Monday, November 16, 2009

On Random

Right now, my office manager is singing along to “Lady” by Styx. Flashes of Freaks and Geeks.


My co-worker told me today that “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica is quite popular in the black community. Now, he fully admits that this song is not the best example of what James, Lars & Co. are capable of. (Kudos to him for choosing a few of the Cliff Burton era songs as example.) Conversely, he is tired of white people who play either “I Feel Good” or “Sex Machine” and claim to be fans of James Brown. In his mind, we should all explore deeper facets of our respective cultures as a way of establishing some form of co-understanding and maybe, just maybe, healing some wounds and moving toward a better life full of unity and all the other idealist jive.

Then again, this is a guy who says that “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” by Hall & Oats is a classic.


George Carlin was right: we have been bought off with gadgets.


In preparation for the final exam in my class, I have been reviewing some essays. I am not permitted to teach fiction, a prohibition I find objectionable, though I might guess that the reasoning has less to do with the depressing non-fiction snobbery some people have and maybe has to do with the students’ level and the goal of the class, which is not literary analysis.

My first thought is that one of my heroes, whose work I have been revisiting these days, G. Cabrera Infante, would object. According to him, and this is a paraphrase, everything that is written is fiction. Once it goes from outside the body to the mind to the paper, it is no longer “truth.” This idea upsets a lot of readers of history and biography and all the other ees so revered by the anti-fiction faction. But it shouldn’t. Truth and illusion… who can tell them apart?

Anyway… the essay I read that impressed me is “Dreams of a Bilingual Nation” by Ariel Dorfman. In it, Dorfman hints that most of the world is becoming bilingual (well, maybe not the lesser developed countries). Ironically, we, the big 50, are not as excited to become bilingual. I think it ought to raise some interesting questions, but then again, I am not a college freshman.


My brother recently went a week eating pizza, everyday from a different restaurant. The idea, I believe, was to burn out on pizza and go without it until Xmas. Pizza is my Achilles Heel—the fatal weakness that has all too often been my downfall. A small Fasano’s cheese pizza was once presented to me and, before I could think twice, I ate the whole greasy thing. I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

I went to Gino’s East for my graduation celebration. It was disappointing. I ordered a Giordano’s a month later. Mediocre. I went to Pizzeria Due when the old man and my step-mom were in town. That was pretty good. Still, my mind was not blown, as I had hoped it would be. Over the weekend, Cassandra and I picked up a large cheese deep-dish from Lou Malnati’s, which was pretty damn good. Still, I am on the lookout for a better pizza. As I grow older, this supreme junk food has lost some luster. Don’t get me wrong—I could eat pizza several times a week without complaint. I’d be as big as a house, have a terrible cholesterol level and trouble getting up a flight of stairs, but it could be done. That being said, I am not sure where to align myself in regard to the endless pizza debate in this my fair city: who makes the best pizza in town? I am eager to try Art of Pizza’s thin crust and maybe Bacino’s thick, as it has been many years since I ate either and memory tells me that both were top-notch. Then again, my memory said the same about Gino’s.

If you have a recommendation, call me. Better yet, email me, as I hate talking on the phone.