The Plastic Hippo

December 27, 2014

Turkey Gochujang Bibimbap

Filed under: Media,Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 1:01 am
Tags: , , ,
Christmas in Pyongyang

Christmas in Pyongyang

It is a worry that sits heavy on every kitchen goddess or god at this time of year; will the massively expensive turkey turn out to be a huge Christmas flop resulting in mountains of leftover meat. Instead of endless turkey sandwiches, turkey risotto, turkey curry and more turkey sandwiches, adventurous chefs might try cooking up an invented Korean recipe for Turkey Gochujang Bibimbap.

Gochujang is a fiery paste made from red chilli and fermented soybeans and will resuscitate even the driest over-roasted turkey. Served with Bibimbap, a dish of short grain white rice, stir-fried vegetables, doenjang and soy sauce, this simple taste of Korean cuisine is quick and easy to cook.

The worry that sits heavy on every film studio executive at this time of year is the fear that a massively expensive turkey will turn out to be a huge Christmas flop. Money obsessed film studio executives are not normally noted for artistic creativity but the bean counters at Sony Pictures Entertainment are to be congratulated for inventing a recipe that guarantees a box office smash and galactic free publicity. According to some accounts, the film causing something of a stir is truly dreadful and in desperate need of resuscitation. It seems “The Interview” cost 40 million dollars to make and after advanced press screenings, the critical response suggested the film was destined to disappear down the pan without trace along with the 40 million bucks. The Variety film critic described it as “cinematic water boarding”.

Sitting around the table at a pre-production development meeting, the Sony executives must have considered that a “satire” about assassinating a very unstable oddball dictator a pretty neat idea. Sadly in this case, the “satire” involves lots of jokes about bodily functions, cartoon violence, explosions, racial stereotypes and the objectification of women; James Thurber it is not. Still, antagonising the dangerously disturbed bloke ruling North Korea looks like good box office even if the weirdo happens to control a stockpile of nukes and a bloody big army. Obviously, the very strange tyrant with the funny haircut is fair game for parody, ridicule and merciless lampooning but “The Interview” is not doing that; it is ramping up irrationality and megalomania.

Realising that the film was about to bomb, the Sony executives hatched a recovery plan that is an Oscar winning screenplay compared to “The Interview.” Provoke North Korea into condemning the film as an act of war, suffer a massive cyber attack leaking confidential emails and content, receive threats of terrorist violence and then announce that the film will not be released. Cue widespread outrage at this attack on free speech and the gold statuette is in the bag. When the FBI and CIA point the finger at North Korea for the cyber attack and threats and the President of the United States announces that we will not be bullied by dictators and that it was a mistake to cancel the release, half the world now knows the name of the film and slightly less than half the world probably wants to pay money to see it regardless of its merits. “And the winner is…”

It seems that the hacking of Sony could not have been achieved without internal knowledge of the company and there are some suggestions that the entire plot is an inside job to save the 40 million dollar investment on this “desperately unfunny and repetitive” film to quote from a leaked internal email from a Sony executive not based in Hollywood. “The Interview” was released in a limited number of cinemas on Christmas Day and took one million dollars in box office receipts. The symbolism of releasing the film at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Dallas, Texas is about as subtle as the film itself and many Americans seem to regard watching a turkey as a patriotic duty and a defence of free speech as enshrined in the First Amendment. It seems that the first day audiences waved the stars and stripes, sang the national anthem and remembered John Wayne at the Alamo.

It is completely preposterous to suggest that a multi-national corporation desperate to see a return on its investment would jeopardise the fragile stability of South East Asia for the sake of 40 million dollars. It would also be utterly ridiculous to infer that by applying the effect named after the star of Hello Dolly and Funny Girl, Sony are encouraging every attention-seeking psychopathic Walter Mitty armed with an assault rifle to mosey on down to the multiplex for a little bit of infamy. Surely no multi-national corporation addicted to profit would be that irresponsible.

When preparing Turkey Gochujang Bibimbap, ambitious cooks need to be careful with the Gochujang paste. Instead of transforming something tasteless, bland and unappealing into a treat for the palate, there is a danger of creating something that will blow your head off.

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