Via Razib, I came across this review of Sufi Coffee Shop in Silicon Valley. Please, read the reviews of people's first-hand experiences before continuing. They part the canopy of civilization, and sweep away the underbrush of our shared human nature, to reveal a sharp faultline that divides the minds of the sane and the insane.
Let's get right to it: every person who wrote a positive review is a complete fag. You can tell just given their choice of words -- "quirky," "authentic," "unique," etc. -- and their tongue-bathing of the "inspirational and spiritual quotes" on the shop's walls, while glossing over the signs that read:
Don't smile or I'll go to Big Toilet all over your face.
I'm in the middle of From Bauhaus to Our House, and it's depressing and funny how little has changed within our high culture over the past century. "Bourgeois" may now be spelled "yuppie" or "corporate," the egomaniac prophet of today may be an indie coffee shop owner rather than an architect, and the elite who suffer to bask in his Sufistic anti-corporateness may be more poorly educated than their Lost Generation ancestors -- but still.
Of course, this cultural vortex isn't confined only to independent coffee shops: it swallows up life at indie movie rental stores, indie used book stores, indie used CD stores, and indie used bicycle grease stores. Say what you want about the boho dopes of yore -- at least they jockeyed for status over skyscrapers, paintings, novels, and symphonies. Their professed anti-consumerism notwithstanding, the war for supreme coolness these days is waged over coffee, bikes, and tennis shoes.