Honey Badger don’t care

(More viral silliness.)

It started with Jen Dewalt posting the label for Honey Badger frozen yogurt on Facebook:

The label points us back to a viral video, “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger” (“Honey badger don’t care. Honey badger don’t give a shit.”), and to a website on “6 Animals That Just Don’t Give A F#@k” (where the honey badger is #1). Linguistic interest: the smart-ass tone of the video and the website; 3sg don’t; and the gay voice of Randall, the video’s narrator.

The video:

Randall’s narration is a hoot: demotic smart-ass wise-cracking, all in a gay voice (especially in its prosody). The slogan “Honey badger don’t care. Honey bear don’t give a shit” uses shit freely, as well as the non-standardism 3sg don’t (a leveling of doesn’t found throughout the English-speaking world and now associated primarily with working-class speakers).

The “6 Animals” website (by Danny Vittore, posted on 9/30/10) is similar in tone. Here’s the lead-in:

Some animals are boring, and that’s fine: They’re all gathering nuts or looking for mates or marking territory or some stupid shit. Hey, you know, whatever floats your boat, squirrel. We prefer the animals that just straight don’t give a fuck: the ones that punch sharks in the dick, ghost-ride somebody else’s whip, beer-bong tequila and look you dead in the eye while plowing your girlfriend. Animals like:

6. Mongoose
5. Pen-tailed tree shrew
4. Wolverine
3. Tasmanian devil
2. Cane toad
1. Honey badger

Oh yes, the yogurt. Here’s Lauren Torrisi’s report on ABC News on the 8th:

Red Mango Names ‘Honey Badger’ Flavor After Viral Video

Whether you try Red Mango’s new frozen yogurt flavor or not – they just don’t care.  The frozen yogurt company has released a flavor based on the 2011 viral “Honey Badger” Internet video that garnered 46 million views.

The company used social networks like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word with phrases from the video like, “Try it…or not.  We don’t care.”

“We wanted to show the true power and influence of our social media audience by speaking directly to them with our brand new flavor, and letting them decide where to take the message,” Red Mango’s founder Dan Kim said in a statement, “The reaction has been huge and, once again, it shows the reach that consumers have to share the love.”

The new flavor, made with yogurt and honey, has 30 calories per ounce.

And then the actual honey badger. According to the Wikipedia entry, the creature is indeed a nightmare, but it doesn’t seek out victims just for fun, only in pursuit of food or when under attack:

The honey badger (Mellivora capensis), also known as the ratel …, is a species of mustelid native to Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. Despite its name, the honey badger does not closely resemble other badger species, instead it bears more anatomical similarities to weasels. … It is primarily a carnivorous species and has few natural predators because of its thick skin and ferocious defensive abilities.

… Honey badgers are notoriously fearless and tough animals, having been known to savagely attack their enemies when escape is impossible. Bee stings, porcupine quills, and animal bites rarely penetrate their skin. If horses, cattle, or Cape buffalos intrude upon a ratel’s burrow, it will attack them. They are tireless in combat and can wear out much larger animals in physical confrontations. The aversion of most predators toward hunting honey badgers has led to the theory that the countershaded coats of cheetah kittens evolved in imitation of the honey badger’s colouration to ward off predators.

… They may hunt frogs and rodents such as gerbils and ground squirrels by digging them out of their burrows. Honey badgers are able to feed on tortoises without difficulty, due to their powerful jaws. They kill and eat snakes, even highly venomous or large ones such as cobras. They have been known to dig up human corpses in India. They devour all parts of their prey, including skin, hair, feathers, flesh and bones, holding their food down with their forepaws. When seeking vegetable food, they lift stones or tear bark from trees.

Not fuzzy and cute at all.

3 Responses to “Honey Badger don’t care”

  1. Ben Zimmer Says:

    See the coverage of honey badger in the meme-tastic Winter 2011 installment of “Among the New Words” in American Speech.

  2. Unusual creatures « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] of the Unusual Creatures, Blue-Footed Booby, Chinese Giant Salamander, Elephant Shrew, Glass Frog, Honey Badger, Blobfish, Jesus Christ Lizard, Solenodon, Dugong, Tardigrade, Magnapinna Squid, Aye-Aye, Humpback […]

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