The Internet, Ancient Gods, and Pizza

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of the billions of internet-enabled people on earth and, like the rest of us, use the internet daily to answer all kinds of questions. Perhaps you typed into the search box: healthy pizza recipe, or maybe Mediterranean pizza, or flatbread pizza. And I’m glad you did, because I employ buzz words just like these as tags on my posts. And if people find my posts, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. (It’s even better if you comment!) This is the way the internet works: it’s a capitalist system, with website creators/bloggers as the merchants and internet users playing the role of customers. The currency is publicity, a.k.a. that warm fuzzy feeling a blogger gets when people view and occasionally “like” his or her blog.

All in all, the internet is great. I have no problem with the existence of the internet. My problem is when people take their trust and love of the internet too far. For instance, apparently some people think the internet is God. There are numerous websites out there claiming that the internet is a modern, worldwide God because it answers peoples’ questions. Well, this theory is completely bogus.

For one thing, the internet only answers your questions if you have access to a computer. I’m not going to get too religious here, but I will assume most people believe their God cares about all of His children, whether or not they are hip enough to have a computer.

Another loophole in the “internet is God” theory is that the internet doesn’t always answer the prayers of the browsers. If you look up anything controversial, or anything at all really, such as “weight loss,” “death penalty,” or “home acne remedies,” you will find hundreds of millions of results. Not all the results will be helpful. Many will contradict one another. And sometimes the information and advice given on Joe Schmo’s free blog is not even true. Would God tell you to buy green coffee beans for weight loss? Or that Sasquatch was the last neanderthal?

The reason you have to take everything you read online with a grain of salt is because anyone can contribute to the vastly expanding mass of information we call the internet. Remember how I said earlier that bloggers like people to read their sites, “like,” and comment? Well, that’s what drives us to put our personal ideas and experiences online. We might tweak them a little, to make them more “like”-able. If “five-minute mug cakes” are trendy, food bloggers will make their own and tell the world it was delicious, moist, and only took five minutes. Even if it really took seven minutes, cocoa powder got all over the floor, and the end product tasted like radioactive styrofoam and burned the blogger’s tongue. (But not the mug cakes on this blog, of course!) Blogging is a very commercial business, and while false advertising in this field is discouraged, it’s not illegal. People fib, lie, and stretch the truth beyond breaking point all to get more traffic.

Bloggers are consumed by a gigantic desire to be “liked.” Comments and follows are also appreciated. This is because bloggers are people, too, and everybody wants to be liked, whether it’s on the playground or on Facebook/Twitter/WordPress, etc. This is also the reason people lie on the internet: as I mentioned earlier, they think the real-life truth is more boring or lame than the “like”-able made-up truth that gets posted on the internet. Does God want to be liked? Does He/She behave in a specific way in hopes of achieving widespread love and popularity?

I say no. But in many ideologies, the gods are thought of as humanlike in this respect. For example, in ancient times when people were more superstitious, gods were often imagined to be as flawed as people. They would lie, disguising themselves as humans in order to sneak into a human maiden’s bedchamber and  get something (usually you-know-what) out of said maiden. They would strive to please certain humans, and sometimes deliberately harm others with their superhuman powers on a whim. If we imagine our God to be so undependable and ruled by desire for popularity, then our God certainly could be the internet. The internet changes with each passing click of the mouse, as its human contributors decide cake in jars is more or less interesting than cake in mugs. And in a flash, the face of the internet morphs to match the browsers’ collective desires.

My mother and brother and I went to the Getty Villa today. The various statues and pictures of ancient Greek and Roman deities reminded me that these ancient peoples tended to think of their gods as totally flawed, reckless, fickle humans except immortal and all-powerful. What a frightening way to live. You never know when one god or another’s going to you-know-what your daughter, or strike you with lightening because he is displeased…or tell you that you need to avoid fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent bloating.

Below: Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine. In this picture of the statue, doesn’t it kind of look like he’s holding up a cell phone to take a picture of himself?

Dionysus at Getty Villa

Below: Aphrodite at the Getty Villa (apparently the ancient Greek standards of beauty glorified the rare inward-sloping nose)

Getty Villa statue of aphrodite

Too bad my nose doesn’t slope inward like the goddess of love and beauty. I wonder if I’m still pretty? I’ll ask the internet.

fish eye effect big nose

(I used the fisheye effect on my camera. My nose is not really that big.)

“I’ve had better peanut butter and jelly sandwiches”

i've had better peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Yep, you should have had lunch before we got here. Look what I had for lunch: pizza! Mediterranean pizza, no less.

flat out mediterranean pizza flatbread with hummus

What does this have to do with God, or the internet, you ask? Well, for one thing, many people worldwide today worship pizza as a god. For another, the whole reason you are probably reading this blog post is because you made an offering to the internet and are expecting your prayers for an easy, yummy Mediterranean flatbread pizza to be answered at some point. And who am I to make you read all this philosophy about religion and THEN deny you the answer to your prayers? After all, I am a part of the great divine internet. And I want to keep you happy so you press that “like” button that appeals to me so much!

Plus I’m just a nice person. I want to treat you to a delicious pizza you can make yourself, with no hours spent in the kitchen preparing a crust, or any of that refrigerated store-bought stuff. The flatbread I used is called Flat Out, and it’s a wonderful wrap available at many grocery stores such as Vons. It is high in fiber and protein, and the Light Original I used is only 90 calories.

The flatbread crust gets all crispy around the edges in the oven, making it a lovely base for the Mediterranean flavors of hummus and olives. I added cheese (who could blame me) and some juicy cherry tomatoes. Instead of pepperoni, I ripped up some Tofurkey strips, which also got just a smidgeon crisped around the edges. Peppered Tofurkey would have been great. I used baked ham style and it worked out fine.

I ate this whole pizza for lunch before heading off to the museum. The entire thing is less than 350 calories, and contains 21 grams of protein. It can be served as a personal pizza for one, or possibly cut up into little squares and served as a crowd-pleasing appetizer! Just like the internet itself, this pizza is eager to please.

Mediterranean Style Flatbread Pizza

adapted from flatoutbread.com

mediterranean style pizza on flat out flatbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 Flat Out brand Light Original flatbread
  • 1/4 cup Eating Right brand artichoke hummus
  • 9-10 Cherubs brand cherry tomatoes, each sliced in half
  • 2 tbls shredded cheese (I used Sargento brand Four Cheese Italian)
  • 2 slices baked ham style Tofurkey, torn into strips
  • 8 pimiento-stuffed manzanilla olives

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick spray.

Place Flat Out flatbread on aluminum foil. (I cut mine into three pieces beforehand.) Bake in heated oven for 2 minutes.

Remove from oven. Carefully spread hummus over surface of flatbread, leaving room at edges. Top with cheese, tomatoes, olives, and Tofurkey pieces.

Return to the oven for another 4 minutes. Then remove from oven and serve warm.

You might want to leave a little morsel as an offering to the internet – I hear Mediterranean cuisine is trending now!

flat out flatbread hummus pizza

You Might Also Like:

Mediterranean-Inspired Salad

mediterranean inspired salad

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3 responses

  1. Nice photos of the Getty. Haha the photo of you brother! I like the flatbread idea. But I would not ask for a whole-wheat banana bread

  2. A tour de force article. Glad you wrote it.

    1. Thank you! And of course thanks for liking it! 🙂

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