John Cole, blogger and influential man of letters (bolding mine).
This is an exhilarating time to be alive. All our efforts, all our resources, our consumption and tastes are maxing out in unison. Everything is hitting its peak.
After Australian researchers announced in April this year that the world had attained “peak beard”, a resource not supposed to be finite, other peaks followed. There were peak suburbs, peak hipsters, peak travel, peak narcissism and peak Beyoncé. There have been countless food peaks: banana, bacon, burgers, ramen, burrito and Freans (too many biscuits).
[…] The obvious question is: have we reached peak peak? Given the parodies (such as “Kittens Reaching Peak Cuteness” on the Daily Mash website), we must be climbing Mount Peak’s upper slopes, at the very least. In which case the interesting question is: where did this phrase come from – and why did it gain such traction?
[….] “Have we reached peak X?” belongs to a family of tropes known as snowclones – a templated phrase whose components offer tireless possibilities for adaptation and regeneration. Other examples are “X is the new Y”, “We are all X now” and “How I learned to stop X and love Y”. The authority on Snowclones is the Language Log blog run by celebrated linguists Geoffrey Pullum and Mark Liberman. […]
There is some good news, though. Liberman remembers the first time he noticed the phrase. It was in 2008, when the US writer John Cole blogged that “we may have hit and passed Peak Wingnut”, a derogatory term for rightwingers.
Cole’s post is nearly six years old, but can he recall what inspired the phrase? “I came up with ‘peak wingnut’ because I was shocked,” Cole says. “The Republicans seemed to get crazier and crazier. The source of it is [US blogger] Kevin Drum. At the Washington Monthly, one of the things he was always talking about was peak oil.”
John probably forgot to mention his big turn in the news because of work or something, but correcting a minor oversight like that is why he brought on co-bloggers in the first place. The potential impact that our little blog has had in the world makes me teary. Just remember to tell your kids one day that you were among roughly 107,000 unique visitors (-ish, we peak around elections) on the day when it happened.