Cooking with Jack #780: “How To Build a 4X4 Raised Garden Bed – FOOD GARDENING”

Originally uploaded: 30 April 2016

Comments: Enabled

It seems Jack’s erstwhile spouse and son refused to be dragged to the countryside by a dithering manchild this time around. The fewer the merrier, I suppose. Anyway we continue Robert Brewer’s Jack-ification with the this-time-in-all-caps FOOD GARDENING series. Robert Brewer has ingratiated himself less and less to me as the series go on, and whilst it would be uncharitable of me to suggest he’s the kind of horrid American stereotype based off of the little we see of him in the videos it’s becoming harder and harder to let it slide. Since starting his own youtube channel he’s yet to do anything that’s not curate a playlist of the videos on Jack’s channel, no doubt a scheme devised by Jack to deliver Robert a sense agency without cutting into Jack’s precious little monetisation.

Speaking of monetisation this video is a brutal, almost content-free nine minutes. I suppose making your own garden bed would be a nice Sunday afternoon project but brevity and editing never been Jack’s strong suit. Just in case you forgot which nutcase manchild’s channel you’re watching he has to constantly cut back to his grim, haggard mug. I’m frustrated but not surprised that Jack refuses to lift a finger and only likes to make his braying heard mostly from behind the camera.

Again this video speaks to the contemporary mythmaking surrounding farming. Robert Brewer’s personal crusade appears to be the American obsession with lawns, and the apparent of non-utilitarian gardening. He certainly has a point but suggesting subsistence farming is easy or even possible is like many of Jack’s videos fanciful to the point of being harmful. Perhaps not so much as his execrable video on canning that would have killed any number of his viewers had he not deleted it, but dangerous nonetheless.

Jack on the Go #404: “Prince Street Pizza & Pub – Gallatin, TN”

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: 20 April 2016

Comments: Enabled

Forgive me, Jack, but what exactly is it that you’re doing scheduling a rendezvous with a woman half your age in the middle of a work day? Not to cast further aspersions onto your marriage, but isn’t Jack on the Go typically the purview of morbidly obese, middle-aged men? Is there some reason you’re broadcasting the fact that you’re out for drinks with a woman who isn’t your wife? I certainly can’t see one.

Now granted, there is a whole host of baggage attached to the idea that a man and a woman are incapable of being platonic friends. It’s a notion that’s both incorrect and offensive on a number of levels, and one I thought long and hard about before typing. After all that kind of tired gender essentialist argument is one Jack has trotted out numerous times, typically in support of himself being lazy. And that’s a very salient point you could make. My defence, as it were, only lies in how peculiar this particular video is, an outlier in Jack’s oeuvre. As a staunch gender essentialist, as a self-styled capital-G Guy, what exactly am I meant to take from this?

Anyway. Again, we get the two-faced Scalfani, desperate to buddy up to people and prove himself a friend of the working person, then saying nasty things about their restaurant (it’s in the description, along with Jack’s favourite non-criticism of “not enough flavour”). I honestly don’t know why he goes to the trouble of attempting to worm his way into people’s favour before instigating. Is it that important that you be the centre of attention, Jack? If the rules of the “wars”, as you call them, are so specific and complex that they need to be reiterated, and the results so important you intone them self-seriously into the camera with a direct message to the proprietors, if you take your little dog and pony show this fucking seriously, why not just say it to their face? Or is skulking around behind people’s backs all you’re capable of?

Jack leads an empty and depressing life, we knew this, but broadcasting his illicit relations with a younger woman is a new low.

Jack on the Go #403: “Angriest Whopper – BURGER KING”

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: 15 April 2016

Comments: Enabled

Here we have a small Winton-esque vignette of the Scalfani family out and engaged in their primary source of meals. Recently we discussed both Jack Junior’s long-simmered resentment of his father, as well as Jack’s attempt to chase a somewhat current youtube trend. Jack Junior is in a much better mood here, presumably because his mother is around, despite his typical teenage moodiness. Can you really blame poor Jack Junior, though? He’s had so much of his life filmed and put up on the internet involuntarily, and he’s at an age where he is particularly self-conscious about how the world perceives him. Now all he wants is a fucking burger and for his trouble he has a camera shoved in his face.

I don’t particularly care for fast food (I’m not particularly against it either), so it’s clear this video isn’t particularly for me. With that said at least there’s the a recognisable audience for this, which is more than I can say for a lot of Jack’s work. It’s conceivable that someone might be interested in a new fast food product, clear publicity stunt that it is. But, and this is the important thing, it’s not even his idea. I’ve mentioned over and over again that Jack is merely copying what others have done, what’s seen to be popular. He can only copy, never create.

