It's galling to me that serious people actually give enough of a shit about what slick Hollywood sleazoids like Ryan Reynolds think to commission Written Articles About Stuff from them, especially when it's ostensibly reputable blogs like Huffington Post doing the commissioning.
Take this bleating piece, for instance, in which Ryan takes the moral high-ground re: the decadent wastefulness of competitive eating contests, mainly by invoking a variety of third-world children he has made up. "Young Mustafat, who maintains a strict diet of inner turmoil and bleached hope, looks forward to watching the ESPN-televised event to better understand what gigantically wasteful, fucking super-retards we all are", he wails, rending the air around him with concern.
Without, of course, pausing at any point to consider that: (a) competitive eating contests are at least 5 times more entertaining than any film Ryan Reynolds has ever starred in, and his self-congratulatory writing and poor stabs at Socratic irony too, for that matter; and (b) the combined staging and costs of every competitive eating contest in the United States wouldn't exceed the budget of a wack summer tossbuster such as, ooh i dunno, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.1 (Ryan's condemnation of the excess promotional budgets of 7-11 convenience stores, Papa John's pizza,2 the California Milk Processor Board and Schick razors is also strangely absent.)
Moral? i guess it's partly this: if you once starred as Van Wilder: Party Liaison, your right to diss anything on the grounds of taste is pretty fuckin' limited. And so, unless your salary for the next brainless superhero mindsore is all being donated to, e.g., MSF, it might be best not to single out one business's pefectly legitimate promotional tactic as if it were the major cause of the West's entire ethical downward spiral.
So, in summary, then: shut-up, pretty-boy. Now somebody pass the frankfurters.
Eine kleine wurstmusik:
mp3: Men's Recovery Project — "New Talking Sausage" (YSI)
mp3: Sam White — "Polish Sausage"
1 FYI: The only reference i can find to a budget for the Nathan's annual Hot Dog Eating Contest is a 1995 NYT piece which postulates that Nathan's, as a "smaller" chain "with only 30 company-owned restaurants and fewer than 170 franchisees", can probably afford an annual advertising budget of "less than $1 million". Now i know that's old, and deals specifically with TV spots; but factor in the cost of staging the contest and then adjust for 14 years' inflation, and i still don't think you're near the same ballpark as X-Men Origins: Wolverine's $150 million budget. i'd speculate that maybe the X-Men catering budget might be nearer the mark. Assuming that's even vaguely close: so for the cost of promoting 30 restaurants and 170 franchises for a full calendar year, you could also achieve a small fraction of 107 minutes of celluloid! Positively bargainous, no? Well... no.
2 Why the fuck would you want to eat at somewhere called "Papa John's"? It just reminds me of Papa Doc Duvalier. Preusmably if you displease the staff, you don't get your food gobbed in, you just get fully fucking hexed and then "disappeared".