ust as some ‚?? ahem ‚?? older folks are learning what the heck ‚??Gangnam Style‚?Ě is, it‚??s fading out of favor.
Sooo 2012, the kids might say.
Not to worry; plenty of other pop-culture trends are always there to quickly replace or overlap the here today and gone tomorrow.
For those who have successfully avoided hearing any mention of ‚??Gangnam Style,‚?Ě know this: All it is is a pop song by a South Korean musician called PSY that was released last July. But on Dec. 21, the ‚??Gangnam Style‚?Ě YouTube video, along with its singer‚??s accompanying dance, with its bouncy pretend horse-riding and lassoing and occasional pelvic-gyrating moves, became the first online video to record a billion hits on the Internet.
The phrase ‚??Gangnam Style‚?Ě refers to the upscale lifestyle associated with the affluent Gangnam District of Seoul, according to urbandictionary.com.
But the song, video and dance are now going the way of the BlackBerry phone, some locals say. It‚??s a whole new year, after all, and we have to make room for the next big thing.
‚?? ‚??Gangnam Style‚?? is probably kind of teetering on the precipice of fading out,‚?Ě said Patrick Hamilton, an associate professor of English at Misericordia University in Dallas Township, who teaches a pop-culture class on comic books. ‚??I think it‚??s sort of reached its moment.‚?Ě
‚??It was big for a while because it was a pop song,‚?Ě said Hayley Greenwood, 19, of Kent Island, Md., and a student at King‚??s College in Wilkes-Barre.
But she sees it fading away, much like the BlackBerry, primarily known, early on, for the ability to send and receive emails and instant messages.
Hamilton said the beginning of the end of ‚??Gangnam Style‚?Ě might have come when PSY and M.C. Hammer performed the song at Times Square on New Year‚??s Eve.
‚??Now that ‚??Gangnam Style‚?? is fading, we‚??re kind of waiting for the next thing, whatever that may be,‚?Ě Hamilton said. ‚??It‚??s possible with recent allegations of marijuana use by Justin Bieber, we‚??ll be starting to see his popularity fade.‚?Ě
So what or whom can we expect to take center stage in 2013? Read on.
Hamilton, who with Allan Austin of Misericordia‚??s history department team-taught an upper-level course on race in comic books from World War II, said one trend that has recently gained even more popularity is the zombie craze. And art is imitating the lifeless.
‚??An example of that is the ‚??Walking Dead‚?? television show that seems to have gathered a television audience,‚?Ě Hamilton said.
He said the show was an example of the culture‚??s response to a popular anxiety, in particular, anxiety about bioterrorism. Similarly, the show ‚??Revolution‚?Ě takes place in a post-apocalyptic world after the power goes out and government and social order break down.
‚??The prevalence of superhero movies that we‚??ve seen in the past 10 years or so is a response to 9/11,‚?Ě Hamilton added.
For example, he said, in the first ‚??Spiderman‚?Ě movie, New Yorkers come together to help Spiderman by throwing stuff at the evil Green Goblin. As Spiderman is on a rooftop, a giant American flag flies behind him. In the new Spiderman movie, construction workers angle equipment on which Spiderman can hang his web.
‚??Superhero movies have really tapped into the anxiety of post 9/11,‚?Ě Hamilton said. ‚??In the new ‚??Iron Man 3‚?? coming out, it appears they‚??re trying to adapt the Mandarin character. The trailer has him saying, ‚??People think I‚??m a terrorist, but I‚??m not.‚?? ‚?Ě
The television show ‚??Person of Interest‚?Ě is very much about how surveillance plays to anxiety, Hamilton said.
But popular culture has always responded to the way we live, he said. For example, ‚??The Brady Bunch,‚?Ě which ran on television from 1969 to 1974, was a reflection of the growing number of mixed families.
Hamilton said one new trend he sees is television story lines based on fairy-tale characters, such as in the shows ‚??Once Upon a Time‚?Ě and ‚??Grimm.‚?Ě
‚??I‚??m not sure what to make of it yet,‚?Ě he said. ‚??It could be about escape fantasy.‚?Ě
Now back to that fading BlackBerry. It‚??s not the only change in the tech world, which is constantly opening up new discoveries. Facebook has grown in popularity in the past several years, but some believe its popularity is waning. Will Twitter or Tumblr take over? Time will tell.
‚??Facebook is not as popular with the mainstream,‚?Ě said Michael Brenneman, 18, a Wilkes University freshman from the State College area.
‚??I don‚??t even talk to anyone anymore (on Facebook),‚?Ě said Sierra Wheland, 19, also a Wilkes freshman from the State College area who was with Brenneman in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
She just uses Facebook to contact family members.
Leslie Maiorana of Pittston would disagree. The 39-year-old customer-service coordinator for Kraft Foods in Hanover Township has been on Facebook for about four years and sees more joining, especially younger teens.
‚??It took me a little longer than most to transition from Myspace,‚?Ě Maiorana noted, adding the Myspace social network site is seeing a lot less activity.
‚??A lot of accounts are either deactivated or they‚??re just sitting there,‚?Ě she said. ‚??I see more people joining Facebook, people 12 and 13 (years old). My dad has an account; he‚??s 65. He said he doesn‚??t go on too often.‚?Ě
At Utopia smoke shop in Wilkes-Barre, a 27-year-old female employee, who didn‚??t want her name used, said new technology has changed the way people listen to music online.
‚??What you listen to is posted to your phone,‚?Ě she said.
The digital music service Spotify is a prime example.
Then there is the growing interest in Pinterest, a social bookmarking website on which users can collect and share details and photos in areas such as recipes, furniture, fabric patterns, wedding plans and fashions. It is one of the fastest-growing social networks online and the third-largest such network, with Facebook and Twitter first and second, according to mashable.com, a news and information website for online users.
As far as trends in fashion go, Greenwood, the King‚??s student, said big jackets, tights and high boots are popular now.
‚??Knee boots ‚?? I saw a lot on campus,‚?Ě she said.
Wheland said yoga pants ‚?? those tight pants that are flared at the bottom ‚?? are still big.
Another woman who said she was a Wilkes student said boots in general are big and ‚??flannel‚??s coming back.‚?Ě
The Utopia employee sees older fashions coming back.
‚??I see people recycling a lot of fashions,‚?Ě she said. ‚??Kids dress like they‚??re from the ‚??60s.‚?Ě
Stan Nowak, 64, owner of Tilbury‚??s Knob in Wilkes-Barre, doesn‚??t see much change in the demand for Native American jewelry and collectibles and clothing he sells.
‚??I‚??ve been selling the same things for 10 years,‚?Ě Nowak said. ‚??The fashions might change in the moccasins.‚?Ě
One change he has seen more recently, though, is the way people shop.
‚??More and more places are selling online,‚?Ě Nowak said.