Thursday, November 16, 2006

Final Thoughts On the Food Network

I've decided the Food Network is so overblown and arrogant at this point. The commercials are constant, and the faux celebrities really have little impact on popular culture, save Emeril and his occasional "Bam" exclamations. Here comes the coattail riding....

Giada, a host of "Everyday Italian" is a normally recognized "hottie" with an oversized head and a knack for creating Italian cuisine under the lights of soft cinematography.
Problem number one - she keeps yapping about her lovey dovey hubbie, and sadly we see him. His personality and charisma rank lower than a dead coal mine canary. This guy is so dry, unpleasant, and prematurely balding, I don't understand how Giada and her 1348 teeth could tolerate such monotony and impersonal feigned affect. Whatever floats your heavily edited boat.

Enough with Paula Deen and her overzealous sons "JAMIE" and "BOBBY" showing up constantly, to the point that the obsequious boobs at the network decided to grant them their own show, show they could constantly announce their names and be southern hicks without any fear of retribution from mom. Fate fed them a heart batch of butter, as they earned their own show called "Road Tasted", in which they travel the country constantly calling each other "brother" and repeating their names. Too much enthusiasm for celebratory nepotism.

Alton Brown is a tiresome, anal retentive joke. Many laud his smartness. Well, mister Gene Genie Genius, the phrase "a myriad of..." is improper grammatical usage. "Myriad" substitutes for "many" so learn the word before using it. Stick with identifying peppers. Oh and thanks for the following:

Ruining any zeal for making southern fried chicken because of
your ridiculous "if you do this and this and this wrong, it's all ruined"
attitude. Simplify things, and keep the processes under 38 steps, uncle Irony. Your anal retention has done more to dissuade potential chefs from trying a dish than anyone. Chill out and leave your disorders at the door. Admonishing people to dry their fried foods on a cooling rack, rather than paper towels, defeats every purpose for being on tv and cooking. You raise holy hell about using this wire-based cooling rack, rather than uncouth paper towels, as if it's a horrible mistake and failure of this detailed recipe's progress. Breaking news, Mister Dolby, we all can't afford cooling racks, and we all are fine with paper towels. We all aren't opening restaurants tomorrow. The obsessive aspect is just sad and not fun. Leave your disorders at the door.

Bobby Flay should never have strayed into that idiotic "Throwdown" series that clearly was a bargaining chip for keeping him on board throughout the summer. Flay thinks he's a celebrity, has nothing but an unfinished, unpleasant, personality. Bobby belongs behind the scenes, not flaunting his self-perceived brilliance in (laughter) "throwdown" matches with hard working amateur chefs around the USA. Hey Einsteins at Food Network - have you ever thought, after Flay's "Iron Chef" brilliance, that maybe it is most honorable to let local, hard working American folks enjoy their recognition as being the best in what they cook? This series was an abysmal concept, and hey Flay, despite your hideous ego, I hope the whole thing wasn't your idea. Are you that obsessed with taking away a person's one crowning achievement, in the interest of television? The series was a sad joke. How DARE anyone, for example, intrude on a local guy's Jambalaya glory, in a private celebration for his daughter's birthday, by shoving trucks and challenges down his throat? These are sweet, affectionate, fantastic Americans that I wouldn't trade for the world. Leave them alone.

Rachael Ray has a lot of humility and wherewithal; I admire it. She earned her own network talk show, and it is well deserved. She's a bit too bubbly but honest about her past and openly admits that she's not a "chef" per se. But Rachael has sincerity and purity that few television personalities can boast.

Tyler Florence is this permanently 22 year-old type guy who talks too fast but hosts a show called "Food 911" where he consoles people in need of advice. Now Applebee's is trying to adopt him into their marketing system. Good luck to him, but I still like his approach to things.

I love the show "Unwrapped", as it shows how various foods are produced. If the show didn't obsess with sweets and ancillary crap like the manufacture of baking tins, it might hold more water.

The show "Secret Life Of..." is meant to show in-depth explorations of some aspect of the culinary world; that's fine. But the host is SO DAMN ANNOYING most people he harasses can't stand him, with obvious negative results in the final cut of the show. He's so irritating, with his dog-barking voice, he's the lone figure from this channel whose name I refuse to remember. Plus the guy seems to have no legitimate culinary

Well, that leaves the Emeril phenomenon; and I do respect it. He's developed himself into national recognition by merely being himself. It's the show and the environment around him which now drives me nuts. Hi studio audiences are frighteningly happy, to the point that I'm sure they've all been given doses of librium before the show. Sure they cheer for any reference to garlic, an alcoholic beverage, a "bam", or the addition of hot spices. He seems sincere in all his gestures and words, but the audiences constantly remind me of Jonestown. He could literally snuff out an audience by giving them the Jonestown poison kool-aid. "Drink it down now, BAM you're all dead." I'm so impressed his ego never inflated from the network's inevitable accolades and forced atmosphere of unconditional praise and adoration. His grounded nature is a rarity amongst the situations when organizations overwhelm a person with too much stimulation, praise, and sense of obligation.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ouija Boards - Oh No!

