2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
Blowing up on Twitter on a Wednesday morning: the news that the developer of an app that does nothing but send the word “yo” to a chosen recipient has received $1 million in investment funding — and is hiring!.
The Financial Times broke the story. Think Progress ties the mania to the impending doom of a tech bubble. Business Insider reports that “everyone is going crazy over” it. Vox, of course, has an explainer.
And at Salon, your grizzled veteran of two decades of Internet sturm und drang stares at his laptop and contemplates the grievous question of whether civilization has finally completed its collapse into nihilist meaninglessness or merely erupted in all-consuming surrealist folly. Yo, what is up with that?
Or both! Why choose?
But wait! Who am I kidding? There’s a there, here. I can’t count the number of times in my life when I have texted or Internet-chatted a friend or my son or daughter with nothing more than the word “yo.” Busy people, busy lives — just typing “yo” is an act of extreme efficiency: Why waste any effort on more excessively alphabeted communication if your recipient is not around to engage? If Yo, as is claimed, reduces the typical number of clicks necessary to send the word “yo” from 11 to two, well then, it’s only a matter of time before we see meaningful improvement in global labor productivity statistics.
But Yo also signifies something deeper, something that expresses our most essential humanity. The uttterance of the word “yo” is a declaration, first, that I exist in this world, and second, that I seek connection and community with something outside myself.
Yo … I am here. Is anybody out there?
The word “yo” therefore provides the bedrock for both individual consciousness and the existence of society. From this perspective, the case for giving “yo” its own app for the purpose of, as the Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw put it, providing “messaging without the messages,” becomes the very definition of a no-brainer. I yearn to mock, but perhaps extremism in the pursuit of pure minimalism is no vice. The reduction of all culture, all communication, and the entire digital telecommunications infrastructure to a single two-letter word? Brilliance. If it is true that our future behavior patterns will be primarily guided by the notifications that we receive from our smartphones, then what could possibly be more important than crafting the Ur-Notification app?
Genius like that is worth a lot more than a million dollars, yo.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.