Martin Shkreli is a man with a seemingly concrete list of likes and dislikes. He likes playing chess, watching pro wrestling, following a paleo diet and training for UFC, live streaming, the first amendment, and making money. He does not appear to like the city of Boston, liberals, or brunch. Yes, the so-called most hated man on the internet Martin Shkreli hates brunch, because on Sunday afternoon, while many New Yorkers were happily sipping their mimosas or mindlessly Snapchatting close-ups of their eggs Benedict, Shkreli took to Twitter to go on an anti-brunch rant, claiming that it is a meal for lazy people, liberals, and women only.
You probably know who Shkreli is even if you don't think you've ever heard of him. Shkreli is a man who wears many hats, and he's been at the center of one controversy or another ever since late 2015. He's the pharmaceutical CEO who notoriously raised the price of a drug that fights a life-threatening parasitic infection from $13.50 per tablet to $750 and a Wu-Tang Clan enthusiast and owner of the hip-hop group's fabled $2 million album. In an interview with Vanity Fair, he even compared himself to the robber barons of the Gilded Age. And now, he can add preeminent brunch hater to the list.
Shkreli's tirade against the mid-morning meal seems to have been kicked off when Twitter user Andrew Nazdin invited Shkreli to eat brunch with him. Shkreli not-so-politely declined the invitation.
And Shkreli's Twitter rant about brunch just went on from there.
Shkreli started taking down defenders of brunch, too.
Though I personally disagree with a lot of what Shkreli says on the internet, he does bring up some valid gripes about the current state of brunch. Brunch can most certainly be expensive, especially in New York City, the place both Shkreli and I call home, and it's not exactly the most efficient meal of the day. Just waiting in line for a table can take hours at some restaurants. It's cheaper to cook breakfast at home, especially once you factor the amount of time wasted by waiting on the sidewalk, and though quitting brunch might not make me a millionaire with stacks of cash, I could probably stand to save some extra money by brunching out less. I will also admit to feeling some frustration when people invite me to brunch at 2 p.m., because at that point in the day, it's definitively lunchtime, not some breakfast-lunch hybrid.
So yes, I get it, Shkreli. Sometimes, brunch sucks. But brunch doesn't always have to be a "boozefest." Brunch doesn't have to be expensive, either. It's most certainly not just a women's meal—bros brunch, too. And I don't know at what point brunch because part of a liberal conspiracy, either, because both Republicans and Democrats can get down with breakfast at any time.
What Shkreli gets very wrong about brunch is that this meal isn't just about eating food for energy and efficiency. It's about sharing an experience with friends and family, taking a few hours out of your otherwise hectic schedule to chill out, talk with people, make connections, and maybe, also, eat something delicious. Ultimately, brunch is inclusive, and there's no reason to make it seem otherwise.