Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

I HATE BACON. I don't hate actual bacon. Actual bacon is fine. I hate the idea of bacon. I hate the idea of bacon because the internet has ruined the idea of bacon because, at some point, enjoying bacon became a personality trait. There are individuals who appear to violently enjoy bacon more than anyone one else on earth.

CHECK OUT THESE SOCKS, THEY LOOK LIKE BACON. THESE ARE BAND-AIDS, BUT THEY LOOK LIKE BACON. I MADE A TACO SHELL BY WEAVING TOGETHER PIECES OF BACON. THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES ARE MADE OUT OF BACON. THEY SHOULD BRING PIMP MY RIDE BACK AND INSTEAD OF FIXING YOUR CAR, THEY GIVE YOU A PLATE OF BACON, AND YOU RIDE THAT BACON TO YOUR JOB AT BACON.

I don't understand why the internet picked bacon. Bacon is genuinely delicious, but so is beef stroganoff. Where the fuck is my beef stroganoff calendar? Beef stroganoff can't get any shine? I guess it doesn't matter what it is—the internet has similarly fetishized pizza, cats, Ron Swanson, "ironic" mustaches, Doctor Who, and, you know, that's how culture functions. We get all worked up about shit based on all sorts of different criteria, but it seems like when these obsessions originate on the internet, they're coated in a layer of "geek" that seeks to obscure the true nature of these things.

If something is "geeky," then it doesn't seem like the dumb lowest-common-denominator bullshit that it really is. If something is "geeky," then we don't have to acknowledge that it contains the same cultural value as one of those "COOL STORY, BRO" t-shirts that they sell at the beach. But LOOKBABY, bacon and mustaches and Grumpy Cat are dumb as fuck.

I also hate me for the condescending tone I just took in that last sentence, and I should probably say that when I call that internet shit dumb, I'm not using dumb as an insult. I love dumb stuff. Most of my favorite stuff is dumb. Law and Order is dumb. UGK are dumb. It's dumb when I stand over my sink and squirt ranch dressing onto an increasingly smaller carrot. Dumb stuff can be wonderful, but it's still dumb as hell. The internet isn't a boutique anymore. It hasn't been for ages. You're probably reading this on the internet. Charmin has a Twitter account. You aren't a geek if you like Doctor Who, you're just somebody who enjoys dumb, formulaic red meat television. (JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.)

Geek is meaningless. Geek is the NFL, now. Geek is the Olive Garden. Chris Hardwick is a geek and Chris Hardwick is a gorgeous man with spiked hair and very expensive jeans. You're not a geek, you're just a person who enjoys enjoyable things, and maybe if you don't tie up your identity in hyperbolic enjoyment of products that project some kind of contrived identity, the rest of us don't have to cringe when we order a BLT every now and then.