The Grandeur That Was Pinkberry // 5.11.2018

I imagine frozen yogurt as a somewhat new artifact. When I was born there was ice cream, and then at some point along came frozen yogurt, and while not entirely displacing ice cream, it took a place of importance alongside, not only as a substitute, but as its own entity, intrinsically new, fashionable, liberal, futuristic. Ice cream has tried to steal (back?) some of this ground, for instance with that flash-frozen garbage that both came and left all of a sudden. But it generally has remained in imagination classic, old-fashioned, conservative, even masculine; the two distinct from each other.

I'm thinking of this because we went to Menchie's a few days ago with my niece, telling her we were off to get ice cream, but that's not true, it's frozen yogurt. Is the assumption that she is not ready to hear about this gay new dessert? Or simply too young to understand the concept, and so is given a simpler, wrong answer, "This is ice cream." I asked my mom when she learned about frozen yogurt, she said it was when she was dating my step-dad, but then remembered, “Isn’t TCBY frozen yogurt?” It is, established when she was a teenager. Will Jamie someday imagine that it came to be during her adolescence, as I imagine it did in mine, as it actually did in my mother’s?

And so, Edgar Allan Poe. I learned in high school—around the same time I discovered frozen yogurt I imagine—that Poe's sordid reputation was a farce. He was not at all the debauchee he was made out (to me) to be, but instead commanded the respect of many of his peers, during his life and long after, and his reputation was a smear job. But when I learned the truth of Poe, it had already (and always) been known. Not new information, just new to me. From Mallarm√©’s The Tomb of Edgar Poe:

When an angel proffered pure words to mankind,
Men swore that drunken squalor lay behind

Why, like frozen yogurt, is the truth about Poe something one must come to in adolescence? William Carlos Williams gives a perhaps-explanation for this persistence, “It is to save our faces that we've given him a crazy reputation, a writer from whose classic accuracies we have not known how else to escape.”

Which seems true, but from what, in imagining frozen yogurt as new, are we saving our faces from now?