Flash mobs: Once upon the 2000s, the let’s-get-a-bunch-of-people-to-seemingly-randomly-show-up-in-one-place-and-do-something-zany “flash mob” stunts were an innovative and subversive way to generate publicity. Today, however, flash mobs have been co-opted by convenience-store robbers for cover and government agencies for outreach programs, not to mention mainstream television for reality shows. Here’s a modern truth: When Howie Mandell gets involved in something, it automatically loses its street cred. So, people—it’s time to disperse and move along.
QR Codes: Like cigarette butts and Starbucks, these little black-and-white boxes seem to be everywhere, from the sex-shop advertisements in the back of CityBeat to random stickers slapped on light posts. You’re supposed to scan them with your smart-phone and—well, something interesting rarely happens. Fact is, QR codes are extremely insecure, and it’s only a matter of time before you wave your phone and pick up a virus. Is it really that hard for a consumer to type in a URL or just ask Siri to do it?
Hipster-hating hipsters: Sure, self-loathing is kind of cool, and labeling things other than jars is lame. But hipsters need to get over being called hipsters. People finally came up with a way to describe someone who likes indie rock, drinks cheap beer, rides a bike and wears skinny jeans and Ray-Bans. It’s like if a guy in a lifted pick-up truck and Abercrombie polo with a popped collar was all, “I’m not a bro.” You don’t have to like the label, but just accept that it’s not going away and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Steampunk: Victorian technology and style entered the almost-mainstream this year as Steampunk gathered even more, errrm, steam. Heck, the local steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe must’ve gone back in time at least twice in order to hit all the gigs they booked in addition to their ubiquitous presence at Balboa Park. But now that Justin Bieber and Macy’s have capitalized on the alternate-history genre, it’s time to deflate the air ship and let your fob watch wind itself out.
Tight pants that sag: It was hard enough to wrap our minds around baggy pants that sag, but, in the end it kinda, made sense: How else is a G supposed to carry both a 40-ounce and a glock, plus hide his twiggy legs? Then we were bewildered by the skinny-jeans epidemic, but we understood there was something sexy about the male physique. But tight jeans that also sag? We haven’t seen a hideous combination like that since Mudhoney teamed up with Sir Mix-a-lot for the Judgment Night soundtrack.
Chillwave: When chillwave first emerged in 2009, you couldn’t help but love the lo-fi production, ’80s-style synths and dance-y beats of acts like Neon Indian and Washed Out. Even better, their nostalgic and escapist lyrics offered the perfect antidote to the down economy. But, soon, the blogosphere was flooded with annoying new-wave knockoffs and chillwave just got really depressing. It’s time to get real, kids—the last thing our country needs right now is an army of lo-fi Rick Astley clones. The people deserve better.
Using Occupy as a prefix: OK, the Occupy movement was fun, but let’s not make it the next “_____-palooza.” If your event isn’t actually a 99-percent direct action, don’t use it.
Websites that end with a little r: The single quickest way to hasten your website’s obsolescence is jump on a naming trend. First there was anything-ster, and now it’s ending things in a little r—Flickr, Tumblr, and all that. To us, that’s the equivalent of URL tribal tattoos.
Feather hair extensions: First it was those hipster headbands. Now it’s the feather hair extensions. Ladies,
don’t give men a reason to call you a “chickenhead.” You all look like
Brokahontas. We understand fashion experimentation. We all wore neon
scrunchies in the ’90s. But this has to stop happening because it’s
stupid—unless you’re in a Thanksgiving play or work at a Native
American-themed strip club.
The Kardashians: The backlash against these bland fame mongers has finally begun, and we can thank Kim’s ridiculous wedding, followed by her “marriage,” for being the straw that broke the camel’s huge ass. Plus, the Kardashian gimmick is tired: They’re rich, hot, have zero comprehension of the term “private life,” treat NBA games like a giant eHarmony profile, have no discernible talent and all talk like a Disney Imagineer’s rough prototype of an animatronic skank. Executing emotion is sooo hard. Even talking about how you’re over the Kardashian klan is officially lame.
Lindsay Lohan: Oh, Lindsay. You are such a fuckup. Every time this coked-out, spoiled brat starts drifting into oblivion, she steals jewelry, or seemingly gets away with treating the law like a series of cute suggestions, or takes off all her clothes and tries to convince people she’s just like Marilyn Monroe. Then there she is in the news again and we all face-palm. Bitch, you are not misunderstood. You are an asshole. Let’s hope the 2012 end-of-the-world prediction only pertains to Lindsay’s fame.
Teen pregnancies on TV: Initially, we thought shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom were not only poignant, but also beneficial to teenagers—especially considering how terrible high-school sexed classes are at teaching lessons like: Nine times out of 10, your loser boyfriend is still going to be a dick to you even though you are now the mother of his unwanted child. But now these girls are famous. They have TV shows and are on the cover of USWeekly. Wait. Wasn’t this supposed to be the worst mistake you ever made?
Chunky pumps: They’re big, they’re bold and they make you look like a cartoon hooker with oversize bubble feet. The Gaslamp is overrun with gals shuffling around like cripples in their barely-there black dresses with brightly colored platform high-heeled pumps seemingly stolen from a cute little Lolita girl. Come 2012, we hope something like a nice, sensible pair of Toms wedges takes their place.
Beats headphones: When headphones come in an array of colors, it’s a red (er, magenta) flag. Sure, Dr. Dre and music-producer Jimmy Iovine attached their names to Beats, but the headphones have become more a fashion statement than a listening device, courtesy of a marketing campaign that places them around the necks of an odd hodge-podge of celebs like Justin Bieber, Kobe Bryant, Lindsey Lohan and Katie Holmes. Next year, they’re rolling out the “Beats Executive.” Because nothing says “corner office” like a dope set of headphones.
Leave a comment and tell us about 2011 trends you wish would just go away.