Cooks, Canines, Di Canio and Cuts…

Master Chef makes my bones itch. It really does. How much narrative ‘jeopardy’ can a television professional mash out of a potato? How much tension is it possible to griddle out of a chop? Well, hard as the producers of Master Chef may try, in my opinion, bugger all… But on it goes, relentlessly, dishing up the same over-stewed hyperbole time and again. And again. And again. And again… It’s just the same programme over and over: someone’s bent on cooking a haddock or something, but there isn’t enough time ; can they do it…? Answer: usually, yes… But at the end of the day, they’re not saving a life, they’re glazing a pig’s arse cheek, or something. So, really, who cares? It’s not important, the voice over doesn’t actually warrant the same verbal imperative that WIlliam Howard Russell might have employed as he dictated his account of the Charge of the Light Brigade…

It’s hardly a novel refrain, but telly’s rubbish, isn’t it? And that statement comes from someone who’s spent about fifteen years shovelling on the media midden. I don’t watch it, of course… Once you’ve seen something about fifty times in the edit, you certainly don’t want to watch it broadcast. You’ve seen it floating in the metaphorical pan, so why would you open the manhole and watch it slide through the soil pipe too?

However, telly’s just a reflection of the society we live in, with all its warped priorities and perspectives.The contradictions and rational contortions evident in the last fortnight’s news just go to show we’ve started gawping at life through a carnival glass. I mean, ‘the Philpotts were good parents’. Really? Actually, even before they set fire to their six children, I think I could have disputed that claim fairly robustly. Then there was, ‘I’m not a rascist, I’m a fascist’. OK, this did originally issue from the mouth of a footballer, so some idiocy is expected, but isn’t that a bit like saying, ‘I haven’t eaten a garlic sandwich, I’ve actually got acute halitosis’? OK, so your breath still stinks, right? Then you’ve got a policewoman who turns up to a crime and ends up suing the victim, and, of course, the urban devil dogs…

I hate urban devil dogs: bull terriers, mastiffs, dobermans, and of course, pit bulls… And, come on, the people who have status dogs don’t enjoy Crufts, they were never devotees of Barbara Woodhouse, they just want a weaponised pet. They’re… Oh, what’s the word… Not, “scum”… Oh, come on… Why’s my vocabulary failing me…?! Umm… OK, let’s settle for “scum” – you can’t libel people who can’t read, can you…? People who have these dogs aren’t dog lovers, so why are they endulged as if they are? Why do the privileges of decent society extend to people who wouldn’t give a toss if their mutt trotted up and did a collossal, steaming dump on it? Uday Hussein used to wander round Baghdad intimidating people with a tiger. He’d even let it maul people to death if they insulted his moustache. Those crazy dictator dynasties, eh? It’d never happen here… Wouldn’t it? Isn’t that essentially what happened to Jade Anderson? Some idiot was keeping ‘wild animals’ and the inevitable happened. And to those who say, ‘it’s not the dog, it’s the owner’, I have to say, you’re only half right: It’s the dog and the owner! Again, how has our collective sanity become so degraded that we tolerate pets that kill people in our communities? I felt like starting up a campaign, “Death is for Life, not just for Christmas”… But I didn’t…

Anyway, this surreal culture of absurdity and inverted logic does seem to suit some purposes. It’s an agar in which political opportunism and hypocrisy may thrive… Suddenly Ed Balls (never was a man so aptly named) and Liam Byrne, both of whom helped ensure there was ‘no money left’ by 2010, can now tour the country, spreading highly contagious alarm and economic despondency…. And why? Because at last a government has had the moral courage to stop paying people to be poor. If you’d read Owen Jones hysterical (in both senses), Wolfie Smith-style tirade in the Guardian, you’d think the Tories had revived slavery. But no, they’re trying to end it; to end the thrawl of dependency. If it’s more profitable not to work, even someone living amid today’s logical convolutions and moral mutations can do the maths. (That’s ‘maths’ with an ‘s’)

But, as cockeyed as this little island may be, there’s one place a damn site more loony. In fact, there lies the solution to some of our problems… I suggest a Master Chef special where dangerous dogs and their owners are cooked live on TV – interpret ‘live’ whichever way appeals to you most – and then sold to North Korea to replenish the UK exchequer’s depleted coffers. The glut of brawny British status dogs would divert starving North Koreans from notions of a patriotic nuke-off, solve a foreign policy crisis and restore peace and perspective in one fell swoop.

Easy when you know how…

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One Response to Cooks, Canines, Di Canio and Cuts…

  1. I love master chef but they do make mince meat out of some recipes!!

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