Apparently This is All My Fault

Over at Salon, there’s a piece up on Bacon Mania, and why cured, fatty pork belly is such a cultural and online phenomenon these days. And guess who gets pegged as patient zero for the online bacon fever?

Blogger Sadie Fox, who also goes by the name Miss Cellania, wrote about the online bacon bonanza in a post for Mental Floss last summer. She dates the burgeoning phenomenon back to September 2006, when blogger John Scalzi momentarily captivated the blogosphere by taping bacon to his cat. If there is a better example of the sublime pointlessness of Internet memes, I cannot think of one. Oh, wait: Yes I can.

Yes, well. What can I say. I cannot deny this. And this at least explains why, when anything relating to bacon happens online, people feel compelled to let me know about it: Because it’s all my fault.

For those of you who enjoy it, you’re welcome. For those of you who despise it, I apologize. It’s a burden I will carry for the rest of my life. Fortunately, a tasty, tasty burden.

(Art, incidentally, by the superawesome Theo Black)

68 thoughts on “Apparently This is All My Fault

  1. So are you part of a cultural icon or are you the icon itself? Not that I care what anyone does with their bacon as long as it doesn’t mess up my day.

    You know how us closet Libertarians are… 8-)

  2. There’s certainly worse things that you can have credited to you. Until another time, I say all hail Bacon King Scalzi!

  3. It’s an honor you should be proud of. Bacon is probably the only substance known to man or alien which would make a cat acceptable in polite company.

    The real question is: Does the bacon interfere with the cat always landing on its feet? If so, how high does it break down the cat drop constant?

  4. I’ve been called an instigator a time or two in my life, mostly in Junior High with mixed results.

    It seems to be working better for you.

  5. What we really need is for Scalzi to reserve a table at a snooty restaurant, under the title “the Bacon King of the Internet.” Then we can take turns playing Ferris Bueller and stealing his reservation.

  6. The art is unspeakably awesome. The only thing better would be if in addition to a Scalzi as the Great Helmsman of this Bacon-Feline-themed endeavor, another Scalzi were raising high the red flag of Bacon Cat Revolution!

  7. “Have some bacon.” “Nah Man I don’t do no swine.” “Bacon tastes good.” “Pork Chops taste good.”
    (paraphrased)

  8. Yes, I can see it now. What better emblem for the masses than a breakfast meat and feline flag. It sure beats that old “opiate of the people” thing we had going before. A true victory for the proletariat.

    Oh by the way, bacon doesn’t show up just on cats. I know people that put crumbled bacon on hot dogs with Mayo. Makes me cringe but they swear by it.

  9. “An” Internet Tradition.

    Catching a misspelling a nanosecond after hitting the Submit button is another one.

  10. I don’t think the response to Bacon Cat would have been so intense if the bacon meme hadn’t already been building. Taking nothing away from the sublime moment that was Bacon Cat, of course. But if you had taped banana peels or bok choy or boneless chicken strips or Oreo cookies to the cat, there wouldn’t have been such excitement, I’m convinced. But BACON–of course people got excited, because BACON!

  11. Oh, but you have no idea how far your fault extends. Muahaha.

    I’m writing a heap of instructional copy (about Cascading Style Sheets particulars) for a Software Company Smart People Have Heard Of, and in a brief fit of inspiration I decided to use one of the Bacon Cat photos as part of my article.

    The article includes a Chicago-style citation of the entry in which they were published, which leads me to ask – have you ever thought about how such a citation reads? It’s surreal.

    If my editor hasn’t already written to clear it, I’ll be doing so in a few days.

  12. Jeff @ 14: Mayo on a hotdog? Perversion! The true hotdog condiment is peanut butter (preferably smoothe). You don’t put this on with mustard and onions etc. You put it on all by itself.

  13. Natalie @ 16: They were selling bacon ice cream at the beach this weekend. The girl offered me a sample, and said, as she handed it to me, “It’s really bad.” It was certainly the most… interesting flavor I’ve had in a while.

  14. Surely this could be turned into one of the all-time best LOLcats ever.

    “I can haz bacon?”

