When broaching a topic as culturally sensitive and diverse as Guy Fieri’s mythological “Flavortown,” it’s difficult not to resort to hysterics. The product of an era where bedazzling, flavor-blasting, and tip-frosting were not only considered socially acceptable, but were considered integral parts of mid-aught culture. Yet we treat Guy Fieri like a leper, cast out from the gilded tower of the elite while relegated to a Velveeta-filled moat of sadness, encrusted with Captain Crunch and shame. What is Guy Fieri but our own reflection? A garish, melted-cheese-and-mayo slathered reflection of our own misgivings.
Our obsession with celebrity, with being more than we could ever hope to achieve led a judgmental finger his way, yet a man has achieved his dream of Chumbawumba-inspired meat-and-cheese comas being recorded while we gawk, both in disgust and careful reflection, lining his cargo short pockets full of our scorn, broken hopes and dreams. Guy Fieri is both everything that we collectively love to hate and secretly yearn to achieve.
So while he traveled the country, gaudy, outdated sunglasses slung over the back of his meticulously-bleached-and-styled head, we sat staring, mouths agape while he shoveled food into his unruly maw. Every morsel, scrap and dribble that has found itself into his signature goatee just served as a fading reminder of what we all wanted to be. Guy Fieri is simulacrum, the broken hopes and dreams of everyone being squandered on coleslaw and fried dough, set to the tune of Johnny Cash crooning the words of Trent Reznor.
“If I could start again, a million miles away, I would keep myself. I would find a way.”