Monday, December 28, 2009

If food were social classes: pizza edition

I decided to document a gchat convo that Tiffany and I were having about pizza, during which she suggested that this become something of a feature with fast food or chain restaurants. It seemed like a fun idea to me, so here we are.

Broke-ass pizza: Little Caesars, Dominos, Pizza Hut
The pizza itself may be good, and depending on your state of mind it may be great. But if you've ever been inside any of these pizza joints, you know that you've stepped into a delightfully trashy establishment. Whether it's the pronounced dirt on the floor, grease stains on the walls, or the simple satisfaction that you're getting a large one-topping pizza for $5, you accept that you're eating cheap and you also gracefully accept the risk of hepatitis that comes with it.

Middle-class: Round Table, Numero Uno
The ingredients are probably better than your broke-ass fare, but there's still a charming kitsch enervating from these places that doesn't really speak "refinement." Some dine-in experiences at RT and NU can be downright family-friendly. I actually wish there was a Numero Uno closer to me, as in my experience they aren't stingy with the cheese.

Nouveau Riche: Papa John's
Papa John is pretty assured that he's better than his competition; he tells us in his commercials how "fresher ingredients make better pizza" and his warm smile and shots of children happily eating in the background promise a wholesome, clean, tasty pizza-eating experience. The thing is, Papa John's pizza is better than those other guys -- but -- he's not so much better that he doesn't care. He's still in the game, advertising and making sure that the other guys aren't nipping at his heels. His pizza is at a higher cost, but he knows he's not so old-money that he could get away with charging a bit more and expanding his repertoire -- his faithful would probably accuse him of forgetting where he's from and selling out. Papa John does not want that kind of press.

Upper crust: BJ's, CPK
Take-out, but no delivery; calculated ambiance; higher prices -- BJ's and CPK offer designer topping options and booze, and they don't even pay attention to what the little guys are doing with their cheap pizza and limited time offers. In fact, they're so elite that they don't even serve just pizza -- they've got fancy salads and basic pastas too, among other entrees to entice potential consumers into the fabulous side of pizza. Careful, pizzagoers. That kind of lifestyle may seem glamorous, but it's not for everyone.

On another note...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Something to look forward to!

International Dunk Blogging Day! on January 2nd. Click the icon to go to the official blog. I've been needing something to spice up my winter break!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I hope at least one of my approximately three readers is watching this.

I myself needed to catch up last night but once I did my glee exploded out of me like Vinny's vodka-scented perspiration.

Jersey Shore is a cultural behemoth. These kids wear their Italian heritage on their sleeves, but they make sure to express that they don't represent Italians; rather, they represent guidos. Never mind that the term used to be (and still is, in the eyes of the Italian-American PR organizations that have protested this show) a pejorative slur for Italian-Americans, the guidos and guidettes on the show have consciously taken all of the worst stereotypes attributed to their culture and amplified them, but it's not out of irony -- it's out of love for the image. And for themselves. They've made guido culture a completely separate entity from Italian identity, and they are using this show to display to the rest of the world how awesome it is to be a guido. They love being Italian, sure, but on a completely different and separate level, they love being guidos.

And I can't get enough of having them on my TV. This is perhaps the trashiest show MTV has ever aired, which explains why it's up there for me with Rock of Love and The Bad Girls' Club. What can I do, therefore, to put my love out there for the world to see? Stick my name in the Jersey Shore Nickname Generator, of course:

Ladies and gents, I'd really love it if from now on, we could refer to me by my true identity, never articulated properly until today - A-Scream.