Reality TV has just found a new terror tandem couple, as ugly and plastic as the Scottsdale they inhabit. I am talking about the breakout stars of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Season 6, Episode 16, darlings of Reddit, icons of Yelp, Samy and Amy Bouzaglo. And in a flourish of hypocrisy, I’m going to give my fellow little monsters of the internet their yummy schadenfreude social media sandwich, and then I’m going to explain why we should refrain but never do, just like we always go for that last churro.
Here’s the clip. Truly, we are witness to the beauty of two roses of the Maricopa bloom, twined in harmony.
If it’s true that the Intergalactic Civilization is keeping us in quarantine on the basis of our television and radio broadcasts, I think this one episode has just earned us another century grounded on our house arrest world.
And the Facebook comments…my god….did someone put a Dalek inside the cranial cavity of an Arizona blonde?….is that,….is that what happened? All I know is that if I were to make comments of that nature, on the internet or in real life, I’d be expecting that rules of dramatic tension would ensure I’d either explode or get eaten by a tyrannosaurus as soon as I’d finished making my statement.
That… woman-like entity, I think that’s the right description… the being which is called… Amy Bouzaglo… wow. This character (yr. correspondant must assume this Amy Buzaglo is a fictional character… the notion of her reality is a nightmare best left to the digressions of a Lovecraft or Ligotti) combines the most awful foibles of Ms. Carmody from Stephen King’s The Mist, with Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series, the narcissism of Cruella Deville, the selfishness of Abigail Williams in The Crucible and the valley girl diabolism of Shannon Doherty when she played Heather Locklear in Heathers. Brrrrrr! My salutations to the producers and writers of Kitchen Nightmares for creating the most memorable and terrifying villain of the 2013 television season. Finally, a nemesis that is more than a match for Gordon Ramsay! I can’t wait to see how this plot arc turns out!
I almost think that it’s Lisa Kudrow doing some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque performance comedy. If that is Ms. Kudrow, let me say that I am saddened to see how unkind Botox has been to that bright comedienne. Facelifts can be a harsh mistress. And Yalah! That’s a very Kudrow catchphrase.
As for Samy… it’s like Ed Bundy meets Archie Bunker, as filtered through the lens of the Sopranos. A self-described ‘Gangster’ with the funereal rasp of a gut shot emphysemiac. His furtive eyes have the cast of a confidential informant for the FBI in Witness Protection. I could only theorize that if the vengeful hitmen ever do find him in a future episode of the show, they will take a brief look around at his life, and decided that allowing him to continue in this state would be a crueler punishment than any torture they could inflict.
There is one truth to this power terror couple, and that is that they truly deserve one another. It’s a Folie a Deaux, an epic of paranoia and entitlement, that I can only imagine resolving with the Buzaglous back to back on a bell tower overlooking old town, gunning for the as the combined law enforcement agencies come after that. One way or another, this fictional dichotomy must surely end in blood. It’s too obvious a trope.
So Gordon Ramsay has found it. The Ninth Circle of Customer Service Hell, where Satan eternally chews on a store-brought semifrozen Judas Iscariot and wonders about when the main entree is going to arrive. This is the theater of the excremental, the stygian immersion, the latest float in the parade of provocation that featured such memorable precursors as Tom Green’s Freddie Got Fingered, Michael Alig, GG Allin… another wallow in transgression so stale that the stench becomes the point, one more bubble in a crest of foam that abjures every reach of aspiration, denies all beauty and worth to the human experience…one more surge in the dismal tide.
Yr. correspondant must exorcise himself of these sun belt specters. Why even their name has an eldritch, pseudo-Babylonian cadence: Ia! Ia! Bouzaglou fthaghn! IN THEIR DEAD CAFE IN MARICOPA WHERE THE SKY SCREAMS BENEATH THE GREASY CAKES! YALA YALA IT’S CHRISTMAS MEOW!
Ok…ok… I think they’re gone now. Those evil Bouzaglou spirits flew out my nose and into the night skies to caper and shriek once more in the empty reaches between the moon and the earth.
I think I know what’s going on, folks. I think I can name this cuisine. But that isn’t going to stop you when you’ve already raised a spoonful of schadenfreude to your mouth. Didn’t stop me after all…..
There are two scenarios that are possible with the Bouzaglos:
(1) Is that one or both of them suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Let’s look at the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV, shall we?
Criteria for Narcissistic personality disorder includes.
(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
(3) believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by other special or high-status people
(4) requires excessive admiration
(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
(6) takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify the feelings and needs of others
(8) believes that others are envious of him or her
(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Gee, who does THAT sound like, other than yr. humble correspondent?
Thank you, Gordon Ramsay, for your riveting case study in this personality disorder. I am sure that the American Psychiatric Association, in light of this evidence, will no longer countenance the idea of removing NPD from the DSM-5.
If this is the case, and it certainly could be, then the Fox network is just continuing of the tradition of the new freak parade- that night procession of mental aberrations, served for our delectation.
Our sensibilities have evolved, you see. It’s no longer appropriate to gawk at the deformed, the hermaphrodite, the massively obese, or the bearded woman.
