I admire your restraint and equanimity, Noah. The Atlantic anti-foodie screed you reference elicits in me not discomfort, but mostly this:

It’s hard to know where to even begin. The piece would deserve a thorough fisking but I’m not sure I have the time.

The piece staggers to and fro like a drunk, with no purpose, rhyme or reason, violently hurling at whatever comes near. There is no there there, only inexplicable, intense contempt for a vague class of people who have a hobby the author doesn’t understand.

Let’s try to summarize what the author hates about foodies: they really, really like food. They spend a lot of time and money on it. And they feel morally superior to non-foodies (he does have a bit of a point here).

People who have hobbies tend to be overly enthusiastic about them, care passionately about minutiae, and spend what is to an outsider lots of money and time on it. That’s what hobbies are. I don’t really “get” making and owning and playing with plenty of model trains as an adult. I don’t, however, see myself dedicating several pages in a prominent publication to virulently mocking and insulting people who have that hobby, and publicly defecating all over their subculture. Whatever floats their boat, man.

Foodies (a group never defined, by the way), we learn, are “barbari[ c]”, “quickly lose interest in any kind of abstract discussion”, and have no “interest in literature or the arts—the real arts”, a bigoted litany so self-evidently ridiculous that one is left with no recourse but the repeated banging of head against desk.

It is endlessly hinted at, but never actually explicitly said, that the author’s real beef (ahem) with foodies is that they eat meat from animals, and that the author regards this as immoral. Which, well, let’s set aside the merits of that proposition for now, but if he wants to make that argument, perhaps he should make that argument, instead of rambling incoherently and hatefully for five pages.

I originally intended to write here a ringing defense of foodism, but this loony logorrhea requires none. It’s only a helpful reminder of Chateaubriand’s remark that “the world is full of the needy, so I must be sparing with my contempt.”