kitchen and what goes on behind the Automat windows. I’ve always wondered. Now I know!
Watch this too—>>

I ADORE these Automat movie clips. Cladrite Radio has compiled a bunch of them.
Go check them all out!

A Farm-o-mat, a vending machine of fresh veggies can be found “in the miniscule hamlet of Martot, somewhere near Louviers, Rouen, Elbeuf, on a narrow country road.”

BAMN! Automat instructions
I spotted this “Art-o-mat” in Las Vegas. It’s an upcycled retired cigarette vending machine that has been “converted to vend art.” There are over a hundred of them all over the world.

Events of note

Automat with Pies and Cakes


[Until 4/26] @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz Island

[4/9] CAFÉ GAGA: A Forest in Cyberspace, a salon by Gareth Branwyn at Artisphere
[5/14] CAFÉ GAGA: (Re)Printing Your World
[6/4] CAFÉ GAGA: Chronos Vs. Kairos

Astoria, Oregon
[5/4-5/7] 30th Anniversary celebration of the cult film The Goonies


[3/15] The first SXSW panel I’ve ever been on happens on this day. It’s called “The Greatest Geek Moment in History” and I’m honored to share the stage with Chris Taylor of Mashable and Daniel Terdiman of VentureBeat. 5 PM

[7/23] Willie Nelson & Family plays the Greek Theatre with Alison Krauss and Union Station [Tickets]


[Until 4/12] Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

Hayward, California
[4/26] Ukulele Festival of Northern California

[4/11] Houston Art Car Parade

Las Vegas
[Ongoing] Akhob, an immersive “Ganzfeld effect” experience by artist James Turrell at Louis Vuitton [by appt only: 702-730-3150] HIGHLY recommended!

Los Angeles

[3/14] Lepri-con: “You’ve heard of comic-con, you’ve heard of Santa-con. This St. Patrick’s Day celebrate Lepri-con.”


[3/18] Susanna Hoffs & Friends: The Section Quartet, Jon Brion, Karen Kilgariff, Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), & More! at the Largo [Tickets]

[3/19-3/20] Aimee Mann and Ted Leo’s One Way Mission to March: a Springtime Variety Show

[3/21] Escape from the Walled City by Real Escape Game [Tickets]

[3/28] Brides of March LA 2015

[3/31] Tig Notaro presents Krullapalooza, with John Mulaney, Kumail Nanjiani at Largo

[6/16] 826LA‘s 10th Anniversary Celebration

[4/13] The Nerdist Writers Panel presents: Better Call Saul at the Largo [Tickets]

[4/25-4/26] Flame Effects for the Artist, a 2-day workshop to learn fire art

New York City

[3/13] The Lotus Club Thx, Albert!



[3/19] Drag Me To Bingo, bingo with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
[4/23] ” ”

[3/24] History of Tiki Symposium with Suzanne Long at Longitude, 6 PM, $100 RSVP at 

[4/11] Eat & Be Mary 2015, a potluck and clothing swap 6:30 PM

[4/25] 20th Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair

[7/4-7/5] The 6th annual Burger Boogaloo, hosted by John Waters [Tickets]


Palm Springs
[4/1-4/5] The 25th annual Dinah Shore Weekend [Tickets]


[10/10] Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton

San Francisco

[Until 3/28] Hespe Gallery Presents: Mid-Century Americana by Dave Lefner and Robert Townsend

[3/12] Together We Are Robots, Doctor Popular & DJ Mr. Smith at 8bitsf

[3/13] Pier 70 Happy Hour

[3/15] Beware the Brides of March 2015

[3/17] Odd Salon: GENIUS

[3/19] Designers + Geeks: The Best Interface is No Interface, at Yelp [Tickets]

[3/20] Bawdy Storytelling’s ‘AlterEgo: Sexual Superhero’ early show 7:30 [Tickets]
[3/20] Bawdy Storytelling’s ‘Slippery Slope’ late show [Tickets]

[3/20] Cacophony Society Presentation with John Law & Carrie Galbraith at Adobe Books, 7-9 PM

[3/28] Rad American Women A-Z Book Release Party at City Lights 12:30 PM

[4/1] 37th annual St. Stupid’s Day parade

[4/5] EASTER with the SISTERS: #WTFMary! Hunky Jesus Take the Wheel 12 – 4 PM

[4/7] April 7 Jonathon Keats on “Envisioning Deep Time” (conceptual artist, experimental philosopher) at Long Now’s Interval

[4/9] Frank Lloyd Wright on the West Coast: An evening with author Mark Anthony Wilson

[4/9] Ian Harvie Live in San Francisco (standup comedy) Two shows at SF Oasis [Tickets]

[4/18] Kinky Salon’s 12 YEAR ANNIVERSARY 10 PM to 3 AM

[4/19] The World’s First Pop-up Ball Pit Bar by Forward Motion

[4/21] Patrick House on “From Modern Brain Parasites to Ancient Illness” (neuroscientist, geneticist at Stanford) at Long Now’s Interval

[4/26] How Weird Street Faire

[5/29] The Outta Sites, The Unclaimed, The Ogres with the Devil-ettes at The Elbo Room

San Mateo, California
[5/16-5/17] 10th Annual Maker Faire Bay Area 2015  [Tickets]

Sun Valley, Idaho

[3/22-3/25] DENT conference, “explores the magic and science of visionary leadership and groundbreaking success”

The Internet
[3/12] Folk Uke World (wide web) Tour #4

Heads up!
~~ The Replacements are on tour, “Back by Unpopular Demand”
~~ Amanda Palmer will soon be on tour too
~~ The Dead Milkmen are on a West Coast tour
~~ Eddie Izzard is also on a West Coast tour
~~ Tickets ($140) are now available for Camp Tipsy 2015
~~ Burning Man tickets might still be available.
~~ Lightning in a Bottle tickets are available.
~~ Save the date: Yes and Yes Yes happens June 12-15, 2015 in Palm Springs
~~ Save the date: This year’s Tiki Oasis happens August 13-16, 2015 in San Diego


There is now an event’s tips form. Go there to suggest an event for the zine.

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Thanks much! —Rusty Blazenhoff
“I lived at the Automat. They had the greatest chocolate milk. When I moved to Philadelphia, I apportioned less than two dollars a day to eat on, and the Automat was the only place I could do it.” —Dick Clark
The Automat, a documentary film about ” about the phenomena of Horn & Hardart, America’s original & most beloved restaurant chain in NYC & Philadelphia.” [Kickstarter until 3/15]
Rusty’s Electric Dreams is a weekly inbox zine by Rusty Blazenhoff. These personally curated missives are beacons to signal and celebrate the global tribe of weird, wonderful, and “different” people (“the Others“).
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