Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cupcakes blamed for gentrification

Original image can be found here.

Today Cupcakes Take the Cake posted this article about cupcakes. Its yet another one of those ‘anti’ cupcake articles. There are many examples:

Death to cupcakes; Let them eat cupcakes (which does note that fanaticism on either side is misplaced); Meme Roth on the Daily Show; Cupcake Backlash; Cupcake Nation: some statements here were kinda sad and creepy.

In the article posted by CTTC, "The Cupcake Revival", no names of the NY 'academics' conducting the gentrification study are given. No investment funds are identified specifically, no entrepreneurs pointed out. But it COULD be happening.

Investment funds that help to set up shops in poorer neighborhoods are not the fault of cupcakes. Its called corruption, and you can find it in the people all around you. We have some serious issues with over-development in this city that no one seems to give a shit about. This stunt isn’t about gentrification. This is about a bunch of college students who find studying cupcakes more interesting than dealing straight up with issues like poverty and abuses of zoning laws. It’s a cutesy little idea that will get them a lot of attention because they too, are part of the craze now.

I understand that cupcakes are wholesome, girly, things. And that Disneyfication robs our city of its character. But it’s a little too late to blame cupcakes (not to mention misguided). Go write an article about Bloomberg if you want to study the cause of over-development. And if your genuinely interested in slowing the process of gentrification, show it in your vote on November 3rd.

People are bitter and annoyed about there being so many cupcakes. And then compare our love of them to mental illness or government philosophy. So at the risk of sounding like a crazy cupcake sub-culture fanatic, my response now more than ever is a clear

Fuck off. Seriously.

Few things piss me off more than bullshit trying to pass itself off as news, science, or compassion. And I’m sure that is far more annoying than cupcakes are any day.

Anti-cupcake spin isn’t better than cupcake fanaticism. Someone who doesn’t care for cupcakes doesn’t have to do a thing except not buy one. But something causes people to label themselves as anti-cupcake, or call for a cupcake backlash. A movement to squash a movement. It would seem the only thing more pathetic than being a slave to cupcakes is being a slave to cupcake hatred. You don’t even get anything sweet out of it.

Cupcakes are a little bit of happiness in a shitty world. And were in a recession- why don’t you back off something that was nationally loved before it became a craze. More people are baking in their own kitchens- a wonderful thing. Baking lets people use their hands to make something- something many kids don’t do enough of. And it brings people together, since baking together is a fairly cheap family activity. Aren’t these the kind of things we need most right now? You don't need to conduct a study to find the answer.

Consider this rant a backlash to the backlash of anti-cupcake literature out there, although someone else beat me to it back in February. It’s a little snarkier than I meant it to be but I’m defending not only cupcakes, but baked goods of all kinds. If these people are willing to attack CAKE, how much farther will they go? I think for every attack made on cupcakes, we should buy a cupcake. The articles don’t come out often, but I like the idea of fueling the craze, even if its only in a small way (and yes, this one counts).

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