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If You Can’t Stand The Heat . . . October 1, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.
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Hell's Kitchen (U.S.)

Image via Wikipedia (Fair Use)

If you can’t stand the heat . . . get out of Hell’s Kitchen!!!

People volunteer to get on Chef Ramsey’s shows.

Contestants choose to run the risk that Chef Ramsay is going to berate them, in public, in front of a viewing audience.

It’s his trademark.  His reputation precedes him.

Why then are contestants  surprised when Chef Ramsay acts in accordance with his past actions?

Recently, two people killed themselves AFTER being in Hell’s Kitchen or on Kitchen Nightmares:

Another Ramsay TV Chef Suicide

Second Gordon Ramsay Chef  Commits Suicide

Some people claim it is Chef Ramsay’s fault.   They argue that his show should be taken off the airwaves, or that the show should perform mental health screenings before letting people enter  Ramsay’s kitchen, or that Ramsay should shut up, or that . . .

I disagree.

Do I like Chef Ramsey?  Not a bit.
Do I think that he’s overly hostile and abusive?  Absolutely.
Would I volunteer to be a contestant on his show?  Not a chance.

Would I watch Hell’s Kitchen?  Not if you paid me.

Not unless you strapped me down and withheld the remote.  Even then, I’d close my eyes and sing loudly to drown him out:

LA ~ LA ~ LA ~ LA ~ LA ~ LA ~ LA

Do I understand why others watch the show?  No, quite frankly I don’t see the appeal of most of the “reality” shows on the air.

Do I feel that Chef Ramsay is even remotely responsible for the suicides of two consenting adults who volunteered for KP duty with him?


These grown adults chose to be on the show.  They chose to subject themselves to Chef Ramsey and his brutal and scathing critique and criticism.

Later, and perhaps for completely unrelated reasons, they chose to kill themselves.

Their choices and actions, not his words, caused their deaths.  Let’s place responsibility where it lies.

No rules.  Just write!

Related post:  Why Are Reality TV Shows Popular? (WP Prompt) * Suicide For All The WRONG ReasonsChecking Out * We Are Not The Labels We Wear

Tired of Paternalism October 1, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.
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220px-Garry_Moore_Tony_the_Tiger_1955I generally support and applaud the actions of CCFC, especially when the CCFC is attempting to educate parents about ways to raise their children to be more than consumers, but . . .

I disagree with the petition the CCFC filed with the FCC last week.

CCFC wants to prevent broadcast of a show because it’s based on cartoon advertising characters:

In response to a petition by CCFC, the Federal Communications Commission has opened an inquiry into whether Zevo-3, the first children’s television program based on advertising spokescharacters, is in the public interest. The animated Zevo-3 stars three superheroes named Kewl Breeze, Elastika, and Z-Strap and a villain named Dr. Stankfoot who, until now, have only been used in advertisements to promote specific lines of Skechers shoes.

The show’s broadcast clearly violates longstanding policies designed to protect children from overcommercialization. But the FCC will only act if there is significant public pressure to do so.

To read more:  Sneaky New Sneakers Ad

CCFC wants people to support the petition by submitting a public comment to the FCC along the following lines:

I am dismayed that Nicktoons would try to broadcast a show that is little more than an advertisement for Skechers shoes. Zevo-3 is the first children’s program based on advertising logos. Its main characters, Elastika, Kewl Breeze, Z-Strap and the evil Dr. Stankfoot have only appeared in advertisements for Skechers shoes. For that reason, Zevo -3 will significantly escalate the commercialization of children’s television.

I urge the FCC to take action. Children are particularly vulnerable to advertising and need protection from overcommercialization. The Commission is all that’s standing between kids and networks flooded with program-length commercials starring spokescharacters like Ronald McDonald, the Burger King and Tony the Tiger.

Reading that last sentence decided me.

Instead of sending their prepared message to the FCC, I filed my own comment:

If Nicktoons wants to broadcast a show that is little more than an advertisement for Skechers shoes, let them.

The First Amendment shouldn’t be gutted by people who feel they have a right to decide what everyone should watch.

There are hundreds of cable networks. If parents don’t want their children watching feature length commercials, they should change the channel or, better yet, turn off the TV and send their kids outside to play.

CCFC says that the Commission is “all” that is standing between kids and networks flooded with program-length commercials starring spokescharacters like Ronald McDonald, the Burger King and Tony the Tiger.

Really? Why is that? Where are the parents in that equation?

Why aren’t parents placing themselves firmly between the TV and their impressionable children?

If you want your position to be heard:  File Your Comment With The FCC

Parents and Teachers:  NWF’s New PBS Series ~ Wild Animal Baby Explorers

Related post:  Stop Abdicating Responsibility * Parenting 101 * The Farcical Campaign Against Corpulence & Being An Accountable Human * Paternalism Produces Whiny Babies

The Goal Behind All Goals October 1, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
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Kirk Weisler scored a home run with this gem:

Mom told me that happiness is the key to life. 

So, when a teacher asked us what we wanted to be when  we grew up, I said, “Happy.”

She said I didn’t understand the assignment. 

I told her she didn’t understand life.

To read the whole post (and you should): Don’t Lose Your Marbles Or Your Bubbles.

This simple cartoon reminded me of a conversation I had with a very close friend shortly after I stopped practicing law.

On New Year’s Day, she asked, “What are your goals for the year?”

“To be happy.”

“No.  I mean what goals are you setting for yourself?”

“Just one.  To be happy.”

She thought I had lost my marbles.   I knew I had found them.

Related post:  The Goal Behind All Other Goals