Tuesday, August 27, 2013


668 Euclid Ave. 
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 771-4000

By Beau Cadiyo

A friend of mine, Frank, recently tagged me on facebook in a post that said this was the "BEST video EVER."

Before I was able to view the video, a bunch of other people commented about how incredible it was, how much they loved it, etc.  

Now Frank is not a dumb girl; she got a degree at the Cleveland Institute of Art and is now in Chicago, getting another Bachelor's degree and working her tail off in a variety of jobs.  She also has incredible tattoos and showed me how to adjust my sewing machine and make incredible shirts.  She has excellent taste, generally, so I appreciate her opinion on things.  I wondered, though, whether this was actually the best video ever?  I mean, seriously...EVER?  

So I decided to do a comparison.  I watched that video over again and tried to absorb its essence, to really understand it, to observe all of the subtle nuances and special things that she might have observed and I might have missed.  (I'm a mere Sandwich Scientist, after all, not an artist.)  Then I started doing comparisons.  

First, I watched this, or tried to:

This is a popular video - at the time of writing it had garnered 5,100,488 views, which is not insubstantial.  However, the gravitas of the cat in its meaningless motorized meanderings does not nearly make up for the fact that it is still a cat, on a Roomba, sitting down; if it has been viewed that many times, people have spent a total of 163,215 hours watching a cat sitting on a vacuum cleaner.  

Newly disgusted with the unwashed peasant masses, and believing more and more that Frank might be right, I decided to compare her video with this one:

Incredible.  The sheer joy of activity, the clear chemistry, the single perspective - this, my friends, is a great video.  

But at the same time, while the cat video addresses a deep existential dilemma in modern society, this video seems to exist solely to make people smile and rejoice in the joy of life.  It could, of course, be a commentary on our society - that the majority of people stand around, clapping, while others - perhaps, as the dog symbolizes, entities or animals without real consciousness - dance for their amusement.  Is it better than the first?  It is better than the cat, but not better than R. Kelly, at least from a philosophical perspective.  

So I watched this:

Case closed.  While I have no objective opinion and would never say that The Seventh Seal is the best video ever, it is clear that it is far, far ahead of the first video in virtually every way save for diversity, and thus far, far ahead of the other two videos as well.  The ruminations on the transitory nature of life, the striking cinematography, the character development, the plot lines - all of these speak of genius.  

What does this tell me about Frank, and about our society?  Well, first, in order for someone to name something the "best (INSERT OBJECT) ever," it presupposes that that person has some knowledge of every competing object that has existed and has the ability to objectively judge the object in question.  Here, I assumed this based on Frank's credentials and curious grammatical choices.  I said to myself, "Wow, if Frank says this is the 'BEST video EVER,' that means she has seen everything else there is to see and is has the ability to be impartial about them - just as if someone says, 'this is the BEST Italian food EVER,' I think to myself, 'They did not say that it's the best Italian food they've ever had, which would be a subjective opinion that I would believe, so that person must be really old, because Italian food has been around for millennia, doesn't always have a long shelf life, and it doesn't travel well, so for them to have a comprehensive knowledge of Italian food is truly incredible.  I want to know more."  This, clearly, is a failure on my part.  I should not be so trusting when someone says they had the "best Thai food ever," or the "best massage ever," or the "best sailboat race across Lake Erie ever."  Instead, I should be skeptical and ask them what made it the best, and whether they really mean "ever."  

So then I started to question what else she'd told me about her opinions of things.  

I started to question her judgment.  

I started to wonder if we were really friends.  

Then I thought, "That's silly - we're friends on Facebook, so of course we're friends."  

Also, the burger at Hodge's is really good - perhaps the best ever, although I am in no position to offer such an opinion.  

