Here is some food for thought this Monday morning. The last thing in life that I desire is to have one of these bathetic blogs where nothing happens, it is boring, and for lack of a better word, resembles a Ghost Town.
At the same time, I am sure that you the viewer or the reader would not come back each day if this was all filled with “I hate George Bush” tripe or some other pet peeve that I have to rant upon. What if this was filled with one type or brand of discontent … I hate this … and this … day after day. Not very interesting or entertaining, kind of like Oatmeal today, tomorrow, next week.
It would not be an enjoyable or memorable experience. I don’t want to see the comments section degenerate into some kind of morass of: “Can you give me Oprah’s telephone number? How many minutes do I have left on my cellphone when the dial sez … Who won American Idol? And Is Ray Charles really Stevie Wonder’s Uncle?”
This past weekend I was shocked to some extent to learn that a lot of people do not like Rachael Ray, the cooking host on the Food Channel. Now I am admittedly a Paula Deen fan myself and I have serious leanings towards the blond chick with the low cut, well, I digress.
What I found after some basic research, dumbfounded me. I could not believe people have a strong dislike of Rachael so I Goggled her up (“I hate Rachael Ray”) and sure enough, about fifteen pages of I don’t like Rachael. I started to do it with BoxcarOkie.com but my blood pressure med has run out and will not be refilled until the 12th so I decided to let that sleeping dog lie … which may have been a good move.
If you do the same (Goggle her) there you will find page after page of “I hate Rachael.” Really surprised me and that is a fact. Have we slumped this low in society that we are now devoting our anger and disregard against cooking chefs or non-chef personalities?
It used to be our enemies were well defined: Hitler, Pol-Pot, Stalin and to some extent, Fidel Castro were our avowed bad guys, not to mention all of those people over there on the FOX News Network. Now we have added cooking show hosts to the mix? We have an entire Cyberspace Community of detractors dedicated to pulling down those who entertain and feed us at the same time.
Betty Crocker would roll over in her grave.
What man designs can be used for good or evil, and here we have the Internet being used to get together to hate an irrelevant entity. Where would is the fun in that? And while the tone of the anti-Rachael movement sometimes seems a little unbalanced, and they claim that fun is basically the point, it is mean spirited and that is sad.
Give me a break.
People like Rachael, Dr. Phil and Judy Judy (now there is a piece of work), who make the leap from being accomplished professionals to being famous, is it luck or talent? Timing helps, but I remain a big believer in what it is that you do with your inherent qualities and talents that take you to where you are.
Take me for instance, “When I first got out of the service, they told me that I could take my learned skills of the defense department of the United States and apply them in the civilian sector, for a successful change-over to civilian life.” Which was encouraging as all get out to me, but it didn’t take me long to discover that “American Airlines wasn’t hiring any tail-gunners” so I went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad. But this is about Rachael not BoxcarOkie.
Rachael admits that she isn’t the best at what she does, she also freely admits that if people want to waste their time hating her, that is okay too, it is their right to do this she claims, and believe it or not, she isn’t bothered by it at all. She freely admits that she is not a chef, has never been to cooking school per say, and doesn’t pretend to be anything other than who and what she is … Rachael Ray.
That to me is a pretty healthy attitude to take forward in life.
What sets her apart is that she is there, and they are not, that is the way I see it. All the “Rachael Wanna Be’s are not her biggest fans” that seems to be a given here.
In our culture we sometimes find “shared likes and dislikes” and fandom, in a word it can bind us all together and sometimes unfortunately, it is also a moving force to tear things apart.
Most of her detractors I noticed are located over on “Live Journal” a place that I had a site on until I found out what type of place it was. This is a hot bed for people that dislike everything in the world, I quickly removed myself from it and brought my particular brand of hysteria over here to WordPress.com. Much more mellow and certainly more adult in nature.
From what I have gathered is that the community of Live Journal I-really-don’t-like-youse.com has been around for about three years. Now while all of this is going on, despite them, Rachael, a Cape Cod native, was on her way to becoming the pop culture juggernaut she is today, with a couple of Food Network shows, a syndicated talk show, a magazine started a year ago that is expected to top a million in circulation, plans for a restaurant, and even CDs of her favorite songs for kids and the holidays.
Meanwhile, Ray-bashing has flourished, too.
Now Creative Endeavors has its fair share of detractors and malcontents, but not a whole site devoted to us. I read all of this and I think to myself, “It should happen to me” (fame, fortune, an entire community of YOU SUCK and I hate you) but we all know that old story don’t we?
That dawg aint gonna hunt … Sorry.
Which raises a curious point: While the hate-community is now mentioned in practically every article about Ray, and new members keep chiming in, it seems to have had no impact on Ray’s rise. Or as my wife, Cup Cake is prone to say when I point out some no talent bum who is being paid to do stupid stuff on television … She will just say, “Yeah? Well, he’s laughing all the way to the bank and you just threw your shoe at the television!” or something really cute like that.
What I really love about Rachael is the girl connects the food to her passion in life. She in the beginning took a simple idea and she parlayed it into a popular show and mini-empire in her name. Her biggest problem in my opinion is that she is “bright, she is perky, she says …. Hey, I am not a chef or anything like that, but I can show you how to do this and make it a whole lot easier.” Rachael likes what she is doing and she is good at what she does, and the absolutely disgusting part of all this is it shows!
That is the magic recipe here. (Go Girl You Rock!)
It might just be that what is stickin’ in the craw of the rest of these buzzards that don’t like her. She figured out a way to illustrate or explain and then shows us projects that are easy in scope to accomplish and at the same time make a lot of sense.
The people that come to read your stuff or watch you do your thing, are the key to all of this. “If you’ve got a fan base, you can weather negative word of mouth.” (And the anti-Ray sentiment may be a special case, given that many of her fans are almost certainly motivated by an anti-sentiment of their own, against complicated cooking and our “foodie” culture.)
So I am fairly sure Rachael will be there the next time I tune in, and that is all that really matters to me. Rachael Ray exemplifies what is good about our country. A glimmer of the American Dream still exists, a small fiery red smoldering ember just beneath the surface of all this other trash of man.
That is what is great about this country. You don’t necessarily have to be brilliant (to be president, Sarah Palin) or great looking (Ellen Degenress) or really smart (Elizabeth Hasslebeck) to make it. Cooking is not my passion in life, but I do know what I like and I do not like.
Take that Rick guy the in Chicago that cooks all the Mexican food, he is really cool and has to been to Mexico so many times, I now believe he has dual-citizenship. I am going to start a “I Love Mexican Rick” website and see if we can drum up an audience.
And of course, I like Rachael Ray.
She learned how to do it, explain it in a sentence, showed everyone how to make it and deliver it with passion. If she ever develops a “Micro-Wave Department” I will be sold for life. Rachael Ray is a national treasure, a talent in her own right, and should be appreciated. We are in dire need of real talent in this country, not all this trumped up media tripe.
Now put on your happy feet and get to work, it is after all Monday and you have a “government to support.” I am going to go into Cup Cake’s Kitchen and make me a two-egg omelet (I have it all on tape).