Happy New Year! 2010 is, according to most, the start of a new decade. But in my view it does not seem like anything new is really happening, or that anything old is going away. However, the year and the decade are both young, so there is plenty of time for the teens to have their own identity. I'd like to get things started by retiring the nine following fads that have worn out their welcome.
- Motion capture animation. Avatar may have revolutionized this technology to a degree where we may no longer have to endure the dead eyes of the computerized human performances found in Robert Zemeckis' recent movies. And Gollum was cool. But I'd like to see more real humans on the screen. And where there are not real humans, I would like to see animated characters brought to life by animators, not by digitized actors in gray body stockings.
- Plastic water bottles. There are a lot of things polluting our planet, but water bottles are the ones that bug me the most. I hope someone makes Thermoses trendy again, so we can stop clogging up landfills and trash cans and oceans with our tiny, non-biodegradable Dasani, Arrowhead, and Poland Spring bottles. Despite that little recycling logo on the bottom that makes us feel less guilty about throwing them away, they are still garbage.
- Joint custody. My parents divorced when I was a kid. My father got to see me every Sunday. This was fine by me. As any kid can tell you, the consistency of living in one room in one house with all your stuff is far more important than spending 50% of your free time at your dad's and 50% of your free time at your mom's. But bitter exes never see it this way, so today's children of divorce are caught in a tug-of-war, their lives constantly in flux as they are carted back and forth between each parent's house several times of week. This only benefits the parents.
- Women tucking pants into boots. I'm not against boots. Knee-high boots with skirts look great. But knee-high boots with jeans tucked into them look stupid. Pants tucked into those horrible Uggs look even worse. I know this fashion "don't" will go away eventually, but not soon enough for me.
- Bacon everything. Bacon's been around forever. But for some reason it's recently become hip to go on and on about bacon, how good it tastes and smells, and how everything should be bacon flavored. Ho, ho. The gag has become reality and now chefs, candy companies and novelty manufacturers really are flavoring everything with bacon. Look, you can go on and enjoy your bacon, but it's become a tired punchline: Ha ha, I'm a lovable if politically incorrect slob, and I say everything's better with bacon! Next, please.
- Vegan jokes. These are related to those rallying cries of "Go bacon!" You may not agree with veganism, but using vegans as the butt of jokes is old, old, old - and not funny. Do I say this because I'm married to a vegan who is also a perfectly nice human being? Yeah. But aside from that, I'm just tired of this unimaginative frat boy "humor".
- Aviator glasses. Today, nearly everybody's sunglasses are in the once-dorky Aviator style. I don't have a huge problem with the shades, but the clear prescription lenses with Aviator frames - like the kind Napoleon Dynamite wore - are all the rage with today's hipsters. I guess it's what the kids call "irony" these days - Look, I'm wearing glasses and clothes and a hairstyle that I hate, and that make me look ugly and possibly even mentally retarded. Am I not awesome?
- Blaming the other political party for the country's ills. Whether we are liberal or conservative or somewhere in the middle, we can all agree that politicians are, generally speaking, not very trustworthy, and likely more beholden to special interest groups than to the American people. Lying, corruption and broken promises have always been rife in politics. It's time we all came to terms with this and stopped wasting our breath pretending that the economy is bad because of this one party or the other, and that everything would be great if only this one party or the other was running things. Which leads me to...
- Internet discussion boards. Message areas and comment threads are democratic and empowering in theory only. In reality, they are arenas for lonely, ignorant cranks to argue with each other and spread hate speech. They waste everybody's time. Most sites should outright remove them.