Talking Sh*t About Ourselves

In December, when the multipart "Shit Girls Say" videos blew up on YouTube, it seemed as if the bad-drag meme they spawned might be content merely to insult women of all taxonomies: black, white, Asian, Latina, and naturally, the un-skinny.

But in January, something happened that democratized the “shit” meme. Suddenly (maybe since they'd exhausted every possible "girls say" situation), YouTube auteurs simply flipped their cameras to make fun of themselves, turning up as whiny New Yorkers, San Francisco hipsters, and narcissistic gay boys. The “shit” videos got funnier.

When the "shit" formula turned to food, they got hilarious. First, Madison, Wisconsin club manager Bob Hemauer set loose a waxed-mustache, tweed-capped cocktail snob in "Shit Bartenders Mixologists Say." (Though I can’t say I’ve ever wondered if mezcal is "played out,” I've had twinges of self-doubt about ordering the wrong thing at scene-y bars.) Also pretty good: the locavore vegan self-parody by Alex Hanifin, a self-described “natural and organic foodie” in Boulder, Colorado.

But the best by far is Vancouver food blogger Mijune Pak’s “Shit Foodies Say,” a video catalog of things probably any dedicated Chowhound utters at least once a week. Pak’s tone is near-perfect, and—probably for just about anyone who spends time on this website—revealing.

An earlier, analog generation had limited options for being jackasses in public. Our generation lets loose on Facebook, Tumblr, Yelp, and Twitter. And since it’s hard to inject nuance into, say, 140 characters or less, many of us settle into self-parody, a calculated persona, or even a "personal brand" we project as public image. We become the breathless foodie dropping nom-noms, self-professed wine snob, queen of the esoteric restaurant find, or food-justice warrior. The things we say, the tweets and blog post and commentaries—frankly, a lot of it is pure shit. Seeing what might have seemed like your own personal obsession skewered in a YouTube vid gives you a way to acknowledge that.

Image source: Still from "Shit Foodies Say" / YouTube

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