Ordinary Times Symposium: Pizza
So…why a symposium on pizza?
When the idea first came up among Ordinary Times contributors, it was in the manner that many of our writing ideas come up: a conversation on Twitter. It started out jokingly, then became “sure, why not,” and then as we started reading and hearing from folks who wanted to contribute, it became something more. There are the usual things we find from our talented writers, lots of humor, some snark, some purposefully contrarian positions just to get a rise out of folks. But there is a whole lot of that other thing, the thing that seems to run as a current under much of the writing in our little corner of the interwebs whether it is serious or humorous; the topic just means something to author, and it shows in the writing.
Memories of people, places, and things came to the fore quickly. The memories of a local pizza place kids and families would gather. College pizza both consumed and as a job that earned money for more pizza. A style of pizza that was unique enough to both teleport you elsewhere and make you feel at home.
Pizza may be one of the most universal things in food, which as many of us have commented and written about is among the most universal of things when it comes to being human. We all have to eat, and almost all of us have had a slice or two or thousands of pizza pie from time to time. By some estimates, at any given time in the United States 1/8th of the population is eating a slice of pizza.
We have debated and will continue to debate things, and will no doubt have some roiling discussions over pizza and all other topics of the day for the next week or so. At the same time though, with recent news of all the bad in the world, we will get personal stories of joy and happy memories, stories of loss and grief, stories of times in life that shaped who and what we became, and maybe even a story or two that might change the perspective on something long thought of as just that pizza you would never get yourself.
Mostly, like the philosophical reason for climbing the mountain, we write about pizza because it is there, and it is a unique entryway into our writers’ lives and a different filter to talk about our wider culture. And maybe, with shootings, hurricanes, and presidential primary debates bearing down on us, it’s good to have some fun. We need more fun, as writers, as people, as a society. We need more good things, that bring us together and make memories worth writing about years later. We need less of arguments that when examined on the whole are same song, different verse, little bit louder and a whole lot worse, based off a never-ending news cycle. What we need now, is some good pizza and some good fellowship while we consume it.
Then again, this is Ordinary Times, so let us content ourselves with writing about pizza, and debating it amongst ourselves. But maybe we can do so with a bit lighter and happier heart than usual.
Delivery starts tomorrow morning.