Thursday, February 16, 2017


"Never meet your heroes."
Anthony Holden, etc.

"Never meet people who consider you their hero."

"Meeting chowhounds always gives me the willies!"
Bob Okumura (Chowhound co-founder)

I've always found it oddly hard to articulate why I've never participated in Chowhound social events (and, for that matter, why I keep a low food world profile even though I haven't worked as a critic in a long while). But I think this gets to the gist of it:

Human relationships can be strange and difficult even for the most sociable of us. We're all more or less ok interacting with neighbors, coworkers, waiters, etc. But even in such familiar relationships, people flounder when situations push them off-script. Such moments can devolve into misunderstanding, offense, and worse.

Humans don't do well off-script. As they flail to regain solidity, randomly bizarre or ugly impulses can briefly arise. Even at best, results are uncomfortable.

And there's very little familiarity, to begin with, when it comes to encounters with admired strangers. There's no script at all for that. I, personally, am not a lover of scripts, anyway. I much prefer improv, so it's no biggie for me, either way. But with script people, things can get weird. 

See a related exploration of how Surprising Behavior Breaks Things ("An exploration of Groucho Marx, computer hackers, beta testers, Banksy, and Kali the Goddess of Death").

...and, of course, the Slog mainstay "Explaining Salinger".

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