Bread, Circuses, and … Cupcakes?Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Like the Macarena, Tofutti, the pedestrian scooter, the urban cowboy look of the early 1980s and America’s brief, misguided obsession with Paris Hilton, the era when the cupcake was in the ascendant deserves to be consigned to the dustbin of history. What a nightmare it has been.
Joe joyfully exclaims that the era of the cupcake idiocy is over. Except I don’t necessarily categorize the cupcake circus along with other American cultural phenomena. A fad is a fad – they can be awful or fun or hilarious or ignorable. Part of the joy of an ever-changing culture is watching fads come and go, making fun of them, or watching the more meaningful trends become a part of the culture.
What Joe doesn’t mention is that the gourmet cupcake craze is a boom-bubble phenomenon – just one of many infantile fads easily accessible to the masses that attract people driven to excess by cheap money and the have-pulse-will-loan mentality of the boom years. Cheap-and-easy loans and an abundance of borrowers having no skin in the game created an environment where any scatterbrained idea can be turned into a brick-and-mortar business almost overnight. According to what I keep reading, it was Sex and the City – another repulsive obsession for the life-imitates-Hollywood crowd – that spawned an entire culture of cupcake worship. So let it be written on Sex and the City, so let it be done. Thanks to Shawn Ritenour for the tip.