Is it just me, or is there something wrong about a “Hairdressing Championship”? If there is an object, it seems to be to discover the weirdest look for a female. And, to what end? Surely, this is merely a means of selling hair products, boosting someones’ ego, or further objectifying women. So, the business of business as usual.
A slew of articles about some judging the “best” restaurants in the world and naming a “winner”.
Of course, this is absurd. There is no such thing as “best”. Why should anyone believe the opinion of people with opinions, especially people who make their living catering (no pun intended) to this industry. Food writers will write glowing reviews of expensive top-rated restaurants, because the want to show their appreciation for the free meal they received and/or expect to receive. Food magazines thrive of glossy pieces about fancy troughs and newspaper insist on having a “food editor”.
I have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world, enjoyed street food in many countries, and satiated my hunger at most US chains. My “favorite” sandwich was bought at a rest stop outside Genoa, Italy, on the highway between Nice and Milan. I have had too many hamburgers and too many steaks to pick a favorite. Best is not something one can easily apply to something so varied, which often is affected by mood, company, and...hunger.
The worst thing I have eaten is sea anemone at a fine restaurant (except for this dish) in Spain. I noted that this is served that the restaurant the won “best”. It seems that offering weird stuff helps to win prizes, but I prefer normal food. I appreciate creativity and enjoy the meals I have had at one of France’s best, the Auberge de l’Ill, where every meal over the decades has been memorable.
The most memorable meal, although not the “best” was at a restaurant that is not even a restaurant. This was outside Kyoto, Japan. The place takes one small party a night. You sit on the floor and the waitress serves you on her knees. I do not recall what I ate, but each course was special. Mostly, I recall the setting. In a country known for being crowded, this small building was located in a huge wooded estate and offered pure tranquility. The ambience made the meal special, because I did not particularly enjoy the company.
I have enjoyed to many “bests” to pick one. Anyone that does is being disingenuous. Anyone that believes the selection is a fool.
It’s amazing how humans are easily enticed, enthralled, impressed, or placated by bits of colored thread and base metal, embellished pieces of paper, and honorifics. It does not matter that many rewards are trumped up and based on lies, half-truths, or misinformation. The artificial significance and imagined meaning are what’s important to those that find them so valuable for their egos. Pride is evident in every award-ceremony photograph. Certificates embellish walls in an attempt to enhance image, suggest personality, and provide worth to an otherwise empty life.
What would England do without its aristocracy? How would insurance companies reward their salesmen? What would veterans do with their medals, if there were no parades? People talk of serving their country, corporation, or military unit. No soldier wants to admit that he must give his life, even if deep down he knows that his country might take it. No medal can fill the void for once-proud loved ones. Corporations exploit their employees and placate them with worthless certificates, before making them redundant.
I feel that people should find value in aspects with substance and meaning, while being less susceptible to meaningless ornamentation...but perhaps that’s asking too much of the human race.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.