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Why Guilty Pleasures Shouldn't Make Us Feel Guilty : 1A – NPR

Writer Rax King has found solace and joy through the “tacky” things in life. King hide caption
Writer Rax King has found solace and joy through the “tacky” things in life.
In July 2019, Rax King published an essay about Food Network Star Guy Fieri. The so-called mayor of Flavortown is known for his bleached hair, bowling shirts, and rhyming exclamations (“so much salami, call my mommy”).
King wrote about how Fieri’s unadulterated tackiness was the perfect balm to help her move on from her ex-husband who is a preppy, uptight, anti-Guy kind of guy.
“Loving Guy Fieri was a safe, simple rebellion against the memory of my husband. My husband the preppy man-boy in Sperrys, who never saw a bleached blond man he didn’t sneer at, who pruned at my too-soft body like it was a troublesome topiary, who only believed in loudness when he was employing it against me. On the other hand, Guy Fieri, uncool and bold and tacky as hell, offered such generosity and praise to the restaurant owners on his show. He was uncouth for a cause. The timbre of his voice was the exact opposite of a disappointed murmur and a handful of my hair.”
That essay went viral. King’s followed it with her new book, a collection of essays that extol the benefits of what the subtitle calls “the worst culture we have to offer.” These supposedly include things like “The Jersey Shore,” The Cheesecake Factory, and the band Creed. King argues that guilty pleasures shouldn’t make us feel guilty at all, but are where we find the most joy. They help us connect with each other, without surroundings that demand we play it cool.
We talk about King’s book and what guilty pleasures are all about.
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