David Thompson


Blog powered by Typepad

« Elsewhere (79) | Main | And Now a Word from Our Sponsors »

November 22, 2012



It’s a thrilling development in “black identity.”

LOL. Thank God the Guardian only hires the best.


Ms Yates, an English Literature graduate, has evidently learned to regurgitate the kind of airy, tendentious guff her lecturers expected.

She's learned that as long as you use phrases like 'black identity' and 'the cultural capital of food' you can string any old bollocks together and get it published in the Guardian.

Sam Duncan

No doubt “truffle” is now a racist code-word, like “golf”.

Of course, nobody at the Groan will ever mention that the thing that gives Mr. Z (and everyone else) “consumer power” is free-market capitalism.



It’s the way she tries to conjure an air of Great Sociological Import while being comically presumptuous and parochial. I suppose we should clutch our collective pearls at the thought of a negro gentleman buying truffles. Why, the very idea.


"the thing that gives Mr. Z (and everyone else) “consumer power” is free-market capitalism"... I'm sorry but Mr. Z was somehow "allowed" consumer power, no one obviously earns or is given such hideous strength.


What Jay-Z is in effect saying is that the world of decadent foodstuffs is not off limits – not to him, or to hip-hop culture. Assumptions are slowly being challenged.

Er, what assumptions are being challenged? The widespread belief that rich black men shouldn't buy expensive food...?



Er, what assumptions are being challenged? The widespread belief that rich black men shouldn’t buy expensive food...?

I know. It’s very mysterious.

According to Ms Yates, truffles are a “delicacy of the 1% (or crucially, the white 1%).” And so a black millionaire buying the same item is immensely significant, albeit for reasons that are somewhat unclear. (And even when the chap in question is also a “1%er” by Ms Yates’ own class war logic.) But apparently, buying expensive foodstuffs is somehow incredibly different from buying expensive cars, champagne, houses, jewellery, etc. You see, by “appropriating the spending habits of the most privileged section of society” – at least with regard to pungent fungus - Mr Z is “bolstering a new kind of black identity.”

I think you’ll agree, an arts education is a wonderful thing.


Seems being a crystal-bathing, bling encrusted, private jet owning, Bentley driving rich 1%-er jackass is pretty cool to the Occupoders, so long as you're black.

Is there some pair of giant scales in the Guardian's Evil Lair, where you can weigh this kind of stuff up and get a defini-tive answer?

Stephen Fox

Super. Sort of 'Saturday Night and Domenica Mattina'?

In fact, isn't there a black man in the original, who 'knows how to spend his money'?

John West

Das right y'all. Jay Z an' his crew gonna have sum BBQ white truffles baby. Gonna be fine hot BBQ sauce be made my my B ... Beyonce ... y'all check it out y'all.


According to her website, Ms Yates is “a journalist and author writing on culture and politics,” has appeared on the BBC’s Culture Show “discussing activism,” and is a co-presenter of the Guardian’s weekly music podcast. She has also “worked as a consultant for arts organisations across the country,” including the Roundhouse and Tate Modern.

More worryingly, she has “headed journalism workshops.”

Robert Byrd, Grand Exalted Wizard of the KKK

In my day we'd LYNCH any uppity black men who bought white truffles! I remember going down to the Piggly-Wiggly in Selma and telling those boys "You'd better move along to the BLACK truffle case if you know what's good for you. And stick to the squid ink pasta, too!"

Spiny Norman


Crystal-bathing? Nah, hip-hop cultural elites now prefer the much more pretentious and flashy Armand de Brignac (aka "Ace of Spades") bubbly. The Graun's new oh-so-radical hero hosted a $40,000-a-head fundraising soiree for Barack Obama at his exclusive New York nightclub, with an in-your-face display made up of 350 bottles of the over-priced fizz. $280,000 of "bling" greeted the A-list entertainment media guests when they walked in. Classy.

That the aforementioned Mr Z gets paid millions by its US importer to pitch the stuff is really none of anyone's business... Paid celebrity endorsements tend to undermine the "radical" narrative a little.

