Among today’s emails was a solicitation from an online gift-shop called The Grommet. What were they trying to sell me on this cold January morning? Something called hygge: a Danish word (pronounced ‘hue-gah’) that the advertisement defined as “coziness, warmth, and contentment through the enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures.”
You get the picture (quite literally so, if you like, by clicking here): wooly socks, hot chocolate by the fire, cozy blankets. Hygge is everything, in other words, safe and snuggly and welcoming; everything that normal human beings love about hearth and home, familiarity, family and friends, sharing and shelter. What’s not to like? There’s no place like home.
Pretty much everything, according to Slate, where we learn that hygge is xenophobic, populist, and — wait for it — racist.
H.L. Mencken defined Puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time.” Can there be any doubt that Massachusetts conquered the world?
The Slate article articulates a worldview antagonistic to every normal human comfort, fondness, affinity, and aversion. It seeks to ensure that there really is “no place like home.” It will not rest until it has reduced everything to rubble.