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Culture wankers

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Bari Weiss’s ShakeShack, in its mission of putting the spotlight on some of America’s least interesting thinkers and writers, has found a real winner here:

Alas, this is a virtually verbatim paraphrase:

We know who’s to blame for this surreality: the True Believers. The children of Park Slope and Echo Park with their graphic tattoos and nut allergies and an odd inability to form complete sentences. The neurotic, anxious twentysomethings who went to college to be told that “truth” is a white male construct, who seem devoid of poetry or irony, who believe mean words, words with which they disagree, are like ICBMs. Those whose lives are circumscribed by galactic reservoirs of ignorance — about the past, the culture, themselves, about why they believe what they know to be good and indisputable. Those who know only how to perform, and who rely on acronyms and slogans and logical fallacies when asked: how can you be sure of that?

Ye gods, talk about a perfect match between quality of prose and quality of thought. Anyway, were it not for the bit about nut allergies, this even-more-witless-than-the-norm anti-CANCEL CULTURE boilerplate wouldn’t be worthy of a second’s thought. But this is genuinely worrisome.

When I was a kid, attitudes like Wies’s and her DH were sadly common. I would ask if cookies brought to a school event or served at someone’s house had nuts, a parent would say “no” because obviously I was just being picky, and by the time I found out that they had peanut butter or walnuts it was a life-threatening trip to the emergency room for me. (Not even a graphic tattoo for some dipshit fuddy-duddy to yell at clouds about out of the deal!) I can assure you that anaphylactic shock is a very real and unpleasant thing.

A great deal of progress has been made here — people generally take allergies seriously. But it wouldn’t surprise me if “other people’s allergies might mildly inconvenience me so therefore they’re all fake news” makes a comeback, and the Intellectual Dork Web would be an all-too-ideal incubator.

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