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I love music, books, movies, blah, blah, blah! I love people, learning new things, and always progressing to be a better person.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Just RUBBER BANDS!!!!

Trends are a strange thing.
We all follow them (even if you think you haven't, you have), we all notice them, and we even come to despise them.

At my current age I am not naive enough to believe that trends won't surpass my understanding. But that doesn't keep the understanding of their popularity out of my reach.

For example:

Wacky Rubber Bands

These are a cultural phenomenon. They cost anywhere between $1.00 a package to $1,250 on ebay.

What are Wacky Bandz (or the more popular Sillybandz), exactly?
They are just regular rubber bands in the shapes of animals...seriously.

In typical fashion they are FLYING OFF THE SHELVES! We have had kids and
teenagers come into my work who literally have been dragged out of the store screaming and crying because their parents didn't buy them a rubber band in the shape of a Plesiosaur.
But the more I scratch my head as to why these animal-shaped pieces of rubber were so popular, the more I realize my generation had dozens of trends that were just as stupid.

Here are some of them:

Stupid Trends From My Generation:

1. Slap Bracelets

Slap bracelets were huge when I was in elementary school. It's basically a piece of flexible tin wrapped in fabric but that didn't stop every kid from wearing them when I was in elementary. It also didn't stop children from removing the fabric and weaponizing the bracelets like a prison shiv. Not to mention the whole idea was to take that piece of tin and slap it as hard as you can on your wrist.

2. Pogs

The idea behind Pogs (other than being circular pieces of cardboard with pictures on them) was that you would stack up your Pogs upside down against an equal amount of your opponent's Pogs, and then use a heavy "slammer" to knock over as many Pogs as possible. Any Pogs that turned over face up now belonged to you. These bad boys were banned from my school because it was "gambling." They even created a student-run Big Brother organization to rat out the children who were playing with Pogs. They were called, and I'm not joking here, "Red Shirts" because they would wear red t-shirts. We got around the Pog Prohibition by staging fights on the other end of the school yard so that while the adults and newly appointed "Pog Gestapo" were busy breaking up the quarrel, we would play pogs. That's right, I was the Al Capone of Pog bootlegging.

3. Pokemon

I never really got into this one, but my little brother Glen did. He had all the cards and Nintendo Gameboy games, and watched the T.V. show after school. You have to hand it to Japanese marketers though: the idea was brilliant. Have all facets of industry devised around a system whose slogan is "Gotta catch'em all!" Like adult neuroses, it creates a basis that one's self-esteem is reliant on how many fictional monsters it can collect. Either way, it was really stupid.

P.S. - To anyone who read this section and said, "But Neil, those are Yu-Gi0-Oh cards in that picture; not Pokemon!" You should be ashamed of yourself.

4. Reebok Pumps & Air Jordans

Remember Michale Jordan (at least before he grew a Hitler mustache)? Remember shoes that you pumped up so they would cut off circulation to your feet? Well, they were all the rage in the '90s. I remember getting a pair of Reebok Pumps when I was a kid in the actual belief that they would make me jump higher...yes, I was a sucker for marketing when I was seven.

5. Boy Bands

Remember when the only music coming out was manufactured bands filled with sexually ambiguous boys who looked like sexually ambiguous girls with auto-tuned vocals to songs they didn't write? You do? Then stick an ice pick into your eye.

6. TY Beanie Babies

One day my newly married step-brother will have to explain to his wife why he has a storage closet stuffed to the rafters with TY Beanie Babies. My step-mom, step-sister, and step-brother collected these like they were rarities akin to the Shroud of Turin or the Mona Lisa.

People at school would claim that in several years their Beanie Baby would be worth "tons of money." Not sure if the Beanie Babies have become as popular as the lost Charlie Chaplin film but I'm not holding my breath.

As you can see, no matter how stupid some current trends are, we have to admit that ours were just as stupid.

Maybe worse...


Miranda said...

Dude. Pokemon was awesome. Still is.

Ashley Rose said...

You forgot Giga Pets....

There is a lady at the Halawa market (a glorified swap meet/flea market here on O'ahu...even the tour busses make a stop there...) who still sells pogs. She has BASKET LOADS of them. I laughed until I cried when I saw them. Memories...I remembered how much I loved the pog phenomenon. And how many pogs I had. And slammers. I had a slammer with a hologram of OJ Simpson on it that made it look like he was inside it...think about that one for a sec....hahaha--my mom thought it was hilarious. Anyway, remembering all of that made me realize how lame it was and, consequently, how lame I was for collecting them....ah, the good ol' days...

General Mills said...

That took me down memory lane just reading that. I had a few pogs and I will admit of having a slap bracelet or two. I remember getting Pumps and thinking I was so cool. I actually pumped them up before we played kickball to give me that extra juice for my kicks. Never did that other crap like Pokemon or Beanie Babies.

I did collect baseball, basketball, & football cards. I hate to admit this, but I actually bought a few Magic cards until I played it once and then realized how gay it was and sold them to my friend.