tell my friends that i don’t care, i shrug my shoulders at the whole affair

or, “Why Paul Ryan Should Appear on Kitchen Nightmares”

I have a weakness for cooking shows, and I especially like Kitchen Nightmares (the BBC version much more than the over-dramatized, too soapy Fox version). What I like about Kitchen Nightmares is that, each episode, Gordon Ramsay is confronted with the owner and chef (maybe the same person, maybe two different people) of a failing restaurant. Each episode, he tries the food of that restaurant. And almost each episode, he (rudely, which is his well-known style) explains to the owner and chef that their food blows, and that’s why nobody wants to eat there. Shocker, right? Well, and obviously these shows are heavily edited to maximize the drama and tension, it almost always seems to come as a huge shock to the owner/chef that their food is bad, despite the obvious clue that nobody is eating there and the situation is so grave that you’ve applied to go on a reality TV show and be humiliated for the chance to turn things around (and the show has a pretty dismal success rate, so it’s a slim chance at that). Even when they can acknowledge that their food is bad, there’s usually some hurt feelings because Gordon Ramsay (who, as anybody who’s ever seen one of his TV shows ought to know, either is or enjoys acting like a total asshole) was mean to them when he said the food stinks.

The people who run these restaurants, and again it’s television so I can only comment on them in terms of how they come off on the show, are deluding themselves. They are living in a world in which their restaurant is perfect, the food is fantastic, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with what they’re doing. The chronically empty restaurant that’s bankrupting them is empty because of some other reason, having nothing to do with them, that they can’t figure out, so they need Gordon Ramsay to help them. The fact that Gordon Ramsay ALWAYS finds a reason why the restaurant’s struggles are caused by internal failures is, I guess, irrelevant. They must each be convinced that THIS is the one restaurant that Chef Ramsay is going to walk into and say, “My God, I can’t believe you’re not packed to the gills every night! For the life of me, I just can’t find a single thing wrong with what you’re doing!” But this NEVER HAPPENS. To get upset when a man who’s known for being an asshole criticizes you for your restaurant’s failure in an assholish way is ludicrous. YOU know your restaurant is in desperate straits and YOU agreed to go on Gordon Ramsay’s show to try to fix it. You MUST realize that he’s going to find flaws with your restaurant and that he’s going to berate you for them in his well-known style. How can you be surprised when events unfold exactly as anybody could have predicted?

I feel the same way, by the way, about contestants on Ramsay’s other show, Hell’s Kitchen, who go on the show without knowing how to make risotto, despite the fact that he has every single one of his contestants, every season, make risotto. It’s one of his test dishes; how can you go on the show unprepared to make it and then get pissed off when he yells at you for it? BECAUSE YOU’RE DELUDING YOURSELF. You think you’ll be the one person to win Hell’s Kitchen without having to make a decent risotto.

I’m now convinced that you could swap the Kitchen Nightmares saps with the House Republican caucus and never notice the difference.

Genius math illiterate Paul Ryan went on Fox News Sunday and proved that he’s every bit as delusional as anybody who’s ever gone on TV to let Gordon Ramsay abuse them. Wallace pressed him on his budget, which yet again calls for repealing the PPACA and giving seniors (but no current seniors or anybody 56 or older!) half-off coupons to the Dollar Store in lieu of Medicare. That led to this exchange:

WALLACE: Are you saying that as part of your budget you would repeal — you assume the repeal of Obamacare?

RYAN: Yes.

WALLACE: Well that’s not going to happen.

RYAN: Well, we believe it should. […]

Well, good for you guys! And special congratulations to Paul Ryan, who demonstrated conclusively that he’s more self-deluded than a Fox News anchor! But you know, and I shouldn’t offer advice, but maybe the public would prefer that you guys tried governing based on what will or might happen, instead of what you think should happen even though it won’t. You’re not the one guy whose restaurant doesn’t suck, you know? You’re not going to magically get the PPACA repealed, no matter how much you think it should be. So maybe stop trying and actually govern?

They continued:

WALLACE: This was a big issue in the campaign between Romney-Ryan vs. Obama-Biden. They think they won and they think that’s one of the reasons they won, and there are, Congressman, a lot of independent studies that say if you put this into effect, the net effect will be that seniors will end up having to pay more of the share of their healthcare cost. […]

RYAN: I would argue against your premise that we lost this issue in the campaign. We won the senior vote.

Wow, man, that’s some fine self-delusion right there. Despite getting creamed in the election, Ryan thinks he and “Mitt” won the Medicare issue because they “won the senior vote.” This is funny for two reasons.

  1. That’s not how elections work, dudebro
  2. You think you guys “won” the Medicare issue because you won the one demographic group that won’t be affected by your reforms

Ryan’s plan specifically exempts anyone 56 and up (that’s this year’s version; the one he was touting at election time was 55 and up) from any changes to Medicare. This is the last group of people whose votes should be seen as a referendum on your plan, because they’ll never have to suffer the consequences of it! This is like arguing that a war against Iran would be welcomed because the people of Burundi support it. Maybe they do, but who gives a shit? They’re not the ones who’ll be getting bombed. Meanwhile, in the real world, people don’t like the Ryan voucher/”premium support” (i.e., voucher) plan.

But Paul Ryan thinks they do. Because seniors something something. He doesn’t have to cook a risotto! He’ll win anyway.


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