>What is IT?

>Gordon Ramsay is not a good looking person. You may describe him as someone with a “face like a half chewed caramel*”. He’s just not a handsome guy. He is also rude, obnoxious and vulgar. He does not appear to be a very tenderhearted individual. He tells people they suck and makes them angry on a daily basis. That’s his job.

But.

Gordon Ramsay is an exceptionally attractive individual.

Contradiction? I don’t think so. There is something about this man that is oddly compelling. Magnetic, even. Think about it. He has multiple TV shows and books, he is highly regarded in his profession, he is married, he has children, he’s extremely successful. Yet, he generally carries himself as a complete jerk. How is a jerk so successful? Why do people value his opinion? Why do others in his field look up to him? It’s not his looks, it’s not his demeanor, it’s certainly not his politeness that attracts people to him. I would say it’s not even his raw talent that got him to where he is. Before he started cooking he played professional soccer and would have made a name for himself if it weren’t for a knee injury. Talent is not the answer here. It is none of these things.

Internets, Gordon Ramsay has what I like to call “IT”.

“IT” is extremely difficult to define. People with “IT” are usually well liked. Or they could be despised. They could be nice, sweet, charming and lovely. They could also be mean, manipulative and obnoxious. People who have “IT” know people. They easily build relationships. They can just as easily tear them down. They make connections. They’re usually leaders. They get things done. Or they could totally slack off. When someone who has “IT” talks, people listen. It’s nearly impossible to describe what exactly is “IT”, but it’s always easy to point out someone who has “IT”.

Here is a list of people who have “IT”:

Oprah. You might not enjoy her, but she’s successful for a reason. Because she has a good show? No, sometimes it’s terrible. Because she asks good questions? Someone else writes those for her. Because she’s selfless? Mmm maybe not so much. Because she’s friends with Dr. Phil? No. Definitely not. She has “IT”.

Jeff Winger. Have you ever watched Community? This character is the definition of “IT”. He doesn’t try very hard, but people notice him. He’s not a go-getter but he gets things done. He can be a giant sarcastic jerk, but people stop to listen to him. He’s the leader of the pack. He has “IT”.


Charlie Parker. He was a jazz musician who got into fights, did drugs and frequently showed up to gigs without an instrument. He did everything wrong and was probably horribly frustrating to work with. But when he was doing his thing, you better believe people took note**. I can almost guarantee he had “IT”.

Tommy Pickles. His shirt is too small for him. He can’t walk very well. He has no hair. Phil and Lil are clearly the cute ones. But Tommy most certainly has “IT”.

Rob Bell. Have you ever seen the man speak live? You can’t take your eyes off of him. But waaaaait a second here! Rob is stirring up so much controversy in the Christian world. People are accusing him of all sorts of really horrible things and condemning him. I know all of these things. But he certainly has our attention, doesn’t he? I never said he was right, I never said he was wrong. I just said he has our attention. That’s because he has “IT”.

I’ve only given you six examples of people who have “IT”. For the purpose of this blog, these examples  are celebrities of sorts, but I bet you’re thinking of someone you know that has “IT”.

Your turn. Who else has “IT”? And what is “IT”, exactly?

*I adopted this phrase from a guy I worked with. Fairly descriptive. Kind of gross.
**It’s a pun, you idiot. (That’s for you, Chap.)

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7 thoughts on “>What is IT?

  1. >Genius! Jeff Winger is the human personification of IT. I couldn't agree with this harder. And I can't believe you mentioned Rob Bell without going apesplit about his book. It's like you're reasonable or something.

  2. >I think the IT factor is sorely under appreciated/discussed.Donald Miller would be one of the first who comes to mind, as a Canadian I would even suggest that Rick Mercer and George Strombo-whatever the rest of it is have baby versions of IT going on.You know you might have a blog for Sharideth as I think men under-estimate the importance of the IT. Not that they should be looking for a harem, but I imagine Ramsay would have no problem finding a lady if he wanted, despite the jerk factor.

  3. >@Knox: Yeah, I like to stir things up by not stirring anything up. It's how I roll.@Single: George Strombouloupousoidusdoisujsss was actually on this list. I typed it out and then deleted it because of space and Canadian-ness. I actually had a video of an interview Strombo did with Ramsay. They were "IT"ing all over the place. Marvelous.

  4. >There may be more than one IT. The Jeff Winger/Gordon Ramsay/Jesus IT is all about people who tell you what you need to hear, even when you don't want to hear it, and possibly in a way that'll offend you on purpose. That's clearly not the case in every example, so maybe others qualify as coolness IT, where they naturally attract a following. Some people always have a plan when things go down and, even when it's not the best plan in the end, some plan is better than inaction. That's the Tommy Pickles IT. That's the kid I know who looks like he's in the 40th percentile or below of the "most popular kid in school" ranking, but he's the manager of a multi-school brass band, so the other guys look up to him and respect him.

  5. >I think most of what you are describing goes under the heading "charisma"…which doesn't really help, because no one knows how to define that either. But we know when people have it!That said, I would like to nominate 1) myself and 2) Christopher Hitchens. I disagree with him about pretty much everything, but he is an incredibly persuasive speaker and always entertaining. Maybe it's his completely invincible confidence/arrogance…that might be part of the equation.

  6. >I remember watching some of the older "Kitchen Nightmares" TV shows with Gordon Ramsey. I liked them because you would see more than just cooking, and more than just the gruff side of Ramsey. Plus there would be some life lessons embedded in the show for those that would listen.What struck me was how Ramsey would say (repeatedly, in multiple shows) things like, "This is your business!!" As if it were a self-evident maxim. And it is. But people have a tendency to lose sight of the obvious. Me included.I think part of Ramsey's "IT" is that he takes his business seriously. So seriously, that others pale in comparison to him. And when he speaks, it is the words of the obvious clattering against the ears of the self-made deaf. It sounds harsh, but it's usually the truth, and they need to hear it.There are other examples of such men, I'm sure. Usually people love or hate them.

  7. >By the way, I had a thoroughly entertaining time catching up on some of your old blog posts. I especially liked the unvarnished glee of finding gluten free oats. It has produced multiple laughs already.I hope the gluten free food repertoire has grown since then!

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