I was listening to the CBC’s “Q” yesterday and they had Jamie Oliver on as a guest promoting his idea to tax “big Sugar”. Whatever, crazier people have pulled bigger turds from their butts and screamed louder for our attention. I don’t normally pay much attention to the guy, and didn’t intend to but I had to stop and listen at one point because I seriously thought he was doing an impression of Fred Armisen’s SNL character, Nicholas Fehn.
Every time he got close to making a point, he would veer off to another statement that he wouldn’t finish saying. It was like listening to failing amateur improv. I had to take the battery out of my bullshit detector, so loud was its mooing alarm. So loud in fact my satire detector accidentally went off with a weak “heh heh, he’s doing a bit, right?”
I’ve actually gone to the show’s website and replayed the interview so I can transcribe the part that caught my attention:
“…But you know, I think um, look: at the end of the day,…like actually, the most controversial thing that I’m talking about at the moment isn’t actually the tax. The tax will drop off 6 or 7 percent, it will raise a billion quid in the UK, and we’ll spend that on kids’ education and hospitals. That isn’t… Even easier than that is - if you look on my Facebook - like just putting 4 teaspoons on the front of a pack, that will drop off sales even more because everyone, even scientists - When I went to the House of Commons the other day, I just hacked a load of bowls and just put teaspoons on, right above the normal ones, and everyone was just, ‘Gasp, Oh, gasp!’, and they’re scientists and doctors! And the thing is, like 100% of the population (100%!), like, I haven’t met anyone yet that doesn’t believe that teaspoons are the fastest, quickest, most robust way to empower busy people to make better decisions, but the industry will hate that because that will drop off sales even more than my little tax.”
This was in response to the host asking him to address New York’s ban on large sugary drinks being struck down due to “personal autonomy”. He started off praising Bloomberg for being a noble patrician before interrupting himself with the above logorrhea.
The host then follows with,"…You mentioned the poll: 65% of the people support the tax. At the same time, your prime minister opposes the idea -"
At which point Oliver interrupts:
*Oliver: “No he doesn’t!”
Host: “He doesn’t?”
Oliver**: “No! No, he probably won’t do it, but he has - I’ve met him. I’ve had several meeting with him. I was with him last Sunday. Like, he’s not,…he’s open minded to like,…he, uh,…he has to launch a childhood obesity strategy, um, in the next four months, and it’s got to be good! And my job is to make him brave* - and good ain’t good enough, by the way! - so um, at the moment, currently, uh, from his mouth to me, like, he’s to-, he’s open minded to anything. Not just taxing, but also where the money from the tax is hypothecated, alright? So like, he hasn’t said ‘no’…yet,…um, and I - he might not do it, I’m not saying he will do it, I’m saying he might not do it, but he’s open minded, so I think…the difference is: how radical wil he be? You know, um…”
Host**: “So you really think you can win this one?”
Oliver: “Depends if you want to judge me on winning being ‘on’ or ‘off’, or is it about the splash or the ripples? All I know is that I’m doing my job, and like, when,…in my personal opinion? Like… honesty and clarity is… the story?.. and… the… biggest… problem?.. is disadvantaged… four to eleven year old kids. They’re the ones who are most at risk… um, and, uh, their busy parents that might not know about food or have been taught about food or know where it comes from or how it affects their body at home (or at school!). You know, what you have to understand is that the food industry loves confusion, right? And clarity - you know, humans are really good! You know, when humans get good clear information, they often - OFTEN! - make good choices. And it doesn’t mean that they can’t, you know, go off piece, 'cause we like going off piece, right? But at least we know when we’re doing what, so,…we’ll see. We’ll see.”*
What the ever loving fuck are you even saying, Jamie?!
You can watch the entire interview here, if for no reason other than to watch Jamie Oliver do a better Nicholas Fehn than Fred Armisen.
- At this point, the host physically backs away from his mic like somebody farted; as if the bullshit from Oliver’s mouth was so powerful it was breaking the divide between the figurative and literal and had acquired an actual stench and the host just caught a little bit of it in his mouth. Didn’t catch it the first time because I was listening on the radio, but when I saw that while transcribing from the video, I lost it. It happens at about 6:30 in the interview.