Cheesesteak and English Only

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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markabaddon
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Cheesesteak and English Only

Postby markabaddon » Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:57 pm

The backtracking of the owner from Geno's is pretty surprising, I am guessing he has taken a lot of grief for his comments. As I stated on the other board, in theory I can see where this would be a legitimate business rule to only accept orders given in English, but I suspect that the rule will only be selectively enforced. South Philly has a tendency to be rather xenophobic so I am not surprised by this rule, but I do wonder how the rest of Philly sees this.

Full disclosure on that previous comment. While I am Jewish, my Uncle (Mom's sister's husband) is Italian with many friends and family members still in South Philly and my Dad was born a few blocks from where Pat's and Geno's are located. So let me say that I speak with some knowledge when I say that "outsiders" are not exactly welcome in South Philly.
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:32 pm

The sad part is if I were to lob a mobster joke at him he would try to run me over with his car.

We are better off. Cheesesteaks are killers for the heart.

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Engligh only cheesesteaks

Postby ABikerSailor » Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:31 am

While I do look for America to be as accomodating as I can, I do think that Geno's philly shop has the right to enforce their service as they see fit.

I spent over 20 years in the Navy. Whenever I was in a foreign country, I would take a phrase book with me and understand that I had to order in the language of the country that I was in. Since Geno's is in America, and the language of this country is English, Geno's should have the right to want them to order in English. And, to be fair, he did say that he would help them if necessary. Get a cheesesteak and learn english too!

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:17 am

If snack shops in other countries enforced similar rules, no tourist would ever get serviced.

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Postby markabaddon » Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:56 pm

Steve, your point about the tourist trade is a good one. Geno's is a tourist location and I wonder how they will react if a tour bus full of French or German tourists stops by and they hassle them about ordering in English.

The owner of Geno's is seriously backtracking, as a poster mentioned, now saying that he would help them if necessary. That is what was initially communicated, nor was it implicit in the tone of the signs posted at the store.

Frank, they are killers, and the time I had 3 in one day (from Pat's, Geno's and from the White House in Atlantic City at 3 AM) probably took a good 4 years off of my life. But damn, they was good.........
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Postby BrianSiano » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:20 pm

Geno's is pretty much conservative working-class; usually, they've got lots of signs up commemorating Officer Daniel Faulkner and calling the for execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. So the "English-only" thing doesn't surprise me, and it shouldn't surprise anyone near Phluffya.

I don't _agree_ with the sentiment (I think Mumia's guilty, but I'm opposed to the death penalty) but I don't _object_ to this stuff at Geno's; it's the guy's business, and he can post whatever he wants. But that stuff doesn't tell people that they aren't _welcome_, which is a different (and discriminatory) issue.
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Postby Moderator » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:43 pm

Okay, I have to ask the stupid question that's been on my mind.

If the menu and items thereon are written in English, doesn't it stand to reason that any orders are going to be in English? (Is someone seriously attempting to order emparedado de filete del queso del philadephia con papas por favor???)



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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:40 pm

How can you think that Mumia is guilty? He was tried in a bogus trial and deserves a retrial. Cops always get the benefit of the doubt, you know that. Back in the day, black men were set up left and right. Mumia may be guilty, but he at least should receive a fair trial.

The guy has changed and should at least get life in prison, so that he can help society better alive.

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Postby BrianSiano » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:41 pm

FrankChurch wrote:How can you think that Mumia is guilty? He was tried in a bogus trial and deserves a retrial. Cops always get the benefit of the doubt, you know that. Back in the day, black men were set up left and right. Mumia may be guilty, but he at least should receive a fair trial.

The guy has changed and should at least get life in prison, so that he can help society better alive.


Well, given what I've seen about the facts of the case, the simplest explanation for what happened that night was that Mumia Abu-Jamal shot Daniel Faulkner. No other explanations make as much sense, or rest on extremely complex speculations on conspiracies, secret police investigations, multiple guns and gunmen, and more. But that's merely my opinion which, last I checked, I can hold. (I note that you say he _should_ get life in prison, so I assume you share some belief in his guilt.)

As for what to _do_ with Mumia, his trial, and his imprisonment, that's another story. As I'd said, I'm opposed to the death penalty, so executing him isn't something I'd want to see. And if he can get another trial-- and please recall, he's had more opportunities at appeals than nearly any other Death Row inmate-- I'd be happy to let him have one. If a new trial manages to release him, that's fine with me, too: he'd have had his day in court, and I doubt that he's likely to kill anyone if he were to be released.

But from what I can tell, he's never been able to provide a believable account of that evening, while the facts of the case indicate, to me, that he's probably guilty.
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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:36 am

Not to mention - getting back to food - any eatery in Europe will service you in English without second thought. Except France. I'm usre Geno wouldn't think twice about ordering a ham sandwhich from a Turkish Imbiss stand without so much as a "Sprechen sie Englisch?"

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Postby markabaddon » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:01 am

Steve Barber (or as he will be referred to henceforth, Lord High Moderator), not a stupid question at all. Geno's is very much a tourist location, and I am sure both tourists and locals who cannot speak English stop by to order a cheesesteak.

If menus were provided, perhaps this would not be an issue, as someone who did not speak English could point to a picture on a menu, but there are none. There are signs outside of the windows where you order your food, listing the food choices and their respective prices but nothing that could be handed to a customer.
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:15 pm

The sad fact is that Geno's has lines twenty deep now. Populism goes both ways. It can lead to fascism or to enlightenment.

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Postby markabaddon » Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:28 am

Frank, Geno's has never suffered for customers. I do not think their English only statements would really cause an increase in their business, I am more concerned about other businesses using this as a rallying point.

Populism can lead towards one of two paths, but as a society we started walking down the path to fascism many years ago and have only started walking much faster within the last 5. What remains to be seen is have we gone so far down that path that we are unable to turn around?
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Postby Mindtraveller » Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:07 pm

What is this thread about? I fail to grasp this, having read the first post. And also, in which way is this of interest to "the readers and fans of Harlan Ellison?"

Sorry if I'm being cranky here. Please englihten me ...
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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:04 am

Travel our Minds sir, and you will find it is of tremendous interest to the readers and fans of Harlan Ellison. We are the fans and readers of Harlan Ellison and we find it interesting. Harlan Ellison is an intelligent man of many broad and diverse interests. So are his fans. So they gather here to discuss them. Think of it as the Edge in Our Voices.


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