Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Jacob starts the day by cooking breakfast, and watching the Daily Show. This morning, I overheard Lewis Black's Segment, Back in Black, in which he's talking about Artisanal Foods. My favorite bit was the clip of a Dunkin Donuts commercial in which a Brooklyn hipster explains what an artisan is. Ouch, sometimes it's just too close to home.

It's no secret that marketing and advertising has co-opted the terms artisanal and authentic, and is throwing them at ridiculous mass-market products like potato chips and processed cheese.  For me, that doesn't negate the fact that there seems to be a real current in American culture right now to connect back to real things. The Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are two obvious examples of that, people wanting to return to a pre-industrialization model of consuming.  And it's not just bourgeois hipsters who are doing this shit. I recently met a guy who's 17 yr old son is about to graduate high school. This summer, he's not backpacking around Europe or working at the mall. He and his friend are raising organic chickens and then selling them at farmer's markets.

It's funny, because I grew up in a town in England that boasts to having the oldest market in England. It happens every weekend along the high-street and you can buy anything from apples to stereos. That market had literally been held there since the Romans invaded England. Perhaps that sort of trade is hard-wired into us?  How do you know you trust the product unless you look into the eyes of the person who's selling it to you. That's how people have bought stuff for the past 1,000 years, and with things like pink slime, it's hardly surprising people want to do it again.

As Lewis Black so eloquently says, they are "Pissing on our legs and telling us it's champagne."

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