Jon Stewart Explains Pizza To Chicago

This is dead on accurate. Jon Stewart has never been righter.

Your Analyses of the Greatness of New York Pizza?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • The Vicar

    Like all things having to do with New York: if it vanished without trace overnight, every single person not actually living in New York would consider it a massive improvement.

    In fact, that goes for New York (“World’s Most Overrated City”) itself; if you made a list of “groups of Americans whose sudden and irreversible disappearance would be a good thing overall”, “New York” would, admittedly, be below “The Republican Party”, but it would be pretty high on the list. If you could get the Clintons (“Making Democrats Functionally Indistinguishable From Republicans Since 1986″) to actually be in the city at the time of its disappearance, I’m not sure it wouldn’t actually bump it up far enough to reverse those rankings.

    • stanz2reason

      Sounds like pent up New York envy if I’ve ever seen it… pretty bad case of it too.

    • The Vicar

      Yeah, you caught me. There’s nothing I want as much as to live in a town proverbial for noise and rudeness and air pollution, and in the last twenty years or so as prices there skyrocketed and the police became indistinguishable from a street gang made up of John Birch Society members, the urge has gotten even stronger.

      Why, I’ve even done a bunch of things to make me feel more like I’m living in New York: I live in a shoebox with unreliable heat now and pretend it’s all I can afford, and I pay a guy to come and stand outside screaming obscenities in three languages while I suck on the exhaust pipe of his car. Just to make the resemblance a little more complete, I pay him in quarters, which he asks me for at 30-second intervals. On alternate Tuesdays he pretends to be obscenely rich instead, and he robs me and then ignores everything I do to try and get his attention. I tried to get someone to cover my property with graffiti and urine, too, but it turns out there’s still a local ordinance against it. Next time I’m lobbying the local government to hire cops who are willing to strip-search and/or taze anyone who isn’t white, I’ll have to remember to ask about that, too.

    • stanz2reason

      It is interesting that your New York envy takes the form of a sort of cinematic vision of fictional urban decay that you’ve confused with actual New York City. This is a real bad case of envy.

    • The Vicar

      And you don’t sound AT ALL like you’re in denial of everything everyone who visits New York notices, and which New York’s own media reports.

      The term “The Beltway Mindset” is used to indicate the way people in Washington D.C. lose their grasp of reality in favor of the fantasy consensus created by their egos and closed circles. It’s how you can have politicians who talk about war, or taxes, or cuts to social services, like it’s something which happens to other people — because, to them, all those things really ARE “something which happens to other people”. Maybe we need a similar term to describe the divorce from reality going on in the minds of New Yorkers who think their town is actually a great place to live. Oh, wait, we do: “people who live in New York”.

    • stanz2reason

      I know for a fact that the things you describe are not indicative of things “everything everyone who visits New York notices”.

      I can’t even imagine how envious you are of New York City. It seems like it brings out non-sensical rambling when you try and describe it. It’s gotta be tough. How do you live with it?

    • The Vicar

      Really? Every person I’ve spoken to, or read commentary from, or seen interviewed has commented on those things, and I noticed them myself.

      It’s a pity you have trouble imagining “zero”, since it’s fundamental to mathematics. But here’s an exercise to help you realize why others might not be so thrilled with New York as you appear to be: start imagining what the rest of the world would (or might) have been spared if New York had just quietly vanished overnight one night in the last few decades:

      - The post-2000 Clinton political careers

      - The influence of the financial “industry” which deregulated various markets leading to the derivates bubble and the mortgage crisis
      - Lots and lots of nauseatingly bad TV (although not all of it by any means — the list of “TV shows” and the list of “TV shows which are nauseatingly bad” are so close to identical that the few differences are more or less statistical errors)
      - “Stop and Frisk”
      - Donald Trump
      - Everything about Michael Bloomberg, both in politics and business
      - At least 2 of the 4 Koch brothers

      Heck, New York has NEVER been a particularly positive thing for America. For a century after the Revolutionary War, it was the city best known for harboring British loyalists. If the Erie Canal had connected up to another town, somehow, New York would probably be around the size and importance of (say) Albany at best.

      Oh, well. At least you folks will shut up over the next couple of centuries; as the icecaps melt, New York will basically cease to exist. (300 extra feet of sea level, more or less, will take care of it.)

    • stanz2reason

      The post-2000 Clinton political careers

      While they don’t live in the city, Hilary was senator of the State (not city) of New York and served as secretary of state at the federal level outside of NYC, it’s safe to say that if NY magically disappeared, they’d have moved elsewhere. And Bill Clinton hasn’t held public office in 13 years.

      The influence of the financial “industry” which deregulated various markets leading to the derivates bubble and the mortgage crisis

      Banks are global. Sure, again if NYC magically disappeared, this would have created unpredictable widespread economic fluctuations, but the banks still would exist and be operating as such. If you think banks would suddenly lose influence and poor behaviorial habits simply because Wall St is geographically in Manhattan, you’re fooling yourself.