Hodge's Cleveland on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Black Pig

1865 W 25th St  Cleveland, OH 44113(216) 862-7551theblackpigcleveland.com/

by Beau Cadiyo

I just saw these articles about the folks behind the "Opportunity Corridor" not actually owning www.opportunitycorridor.com .  To summarize: the city and state governments are trying to give them $300 Million for the project and, after however many years, nobody ever thought to buy the relevant domain names.

This, my friends, is Cleveland government at work.

The site itself is a bit dry for my tastes.  I understand - they want to appeal to a wide swath of people, and don't want to offend anyone.  I, of course, am in a different position: I am a Sandwich Scientist™, and my obligation is to the truth.  Toward that end, I offer this to the public and, most especially and sincerely, to the folksies behind www.opportunitycorridor.com for their most liberal use, etc.  To wit:

Q: What is the Opportunity Corridor?
A: We're spending $300,000,000 (THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS!!!) to build a three mile road in Cleveland.  It's going to be awesome!

Q: Wait - that's one hundred million dollars per mile, right?
A: Yep.  But again, it's going to be awesome.  Opportunity!

Q: Is this road going to be pedestrian-friendly and help develop businesses and neighborhoods in a sustainable way?
A: No!  It's supposed to make it easier and faster to get from the freeway to the Cleveland Clinic.  It will give West Siders the Opportunity to zip past the poor people!

Q: Hmm.  What about the state of the roads in North-East Ohio?  Shouldn't we be spending money to fill potholes, repave them, or maybe make them more bike and pedestrian-friendly?
A: No.  The money should go to these three miles of road.

Q: Why?
A: Because we think it's a good idea.  Also, it's a Corridor!  Think about how cool that sounds.  "Opportunity Corridor!"  People will like saying it!  

Q: We can barely raise money for our schools.  Can't we spend the money on education?
A: Opportunity Corridor!  It's about opportunity!  This will give children opportunities!  

Q: What opportunities will it give children?  
A: All of them!  

Q: What about public safety?  Shouldn't we spend money to outfit our police - for example, give them spike strips, better equipment and training, and hire more officers to respond to emergencies?
A: One answer: 137 shots.  Do you actually want more police on the streets?  That's just about the last thing we need.  Police will only get in the way of Opportunity, and they will interfere with the Corridor part, too.

Q: What about improving the fire department?
A: The Fire Chief just threatened to stab his officers in their necks.  What would he do with money?  Buy knives?  Do you want more dead firefighters?  

Q: What about using the money for lakefront development - like tearing down Burke and building something that all of the citizens can use?
A: Burke loses over one million dollars a year.  If we gave them money, it would just be throwing good money after bad.  Plus, this street - I mean, Corridor - is going to have medians!

Q: What about the dismal state of public transportation in Cleveland?  Why don't we improve the light rail and bus lines?
A: We are building an awesome Opportunity Corridor.  It's for cars.  We can't spend money to prepare for tomorrow - we need to spend money to cater to the needs of yesterday.

Q: What about all of the vacant land and abandoned buildings?  We can't tear these down fast enough because everyone says there's no money for it.  Isn't that a better use of the money?
A: Opportunity + Corridor + ! = Opportunity Corridor!

Q: Who is this money going toward?  Who benefits?  Which firms are getting the contracts, and whose campaigns are they donating to?
A: Ignore the men behind the curtains.  This is an opportunity for the city to spend $300,000,000 on a road.  Who wouldn't want that?  

Q: Yeah, but you already got $25 Million to start this off, and you couldn't even manage to buy the domain names.  With this level of incompetent management, how are we supposed to trust you with $300 Million?
A: Opportunity!  Corridor!  


To the folks behind www.opportunitycorridor.com - I reiterate my position.  Take this at your leisure.  Run with it.  Godspeed.  

Also, the burger at The Black Pig is not bad - it was saucy, juicy and tasty, but both of the ones we ordered were overcooked and the bottom buns fell apart.  The fries, on the other hand, were delicious, especially when dipped in the aioli that they brought out.  

The Black Pig on Urbanspoon