The Dictator observations thread.

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Dr. Medulla
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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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JennyB wrote:
20 Jun 2024, 2:34pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
20 Jun 2024, 10:13am
https://ottawacitizen.com/feature/the-m ... te-daphnee

Not sure where to put this—do we have a labour/work thread?—so this will do. I wonder how many chefs feel obliged to act like assholes just like the celebrities on television. Or do those assholes just give other chefs license to be shitheads?

I recently listened to Maureen Ryan's Burn It Down, about the normalization of dehumanizing treatment of people in Hollywood. It was depressing and infuriating all at the same time. The rationales offered—it's part of my process; it's all worth it when you consider the final results—are so threadbare. Your fucking art isn't worth routinely humiliating people, regardless of the accolades or profits. One of the anecdotes related was of producers, when hiring assistants, have them watch the movie Swimming With Sharks as a legit training video.
I wonder if it's like how assholes become cops. It is just one of those professions that attract assholes.
Chefs have rare skills, unlike cops, but it's certainly not out of the question. I confess that my malformed palate isn't capable of fully appreciating their skills, but I nevertheless have a hard time seeing how someone who prepares a meal merits that kind of ego. You cooked some steak and potatoes, yee haw. It's food.
Move over Tom Cruise time for the new fucking blood.

Flex
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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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I'll give a... not defense, but some food for thought... based on my own extremely limited experience of having a sister who was the sous chef at a 3 star Michelin restaurant (I won't get more specific in case future employers or investors ever hit on here on a search or something).

Restaurants, at almost all levels and types, are already fast paced affairs. You're dealing with lots of equipment that could injure or potentially kill you, and you have lots of incoming orders that need to be made correctly and quickly. And even at a pretty high level it's a low margin business. Fucking up here and there can land you in the red if you're not careful. And it's a mercilessly critiqued line of work. You used to just have to deal with pro restaurant reviews, now every asshole who comes into a restaurant can share their stupid review of a place and potentially kill you for getting a single thing wrong over the course of a visit. And the "higher end" you get the more pronounced every facet of this stuff is.

An environment like that is a pressure cooker (for anyone who watched the Bear, my sister says the portrayal of kitchens in the show is overall quite accurate and she can't really watch the show because it triggers some kind of PTSD). the executive chef she worked under is a big name but doesn't have a reputation as particularly abusive or anything, but from what I hear could still toggle into behavior most of us would consider pretty asshole-ish. There's just so much pressure and immediacy it's hard not to strip away any veneer of amiability or collegiality during the work day. And my sister thrives on action and pressure, generally. She gets bored if she's outside of the kitchen too long, so I think you attract a lot of those sorts of personalities who are very, very driven - especially as you move to higher and higher end food service - and really internalize the core mission of providing an incredible experience. The expectations for the level of experience you're going to get at a high end restaurant are off the charts from what most of us schlubs are used to (I got to go to said Michelin restaurant once and I'm not exaggerating when I say that the entire experience of eating there had only a passing similarity to what I normally think of as "going out to eat" or having a meal. It's elevated into something else entirely, it was amazing but also something totally out of reach to me in normal life)

In my sister's view, she's doing something noble (and I don't think she's wrong). The act of preparing a meal for someone is supposed to nourish their body and soul and all that jazz, and she puts a lot of pressure on herself to deliver an impeccable experience to her guest. Now, multiply that by however many dozens of people you may host per night, 5-7 nights a week, and you can see how the pressure just grinds on you. For some people, the response is to just strip away all sense of decency in favor of really extreme, shitty behavior in the kitchen. It feels like a perverse counter-balance to the positive intent that a lot of people in the industry at that level feel about the work they do.

Add to that that, again by the time you get to these levels of service, your very personally wrapped up in your work. The work is pretty much an extension of the self for everyone I've ever met by that point. There's no "I'm a high end chef from 9-5 (or 3-midnight or whatever) but I leave all that in the restaurant." You live and breathe this shit. Which I think creates an environment ripe for abusers to abuse and people to develop shitty behaviors all around if they're not careful. That's one reason I think there's so much sense of decorum at high end kitchens, to sort of buffer some of that potential breakdown in personal behavior if folks aren't careful. But for some people that still breaks down.

I dunno, I would absolutely fail in a pro kitchen. the limited time I did at the low rungs of "fine dining" were enough of an experience to teach me I don't have the gumption for that world.
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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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I guess my question/critique would be to ask whether that model is required to produce fine dining. Whether it's restaurants or Hollywood or anything else, if the results are good defenders say that it validates the process. And from there it becomes a short (il)logical hop to declare abuse a vital part of the process. If the work predictably generates misery, that's a major problem with the system and environment, full stop. It's like the wider restaurant industry justifying fucking over employees by citing tight profit margins. Well, if your model can generate profitability only by stiffing your staff, you shouldn't be in business.
Move over Tom Cruise time for the new fucking blood.

