Heston Blumenthal and the Decline of Western Civilization

They say that every culture has a natural progression, the Archaic, the Classical, the Helenistic and finally the Fall. I think that's it. Or maybe, it's the Gothic, the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Revolution.

Which ever way around it is, we are at the end stage, at least in so far as cooking television goes. It has descended so far into self-regard that it has fallen into mocking self-parody.

Enter Heston Blumenthal, the man that is teaching the television viewing public that food is something geeky, arcane and totally impossible to make at home.

Heston Blumenthal

Blumenthal's television shows aren't about food, although they make allusions to it. They're not about history, although they make allusions to that too. Their only value is a vapid titillation, in almost exactly the same way that porn is.

Blumenthal is to food what Sasha Grey is to sex: unpleasant and disturbed.

Blumenthal says he wants to create food as 'theatre'. Yet, what he has come up with is not food as theatre, it's food as television. It sits in the corner of your living room, aspirational, unavailable, under-nourished and sterile.

It's sterile in the same way that a morbidly obese, omega male oggling Sasha Grey is sterile; he has no hope of ever going there.

Every one of Blumenthal's shows presents food the likes of which you can never have and certainly can never make at home. Want to make ice cream? Whip out the liquid nitrogen from the cupboard. Mashed potato? 25% butter. Want to make jelly? Mix it with absinthe and make it wobble with a dildo.

Blumenthal surpasses any previous notion of the ridiculous with his pseudo-historical feasts, wherein he serves a bunch of TV 'personalities' food that is not in the slightest historical. Said celebrity pseudo-guests then make inane and scripted comments with big, toothy, botox smiles.

Take, for example, his Victorian feast, the centre piece of which is a giant jelly made to wobble with a vibrator. It's not artistic - it's jelly, it's not funny - it's a giant wobbly dildo and it's not something that you'd want to do at home - unless you want your other half to laugh at you rather than shag you.

A Dildo

The departure of Delia Smith from the BBC to concentrate on internet media, shows where real cookery is going. Television has reached the end of the line. It has settled down to its true essence - endless repeats, home shopping, advertisements for phone sex, giant wobbling dildos and Heston Blumenthal.

Whatever you do, don't try this at home.


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