to PIZZA WE PRAY
Pizza. Just think about it for a second. How many feelings did you just feel right now, reading that one five letter word? Depending on when you were born, you may have felt something like “get off my lawn,” or you may have felt something like “praise be to the all most holy, I see in you the light of the path to the glorious halls of eternal bliss.” We tend to be in the latter category and feel like a whole mess of people from our generation are with us, but why in the name of all that’s cheesy could that be? Why do older people give so few fucks about pizza, and 90’s kids get a real mozzarella stick in their pants every time they think about it? And how has pizza become so eternally cool?
The most popular single food item account on Instagram right now is just called “@Pizza,” (if you didn’t know already, we can hear you searching for that account right now). Not to mention, it’s run by none other than a dude whose iconic imagery is the pattern on the cups that we all used to drink out of at pizza parties. And this man is a trend setter. Another account has Polaroids of girls eating pizza who look so cool that they would never talk to any of you. Ever. Could they look that cool with burgers? No and fuck you for even asking. What other food out there would you so readily accept as a symbol of your inadequacy? Pizza is somehow for the poor, wretched masses and for the unattainably cool at the same time. And look, these are just a few of the countless similar accounts, all putting this food on a pedestal so high that Jesus is like “oh yo, sick. Pizza.” No other food has come within miles of achieving this hyper-cool status, and we think it has something to do with our collective childhood experiences that we all shared before the internet came and ruined everything (that’s the general consensus right?).
Just put yourself in your den as a kid, watching TV surrounded by your Power Ranger toys or Kung-fu grip Barbies (or whatever girls played with), and seeing an ad for Domino’s come on in the commercial break between Rocko’s Modern Life. Like, how warm and fuzzy do you feel right now!? Pizza was like our third parent, but it was actually cool to talk about how much you loved it in front of your friends. Pizza was always right there alongside all the things we thought were cool: our movies, our video games and our cartoons. We all have sense memories associated with the smell, and can put ourselves right back into that first time we burned our mouths or pulled all the cheese off with our first bite. If you went to a birthday party and there was anything other than Pizza, you were like “yo, absolutely fuck this kid, we out.” Even the epitome of not-pizza, the Pizza Lunchable, which is at worst an abomination and at best almost food, was still somehow the undeniable platinum status symbol in the cafeteria in 4th grade. You wore your peanut butter and jelly sandwich like a scarlet letter of your failure.
Now by all accounts, Pizza should have gone the way of U2, and got way, way lamer with age. You can see the signs of what should have been by the free-falling decline of what used to be our Mecca, Pizza Hut. As a generation we left them behind when they betrayed us with Stuffed Crust Pizza, which should have been a complete game changer, but turned out to be a bunch of shattered dreams in a box. But somehow Pizza’s god-like status only seems to be growing like Tetsuo, threatening to blow up Neo-Tokyo. Like honestly, we are at the precipice of total pizza meltdown, and the pun was absolutely intended. Its pure nostalgia factor alone seems to be bringing it to the forefront of representing everything that we still think is cool about growing up in the 90s. And while our parents were too busy getting divorced to notice, we were all falling in love with a food around which we would rally and elevate to a status that no food had ever achieved before. Wielding our powerful influence granted to us by the news media and politicians (we guess?), we turned what should have been forever confined to the fast food scene into a culinary powerhouse -- seemingly unstoppable in its iterations and creativity.
In doing so, it has removed itself from being a mere food item and has burned itself into our millennial consciousness as an immediately recognizable pattern and shape. Upside-down triangle? Pizza. Yellow field with red dots? Pizza, fuck you, it’s pizza. And nothing has gone more hand in hand with Pizza’s indomitable reign as a cultural concept than the Internet (yo, you didn’t see that coming back around did you). Other than the aforementioned Instagram accounts, sucking the melty teat of our cheese based deity, internet memes about pizza have replaced what once were our movies, video games and cartoons as the defining touchstone of our generation. And with the rise of those memes, Pizza seemed to find a home nestled somewhere on a spectrum between relatable and painfully cool, satisfying the gaping maw that is the world online. And cats with pizza? Jesus, forget about it. Nothing is cooler than that in the whole entire world! The effects of this are visible in our culture at every possible turn. It is emblazoned on the backs of our iPhone cases, tattooed on our bodies and screened onto our t-shirts so big it’s like we have all become pizza.
But at the end of the day, Pizza rolls on like the shock wave from an atomic bomb because deep down it is really what we all want, at the very bottom of our souls. If Pizza ran for president, nothing would unite our fucked up nation faster. We would break down the doors of “government” and tell them to get rid of that ridiculous two term rule because Pizza is the past, present and future king of the United States, and therefore the world. And we readily accept Pizza as our lord and savior. As we are welcomed into the arms of this benevolent presence, as our society crumbles under its might, we are reminded of the eternal words of scripture from the book of Bagel Bites. Chapter 12. Verse 4. Let us pray: Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime. When Pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat Pizza anytime.