Will do anything to avert additional "big kisses": Hey guys, haven't spoken to my fellow columnists here at the S.F. Chronicle, but I for one thought your new party game, Columnist Match, in the Dog Bites column [May 26], was just hilarious! Though, shame on you, you could have come up with some better excerpt to mock from my "Life Studies" column. Why, I wrote that whole story you picked on like a fairy tale, and even started it with "Once upon a time ...." Anyway, as someone who feels that clichés are not given proper respect, I can't stop myself from repeating that wise adage: Any publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right. And, you did! (Though, if you don't mind: "Life Studies" runs [day deleted by editor] in the Datebook section of the Chronicle. Might as well get the full treatment, publicitywise.) My thanks to your spell-checker, to the headline writer who put me on your cover page (what a memento! fame at last!), and, of course, to Dog Bites, that model of perfect prose. But wait, what do I know? I'm tone deaf.
Big kiss, Marianne:)
San Francisco Chronicle
On offal: We were surprised and flattered to see Incanto honored for "Best Offal" in the Best of San Francisco 2004 edition [May 19]. It is a particular pleasure to be recognized for something that, while it is safe to say will never rival the most popular dining categories on your list, does draw attention to something that is a true passion in our lives, representing an important part of our culinary heritage that is increasingly forgotten. And therein lies the brilliance of your list -- in shining light upon the less-explored cultural niches of our great city, you provide an opportunity to all of us to open our minds and grow.
Please accept our most sincere thanks for recognizing Incanto in this way and for doing a great service to your lucky readership with another quirky, expansive, and most of all extremely intelligent "Best of" list.
Mark Pastore and Chris Gosentino
Owner and Chef, Incanto
Sleazy. Infantile. Deranged. Pathological. Masturbatory. Sounds like us!: I was actually surprised that even you would run Ted Rall's extraordinarily tasteless cartoon, in which Rall takes the occasion of the combat death of Pat Tillman to sneer over a brave man's corpse [May 5]. But, upon reflection, what can one possibly expect? You are not only a bunch of sleazy pimps, making your living from advertisements for prostitution and sexual aids. You are one of the standard weekly voices of Bay Area radicalism, in whose infantile and deranged worldview the United States is always in the wrong. Our economic system is a failure, because the idle, intoxicated, and criminal classes of American society fail to enjoy the same prosperity as the industrious and productive. Any form of American participation in international trade always constitutes the exploitation of suffering Third World victims of economic imperialism. U.S. foreign policy is a grand conspiracy to impose puppet governments on other nations. All these fantasies simply constitute a well-established pattern of grotesque conceptual acrobatics needed to create the imaginary superior intellectual and moral perspective from which the locally prominent class of bohemian pseudo-intellectuals can look down on the rest of the country. This habit of masturbatory ego aggrandizement has become more and more pathological, as time goes by, leading those addicted to it, like Rall, into an increasingly conspicuous hatred of their own country and their own people.
In the Food & Drink Readers' Poll section of our Best of San Francisco issue [May 19], "Best Fusion" was won by La Mooné. The restaurant formerly known as La Mooné was purchased by new owners several months ago; its name was changed to Bistro La Mooné.