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October 20, 2013

Comments

Karen M

"Matt Seaton is editor of Comment is free US."

Thank God for quality journalism.

David

One of my nieces makes customised cakes for a living, including cupcakes. They’re very good and rather artful. She gives good bun. And despite having a taste for her own wares, she doesn’t strike me as at all hobbled by insecurity or a “demeaning, self-trivialising sort of hyper-femininity.” In fact, I’d quite like to see someone say that to her face.

Liessa

It's all too true, David. I, too, once believed that happiness could be found at the bottom of a baking tray. Only Cupcakes Anonymous gave me the strength to reject the demon yeast* and regain inner harmony.

Incidentally, my friend once hosted a massive cupcake party with about 20 different kinds on offer (vegan cupcakes, no less. They were really good). To me she appeared to be a confident and successful chartered accountant, but now I realise she was just another unwitting tool of the Patriarchy.

(*OK, I know cupcakes don't actually contain yeast, but 'demon self-raising flour' didn't sound quite as good.)

David

To me she appeared to be a confident and successful chartered accountant, but now I realise she was just another unwitting tool of the Patriarchy.

You must rush out at once and explain to her how terribly damaged she is.

Watcher

I bake bread and scones often using wholemeal flour (though not exclusively), but I can now see as a white privileged male who is somewhat dismissive of lefty cant and hypocrisy, I clearly need to move away from these artefacts of male dominance and on to politically-correct cup cakes.

I shall clean my prejudicial baking trays and see if I can make something so deliciously cup-cake shaped that even marxist-stained tyrants will see the light. Or at least lick the icing.

sk60

I love in when Guardianistas talk about "our obsession" with something that no-one I know is obsessed with.

David

I love it when Guardianistas talk about “our obsession” with something that no-one I know is obsessed with.

Ah, but being a Guardianista, Mr Seaton must make sweeping sociological claims based on bugger all. Some critical theory is called for, even for tiny cakes. And the more fanciful it is, the better. He’s showing us his credentials. It’s rather like Mike Power’s recent howling about how “ugly” and “oppressively penetrating” barbecues are, because of all that terrible patriarchy among the lower classes, with their sexism and grunting and “low-quality sausage meat.” That his ideological posturing bears little relation to reality, to how people actually behave and what they enjoy, is beside the point. What matters is that his leftwing amulet catches the light.

rjmadden

these tiny cakes are exploitative and induce all manner of psychological problems in the womenfolk of the world.

And yet the Guardian keeps losing money hand over fist. It's a mystery.

peter h

"What matters is that his leftwing amulet catches the light"

I say, how very amusingly put, I may have to steal it. As we've said before lefty/fascism is all about self congratulation. Bless! They really, really CARE, don't you see?

Barbecues not barbeques, dear boy.

svh

First deadly biscuits now this. Chocolate is still okay, isn't it?

David

Barbecues not barbeques, dear boy.

Argh. Buggery and damnation.

Mr Potarto

In the comments we discover from another Guardian journalist that Matt is not just a man of censorious words, he's also a man of censorious actions:

"I used to bring cakes into the office a lot, and Matt put a ban on it because he was worried about how much sugar we all ate."

And she is glad that he did. Because as a women she has no control over her impulses and needs her boss to correct her.

David

I used to bring cakes into the office a lot, and Matt put a ban on it because he was worried about how much sugar we all ate.

Scolding and prohibition are the rewards for bogus piety.

carbon based lifeform

Butter-iced snares of self-loathing that sell precisely because they exploit young women’s insecurity about their looks and identity,

Once again the Guardian has out-Onioned the Onion.

Henry

Not only that, but there's a bizarre "you're a man how dare you pretend to be fighting for womankind" comment there - directed at the author of the article. At least I think that's what it's about.

"Wait... so we have a culture that blames women for being raped, we have body shaming messages scattered throughout the media, we ...[more dubious claims].. but this jackass thinks that his opinion on cupcakes matters?"

I've replied, somewhat disparagingly - and not been deleted yet. It's all such fun.

(PS: has this got anything to do with what QuietRiotGirl calls "mumsy cupcake feminism"? I think not. All very confusing)

vanderleun

"You know what Matt Seaton's photo really look like? – a butter-iced snare of gay self-loathing that sells precisely because it exploits an aging gay male's insecurity about his looks and identity, and offers a completely false and self-defeating solace of temporary gratification as a bottom, almost certainly followed by remorse and disgust."

Stuck-Record

My God! Imagine the Imperialist connotations of a white person cooking some ethnic cuisine. The exploitation of the intellectual property of the oppressed third world poor. There should be a campaign:

Curry Jubilee: Compensate the Continent.