Spiny Norman

More worryingly, she has “headed journalism workshops.”

Why does the seemingly contradictory phrase "radical snoozefest" come to mind?


Next week in the Guardian:

Timberlake or Bieber -which Justin is more radical?

the wolf

A leftist talks about "building a brand?" Yeesh.

I, for one, congratulate Mr. Z (Mr. -Z?) for breaking the fungal barrier.


"This new kind of spending goes a long way to help his brand"

Buying some truffles helps his brand? Goes a long way to help his brand? Has he been attacked in the past as someone unlikely to buy expensive mushrooms?

"while bolstering a new kind of black identity."

Buying rather too many truffles for one family to eat on holiday seems a strangely random, and needlessly overspecific sort of identity for any ethnic grouping to adopt. I can't really see it taking off.

"his purchase he is showing the world that taste is not for the white elite to dictate"

I would have thought copying the spending habits of the "white elite" shows the exact opposite.


But does he have a specially-trained pig to find them for him?




Has he been attacked in the past as someone unlikely to buy expensive mushrooms?


I would have thought copying the spending habits of the “white elite” shows the exact opposite.

Somehow, I don’t think Ms Yates has thought through the logic of her own pretensions. But then it’s the Guardian, so I suspect it’s more a question of making the expected noises, thereby signalling one’s own elevated status.


Had she wrote this article for the Daily Mail, she would be branded a racist


C'mon, fellas, the world is making progress. When I was young (a long time ago now), the succinct summary of this incident, "Black man eats white truffles" would have appeared without the noun in the object of the sentence.


"Assumptions are slowly being challenged."

Yep - Absurdly wealthy, ostentatious celebrities with a never ending capacity for vulgarity need no longer limit their excesses to gold-plated, diamond-encrusted private jets...Food Bling!!!

I think it's best summed up by this comment...

"You might be reading too much into this."

Dr Cromarty

Is it coz 'e is black?

Dr Cromarty

Could you not photoshop a picture of Jay Z holding up a sign saying:


Even by Guardian standards, Ms Yates’ article is remarkably dense with assumptions. The notion that a person is “allowed consumer power,” or that a taste for pungent fungus, unlike expensive cars, champagne, etc, is something hitherto “dictated” by “the white elite.” And the implicit idea that this undefined “white elite” (and presumably sellers of pungent fungus) would like to inhibit sales to certain customers based on their – again, undefined - “black identity.” I’m trying to picture an indignant truffle salesman: “Yes, Mr Z, I know you’re famous and statusful and your estimated worth is around $450 million, but I just don’t think that a black man should be seen buying three kilos of our product. It’s not for you. So please, keep your money. I really don’t want you to give me that €15,000.”


" And the implicit idea that this undefined “white elite” (and presumably sellers of pungent fungus) would like to inhibit sales to certain customers based on their – again, undefined - “black identity.” "

The same elites who keep young girls from developing into STEM majors or who pressured Cindy Crawford into abandoning a lucrative career in chemical engineering for a vacuous, un-progressive life in fashion.

Or the elites who insidiously inculcate black youth with the concept that learning how to read and write and do arithemetic is "acting white", and should be avoided in favor of focusing on a career in professional sports or the entertainment business.

It is really fascinating how progressives assimilate the language of the groups they hate, and turn it around against those groups - in this case, the language of business and advertising. They behave a lot like the Borg.

David Davis

If ordinary people (which is to say, er...not[some ethnic label or other]...) made a video like "Pon de floor", (I have just watched it, to my disgust: it will haunt me for some days)then they would be arrested for all sorts of things.

Steve 2

Yet, shamefully, the Coalition is doing nothing to encourage truffle consumption among our black British celebrities.


It's weird, but for all their talk of equality, liberals seem far more invested in the idea of class being An Unchangeable Thing than conservatives. A conservative money-grubbing greedy market-loving bastard would be happy to take your money, even if you were One Of "Those" People. A liberal will tell you that you're only allowed to spend your money in certain ways, at certain places, for certain things, based entirely on your group identification .