      Lots and lots of nauseatingly bad TV

      There are lousy shows shot all over the place. Some take place in NY, others don’t. You don’t like Law & Order? I’m sure they’d figure out how to make it elsewhere… and call it CSI or NCIS.

      “Stop and Frisk”

      Yes… and racial profiling is limited to NYC.

      Donald Trump


      Everything about Michael Bloomberg, both in politics and business

      Say what you will about him and a handful of his policies, NYC is markedly improved under 20 years of Guilliani & Bloomberg.

      At least 2 of the 4 Koch brothers

      Still 2 too many if you ask me…

      Heck, New York has NEVER been a particularly positive thing for America.

      I’m sure tourists from all over the world are flying to the US to visit all the sights of Minneapolis, MN… True, NYC is a financial town. But it’s also a sports town. And a Broadcasting town. And a college town. And a food town. I’m sure you have a nice city hall in your town. We have the UN. I’m sure your local community theater is great. We have Broadway. I’m sure your local runners club is nice. We have the NYC Marathon. I’m sure you have a nice park in town. We have Central Park. The list goes on. You name it, we got it. And if we don’t do it better than your town, there are a hundred other things we do do better.

      If the Erie Canal had connected up to another town, somehow, New York would probably be around the size and importance of (say) Albany at best.

      Ignoring for a moment that the Erie Canal actually does connect to Albany (seriously, you could have used nearly any other city in there to make this point, why pick that one?), that NYC has been the beneficiary of it’s geography is beyond argument. It was a halfway points of sorts b/t Boston & Philly, it’s the point where the Hudson meets the Atlantic making it a viable port for anyone looking to ship things inland, etc. But it’s silly to say that means anything. Most major cities have ample access to large bodies of water which helps them developing as shipping hubs. That’s what helps them become major cities.

      Oh, well. At least you folks will shut up over the next couple of centuries; as the icecaps melt, New York will basically cease to exist.

      While areas around the coastline of the city are vulnerable to sea level rises of less than 10 feet or so (which we saw last year with Sandy), that is a problem we have around a century to deal with even at currently projected rates, and most of the city has a few centuries before it’s a problem. This will be an issue for sure, not only for NYC, but for cities and nations all over the world. So at that time, then some other city, maybe even whatever mediocre city you’re from can vie for the title of Greatest City in all the Land. Till then, don’t strain your neck looking up at us. :)

    • DJMankiwitz

      While I will confess that “New York exceptionalism” can be as annoying as “American exceptionalism”, I’m not sure this is the best tactic to discuss that. No, I don’t think New York is the “greatest city in the world”, both because I have never lived there and because I try not to label ANY city as “greatest in the world” for fear of that “exceptionalism” attitude.

      For the record, in Oklahoma, there’s basically no local pride. No Tulsan would ever say “Tulsa is the greatest city in the world” unless they were running for office. This is good, because it really isn’t.

  • Laurent Weppe

    Those New-Yorker poseurs and their arrogant claims that they’re the capital of Pizzacraft.

    FRANCE is the Pizza nation: one in thirty pizza cooked worldwide is cooked in France, and that’s not even counting the pizza we eat when we visit othr countries. Pizzas are so french that we sell them in bakeries next to our baguettes. Learn to respect your betters.

  • DJMankiwitz

    New York pizza… Hmm… I must confess I’ve tried it once, and don’t care to try it again. The pizza tastes very… rubbery… I know though, I got it at one of those “bad places”, not the good place, the one you and your friends all go to. I need to try THAT first.

    Yeah, maybe so. All I can say is I prefer deep dish pizza, and I prefer the cheese lightly melted, not cooked into a solid rubber sheet, wherein I am not certain as to whether or not I should eat it or use it to cover my pool. (I don’t have a pool…) Namely, cheese should stretch out from the pizza slice itself to my mouth, it shouldn’t all come off in a solid chunk. Every time Jon Stewert shows his glorious New York pizza (which, admittely, was very likely cooked many hours before and has cooled down to room temp since then), I can’t imagine it as anything I’d actually want to eat. It looks exactly like the one time I tried it myself, solid hardened cheese sheet and all.

    For the record, pizza is Italian isn’t it? I would assume that the pizza capitol of the world would be located in Italy.

  • Light_Sleeper

    I’m from Chicago, but I can’t really promote what locals here call our “pizza.” It’s nothing like pizza, so Chicagoans should have come up with another name for their dish and avoided a lot of confusion and apparent rancor.

  • Neeroc

    I’ve never had the misfortune of trying a Chicago pie, but that does not look appetizing. I have no idea what makes a New York pizza different from every other pizza cooked anywhere but Chicago, but give me a Margherita cooked in a wood-burning oven and I’m in heaven.