In Praise of Folly

Where has it gone, the brash, unapologetic feeling we once had that “Yes, we are Americans, deal with us”, the singular aspect of Ugly Americanism that seemed in any way justifiable? Have we as a nation become that self-conscience? Can we ever again conceive of presenting a tray of confections replete with such charming details as delicate, braided handles, tiny maple leaf pastry motifs, a miniature marzipan pumpkin and excruciatingly exact lattice-work crusts, not to mention that bravura draping of crowning fruit as if to say, “Oh, I just had them on hand and thought they’d look nice.” Who among us now would be so brave (if not to say industrious) as to fashion and display such unadulterated, clumsy whimsy at a gathering and not expect some jaded guest—well-dressed,  imbued with cynicism, cheap white wine, and no small degree of ill-will towards if not you then the world in general—to snicker behind a manicured hand at your utter lack of sophistication? I would, my people, and I would smile in the face of that sneer and say, “Try the glazed grapes.”

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