Unsolicited Advice for Living in the End Times, Vol. 22

The little things we love will be ever so important as our days dwindle away

Let me say right up front, black is the new black, and if I had my way, it would always be.

We live in a time that seems too aware of trending, and as a result we can easily become a victim of any societal shift coming around the corner. While I’m a big fan of ­remote-control television, I would have to say that most trends are not to be trusted.

We’re hungry for whatever flavor of the month is being served, and it’s so easy to swallow the wrong thing.

Politicians are especially vulnerable, as they are already poll-trained to jump on any bandwagon they can find a seat on. Recently, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez declared that after reading Vladimir Putin’s op-ed piece about Syria in the New York Times, he “almost wanted to vomit.” This proclivity to announce intentions to upchuck then crossed the aisle, when New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie, upon hearing of the boardwalk burning down in Seaside Heights after recently being rebuilt, said, “I feel like I want to throw up, and that’s me.”

But it’s not just him: This fad has also entered the more cultured parts of our society. On a popular social networking site, an esteemed member of our intelligentsia remarked that after seeing the finale of Breaking Bad, “he was disgusted and might puke a little”—­certainly a more thoughtful and tempered entry into this new communication style, but this doesn’t bode well for a clear-headed end of times. I, for one, do not want a nausea-driven meme driving me through my life.

The little things we love will be ever so important as our days dwindle away. For me, radio is a necessary part of my life, and I like my radio public. I prefer my airwaves commercial free and not traveling in every new direction that groupthink takes us. Unfortunately, WNYC, my local station seems far too eager to follow. They have altered their programming, banishing less au courant shows while replaying Jian Ghomeshi interviewing Jad Abumrad about their mutual love for local host Soterios Johnson over and over again. Then we are invited to follow them on Twitter and visit them online to watch videos. It seems that attempting to follow the latest trends has ultimately led radio to become television.

We must be vigilant. It’s a short road from selfies to selfabusies, and if our donuts can so easily become cronuts, then it won’t be long before we’re all eating blue-crystal-meth-frosted snacks. It’s easy for the new to be groovy, but it’s always more rewarding to do your own thing, I think Sly and the Family Stone said it best: “Thank you (falettinme be mice elf agin).”

If what they say is true, that everything old is new again, then it stands to reason that many of these fresh ideas will get stale. We don’t want new directions if they take us to the wrong destination.

If you think I make too much of a fuss about the danger of these trends, I have one word for you: dirndl. The dirndl dress is now the fastest growing fashion craze in Munich. You know what they say: “Today the Rhineland, tomorrow the world.” If we allow trends to go unchecked, it won’t be long before a bevy of Bavarian-clad beauties are goose-stepping down the runways of the world. Dirndls are a gateway. Before long, blackshirts are the new black.