Jack on the Go #402: “Taproom 12 Ave. South – Nashville, TN”

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: 13 April 2016

Comments: Enabled

I rather enjoy reading the work of restaurant critics such as Pete Wells or Jay Rayner. I don’t live in New York or London and I rarely have a chance to travel out there, but their work is so enjoyable and on the pulse of food trends that they’re often as evocative and educational as they are entertaining. As much as they can give the reader a very well developed sense of the geography as they traverse their local and national food scenes, you also understand that no matter what their subject matter they would be an entertaining read (Mr Rayner is in fact a published author). Beyond that, there’s also the undeniable sense of living vicariously through their writing. You and I will never in our lifetime have the funds, not even to mention the sheer time necessary to devote to restaurants. As much as I can complain and find fault with the “review as entertainment” in 2016, being able to eat words off a page can be an undeniable pleasure.

I bring this up solely because, as per usual, I have no idea what I’m meant to get out of watching Jack eat. He loves to call these little escapades of his “reviews” but he never says anything substantial about any of the restaurants. Most of the video is Jack and his friends in mid shots talking, saying it’s awesome or less commonly recently, saying that they don’t like it. Jon takes a seemingly resentful pot-shot at a group of women having a hen’s do. In the autumn(?) of Jack’s life being posted to youtube, does he mean that we live vicariously through him? My interpretation is that he feels everything that he does is inherently interesting to his audience and that yes, one watching his pathetic life on youtube is meant to enjoy it as Jack does.

The problem here is that there’s very little joy in Jack’s life. His ability to present food, any food at all, to the viewer in a way that’s appetising is limited to loud permutations of “Mmmm” and “Wow” and “Amazing”, and what’s more he’s not discerning. He can certainly be angry or throw a tantrum, but his complete lack of knowledge combined with the clear fact that he doesn’t now, nor has he ever, eaten particularly well doesn’t paint a picture of joie de vivre. It paints a picture of a downtrodden man for whom things like excessive cheese or house-made pickles, or simply the concept or fresh, tasty food is an unfathomable magic trick.

Jack on the Go #401: “Franklin’s Wine and Tea Bar – Gallatin, TN”

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: 06 April 2016

Comments: Enabled

It’s clear from many episodes of Jack on the Go (including this one certainly) that Jack and Tammy have a troubled marriage. The clearly visible strain between the two, especially in public, is often remarked upon by the casual viewers of Jack on the Go, which in turn causes Jack (insecure runt that he is) to vigorously defend his crumbling marriage like a child emphatically denying that they eat worms to their bullies. It causes him to post things like this, which Jack recently put up on his twitter feed:

tammy.jpg

This is not a particularly flattering photo of Tammy, to be sure, and it’s definitely a smirk or forced smile rather than a relaxed, natural smile one might flip a camera in a comfortable social setting. But really, who can blame Tammy given what she has to put up with? In this episode as in many others Jack goes out of his way to ruin a perfectly good outing with his self-absorbed antics. What could’ve been a pleasant and adult afternoon out with friends is ruined almost immediately by Jack’s whinging and a petty squabble, before he insists on filming and getting reactions on everything. Tammy has been putting up with this bullshit for nearly 6 years of Jack on the Go, and god knows how many years before that. When she’s short or grumpy or upset I always understand immediately where she’s coming from: putting up with her self-absorbed, unemployed husband day in and day out must be incredibly tiresome.

“Tiresome” definitely describes Jack’s antics in this one. He’s immediately attracted by something that combines two of an item he doesn’t care about or indulge in: Bourbon Tea. Jack doesn’t drink bourbon (a fact we were reminded of as recently as the latest episode of Jack on the Go) and he’s never drunk brewed tea, only the sickly-sweet American “Sweet tea” concoction from places like McDonalds. Looking at how much milk and sugar (JACK YOU ARE A DIABETIC) he drinks his tea and coffee with, it’s clear exactly why he likes it the bourbon tea: Giant amounts of artificial flavours, milk and sugar are exactly what he’s used to expecting out of brewed drinks. And just in case you thought he might have some knowledge of contemporary cafe culture, he has no idea what a demitasse is.

As usual, Jack’s guests don’t seem particularly keen on being filmed. Not that it matters to Jack. The food in the place looks… confused. I’m really not sure what to make of most of it, except that every dish apparently comes with a liberal helping of the kind of sawdust tasting already grated cheese that comes in a bag. No wonder Jack loved it.

