Oct 23, 2011

We Are the World, We Are the Cheesecake

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When the We Are the World extended-play album came out in 1985, I saved my pennies for weeks so that I could own the song to which I had spent so many awkward middle-school dances pressed against the arrhythmic body of a smelly teenage boy. Not only would I be able to listen to it over and over again, in turn driving everyone in my house insane, but I would also sleep more peacefully at night, empowered by the pride that comes with knowing your hard-earned tooth fairy money is going to feed hungry Ethiopians.


Little did I know that, decades later I would fall in love with a real-live Ethiopian, who would eventually find the dusty LP nestled between the Footloose soundtrack and Pat Benatar’s Get Nervous.

G: You bought We Are the World?

TSADA: Of course I did!

G:  ...


TSADA:  So...aren't you going to thank me?



G: Thank you for what?


TSADA: Um, for what do you think? For helping to feed your black ass!


G:  *glares*


TSADA:  *grins proudly


G: Ugh. White people.


Of course, I kid my beloved G, who himself did not grow up in poverty back in Africa. Not only did he have enough to eat, but his family also owned a television upon which he, too, was able to watch the We Are the World video, inwardly laughing at the the fat, lazy, American assholes who honestly believed that their five dollars spent on a hit record constituted an act of monumental charity. Little did he know he would grow up to fall in love with one of those assholes.

Speaking of fat and lazy, fast-forward to October 2011, when the lazy American and the cynical Ethiopian decide to engage in gluttony share a meal at The Cheesecake Factory one Sunday evening. (Don’t judge—we had a gift card.) After he had scarfed down a steak and I, a delicious Tuna Tataki Salad, the waitress asked if we still had room for cheesecake.


Now, like most native New Yorkers, I’m  a snob when it comes to cheesecake. Chain restaurant cheesecake does not excite me.  Forget the fact that I’m supposedly cheese-free (um, that was my doppelganger, not me, who stole five heavenly forkfuls of mac and cheese from the side dish G ordered); I just can’t love cheesecake unless it’s a fat slice of dense bliss (preferably plain, or possibly topped with a few shellacked strawberries) served in a deli amidst the fragrance cocktail of corned beef, pickles, and kasha varnishkas.

But we had about twenty bucks left on our gift card—just enough for an overpriced slice of cheesecake and a tip. We studied the cheesecake menu, which boasted the mostly-gagtastic flavors as follow:



• The Original

• Fresh Strawberry

• Hershey®'s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake

• Ultimate

Red Velvet Cake

Cheesecake™

• Reese's® Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake

• Piña Colada Cake Cheesecake

• 30th Anniversary Chocolate Cake Cheesecake

• Godiva® Chocolate Cheesecake

• White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle®

• Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake

• Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple

• White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

• Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake

• Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake

• Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake

• Tiramisu Cheesecake

• Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

• Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

• Chocolate Tuxedo Cream™ Cheesecake

• Kahlua® Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake

• Pineapple Upside-Down Cheesecake

• Chocolate Raspberry Truffle®

• Dutch Apple Caramel Streusel

• Chocolate Chip Cookie - Dough Cheesecake

• Oreo® Cheesecake

• Low Carb Cheesecake

• Low Carb Cheesecake with Strawberries

• Wild Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake™

• Key Lime Cheesecake

• Caramel Pecan Turtle Cheesecake

• Snickers® Bar Chunks and Cheesecake

• Craig's Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake

• Brownie Sundae Cheesecake

• Cherry Cheesecake

• Pumpkin Cheesecake

• Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

• Peppermint Bark Cheesecake




The über-heroic Hershey's Chocolate Bar Cheesecake.
It's the Bono of cheesecakes.
After much agonizing, we decided on a slice of the Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake to go. Of course, I, purist that I am, personally don’t believe in chocolate cheesecake, but then I insisted my dairy-free ass wouldn’t be so much as tasting it anyway (my ass lied--OMG it was fucking delicious). In the end, G and I were wooed by the fact that, with every purchase of the Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake, the Cheesecake Factory donates $.25 to fight hunger in the United States.

Ah, only in America can an Ethiopian man and a Jewish woman mitigate the guilt that comes with ordering a $7.95 slice of sugar, fat, and cholesterol, by telling themselves they’re humanitarians, sacrificing their own health to save the world, one diabetes-inducing bite at a time.

It’s a choice we’re making,
We’re saving our own lives.
It’s true, we’ll make a better day,
Just you and me…and this obscenely large slab of overpriced corporate cheese pie.

