Friday, February 08, 2008

Black and white

It's a black day because I found myself staring at the speed channel watching practice for the Daytona 500--the NASCAR season kick-off--realizing that I would never again, other than as a nostalgia thing, see those beautiful, wickedly-asymetrical old NASCARs rumbling sideways as they come out of turn four. This year, all the teams have transitioned into what used to be called The Car of Tomorrow but which is now simply the car all those guys are driving.

For those of you who don't follow this closely, it is a) too complicated to explain, and b) even more complicated to explain when you are weeping like a baby.

I would pose this question: Do the aesthetics of the car count NOTHING to the NASCAR viewing public? Are they, as a collective singular, that big a numbnuts? For that matter, is "aesthetics" a collective singular? Does nobody but me not think that those rear wings are an abomination?

That, by the way, was a complicated double negative--I'm not sure what the previous sentence actually says. That's how fucked up I am about this, because usually, even when they are nonsense, I know what my sentences are saying.

It is, however, also a black and white day. And this is something to be thankful for. Black and White (henceforth b/w) because it hit me, while staring at a Jasper Johns painting entitled Celine (which would, of course be what you see below)

... that what I needed to do to solve my Warren Commission problem was paint him in black and white (henceforth b/w).

Not that Celine is black and white, but it's certainly leaning in that direction. And the deeper you go, the blacker and whiter it gets. Which makes it a lot like the abyss.

Sidenote: A lot of Anselm Kiefer in this painting, by the way.

And tomorrow I have lunch at The Modern. The introductory sentences of The Modern's website go like this:
Taking Museum dining to sophisticated new heights, The Modern is a fine dining restaurant located at the Museum of Modern Art featuring the original French-American cuisine of Alsatian-born Chef Gabriel Kreuther, with desserts by Marc Aumont.
You know how--and I understand the image is tacky--sometimes you hear somebody going on and on and it's just a load of bullshit so you put your tongue in your cheek so it makes a bulge that everybody can see and then you ball your fist up and make a motion like you were pulling something like rope out of something like the front of your pants, and you roll your eyes? This is what I'm doing as I read this.

My specific comments are, roughly, these:

a--French-American cuisine! Hey, that sounds new and exciting.
b--Who gives a shit if the guy was born in Alsace? Shouldn't that mean he knows more about French-German cuisine?
c--And enough already about desert chefs. Who, really, in the history of the world, except a tiny handful of food pedants, gives a shit about who the desert chef is?
d--This is a Danny Meyer restaurant and the last time I ate at The Modern I was so offended by the treatment our party received from the host I almost wrote Mr. Meyer a letter.
e--This is NOT museum dining. This is dining in a restaurant that is in the same building as the museum. If it were museum dining, I wouldn't than have to go spring twenty bucks (another abomination being the current admission price at MOMA, paid for the privilege of walking through the ugliest fucking museum in the world).
f--Abomination number three, if I've counted correctly: Not only am I going to have to pay the fucking twenty bucks to go upstairs (because when you get this close, some of the Matisse's just call to you--think of those sirens on those rocks and those poor sailors) when lunch is over, but I'm going to have to pay a hell of a lot more than that for some raggedy-assed piece of fish sitting on a bed of mesquite-smoked jicama with anise-flavored foam on top--or whatever else passes for French/American food on West 54th Street these days.

Me? I'd rather have the beef stew on yellow rice with a side of beans at Sonia's. And be the only guy in the restaurant that doesn't speak Spanish. $4.50!

Or, if I'm doing it up, I'd rather go to Le Cirque and have the top-hat shaped ravioli stuffed with foie gras on a bed of cabbage. Did I say they cook the cabbage in cream, black truffle oil and truffle shavings?

Or if I wanted Alsatian food I'd go to Lutece and have the poulet Lutece, except that Lutece is closed and my life has, incrementally, never been the same. So don't talk to me about Alsatian.

Anyway, one does what one has to do to maintain the friendship.


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