Wednesday, December 13, 2023

“We’re giving the whole Italian show”

Tom DeVito understands the NFL marketing machine. I wonder if "My son gaining sudden fame and our Italian heritage being a phenomenon" was on his 2023 bingo card. His son, Tommy DeVito, has been thrust into the starting quarterback position for the NY Giants, and is having quite a moment. His popularity shot up as soon as it became known he still lives at home with his parents. He got tagged with the amazing nickname "Danny Cutlets." It's fun to see Tommy having a moment, and he was even named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

But getting back to Dad. Mr. DeVito is totally in on the marketing game and keeping his son's profile up for as long as possible. Speaking about the tailgate situation before a recent game against the Green Bay Packers, Mr. DeVito gave us this gem: “We’re giving the whole Italian show. It’s gonna be craziness. We’re gonna give 'em the Italian theater they’ve been asking for. Three hundred chicken cutlets, got Italian sandwiches, baked ziti, sausage and peppers, rice balls — everything Italian. I’m gonna have my guys setting up sandwiches with Italian headbands on. We got an Italian flag with Tommy’s picture on it. They’ve been begging for it. We’re gonna give it to ’em.”

Mr. DeVito sounds like he's all in for however long this lasts. Perhaps he knows the Nirvana maxim: "Here we are now, entertain us." And he's quite likely familiar with the Rocky franchise. We all like an underdog, right? Since "The Italian Stallion" was already taken, "Danny Cutlets" is pretty solid. 

I'm available if anyone needs further takes. I'm a football fan (of the Buffalo Bills, known as the only NFL team with a stadium in New York State). I'm also Italian-American, though not 100%. One German grandparent gives me my last name. The other three have something to do with my love of sauce (my family doesn't gall it gravy) and meatballs. And, yes, we like our chicken cutlets.

Monday, December 11, 2023

David Byrne on The Self, and How We're Social Animals

A few answers from the always interesting David Byrne in an interview with The New York Times.

On the self:

"Lots of other people, scientists and philosophers, think about this more than I have: Where is the difference between yourself here and here and here? Is there any continuous self? You could say you’ve retained memories from various parts of your life, but memories are very malleable. We reshape them every time we remember them. They’re not fixed. Every self you go through, you dredge something up and make it apply to whoever you are at that moment. It’s a hard thing for us to intuitively accept the idea of “self is an illusion.” It’s very Buddhist, but it’s also increasingly more scientific. It’s not just a spiritual concept. It’s also a kind of neural concept."

And our socialness:

"Well, in our culture there’s a lot of emphasis on the individual: I have a right to do this, I have a right to do that. There’s a sense that you’re making these decisions about your life or what you want to do or say and that they’re all coming from you. But they’re not! Who you are at any given moment is defined by the social context. We’re not quite ants, but we’re social animals. To pull one ant away and say, That ant decided to do that! No. We do things because we’re part of a larger community. I feel like the pendulum in our culture here has swung maybe a little too far into the individual zone — away from a sense of community. It’s all about me, me, me. That’s what you think, but everything you’re saying is coming from people around you or the internet. You’re not making this up yourself. We do some things as individuals, but a lot of things we do are socially determined. Way more than we would like to admit. I mean, we tend to look down on arranged marriages, for example, but then you look at who people connect with and you go, I could have arranged that. You think that you’ve had this freedom of choice but, well, your parents might have picked the same person for you."