In these turbulent times, we Americans need a unifying force to guide our country into the future. We’ve tried Democrats. We’ve experimented with Republicans. We need a new solution. Something drastic. For the challenges of today’s society, I propose we turn to pizza.
Pizza possesses many fine qualities: cheesiness (delicious), triangularity (nature’s strongest shape), shareability (another made-up word). But pizza’s other, less celebrated assets are just what this country needs:
Health and Wellness
Everyone knows that pizza is a great junk food, but pizza also possesses numerous health benefits. Healthy and productive citizens are crucial to the progress of a nation. First of all, you can load a pizza up with vegetables and get some nutrition that way. Then it’s not even pizza so much as a hot salad in a bread bowl with an inch of mozzarella dressing. The most notable perks of pizza, however, are mental.
Pizza knows what kind of mood you’re in. Example: It’s two in the morning. You have been out all night. Possibly drinking. I am not here to judge. You stop for a slice of pizza. It reflects the tone of the evening. Your slice is probably a little greasy/ sleazy, because it’s late. It’s hot, to add an element of danger. Add some crushed red pepper to make it spicy, because anything is possible.
The next morning, you wake up and stumble to the refrigerator. There’s pizza waiting for you, like: “Be cool, man. Everything’s going to be okay.” Pizza is intuitive like an old friend.
Pizza isn’t just an emotional crutch, though. It also keeps your mind keen. Say you have seven friends over, and you know each person is going to eat about three slices (except Bill who eats five and Gina who eats one and a half (One and a half — seriously, Gina? Eat the whole thing!)). Eight slices per large pizza is industry standard. How many pizzas do you need? What’s the total cost? Did you include the tip? How much time should you allot for delivery? That’s algebra, right there. Pizza sharpens your mental acuity in ways that Chinese food can only dream about. No offense, Chinese food.
While other foods stagnate in their traditional recipes (meatloaf, I’m looking at you), pizza constantly pushes the boundaries of what it means to be pizza. It is an existential question, at its heart. What is the meaning of pizza? Can you have a pizza without sauce? Without cheese? What if I put cheese in the crust? Doesn’t that push it dangerously towards the brink of calzone? What if a pizza is rectangular instead of round? Is the depth of the dish a factor? At what point does it stop being pizza and become something else entirely?
Pizza looks deep within itself but never questions its innate pizza-ness. There is no struggle or internal conflict. Pizza is at peace with its own nature. It just is. And that strength of character allows pizza to push forward into the future. Pizza knows no partisan politics. If an idea is delicious, pizza supports it. It truly puts the people first. Congress could learn a little something from pizza.
No other American institution so consistently integrates new topping needs and trends. Even dessert pies, my other favorite thing, do not innovate at the level of pizza. Last year, while walking late at night, I saw a macaroni and cheese pizza. Sure, that is more carbohydrates than my body needs at 1 a.m., but as an American, it is my right to eat macaroni and cheese on top of a pizza slice the size of my own torso. Pizza adapts to the needs of its constituents like a responsive government should. It does not get mired in bureaucracy or red tape. It changes with the times. Even Dominos pizza, which, empirically, kind of stinks, changed their ways to appeal to their customers. And their pizza still stinks. But they’re trying, bless their hearts.
Can pizza continue to provide cutting edge adjustments to the world’s ever-changing taste? YES PIZZA CAN.
Pizza is the only food where the list of ingredients is: “Whatever!” Just take anything you’ve got lying around and throw it on top like you’re packing last minute. Mushrooms? Sure! Chicken? Why not?! Anchovies? What else were you going to do with those anchovies?
Pizza doesn’t discriminate. It embraces all textures and food groups. Bring me your poor, your tired, your huddled toppings, says pizza. A pizza pie is a magical realm where sausage and artichoke and sun-dried tomato can come together to frolic side by side united in the common cause of deliciousness. They put their prejudices aside and come together on a crust for the greater good. It brings a tear to my eye.
Pizza has equal respect for people of all types. Pizza can be white or covered in black olives. It can be for meat lovers or vegans. A pizza would never tell two consenting adults they can’t get married. Pizza realizes who you love is your own personal pan business. Pizza would never complain that burritos are taking over this country. Pizza realizes that the true strength of our nation comes from a blending of cultures and perspectives.
Ladies and gentlemen of America, let’s for once put rhetoric and pettiness aside and come together to keep our nation great. Pizza 2012. My name is Josh Gondelman, and I approve this message.