Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Enlightened Dinner

Ok, there is nothing intellectual about this post. This one is for pure fun. With all of the AMAZING, INSPIRING posts that have appeared as of late, I thought a little mindless fun might be in order.

So here's the question: You are hosting a dinner in which you can invite five (5) guests. Here's the catch, the guests must be individuals we have mentioned on this blog. They must be individuals with a central role in the topic of American Creation. Who are your five guests and why?

In addition, here are some other questions regarding the "enlightened dream dinner:"

1.) What will you serve and why?
2.) Where will you host the event?
3.) Where will your guests sit?
4.) What will be the topics of conversation?
5.) What will be the entertainment?
6.) How would you sum up how this evening is most likely to go?

Ok, let's have some fun!


Tom Van Dyke said...

1.) What will you serve and why?

Some lamb, yummy. I like those kabob thingees. Some fishes, some loaves, and of course, lotsa wine. And if we run out of the fruit of the vine, I'll make some more out of water, no prob.

2.) Where will you host the event?

In an upper room somewhere in Jerusalem. Great view.

3.) Where will your guests sit?

6 on my left, 6 on the right, all of us sitting on one side of the table. Which is pretty stupid, like I'm Archie Bunker and we're shooting a sitcom, but at least somebody can make a painting out of it someday.

4.) What will be the topics of conversation?

Duh? My impending death, mebbe?

5.) What will be the entertainment?

Some gal named Mary will dance. Afterward, we put the game on up on the big screen, then we talk some theology, like usual.

6.) How would you sum up how this evening is most likely to go?

One of them will betray me and then some other dude will deny me three times. I take him and two others out to the garden, pray a little, sweat some blood, and then the first dude brings the cops back to arrest me.

The next day goes even worse. Oy. You don't even want to hear about it, Lindsey, believe me

Pinky said...

Uh, yah, yupper, that's right and we all figgered as much. You're Napoleon, right? Or do you see yourself as some other figger?
Personally, I'd like to visit with Benjamin Franklin as a 13 year old, an eighteen year old, a twenty-eight year old, a thirty-six year old, and as a old man a few days prior to his final exist off stage. And, I'd like to do that at times when my age would be the same as his.

In Boston, Paris, London, and Philly.

In different settings. A print shop, a public square, an inn, a library, the salon of a highly regarded hetaera, and, finally, in his home.

We will talk of whatever is on his mind.

We will, of course, be entertained with some extra highly intelligent women of his choosing--I'm sure he knew quite a few.

The evening (?) will last hours and hours and hours and will be highlighted by his metamorphosis from one age to the next.
Then, I would come back here and blow you all away with some truth.

Pinky said...

By the way, for food we'd just chew the fat as I'm sure he did on many visits with friends and acquaintances as I would like to have been his friend.

Jonathan Rowe said...

My 5 would be Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin because (as you know) I believe they are the "key Founders."

I need more thought to answer the rest of the questions.

Ray Soller said...

Tom, your commemoration needs to skip the lamb on the specific occasion to which you are referring. There was no contemporaneous account reporting the ingestion of lamb back at that moment. On top of which, as host, you should be advocating a veggie diet with the motto, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice."

Brad Hart said...

Tom, you never told us who your 5 people would be.


Ok, I'll take the bait, Lindsey. Here are the five people I'd like to have at my "dream dinner:"

Thomas Jefferson
John Locke
Roger Williams
Benjamin Franklin
Isaac Newton

2.) Where will I host the event:

***At Versailles. Seems like a perfect setting***

3.) Where will my guests sit:
***I will sit at the head of the tabe (a small table being that only 6 of us will be there) Jefferson will be to my immediate right with Locke setting next to him. Newton will be at the other head of the table with Roger williams to my immediate left and Franklin sitting between Williams and Newton

4.) Topics of conversation will be whatever the hell they want. I'm not going to say a word...probably just listen and take it all in.

5.) Entertainment:

***Probably something small. Maybe I'll show them the internet. I bet they'd get a kick out of that.

6.) How will the evening go:

***Awesome! Listening to all of them would be a dream come true!***

Erp said...

James Madison
Abigail Adams
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Paine
Thomas Jefferson
Roger Williams

1.) What will you serve and why?

Thanksgiving dinner with turkey but also with foods different cultures have introduced (e.g., rice stuffing, spring rolls, baklava,...). California wines.

2.) Where will you host the event?

United Nations building, NYC.

3.) Where will your guests sit?

At a round table. Me, James Madison, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams, Thomas Paine, Roger Williams.

4.) What will be the topics of conversation?

US History, the diversity and role of religion in the modern US and their views on it. The role of religion in the world and where things should go from now.

5.) What will be the entertainment?

Beethoven's 9th Symphony

6.) How would you sum up how this evening is most likely to go?

I would like to be surprised.

Tim Polack said...

John Carroll - to get his views on being a Catholic in a dominantly Protestant colony / country
John Jay - not often enough seen as one of the 'key' founders, ahem...
Hamilton - included on most lists as a key founder, and also one heck of a story teller
Dr. Benjamin Rush - this guy seems to know almost everyone on a close level, the stories he would know...
Abigail Adams - think she could "represent the women" well

As for the other details:
#1: Not sure about food, but they will have Starbucks coffee, see if any of them spit it out?

#2: we'll host it in the Space Needle in Seattle, so they can see how far we've come West and vertically!

#3: They will sit in any old democratically unordained seat.

#4: I to would let the discussion flow and mainly listen.

#5: And have a Cirque de Soleil for entertainment, so they can see how far we've come (or haven't come) in our Entertainment.

