Will Self really hates Jamie Oliver. In his piece appropriately titled “Why I Hate Jamie Oliver,” the snarky British novelist says Oliver represents “everything wrong with contemporary Britain.” His reasoning? In 700 words, Self says Jamie is profiting on being a self-righteous prick who acts like he gives a shit about the eating habits of the nation. Self asserts that Jamie is forcing his cook books, TV shows, Sainsbury’s advertising campaigns, restaurants, delicatessens, food product ranges, and campaigns on the people, who choke them down willingly while Jamie accumulates more and more money. More on Jamie’s “shameless avariciousness”:
If Terence Conran plummily taught the middle classes how to be a proper European bourgeoisie in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Oliver is his worthy estuarine successor, taking the permanent foodie revolution on to that portion of the former working class who bought up the public housing stock. Now they can borrow against their equity to buy bruschetta, while the poor saps who didn’t get their plutocratic act together poke Turkey Twizzlers through the school gates to feed their morbidly obese cuckoo kids.
Will Self visits the newly opened Jamie Oliver’s Diner with his wife and children, and they’re all disgusted. The burger tasted “bitter,” Self’s chicken was thin and similarly bitter, and his kids were pissed off by the cardboard straws in their Cokes. “The whole schmozzle cost 20 quid more than the weekly Jobseeker’s Allowance”—if we take Will Self’s word, Jamie Oliver’s Diner doesn’t seem like a business focused on offering “yummy healthy dishes” to the poor.
This is a fine takedown if we’ve ever seen one, but we can’t help to think that Self’s whoopage of Mr. Oliver won’t have much affect on a world that is already fervently loyal to the Jamie Oliver brand. There are millions of people out there who watch his BS TV shows religiously and are convinced that Jamie Oliver is more or less a saint, here to save our children from diabetes and joblessness.