Oct 19, 2011

Mitt Romney and Other Cunts: A Dog on the Roof is Worth Two in the Mouth

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Well, now that Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have proven themselves to be lobotomized corndog-eaters even by Tea Party standards, and since that pizza guy has less political experience than Monica Lewinsky's gullet, folks seem to be looking to Mitt Romney as the only realistically viable cunt candidate in the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

That said, the fiscal cuntservative who managed to woo otherwise generally "liberal" Massholes a few years back still faces obstacles as he vies for the presidency. For one thing, he's changed his position on everthing from gay marriage to taxes to abortion more frequently than Sarah Palin changes job titles. And then there’s always that magic Mormon underwear that has gotten the fundy undies of Christians like Pastor Robert Jeffress all in a bunch.

Of course, it goes without saying that I don’t intend to vote for any of these Mad Hatter wannabes.  What may come as a surprise however, given frightening hate speech "politics" the likes of Michele Bachmann's and Rick Santorum's, is that even though Romney is arguably the most "moderate" of the GOP candidates, the sight of his game-show-host-looking ass makes me sicker than any of those clowns.


That’s because I can’t see Mitt Romney's face without remembering how, back in 1983, he strapped his dog carrier---with his dog "Seamus" inside-- to the roof of his car while he and his family drove 12 hours to their vacation home on Lake Huron. Romney also refused to stop for potty breaks (for the dog or his five children) unless the car was in need of refueling. The poor dog, undoubtedly terrified atop the roof of the speeding station wagon, suffered profuse diarrhea which, in midst of high freeway winds, splattered the car, the carrier, and the dog itself.  The Boston Globe:

As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours. As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.

One might argue you don’t have to have a heart to be a politician (indeed, heartlessness is a virtue in the eyes of those cunts who view emotions as a sign of authoritative weakness), but what about common fucking sense?

I’d sooner vote for Herman Cain. At least he lets the pizzas ride shotgun.





Oct 5, 2011

To Bead or Not to Bead

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About a year ago, my mother was driving on I 93 in Somerville, MA, when she was struck from behind by a woman in a minivan. Fortunately, neither my mother nor the other woman sustained injuries.


“Deeeyah Gahd, I’m so sahh-ree!” The woman apologized, clutching a strand of rosary beads as she inspected the damage to the vehicles. “I didn’t see yah cahh. I wahs sayin’ my six ah'clahhck rosahhry!”

Elizabeth Carey and her verboten rosary.
Image via KETV, Nebraska.
Oh, the irony. But perhaps not as ironic as the case of little Elizabeth Carey, who was told last week that she is prohibited from wearing her rosary to her Nebraska middle school. Administrators recently banned all rosaries from the school because, they claim, gang members have also been wearing the religious beads as necklaces.

 Well, my first thought was, What? There are gangs in Nebraska? Oh, wait, don’t tell me— Children of the Corn, right?

My second thought was, When did rosary beads become a fashion statement?

So I did a quick Google search resulting in--lo and behold--an endless supply of images depicting douchebags draped in rosary beads. Apparently the trend is particularly popular with the boys from Jersey Shore. OMG.

Now, nobody loves a little sacrilege more than Tsada, but this is too much even for me. Channeling Tony Manero's grandmother in Saturday Night Fever, I shook my head, genuflected, and then, on behalf of douchebags everywhere, prayed for forgiveness in the name of the Lord and Glamour magazine.

But then I found--wait for it--the (un?)official Jersey Shore Rosary Beads website, which states, unequivocally, that there's nothing at all sacrilegious going on here:

Q: Is it sacrilegious to wear a rosary beads as a necklace?

A: No. One you have to be a believer, second Rosary Beads are just that, Beads. If you enjoy them, wear them. Sacrilege is is the use of holy objects in a non-religious manner. Christ says that none is holy but the Lord. Just be careful that your wearing of the Beads is not a prideful thing. Pride would be the sin, not wearing the Beads.

And of course there's nothing "prideful [sic]" about Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino (pictured in the image at the top of this post).  Gloating, vain, boastful, conceited, self-aggrandizing, and obnoxious, sure.  But "prideful [sic]"?  Nah.


Oh hai. I always wear my rosary when I go swimming.
(Jersey Shore's Pauly D.)
Anyhow, all this talk of Jersey Shore fashion statements made me recall how, a few months ago, in an unprecedented case of Douchebag v. Douchebag, legal representatives for clothing manufacturer Abercrombie and Fitch contacted The Situation with a request that he please stop embarrassing the company by wearing its apparel. With that in mind, I began pondering that eternal question, What would Jesus do?

I'm thinking it's only a matter of time before the Sitch gets a Cease and Desist letter from Jesus’ attorney. Because Lord knows this shit just ain’t right.





