The 90’s, episode 202: How We Get Around (a.k.a. The Taxi Show)

Episode 202 of the award-winning TV series The 90's. This episode is called "HOW WE GET AROUND (AKA THE TAXI SHOW)" and features the following segments:

01:06Copy video clip URL “New York Cabbie” by Skip Blumberg. Robert Demella, a NYC cab driver, rants about various subjects. On how to avoid getting scammed: “You don’t pick up drunks, teenagers or seedy types.” On TV: “Only good for news…I’d like to take a sledgehammer and smash the TV…The TV set is the downfall of Western Civilization…People don’t read anymore, people don’t talk anymore, people don’t think anymore…Our generation that grew up on TV is probably the STUPIDEST generation to come down the pike.”

05:11Copy video clip URL “Time Lapse Traffic” by Spectra Motion. Time lapse photography of San Francisco traffic.

06:02Copy video clip URL “Los Angeles Cabbies” by Jay April. Various cabbies are interviewed about traffic in L.A. April finally gets in one cab, managing to have chosen a rather crazy person for a driver. This cabbie reports on his discovery of the password to the human mind, the word “isos,” which means “equal to.” He expounds on his philosophy of life based on the concept of isos.

09:09Copy video clip URL “Pat and Alice” by David J. Hollander and Jay David Cookson. A couple recounts their UFO experiences. The woman claims aliens took her unborn child.

11:43Copy video clip URL More “Los Angeles Cabbie.” The cabbie integrates scientific formulas into his description of his philosophy.

13:12Copy video clip URL Todd Alcott performance by Skip Blumberg. The 90’s regular Todd Alcott rants about whether he should be concerned more about global warming or an ice age.

14:55Copy video clip URL “Taxi – Mambo” by Lillian Liberman. Shots of taxis in Mexico City edited rhythmically to mambo music. Very colorful VW bugs and dense traffic.

16:25Copy video clip URL More “Los Angeles Cabbie.”  “L.A. is getting a subway system. It’ll alleviate traffic problems.”

16:53Copy video clip URL William Armento commentary by Nancy Cain. Armento, a L.A. subway designer comments on the growing need for cities to have viable subway systems. “We are running out of fossil fuels…people may not be able to use their automobiles…subways run on electrical power which is more plentiful that fossil fuels…Solar and wind power? Not sufficient for a subway system, but perhaps could power a golf cart…”

18:47Copy video clip URL “Solar Cars” by V. Ndolo Dombe and Sergei Franklin. Solar Powered automobiles race in Switzerland.

22:18Copy video clip URL More “New York Cabbie.”  Demella continues to rant: … “It feels like we’re on the verge of a new Dark Ages…the Roman Empire circa 573 AD…instead of the Mongols and the Huns we have the Japanese and Koreans from the east with video cameras, tape decks, camcorders and TVs…”

23:19Copy video clip URL “Outrageous Taxi Stories” by Joe Berlinger. A young woman tells a story about her cab ride to Brooklyn: The cab driver pulls a dead fish from a toilet in the passenger seat of the cab and says, “This is what happens when you take something out of its environment… it’s cold blooded and it has no soul!” She pays him quickly and gets out of the cab and notices the license plate – “Hell of a Taxi”.

27:25Copy video clip URL “Unsettling the Frontier” by Jim Likowski. A video commentary on how the railway brought progress to a town.

30:11Copy video clip URL “1950s Chevrolet Commercial.”

31:30Copy video clip URL “Pan Am Flight #11” by Skip Blumberg. On a flight from Frankfurt, Germany to New York, the pilots show us aerial maps and discuss jet lag.

33:48Copy video clip URL “Shadow Traffic.” A piece about Shadow Traffic, a Chicago traffic reporting service. A man advises us that “traffic is a variation on a theme…it’s the same thing everyday.”

35:03Copy video clip URL Excerpt from “Once a Star” by Tom Weinberg and Joel Cohen. “Once a Star” was a show profiling former professional athletes. This segment focuses on Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton, former NBA player who broke the NBA color barrier. Today (in his 60’s) he drives a cab in Chicago. He has no pension and no bitterness, claiming only that “the U.S. is a great country.”

39:39Copy video clip URL More “New York Cabbie.” Demella: “I have a Buddhist approach to cab driving…I don’t look for fares, fares find me.” “You don’t let it get to you. If you do, you’ll be homicidal in two months on this job…”

40:26Copy video clip URL “Hobo” by Tom Finerty. Excerpt from the Emmy Award winning documentary that examines the quickly vanishing vagabond culture in the United States. The song “Big Rock Candy Mountain” plays from radio HOBO over close-ups of various hobos and passing landscapes.

43:38Copy video clip URL More from “Outrageous Taxi Stories.” A cab driver tells a story of how he performed beyond the call of duty. A tearful woman gets into his cab with a sad love story. She had recently broken up with her boyfriend after he asked her to marry him, a move she now deeply regrets. The cabbie managed to reunite the lovers and was subsequently invited to their wedding.

45:47Copy video clip URL “Cars and Owners” by Chip Lord. Lord interviews Skip Blumberg about his new 1978 Plymouth Valiant. Skip: “I like this car because it looks very normal and regular…I don’t care too much for cars, really…As long as it works and I don’t hate it, it’s fine.” He talks about how he decided to buy the car and has us listen to the engine. At the end, he has us look in the trunk – “You know what I keep around here – my real set of wheels!” and rolls away on his roller skates.

42:26Copy video clip URL “The Motorist” by Chip Lord. A man recounts his earliest memories about cars over dream-like images.

49:37Copy video clip URL “1960 Edsel Commercial”

50:33Copy video clip URL “1960 Presidential Campaign Ad: Nixon.”  Nixon talks to us onscreen about his abilities to defend America. “America’s defenses should be strong enough to keep us out of the war, powerful enough so that Communists know that we can’t be pushed around.” “Vote for Nixon and Lodge – they understand what peace demands.”

51:35Copy video clip URL More “Outrageous Taxi Stories.”  “Most cab drivers are professionals. When a guy drives a cab 6 or 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, you gotta learn something.”

51:55Copy video clip URL “Washington DC Cabbie” by Eddie Becker. Becker asks: How do you handle people in taxis? Cabbie: “You agree with whatever they say…there’s no tip if you make them mad.”

53:08Copy video clip URL More “New York Cabbie” (this time the piece is by Esti Marpet). Demella continues: “There’s no short term fixes on any problems in New York City…I hate quick fixes, I hate sound bytes, I can smell a fraud a mile away…if a fare is overly friendly…he’s got no money.”

55:33Copy video clip URL More “Los Angeles Cabbie.” “Traffic in L. A. is okay weekends, impossible during the week…A cab is a one room schoolhouse…I sell you a ride and we talk.”

55:53Copy video clip URL End Credits.

58:04Copy video clip URL 30 second promo.

58:47Copy video clip URL Another 30 second promo.



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