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October 13, 2015

Problematic Breakfast Sandwiches: The Washington Post's Errantly-Named "WonkBlog" Has Concerns About the "Upscalification" of Egg Sandwiches


Yup.

Before quoting any of this extraordinarily stupid little dry fart of a piece, it's worth noting the academic-aligned left (which mostly includes academic poseurs) does very little these days except "problematize" minor and mundane elements of daily life.

That's a real word. To problematize something, to put it through the process of "problematicization," is to pick nits about tiny things which are themselves of sub-nit dimension in hopes of sparking a class consciousness and hopefully that left-wing revolution Marxists pray for.

Or, as Wikipedia puts it:

Problematization of a term, writing, opinion, ideology, identity, or person is to consider the concrete or existential elements of those involved as challenges (problems) that invite the people involved to transform those situations. It is a method of defamiliarization of common sense.

Problematization is a critical thinking and pedagogical dialogue or process and may be considered demythicisation. Rather than taking the common knowledge (myth) of a situation for granted, problematization poses that knowledge as a problem, allowing new viewpoints, consciousness, reflection, hope, and action to emerge.

What may make problematization different from other forms of criticism is its target, the context and details, rather than the pro or con of an argument. More importantly, this criticism does not take place within the original context or argument, but draws back from it, re-evaluates it, leading to action which changes the situation. Rather than accepting the situation, one emerges from it, abandoning a focalised viewpoint

Footnotes omitted, italics maintained.

The "defamiliarization of common sense" -- rather a too-accurate description of the process.

The process is of course one intended to undermine the assumptions of the eternal Class Enemy, the bourgeoisie, a people who have made it, relatively, in the world, and therefore are champions of the existing order. If only their innate common sense could be challenged and replaced with a different view of the world; if only they could see everything as problematic, as the Class Warriors of the New Left do.

The Washington Post here is engaging in overt class warfare here, propagandizing people to "problematize" the world, and every tiny itty-bitty nit of it, so that they'll reject capitalism, and marriage, and fossil fuels, and, by God, one day even upscale breakfast sandwiches.

Thus this deeply silly piece sets out to defamiliarize your common sense. Your common sense might tell you -- "What do I care if someone wants to pay $11.50 for a stupid upscale breakfast sandwich with expensive imported cheese?"

But this common sense must be estranged from the viewer, so that what he really sees is a Troubling Concern of National Importance -- this pricey egg sandwich is actually a violent appropriation of Proletarian food culture.

Wonkblog


Inequality in everything: The rich get better breakfast sandwiches, too
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By Roberto A. Ferdman
October 13 at 10:41 AM

[picture of egg sandwich deleted]

There's more to this than egg, cheese, and meat. (Stew Milne/AP)

[no there's not, asshole -- ace.]

Earlier this year, New York Times food critic Pete Wells was moved to write 841 words about breakfast sandwiches. It was a love letter of sorts, an ooey gooey ode to the most basic form of one of the most basic morning foods. But it was -- was about to open in Manhattan, and he was less than pleased.

Breakfast sandwiches, Wells explained, are nothing if not practical, prepared quickly and eaten on the go, stuffed with modest ingredients and sold at a reasonable price. No matter how nice the cheese or expensive the bacon, he wrote, nothing would ever live up to the original, no-frills sandwich: "the classic and possibly highest formulation: bacon, scrambled eggs and cheese on a roll." And yet here was a trendy new spot, readying itself to sell fancy pants egg sandwiches at four times the normal price. That is, for as much as $11.50.

Wells's angst was the angst of anyone who feels queasy about the upscalification (yes, that's a made-up word) of anything originally made by and for the working class. And it's well founded. The most salient thing about BEC isn't, of course, that it exists, but rather that it's not really an outlier. Much to the chagrin of bacon, egg and cheese purists everywhere, breakfast sandwiches have been moving upscale for quite sometime.

Oh dear.

"The growth of the more premium part of the market for breakfast sandwiches is something we've been looking at for a while," said James Russo, who is the senior vice president of global consumer insights at Nielsen, a market research firm. "It's really resonating with wealthier consumers."

