The with-it need the without-it
While I hesitate to prolong the discussion because positions have hardened to the point that no one is listening to anyone else, the lure of John McIntyre's grandmother's sour cream cookie recipe compels me to publish this guest post. Anyway, John is so uncool he's cool. Here he is. EL
When I get up in the morning, I sneak a look out the window to see if the Hipster Anti-Defamation League is picketing my house. BOURGEOIS! PHILISTINE! BABBITT! Seeing none, I go gingerly about my business. ...
Elizabeth Large, the Baltimore Sun, and the Sandbox loyalists at Dining@Large have not been so lucky, coming under fire for this item in a published list of 100 things for foodies to do in Baltimore:
34. Make fun of the hipsters at Golden West and Rocket to Venus in Hampden.
An early comment by a member of the HADL set the tone for critical responses:
I don't think going somewhere to "make fun of the hipsters" has any place on that list. It has nothing to do with food, first of all. And I think the whole idea is tired and frankly, stupid. I'm really surprised it made the list and think it's beneath the tone of the article. It certainly should be beneath the tone of the author/editor. *
Comments, of which I wrote several, responding to this and other HADL complaints tended to urge people to lighten up, as well as to adopt a more civil tone. But I realize now that that approach was a mistake. People who don’t get a joke or who can’t take a joke are probably incurable. Just as “you can’t fix stupid,” you can’t jolly humorless. **
So I offer a different perspective. What the members of the HADL ought to take into account is how much they need me and people like me. To be hip, to be with it, inherently requires people who are without it. Without petty bourgeois types like me, hipsters would lack a background against which to contrast themselves. A world in which everyone is a hipster is no different from a world in which everyone is bourgeois — conformist.
The proper response, therefore, to a remark about hipsters at Dining@Large is not anger, but amusement. “Look at the drab little conformists trying to be funny at our expense.” Like that.
No need to picket me. And no need to thank me for helping to define hipsterdom. I’m happy to be of service.
Oh yes, this is a food blog. So here is one of my grandmother’s recipes for your holiday baking. Don’t eat all the batter.
Clara Rhodes Early’s Sour Cream Cookies
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 well-beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
5 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soda
1 ½ cups nuts (optional)
Drop from teaspoon onto cookie sheet.
Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
* Oddly, the item about eating roasted vegetables at Donna’s while wearing black — another blatant hipster jab — provoked no comment. Selective outrage is puzzling.
** I wear bow ties, so I am inured to ridicule.
(David Hobby/Sun photographer)