I saw the phrase “Hating on popular things doesn’t make you an interesting person” recently in a meme. Deep are the things that inspire me, I know. Stay with me. I’ve been mulling over this concept for quite few years now. Since 2011 actually, when Gotye won the Triple J Hottest 100, after his song Somebody That I Used To Know had been played incessantly on commercial radio.
The cool indie music lovers gave a very mixed reaction on Facebook at the time. It had won “their” music accolade, one reserved for “worthy” music, but it was also loved by the great unwashed masses over there who like pop music… What to do?! What to do?!
As an aside, remember when people used to try out their comedy writing skills in the form of sharp witty Facebook statuses? I digress, but they were the best of times.
Checking in recently with the Superior Music Crowd*, they eventually decided that this meant that the Hottest 100 countdown has been taken over by the mainstream, and is no longer an accurate measure of good music. Sigh. I thought I’d caught up but they just keep moving the line.
We live in a culture of new. Be ahead of the curve! Be a trend setter! You’re a lion! Fearless! You do you, baby! Just make sure while you’re doing you that you don’t listen to commercial radio, or shop at Cotton On, or eat microwaveable macaroni and cheese, or go to the cafes everyone lines up for, or watch reality TV because then you’re just being a follower.
The general infatuation of my peers trying so hard to be authentic and differentiate yourself from the masses are demonstrated in various ways in all pockets of my existence. I am not excluded from this, by any means. I’ve probably had the sarcastic thought of, “Oh how original…” multiple times today. Bitchiness: not a good quality, but one that I have. Working on that…
You have to go to the newest bars and restaurants, the ones that haven’t been “ruined” by being listed on Broadsheet or Urban List.
Everyone knows someone they’ve had this exchange with:
“Let’s go to this bar! It’s been all over my social media! It looks like everyone goes there!”
“Everyone goes there” is the opposite of what you want now! Then if we go, it’ll be busy!”
“But doesn’t that mean it’s got good food and music and stuff… if everyone wants to go there?”
“ENOUGH QUESTIONS! THEY ARE NOT OUR PEOPLE!”
The fashion economy demonstrates this need for originality really overtly, and holy moly we are completely on board.
Don’t wait until autumn to buy the autumn range! The autumn ranges have all been in stores since the end of January. Don’t just buy the new season range, buy the new season range from the shops that are doing the newest coolest things. Remember when Sportsgirl was life, and Portman’s was the go-to for work wear every time!
They just don’t cut it now, if I want to be edgy and #fashiongoals. So, in an effort to be slightly trendier, I buy heaps of stuff from Decjuba and even as I write that I question if Decjuba is fresh enough for this example… It’s been around for ages. Should I swap in Life with Bird or Camilla & Marcs, because they’re really where it’s at right now? Or at least they were six months ago… What’s hot now? I don’t know! I need to go shopping immediately.
Oh marketing, you got us good. Why is “Update your winter wardrobe” a thing? Why isn’t “Have enough clothes to keep your body warm in winter” a thing?
The obvious universal answer to this that approximately no one needs pointed is so we spend more money on clothes.
This is HUGELY ironic, because this whole culture of defying the commercial mainstream is incredibly lucrative for clothing manufacturers, record labels, big hospitality franchises who can now literally feed the demand for the something new and outside the mainstream every 10 minutes.
Loving something that has been considered popular for a long time, like Chin Chin, or Jeans West, or Nespresso coffees sets you up to be on the receiving end of a description millennials cringe at the thought of.
She’s just so boring.
Do you know what’s really boring? A conversation with someone who rolls their eyes at your interests or dismisses your taste in food/art/music/fashion as being somehow inferior because lots of other people like it too.
I’ve heard whispers that if you live in Brunswick and are caught listening to Nova FM, they actually revoke your hipsterville citizenship, and you are then forced to aimlessly wander the suburbs of Melbourne, until you can afford to seek asylum in South Yarra with the rest of your people.
Do you know what else is boring? People who get together and moan about how they walked past Tall Timber on a Saturday morning and the line was around the corner! “Who are these peasants lining up for breakfast?!” They demand to know!
A confession i’ll share with you, which I will deny if questioned about it for fear of looking too mainstream, I’d fucking love to line up for breakfast at Kettle Black if I got to eat the food I see on their Instagram. It looks bloody delicious!!!
The encouragement we all got from our parents to be leader, not a follower has morphed into, ironically, just the newest and edgiest version of conformity. And also, a stick with which to beat people who defy this new mandate to conform to strident individualism. It’s mainstream inception. Can I please just like Pepperjack Shiraz and chicken kiev without the cool people calling me an unoriginal sheep?
LET’S ALL AGREE THAT BEING A SHEEP IS BAD! LET’S ALL THINK THE SAME THING ABOUT THIS! Wait…
Sheep equals bad, which is weird because they’re pretty delicious and also very useful for warm socks. There are worse things you could be.
The succinct point I’d like to draw from the above rambling, is this; Instagram-famous pets are a super bizarre phenomenon, but also what I spend approximately all of my time looking at.
Sorry, my ACTUAL POINT is that the very large group of people who are resisting what used to be popular aren’t particularly cutting edge, they’re just determining a new mainstream. They will tell anyone and everyone about their superior taste and better lifestyle choices, until the precise moment too many people agree with them.
However, between you and I, can we please not tell them that, because I’ve only just purchased a kimono style jacket, and I’d really like for it to be considered cool for at least a week before the cool kids determine that now everyone thinks it’s cool, it is, in fact, no longer cool.
*This is a lie. I did no such research, and am casting aspersions on my friends who mock me for loving Taylor Swift. I’m articulating a vibe, ok. Just go with it.
Lots of love,