4 Trends That Have Overstayed Their Internet Welcome

At any given time there's some meme flooding the Internet, forcing you to pay attention to a dog that talks like it's a racist Asian stereotype or whatever the kids are into these days. Most of these obsessions fade away eventually, with no harm done aside from people wasting money on T-shirts that will end up in the "free" bin at a garage sale three months later. But the following four fads are exceptions -- they show no signs of slowing down, and they must be stopped before they damage the Internet and reality.

#4. Zombies


In a display of irony that would be admirable and poetic if it wasn't annoying as hell, zombies are threatening to devour pop culture as we know it. The Walking Dead is pulling in record numbers, and I'm pretty sure it's federal law that 90 percent of video games must contain zombies as an enemy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is even using zombies to get people to prepare for real emergencies, which hopefully won't backfire when a tornado hits and everyone's first reaction is to grab their shotgun and drive into the countryside.

Amateurs. They should avoid tornadoes on an island.

Like anything else that's popular, zombies have become big business. There's the usual assortment of shirts, posters, coffee mugs, and car decals, along with some ... niche products.

"Contains more zombie genitalia than most books!"

"What would it be like to screw a zombie?" the product description asks us. "Would it be dry or slippery with pus? Ah, well those are the questions up for debate, aren't they?" No, they weren't before you brought them up, you dogshit maniac. You put those questions up for debate; don't make me your accomplice. No one wants to mesh zombies with sex. I mean, what's next -- a zombie Fleshlight or dildo?

Outsmarted by my own rhetorical device again.

Now that Big Zombie Sex is raking in the cash, it won't want to stop the pus train from flowing. There's an economic incentive to keep zombies popular, which is why we've gone from talking about how much we love zombies to companies that sell zombie merchandise constantly reminding us of how much we love zombies. That's what brought us ThinkGeek's "Zombies and Bacon" section, and then there's the Zombie Apocalypse Store, and Zombie Mart, and God knows how many more websites selling junk like "Indiana Bones."

Neato Shop
Apparently slapping zombies onto things that aren't zombies is an act of artistic ingenuity worth 20 bucks.

All of this would be tolerable if zombies weren't so dreadfully boring now. They've become a monster to lazily slap into a story in lieu of going through the effort of creating something original, like the Adam Sandler of villains. Searching for "zombie" on Steam gave me 89 games, searching at GameFAQs gave me about 500 titles, and Metacritic maxed out the result at 1,000. And that's just counting games that were uncreative enough to put "zombie" in the title.

I'm focusing on games because they're the worst offenders. Zombies are an excuse to give your game terrible AI, because they're dumb by nature. But that makes them boring, unthreatening villains -- they're mindless drones to be gunned down, a novelty that wears off fast. It's reached the point where I'm actively avoiding pop culture I might otherwise enjoy because they contain zombies, and I'm not alone. Can we try to make mummies cool, or something?

#3. Bacon

Brent Hofacker/iStock/Getty Images

The Internet's love of bacon was a briefly amusing fad that's been forced to live on for years past its expiration date in order to sell merchandise. Bacon fans can buy everything from bacon bandages and bacon soap to bacon lube and bacon condoms so they can literally pork their lovers. "Bacon Condoms Could Be the Best Thing to Happen to Your Hog, Ever," we're told, in an act of yellow journalism not seen since coverage of the USS Maine.

J&D's Foods
The guy who wrote "make your meat look like meat" paid a fortune for advertising school. Life's really sad most of the time.

But bacon's popularity also has a real-world problem, in that bacon is terrible for you. It's a fatty, greasy, salty processed meat that raises your cholesterol. Bacon's fine in small doses as a treat, like chocolate or heroin. But the idea of "small" to the bacon-obsessed is to crumble it into ice cream sundaes for dessert after you have your deep-fried bacon and gravy, or your cheesy bacon rolls, or your turducken wrapped in bacon so you can eat an entire farm's worth of animals in a single meal. And then, God help us all, there's the bacon explosion.

Many pigs died to bring us this information.

The culinary atrocity you're looking at is sausage mixed with crumbled bacon that's been wrapped in a blanket of bacon and slathered in barbecue sauce, and yes, it's perfectly normal to have heart palpitations just from reading the description. At the risk of sounding like a culinary snob, I do not want to eat an explosion. Explosions are for calmly walking away from like a badass, which is appropriate, because if you ever see this thing on a dinner plate, you should slowly get away from it.

Look, bacon is tasty. I get it. But you know what else is tasty? Many, many other foods. Bacon is rapidly on its way to becoming the Borat impression of foods, and if we're not careful, this oversaturation is going to make us hate bacon. Is that a world YOU want to live in?

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Mark Hill

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