A few weeks ago I couch potato surfed my way onto Masterchef, only to see some slow cooked eggs being praised by the judges, who quite frankly must have lost their taste buds in a blender accident.
I mean slow cooked eggs? Why would anyone eat this? I’ve heard of the Slow Food movement, but c’mon, these are eggs. They cook in three minutes and you eat them in one. The three-minute egg was invented for a reason – it does the job.
Now, thanks to Masterchef, or should that be Whack Job Chef, slow cooked eggs could be set to become the new tonka bean, waygu beef or duck confit. If I see slow cooked eggs done nine ways, I’m gonna produce a fast baked scream.
They are up there with absculptors and terror alert fridge magnets in terms of bad ideas. After 20,000 plus years on the planet I think we’ve pretty much done what we can with the egg.
Masterchef, if you’ve run out of ideas, then here’s one – how about just blend stuff. It doesn’t matter what: George’s eyebrows, Garry’s smirk, tonka beans, Delicious magazine – chuck it all in. It’s entertainment for the whole family, makes satisfying noises, with any luck may burn down the studio and would taste better than a slow cooked egg any day.
Bear Grylls Man Vs Wild is pure comedy. I mean who – and I am not making this up – gives themself a colonoscopy on a dingy? Not to mention ingesting handfuls of live cockroaches and doing backflips on cracking ice to demonstrate survival techniques.
As I say – comedy. Trouble is Bear seems to take it seriously. How anyone can say with a straight face: “I’m just going to squeeze my body through a dark cave the size of a pencil to eat some crunchy bat poo” is beyond me. But he does!
Then every so often, in between ludicrous statements, he’ll say something that is meant to be a lightbulb moment, but just leaves me saying, what the %^&*? Such as the other night he was skirting around a very high ledge and he said: “If I fall it will hurt.”
You think? So how come you won’t get hurt knocking back weasel wee and chowing down on rat sashimi? Or backflipping into an active volcano? How about some perspective Bear?
Also Bear, despite saying on his website that he has excellent people skills, seems to have the personality of a freeze-dried meal. His delivery is monotonous, any sense of humour is missing in action or been edited out (if he can’t see the funny side of bat poo then I can’t help him) and he is just getting weirder and weirder. Case in point; shipboard enema. Plus, he’s been taking off his clothes an awful lot lately for no good reason, consequently we’ve seen a lot of his pixellated bum.
I do admire what he does, I like the scenery of the places he goes, but for me, the real hero is the cameraman. He does everything Bear does, but with a camera, and has to film Bear routinely taking all his clothes off plus put up with Bear. If that’s not a logie-winning performance, I don’t know what is.
The other night on Masterchef, judge George Colombaris said that the be a great chef your aim in life should be to serve. Now, I don’t know about other people, but when I think of the Great Telly Chefs of Our Time, I don’t think there is a whole lot of love of service going on.
The only thing Gordon Ramsey serves is insults, lobbed with such carefree abandon as though he was just throwing some air-aged balsamic over freshly shucked oysters. And as for Jamie Oliver, his idea of service is to take over a perfectly good bit of land that was just sitting around, not hurting anyone and get other people to plant a fully televised herb garden, while he walked around saying nubbley, rubbley, jubbley and other words he read on a packet of jelly. As for Nigella, well, we all know what service she provides.
George, people don’t become chefs because they lerve to serve. You’re confusing cooking a steak with nursing, being a social worker or curing cancer. They become chefs because they needed a job and don’t mind eating leftover restaurant gloop late at night. So let them get on with it, and let’s leave “service” to the TV chefs.
In the future, someone’s going to have a nice car, buy beautiful art, travel the world, stay in a five star resort or under the stars … so that someone may as well be you.
So says the AMP advertisement currently taking up 30 second blocks in the Winter Olympics. And as I have watched approximately 680 hours of olympics I am nauseating familiar with this ad.
Nauseated because the first time you see this ad it takes you on a wonderful sound bite future where there are riverside hammocks and sunsets lifted off the pages of Lonely Planet and then it hits you up the yinyang with AMP wealth management. In other words, unless you’re so rich you can afford to hire us to keep track of it all, you may as well forget it. Keep on slaving away, sucker, otherwise a sunset future, with trees and beaches, trickling water and shiny happy people – well forget it, it won’t be yours, you’ll only see it on AMP ads.