  15. Just curious: have you seen the movie Gummo and did it inspire you to tape bacon on the cat?
    (The director, Harmony Korine, claims that “bacon is my aesthetic, essentially.”)

  16. I don’t blame you, although you’ve definately played your part.

    The two most important literary figures in turning bacon from a food into something of a meaningful icon are Homer Simpson and Watch Captain Sam Vimes.

    Of the two, I think Sam Vimes is the more interesting because it often seems to me that Vimes is Pratchett’s subversive answer to the rampant statism and political correctness tearing apart British culture right now.

    And among Sam Vimes distinctive features is his love for bacon. Preferably bacon untainted by anything green. A bacon, bacon, and bacon sandwich. To me, it just goes along side his complete distaste for socialism and authoritarianism. It’s a thumb in the face of the establishment.

    It just stands to reason that if politically correct moralizers are going to see bacon as something inherently evil that must be taken away for our own good, that pretty soon people on the other side of the culture wars are going to be hoisting bacon standards and rallying ’round the bacon flag, and in general using bacon as a symbol for things that are good.

    Because well, it’s BACON.

  17. “I am an instigator of the phenomenon, not the phenomenon itself.”

    hmm… i’m not so sure. i think the two are intertwined. it’s like saying “I am the pork fat, not the pork itself” either way, it’s bacon.

  18. Call me a heretic, but at this point I prefer turkey bacon cooked in olive oil to the real thing.

    EXCEPT, of course, when making hoecakes, which _need_ to be fried in bacon fat at the very least.

    So if Mr. S is the bacon king (better that than the sofa king), who is the bacon pope?

  19. Bacon brittle is both delicious and addicting. And I’ll bet you could stick it to cats without needing tape.

  20. Pffft,

    Taping bacon to a defenseless cat is bacon-childsplay.

    Now, if you can get Chrissy to wear bacon to bed ….

    That, sir, would be worthy of a blog post.

  21. Pfffft:

    Not that I want Krissy to wear bacon to bed, but if I did, and convinced her to do it, you can be pretty sure I wouldn’t be talking about it here.

  22. BTW, fry up some bacon to about 2/3 crispy, then put some thinly-sliced mustard-seed or stinging-nettle gouda on it and let it melt. That was one of the most memorable things I did in Amsterdam.. The other memorable things I can’t remember…

  23. You lovers of swine shall be smoted from the earth by Allah (peas fell on him)!
    Don’t you know that the enjoyment of that dirty, delicious, scrumptiously evil slab o’ heaven infuriates over a billion of us clean living righteous and hungry folk around the world??

  24. “Not that I want Krissy to wear bacon to bed, but if I did, and convinced her to do it, you can be pretty sure I wouldn’t be talking about it here.”

    So I guess pictures would be out of the question…

  25. Before this goes totally Vogue-fashion bacon, I think it’s just as important to note that recent research indicates pork bacon is healthier than farm raised tilapia. Apparently the fish has significantly higher levels of the bad omega-6 fatty acid and very low levels of the good omega-3.

    Now about bacon as a fashion statement. Is wearing raw bacon a sign of a risky personality? And wearing cooked bacon a sign of a risk averse individual?

  26. Surely this could be turned into one of the all-time best LOLcats ever.
    “I can haz bacon?”

    Considering the name of the most prominent lolcat site, it would even be better to say “I can has bacon cheezburger?” ;-)

  27. Bacon huh. I remember one night in Bangkok that involved bacon fat, boiled eggs, some chilipeppers and a large sheet of plastic.

    I can never go back to that restaurant

  28. Congrats on another main page fark link, Scalzi. Batton down the servers and all that.

    If it survives green for the next five hours anyway.

    Hehehe. As you like to point out, nothing will ever be as popular as that time you taped bacon to your cat.

  29. I still have my cat with bacon picture up on my desk, been there for almost two years. Its not going anywhere!

    Viva la bacon!