RickC

Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I'm a man. I like cupcakes. Does this make me gay? It's the only explanation since Seaton and several of the commenters agree that cupcakes have been prepared, packaged and marketed primarily to ensnare women. It's been well established (in their minds) that we lowly prols have no agency or resistence to this sort of capitalist manipulation so following the logic, I'm now gay. Can't believe it was cupcakes that brought me out of a closet I didn't even know I was in. Seaton's right though, now I'm filled with self-loathing.

dicentra

"because they exploit young women’s insecurity about their looks and identity"

Young women who are insecure about their looks (being too fat) don't see cupcakes as a remedy for being too fat.

As a glorious way to self-medicate, sure, but those who make cupcakes are appealing not to insecurity but to the common sugar-tooth.

But that observation is too mundane for Our Betters, and so it must be discarded.

dicentra

Because as a women she has no control over her impulses

When it comes to office cupcakes, donuts, cookies, or any frosting-based pastry, this is exactly correct.

You could lure me into the very maw of hell with a frosted Cinnabun.

YMMV

Mowgli

For a bet i once stuffed a cupcake into my hoop and with one mighty trumpet managed to propel it 28.5cm from whence it came. A record in my Scout Troop although Akela wasn't impressed.

JeremiadBullfrog

He ends his rant with: I don't want to ban cupcakes; cupcakes have their place. I just wish they weren't so in my face.

...but something tells me he has no problem shoving things he likes, e.g. his socio-political preferences, in other people's faces by statist coercion. For Their Own Good.

David

I don’t want to ban cupcakes

And yet he feels it necessary to say “I don’t want to ban cupcakes.” As if that would be an obvious thing to consider, the kind of thing one does. And after banning them in his own office.

David

An unimpressed commenter asks, “What is it with people’s inability to ignore the things they don’t like?” Meaning, things you don’t like and which have no bearing whatsoever on your everyday life or the turning of the world. Say, “our” alleged “obsession” with cupcakes and their supposedly debilitating effects on helpless, hapless womenfolk.

But fretting ostentatiously about things of no importance is practically a standard template for Guardian articles, especially if you can shoehorn in some sophomoric theorising. It’s something all papers do, due to the obligation to Fill Space Somehow, but the Guardian is by far the greatest exponent, the most grandiose. They’ve mastered inadvertent surrealism. First you find some tiny, utterly trivial personal anecdote or grumble, then inflate it to sociological status with lots of wild, baseless assertion. Anything from the feminist politics of toddler excrement to peanut butter residue and the cruel, cruel agonies of spellcheck software. Whether the complaint is valid, or even sane, or can withstand a minute’s scrutiny, really doesn’t matter. It’s all about display. Being outraged as a credential. Which is why, for instance, something as dull as temporary building renovation can be described in all seriousness as “cultural apartheid.”

Robert

Every time you publish one of these, David, I think: "That's it. That's the absolute nadir of whiny, trivial, self-obsessed, preening, idiotic, brain-dead, smug lefty bollocks."
And then the following week....

Anna

Short version: "I, Matt Seaton, am much smarter than women who eat cupcakes."

David

Short version: “I, Matt Seaton, am much smarter than women who eat cupcakes.”

Basically, yes. Because women are so mentally insubstantial that even a tiny cake can unhinge their minds.

Steve 2

Hello possums.

I read Mr Seaton's lament with mounting outrage and hunger. Just when we thought the existential threat to womankind couldn't be any starker after the rise of the vajazzling menace, we find females being subjugated by sinister patriarchal confectionery.

It pains me to say this, but isn't it time we recognised the awful truth that women hate women?

When they aren't aggressively making babies (how disgustingly clichéd can you get?) without a care for the extra carbon emissions another flatulent infant will create, they're engaged in roleplaying vulgar gender stereotypes by maliciously getting their hair done, angrily wearing skirts, hatefully putting on makeup, and oppressively watching soap operas.

It's as if Andrea Dworkin never existed.

I tried to enlighten my wife recently but she has so deeply internalised the patriarchal capitalist self-loathing gynophobia that it's like she's a Stepford Wife.

"Stop looking at cute baby pictures on Facebook you silly cow, that's what the Patriarchy WANTS you to do!", I reasoned.

But instead of joining me in spontaneously casting off the shackles of male dominance, she merely waved at me without using all her fingers (this may be some sort of Stepford Wife secret symbol) and informed me she'd be going to a friend's house that evening to eat ice cream and watch Dirty Dancing on Blu Ray, and that I shouldn't wait up.

"Why must you dress up in such a heteronormatively stereotypical way? I doubt your friend needs to see you in high heels and a push up bra!", I enquired, but she simply rolled her eyes and flashed me the Stepford hand signal again.

Apparently her friend is a wealthy eccentric, because she lives in a series of luxury hotels and never seems to stay long at any one of them.

She came home the next morning, her clothes badly wrinkled, and with a limp.

