The other day I felt like a modern suburban American. I was wondering through the mall on a Sunday afternoon and the only thing I was missing was a cell phone. Pop culture puzzles me.
Retro is in. However it has to be simulated retro, not authentic. Every storefront was sporting the latest style from twenty years ago at today’s prices. Apparently going to Goodwill isn’t good enough.
And while I’m on the subject of malls, what’s up with Sam Goody? That store charges $16.99 for a CD on sale! Regular priced CDs were $18.99. What idiots are buying CDs there and keeping that place in business?
It’s also bothersome that you can’t buy plain clothing anymore. You have to become somebody’s walking billboard. And the worst part isn’t that you have to submit to having some corporation’s logo plastered across your chest, the worst part is that’s what determines how cool you are. Abercrombie? You’re cool. Bugle Boy? Umm… no.
Another thing that bothers me is magazines trying to make ends meet. Rather than try to improve their content to bring in ad revenue, they run several full-color pages of their target demographic wearing trendy wares, and then tell people where they can buy each item of clothing and for how much. Killer ad placement.
I’m also bothered by magazines for teenage girls that feature stick-thin models on the cover, and then have articles moaning about stick-thin models and warning of the dangers of anorexia. It’s magazine-orexia. Then there’s the magazine’s for guys, put out by the same companies, with nothing but pictures of rail-thin women and articles about how to score. It seems we’ve mastered the art of selling magazines and ruining a generation’s concept of self-worth–at the same time! What a deal.
And finally I love the attempt to be on the cutting edge. Every teen magazine and website has a little trendsetter’s club you can join and share the latest trends. It sounds like a totally fresh and out there idea until you realize the magazines are just culling you for information, taking your fringe, soon-to-be-cool trends and putting them on the front page so they can look hip and sell more magazines.
Is there anybody out there that actually cares about people?