Is this a symptom of our social times? It seems to be. A preoccupation with "culture", with luxury, with decadence.
When I saw a sign recently - Award-Winning Barista inside - it struck me. There is a stereotype that many women get useless degrees (liberal arts), cannot get any work of note, and eventually become a Barista.
In Italy a Barista is effectively a bartender. They serve hot drinks (coffee, espresso, latte) and cold drinks (alcohol). These days in the Western world they're simply makers of coffee and variations.
Yes, it's considered an art-form. The proper bean selection, grinding, tamping, brewing with just the right amount of water - can result in a brew that ranges from watery to strong, either extreme being undrinkable. In the middle is the sweet spot as it were, when the brew is just right. Humidity changes things also. Properly-frothed milk can be used to create patterns on the surface of the coffee.
Now step back and look at this from a distance. In what sane world does a person who spends tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education become reduced to effectively serving beverages in a bar? No matter how "beautiful" the patterns on the surface, it's still nothing more than an ephemeral thing.
Obviously for this to happen then that education must be Worthless™. Yet these people still willingly take this education, despite many examples around them of its complete worthlessness. They continue in denial as to the consequences of their choices.
This shows a breathtaking denial of reality and sense. A coffee-maker with tens to hundreds of thousands dollars debt, what is the realistic chances of paying that off. There is obviously no return of that lost time, either.
The initial stupidity is breathtaking.
These people continue to live and act as though they are the pinnacle of achievement. As though they should be looked up to as a shining example of what others should strive to become. They call themselves strong, empowered, educated, and intelligent.
The continuing stupidity is breathtaking.
In the end you can only shake your head at the stupidity, look in wonder at the continuing wilful plugging and swallowing of lies, marvel at the poison of our times.
I'd say "go back into the kitchen" - yet amazingly, they are already there. They simply ignore this plain reality. Another marvel of denial.
Which brings on another oddball thought: girls in the hospitality industry. They get so many "thirsty" men hitting on them that they must become completely immune to them. I've certainly never thought of them as more than servers, don't even think of them as being someone to hit on. Probably because I consider them to be of low personal worth.
They don't make anything. All they do is like a Barista: serve food and drinks and clean up messy tables. Highly worthwhile work for highly worthwhile people, in a world where those who produce things of real lasting worth to others are the ones who actually become rich.
Their only use in life is to look pretty, smile, and entice others to spend their money. They do it only for money, for a greedy and grasping boss, spending long hours (often at odd times of day and night) for a relative pittance. Effectively they do housework - without even the real satisfaction of doing these things for someone who cares for them, without the satisfaction of providing for their own flesh-and-blood children.
People are peculiar. In some way, I can almost have compassion for how they have to actively twist the reality of their lives and wrap their minds in delusions.
Do otherwise and their souls would shrivel and die, flayed by the pressures of reality and the inner gnawing of their uselessness.