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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

“Fads are just a fad, will go away eventually,” experts warn

People love fads, but not enough to keep them around, apparently

Our top reporter R.E. Porter is back from his summer cavation. No, not vacation, and not a staycation. A cavation. He spent the entire summer sitting in a cave, thinking. Despite repeated efforts to get R.E. Porter to report, he was reportedly suffering from Reporter’s Block, a condition in which reporters from the Fake News Media struggle to come up with good ideas that they can spin into entertaining and dramatically satisfying news “stories.”

Luckily, after drawing inspiration from the New York Times’ brilliant fictional investigation of President Trump’s taxes, R.E. Porter has emerged from his cave and put his imagination back to work, fabricating a fascinating news story about fads.

Even from within the social isolation of the coronavirus lockdowns, the latest fad has taken a bored and easily-distracted nation by storm (especially white people for some reason, but that’s a story of its own). But is The New Fad destined to suffer the fate of all fads and futile fixations that came before it, fizzling out into obscurity where it will be forgotten forever? Reporter R.E. Porter spoke with several fad experts to find out.

R.E. Porter: Hello, I’m here for a socially-distanced panel with fad experts Tim Prairie and F.M Earl, as well as several random millennials and zoomers who are obsessed with The New Fad. Anyway, I’d like to start with this question: how long will The New Fad last?

Tim Prairie: Well, despite a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few weeks, we anticipate that interest in The New Fad will soon drop dramatically. In fact, if The New Fad fails in as major of a way as our predictive models suggest, then it could spell big danger for all fads in the long run, which is quite concerning.

R.E. Porter: That’s certainly disappointing for people who are really enjoying this fad, but not unexpected given that it’s just a fad. Why is this something we should be worried about? Aren’t fads, by definition, temporary and ephemeral?

F.M. Earl: Yes, that is true. But we are observing two trends that make us increasingly alarmed that fads themselves are just a fad that will go away eventually and disappear forever.

Millennial 1: No! We don’t want fads to go away! We always love being “in” on all of the latest fads and trends!

Tim Prairie: You have to be careful not to confuse fads with trends. Trends rise slowly, have a large scope and reflect a need to fulfill a practical and/or emotional purpose; fads quickly surge and tank in popularity, have a narrow scope and typically fulfill no need for people other than the desire to be “in” on the fad. 

R.E. Porter: I see. So what are these two concerning fad trends you referred to?

F.M. Earl: Firstly, young people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter by the microsecond, which is making fads last for shorter and shorter periods of time. And secondly, fads are becoming stupider and stupider. This concerns us because in combination, these two trends could allow for a paradoxical situation in which increasingly stupid and short-lived fads come to permanently define more and more aspects of our culture. 

Tim Prairie: In other words, nothing new will stand out and garner widespread popularity for only the blink of an eye, because EVERYTHING will garner widespread enthusiasm and popularity for only the blink of an eye.

R.E. Porter: Wow. And I always thought that the seemingly endless cycle of new, exciting and novel fads and trends rocketing in popularity only to quickly disappear forever would never lose its novelty! Well now I’d like to bring the millennial and Gen Z perspective to this discussion of fads. To do that, we’re thrilled to be joined by Ensley, Paisleigh, Ridge, Raylee, Jurnee, Jaxxon, Oaklynn, Oaklyn, Kynlee, Kannon, Kashton, Kai, Kaylee, Kaleigh, Kayleigh, Kaylie, Kayly, Kayley, Kaily, Kaley, Kyng and Queeen. So, do y’all think that The New Fad will stick around, or do you see yourselves soon growing tired of it?

Ensley, Paisleigh, Ridge, Raylee, Jurnee, Jaxxon, Oaklynn, Oaklyn, Kynlee, Kannon, Kashton, Kai, Kaylee, Kaleigh, Kayleigh, Kaylie, Kayly, Kayley, Kaily, Kaley, Kyng and Queeen [in unison (?)]: NOT AT ALL! We totally LOVE The New Fad. There’s no way we’d ever get bored of this! Just like that last fad, that was so cool and fun, too! What was it called again? Oh yeah, The Old Fad! Wow we forgot all about that! It’s been like a month, that’s like SOOOO long! We could go back to that, but why bother when we have The New Fad now? It’s so hard to make sure we’re up to date with all the newest fads and trends LOL.

F.M. Earl: Again, there’s a difference between fads and trends. For example, there was once a fad in which stunningly white parents gave their children extremely bad names, but instead of dying out like fads are supposed to, we began to experience rapid “fad waves” as a trend in which the names have to become progressively stupider in order to actually stand out due to the fact that higher levels of stupidity are constantly being normalized. 

Tim Prairie: Exactly. Stupid short-term and short-lived fads, like abhorrent white baby names, are becoming long-term trends, making the concept of a fad lose all meaning. And this is happening with everything in our culture, at this very moment.

Ensley, Paisleigh, Ridge, Raylee, Jurnee, Jaxxon, Oaklynn, Oaklyn, Kynlee, Kannon, Kashton, Kai, Kaylee, Kaleigh, Kayleigh, Kaylie, Kayly, Kayley, Kaily, Kaley, Kyng and Queeen [together, as a chorus (???)]: No, this is all so wrong! Names like ours aren’t just a fad! Our parents gave us all such CUTE and UNIQUE names that are so TRENDY and POPULAR right now! Everyone’s doing it!

Tim Prairie: Yeah that’s kinda the problem…..

F.M. Earl: Wow. Y’all are so white you’d re-blind a blind man….

God: Funny how “cute,” “unique,” “trendy” and “popular” don’t always have positive connotations, isn’t it?

Written by: Benjamin Porter— bbporter@ucdavis.edu


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