  30. Tim @29 (quoting that man Scalzi ) “I am an instigator of the phenomenon, not the phenomenon itself.”(end Scalzi quote)

    hmm… i’m not so sure. i think the two are intertwined. it’s like saying “I am the pork fat, not the pork itself” either way, it’s bacon. (end Tim quote)

    I disagree – it’s more like saying “I am the bacon chef, not the bacon sandwich”. Sure, we can see elements of the Scalzi’s cooking in the crispiness of the bacon, the thickness of the bread, the seasoning, the addition (or not) of salad and condiments, but we arent actually eating Scalzi himself. Unless he made a mistake while slicing the bread anyway.

  31. Haha! Sorry about that. There was a bit of a mistranslation there. In the mental_floss article, I said your cat was where I personally first “noticed” the bacon theme. Salon took that a step further, but I didn’t want to kvetch about the way she worded it, so there you are.

  32. The bacon meme has been around much longer than that. Just because you regurgitate something for the umpteenth time doesn’t mean you invented it.

    /I invented LAWL and OMGWTFBBQ.
    //If you don’t believe that… I invented all your base is belong to us.

  33. I instigated the phenomenon of drinking coffee every morning. Where’s yr bacon now biatches!

  34. The Whistleblower:

    In fact, yes, I had my own Web site and was writing on it in 1997. I’ve had my own Web site, in one form or another, since about ’94. This particular blog started in ’98. So there.

    Miss Cellania:

    Shhhh! Don’t let a thing like facts get in the way of a good story!

  35. Blessed be Scalzi, Who hath led inadvertently to one of mankind’s greatest creations, behold ye of little faith, THE BACONATOR at Wendys. Nom Nom Nom be its name, for a limited time only.

  36. All Hail King Bacon of the Interwebs and his tasty, tasty crown of fried bacon.

    I’m envisioning John wearing a friend bacon crown, wielding a pork chop shield and a skewer as his jousting pole.

    51@Whistleblower. I was typing d00d in uhm 1980? Should I have patented l33t speak?
    Don’t ever get in a p**sing match on the interweb about who did what first.

    /Getting out of here before the multics guys show up.

  37. Indeed, fffff, my e-penis is mighty, inseminating the whole of the Internet with its Bacon-flavored spurtage! All will gave upon My Massive Virtual Pork Sausage and tremble! Bwa ha ha ha hah ha!

    Here, fffff, you can suck it for me. Thanks.

    (Note to everyone else: If you’re going to try to be snarky, please do a better job of it here than fffff, whose attempt reeks like Debbie Gibson tour shirt dipped in dumpster juice. Thanks.)

  38. I love the Internet, don’t mind the endlessly absurd memes. But I’m also vegetarian, and bacon is just pretty gross. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hard core vegan or anything, but the whole idea of ‘bacon’ just makes my soul hurt. In America alone, if we stopped feeding our grain to livestock, we’d be able to feed 800 million additional people. In California, there’s a ballot measure to provide 20 million farm animals with cages they can actually turn around and stretch their limbs in. This is 2008, people. Once you’ve woken up to the fact that eating meat is just low consciousness, you can never go back. I don’t even know why or how I became vegetarian ten years ago, it suddenly just clicked. I still dream about eating Burger King once in a while. I still like the taste of meat. I LOVE bacon. But yuck! If you open your mind to the truth, you’ll see that if we have any chance of a future, eating meat has gotta go. I hope that someday we don’t even use words like ‘sirloin.’ Fuck the pigheads!!!

  39. Wow.

    “If you open your mind to the truth, you’ll see that if we have any chance of a future, eating meat has gotta go.”

    And here I thought once we could get the pigs and cattle genetically engineered for life on a terraformed Mars we could use that entire planet as one giant ranch and we’d be in bacon Cheeseburgers… FOREVER!

    MWuaahahhahahahahhaahh!

  40. Bilbo, you should try bacon salt. It’s vegetarian and kosher AND zero calorie (I have no idea how they achieve all that) but it tastes just like the real thing. The sodium will still send your blood pressure through the roof but it’s a small price to pay for the joy of bacon flavored seasoning. You can put it on anything (even bacon!).

  41. I have the pig from The Simpsons Garden of Eden episode…..mmmmmmmmmmmm endless bacon…
    BAAAAAACCONNNNNNNNNNNN
    n’ lots of it hehe

    Mick

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