Spotting Cultural Trends

Nathanael Yellis By Nathanael Yellis • Last Updated May 18, 2021

It takes a strong eye and a little courage to write about cultural trends. But Katrina Onstad gets a few just write in this fun NY Times Magazine piece.

Here are some of the best ones: aggravating boho archetype: the dreamy, young hipster whose days are filled with coffee, curios and disposable enchantments... the Etsy-shopping, Wes Anderson-quoting, McSweeney’s-reading, coastal-living category of upscale urban bohemia that flourished in the aughts..

And this whole paragraph just nails it:

I understand this, at least in theory. The urban bohemian irks precisely because his or her quirky individuality is just part of a different kind of uniformity, where the uniform happens to be a bushy beard or Zooey Deschanel bangs rather than country-club khakis. Twee fascinations with childhood innocence can mask an unwillingness to tackle life’s darker quandaries. Who wouldn’t be annoyed by a guy who, say, finds a cracked milk bottle, makes a film about it, then silk screens it on a T-shirt and names his band Milk Bottle? The stakes are low. The results are soon forgotten.

I don't necessarily buy that the piece's character magically doesn't fall into all these traps. But the words about the traps are wonderfully spot on.

Off to grab some coffee and read the preface to a new worldview...

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