When I put on my outfit this morning, I really thought I looked fantastic. Black skinny jeans, Chelsea boots, button-down shirt, skinny-tie, slouchy blazer with the sleeves rolled up. But when I stepped into the produce aisle, my ego was shattered when a woman in an infinity scarf gave me a knowing nod. Someone else asked me if it was mock trial season already. No one understood that I wore a full suit to Walmart as a post-ironic neo-mod statement. Christ, do you people even know about Public Image LTD? When was the last time you twerked to Big Audio Dynamite? I’m really not asking for much. I just want to look cool enough to not get cropped out of a group shot in “Stop Making Sense.” I look like I’m president of The Young Libertarian club. Every time I get a haircut there’s a very fine line between Paul Weller and Debbie the middle-aged divorcee. I tried to do a little makeup for an androgynous, new-wave look, but everyone I spoke to kept complimenting me for “expressing femininity in the workplace.” My Elvis Costello-inspired glasses are making strangers ask if I’ve seen New Girl. I don’t know, have you seen “The Young Ones?” The 2000s ruined it all—80s nostalgia made a bunch of cool stuff lame. Remember when SNL was edgy and alternative? Fucking millennials. “Defending pop punk” used to mean upholding the legacy of The Buzzcocks and The Undertones. Anemic-looking white boys singing about their exes just haven’t been the same since Y2K. Skinny jeans used to mean something. One day I’m going to hunt down The Strokes. They did this to me. Look, trends are cyclical, right? Mark your calendars, 2024 is going to be the biggest year for post-punk since 1982- David Byrne’s already getting a revival, so it can only go up from here! Taylor Swift is going to release a synth-driven album with a guest appearance from Thomas Dolby—he was basically the Ice Spice of the 80s, right? XTC are going to reunite, and they’re going to tour in the United States for all 37 of their Midwestern fans. Craig will let me play music at parties again. All my friends will finally watch 24 Hour Party People with me. God, I would have been so fucking cool in Manchester in 1979. Tony Wilson would have loved me.
February 21, 2024