Just watching these senseless exercises in debauchery and sadness are soul-sucking. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with it every single day. Tammy: Jack Junior is old enough now, and clearly hates his dad. You can divorce Jack. It’s okay.

Jack on the Go #400: “The Crying Wolf – East Nashville, TN”

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: 30 March 2016

Comments: Enabled

Ah, Jack. Always a follower, always the proverbial tabula rasa onto which can be projected even the most flighty of other people’s interests. But really, can you blame him? Always so out of place wherever he goes, a sadsack and a waste of flesh as normal human beings go about having lives?  Not just moving from food bowl to food bowl, peddling sauce whilst ankle-deep in your own broken dreams of showbiz?

Newcomer Dave seems just a little too normal and interesting to be friends with Jack. Although he already appears to have separated Jack from his money he’s not above throwing the lonely old cur a bone. For Jack’s part, given Dave’s fashionable looks, familiarity with contemporary food trends and easygoing manner I can’t help but feel Jack has him as the proverbial “mark” for a conversion to evangelical Christianity. Considering he’s been spurred recently to attempt to convert (no doubt to line the greedy pockets of those behind the Cornerstone church in Nashville) it wouldn’t surprise me. Hell, Jack blew this man off because he decided he was going to take a vacation from doing nothing with his life and Dave was still genial and easygoing. He probably knows nothing about Jack.

Kind reader, let’s pretend for a second that Jack and his bevy of swollen Christians from California found this place on Jack on the Go. I think it’s a fun exercise in context. “Nine dollars for sliders?!” moans Jack to the camera, rolling his eyes. “Seven dollars for tater tots?!? I could make that at home! They sell that at WalMart for fifty cents a bag!”. The burger looked lovely but it was certainly well done, which Jack has railed long and hard against in the past. But Jack, under-dressed for an afternoon on the sofa watching cartoons much less a a bar, is so desperate to be seen as cool and hip and young that he praises and tries his best to be interested in liquor and burgers. Shockingly he doesn’t feign an interest in live music but we all know he’s a liar about that.

More than anything, from this I feel pity for Jack. He and his life are pitiable, and he knows it, and all he wants is to feel like he’s one of the cool kids. Sorry, Jack. People who beat children deserve no such solace in this life.

Jack on the Go #398: “Nothing Bundt Cake – Hendersonville, TN”

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: 16 March 2016

Comments: enabled

Dear reader, I started this off with unreasonably high expectations. Of course that’s setting yourself up for disappointment, especially where Jack is concerned, so I have nobody but myself to blame. But I have such a weakness for puns, and I was so hoping that it might be at least tolerable, if not agreeable. Instead Jack being insensitive to dead people twice.

Now Jack has a major problem with empathy of any kind, and I understand how much of grief is formulaic, bound up in ritual and expectation. It’s difficult to expect someone to be able to understand loss when it’s so far removed from them (so far outside their “monkeysphere”, if you will). What one can reasonably expect, however, is for a stranger to not respond to a death in your family with “Oh, cool”. Jack’s ability to discern what is and isn’t socially acceptable barely functions, made far worse by how everyone around him humours him and lets him get away with it. The word we are looking for here is privilege. And if you want a real example of how little of a shit Jack gives: Jack can’t even bring himself to say nice things about her bakery, for fuck’s sake. Yes, I understand he (supposedly) has a duty to be honest about his experiences, but what was his advice? “Get a nice cake for a special occasion”? That’s a nitpick if ever there was one.

Really, what happened was that his precious masculinity was threatened. Jack has a toddler-like mentality of needing to be the centre of attention, and when those ladies decided to make a toast without him, he barged in to make himself known, get them to pay attention to him, record them, then have the gall to complain about how many women were there. He can’t formulate exactly why (because he is stupid) but any threat to his all-encompassing ego scares him. People weren’t paying attention to it, clearly it’s the fault of the women!

And to cap it all off: Jack has the absolute fucking nerve to fake-snore in front of people because they’ve chosen to devote their lives to enriching others. Some people actually value education, Jack. Jack’s anti-intellectualism represents a long-established and growing trend in mainstream American society that he (and his brother, and indeed the entire damned Scalfani clan) are complicit in. Jack doesn’t understand what it means to devote yourself to something that’s not “Fame by any means necessary”, let alone devoting it to others. And he certainly despises education and those who choose to participate in it.

I got very heated in this one, and I apologise. Such personal attacks are perhaps not constructive but they are cathartic for me.