This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.
Originally Uploaded: 03 July 2008
Yay! Sauce flogging! Fuck-ups! Dim understanding of basic culinary technique! Backlash! Bafflingly poor management of his own brand! Jack’s infrequently mentioned father(-in-law?)! An embarrassment of riches. As the all-caps parenthetical admonishment led me to, apparently this video got corrupted by YouTube and was re-uploaded. I honestly can’t see what’s wrong with it myself, I mean the audio and video are dodgy except the “improved” version doesn’t seem much different. But what do I know.
Right off the bat, this video is suspect. Sure, the idea what people email him all the time asking for his advice is (at least at this early stage) obvious puffery, but going from basic, menial food prep tasks to showing off his rib expertise is rather absurd. I suppose it’s not a particularly illogical leap from hawking crappy barbecue sauce to then how to use that sauce, but I imagine people would more ask for a recipe than for some kind of bizarre evaluation. Also, “How to Cook” is misleading, as it begins the tradition of Jack videos not being particularly enlightening about the subject at hand. Really, it’s an excuse for saucery, the purest expression of everything we’ve seen up until this point finally crystallising. It’s more of a mission statement than a video, a “go hard or go home” approach culminating with the very first sauce advertisement politely waiting its turn at the end of the video where “3R1 Productions” has been unceremoniously dumped. Jack’s sauce has always, always looked terribly unappetising, at least to me, but he tries his hardest to sell the viewer on its merits of being sickly sweet and packed with spices not identified by name, slathered over poorly cooked meat, not bothering to let it bake onto the ribs. Not really understanding why things might be cooked different ways probably inspired the later, painfully uninteresting “Difference between Grilling &BBQing” video as a stab at redemption.
Really, what we’re here for is the advertisement. Jack’s home-grown advertising copy has always, always hurt my faculties because the phrase “It’s called the best barbecue sauce you’ll ever taste, and it’s so good [that]” bears no relationship to the information “we made a hot one” creating a bizarre non-sequitur presented as a coherent fact. As much as I understand that it’s meant to be puffery it still hurts me.
The tinny royalty-free stock music continues unabated but boy do I prefer it to the achingly generic rock that’s in our future. Part of the appeal of YouTube is the lo-fi aesthetic of people doing the best with what they have, and sanding the rough edges off can often bring how devoid of substance it is into sharp focus. Jack wasn’t particularly substantial to begin with but as the delusions of grandeur grow greater the banal nature of what he does gets more and more incongruous. But for now he’s just a guy in a sauce apron.