The Internet ruins everything. Actually, that's not even sort of true, but people say it all the time anyway, and it's not for nothing. While "everything" might be a stretch, the Internet does indeed have an uncanny ability to take something great and make it terrible. That's something we talk about on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast ...
... where I'm joined by comic Jeff May and non-comic Brett Rader. The first topic of conversation is also the first thing I want to talk about in this column here today.
Listen, I get it, bacon is tasty as fuck. It's good on its own, it's good in conjunction with other foods, it's just good, and it always has been. Unfortunately, though, at some point over the past five years or so, bacon became something else. It became the Chuck Norris of food.
You remember that shit, right? Chuck Norris facts? They were super cute for about a month like eight years ago ...
No they weren't.
... and then immediately transformed into the most grating online trend imaginable. The worst part about it was that Chuck Norris didn't ask for any of it. He was just minding his business when, out of the blue, the Internet decided that he, of all the action stars in the universe, was the most meme-worthy.
It's not a whole lot different from what's happened to bacon recently. For untold numbers of years, bacon existed as a delicious breakfast meat and nothing more. Then, seemingly overnight, it became the only thing that mattered (and other overused Internet sayings). No longer was enjoying bacon in relative silence and anonymity acceptable. You had to wear your bacon fandom on your shirt, your hat, your doughnuts, and all sorts of other places where a fried piece of pork doesn't really belong.
Don't get me wrong, nothing you motherfuckers do will ever make me stop enjoying the delicious taste of bacon, but we're well past the point where anyone should be bragging about their bacon intake like it makes them some sort of special category of person. No, you're either a vegetarian or you eat bacon, there isn't a whole lot else to it.
Damn if bacon worship is something that's going to die without a fight, though. Rather, it seems like every new day brings another clueless dipshit who discovers that bacon is a "thing" now and decides to shoehorn it into their daily operation. Case in point, this Subway commercial, which I'd love to see die in 10 kinds of fires if that was a thing that could happen to television advertising.
If you're short on the necessary time and/or Internet firewall freedom required to watch that crime against sustenance, too bad, you're seeing it anyway. Basically, it's just two women going back and forth making outrageous claims about how their love for bacon is the baconiest bacony bacon of all bacon. One woman has bacon eyebrows ...
... but big deal, because the other chick is working on a bacon condor ...
... that her friend is oblivious to, because she's wearing a gigantic bacon-sensing helmet ...
... and is married to a bacon baron.
Fuck you both.
In other words, it's everything terrible about the Internet's obsession with bacon, conveniently packaged into the most unwatchable 30 seconds of television possible.
Again, I get it, bacon is delicious. So are a lot of things, though. It's nothing to start a cult over. Make bacon your breakfast, don't make it your identity. For the good of the swine, please, shut the fuck up about bacon.
3"Keep Calm and Carry On"
If ever a case could be made for making people pass a brief history test before we allow them to buy a T-shirt, "Keep Calm and Carry On" will be your strongest argument by a wide margin. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the majority of the people who fawn over this phrase think it was invented by the Chive. It wasn't, of course, they're just one of the many who should share the blame for it being beaten to death on the Internet for what seems like an eternity now.
Except please don't.
If you're unfamiliar, the phrase was coined in 1939 as part of a campaign by the British government to make their citizens feel a little less uneasy about the prospect of the Nazi war machine raining hellfire upon their city at literally any moment. It didn't work, of course, because the posters bearing the slogan were never actually distributed. Millions were printed, but the campaign was nixed before they could be used. No one even knew they still existed until 2000, when the owner of a small bookstore in England found one at the bottom of a box of used books he'd just purchased.
This is all your fault, sir.
He hung the poster in his shop and, after several people expressed interest, decided to print up more and sell them. This was a decision he kept from his wife, who felt that the posters represented a moment in British history that shouldn't be exploited for profit. She was right, obviously, to the point that a nasty legal dispute has broken out over which shady vulture actually owns the "rights" to the saying.
Meanwhile, a full-on industry has formed around it. Give it a quick Googling and you'll be presented with countless websites bearing some version of the phrase, available for purchase on T-shirts, coffee mugs, thongs, and whatever other media CafePress will print words on.
It's rarely just "Keep Calm and Carry On" anymore, though. It's "Keep Calm and Call Batman" or "Keep Calm and Eat Bacon" or whatever other trivial bullshit people can think to disrespectfully equate to the tragic events of World War II.
Look, either quit shitting all over British history, or don't say a damn word 20 years from now when kids are ironically wearing "If You See Something, Say Something" T-shirts like 9/11 was the coolest thing ever. Your "Keep Calm and Listen to Black Sabbath" doormat will have excluded you from being able to complain about that years before you ever have a chance to.