I have. I know what’s going to be the cool thing to wear in four years.
Now this might sound strange, coming from a guy whose last entry heavilly involved the words “Doctor” and “Who,” but I feel like I’m a geek with a pretty strong grasp on trends, even if I don’t personally follow them. I’m dead serious about this, though. I know what all the cool kids will be wearing, and I know exactly why.
In 2009, you will see the return of Hypercolor t-shirts. Specifically, this Hypercolor shirt.
Okay. First of all, what’s Hypercolor? Glad you asked, young’un. Back in 1992 or so, Hypercolor was a crazy new kind of t-shirt fabric that changed color when it changed temperature. Everybody freaking had one. Everybody. Including me. That’s how much I mean “Everybody.” Even I, the Boy Who Did Not Bathe, who frequently wore a Star Trek shirt and a fanny pack, owned a Hypercolor t-shirt. This is how many of us first knew the caress of the opposite sex, because you could leave your handprint on someone’s back. Most of the time, though, you just grabbed hold of your sleeve in your mouth and exhaled, creating an oval-shaped ball of neon glory. There’s a poignant,, yet disturbing pun there, but I refuse to share it with you, as I was twelve at the time.
Now, then: the latest awful hipster fashion trends are, approximately, twenty years retro. They always are, ever since American Graffiti did the ’50s in the ’70s. The Beach Boys had a single in ’88. John Travolta had a hit movie in ’94. The Cure had one of the best tours of the summer of 2004 twenty years after The Head On The Door came out, and brought along their friends Muse and Interpol, two present-day Cure-ish bands. And, you know who went out on tour this year? The New Kids on the Goddamn Block, that’s who.
Hypercolor is definitely on its way back, something fierce. Also, brace yourself for the re-emergence of PM Dawn. Talk about being set adrift on memory bliss.
Ironically, sincerity is also coming back, in an ironic way. Sincerely. By which I mean… well, look. “Yes, We Can.” The only way Obama gets away with a slogan like that is if it inspires a wistful nostalgia for a time before cynicism. “Yes, We Can” is too simple, it’s too pat, it’s… cheesy, and yet…
And yet. It’s why bands like MGMT can get away with writing their songs on ancient synthesizers – it’s not “this is so bad, it’s good,” it’s “my initial reaction to this sound/phrase is to scoff, but I would much rather live in a world where I didn’t have to scoff. Therefore I have chosen to, ya know, go along with it.” It’s why wearing a t-shirt with Master Chief from Halo on it makes you a douche, while wearing a shirt with Ms. Pac Man on it makes you awesome*. In other words: being cool is so uncool.
So: Choose to Survive 2012 in bold block lettering might strike you as “Frankie Says Relax” all over again, but, really, people are going to f’ing mean it. More or less. According to the Mayan calendar, that’s when the world goes boom. According to certain fundamentalist wack-jobs, the coming of the anti-christ is nigh. According to Thomas Friedman’s latest book, we’re reaching the critical point in terms of pollution and overpopulation. He’s the one I tend to believe, because unlike the wack-jobs, he’s basing his theory on solid facts rather than things some dispensationalist preacher jotted down in the margins of his bible** , and unlike the Mayans, he’s not dead.
So, either you believe we’re screwed in 2012, or you think it’s funny that other people think we’re screwed in 2012. Either way, buy a Hypercolor t-shirt. It’ll not only let the world know how you feel, it’ll let the world know that you want to be felt.
*-It’s not just the retro charm here: my friend Nick has an awesome shirt with the little dude from the game Katamari Daimacy on it, where the caption reads “That’s how I roll.” It’s a terrible, terrible pun – the goal of Katamari is to roll big balls of things, essentially – and why would a grown man wear a shirt with a cutesy Japanese video game character on it? That’s why it’s awesome.
**-No, seriously. The Anti-Christ only pops up in the actual bible a couple of times, and Revelations is actually a thinly veiled account of what happened to Christians under Nero, and is not meant to be read as a book of prophecy. Some guy named Scofield back in 1917 published an annotated version of the Bible with all these notes that, through an amazing feat of obfuscation and World War I angst – made it look like the Anti-Christ was on his way and we’d better get ready. Some people believe these marginal scrawlings to be biblical fact, which is sort of like believing that George Washington crossed the Delaware with a ridiculous moustache and a giant penis drawn in blue pen, because that’s what was in your history textbook in 8th grade.