With the end of the Mayan calendar, will 2012 be the end of trends? The uncooling of cool? Or a glittery new beginning? Join me, Marsian as I look back on 2011 to extrapolate on what will be big in 2012.
Civil disobedience took a shiny new twist during the second half of 2011, with a sprinkling of glitter bombings that bedazzled a stunned nation in its wake of sparkles. Thanks to glitter pranksters, or “the Glitterati”, as they like to be called, the “Glitter Bomb” hit the mainstream media and glimmered its way into an all but lackluster cultural lexicon.
What is in store in 2012 for glitter? Expect a glitter-related lawsuits, a glitter fatality, or perhaps a nasty strain of flesh eating glitter. In 2012 terrorists may get their hands on Dirty Glitter (radioactive glitter made from uranium shavings).
Plan ahead for long lines at Arts and Craft Stores which may be on lock down intermittently. Trans people in possession of glitter might want to take extra precautions at Dan Savage speaking engagements as they may be detained or arrested with suspicion of intent to throw. Look out for promotional offers for some off-label uses of glitter, such as Glintabrasion (glitter-microderm abrasion) especially around the holiday season.
Mic Checks and Balances
If 2011 wasn’t the year of glitter bombs, it certainty was the year of Mic Checks. The 99-percenters kept everyone occupied from Michelle Bachmann to President Obama who were interrupted by mic checks during campaign speeches. But in 2012, the heckling won’t stop there.As the political becomes personal, expect to see a Mic Check employed at a high-profile awards ceremony like the Oscars or the MTV Music Video Awards, or even somewhere more suburban and mundane like a PTA Meeting or ballet recital as the Mic Check gets stale and goes into a downward spiral of trend-sprawl.
Astroglinting and Mic-Turfing
Keep a close eye on corporations this year who will see the attention-getting successes of Mic-Checks and Glitter Bombs. They will attempt to co-opt these popular memes for their own profit-driven motives.
Low-polling politicians, D-list celebrities, and aging pop stars will be the first to get in on the act by hiring insiders to throw glitter at them (Astroglinting) or intentionally interrupt them at speaking events (Mic-Turfing) in hopes of obtaining more TV air time, to elicit public sympathy, or to create a spike in the polls.
We have already seen a global phenomena of corporate sponsored flash mobs such as unexpected performances of Mary Poppins songs in European train stations and live re-enactments of the music video Thriller in Thai prisons. Astroglinting and Mic-Turfing are a natural progression of the meta-trend of the corporations co-opting the grass roots.
Whether they are instigated by hacktivists trying to prove a point, leaked from understaffed news rooms waiting for an aging star to die, or waged by blood thirsty PR agents trying to revive a fallen star’s career by manipulating public opinion, Fauxbituaries (fictional obituaries) are the new living dead.
In the past we have reported on RIPsters (users of social media who compulsively need to be the first in their circle to report on a the death of a public figure, or celebrity (deleb). In 2011, internet rumors circulated that musician, John Bon Jovi has passed went viral, as did videos made by wishful RIPsters about the imminent death of actress Alissa Milano.
In December, ABC and Gawker reported that a Pennsylvania man sent an obituary of his mom to the local newspaper so that he could get time off from work. The man was fired from his job and charged with disorderly conduct after the mother walked into the newspaper office to refute her own SlashRIP (combination of slash fiction and rest in peace). Tumbler even has an entire blog devoted to fake obituaries of people who never existed called, Fake Obituaries.
As the ecology of the mind erodes and mental illness reaches pandemic levels in the Western world, coupled with economic downturn and the housing crisis, 2012 will usher in an era of Extreme Emotions (just as Extreme Weather has plagued the frail ecosystem of a planet in decline).
We have already seen extreme public displays of emotion in 2011 with video footage of North Koreans weeping hysterically shortly after the death of Kim Jong Il and whimsical videos of Laughtivists cracking up entire subway trains. Another micro-trend, The Confessional Index became a YouTube sensation when young people and the terminally ill made sad videos conveyed with cue cards and sappy music, most notably popularized by bullied teen Jonah Mowrey in his video Whats Going On? This video spawned a nasty backlash, as well as a slew of copy cat and response videos, (including some hopeful ones).
In 2012 expect to advertising agencies to appropriate Emotional Cue Cards in order to sell big ticket items like a cars, while manipulating the consumers longings for spiritual connection and inner peace.
Privacy Settings A FoWL
In 2011, Wired reported that Occupiers were building a Facebook to save the 99 percent. Meanwhile, Julian Assange’s FoWL (Friends of WikiLeaks) got of to a rocky start despite its cute mascot which appeared to be a cross between the Twitter bird and the NBC peacock.
What exactly will privacy settings be on these new social networks? What will be the fate of online privacy in 2012 after Facebook rolls out its new Timeline which records life events, like overcoming an illness, changing an eating habit, or quitting smoking? Will Sociopathic Healthcare Companies get social and aggregate this information from the users’ profiles in an attempt to deny them services? Will they finance their own Social Aps so users can rat themselves out unknowingly for pre-existing conditions?
With a plethora of of social media options in 2012, which social media giant will rise and who will fall? Who will get bought out by whom? And what social media site will be left to the wayside?
From Trans Kids to Princess boys to little girls debating gender theory in toy stores – the gender apocalypse is here to stay and getting younger each and every day! Look out for more mainstream documentaries on Trans Kids and non-gender conforming children, like ABC’s
Transgender Kids Pioneer Early Changes to Identity, Body.
In 2011, Cheryl Kilodavis, author of the groundbreaking children’s’ book, My Princess Boy, and her gender-non-conforming son Dicen, made the rounds on a number of talk shows. There is now more of an audience for books and content by and for gender-non conforming children. The My Princess Boy page now boasts over 12k followers and proud parents frequently post pictures of their princess boys.
Also expect to see more Celebrities, public figures, or reality stars who make the decision to transition publicly like translebrities, Chaz Bono and Alexis Arquette. 2012 will bring more public awareness to trans children of public figures like Stephen Beatty, Warren Beatty’s transgendered son. Expect more of an outcry on Transogyny and more calling into question the media’s portrayal of transgendered experiences.