Walll Street Journal Grumbles About Cupcakes About a Year After the Trend

Panache cupcake.jpg

Time was when the Wall Street Journal was a respected paper: always with a business-friendly, mostly conservative point of view, but one at least respected. But ever since Rupert Murdoch acquired it a couple of years ago, it has ditched the gravitas for the sort of knee-jerk captain-of-industry populism best exemplified by Mr. Burns. And there was no better example of how tired and fussy this new Journal is than a recent op-ed piece published against cupcakes.
The author is Joe Queenan, a self-labeled "cultural critic," which essentially means he's a failed reporter who'd rather create witty bon mots than, you know, actually report. His sad, tired, forced piece works in slams against Jimmy Carter, Sex and the City, liberalism and all the other bogeyman the Journal crowd fears behind their servants and gated communities.

"With their fawning subservience to the cupcake," Queenan writes, "Americans had once again been led by the nose into mortifying behavior by the marketers who invent odious social trends and then trick everybody into thinking they result from a real paradigm shift bubbling up from the heartland."

You mean kind of how the Journal and others joined the Dubya administration in leading us into Iraq?

The funniest thing about Queenan's slam is that it's about two years too late. Even his assertion that pie is the new cupcake is about a year off--it's donuts that are now in, you cultural critic, you! A reminder that people should look toward the Journal for cultural trends the same way people should look to the Weekly for fawning coverage of Javier's...

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Young John Yellowcake
Young John Yellowcake

"... people should look to the Weekly for fawning coverage of Javier's..."

No, you have plenty of fawning coverage of Alebrije's Grill, Break of Dawn, and the Crosby, for example (only the truck being decent, although far from great).

You try to knock down the whole Wall St. Journal, one of the major forces in American journalism, because you don't like some article about cupcakes? This from a guy whose food page currently features stories about strippers smashing tacos with their butts and Russian army troops being fed dog food. There's also another screamingly unfunny and uninteresting "Taco Bell Crime of the Week" and, of course, a piece where our boy pats himself on the back because an article in some trade rag nobody cares about offers a chance to proclaim -- naively -- that certain Middle Eastern foods "entered the Orange County diet at least a decade ago." I remember having those same foods in New York, Chicago, Miami, and Austin at least four decades ago, and they've probably been available much longer in the major cities and college towns of this country. You some kinda' food historian.

Face it, man, you ain't gonna win no Wurlitzer Prize posing as a fourth-generation provincial. Either drop the goal or drop the pose. I have spoken.

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