Thursday, September 01, 2011

The honey badgers of web development

First there was the honey badger, a badger-like creature that's apparently known for its "ferocious defensive abilities." Then there was a nature program (video) that explored the honey badger's appetite for such delicacies as bee larvae and cobras and its apparent indifference to bees and snakebite and venom and pain. And then there
was Randall's alternate narration (video) for that nature documentary, from which all the world learned that "Honey badger don't care. Honey badger don't give a shit."

Like it? Get the t-shirt or the poster.

Right, this isn't news; the Know Your Meme site has a nice piece that recounts the brief history. (It also came up in the TV show "Glee," which is nothing if not culturally au courant.)

What's fun is watching the term honey badger go generic. Earlier this year, Mignon Fogarty (aka Grammar Girl) tweeted this:

Honey badger don't care about "i.e." and "e.g." (, but you should:

That was in May; note that she uses the full phrase and includes a link for the as-then-still uninitiated. But yesterday I found this in a technical article:

Then there are the honey badgers of web development, the notorious Content Management Systems, designed to kill all your hopes and dreams.

No "don't care" here; no link. You either get it or don't.[1]

This is what really interests me; is it possible for the term honey badger to become decoupled from any explicit reference to Randall's video and enter the lexicon as a synonym for, dunno, "indifference" ("aggressive indifference"?). That would be pretty awesome for Randall, and awesome to have seen it happen.

1 As an aside, from an editorial perspective, the article is filled with cultural references and is too clever by half, as people say. Woe onto the non-English-as-first-language speaker (non-American?) who reads this. Entertaining, tho. :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first non-English speaker that reads this will have a wonderful text from which to learn up-to-date digital hippisms. Yes? Consider it a gift to them, the way French rap is to me.