Opinion: Trend bender 

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The world of that which is hip, cool, in-style or otherwise fashionable is slowly slipping from the realm of my comprehension. Maybe it is simply because I am the father of two teenage sons. Maybe it is because I spend a lot more time these days reading balance sheets than GQ. Maybe it is just because the calendar is catching up with me. Regardless of the genesis, my expectation of what might be a particularly stylish, edgy or alternative is woefully overrated. While my kids and their friends are kind enough, politely pointing out the error in my understanding of current pop culture, I know that these matters are no longer in my dominion. And maybe they shouldn’t be.

A well-meaning jokester sent around by Twitter a witticism-of-the-day. We used to do this via facsimile sending blurry images but now it is via a link to a YouTube video. This was of a young man in a car being all-too-excited by a song on the radio. I laughed at what I thought was the point of the humor – the youngster had not shown restraint in hearing the popular music – but I was way off target. The joke, it seems, was that this kid was enjoying the radio instead of playing what was abundantly obviously his favorite song on his phone or iPod or whatever device. How barbaric is it to wait for a disc jockey to spin the album?

What else do I imagine as classic which others see as hopefully out of style? Hotels used to emulate ancient Tuscan villas. Now they all claim to be modern spas. Is any of it real? Does it matter? Even as trends bend and styles wane, one is reminded that cool is an imagined construct. Doesn’t knowing this secret ensure our hipness?


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