The Notorious P.I.G.: Ted Cruz is trying very hard to be a cool Internet guy -- and failing in spectacular fashion

Ted Cruz cooks bacon on a gun barrel in a transparently phony bid to win your affection

Published August 4, 2015 4:11PM (EDT)

  (AP/Nati Harnik)
(AP/Nati Harnik)

The Ted Cruz 2016 presidential campaign is settling into a comfortable routine of inflammatory comments interspersed with silly man-of-the-people gimmicks. Since launching his campaign, Cruz has called the Obama administration “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism,” gone on the Senate floor and accused Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of being a liar, badgered Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz about Iran deploying sci-fi weaponry against the United States, and he’s currently working on shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood funding.

When not raining rhetorical hellfire down upon all enemies real or imagined, Cruz tries to be cool on the internet. He stopped by Buzzfeed a few weeks back and did some awful impressions of “Simpsons” characters. And this week, with the help of Independent Journal Review, he cooked bacon with a gun.

“Mmm, machine gun bacon,” Cruz says before letting fly with one of the least genuine cackles ever caught on film. I suppose the intent of this video is show that you don’t know the real Ted Cruz – off the campaign trail he’s actually a cool and fun guy who does kooky things just like the rest of us. That’s not what I see. I’ve watched this AR-15 bacon-cooking video several times now, and I’ve teased out a few problems.

It Is A Terrible Way To Cook Bacon

Cooking bacon is a simple task that needs no complication. Set a skillet over a flame, lay the strips of bacon in it, and flip the strips until cooked through and crisped to your liking. Cooking bacon on the barrel of a gun takes this simple act and turns it into an overly elaborate waste of time and resources that will result in improperly cooked bacon.

You can only do one strip of bacon at a time, and to cook each strip you need to go through at least a couple of magazines of ammunition. And even then, you’ve only cooked the bacon on one side. Cooking the bacon all the way through would seem to require charring the side touching the gun barrel. And I would imagine there’s a fair bit of adhesion to the cooking surface, given that all the grease is running away from the meat, which means you’ll have carbonized bacon stuck on your gun barrel. Assuming your AR-15 isn’t dishwasher safe, you’ll like have a hell of a time getting that gunk off.

This is the conceptual equivalent of poaching salmon in your coffeemaker – yes, you can do that, but why the hell would you do that?

It Seems Pretty Dangerous?

Bacon grease has two distinct qualities that would seem to make it an unideal partner for an assault rifle: it is extraordinarily hot, and it is flammable. Wrapping a piece of bacon around the barrel of your gun and enclosing it in aluminum foil means that you’ve put a little pouch of super-heated, combustible liquid right next to where the flames and hot gas escape the dangerous weapon you’re holding. What if it spatters and hot bacon fat strikes your hand? What if the muzzle flash ignites the grease? I’ve never taken a gun safety class, but I would imagine that proper firearms training insists that you seek to minimize the opportunities for your gun to catch fire.

He’s Trying Way Too Hard

There are few things phonier than a politician trying extremely hard to convince you they’re a real person who isn’t trying to trick you into voting for them. Think about Mitt Romney appealing to America’s youth by woodenly reciting the chorus of “Who Let The Dogs Out?” or John Kerry insisting “there isn't one of us here who doesn't like NASCAR and who isn't a fan.” They were both patrician, elitist weirdos who tried to persuade voters that they inhabit the realm of normal human existence.

Ted Cruz is desperately working to convince you that he’s a cool internet guy, and not a crank loudmouth who pretty much everyone hates. This doesn’t work because no one really expects or wants Ted Cruz to be a cool internet guy. His reputation and celebrity are based entirely on his love for ideological combat and partisan dickery. But he has a strategy to trick you into liking him: find things “the internet” likes, and then tell the internet he likes those things too. According to this article from 2009, bacon is really popular on the internet, so here comes Ted Cruz doing a thing with bacon on the internet. Roughly 98 percent of all internet communication is done using “Simpsons” quotes, and so Ted Cruz does a Buzzfeed video reciting quotes from that long-running cartoon program. Who knows what meme he’ll assault next? Maybe he’ll cover himself head to toe in blue paint.

Okay that might actually be entertaining.

By Simon Maloy

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