Oct 3, 2011

Yes We're Going to a Chicken Party

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Proving once again my theory that Chinese cuisine was created with Jews in mind, Beijing entrepreneurs made it way too easy for yours truly recently when they opened—wait for it...Obama Fried Chicken!

How did those wacky Chinese folks know I was long overdue for another post about CHICKEN?

Okay, so maybe it's not all about me.  The Daily Mail:


The Obama Fried Chicken could be a response to the U.S. filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization about Chinese tariffs on American chicken exports.

According to the New York Times, the tariffs affect an industry that employs about 300,000 people and range from 50 to 100 per cent, which means some Chinese importers paid as much as twice the price for American chicken.

Wait, Obama Fried Chicken is a response to a chicken tax controversy?  What is this, some sort of Bizarro World Boston Tea Party?  A Chicken Party, if you will?

Now that the proverbial chicken has hit the fan (what?), will the Colonel issue a Chicken Fatwa ("Schmaltzwa"?) on his clearly ripped-off likeness? Or will he take it as a compliment that the Chinese have ditched his "Finger-Lickin' Good!" catch-phrase, in favor of the slogan, "We're So Cool, Aren't We?" (printed in Chinese characters on the awning depicted in the image above)? Will the Obama administration sue for defamation of character?  Will Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry start hanging drumsticks from their hats? And what about the coleslaw? WHAT ABOUT THE MOTHERFUCKING COLESLAW?!
 
So many questions.  And they all taste like chicken.
 

Oct 2, 2011

Klan of the Cupcake

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When I first learned of Tuesday's “racist bake sale” hosted by the Berkeley College Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley, two things came to mind:


1) How can a cupcake be racist?

2) Mm…cupcakes.

Well, turns out the event--the "Increase Diversity Bake Sale"--was organized in an effort to protest SB 185, a bill introduced by Senator Ed Hernandez . The bill, if signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, would “bring admissions practices in California’s higher education system in line with U.S. Supreme Court precedent that allows public universities and colleges to consider race in their outreach and retention programs”.


If Brown signs SB 185, section 66205 of the California Education Code will be amended to include as follows:



Pursuant to subdivision (b), the University of California may, and the California State University may, consider race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, geographic origin, and household income, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions, so long as no preference is given. This consideration may take place if and when the university, campus, college, school, or program is attempting to obtain educational benefit through the recruitment of a multifactored, diverse student body. It is the intent of the Legislature that this provision be implemented to the maximum extent permitted by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) 539 U.S. 306, in which the court state that the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution does not prohibit a university's "narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body," and in conformity with Section 31 of Article I of the California Constitution.

And it wasn’t the cupcakes that were racist, but rather the pricing of the treats that was deemed discriminatory by critics:

WHITE: $2.00
Image via News One.
ASIAN: $1.50
LATINO: $1.00
BLACK: $0.75
NATIVE AMERICAN: $0.25
WOMEN: $0.25 off above prices

Seem like an oversimplification of a complicated issue? Well, give the BCP a break.  Sometimes the only language they understand (and I use the term "understand" loosely) is that of dollars and cents.  Which makes it all the more confounding that when political science Professor Wendy Brown tried to buy all of the cupcakes at the beginning of the sale, her business was refused.  Brown told the Daily Californian:

“I thought the Republicans were free enterprise, but they won’t let me buy all the cupcakes.”


But mostly I’m just wondering, since the bake sale was in protest of the supposed preferential treatment proposed in SB 185 (um, are they unable to read the words “so long as no preference is given”?), where are the cupcake prices that take into account national origin, geographic origin, and household income?  Where are the prices for Israeli students?  French students?  Students from the East coast? Students from Alaska (provided they are not Palins)?  Students--of all colors--who have grown up in poverty?  Indeed, it seems the only racial preference being given is by the BCR, in their own choice to recognize race as the only factor in this issue.

Finally, as a UC Berkeley Alum, I’d just like to add that one of the things that drew me to Cal as a transfer student was its diverse campus (keep in mind that I was admitted just prior to the passing of California Proposition 209). Coming from a smaller private school on the East coast, I was eager to attend a university hosting a great variety of individuals in its student body, where classroom discussion would draw from a broad range of experience in regard to all aspects of life.


That said, I probably learned more about the world itself when I graduated from the university and attended beauty school.

My dream is that, one day, the Berkeley College Republicans will be forced to spend 1600 hours performing $15 Jheri curls and $5 finger-waves on elderly Black women as part of their lower-division breadth requirements. No cupcakes allowed.

 
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