I had always wondered why Christianity founded itself for damnation upon the natural human predilection to communicate, even in part, with a loved one that had passed away. All evidence for indictment into necromancy and black magick seems to point toward early Old Testament texts that bear overt magnanimity to First Commandment restrictions and disregard to the New Testament's transformation of dogma toward an open relationship with spirits, the beloved, and the search for truth.

Most Old Testament demands to avoid any wish to seek communication with the dead (i.e. Deuteronomy, Isaiah, etc) simply restate the pre-Messianic tension that there may be no threats or human mutiny against the harsh "God" of punishment and sacrifice; this all being well before the arrival of the Messiah and His liberating actions, teachings, and human interaction. All of the aforementioned, by Christ's own words, freed us from the stark, cold, and fatalistic doctrine that came down upon the fearful followers of the Old Testament days.

God's indirect message that we not seek communication with the dead simply stemmed from outdated Jewish doctrine - the insistence that we never acquire truth, much like Adam, and desire a shared omniscience that comprised all that was/is God. By damning any interaction with a loved one's spirit, be it upon one's incite or not, is simply a harsh reminder of the sacrificial days before Christ was to, by extraction, be human with us, and share God's love and power amongst us all. The God of the Old Testament was nothing to worship and love - and His countless rules and zest for pain and damnation represents nothing less than an overlord ruling through fear. In my sense, true Christianity sees the warmth and joy of Christ's arrival and realizes that the times preceding it were simply wrought with pain, fear, and punishment. A contrast was being set forth, and the unfortunate meek that faithfully followed such a tempest of a deity must clearly have the highest seats in His Kingdom. Regardless, the countless laws, wrath, threats, and sacrificial gestures with intentions of mild appeasement - they don't sound like a loving God - but rather a strange conglomeration of laws and stories that people - NOT God created, of which I disregard. Am I denying the sovereign nature of the Old Testament? Not as such, just the angry, fearful aspects. That's of the nature of tainted, imperfect Jewish leaders, not God's ideals.

Bringing it all back, no - any Old Testament passages that warn against communication with the dead - they don't stick. Threats of death came forth from this, and its very intent had nothing to do with false religions or occult practices. They are merely outdated laws with fears of idolatry. Well, things are different now - we believe Christ saved our departed beloved, and they are in your Kingdom, because Christ died for them, and ultimately us. They ate pork, they ate cheeseburgers, but nyah nyah, we accepted Jesus. So frankly the god of the Old Testament times should not have been the asshole that tortured and punished so relentlessly, and I don't think that was the case. I think ignominious "leaders" wrote this tripe for personal satisfaction and the only true action of our God was bringing Christ into our midst. So nothing tells me to ignore talking to the departed. They will give me no ultimate knowledge. The God I know is comfortable seeing me explore the spirit world to which I am joining. As such, the outdated doctrine of fear, suppression, and encapsulation isn't worth the paper it was printed upon, nor worth the breath of those that mindless repeat the bitter teachings of oppressive Jewish leaders.
So Why The Bad Reputation?

Let's sling this one back toward home plate now. What's so damn wrong with the Ouija board?

Crowley advocated its use, but he also practiced black magick, did heroin, and had much worse views of life than what might be relevant here. Regardless, the use of planchettes and talking boards predate his useless existence by hundreds of years. Then in the mid 20th century (funny to use that as a retrospective marker), teenagers embraced themselves to the concept and purchased copies of the "game" for their own amusement. At this point, all bets could be thrown out the window - here became alcoholic parties with beer-soaked suicides, random acts of violence, and the like. Whenever such idiotic youngsters thankfully terminated their own lives, a Ouija Board was occasionally found nearby, being no less popular than the pet rock or Rubik's Cube. As such, the board became attributed to death, acts of violence, and by extension, random occult practices that never truly existed, especially in context of this "game".
Sadly, the disgusting decision to create a "game" from this board - well, that gave us plenty of teenage suicides, irrational acts, and the like. This one is on the manufacturers' heads.

Yes, there are evil spirits, holding energy like any other spirit. No, a talking board like Ouija doesn't specifically request a big meanie from the world beyond, but merely intends to channel the entity nearest to the locus of communication.
Talking boards have nothing to do with black magick, demons, Satan, curses, hexes, diarrhea, or otherwise. It's just a means that might or might not work for the person seeking communication. No different from seances, kids! Same drill! It's just a means for focusing people into summoning their energy toward an agreeable direction with hopes of contacting someone, or something, that lingers beyond. It's not demonology you morons! It's a piece of cardboard! Chase those Santeria blokes out in the woods now. Good boy.