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January 13, 2013

Sunday Times: The Obscenity of Food (and Youth Culture)

Ever mindful of my own the demographic and geographic limitations, I have a savvy 20-something friend in New York who I speak to regularly about politics and cultural trends. I haven’t spoken to him yet this Sunday, but I’d be very surprised if I didn’t hear from him before the day is out. The reason? Over the past year, we’ve had more than one conversation about the latest weekend piece in the NYT bashing youth culture (pejoratively labeled “the Friends generation”).

The latest whiplashing comes in the form of the piece in the NY Section this morning titled “The Unaffordable Luxury of Food.” Here’s just one morsel to chew on:

It surely comforts modern parents who have spent fortunes educating their children to know that these children are spending money on pork belly and not, for instance, cocaine. But what solace can it offer to realize that $300 a week put into an S. & P. 500 Index fund over the past five years would have provided an annual rate of return of 10.34 percent and grown to $100,354 today?

It’s unfortunate, too, that the piece is more about city youth blowing money on boutique food and trendy restaurants when the oldsters — many on the Times payroll, too, I’m sure — have the same addiction.

Consuming the lead photo, since that’s what we gorge on here at the Bag, it’s hard to escape the tie-in with the analogy above. Like those memories of Yuppie youth that the article draws so heavily on, we see the shiny spoon heading as much for the nose as the mouth as if this sundae creation at Spice Market (or the article’s also pictured $2,013 pasta with wild mushrooms, lobster and truffle shavings from Bice) could be pulverized and snorted instead.

If truth be told, though, shouldn’t we be talking about the dynamics of this photo, and the foodie addiction, as culturally widespread?

(photo: Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times. caption: EATING WELL Three friends reveling in a meal at Spice Market restaurant.)

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