Within the hipster community, the popularity of vinyl, Polaroid film, and other near-obsolete technology has surged in recent years. In an increasingly digitized age, there is a certain vogue to analog technology. What’s next? Will it be a reemergence of horse and buggy transportation (it’s green, too, so hot right now) or a series of hard to find crossbow shooting galleries around Portland, Austin, and Brooklyn?
Well, dear reader. Worry not about being left in the present while the culture of the future plunges boldly ahead into the past (what?). Today’s installment of Trends With Benefits predicts the next popular wave of ironic nostalgia.
1. Phone Booths
Sure, everyone has a cellular phone nowadays. And smart phones with zillions of features and apps are getting more and more popular. But don’t you miss the halcyon days of standing in a transparent glass prism shouting a conversation into a filthy public telephone?
The phone booths of tomorrow will offer a charger for your dead/dying cell phone battery and all the prestige of having a tiny corner office in the middle of the sidewalk. Plus, it gives hipsters a trendy spot to trade crushed up Adderall and Ecstasy pills, just like the drug deals of yore!
2. Anabolic Steroids
After Barry Bonds, Mark Maguire and Sammy Sosa went on their bigheaded home run rampages a decade ago, steroids have gone out of vogue. Well, leave it to hipsters to revive an era of our history that no one really liked very much to begin with.
And the ultimate irony, a bunch of waif thin twerps have no physical reason to take steroids, but they will be able to blog WITH THE STRENGTH AND FURY OF TEN MEN!
3. Baggy Pants
In urban culture, the popularity of baggy pants has not waned the same way it has in the suburban communities. But, just as certain sects of white culture “ironically” enjoy rap music (“They’re poor by accident, isn’t that funny?”), this fashion will come into style via a tongue in cheek cultural absorption.
Picture this, a 20-something guy or girl, caucasian, wearing oversized Fubu or Phat Farm jeans. They sag below the buttocks to reveal underneath…a pair of skin tight thrift store jeans.
Vaccinations have all but eradicated the disease in the US. It is, however, still present in small numbers in the third world. This hits the hipster trifecta of diversity, obscurity, and obsolescence. I’m imagining a lot of hipster Halloween costumes consisting of an eye patch, a cigarette, and a wheelchair. Trick or treat, it’s FDArrghhh.
5. Jam Bands/Free Jazz
When you’re talking about “cool” culture, possibly the most important element is the elusive ability to try super hard without looking like you’re trying at all. Jam bands and free jazz ensembles typify this aesthetic.
With the Grateful Dead split up into demi-groups and Phish going on again and off again like Michael Cera and whatever bangs-sporting waif he’s failing to lock it down with in his latest movie, there’s been a definite void in the noodle-verse, man. Plus, we’ve pretty much all caught on to jazz’s crap by now.
In 2012, I’m envisioning huge success for a jazz/classic rock fusion by the name of Miles Jefferson Davis Starship.
6. True Love
We get it. You’re too cool to get attached because love is dead and probably you had emotionally unavailable parents and a bad high school breakup.
In the future, there’s going to be a return to old school romance, but in a real smug way. A lot of Journey songs snickered at at lavish weddings. Probably a bunch of parents adopting kids of the same race because “nobody does that anymore.” Lots of “Where’s The Beef?” t-shirts given as gag 50th anniversary presents.
This whole irony thing is pretty played out. This one will probably take a little while longer to emerge, but it’s going to be a doozy.
After a suitable mourning period, irony will make its own ironic comeback. It will be harder to identify what is actual irony and what is double-irony. You’d probably need some sort of philosophy doctorate. You’d have to be what I call a “meta-rinarian,” which is a pun that will become double ironically cool. Or regularly ironically uncool. Or not cool at all. It’s hard to tell.
It’s hard to be hip, guys.