Let me start off with a disclaimer: I’m not one of those people who revels in bashing the New York Times. There are plenty enough other people willing to do that, and besides — I love the paper and think it’s still America’s most valuable journalistic institution. However, every now and again it gets something so blatantly wrong that it leaves me no choice but to take it to the woodshed. This is one of those times.
The headline says it all: No Sag Yet for Planking. The story’s lede takes it a step further: “Planking has become the annoying trend that just won’t go away.”
You’ve got to be f*cking kidding me.
The viral meme — where participants lie flat and stiff, with nose and belly to the ground, to emulate of all things a wooden plank — has been around for some 25 years. But it seems that celebrities, from Hugh Hefner to the “Juno” star Ellen Page, are increasingly adopting it as a somewhat mystifyingly popular pastime.
In recent months, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Chris Brown have posted planking images on their Twitter feeds. (Mr. Bieber and Ms. Perry both did it on yachts), while Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen took planking to a new level on their Web site, StyleMint, by intercutting images of themselves lying horizontally in scenes from classic Christmas movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life.” (The Olsen twins also demonstrated the technique of owling, “the act of crouching and staring like an owl,” but that’s a whole other phenomenon.)
Jesus Christ. Like, really? The Times is making a parody of itself with this garbage. It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so genuinely alarming. I almost feel like canceling my subscription to protest the paper being this impossibly out of touch with the internet. I mean, planking was everywhere months ago and is no where now. As any regular UPROXX reader knows, not only has planking long been regulated to the ash-bin of meme history, but a number of “new planking” iterations have also come and gone (Batmanning, anyone?) since planking faded away in June. I actually kind of feel embarrassed for them.
I suppose we should all look forward to a trendspotting piece in the paper next week on the Bros Icing Bros phenomenon. That’s so hot right now, isn’t it?