Something is terribly wrong. Are we the only ones that can see it? Are we the only ones who care? Is anyone going to do something? Let us explain.
When we came back to Canada after a several year hiatus in South America, we made a brief visit to our favorite brew pub with a couple of friends. To our horror, one of them, ordered a low carb beer. What? Was what we were hearing true? Has North American culture gone mad? Perhaps it was still the jet lag? Perhaps our ears still needed to adjust from Spanish back to English? But no, sadly, it was very true. The low fat, low carb propaganda bullet had struck again.
Well, you can imagine our embarrassment, but what could we do? After all, they were our friends. Then we started to realize that were in fact surrounded by infected people. People who were trading their India pale ales and Stouts for low carb beers, and right there on the table in front of us was even a low fat, low carb menu.
In the grocery stores we noticed how real food, (yes, food as nature intended, sorry kids but pizza pops are not real food), had been replaced by food PRODUCTS, many of which came with government approval labels, trying to convince us how healthy they are. Hmm… Funny there were no such labels to be found on the few natural and real foods that we found left in the store, the fruits and vegetables. Something is terribly wrong. Are we the only ones that can see it? Are we the only ones who care? Is anyone going to do something?
Yes, we are going to do something and we want you to join us. It is about time we fight back, stand up for real food, real beer, and good health. But first, we need a motto, so here it is folks, are you ready, brace yourselves it’s going to be a good one: “full fat, full flavor, full health.” There you have it. Catchy isn’t it? You see, what we are going do is to eat REAL food with all the fat and all the flavor, but just eat LESS. (Insert our usual minimalist ranting here…) Self-control is the answer, not all the fat free chocolate cake you can eat.
And while were on the subject, sorry people, but you CAN taste the difference, low fat Fettuccini Alfredo does not taste the same, people just agree with you, because you have so little body fat, they are afraid to rattle your cage. Well, there you have it, that’s our solution to the problem. Repeat after us: full fat, fall flavor, full health. Now don’t you feel better already? Stay original… it’s only natural.
Wow, for minimalists we sure make a lot of noise. Search the web and you find all kinds of minimalists spouting off about the virtues of “less is more” and how “form follows function.” Why even big corporations are putting out minimalist adds in the big glossy rags.
So why, do you ask, do we need another blog on the subject? Because, we minimalists have nothing left in our houses and have driven off all our friends, so we have nothing else to do but extol the virtues of minimalism. No really, the real reason is because of something profound that happened to us recently.
We were talking to some twenty-something year old friends about minimalist music, art and design. (Actually that’s not really true, we were talking about something completely different, but we always look for ways to change the theme of any conversation to minimalist design.) Then I mentioned something about Andy Warhol. Well, when we saw the blank look of confusion on their faces, we realized that these poor under privileged girls had no idea of whom we were talking about. It was even worse then we initially thought.
We mentioned other names to see if any brain synapses were connecting: The Velvet Underground… nothing, American Music Club… zip, The Feelies… nope, Mies Van Der Rohe, Jennifer Sterling… oh my, this is bad, the Latin Playboys… nada. What do they teach in schools these days? Ok, we could see that we had our work cut out for us. So, how do you go about helping a couple of young impressionable minds to appreciate the virtues of minimalist design?
Hand bags. Yes, you read correctly, handbags and other women’s accessories. You see, I recently stumbled upon the website of designer Marc Jacobs, which is a beautiful presentation of minimalist web design, OK granted, too much Flash (no, not the glittery kind, go ask a computer nerd then come back…) but oh so very clean. (Also, not very functional, but who cares, he’s rich and famous.) We just happened to be at a coffee house in Paraguay called Havanna who have Wi-fi and even a couple Apple Macs (Hmm… do we see a connection forming here..) for customer use. As soon as I brought up the Marc Jacobs website, I could see the blank looks disappear followed by instant recognition, and a lot of shouting: “I love Marc Jacobs, they make such cool hand bags.” Mission accomplished.
The moral of the story is the following: minimalism is best appreciated through the simple things in life. Are not the simplest words the most meaningful and powerful: love, home, family, friends, and iPod. (Just kidding.) The point is: everyone is minimalist at heart; they just don’t know it yet. Perhaps there is too much clutter in their lives for them to see it. You see, that’s why we minimalists have to make so much noise. Stay original… be minimal.