There's not much in life like the re-birthing power of a New Year to kid yourself into believing you're going to do it all differently this time. Personally, I don't do the resolution thing because rolling into February with a failed attempt at something isn't my idea of a great year. Though, this doesn't stop me from jumping into the improvement-boat like everyone else, an idea that is most easily exemplified by my habitual tradition of cleaning the house on New Years day. It usually takes the form of tackling dark and forgotten corners -- like a wrecked closet -- that are easily ignored the other 364 days of the year. In the same New-Year-cleaning sense, I'd like to propose a yearly round up of trends and ideas that would be doing us all a favor if they were tossed like a dusty pair of neon-wheeled roller-blades with matching wrist guards.
Crapitizer Cuisine - I don't know what else to call this stuff. You know it though, when you go to some fancy new place with friends and you're thinking, "Hey, the prices aren't that bad" until your friend casually instructs "the portions are small, so order a few things." Which almost always translates these days to paying way too much for a table of fried appetizers that are pawned off as dinner. I'm sorry if you love these joints, but I'm over them like a fish's thought on hooks. It's 2013, man. Just gimmie a damn plate of semi-healthy food, not a $40 serving of fries and McNuggets. For future-avoiding reference, if the words, "It's kind of tapas style..." are said, be sure to skip.
Guns - Through this whole gun debate that we have going on, people keep saying, "Don't get me wrong, no one is talking about banning all guns." To that, I say, "Speak for yourself, people. Because I am." I feel this so strongly that listening to discussions about limiting the sales of automatics or bullets or whatever is unbearable to me. Unless we are talking about getting rid of guns all together, I don't really want to hear about it. Sure, they are fun to shoot responsibly, but we have proven ourselves unworthy to such unprecedented levels that the only discussion we should be having is how to go about scrubbing our country clean of their presence.
Philanthropic Capitalism- It's a sad truth that when I see people wearing TOMS, I think less of them. I know for most people it's just a shoe, but to me I see something worse than some unapologetic corporate clothing company. This idea that we can assuage our western guilt through shopping is one of the more demented inventions our society has ever come up with, and that is a seriously impressive feat. Let's get back to the days of buying shit just for the sake of buying shit, and helping for the sake of helping. Because anything else ends up being a lot more buying and a lot less helping.
Social Media Privacy Concerns - It's time for people to quit with the complaining about their social media information and where it goes. My issue is not only with how off-target people can be with their paranoia, but also because it ties into this bigger complaint about our self-inflated individual importance, or as my friend would say, "Everyone is such a fucking special snowflake." The truth is, 99.2 percent of us have nothing to offer except data for marketing more effectively. The CIA doesn't care what your kid did for his third birthday, and if they did they wouldn't need Google+ to find out. If you really want to get paranoid, there's a way better outlet for your fears and it's called a cell phone. We are all carrying a tracking device -- everywhere-- but worry about who reads the drivel on our minds? That's a little silly. If it's still a concern, then stop using social media, because quitting is the new complaining for 2013. I know plenty of people who have quit -- or have never partaken -- and I'm happy to report they are all doing just fine.
Dreamcatcher Style - Why does it feel like 2012 was the year the masses discovered the desert? Is this the ripples of Coachella we are feeling or did I miss the super popular music video of a hot, skinny girl singing in the desert while wearing a loose tank top, jean shorts and a headband? Whatever it is, it's time to go back to whence it has come, because it's seriously overstayed its welcome. I'm talking dreamcatchers, teepees and knock-kneed shots of "shy" girls standing awkwardly in desert landscapes as sun-flares blow-out cactus tips. Because the only thing worse than being a hippie is pretending you're a hippie. So put down the peace pipe and cut that hair asymmetrically, kids. I think we're primed for an electro-clash revival to roll us through the '13.
Kickstarter - I think my parents damaged me. When I was a kid, I wanted to do that thing from the back of comic books where you sold greeting cards in the neighborhood to earn points for crap -- like slot car tracks or army men. I asked my mom and she said, "You can't do that, because people will feel obliged to buy the cards just because they know you." Man. That idea has stuck with me my whole entire life. It stops me from ever entering those contests where you have to beg your friends to vote or crowd-funding ventures like Kickstarter. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a good project, but I've yet to see a completed pitch from the copious amount of Kickstarter Vimeo I -- like everyone else -- have slogged through. I'm also just tired of being hit up for money or votes by friends. Chill, babies. Just. Chill.
Mixology - I hate to even bring this up because I feel these dudes have artisanally shaken themselves towards a sad and swift death. Unfortunately, there always has to be a few people who take a good thing way too far, and if there is a pinnacle in history higher than the mixologist, I don't know of it. It's 2013, man. You're a bartender and all I want is a whisky-ginger ale. I'd say we can stretch this request to all the hyper-crafty artisans and their esoteric wares. The backlash is coming, and it's going to be all about basics. So shave that curly 'stache, ditch the suspenders, and go get yourself some Dunkin Donuts coffee and a jar of Vlassic Dills while beaming a big fat hello to the new, basic "thing".
The Khardashians, TMZ, Lulu Lemon worn casually, painfully over-thought tweets, using the word "love" as a sentence, those Dwell-style silver 3D home-address numbers, the list goes on and on. The good news is there is plenty of time to get to all of that, so stay tuned and have a great year!
Follow Steven Nereo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/single_ape