I love watching cooking shows on the FOOD NETWORK, but why do they have to use such awful, generic music?
It's the individual cooking style and colorful personality of the host that gives each of these shows its unique flavor and appeal. The addition of canned, processed music to the recipe does nothing but detract from a show's authenticity and individuality. Even silence would be better.
Consider my favorite Food Network program, Barefoot Contessa. This show celebrates "the good life" as Ina Garten uses farm fresh ingredients to create elegant, easy recipes for entertaining at her home in the Hamptons. But in every episode, for some inexplicable reason, the spell is broken at regular intervals by mind-numbing loops of Ibiza trance and Bossa Nova guitar—the same musical wallpaper you might hear during a lab work montage on CSI, or in the lobby of a W Hotel. It ain't right.
Why don't they give my girl Ina a joyous, varied soundtrack like the one in the Stanley Tucci film Big Night? The licensing fees for 50's pop classics aren't prohibitively expensive, and many of the Neapolitan ballads and operatic arias are in the public domain.
And how about hiring a composer to create an original theme for the beautiful Giada de Laurentiis (pictured) — something that evokes both her relaxed approach to Calfornia cuisine and her proud European heritage? Mark Adler, who scored the 2008 movie Bottle Rocket, would do an excellent job with a project like this.
And don't you think there's a blues band somewhere in Memphis right now that would love to create just the right "down home" atmosphere for the southern kitchen of Pat & Gina Neely?
I can't be the only musician who feels this way. I'm pretty sure Jon Burr, Anthony Wilson and Hans Schuman would have a few good thoughts on the subject. So many of us in the music community are foodies and oenophiles, there's really no excuse for depriving these shows of the aural upgrades they so desperately need.
So come on Food Network, get it together! Your stars and your viewers deserve better. ~DM
"For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer, it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very center of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes."
In case you hadn't noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you're talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you're saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions? You know?
Declarative sentences - so-called
because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true
as opposed to other things which were, like, not -
have been infected by a totally hip and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?
Like, don't think I'm uncool just because I've noticed this;
this is just like the word on the street, you know?
It's like what I've heard? I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
I'm just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?
What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society become so, like, totally . . .
I mean absolutely . . . You know?
That we've just gotten to the point where it's just, like . . .
And so actually our disarticulation . . . ness
is just a clever sort of . . . thing
to disguise the fact that we've become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation
to come along since . . .
you know, a long, long time ago!
I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
I challenge you: To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.
All people are children when they sleep.
There's no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
-- God, teach me the language of sleep.