Sunday, September 21, 2008

Now move away from my nigiri unagi, you tramp

Feng sushi, originally uploaded by peripathetic.

...a good deal of the progressives’ attitudes, preferences, and sense of identity are ingrained in an unlovely disdain for those outside their charmed circle. In Lander’s analysis, much of their self-satisfaction derives from consumption (the slack-sounding “stuff” in the title is deceptively apt)—and much of that consumption is motivated by a desire to differentiate themselves from the benighted.

Sushi, for instance, is “everything [White People] want: foreign culture, expensive, healthy, and hated by the ‘uneducated.’”

White People [like being protected] “from having to look at things they don’t like. At the top of this list is anything that has to do with Christianity”—an aversion, Lander discerns, rooted not in religious enmity but in taste (Christianity is “a little trashy”), formed largely by class and education.”

The other week in London, after spending a small amount on trainers and trackies, and a small fortune on a trendily branded item of sports clothing — which I’ll probably never use for sport and nobody else will either — I ambled along to the cultural enclave of the South Bank, took a few arty photos with my expensive new camera, and then met my atheist friend and some other white people from his writers’ group. We all drank, and talked about how normal and hard-up we are for a while, and discussed creative writing, and agents, and getting published.

And then went for sushi. Oooops. Cough.

1 comment:

Patrick said...


My friend Liz and I are frequently amused to find ourselves being awfully White Middle Class but with a slight twist (like arriving at Sainsbury's in a Saab to shop for fresh pasta and realising we're blaring the Bloodhound Gang's 3.14 out the windows for example)

That's the thing about stereotypes/archetypes: their only real value is as things that are fun to play around with... I get a bit wary when people start (as this Lander entity seems to have) drawing capital "C" Conclusions about diverse groups of individuals based on simplistic observations of behaviour.

I confess I only scanned the article and haven't read the book, but it did seem overly preoccupied with hate and (sushi or no) that's not something I associate with you.

No "oops" required if you ask me.