In a time
where so many of us have had contact with the term 'postmodernism'
and swallowed the whole pack at the first lecture, how can we
keep on writing with a hope for being 'read'? What will my 'reading'
unfold since there is no news under the sun? Perhaps my writing
only demonstrates a consciousness misled. It demonstrates a motion
zapping megatrend. A trend within the trend.
the last couple of months I have been taking the word 'trend'
into my mouth quite often. I used to think 'trend' was something
intellectuals used to disregard a culture's 'here and now.' But
we've come a long way, baby. What happens here and now is only
a little *spark in the darkness.
I can see:
Fashion is trendy. Music is trendy. Culture is trendy. Dealing
with trends. Producing trends. Consuming trends. Marketing trends.
Living trends. Dying trends.
Are my words
trendy? Well, words themselves must be one of the longest trends
we've ever had, shared across religious, cultural and time borders.
Compared to other trends words just didn't pop up and go underground
again. No, they arose from the fun of scratching a system of signs
into the walls of the pyramid: Prince of Egypt was here.
When did modern
man realize he was surrounded by millions of trends? Imagine Fast
Eagle the Indian around the fireplace in the late 1850s, looking
at his bow and arrow, thinking, "Oh, I'm not trendy anymore."
What trends did the Mayflower discover? Smoking tea. Hanging from
a pillar with sharp iron pieces through the nipples. The smoking
signals. The bomb over Nagasaki was a short-termed trend. The
wealth of Coca Cola: a long trendy habit.
Like a train,
people jump on and off. Trends.
a Web site and it becomes trendy. One thousand hits in a week.
You've hit the trendy nerve. The next week people choose a different
station, and you are left alone in the gold wagon. You compose
a rock ballad. The song goes number one world wide. You are famous.
You become trendy. All the magazines and camera lenses come to
suck your blood. The next album flops. It's not your fault; the
record company chose the wrong kind of trendy title. You write
a book; it's not your fault the critics don't like your style
of writing. "This is not how it was supposed to be written," they
claim. The masses agree: "How un-trendy!"
their lives to trends. Companies survive on trends. Some 1970s
style of drinking becomes fashionable again. The Campari stocks
suddenly explode. Their workers feel satisfied. Once again they
produce a product which is felt needed.
York if iron never had gone trendy. Imagine: Germany if the nazi
mentality never had gone trendy. Imagine: Denmark if farming never
had gone trendy.
Then we would
still be gathering around the shore.
A train of
trends. What a metaphor. In 1960s metaphors in poetry was not
trendy. There is a trend in the Arts as there is in the writing
about it. The trend is not to show any kind of reference to other
trends. The writer strives to produce his own trend. His trademark.
Showing off his birth mark. His text becomes a land mark. Touchdown.
The critics say, "This is how all Modern writing should be." The
masses disagree: "It's just like watching TV."
be dated. Like history. Now history and trends go hand in hand.
Man is desperately trying to stand on stable ground, ground which
is not falling apart or disrupted because of a trend.
to the underground. To look away from where the world is heading.
You! Avoid all trends which give guidelines to ways of living
or thinking. Flush all your trendy items down the trendy toilet.
Then what have you got left? Kitsch? A camp home. Your friends
will laugh. You'll become a living organism locked in the bad
taste room. Austrian Folk Music will burst your speakers. The
chicken and banana pie will burn in the oven.
To copy has
become trendy. The critics' trend is to narrow down the origins
of the "original." The masses love it. "It's funny," they say.
Happily living in a joke culture, in the acknowledgment of the
fact that Irony has been trendy for decades. After Germany 1945
the most trendy thing to say was, "Don't take me seriously and
if you do it's your fault."
out all knowable trends in your life. Except this quote: "Descartes
must have been aware of the danger of nihilism which lay in his
'cogito.' In his Meditations he attempts to demonstrate
the presence of God in human experience in order to give this
experience value. Modern science and the state of civilization
in the first half of the twentieth century have destroyed the
basis of such a demonstration. But the abyss that opened before
Descartes is the same abyss that opens before us today. Man is
becoming more and more conscious of his isolation. His sense of
loneliness and of meaninglessness is becoming unendurable. For
if the world exists because I perceive it, who can prove that
any reality, any Ding an sich, underlies it?"
You look puzzled.
Well, it's copied from Hans Richter's book Dada - art
and anti-art, published in 1964. A recommendable
trendy reading. "Much more interesting than this," the critics
say. The masses zap away.
And no one
© 2000 Jacob Ørsted Nielsen All Rights Reserved
Jacob is a
28 year-old man from Denmark. A used-to-be trend lover. Now trying
to avoid them, but then finds it difficult to pick up conversations
with fellow man and now fellow man avoids him ! Arggghh, it's
so complicated . . .
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