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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
20 Jun 2024, 4:30pm
I guess my question/critique would be to ask whether that model is required to produce fine dining. Whether it's restaurants or Hollywood or anything else, if the results are good defenders say that it validates the process. And from there it becomes a short (il)logical hop to declare abuse a vital part of the process. If the work predictably generates misery, that's a major problem with the system and environment, full stop. It's like the wider restaurant industry justifying fucking over employees by citing tight profit margins. Well, if your model can generate profitability only by stiffing your staff, you shouldn't be in business.
This really seems like a regulatory problem more than one particular to high end dining, tbqh. I was just making the point that high end dining is a high pressure work environment, and some of the things that people like or get a sense of purpose and life satisfaction about working in that environment also make it prone to abuse. But there are a lot of work environments like that. You need strong regulations for workers, like you would anywhere. That seems like the answer more than "shut down restaurants."

I also think that while there are some cases of totally deranged people like the one in the article originally cited, worker abuse is probably more commonplace and rampant at "lower" levels of dining where workers are theoretically more fungible. We focus on high end dining because it's so personality driven, but I'm not sure that's where you'd find the preponderance of worker abuse and exploitation.
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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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Flex wrote:
20 Jun 2024, 5:02pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
20 Jun 2024, 4:30pm
I guess my question/critique would be to ask whether that model is required to produce fine dining. Whether it's restaurants or Hollywood or anything else, if the results are good defenders say that it validates the process. And from there it becomes a short (il)logical hop to declare abuse a vital part of the process. If the work predictably generates misery, that's a major problem with the system and environment, full stop. It's like the wider restaurant industry justifying fucking over employees by citing tight profit margins. Well, if your model can generate profitability only by stiffing your staff, you shouldn't be in business.
This really seems like a regulatory problem more than one particular to high end dining, tbqh. I was just making the point that high end dining is a high pressure work environment, and some of the things that people like or get a sense of purpose and life satisfaction about working in that environment also make it prone to abuse. But there are a lot of work environments like that. You need strong regulations for workers, like you would anywhere. That seems like the answer more than "shut down restaurants."

I also think that while there are some cases of totally deranged people like the one in the article originally cited, worker abuse is probably more commonplace and rampant at "lower" levels of dining where workers are theoretically more fungible. We focus on high end dining because it's so personality driven, but I'm not sure that's where you'd find the preponderance of worker abuse and exploitation.
Right, right. I was speaking more generally about the perspective that justifies abuse, that treats it as a vital component. And if it can't be achieved voluntarily by a self-directed cultural shift, then by regulation.
Move over Tom Cruise time for the new fucking blood.

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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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:lol:

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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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revbob wrote:
21 Jun 2024, 9:04am
Damn but that is good.
Move over Tom Cruise time for the new fucking blood.

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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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Image
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Move over Tom Cruise time for the new fucking blood.

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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 5:53pm
Image
Bircher Superman
Ah, he’s a globalist. So it’s pronounced like “super-mun”.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

Dr. Medulla
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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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matedog wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 6:06pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 5:53pm
Image
Bircher Superman
Ah, he’s a globalist. So it’s pronounced like “super-mun”.
Foreigner, illegal alien (completely blew thru INS), fraudulent identity, created by two Jews … real Americans know what's up.
Move over Tom Cruise time for the new fucking blood.

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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 6:14pm
matedog wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 6:06pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 5:53pm
Image
Bircher Superman
Ah, he’s a globalist. So it’s pronounced like “super-mun”.
Foreigner, illegal alien (completely blew thru INS), fraudulent identity, created by two Jews … real Americans know what's up.
His name is Kal-El. You can't get more heebie than that.
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Dr. Medulla
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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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JennyB wrote:
27 Jun 2024, 2:44pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 6:14pm
matedog wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 6:06pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
26 Jun 2024, 5:53pm
Image
Bircher Superman
Ah, he’s a globalist. So it’s pronounced like “super-mun”.
Foreigner, illegal alien (completely blew thru INS), fraudulent identity, created by two Jews … real Americans know what's up.
His name is Kal-El. You can't get more heebie than that.
He's actually Calvin Liebowitz.
Move over Tom Cruise time for the new fucking blood.

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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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I just learnt that people with dementia and without capacity can vote here in the UK. AITA for thinking that shouldn't be?
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Dr. Medulla
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Re: The Dictator observations thread.

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Silent Majority wrote:
27 Jun 2024, 3:12pm
I just learnt that people with dementia and without capacity can vote here in the UK. AITA for thinking that shouldn't be?
No, I agree with you. Modern liberal democracy is an extension of Enlightenment values, emphasizing that rational people do not surrender their autonomy and are entitled to participate in their society's vital civic questions. Someone with dementia lacks that capacity for rational choice, so they shouldn't be able to participate in things like elections. It's the same idea of not punishing someone who committed a crime while their capacity for rational behaviour is suspended.
Move over Tom Cruise time for the new fucking blood.

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