Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Regime Change

So, unless you live in a remote tribe cut off from any form of mass media, today was a historic occasion. Obama took the Oath and kindly ushered the last 8 years out of the White House. While I won't go into my own hopes and misgivings (uhm - homophobic pastors, cough), I'll say that at least we're looking up at this point.
His speech, however, as powerful as his words - is marked by lot of "Storm und drang" weather metaphors: Dark Clouds, Horizons, Storms clouds, etc. This is a page from the romantics and leads me to believe that we're entering a phase from "Republican Neo-Classicism" (*Old methods, paradigms and values will keep the country going) to "Necessity Driven Romanticism", the progressive revolutionary kind we saw with Clinton, where service/self-sacrifice seems to empower the self and center. Or at least that's the hope. Revolutions have a life-span before they come full circle - that's the problem with them -- they're revolutions, meaning they can only go 180.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dislikes #568: Edgy Pizza

People have pet peeves, I tend to have finely tuned prejudices but I'll put up with just about anything and keep my mouth shut. However, there are things in culture that drive me absolutely batshit, but again - I take it and silently scream inside. One of these things: High Concept Pizza.
I'm not a huge pizza afficiando and I don't get into which is better (Chicago, Sicillian, greasy New York street vendor) but - I will go on record and say that Tom Douglas' Serious Pie is one of the best places on the planet. He is a master. His Pizza is not so much concept, just amazingly good. However, there are a few of these new places that opened up (all in a few blocks on Capitol Hill, unsurprisingly) that annoy the hell out of me, simply for the fact that they over-thought the pie. Have I eaten at any of these places? No - and here's why:

Pizza Fusion: How can Pizza be fusion when it's fusion to begin with: Dough, Sauce, various combos? It's not physics. Nor should it be... Oh, and the millenial minimalism should not hide the fact that they're still essentially "Shakey's" with less furniture and video-games... But then again, this isn't quite a crime as the next place...

ZAW: Ok, this pisses me off to the extreme because they use the dated mid-90's hipster slang term "Za" and then combine it with "In the Raw". Since when are we eating dough? Oh - right - because it's a "Take and Bake" place (which also is annoying, especially since they've also employed this minimalist look to them and it's not really that far from a Domino's waiting area). I can't determine which is a bigger crime to humanity: the whimsical abbreviation or the fact they have to explain their business model on their sign?

I probably should again remind everyone that I've not set foot in either place (yet) and I am probably going to find myself pleasantly surprised (or out a good few bucks). However, pizza proprietors should take a page from either Naples or Chicago: it can be under a heat lamp for 2 hours and still be the best thing you've had all week.