5.15.2005

The Increasing Popularity of Baguettes

It has come to my attention that French bread is growing more popular every day. The increase is particularily apparent in Asia and Latin America. I have received this information from an article in Loaf Lovers Illustrated which states that "People the world over delight in the delicate texture and flaky crust of Baguettes."

To this I say, "Fuck French Bread! French bread is for Fairies!"

While some readers may take this as some sort of Homophobic slander, I assure you that it is not. I use the word in its original and accurate sense. I am referring to the faerie people, those little winged creatures; capricious, delicate and self-involved. The fact that humanity is now also being sucked in by the airy, insubstantive, half-pleasures of French bread is a sign of our moral decline.

What has become of dark heavy German bread? Bread which embraces the earth and human labour? What has become of the People's Bread? I speak of Rye and Pumpernickel and Linseed Farmer's Bread.

It has been said that Western painting (until the 20th Century) seeks to disguise its own fabrication, that it hides its brush-strokes under layers of effacement, attempting to perpetuate an ungrounded image of fantasy which floats before our eyes magical and sourceless, while Asian art, particularily Chinese ink-painting, embraces the brush-stroke, bringing it to the forefront, balancing art and artifice, acknowledging and indeed celebrating the human hand and physical brush which has produced the image. Clearly the Chinese style is more complex and meaningful allowing the viewer endless degrees of contemplative opportunity. This is why I sold off most of my Raphaels and Rembrandts in order to purchase works by Wen Zhengming and Wu Daozi -- but Lo!, I am developing an analogy here and must press on.

Just as Western painters have tried to hide their own mortal role in the act of creation, French bread strives obsessively to eradicate its own roots in grain and soil, to develop a radiant and diaphonous, but ultimately substanceless, aliment. While the product of these mendacious labours is delicate and beautiful it cannot be compared to the multi-layered honesty of German bread, a bread which embraces the wholeness of the wheat, the twelveness of the grains and the dark fertile colour of the earth.

The baguette is a bread which says "I am too good to care for my fellow man." It cries out, "I will take the wheat and leave you the chaffe." While this may be appropriate in one's choice of apparel or motorcar, one's choice of bread reflects one's humanity at a very basic level, and to choose French bread is to declare oneself uninterested in anything difficult. To choose French bread is to choose aesthetics over morality, fantasy over reality and utopianism over the rough inefficiencies of democracy.

It is my firm opinion that this trend in bread popularity foreshadows our doom in the most clear and direct manner possible. We will all go under, daydreaming about heaven, even while we are too lazy and selfish to battle in the dirt and trenches here on earth against the incoming minions of hell.

9 Comments:

Blogger me said...

bread is a last resort. all of them take too much time to chew, unless it's unsubstantial bread, in which case it's not about the bread anyway, but about what's on it or in between the slices.

8:56 p.m.  
Blogger Matthew Lie - Paehlke said...

do not blame bread for your own inability to chew properly. indeed a rigorous practice schedule with some of the more demanding breads can rectify this common inferiority within a few months.

10:17 a.m.  
Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

I'll eschew the cultural arrogance of french bread and keep to my grainy oats and ryes.

You're a godd man, MVM.

11:22 a.m.  
Blogger Matthew Lie - Paehlke said...

At this time, I would like to observe that someone has come upon my "web portal" by searching upon the google search engine for: "German Pumpernickel"+"Faerie"

Where are my doubters now?!?!

2:27 a.m.  
Blogger justin said...

You speak as one who has, sadly, never set lips on a true French Bread, for no other bakery product known to man more accurately portrays the terroir from which it's meager beginnings spring.

Rye, pumpernickel, fine breads for beer. A true bread milled from the great flours of Normande is fit for your bottle of Lafite!

And for the rabble, let them eat crust!

10:49 a.m.  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved reading this Bread Manifesto. I generally follow a more wholistic bread world veiw but after reading this, my deep down prejudice for the more robust and sturdy German breads has been justified. Thanks.

9:54 a.m.  

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