I’ve heard some folks say that art is dead, kind of like rock and roll and the flip phone. But it isn’t, citizens of the Internet! It could be that no one will ever paint another Birth of Venus, or chisel a David, but that doesn’t mean art is dead; art, a constant outpouring of humanity’s creative spirit, has just admitted to being dumb sometimes. The Internet does make for some real terrible schlock, but actually, some of that dumb crap can be quite sublime in its own brain dead way.
Enter Epic Meal Time, an Internet sensation that’s aired on YouTube for the past couple years and spread a disgusting bacon gospel throughout cyberspace. I’m not saying that we’re to look at this display of gross gustation with the same beauty spectacles as we’d use in Florence or Paris; this group of burly Canadian dudes has redefined art and beauty. Those unwilling to see the masterful control over artistry here are failing to accept the evolution of art in changing media. Or they’re simply grossed out. Either way, it’s time to accept that Epic Meal Time stands at the top of Internet art and is uncompromising in its obese commitment to bitches, bacon and booze.
A quick synopsis of Epic Meal Time: Harley Morenstein (founder and host) says some dumb things and introduces the meal. Then gross dudes pile bacon on top of bacon (sometimes candying it) and create culinary monstrosities, like 100lb chocolate bars, bacon wrapped turkeys stuffed with smaller birds (then shoved into pigs), lasagna made from bacon weaves, and nightmarish amalgamations of fast food burgers. Then Morenstein has his friends eat the creation while epic, orchestral music plays. And at the end, a sign-off consisting of Morenstein saying what they’ll eat next week (“scum… I’m scum”).
So, not exactly an elegant contribution to our daily intake of artistic stuff. But, upon closer inspection, a keen and noble effort to change the media, promote friendship, and lampoon facets of the food industry (albeit in the nastiest possible way).
Firstly, EMT is aggressively different than most other shows. Morenstein yells at the viewers, doesn’t care about selling products, and is generally a glorious jerk. The show doesn’t compromise in their mission to be fat (they may actually die in pursuit of their art). Also, the dudes cook together and binge drink together, making a ton of money just by having a stupid good time. And lastly, according to Morenstein, their gluttonous antics are a way to experience disgusting food without having to eat it. Viewers can glimpse into the heart of fatness and bacon hedonism without developing a gut themselves (except that time it inspired me to bacon wrap a turkey). People are obsessed with keeping healthy, why not have a weekly “bacon moment” (a catch phrase of the show, said while the camera pans over bacon sizzling and trippy music).
Face it, Internet, shows like Epic Meal Time are the DIY future of art, and if those Canadian bacon gods have anything to say about it, it’s only going to get more ridiculous. The best option is to start producing such art oneself, and overthrow archaic forms of beauty so as to usher in an era of grease, grime, and loud individuality.