Thursday, January 29, 2009


This is how I started my morning today: thirty minutes on an exercise bike, followed by oatmeal and a cup of coffee, followed by this article. And that bring us to the present, because I can't move past it.

For those of you who have not heard, an item described as "the Bacon Explosion" has swept the internet. According to the New York Times, the Bacon Explosion came to the light of day in mid-December. Its creators, a team of Kansas City barbecue competitors, marketed their item (product? monstrosity?) through Twitter, Del.i.cious, Digg, and Stumble Upon, resulting in a near-instantaneous cult following, as well as acknowledgement from more traditional news outlets. The websites of Air America and the National Review have both given nods to the Bacon Explosion. In my favorite paragraph of the article, the NYT quotes Jonah Goldberg as saying, "There must be a reason one reader after another sends me this every couple hours.”

Here's what grabs me about this situation: it is incredible how quickly we share information now. The Bacon Explosion recipe was posted on the creators' blog on December 23. On Christmas Day, the website received 27,000 hits. It spawned "game meat" variations on the original, debates about proper cooking times, and even a claim that the recipe was not original. The sum total of this activity is every blogger's dream.

Doesn't it make you question the notion that technology is driving us all into social isolation? Doesn't the Bacon Explosion prove that we are very, very connected with other people? And whatever happened to the Bacon Explosions of the world before the internet?


Foodycat said...

Thank you - I hadn't seen the bacon explosion before! I think it looks like something I would like.

It is reassuring that for every nerdy kid in a dark room with a computer, there is another nerdy kid running out into the back yard to experiment with something he saw on the internet.

12th Man Training Table said...

Before the internet, we somehow spread the word that Mikey from the Life Cereal commercials had died by mixing Pop Rocks with a soda. Somehow everyone all over "knew" that the Beaver had been killed in Vietnam. So to some extent, we are wired for such silliness.

Despite Malcolm Gladwell's best analysis, sometimes there's just no rhyme and certainly no reason as to why one thing takes off and another does not. What did the Pet Rock have that other gimmicks didn't? Why Jessica Simpson? Why this and not the other?

Very few musical artists will tell you that their #1 hit was their best work. Like the guy said in "Repo Man," there's no explanation and no use looking for one.