If only the banks had been run by black men, preferably rappers, then the Guardian would not devote 31.2% of their coverage to hysterically attacking them.


I can’t say I know much about this “white elite” or its alleged stranglehold on cultural matters. Evidently, I’m not being invited to their meetings, where they “dictate” which kinds of mushrooms the rest of us may consume.

But if I were asked who might be narrowing the horizons of some young black people and steering them away from an appreciation of useful things, I’d point them, for instance, to Dr Caprice Hollins and many of her fellow publicly-funded ‘diversity’ hustlers. For Dr Hollins, minority children are empowered by encouraging them to disdain “white values” – specifically, the concepts of planning ahead and turning up on time. And not correcting the children’s grammar, thereby ensuring they sound like idiots, is apparently a great way to ensure they get jobs and escape poverty.


"Assumptions are slowly being challenged" is one of the expressions of this totally unwarranted intellectual superiority complex Guardian people suffer from. File between "raising awareness" and "conscious of my privilege".

Note that these Assumptions are being Challenged Slowly, carrying the implication that the path to progress is slow, and probably impeded by reactionary nutjobs.

As has been pointed out, Ms Yates inadvertently allows one or two assumptions of her own to creep in. But not the sort that need to be challenged evidently!

Mike James

It's almost like the South Pacific Cargo Cult, this sort of child-like belief that simply blowing absurd amounts of money on the things they think white people admire would make others regard them as anything except vulgar arrivistes. Deep down these crummy little gang-bangers must know that people of genuine quality are laughing at them.


It’s almost like the South Pacific Cargo Cult…

The same could be said of quite a few Guardian articles. They function as incantations rather than logical arguments.


>totally unwarranted intellectual superiority complex

There's a term for that. "The Dunning Kruger effect"

They should rename AlGrauniad the Dunning Kruger Times.


A ruffle over a truffle.

Why is it that the class-worrying Graun cares so much about upper-class things?

Because it's all their upper-class readers think about. The rest of us just get on with life.



I followed the link to your post on Lanre Bakare (and then the links to his articles which are even worse than I expected). If he and people like him have any influence, I despair.



I’ve no idea whether Mr Bakare and his peers have much influence. But his thinking, such as it is - or rather, his attitudinising - is hardly uncommon. Whether this means that others wish to emulate his glib moral infantilism, or just that he’s quite conformist and in step with other idiots, I really couldn’t say.


I smell a PhD thesis for some lucky graduate student.

No topic too inane for today's scholars.


I think you’ll agree, an arts education is a wonderful thing.

I'm pretty sure that without one, I'd be unable to fully appreciate blog posts of this kind.


In other news: "Can you imagine, then, how it must feel for the people of San Francisco to be forced to turn back the cultural progress of the past half a century and to return to the Dark Ages of body shame and sexual repression?"

Oh, just put it away, sweetie. No-one wants to see it anymore.


Remember, "1%" is a code word for "rich people whose politics we don't like." When liberals like a rich person's politics, he is not a one-percenter even if he is a .001-percenter, mathematically speaking. This is the rationale by which Michael Moore denied that he was the 1%.


Days later, Moore issued a blithering defense of his wealth, saying, in summary, that he's not part of the 1% because he doesn't act like one of them.


On a related note, "tea partier" means "middle-class or poor person whose politics we don't like."



Remember, “1%” is a code word for “rich people whose politics we don’t like.”

And yet this fatuous Marxoid meme has gained traction among students, especially those inclined to self-flattering unrealism. Maybe they’ll develop the keen political insights of Jeremy Irons. A man described, by himself, as “incomparable.”

sackcloth and ashes

Kieran Yates is getting an absolute kicking on the comments.

I almost feel sorry for her ... almost.

Rob Crawford

I wonder how this Guardian droid would react to the news that about half the restaurants at Disney World have a dish involving truffles on their menu...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Amazon Link