November 26, 2009

Shattered Beliefs

Remember when you were a kid and it was Christmas time? And you were bored one day so you decided to pull down the ladder to the attic and see what was up there? And when you turned on the bare light bulb and illuminated the area and you saw a bunch of toys? And in the blinding flash of one solitary second ... you realized that there was no Santa Claus!?

You don't? Well I do. And let me tell you, it wasn't a pleasant experience. One I hoped would never repeat itself. And in the 50-some years that have followed I have been lucky in this regard, until about a month ago.

During my recovery from a long illness several years ago, I discovered The Food Network. The channel became my companion, and the "stars" of it's many cooking shows, my friends. I especially enjoyed "Iron Chef America". I loved the frenzy, the fierce competition and the nail-biting finish to see whose bevy of exotic dishes, centering around the secret ingredient, would win the day. And surveying the mayhem in Kitchen Stadium was "The Chairman" a stoic individual, who I believed was the master of the culinary arts, and who had more talent in his little finger than the rest of the Iron Chefs put together, including that ginormous douchebag, Bobby Flay.

Several months ago, I happened to catch several minutes of "Dancing With The Stars", which by the way, Jan loves and I give up all hope of watching anything else when this over-bloated clown fest is being broadcast. Anyway, I was glancing at the screen when my eyes locked in on "The Chairman"! My mind reeled. What in all that is holy was The Chairman doing on Dancing with the Stars? And then it struck me like a thunder bolt ... The Chairman was a fake, a charlatan, a third rate celebrity. He was ... Mark Decascos!

The Chairman - My Idol

Mark Dacascos - Twinkle Toes Douchebag

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. And then I got mad. If the Food Network had perpetrated this scam on me, what other kinds of bullshit had they pulled? So I started doing some serious detective work, which encompassed all of ten minutes, and came up with several stunning revelations.

For instance, Alton Brown, The Food Network's resident smart ass was the director of photography for an REM music video, and operated the steadicam for Spike Lee's cinematic masterpiece "School Daze". And this qualifies him for a cooking show how? Oh sure, he later graduated from the New England Culinary Institute, but so what?

Once A Steadicam Operator
Always a Steadicam Operator

And what about Robert Irvine? The Food Network made big huffing and puffing noises when they found out that he had fudged his culinary resume and kicked him off of "Dinner Impossible", but after replacement tuna steak Michael Symon turned out to be a bust, look who's back on the show?

"I Got No Personality"

I'm Back Babeee!
Dig My Guns!

And in what is the final straw for me, The Food Network was featured in a series of strips of "Cathy" ... probably the worst newspaper comic strip in the history of the civilized world. When Cathy Guisewite spots a trend, it has normally been dead for a decade or more.


Food Network, you have betrayed my trust, and are now featured in terrible new venues ... and I must move on to other things. Yes, I'm now pledging my foodie loyalty to The Travel Channel, which has much better cooking shows anyway, including this guy.

But I'll probably sneak back occasionally to watch Guy Fieri. He may be gross and sloppy, but at least he knows he can't cook.

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