Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Silicone Bitch: Gordon Ramsey of Kitchen Nightmares and ABC Bake Bistro Are All Reality TV Whores


Silicone Bitch has been quiet for a while, but she's coming back! We've got some really juicy stories on our editorial calendar.

Of recent interest is a social media publicity scandal involving an Arizona restaurant -- Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro -- whose Facebook page caught fire in a flame war involving public reaction to a reality TV show segment on Kitchen Nightmares.

Read the whole "alleged" story on Buzzfeed.

What puzzles me the most is that the general public, many of them commenters on Facebook, seemed to have tacitly accepted reality TV as "real," when we know that there is no such thing as reality TV.

Reality TV is highly fabricated, scripted, manipulated and edited to serve a particular agenda.  There are lights, cameras and microphones in your face, along with producers creating story lines on the spot to serve their own theme needs.  It might as well be fiction and the same is true of all documentary filmmaking, which really boils down to creative storytelling, even if it intends to tell the truth.

Have you ever heard about Heidenberg's Uncertainty Principle?  Well, you don't have to be a physicist to know that once you tell a story about something, it's being filtered through you. There is never any real transparency.  We are all dependent on our sense organs, which filter interpretation through a complex system mind-body-soul connection.  No message is ever unaffected by our observation of facts. It's impossible to be completely impartial.

And that's OK. It's just the limitations of our world. Always take everything, everything with a grain of salt. You might even question my own interpretation of all this. That's not really the point.

I love to believe in journalistic integrity that aims to be unbiased as possible -- it's the best we can do -- but if you're buying this "story," you're being duped.

Would you like to know what I saw in this video segment? Two restaurant owners being ripped a new asshole to serve Kitchen Nightmare's agenda and a woman desperately trying to defend her business -- with edited scenes making her appear like a bitch -- because Gordon Ramsey comes across as a mysoginst totalitarian Pope of all things culinary somehow.  And some husband, co-business owner who's too much of a pussy to do something about his allegedly demanding wife, who seems to be in complete denial of her crappy food production, never mind that the restaurant has allegedly been open for six years.

Now for all I know, this lady chef might be truly bat shit crazy, but that's not the point. And also, there's no crime against being a strong woman who runs a business.

I cry bullshit on all party sides -- but the story they fed us does make for good drama, doesn't it?

I mean: "kitchen that had some minor problems and we worked it out" doesn't make for good, riveting TV, does it?

And I'm not buying what's being posted on Facebook, either.

All's well that ends well, somehow. I might even call this a successful public relations ploy.  They did get some of the best negative publicity ever, even inspiring me to write about how fucked up this all is.  Isn't "the worst restaurant in the world run by some hysterical bitch" the first place you're going to visit Scottsdale now?


One of the drawbacks of social media is that we tend to jump over the cliff like lemmings, without fact checking and stopping to really examine.  Social media feeds us pilchards and we're like voracious tarpon, ready to have it shoved it down our gullets.  If we're going to be citizen journalists, then we should be responsible interpreters of that citizen journalism as well.

Shame on the Buzzfeed author as well for not looking at all sides of the story. Why not question it? Why not investigate who had access to that Facebook page's admin? Why not actually research what was claimed on the show? Do you just take a reality show's host word at face value?

Just think of the title, Kitchen Nightmares. They want to make us all think that there is in fact a nightmare, when there might be none at all.  Gordon Ramsey is out to produce a nightmare a priori over some fucking frozen ravioli and his bank account depends on it.

It's the world of reality TV folks, the most expertly manipulative form of storytelling humanity has ever known.

Cheers and bon appetit!

1 comment:

Annush said...

I saw the hour long episode (and the Prohibition Grille episode for perspective) and I looked at the posts of their facebook page before all the name calling started and from the looks of it, Amy and Sami had seen the edited episode and unless memory fails me, they called it "balanced". I don't think Chef Ramsey was out to make them seem insane. I think they are. and Amy says herself in the episode that she is the one managing their social media.

now, bad publicity is still publicity. I'm sure that despite the headaches that this may have brought, they'll be just fine.