Iceland

Show No. 30: London, England

Dear Govinda's Pure Vegetarian Restaurant:

I am writing to inform you that I can no longer patronize your establishment. I recently ate at your London Soho location and, while I enjoyed my low-priced meal, cannot return because Govinda's has failed the "Orlons Ideology Test."

I was born in large city in the United States of America called Philadelphia. In 1963, Philadelphia rock-and-roll quartet the Orlons penned an minimalist ode to our fair city's quirkiest shopping district. "South Street" featured the following lyrics:

Where do all the hippies meet?
South Street! South Street!
Where the dancin' is elite?
South Street! South Street!

In four short lines, "South Street" by the Orlons sums up the philosophical essence of South Street. South Street is "the place where the hippies meet." It is also the place where "the dancin' is elite." Little more need be said about South Street. South Street poses no ethical quandaries. South Street is, quite simply, a fun place to go and a fun place to be. The Orlons accurately convey my own opinion of South Street succinctly. Thus, South Street passes the Orlons Ideology Test.

The Govinda concept—dairy, meat, and egg-free meals at affordable prices—is rooted in the complex rhetoric of International Society for Krishna Consciousness Soho London Temple. "Govinda" is an alias of the Hindu deity Krishna, and your restaurant offers kill-free vegetarian meals as part of a karma-free lifestyle. According to your website, the "Sanskrit word karma means 'action,' or more specifically, any material action that brings a reaction that binds us to the material world." In Western terms, meals at Govinda are anti-existential—where Sartre et al Recognize the primacy of the Deed, Govinda positions itself against the Deed and material samsaric realm. Were the Orlons pressed to convey my relationship to this intricate pose in song, they would be forced to say:

Where do all those-who-are-in-desperate-search-of-vegetarian-meals-but-do-not-necessarily-wish-to-support-or-be-associated-with-Krishna-consciousness-or-its-practicioners meet?
Govinda's Pure Vegetarian Restaurant!
Where do those-who-like-samosas-but-cannot-realistically-reject-the-samsaric-realm-because-they-are-touring-Europe-promoting-their-art-for-a-would-be-exclusive-underground-whilst-toting-an-iBook-G4-laptop eat?
Govinda's Pure Vegetarian Restaurant!

As any songwriting dilettante can tell, these lyrics are absurd. Because the Orlons would be unable to convey the spirit of Govinda's Pure Vegetarian Restaurant in four short lines, your restaurant and your ideology fail the Orlons Ideology Test. Thus, though your samosas are delicious, I cannot patronize your establishment in the future.

As I enter my 30's, I am trying to simplify my life. I developed the Orlons Ideology Test to identify the large number of issues that, at my advanced age, I find too complicated to engage. These include the War on Terror, the American Democratic Presidential Primary, Beatles v. Stones, and Oprah Book Club controversies. I regret to inform you that, though I love your vegan fruit cake, I now add Govinda's Pure Vegetarian Restaurant to this roll-call of infamy.

Good luck in the future,

Justin Moyer
CEO/Writer of the WeBlog Iceland

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  1. #1

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