I remember about eight years ago spending an afternoon at MoMA and then heading down to Soho for evening drinks at the loft of a friend of a friend. The loft was very well appointed, the space could have fit a productive sweatshop, and the guy who owned it worked at a hedge fund. He served us a bottle of expensive wine and remarked at length about its origins and qualities. I had no appreciation for fine wine because I eschewed discriminating tastes in things I couldn’t afford, and went on to say that I thought the intellectual apparatus that had grown up around the appreciation of food and drink, conflating chefs and vintners with artists and writers, was a sham — ultimately a way for people like him to pat themselves on the back for the way they spend their money and to compensate for the soulless and morally dubious way they made it. He told me I was “the enemy of good things.” We revealed ourselves to each other. Which one of us was the asshole?

In Defense of Pretentiousness | Christian Lorentzen. Do I have to choose just one?