I recently found one of those snarky illustrations of a retro looking lady saying something we were all thinking. You know, the kind that are all over Facebook and Twitter and are mildly amusing. I thought to myself, Jesus, this woman looks a lot like Lauren Bacall. I ended up in one of those Internet blackholes. I started with looking at Lauren Bacall’s Wikipedia page and just kept clicking and clicking into the depths of this massive monster we now all belong to until all that was left was Lauren Bacall Tunnel Vision.
While spiraling out of control, I stumbled upon an old Merry Melodies episode called A Bacall to Arms. It was weird … definitely weird, but I was enjoying watching it. The Tex Avery-style wolfman was watching a accurate, but stylistic version of Ms. Bacall (and her husband, Humphrey Bogart) and losing his shit over how hot she was. It was a little on the awkward side, but really interesting to watch what passed for a storyline at this point in history.
I’m making all of these cultural observations, but overall thinking “it’s kind of sweet” in an unusal/heavily sexualized way. Then, moments before it ends, Humphrey Bogarts cigar explodes in his face, turning his whole face black and resulting in Bogarts tone of voice and accent changing, and an oh-so-racist: “My, oh my! I can work for Mister Benny, now!”
I realize that times were different. It’s just difficult for me to understand that racism, xenophobia, sexism and god knows what else were not only the popular opinions of the era, but that there was little-to-no shame in being bigoted to that point. The point of it being commonplace in a children’s cartoon. What the fuck was wrong with childrens’ programming back then?
All of this reminds me of ANOTHER video I found awhile back… it’s titled “Coffee Jerks,” but I like to call it Assholes and Coffee.
“Jerks” seemed to be to polite of phrasing for it. Apparently it was acceptable behavior and perhaps even a social norm to judge a woman based on her ability to make a good cup of coffee. The video is about a minute long and is just constant clips from the 50’s and 60’s of men insulting women based on their coffee.
“How can such a pretty wife make such bad coffee?”
“Happiness is a vacation … away from your coffee.”
“Then you admit it! Your coffee really is murder!”
First, I don’t know what this fixation is on ownership of coffee. “Your coffee” is what most of the clips use. It’s like a wife’s whole worth is centered around whether or not she can shit out a decent cup of joe. Secondly, the level of dysfunction in these marriages is depressing and I hope to god it was an exaggeration for the sake of the media. It’s one thing to be a housewife and be responsible for the domestic chores, it’s an entirely separate thing to be judged and berated for your talents as a barista. Everyone knows the making of a good wife is a pretty lady that can use a proper French press. Oh wait, that’s asinine. A woman doesn’t need to prove her worth based on her husband’s hot beverage preferences. *Deep breath*
That being said … I’m gonna teach you all how to make a proper fucking cup of coffee. Men and women alike. Hold on tight, shitbrains.
Good (Decently Easy) Coffee So You Don’t Get Reprimanded
(Your Guide to French Press Coffee)
Pick freshly roasted beans. Fuck the shit at the store, go out and search for locally roasted beans. Support a local business and get the freshest coffee you can. That’s where you’ll get the best flavor.
Get a burr grinder. You want to grind the beans fresh every time you make some coffee. If you get a quality grinder (like this mid-range Cuisinart), it’s really easy to get an even grind that you have control over. Set your grinder to coarse. Grind those motherfuckers.
Heat your water in a tea kettle. When it whistles, remove it from the heat and let it sit for 2-3 minutes with the spout open. If your water is too hot, it’ll burn yo beans.
1/4 cup coffee to 12 ounces water. Do that.
Clean your French press thoroughly. Combine coffee and water. Let steep for 3-5 minutes. Serve fresh, hot and immediately.
If someone complains, dump it in their lap.
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.