Monday, April 20, 2009

How did we get here?

20 years ago, if you had gone to the twenty- and thirty-somethings of a major American city and told them that in just two decades, they would find Saturdays and Sundays beholden to a forced social eating ritual leading to deep afternoon food comas, awkward conversation, and exorbitant spending on glorified breakfast food, they would have dismissed you out of hand.

Yet this is precisely the situation in which we find ourselves today. The tyranny of brunch over weekend mornings has become so great that many do not even realize they have other choices, but blindly consent again and again to the dictates of the brunch imperialists: proponents deeply committed to the brunch ritual who push friends and acquaintances to engage in it again and again--and ostracize those who would question what real utility and enjoyment brunch provides.

I do not seek the wholesale eradication of brunch. I recognize that brunch today plays a critical role in such areas as finding a second best option to meet other people's parents, providing otherwise good restaurants with additional cashflow, and providing another public weekend social activity for the alcohol intolerant or people who always bail before 10 PM.

But I am asking that we put brunch in greater perspective, for greater understanding of those who secretly detest brunch, and for a new appreciation of forgotten lower-impact ways to feed oneself on a weekend morning after going out the previous night. For I believe the current brunch culture is unsustainabile and inefficient. If we don't begin reversing the trend now, we are going to look back in several years and wonder why we wasted all those Sunday afternoons digesting eggs benedict platters.

This blog is a cry for reason. It is the hope that one lone voice can inspire like minds to speak up for their interests, to feel confident saying, when asked "Let's do brunch tomorrow morning": "Nay. I shall not. For that is not how I wish to spend my day."

Our work begins now.

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