These Are the Cultural Trends That Need to Die Before the End of the Year


Today at Flavorwire, we’re celebrating the best things we’ve seen, heard, and read this year. Not to rain on that 4th of July parade or anything, but it’s not like 2013 hasn’t also included some utterly terrible moments in the cultural realm. With that in mind, here are a few trends from the worlds of music, film, TV, literature, and beyond that Flavorwire staffers desperately hope will die before the year is out.

Movies about teen girls gone criminal

Spring Breakers bored me, and that was possibly the most offensive thing about it: it tried too hard to get a reaction and failed, at least with me. The Bling Ring, while entertaining, still felt pretty slight when telling a story about its characters and why they did what they did. Both seemed to take a documentary approach to the notion that young women are sometimes cruel, sociopathic, and wild (an idea that is hardly breaking cinematic ground — take a look at the early-’80s drama Foxes). Rather than examining a phenomenon, the films (and more so Spring Breakers, to be sure) made the phenomenon more titillating than compelling. — Tyler Coates, Deputy Editor

Book lists for men

I find myself wincing whenever I see another “X Books Every Man Should Read” posts. I just don’t really get the point of them. They could at least be more varied instead of having one or two women writers on there. — Jason Diamond, Literary Editor

Social media icons as activism

I know everyone who changed their Twitter or Facebook icon to a pink equals sign on a red background (or some variation on that theme) had only the best of intentions. They wanted, in a very public way, to show their support for same-sex marriage as the Supreme Court heard the DOMA and Prop 8 cases. These are things I support, too, but I think it’s dangerous to believe that substituting one JPEG for another constitutes activism, or made any real difference in how those cases were decided. Working for change requires actual, you know, work, and that’s something we shouldn’t forget. — Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief

Handheld camerawork in 3D movies

Look, I’ve given up on turning Hollywood around on 3D; it seems, particularly in these summer months, that pretty much any major film with tentpole wet dreams will be released in stereoscopic format, whether it calls for it or not (and it so seldom does). But as long as they’re going to insist on that, I have one tiny request: tripods. Yes, hack filmmakers, I know you rely on handheld camerawork to give your bloated would-be blockbuster the leanness and immediacy that you can’t otherwise create with narrative efficiency or well crafted dialogue. But when you shake the bejesus out of your camera and then slap that image on an IMAX screen and push it through 3D glasses into my peepers, you speed up my inevitable 3D Headache (TM) by a factor of ten. So stop it. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor

Great TV shows getting canceled

Aren’t we supposed to be in some kind of television golden age? The past six months alone have seen the cancellation of gems including Happy Endings, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, Enlightened, and Ben and Kate, just to name a few, and NBC’s rejection of the John Mulaney pilot didn’t make me feel any better. Thanks to the Internet and other streaming devices, the way we watch TV has been evolving for years now. Hopefully, TV executives will catch up with the rest of us in the last half of 2013. — Sarah Fonder, Editorial Apprentice