An Ode against Lattes

Reading some Bernard Lewis whilst on kanna, I came across this curious racist drinking song inserted in William Congreve’s play ‘The Way of the World’.

To drink is a Christian diversion

Unknown to the Turk or the Persian

Let the Mahometan fools

Live by their heathenish rules

And be damned over tea-cups and coffee

But let British lads sing

Crown a health to the king

And a fig for your sultan and sophy

When Congreve wrote this (17th century), he and many others, as some still do today, believed that there was a major civilizational opposition between the world of the Christian and the Turk, Europe and Islam. Indeed, of the Europeans who were kidnapped by Ottoman pirates and sold into slavery, their one major observation was: gee whiz, they don’t drink brandy, they’re barbarians!

The major civilizational rift today is not between Christians and Muslims, but  within ‘our society’ (meaning: the Hipster International). The division is between those  with thick skin, and those succumbing to the general prissy-ization, feminization, infantilization, whatever you call, the wave of fear and cowardliness which is making everyone so boring. In other words, ‘our society’ is divided between those who drink whiskey, and those who drink lattes. It’s why when you get a date on okCupid they’re like ‘wanna get a coffee?’, and when I bring absinthe to a social gathering, people are like ‘what the hell?’.  Lattes symbolize all that is boring from New York to Tehran. They are consumed by the mainstream elite in malls, trendy streets, flirty bookstore cafes. Whatever happened to daytime literary rum flirtation? At this moment, there is a poor soul working on his thesis on 19th century decadent poetry –with a latte at his side. It absolutely disgusts me. And so this is my drinking song:

To drink is a noble diversion

Unknown to those of latte perversion

Let them hipster fools

Live by their Starbucks rules

And be damned over tea-cups and coffee

But let the drunkards sing

While those prissy little things

Run with their espressos and macarons to mommy.

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