#6: How does it go? With no small amount of amazement and incredulity about where we are as a country, a black man as President (good thing I think they'd agree), values/morals at alarmingly low level!

Mark in Spokane said...

Ok, I'll bite. Here's my guest list:

Benjamin Franklin -- a bigger talker than almost any of the other Founders
Abigal Adams -- opinionated and not afraid to speak her mind
Thomas More -- one of my personal heroes and somebody who could deploy profanity in an argument about high-falutin' stuff
Mark Twain -- always good to have a skeptic around the table when it comes to talking about deep topics
Joseph Sutherland (one of the "Four Horsemen" on the Supreme Court during the 1930's) -- old school legal mind with a keen interest in natural law and the workings of government

Topic: natural law and its the impact of moral norms on law, statesmanship and politics.

Menu: lechon, pinto beans, Filipino red rice, collard greens, rice pudding and cassava cake for desert. Beverages: San Miguel beer (lager and dark)

Location: a bucolic spot overlooking the Little Spokane River on a comfortable day.

Entertainment: we'll watch some DVD's of the Sopranos and then use that as a springboard for the discussion of our topic.

My role: cook and host and peace-keeper if necessary. I wouldn't plan to do much talking -- mostly I would want to listen and get autographs.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Hehe. Actually, the link I posted addressed the weirdnesses in the DaVinci painting. For instance, it's still daylight, and Passover starts at sundown.

Plus, there seems to be cheese on the table, and it wouldn't be kosher to eat dairy with lamb.

Plus, if I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't have invited Judas. Troublemaker.

As for the food I'd serve, I guess I'd order some lobster in black bean sauce, the most incredible dish in the world. Me, I love kimchee, and for some reason fish sticks have my number. I could eat a pack of 44 in one sitting, especially if it was my last day on earth.

I live in California, so I can't get Mrs. Paul's Fish Sticks, from Allentown PA, and #1 in the Philadelphia area where I grew up.

Not made from minced fish like all the others, but from whole fillets. You could look it up. Here, I'll save you the trouble.

Simply freakin' awesome, especially with the Flavor-Pak that comes with the 44-stick pack.

As for my 5 to invite to dinner, it was pretty easy:

---Tommy Aquinas, my main man, whose classmates called The Dumb Ox, but of whom his mentor Albertus Magnus said, "this ox will one day fill the world with his bellowing."

Not only the one of the smartest men of all places and ages, taking on Aristotle, the Bible, the Muslim sages, and the nature of God and man, but also one of the wisest, kindest and most human.

I'm none of the above, except for the bellowing.

---Al-Farabi, the polymath combination of DaVinci and Aquinas, the most astounding figure of Islam's Golden Age. Not only called the "Second Teacher" to Aristotle's "First Teacher," but also a foremost authority on medicine and also music, defining the Arab tone scale still used today, much like Bach did with he "Well-Tempered Klavier."

In fact, al-Farabi makes DaVinci look sick.

---Frederick Douglass. Again, not just a man of his times but a man for all times. That he started in such conditions of depravity that he doubted his own humanity for lack of being able to read, he taught himself, and became one of the most well-read and well-spoken men of his age.

And unlike my first two heroes, a man of action and of personal courage, running a part of the Underground Railroad, and speaking truth to power.


But his wisdom, in rejecting John Brown's violence at the start of the great civil war, and in his gentle but unblinking and unsentimental understanding and forgiveness of Abraham Lincoln's difficult political position as delivered in Douglass' Oration In Memory Of Abraham Lincoln [1876].

If there were one hand I'd be most proud to shake in all of human history, it would be Frederick Douglass's.

And before you think I'm going all soft and PC on y'all, there are 3 things I admire most in a human being: clarity and honesty of thought; personal courage; wisdom and kindness. I can't think of anyone who embodied them all as well as Frederick Douglass.

As for the other two invitees,

---Winston Churchill was not only a consummate historian of Western Civilization, he was a participant in it, so he's in.

I'd love to find out if John Locke was as smart as many thought he was---I'm not sure if he wasn't just a wienie, albeit a clever one. Gandhi was weird, was kind of a drag, and would screw up the menu, altho I love Indian food.

---Dietrich Bonhoeffer would get the last spot. Bonhoeffer was the most astonishing man of the 20th century, I think, and hardly anybody even knows his name. I'd feel unworthy to shake his hand, although he'd just smile and offer his.

Thx, Lindsey. A great conversation starter. I couldn't resist my first response, since it practically wrote itself.


Brian Tubbs said...

Good, thought-provoking post, Lindsey!

I would invite George and Martha Washington, John and Abigail Adams, James and Dolley Madison, and then Benjamin Franklin and whichever lady acquaintance he wishes to bring. :-)

In addition to, of course, my wife and I being at this dinner, I'd reserve 2-4 seats to auction off to contributors of THIS blog, so that I could pay for any expenses associated with the dinner - and make a profit as well. :-)

Hamilton would be proud. Hmmm...maybe I should invite him to. :-)

1.) What will you serve and why?

Steak, lobster, crab legs, salad

2.) Where will you host the event?

I'd rent the Spirit of Washington or the Odyssey and take a dinner cruise down the Potomac.

3.) Where will your guests sit?

I'd go for a nice, round table.

4.) What will be the topics of conversation?

I have a feeling that the dinner conversation would run the gamut in terms of topics of conversation.

5.) What will be the entertainment?

Benjamin Franklin

6.) How would you sum up how this evening is most likely to go?

I suspect that Dr. Franklin would carry the evening with his humor and immense conversational skills.

Dolley Madison would also probably help move the evening along, being far more sociable and popular than her husband.