Nowadays, it’s far more fashionable to seek your jollies by the Bedlam Follies- the mad, the bad, and the witlessly incompetent. Our dancing dwarves and siamese twins are dwarves and siameses of the mind…. and that is so much more sophisticated.
The patients of Elizabethan Bedlam would exaggerate the strangest flights of their symptomology. It was the only way that the wretches could get alms and benefits from the orderlies who kept them.
May I suggest a kickstarter to establish a trust for the medication and therapy of the Bouzaglos, conditioned on disbursements only being released for purposes of legitimate medical mental health treatment? You might just keep Amy from doing another stint in the Arizona Bureau of Prisons (see United States v. Bossingham Arizona D.C., Case No. 2:02-cr-00477-MHM) That is assuming, of course, that you don’t want to hear about more of her delightful antics.
(2) To explain the other possibility, I need to tell you a story of another time- Portland, OR, in 1999, and a cafe called the Roxy, over on SW Stark. It’s still around, an after hours diner for the club kids from Beaverton who don’t want to carb out their impending hangovers with Shari’s or IHOP. When I first went to eat there, I thought to myself “My god- it’s the world’s first 90s themed nostalgia restaurant.”. TKK blared from the jukebox, the tables were gummy with nicotine tar, there were giant lurid posters everywhere, and waitresses that looked like Suicide Girls doted on drag revue performers and crustpunk buskers.
The Roxy was a place where the wait staff was supposed to be snarky and snide, and generally inattentive to the diners. THAT WAS THE POINT. And this being 1999, that attitude of derision helped to convince our little not-legal brains that we had found egress to the coolest dive in the Northwest (which, IMO, is not true. The coolest dive in the Northwest is My Father’s Place over on MLK).
The genius of this little diner was that they stopped selling food and started selling attitude. And us dumb little hipster twerps, Grodd help us, we just lapped it up. We paid for the pantomime of put-downs because it helped our little heads to believe that we were somewhere cool and elite and exclusive, and not just the Brewery District’s recovery room (it was the Brewery, not the Rose district, then).
That might just be the play the Bouzaglos are making with Amy’s Baking Company- they realized that it’s easier to become America’s premiere restaurant for masochists:
Come for the abuse, stay for the undercooked and overspiced pizza! If you tip well, Sam or Amy will personally come to your table to make sure that you feel like a worthless person. Did we mention our nightly shouting match at 7:13PM? Be sure to stay for that!
Once a certain threshold of asininity has been reached, it becomes best to accelerate, rather than to brake, from a PR perspective. Chris Brown understands that. Repentance and redemption is forgettable; the people who watch never forgive. There are only two crimes in modern America- the crime of insufficient funds, and the crime of being insufficiently interesting. All other grotesqueries can be allayed by the careful management of one or the other of the great capitals- fame and money.
Already, redditors and channers are talking about stopping by Scottsdale, either to prank, or to grief, or to just engage in hate-eating. It’s like hate-watching, or hate-fucking- eating awful fare for the notoriety of a future anecdote you can share.
And if that happens, Sam and Amy will be laughing on the way to the bank.
I’d like to explain a concept that I think is evolving on the internet, a figure I would like to call, The Meta-Troll. Who trolls the trollmen? The psycho-sociological phenomenon precedes the internet- it’s Uwe Boll, or, more personally, did you ever know a kid that actually sought out torment and embarrassment? It’s one thing to bait another person into a histrionic over-reaction. It’s another thing to be the Person that baits the baiters (or trolls the trolls) into giving that Person the excuse which that Person needed to release their inner Gary Busey on the world. Previously, being a meta-troll was only good for establishing your notoriety in a town, or at best, a region, if you kept at it. But now? You can explode with incompetence or immaturity and turn those personal failings into personal profit earners. All it takes is business sense and a disregard for opprobrium so absolute that it is comparable to the void of a black hole.
Which is why we’re going to wise up to the Bouzaglos. Or not. This might be a new expression of a recurrent bug of the human discourse- or perhaps a feature. After all, there’s a sociological demand: someone to hate; an economic demand: web hits for figures to hate; and a psychological demand: it may be better to be loved than feared, but it is far worse to be forgotten than it is to be despised.
Actually, considering the way they treated the one pair of guys waiting for pizza, maybe we are looking at the Westboro Baptist Church of Pizzarias….maybe their business model is to provoke their customers into actions that can then become litigable. Given that fanatical gleam in Amy’s eyes, maybe we should subsidize this restaurant…just so that she refrains from starting the next Branch Davidians. This character (yr. correspondant must assume this Amy Buzaglou is a fictional character… the notion of her reality is a nightmare best left to the digressions of a Lovecraft or Ligotti) combines the most awful foibles of Ms. Carmody from Stephen King’s The Mist, with Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series, the narcissism of Cruella Deville, the selfishness of Abigail Williams in The Crucible and the valley girl diabolism of Shannon Doherty when she played Heather Locklear in Heathers. Brrrrrr! My salutations to the producers and writers of Kitchen Nightmares for creating the most memorable and terrifying villain of the 2013 television season.
So it’s possible that the best way to harm these people, if harm you seek, would be to ignore them. Ostracize them. But that’s the one thing that we can’t do, can we? So view. Stew. Simmer. Boil and froth. Enjoy!