Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pretention Personified

Matt can't read, and Megan can't write:

Aspen is a monumental shrine to wealth, clothed in the false modesty of a self-conscious homage to America's small town past. It is the Potemkin Village of the post-consumer culture. The place always puts me in mind of the "American" restaurants abroad--it looks like a diner, and the menu sounds like a diner, but when the food comes the chili cheesedog is made with bratwurst and limburger, and they've slathered your french fries with mayonnaise.


As commenter James Gary said, "that paragraph contains the most pompously half-assed use of metaphors and comparison I've come across since I quit reading Tom Friedman." And he's right. Let's dissect this corpse. Megan start's off the paragraph by smooshing two run-ons together, and calling it a sentence. Usually when 'writers' do that the second clause elaborates on the point of the first. Say, "Aspen is a monumental shrine to wealth, with fancy shit everywhere." Just like Churchill's India, Aspen is a shrine clothed in a false modesty wrapped up in an homage. Nevermind the fact that it makes no sense for a shrine to be clothed, nor does it makes any sense for the shrine to be falsly modest, or self-conscious. On to the next...

"It is the Potemkin Village of the post-consumer culture." Does that mean that Aspen is just a facade? There's no there there there? What the hell she means by that sentence is just beyond me.

"The place always puts me in mind of the "American" restaurants abroad" STOP. Apparently, 'this place reminds me of' was too trite and clear for Megan.

"it looks like a diner, and the menu sounds like a diner, but when the food comes the chili cheesedog is made with bratwurst and limburger, and they've slathered your french fries with mayonnaise."

I've seen those greeting cards that play tunes when you open them up, but I had no idea they put them in menus now. One last query: Who is 'they'?

7 comments:

Clever Pseudonym said...

Megan faulting Aspen for being the kind of place that is designed specifically to cater to people exactly like her is just hilarious.

And there she goes again, trying to slip in a veiled boast about her worldly sophistication while making herself actually look ignorant and back-wooded. I lived in Europe for years and while they do offer mayonaise as a condiment for french fries, they don't "slather" them with it (and french fries aren't "American" anyway), just like restaurants here. Surprise, surprise, "authentic" national foods bought abroad aren't authentic at all. Chinese food in China is different than the Great Wall of Pandas in West Covina. Mexican food bought in Mexico doesn't taste like Taco Bell. No Australian has ever eaten food in his homeland that remotely resembles what you can get on the menu at the Outback Steakhouse. Besides, who the hell travels to a foreign country from the States and eats in an American restaurant?

M. Bouffant said...

Cheese & crackers, the only time a Yankee should be eating at an American-style restaurant in Yurp is if s/he has been living there for a while & getting homesick.

I can't tell you how happy I was when, after over a yr. in Paris, I met a woman w/ a U. S. diplomatic passport & persuaded her to go to the embassy commissary & buy me some Oreos™. Simple pleasures, etc.

In those days, there were no Mickey D's in Yurp.

spencer said...

Besides, who the hell travels to a foreign country from the States and eats in an American restaurant?

When I went to Dublin about six or seven years ago, many of the locals I talked to were keenly interested in my opinion of their brand new Planet Hollywood; a lot of them could not understand why I wouldn't want to eat there.

Weird.

Clever Pseudonym said...

I was living there in the mid-80s and they had McD's then. I was a kid and we were allowed to eat there very rarely. I agree - if you're homesick or doing it on a lark, like those guys from Australia I mentioned, sure. But to complain that the American resaurant in Europe isn't authentic is just stupid. Those types of restaurants never are.

Clever Pseudonym said...

Spencer - I got the same thing in Belfast. Everyone wanted to take me to the Hard Rock Cafe. No thanks. I didn't fly across the ocean to eat the same over-priced, bland crap I can get at home.

Susan of Texas said...

"Post-consumer culture"? Have we moved beyond buying things? The last time I looked everyone was maxing out their credit cards and borrowing on their houses. (While they could.) Not to mention she's talking about "a shrine to wealth."

The woman doesn't think. Every so often she tries, and then a few butterflies wander out from between her ears and another post is born.

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