28 March, 2015

Mason Jars

The existence of a twitter account like We Want Plates tells us that we have reached saturation point with hipster cafés – and for the purposes of this piece, “hipster” can be taken as too trendy by half, even for the types of people who are usually impressed by cafés that are too trendy by half.

A recurring theme among these bizarre alternatives to cutlery is a kind of poverty chic. Personally, I think if you insist on serving my breakfast on something that looks like it saw better days in an earlier life as a fence paling, you could at least pass the savings on and not charge me 17.5 (That’s café-menu for seventeen dollars fifty). Nearly 20 years after Jarvis Cocker mercilessly mocked the cultural tourists who “think that poor is cool,” the most ubiquitous example of poverty chic today is the use of Mason jars as drinking vessels.

For a start, they’re not designed to be drunk out of. They were made for preserving but they were also used for drinking because for a time in the southern US, a lot of people were too bloody poor to have anything else. That was economical and, long before its time, sustainable.

This is not.
The fact that the embossing says Ice Cold Drink is a bit of a giveaway.
It’s great that your local hipstercaf has locally sourced free-range eggs (no, really, it is. Happier chooks lay better eggs. It’s a fact) and artisan breads, but let’s not pretend those retro looking Mason jars weren’t made in Chinese sweatshops where they have mastered the art of predicting what kinds of cheap tat westerners will pay for, and sourced by the crate-load from the $2 Shop.

If you’re ever wondered when you should consider using Mason jars, I made a handy chart for you:
With straws? No!
Ooh, but they're coloured! NO!
BPA Free? Why would they be advertising that? Because they're plastic! Plastic Mason jars! I ask you!
I had just about completed this rant when my twitter friend Interrogativus sent me this:

My first reaction was “kill it with fire!” (yes, I know glass doesn’t burn, which goes to show how devious their users are!), but the more I looked at it, the more I came to like it for showing and revelling in how silly and pretentious Mason jars are.

Then, just a short while later, I saw this:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached Peak Mason Jar.
That means it’s over now. Move along.

PS: It's really good to have Things I Want to Punch in the Face back. It was tempting to write this post in her style but I resisted.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. Explains the lyric line in the Rolling Stones' Country Honk from the Let it Bleed album: "I'm sittin' in a bar, tipplin' a jar in Jackson..."