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Bacon flavored
Sigh. I googled Lapsang Souchong tea this morning, and I found out that tea snobbery is now available to everybody, even pudgy guys with questionable glasses living in Norristown. I honestly can't think of anything left that's not a subject of obsessive consumerist snobbery. Chocolate now has a passport, according to a February 8th article on single-origin chocolate in the New York Times. Wine was over long ago. Bourbons and single-malt scotches have been done, and God knows cigars have too. Garden soil, dogs and cats, drinking water, denim, knives, and toilet paper all have their connoisseurs who know what's the thing to have, what is so five minutes ago, what will never go out of style, what's just a bit much, what is downright trashy, and what is so outré that, perversely, it's in again. There are entire forums for people who collect vacuum cleaners. Even the simple living movement has gradations of snobbery: Clotheslines? Why yes, of course, charming. Coupons? But honey, they might make you buy the wrong brand! Ten-pound sacks of textured vegetable protein? Oh... dear. Dear, dear me. Oh my.

First good taste was the new virtue, then bad taste was the new good taste, then virtue was the new virtue. Through it all, the tyranny of taste is still going strong.

There's such a fine line between connoisseurship and snobbery. See? Even that last sentence might have crossed that line. Can anyone think of anything that hasn't been a subject of consumer obsession?

Current Mood: sick sick

8 comments or Leave a comment
martip From: martip Date: February 20th, 2006 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ugh. I have a perversity in me that when something I like suddenly becomes the rage, it puts me off it, even if it's been a product I've enjoyed for years. I guess I just don't want to be part of the snotty madness.
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florafloraflora From: florafloraflora Date: February 20th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, no! Don't give the New York Times any ideas! Next thing you know they'll be writing a profile that starts out in a 7-11 (mandatory snub of popular consumer product) and goes on to profile a guy who has moved back to his hometown in Oklahoma after ten years as a successful lawyer in Chicago, and is raising the finest pemmican stock from a cross between bison and a strain of cattle first bred by Thomas Jefferson.
miketroll From: miketroll Date: February 20th, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
My first notion was chitlins, but then I remembered Grandma Clampett being mighty persnickety about whether they wuz stump-whipped or hog-tied.

So then I thought: pork scratchings. Alas, a little googling showed that even the humble pork scratching has its snobs - see link.


If I think of anything, I'll come back on this one!
emperor_fool From: emperor_fool Date: February 20th, 2006 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
We all have our weaknesses and snobberies. I bookcross and refuse to eat most fast food. Some people go to camp to learn Klingon. Some people frequent message boards where they can out-snob one another about the optimum number of bubbles per cubic centimeter of sparkling spring water or the precise amount of nitrogen in their fertilizer. Last weekend I met a very successful neorosurgeon with a basement full of toy trains. (Though he would never, of course, use the word "toy" to describe them.) Whatever. I try to ignore people's obsessions and hope they'll ignore mine. Like you, though, I do sometimes wish people were less interested in impressing each other.
florafloraflora From: florafloraflora Date: February 20th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're right. Passions come in all shapes and sizes, and I'm not here to take anyone's model airplanes away. Personally I'm not a collector, but I don't begrudge anybody else that hobby.

What bugs me is the luxification of everything, the way we're all supposed to know everything there is to know about every category of consumer good, and adjust our consumption accordingly. That, and the sneering about the old inferior products that used to be acceptable. I do it too, but it's a bad habit I need to break. All that fussing over brand names (or not-brand names) takes up valuable time and money that could be better spent in other ways.
emperor_fool From: emperor_fool Date: February 20th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Amen, sister. I really do try, and I think I'm usually pretty good about it. But now and then I catch myself starting to judge someone based on something I shouldn't (like a toy train collection or the desire to learn Klingon). I know I can be every bit as bad as those who would judge me according to my lack of shoe sense, or whatever they'll judge me for.
wyldanthem From: wyldanthem Date: February 20th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
>> There's such a fine line between connoisseurship and snobbery. See? Even that last sentence might have crossed that line.

Pshaw. You call that a sentence? *sticks her nose in the air*

From: bobbarama Date: February 21st, 2006 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, florafloraflora. MoraMoraMora, please. This hit my funny bone. I've seen you in the forums in bookcrossing, but this is a side of you I haven't seen before ... or at lest noticed until now. Oh, hey, the answer to your question is hairballs. My cat's connoisseuric specialty ... the bane of my existence. (smile)
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