A strange self-importance

May 7th, 2008 by Colonel Tiki

There is an aspect of many contemporary blogs that troubles me. I suppose I am troubled and annoyed because (like most things) I dislike my own tendencies and therefore see these tendencies more clearly in others. So existentially, this rant is directed mostly to myself.

The trend I speak of is the (to me) feigned pretentiousness of the novel. Now, I am the first to admit the joy of intellectualizing my hobbies, it is the curse of the overly educated and the lingering disease of the post-modern. However, I do try to keep a healthy grip on perspective. Yes, there is artistry and craft and great deep involvement of the minutia of flavor profiles; the alchemy of taste! However, for crying out loud, It’s just food / drink.

There’s no reason it can’t be both: I’m comfortable and (candidly) revel in ambiguity and cognitive dissonance. Aristotle may be wrong; “a” can equal “not a.” And yes, below I’ll be generalizing and paint with wide strokes:

For instance, The slow food movement. While wonderful and aligned with my own tastes and political leanings, etc. As explained to my mother-in-law, she replied: “Oh, you mean food?” You know, like your grandparents used to eat before the 50’s tech marvel fads of highways, distribution, production, suburbs and supermarkets changed things?

Canning, preserving, smoking, curing, head-to-tail: What your great-grandmother used to call “Wednesday.”


I do not mean to malign the renaissance of foodcraft (or any craft, for that matter). Nor do I wish to marginalize the wonder of discovery of these lost arts. I do however have my fill of those who are so god-damned pretentious about them. I wish we could stop pretending to be so god damned expectant of external validation of our personal growth in discovery. That’s all.

I mean, I know our damn generation has to deign irony or some other handle to deal with the fact that we’re broke and our market system is imploding and so we’re drinking Pabst and making mac and cheese (with local non-hormone artisan cheese). But really? Really? You don’t get a god-damned gold star no matter how well you can use the macro setting on your new digital camera. I’ll thank you for the recipes, though. They’re super tasty.

2 Responses to “A strange self-importance”

  1. Craig Hermann says:

    I have a related rantish comment regarding the cocktail culture. I’ll save that for a bit, perhaps after I post more real content. I don’t want to become all live-journal-y.

  2. Heather says:

    Hmmm, this sort of puts a damper on my planned blog post about my organic free range local French Breakfast Radishes that I pickled this weekend, complete with macro picks of a seemingly random tumble of radish greens. I really wanted that gold star, too.

    I’ve internalized preserving to such a degree that I have trouble seeing it in the light of hipster couture – it’s just what you DO in the summer.

    Honestly, I think work ethic is at the heart of it all. Making things from scratch (brewing, cooking, butchering, etc) is work, hard physical work that takes patience and is often boring (as I remember every July when I’m standing for 4 hours over a pot of bubbling strawberry jam in a 100F kitchen). Our generation excels at many things, but tedium is not one of them. So we have to make it meaningful, or at least underline how HARD it all is so that everyone is impressed.

    If only we could start the slow laundry movement, I’d be all over it.

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