Now, I’m not from that poor-but-happy school of thought. Being rich helps, sure. It’s like being good looking helps, especially if you’re a pole dancer. But these ads make it seem like the only way to be in tune with nature is to have a whopping eight figure wealth management account with AMP. I am particularly cranky about that, especially seeing AMP has some of the best views of Sydney Harbour – I would feel much better about it if they had their head office, in say Rooty Hill Heights or better still, Beenleigh. I’m also spectacularly cranky that they have snatched things that are free and turned them into things we can only enjoy if we have a trust fund. I mean, even John Howard and his cronies couldn’t figure out how to make us pay for a sunset – they probably thought it was a Julia Gillard red army socialist plot, but I digress.
In the future, I would love a world without those overpaid bozos that make up the upper echelons of AMP, hedge funds, banks and shonky slo mo sunset advertising companies. And I’d really relish a future where it may as well be me, not corporate fat cats or advertising conmen, swinging that hammock at sunset.
Maybe because there’s no Stephanie Rice or Bruce McAveney on screen, but there’s something fairytale-ish about the Winter Olympics. While I’m sweating it out in Sydney humidity, which is the weather equivalent of walking through chicken soup, I can feel myself becoming a few octaves calmer watching uberfit Austrians glide downhill on pavlova-like slopes, listening to cowbells and watching spectators rugged up in the latest outfits from Jenny Craig.
It’s a bit of air-conditioning for the mind, and what’s really good too is that there’s no emotional involvement. Hey it’s not like the Aussies are going to win any actual medals is it? (And a Canadian who’s fallen out with his teammates and a Morman don’t count). Unless there’s another Steve Bradbury lucky dip moment, the Aussies are there as only novelty value, on par with the Jamaican bobsled team, who probably would do just about as well as any other bobsled team the way it’s going. It’s refreshing to watch sport without caring who wins and because there’s no hope of a medal, it means we get to see more of the action instead of enduring rounds of studio interviews with toothy medal winners.
My only regret is that it’s not on in prime television viewing time, so it’s not a viable viewing alternative to Two and a Half Men or Home and Away, but on a day with 93 per cent humidity, and cicadas in stereo in the backyard, it feels like snow falling on cedars zen meditation and I can’t get enough of it.
I’ve spent the last two weeks commentating the Australian Open from my director’s chair in my loungeroom.
When Jim Courier’s inane questions that he seems to have lifted from planet of inane questions, become too bizarre, out comes the mute button and I can conduct the interview myself. I can also comment on outfits, which is an area Jim Courier makes a few embarrassing line calls. I mean Venus – those brown undies and decolletage brown cutouts – looks like a Barbie bondage outfit. And Raffa Nadal – in matching orange shoes and shirt, what can I say? Pirate pants were more dignified.
Why would anyone pay to go and watch the tennis? Well, ok, if you happened to live in Melbourne and it was a slow day, well why not. But as for the rest of us, why shell out for overpriced airfares, accommodation and seats to seat in 40 degree heat and watch a couple of people sweat profusely and then destroy their racket?
I know, I know I’ve heard about atmosphere and excitement before. But what if you got a dud match? What if someone retired hurt, wouldn’t you be ripped off? What if you got a couple of unknowns slog it out, and not the glam lineup you were hoping for – a Williams or two, Federer, Nadal, Aussie Kim or Ley Ley or if you’re male, any Russian with a Rapunzel style plait and netball skirt?
And then there’s the other stuff they strangely don’t show on tv – queues for the loos that last the entire second set; soggy takeaway food that tastes about as exciting as eating a pencil and costs the same as your taxi from Tullamarine and the feeling of creeping sunburn as the sun hits your stand at the hottest time of the day.
All I can say is, it’s kind of a high price to pay for a spot of atmosphere. I’ll stick to the loungeroom. The bathrooms are close by and I don’t have to queue, there’s a steady supply of Weiss bars and if I strike a dud match, there’s always Seinfield reruns on Go. That’s my kind of atmosphere.