Wednesday, January 18, 2006

31 October
The Jamie Oliver Point
I was in my German lesson with my two class-mates and the German teacher, and the conversation had somehow strayed onto Jamie Oliver. This was all well and good. Somebody described in German how they thought he must be very wealthy after appearing in the Sainsbury's advertising campaign and I replied with something like 'I like food'. Then the other piped up, 'Jamie Oliver gefallen mir nicht.', which means I don't like Jamie Oliver.
I wanted my response to be balanced. I didn’t feel like I wanted to say Jamie Oliver was the best TV Cook ever (Delia would break my eggs) , but then again I felt it was a bit harsh to dismiss him. But my lack of German Vocab meant I was unable to stand in the middle on this point and while I would have like to have said “Jamie Oliver's OK. Alright so he's a bit annoying sometimes with all that geezer pukka stuff, but basically he's seems like a reasonable person”, I had to go for 'Jamie Oliver is good.'. This was a sore point with my opponent, who, such was his anger at my viewpoint, abandoned German and stated that Jamie Oliver was a 'complete tosser.' in poetic English.
I failed to agree, saying that he seemed to have done a lot for school dinners, which I felt was a good thing.
"What's the point in them having healthy School dinners if their parents are going to take them to McDonalds afterwoods?" he snapped back.
"Ummm" I ummed, thinking for a suitable answer, slightly angered by the fact that I had to argue whether Jamie Oliver was a tosser because parents take their kids to fast-food outlets. "Maybe the parents have some responsibility?"
"There you go then." came the quick reply, his arm rising and outstretching in a victorious precise movement.
Had I just lost the argument? I was confused and dazed, unsure about what I was arguing about or what my name was. The German lesson continued, I looked out the window and watched people wishing they had something to do with their lunch break.
"But if they get a good meal at school at least that's something" the German teacher suddenly offered in support to my seemingly hopeless position.
"Oh right, and who's going to pay for these dinners? We are in our taxes. Who's going to pay for them, we are that's who." He was using the say they same thing twice with slightly different word order tactic. This was getting serious. I suppose at least this point had some kind of justification to not liking a Jamie Oliver as most people don‘t like paying more taxes.
"When I was at school", he continued throwing away any ground that he had just made up "we were given proper food, vegetables and proper meat, not Turkey Twizzlers and all that other processed crap."
"But that's what Jamie Oliver's saying isn't it?" I said turning my statement into a question. I think people do this to avoid sounding too confrontational. Adding 'isn't it?' to the end of a sentence is the equivalent of holding my hands in front of my face saying 'Don't hit me!'.
"Yeah but I bet Jamie Oliver sends his kids to a £20,000 pound a year private school"
That was it. I was beaten. I’d remembered my name again, but I knew I could never win this argument. Maybe Jamie Oliver did send his two year old kid to a twenty grand a year Private School and maybe he’s too old to ride a scooter. I shrugged my shoulders, he smiled the grin of victory and that was that.
And there’s no point to this story just like there was no point to me arguing with his argument, that at no time, really had any point. But just because there was no point to his argument, doesn’t mean he hadn’t gained a certain sense of happiness from telling himself he’d convinced me that his point of view was the correct one, even if he couldn‘t remember what that point of view was . And maybe in me learning this, there’s a point to it after all. But there wasn’t, it was bollocks.

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