Why I don’t ‘trend’ by Barbara Nadel

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Oddly, or not, you’ll never see me ‘trending’ on Twitter. Those who enjoy such things would probably say that I’m in all likelihood too insignificant to ‘trend’. They, in all honestly, almost certainly have a point. Who the hell am I anyway and what the fuck do I want?

I don’t know any more than you do and I may care even less but then I think that’s all part of my charm. However I do know what I don’t want and that is things that are ‘on trend’. Not just things that are ‘trending’ now, but things that have trended in the past and will trend in the future even if they do include myself. Why? Because it’s all ephemeral, anxiety inducing bullshit.

Here’s an example, imagine for a moment you have a teenage daughter who is currently ‘in love’ with Harry Styles of the band ‘One Direction’. You’ve taken her to the excruciating concert (if you had any sense you would have disguised yourself as a chair), bought her the tee shirt, the calendar, some musicy thing for her iPod that I don’t understand and a Hello Kitty/Harry Styles handbag tie in wotsit. You’ve spent an absolute fortune on this shite in the vain hope that your daughter might just stay in love with Harry until next Tuesday. But, true to form, ten minutes later, she’d wanging on about some bloody lad from Portsmouth she’s just seen on U Tube who is apparently, the next big thing and who is, she says, really ‘cute’. Not that that bothers you at all. Cute or not you want to kill him because your daughter has just chucked out five hundred quids worth of junk you bought her so she could be ‘on trend’ with Harry Styles. See what I mean?

Of course this type of non trending behaviour does make people think, quite rightly, that I am a grumpy old git. Questions like, ‘Have you seen (latest trend on TV)?’ or ‘Have you read (latest on trend book)?’ or ‘Have you heard (latest music trend)?’ are met with a stony stare and, at best, a thunderous silence.

I think that some people believe I am being deliberately outre and ‘off message’ and think I’m a bit of a poser. But I’m not. In the past I’ve done the whole trending thing along with everyone else but what has happened time and time again is that I’ve become deeply disappointed. How many times have I been told that book X is brilliant only to find that it does about as much for me as a tepid shower in the winter? How often have I been assured that Y is ‘just marvellous’ only to find that she’s  shallow and bitchy and just ‘too good’ for the ‘zeros’ who love her? As soon as I hear that a new film is an ‘epic’ I just have to lay down because the thought of putting myself through what will no doubt be the biggest CGI fest since the last ‘epic’ is really too much for me to bear. I don’t know, maybe I’m some sort of ‘hype-proof’ semi evolved being from the planet ‘Luddite’. But whichever way you cut it, I just don’t give a shit.

So what’s trending here in the media in good old Blighty? Well there’s some stuff about some footballers I don’t know and can’t be arsed with. They get paid telephone numbers and so what relevance they have for the rest of us, I just don’t know. Should women grow their armpit hair? Yes, of course if they want to, if they don’t they can shave it off. Why the debate? Well apparently some people think that bodily hair is ‘disgusting’ while others find it endearing and reassuring and neither ‘side’ is prepared to back down on the issue. Getting lives would be a good move. Oh and then there is the royal baby. Not yet born, already the topic of endless column inches of mindless drivel. All I can say is I pity him or her and his or her parents. Imagine being born a trend? Then finally there is the politician Iain Duncan Smith’s famous benefits cap. This is a mechanism whereby the poor will get considerably poorer and will be ‘shamed’, if they are out of work, into work that may or may not exist. Now this I will read even though it makes me angry because this is the sort of ‘trend’ that needs to be stopped. This is the biggest piece of bullshit of all because if Mr Duncan Smith thinks that ‘shaming’ the poor into jobs that are little more than slave labour is big or clever then he’s got another thing coming. There’s been this myth put about for years that those claiming state benefits are actually the ones impoverishing the country and not the greedy bankers and the super rich at all. So let’s see, shall we? Now that the ‘scroungers’ can no longer ‘scrounge’ let’s see how much more money the government have to spend on education and the NHS. I suspect it will be almost nothing. But this trend I will watch and when I’m proved right, for once, I will crow about it.

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