Every week we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week:
What’s the stupidest trend so far for 2014?
Rules are simple: what really bothers you about the year? What are the kids up to? I almost said “new television” as mine because I am 10,000 years old and from space. Let’s all be mad together.
I love Twitter. I always have; my account is from 2008 and I read everything everyone I follow posts every day. Most people don’t use it like that, so they can ignore when someone tweets a bazillion things about a baseball game they don’t care about or a cause they’re not interested in, but I can’t operate that way. It’s all or nothing. I have to watch the clip show episodes of TV. I have to 100% everything. Because of that, I can’t fucking stand @midnight. Technically the show started in 2013, but it seems even bigger now. Chris Hardwick is from my hometown. Most of the comedians on @midnight are really, really funny. But oh my god, reading 40 tweets in a row that are jokes about #StreetNamesInBreakingBad or #ReplaceAnActorWithAFruit make me want to die. Some people are really good at it, but just like how I did an open mic and learned that I shouldn’t have a mic in my hand, most people are not.
I am not sure what is happening in America but the fashion trend this year that left me a bit stunned is Birkenstock sandals. These were THE shoes of the summer for both men and women in South Korea and it just rendered me confused more than anything. They are comfortable, I will give them that much, but it is weird to see so many people wearing the same exact sandals. Same design. Same colors (black or white). Same obvious lack of wear and tear that means they just bought them for this summer. This year’s Crocs or UGG boots. Blech.
Being pissy about the success of the ice bucket challenge. Sure, yeah, viral phenomena suck, and distaste is a healthy response to bandwagoning, but no matter how stupid it was, no matter how much it annoyingly dominated your Facebook feed, it raised over 100 million dollars for a disease that gets very little funding because it’s relatively rare. A slew of “Ew ALS ice bucket challenge gross ugh millenials armchair activism” thinkpieces popped up midway through the event, articles that were little more than strung-together buzzwords, and I could never understand why there was so much aggression leveled at something that, while annoying, did so much good. I am a stickler for exact language. When people use literally wrong, I silently judge them. However, let’s say I’m eating a sandwich. Let’s say someone approaches me and says, “Hey man, if you say that sandwich is so good you are literally dying, I will make sure this orphan is adopted by a loving family.” I would definitely say it, because it is harmless and it helps orphans. The people hating on the ice bucket challenge are the people who would say, “Screw orphans, I have to stick to my principles.”
I think perhaps the stupidest trend for 2014 so far is the benchmark Supreme Court decision Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.. Not only was this decision incredibly contentious, it also paved the way for further reach of corporate “personhood” by setting unusual and disturbing precedent. My favorite part is the opening of Justice Ginsberg’s dissent: “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Although corporations as people is anti-democratic in every sense of the word, I think it’s by far the hottest and stupidest trend of the year!