If you only know me through this blog, then you may or may not know that I tend to worry that I’ve basically rendered myself a caricature over time, and that I now have to preface 80% of my thoughts with the phrase “Not to be predictable, but…” because I’m very self-conscious about the way everything I say might just be playing completely to type.
I say you “may or may not” know this because there’s a very real chance that this has absolutely bled over into my blog, but I’d rather not know either way, so I won’t be checking.
Anyway, ever since blogging stopped being something I did a few times a week when I had something I wanted to write about, and became something that I do several times a day because I’ve made a commitment to populate an actual food blog with a certain amount of interesting and/or useful content each day, I spend an absurd amount of time interacting with the internet. Otherwise, I’d never come up with this many food-related things to say each day—at least not things that I could predictably expect any other person to care about.
And, well, NTBPB: the internet is not a place where anyone should spend this much time. Let’s talk about what I did today. I ended up reading at least 3 different things about Guy Fieri (GUY FIERI.) because that is the thing the internet decided was important today. And to clarify, that was just what got through my “I’m going to try not to waste any more time on this Guy Fieri thing” filter—there were probably thousands of items generated on the guy today. If you were in the camp that was gleefully tracking that story today, you definitely couldn’t have kept up.
But really, the worst thing about the internet for me is the same thing that has always made blogging a slightly uncomfortable fit for me: I don’t actually love spilling my internal monologue. When everyone gets together en masse in 2012 to hammer out where we all stand on something like Guy Fieri, my cringing is so often informed by the thought, “haven’t we all worked this whole thing out long ago?” But no, of course everyone hasn’t. Everyone else hasn’t quietly, constantly, almost subconsciously been mulling over their opinion of everything they’ve ever encountered, even if that thing is Guy Fieri.
But I have done that, so allow me to tell you where this lands: Guy Fieri is a vapid shell of a shill, who happened to luck into a show that can actually be sort of appealing in spite of him. His restaurants are chain concepts whether they’re chained together or not. While he remains a human being and therefore must actually relate to some other people on this planet in other ways, to most of us, he’s better thought of as just another corporate entity. There’s nothing else there.
Most importantly, does everyone else honestly believe that Pete Wells’ review was actually that funny? It wasn’t entirely without its snickers, but for someone who keeps a catalogue in her brain of these things, who can easily recall times when Wells has turned a phrase about food that made her genuinely laugh or vehemently disagree or even blush… well, this left me pretty dry.
And even if you really do think that the review was a brilliant takedown, can anyone really feel good about how many words we’ve now collectively scrawled today on GUY FIERI? I do not, and I fully appreciate the irony here, except that’s the other, really worst thing about the internet: it’s fully inured most of us to its awfulness. It’s now possible to justify to yourself the act of blogging about how you would’ve preferred not to see so many blog posts about something.
All of this, of course, to illustrate why I struggle with spitting out my internal monologue in public.
(ALL OF THAT SAID: this Eater post is the one thing on the entire internet today that gets a pass for actually making me laugh and for the sheer “how long did that take?” wonder of it all. Also, it should probably be said that the only other thing I came across today that I enjoyed was this Gawker thing about Grindr and Florida, so joke’s on you if you’ve ever attributed even one shred of credibility to me.)