The Front


Zap the crap

You want to know what’s wrong with the world today? Microwave ovens, that’s what. Words: Jason Hall

hen Andrew l‘airlie wtirld-renowned chef of (ileneagles fame recently accused fellow cooks of serving ‘identikit‘ fro/en meals. he voiced his despair at the banks of microwaves that power private and commercial kitchens across the land. But he could have been talking metaphorically abotit any modern creative arts. (’heesy. overblown Hollywood films. manufactured boy bands. reality TV shows. lavish stage musicals based on Disney cartoons . . . what are these btit fro/.en micro-meals for a generation of people who see food as a convenience and art as a


It seems we have forgotten how to appreciate the most sensual of life's pleasures of which cooking and eating is btit one fine example. A good cook like any artist can create great work that appeals to all of our senses. It's

about the overall experience -- and it's called , dining. not consuming. It's about the sounds S filling a hole

of a six/ling kitchen. the smells. the colours

on the plate. the texture of the food and. of -

course. the taste. A microwave meal. In your

however. invariably sounds better on the stomaCh’ "at packet than it tastes on your tongue -— there is '

no artistry here. It's about filling a hole in

your stomach. not savouring the meal. It's the culinary equivalent of masturbation ~ instant gratification versus true sensual fulfilment. leaving you asking yourself that familiar post-wank question: ‘Why did I do that'."

Be honest. How many times have you asked yourself this same question after leaving a multiplex cinema. suckered in by slick marketing campaigns and pre-release hype'.’ ()r after sitting through a six hour stretch of I'm (1 Celebrity. (it! im' out (if/lei? Live on ITVZ‘.’ ()i‘ is it just me on that one'.’ There are two issues here. The first can be loosely defined as the creative industries serving tip product rather than taking time to prepare more stimulating fare. The second is related to our own attitude and approach to these mass marketed goods. Deep down. we know it's crap. But it‘s convenient crap and it fills a hole. (iive its nice seats and fill us with enough popcorn. Ben & Jen'y's and carbonated burp-juice and we really don‘t care. We're in the microwave multiplex and we're happy to let our brains go all mushy until the bell goes 'ping‘.

But how many great independent works have we missed because it's so much easier to be force-fed mass-market product'.’ l‘airlie's main gripe about microwave meals was that ‘there is really no excuse when we are living in one of the finest larders for fish and meat in the world'. He's right. Now add to that metaphorical larder all our fantastic independent artists and creatives be they local film-makers. sculptors. bands. writers. comedians. theatre groups or whatever. When was the last time you checked out the talent that's right on your doorstep”? Sure. it takes more time and effoit to find out what's cooking. But it's got so much more flavour than those identikit meals.

Disagree? 12 THE LIST :3 19.11.10 .’t".‘;%

The things jou simpl/ llit/E; :9 :19 (iii; lag-Li:-

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1 The Animatrix

DVD We‘ve had the film and the videogame. Now revel in the amazing animation based around the most heavily hyped film of the year. See Buy it this Fortnight, page 101. Warner.

2 NDT2

Dance More proof that the NDT youth wing is threatening to usurp its elders. with Jiri Kylian once again leading the way. See Theatre. page 62. Festival Theatre, Edinburgh.

3 Dark Water

Film Hideo Nakata follows up his Fling movies with another very scary. pleasingly old fashioned ghost story. See feature and Film, pages 20 and 23. Selected release.

4 Monica Ali

Books Another slice of British Asian life from one of the country's most promising writers. Just don't call her Zadie 2. See Books. page 102. Doubleday.

5 Radiohead

Records It's not exactly a dodgem ride of uncontrollable giggling but Hail to the Thief is a welcome return to some kind of form for Thom and co. See Records. page 105. Par/ophone.

6 Art degree shows

Art Your chance to see the art stars of tomorrow displaying their wares across the country. See Art. page 86. Various venues.

7 Doctor Who convention

City Life One for all sci-fi anoraks as the words 'TARDIS'. ‘dalek‘. 'K9' and ‘timelord' get bandied about the capital. Who was your favourite Doctor? See City Life, page 99. Apex Hotel, Edinburgh.

8 Tommy Tiernan

Comedy The 98 Perrier winner makes a welcome return with a hatful of surreal jokes and a barrowload of odd imaginings. See Comedy page 70. Tron, Glasgow.

9 Dealer’s Choice

Theatre You've got to hand it to Patrick Marber, whose first play is a sharp dissection of blokedom. See Theatre, page 63. Tron, Glasgow.

1 0 Torqamada

Music Al, Ricardo, Jake and Stagger mix up cool, studied garage-rock and tight-trousered metal mania to surprisingly fine effect. See Music, page 45. Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh; King Tut's, Glasgow.