First of all: bacon. And now, here is Burger King’s new BACON SUNDAE™, or at least a picture of it. Yes, this is an article about the new BACON SUNDAE, and there’s a picture of the sundae, below this text. You are now reading this and then looking at the picture below, which you are looking at now:
Fantastic! You did it. I knew you would, mostly because people enjoy reading about bacon, because hipsters love bacon — here’s proof of that if you needed any. Of course, hipsters ruin everything, but bacon remains fairly unruinable, being simply a salty porcine food product which has no inherent “attitude,” no inherent coolness factor, and no inherent opinion about the latest Fleet Foxes album.
Now, this current trendy love of bacon has filtered down to the Burger King-level, and Burger King has introduced its Bacon Sundae. Before discussing that, as we inevitably must, because we have no choice in the matter, do you know where the word “sundae” comes from? It comes from the fact that during the early 20th century, many cities had laws against selling alcohol on Sundays, and so bars would serve ice cream-based concoctions instead; hence, “sundaes,” which is an interesting story that I made up that’s not true, as it turns out.
Anyway, let’s get to the discussion of the Burger King Bacon Sundae, which Burger King describes as being “Sweet and savory made [sic] with cool, creamy and velvety vanilla soft serve, chocolate fudge and smooth caramel, made to order [sic] with our new thick hardwood smoked bacon. Limited Time Only.” How exciting, though it would be more exciting if you were, say, a crazed talking dog.
…But you’re not a crazed talking dog. Are you? …No; you’re not. But that would be great. Maybe someday, I think, as I stare nobly and wistfully off into the sunset, the sunset of yet another talking-dog-less day.
…So there’s a lot of excitement on the internet about this BACON SUNDAE that I’m trying to avoid talking about. The Huffington Post says that the Sundae is good, like Barack Obama is good. Meanwhile, The Daily Beast says that it’s bad, like Mitt Romney is bad. MY GOD HOW CAN WE EVER KNOW THE TRUTH NOW.
Meanwhile, another article points out that the Bacon Sundae is fattening, lest you think that “bacon” and “sundae” have special powers when they come in contact, like the Wonder Twins — and are suddenly not fattening when combined despite being fattening independently. It is also pointed out that the Bacon Sundae was test-marketed in Tennessee, where fat people already exist. And presumably this made them fatter? Because fat people in Tennessee only eat newly test-marketed products? What? Actually, it is not clear what pointing this out actually meant.
And finally, The Atlantic Monthly is outraged over the sundae, prissily pounding out an article entitled “Burger King, Your Bacon Sundae Is Insulting,” which wins the all-time prize for easily getting insulted by something. I myself was once insulted by the fact that American Idol pads out its finale to two hours, but even that is pretty hardcore compared to getting mad at a sundae.
“…We can all agree Burger King’s summer-special bacon sundae is passé, but it’s worse than that,” writes Adam Martin, the very easily insulted author of the article, in-between taking cleansing and purifying whiffs of the latest molecular air soup souffle or whatever they’re serving at WD-40 these days. And why is the sundae so “insulting”? Because here’s why: “At first we were only bemused,” writes Martin, unwisely using the “royal we” in a situation that might not warrant it–
…At first we were only bemused, and a little surprised that BK would think this would catch on three years after bacon-for-dessert trend pieces started showing up literally everywhere and five years after with it food blogs like Grub Street declared the bacon trend dead. Even The Wall Street Journal applied its business lingo to the trend’s end in 2010, with writer Katy McLaughlin declaring that “we are in the midst of a bacon bubble,” and that it was bursting. But a chat with friend and former colleague Helen Rosner, now a senior Web editor at Saveur, has moved us past bemusement and into rage.
“It’s not the bacon that’s the problem,” Rosner said over IM. “It’s the lazy assumption that putting the word ‘bacon’ in the name of a product ensures that you’ll get mountains of breathless media coverage: OMG! They put bacon on a sundae!!!!!11!!eleven!!! It’s dehumanizing.” As another friend-of-a-friend said, “you know BK has just been focus grouping this for two years and that’s why it’s so late.” Nobody likes to feel pandered to.
Indeed, nobody likes to feel pandered to. Nobody likes to feel pandered to!!!11!!!eleven!!!! It is good that Adam Martin pointed out that giving media coverage to a bacon sundae would be a bad idea, via giving media coverage to that very same bacon sundae. And it is good that you have just read an article about him doing that. …And meanwhile, elsewhere in America, actual normal people chow down into a bacon sundae or don’t, depending on whether they’re f-cking hungry at that moment or not and whether they like bacon and sweet stuff together or not.
What a beautiful dream that must be, to be able to act without thinking like that, like Rousseau’s noble savages; just instinctively eating stuff without worrying whether it’s “trendy” or not. It’s a way that we’ll never know. Anyway, here’s the talking dog commercial again, this is the end of my article about bacon. Bacon, bacon, bacon…