Jul 18, 2008

Pirating Trends















Trends are out of control today; I know this, because I keep buying into them.


"I'm not really into the trendy stuff", I'll say. I emphasize the word 'trendy' as though the word itself has gone out of its way to offend me. When I think 'trendy', I think of the fashion world and its' up-to-the-minute seasonal fare; these trends are made for starving giraffes with windshield-sized foreheads--wave to Paris Hilton--and not the human female. I should craft a strongly-worded letter to the designers, imploring them to leave the Mothership and walk amongst actual Earthlings someday, just to get a feel for what we really look like.

Fashion fads are one thing, kitschy trends are another. Remember when bacon used to be one of your favorite breakfast foods? Now you have to show your love through bacon-themed products; eating it for enjoyment isn't the point anymore. You must purchase bacon Band-Aids, bacon action figures, bacon bumperstickers, a bacon wallet, bacon mints, bacon undies, and bacon air fresheners if you want to be seen as a true connoisseur; until you are driving down the street wearing a bacon uniform, driving a custom-made Baconmobile, and waving an oversized bacon flag through the streets of your city, you will not be considered a fan, oh no. I personally own all of these bacon-related things, and yet I don't know why. Probably because I love bacon so much, and I want that love to win. True love should always end in competition, that's my motto.

It's not just bacon, it's EVERYTHING. Pirates, ninjas, cowboys, kitties, monkeys, unicorns, robots, yetis, hula girls, zombies, monsters, nuns, leprechauns, the Krakken, the narwhal, sushi, tofu, parasites, flamingos, retro everything, tattoos, mustaches, cupcakes, mustaches, and Jesus. JESUS. This year was totally His year: Dashboard Jesus, action figures, t-shirts, bandages, decorative tape, lunch boxes, wall hangings, jewelry. That Jesus really knows how to brand himself; He definitely has a future in marketing.

So many of these fun fads are way overdone; I only need to mention the word 'pirate' to convey my full meaning. Suddenly, every jerk I know was shouting 'YARRR!' and wearing striped shirts and bandannas, even my own father. Skull-and-crossbones flags went up in homes, in car windows, in office cubicles; it felt inauthentic, because it so nationally popular. That, to me, is the definition of 'trend': when every white-collared white guy in your office is quoting Blackbeard and singing sea shanties, the trend is OVER. Instead of feeling like part of a rogue pack of thieving scalawags, I felt like I was stuck on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland with a bunch of thirtysomething toddlers. It was cool for two seconds, and then kind of annoying. Chop off a leg from the knee down, train a parrot to speak, develop scurvy, and forget about bathing for six months: NOW I believe you're a pirate. Yo-ho, indeed.

I jumped on certain fadwagons, although I loved them before they were popular, and will continue to love them equally after their popularity wanes: cupcakes, robots, bacon, unicorns, and smoking bunnies galore. The narwhal gets an honorable mention, because my partner loves it so. He claims that the narwhal is majestic, but that kind of language should be reserved for British royalty, purple mountains, and the animated Disney film Fantasia.

I wish I could like something just because I want to. Places like Archie McPhee's, Urban Outfitters, and neighborhood boutiques make it impossible to just like something for the aesthetic, or for the memory it evokes. You can't just love a trend, YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE SHIT OUT OF IT. You have to buy and love and buy and love, on and on, ad infinitum. You must take the thing you love, advertise it throughout your life, and strangle any positive feelings that may remain; then, and only then, will you be truly worthy of enjoying a thing like bacon in the way God intended: through good old-fashioned capitalism.


8 comments:

Michelle Auer said...

I love, love, LOVE my bacon band-aids! :-)

Snotty McSnotterson said...

I swear to you, I wear them when I don't really have to. It's the silliest thing. I'm glad you loveloveLOVE them! We bacon nerds need to stick together (although I've moved on to pancetta...I hear it's the new bacon).

FreNeTic said...

Jesus Salves!

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Hahahahahahahahashit. I shoulda thought of that.

Manthony said...

You totally dissed on giraffes by comparing them to Paris Hilton. For shame! What did they ever do to you?

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Well, they looked like Paris Hilton, for one.

konichiwa, bitches. said...

well you ARE a Seattlite, so you are obligated to like something before it gets popular. This is our curse. I am so accursed by this curse that I sometimes feel the need to tell people that I had to like something before it got popular before everyone else had to like something before it got popular. We are ridiculous human beings and I can't wait to get back.

The pirate thing was both embarrassing and annoying because as you said, the pirates life was and is nothing to emulate. I would be talking to some pasty, skinny, pampered hipster calling themselves pirates in the manner that I used to call myself a Ninja Turtle after watching a TMNT movie WHEN I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD and think, "do you have any idea that your average pirate does not wear eye-liner and have a self-deprecating jokey answer to everything?" Besides the scurvy, the wanton murder of innocents for money and all the gay sex on boats, thinking you're a pirate is lame because you're twenty-fucking-eight years old. Grow up.

I had a roommate, one of the only people on God's green earth who I have ever actually hated, who was a preachy vegetarian but loved bacon so much he ate pounds of fake veggie bacon. His fake bacon reminded me of bacon band-aids, except even brighter and more synthetic.

vivacious said...

Bacon is a gateway meat.

And International Talk Like A Pirate Day was invented in Portland. So while Seattlites have the curse of liking something before it was trendy, Portlanders have the curse of claiming they invented/came up with the idea of whatever trendy thing people are buying the shit out of...