Monday, December 29, 2008
hard-edged fast food
these two places are near my parents' apartment in baltimore, and they share something hard-edged. "cluck-U chicken" is an obvious pun on F-U, delivering a visual kick to consumers or innocent bystanders. "polock johnny's" is more passive-aggressive, draping itself in self-labelling. when i was little, "polock" was synonymous with "stupid." it refers to people from poland. note, too, that this proudly ethnic sausage has draped itself in an american flag -- echoes of pro-war protests in the vietnam war era? -- and is squirting itself with ketchup. hmm. it is even lewd in some odd way.
in the downtown we passed another self-deprecating restaurant, an italian or greek place with the ephithet "good'a'food" on the awning (imitating the supposed ethnic accent).
frankly, the whole neighborhood -- no, "zone" -- feels hard and cruel. the cars drive fast and there is no place for walkers to walk. large warehouses stand between residential streets and large avenues. the little houses are hunched in on themselves, away from a harsh reality. like pottersville in "its a wonderful life," actually. hey, george bailey -- it all came true! your hallucination was really a vision of the future!