Over the past five years, high-end and mid-scale restaurants have become particularly fond of adding new fried egg concoctions to their menus, swapping in bitter greens, spicy aiolis, and hard-to-pronounce cheeses. As a result, more than 63 percent of all fine dining establishments and 66 percent of their mid-level counterparts now offer at least one breakfast sandwich, according to data from market research firm Nielsen. That's almost the same menu penetration that breakfast sandwiches enjoy at fast food restaurants, where it's just shy of 70 percent.

The stratification of breakfast sandwiches is, in some ways, unsurprising. "Chefs have a history of taking everyday foods and elevating them," Russo explained. "It's a natural progression for many things. So the breakfast sandwich can be seen as one of the latest examples of this."

Hamburgers, Russo says, are another food that has undergone a similar transformation....

It goes on for several hundred dreary words more, each soggier with socialism than the last.

Charles C.W. Cooke asked a good question:


If the rich are to be Sandwich Shamed -- or worse; perhaps we need to register or even outlaw "Assault Sanwiches" -- from even indulging in such a minor upgrade, then what, precisely, are they permitted to spend their money on?

This is socialism, straight up -- the insistence that literally no one is permitted to buy or enjoy a better grade of good or service than anyone else.

And the Washington Post merrily publishes this crap, which would be silly even in the pages of The Nation.

Because Big Socialism is apparently very clickable. These dreary little douchebags will click on any Social Justice Warrior article they see on twitter.

Read it? I doubt it. But who cares, from a publisher's point of view. The name of the game is clicks, and these rancid little communauts will uncritically "Like" or RT any sort of "socially aware agitation" that crosses their transom.

There is a good Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser story called "The Curse of the Smalls and the Stars." * In the story's beginning, three minor "gods" are put out that two of their few worshippers, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, are putting zero effort into worshipping them (as opposed to their usual "very low, but nonzero" level of effort). They propose putting a curse on them to make them see the light -- but nothing that's too terrible, because the three gods can't afford to lose any worshippers. Just something that will get their attention, and get them to beg for forgiveness.

Fafhrd is inflicted with the Curse of the Stars -- he is so fascinated by the stars of the sky and the patterns between them that he cannot focus on the earthly world in front of him.

Gray Mouser is inflicted with the Curse of the Smalls -- he becomes (absurdly) fascinated with thimbles, coins, bits of string, a tiny shiny rocks. He cannot see the world in front of him, for his fascination with the fabulous tiny treasures beneath his feet.

These curses cause them to blunder around in the real world and (IIRC) they're almost killed because of their complete inability to see what the f*** is actually happening right in front of their eyes.

Anyway, the Left always reminds me of this story. They are either infected with the Curse of the Stars and cannot see the real world because their vision is obscured by fanciful utopias and dreamed realities. They're always talking about changing every facet of society and remaking mankind in their (deeply insipid) vision.

And when they're not plotting the grand metaphysical overthrow of basic human thinking, they are obsessing over break-f***ing-fast sand-f***ing-wiches.

Or a "racy" cabana shirt a rocket scientist wore.

Or a football team's name.

Etc.

They do not see the dangers in front of them -- ISIS is beheading men across the Middle East, and impressing women into sexual slaveries -- because they have the Curse of the Stars and the Smalls.

But they themselves lay this curse upon themselves: because it's a flight from reality, and a deliberate one. Rather than talking about something real, like ISIS, they amuse themselves like the Gray Mouser did with a few hairs of a pigeon's feather that struck him as particularly aesthetic.

It's pure decadence, and it will lead to deaths -- ours, unfortunately, for the weak will drag down the strong when the ship goes down.

* The best Fafhrd and Gray Mouser story I've read, though I haven't read that many -- it's a series I want to like more than I actually like. This one and the one where Fafhrd finds religion are good, though, and pretty funny. Worth reading for the gods' plotting to curse the duo in the beginning alone.






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