This culture of hyper-femininity is literally exhausting our women, but if my wife is anything to go by, they don't seem to care.

R. Sherman

When the war against oppression finds you fighting cupcakes, I think you can safely say you've won.

David

When the war against oppression finds you fighting cupcakes, I think you can safely say you’ve won.

Oh, you mustn’t mock. Maybe Mr Seaton really does know hundreds of thousands of women who are acutely susceptible to the “implicit values” of this “cultural artefact,” i.e., a tiny cake, with its “demeaning, self-trivialising hyper-femininity.” You know, women who can be plunged into spirals of despair and self-loathing by a dainty piece of sponge.

dicentra

First you find some tiny, utterly trivial personal anecdote or grumble, then inflate it to sociological status with lots of wild, baseless assertion.

Vivid performative of first-world problems, looks like.

Either that or the sign of a corrupt society: strain at a gnat while swallowing a camel.

Oh hey! It can be BOTH!

jonuk

I wonder what this Seaton guy has to say about spotted dicks

Hal

The Guardian is complaining about cupcakes at this date?!?!?!

How utterly behind The Times . . . .

Butter-iced snares of self-loathing that sell precisely because they exploit young women’s insecurity about their looks and identity,

Once again the Guardian has out-Onioned the Onion.

All while also being totally behind the fads of the moment, as far as I can tell . . .

I'm not that current on what the pretentious are claiming to be up to these days, aside from what I see when tripping over them in the streets, but cupcakes were clearly The Thing of at least six years ago. And possibly earlier. These days one's random large grocery chain offers bakery cakes made of individual cupcakes with a single slab of icing across the top of them.

On another hand, for those having a fixation on discredited economic theory from the late industrial revolution and a London Library reading room, I suppose being only a half decade behind the times is considered commendable . . .

David Gillies

It's execrable nonsense like this that truly encapsulates the totalitarian nature of Leftist thought. Not content with occupying the high ground and putting his malign stamp on the really important things, the true progressive feels the need to descend into every nook and vale to make sure there is nowhere his writ does not run. Note the question begging implicit in the line "I do not wish to ban cupcakes." It presupposes that if, in fact, Matt Seaton did want to ban cupcakes then cupcakes should be banned. It's not a sop to liberty, it's a statement that these things exist at his discretion. Of course he's a jumped-up little nobody and has no power to alter things one way or the other. But the difference between him and me is that even were I granted dictatorial powers the idea of banning little snack cakes would never cross my mind, much less the idea of writing some semiotics-laden bullshit about them.

Hal

Short version: “I, Matt Seaton, am much smarter than women who eat cupcakes.”

Basically, yes. Because women are so mentally insubstantial that even a tiny cake can unhinge their minds.

Weelllll, we must acknowledge that Seaton does have a very important point, after all we could wind up giving women the vote sometime, and then where would we all be?

Sofe

They’ve mastered inadvertent surrealism.

Amen to that.

dicentra

Note the question begging implicit in the line "I do not wish to ban cupcakes." It presupposes that if, in fact, Matt Seaton did want to ban cupcakes then cupcakes should be banned. It's not a sop to liberty, it's a statement that these things exist at his discretion.

Bears repeating.

Hal

First deadly biscuits now this. Chocolate is still okay, isn't it?

Oh, yes, as our Guardian of the masses assures us; . . . me and my industrial-scale chocolate habit . . .

. . . Or at the very least, chocolate has been stated as acceptable for him, where admittedly he doesn't seem to have addressed that regarding the unenlightened unwashed.

Someone may have to volunteer to feed 'im the question, so that the equally ponderous and vastly immense concern of the ages can thus be relieved of our attention . . .

blackmamba

bigwhitebird
18 October 2013 2:44pm

This comment has been chosen by Guardian staff because it contributes to the debate...

"This is what I find mildly disturbing about the whole cupcake mania. They look like kiddie treats but have somehow become associated with grown women. There does seem to be a cultural message in there..."

Ah yes. This cupcake mania that's such an important element in all our lives. I can rarely think of anything else.

Mr. Saturn

But what of muffins? Are muffins kosher?

murray

Sometimes a cupcake is just a cupcake.

Ron

Tip jar tickled. :)

dcardno

You must rush out at once and explain to her how terribly damaged she is.

Erm, no. The standard leftist response is to explain to everyone else how damaged she is.
You're welcome.

Mark

Reading stuff like this, it might be amusing to mix & match some of, oh I don't know, Hitler's speeches with Monbiot's (or similar), preferably via YouTube. I wonder how many Guardian types could tell the difference before the popup explaining which year it was written in & by whom :P .

Hal

You must rush out at once and explain to her how terribly damaged she is.

Erm, no. The standard leftist response is to explain to everyone else how damaged she is.

It's a condescension thing. You wouldn't understand.

Mags

Cupcake counselling. It's the obvious answer.

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