Saturday, 17 May 2014

Lifestyle and Lettuce.

It’s that time of year again, time for the decadence of late night lettuce and mayo sandwiches. I’ve rarely had a meal in a restaurant that I enjoyed as much as a late night lettuce and mayo sandwich. That’s why I find myself a little bemused by the ubiquitous presence of celebrity chefs on the TV.

I took to wondering why they’re there. We don’t have celebrity brain surgeons, do we? Or celebrity bus drivers, or bricklayers, or solicitors, or accountants, or car mechanics, or call centre operatives. But we do have celebrity chefs. I decided that it’s all to do with our modern obsession with lifestyle.

Lifestyle obsession is, it seems to me, the very definition of decadence. It fills the gap in our aspirations when we no longer have to work, scavenge or fight just to survive. The focus of our efforts is not survival any more, but the visible quality of our lifestyle. It’s why people pay large sums of money for a piece of furniture that is no more comfortable to sit on than something costing considerably less. Lifestyle is the means by which we judge one another in a world becoming increasingly vacuous. It’s what makes us important. It’s what proves the illusion. Some people see it, and some people don’t.

Lifestyle is why we have celebrity chefs, and maybe lifestyle is why I like lettuce and mayo sandwiches. I suppose I should be happier with a raw carrot. And history recalls that the descent into decadence is the beginning of the end of civilisation, so maybe we should coin a variation on the old adage about people and incompetence:

Every civilisation rises to its own level of unsustainable decadence

How about if I got rid of the mayo and had a lettuce and carrot sandwich instead?

Can’t be bothered. It’s late.

No comments: