It's going to take a lot of mass ridiculousness to rival stuff like hula hoops, pet rocks, and the Macarena, but I think our culture has managed to get there. Here are the 10 silliest phenomena currently holding our nation prisoner.
It was organic and exciting when Big Freedia did it. It was eye opening and funny when Miley Cyrus appropriated it. But now it's just gross already. Make it stop. Now. This trend is making me turn into Church Lady.
2. Self-aggrandizingly promoting your charitable nature
Speaking of Miley, she was way more fun when she twerked than at the latest VMAs. This time around, she launched into instant tears over the beauty of her own noblesse as a homeless teen emissary gave an important speech for her. The intentions were no doubt fine, but the result was skin crawling.
The masturbatory idiocy of the whole thing reached a peak when a Polish couple fell to their death while trying to take a selfie on a cliff in Portugal. I wouldn't be surprised if people promptly ran down there to retrieve the phone and put the picture on Instagram.
4. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
It's a great cause, and everyone's been inspiring in the way they've responded to the call. But aren't there some other causes that could use this too? How about spreading the love? Come on, Miley. Do one for teen homelessness. (Just don't tell us about it, lol.)
There are so few songs that make the Billboard charts without a special guest star along for the ride that singers seem to have developed a mortal fear of singing solo. It's become so clichÃ© -- singer sings, then rapper raps, then singer sings again. Yawn. I'm glad they didn't do this to Aretha Franklin back in the day.
6. Existential comedy bits
The taste in humor these days is for loopy, nonsensical bits of pure silliness, but they're not always all that funny. At the Emmys, the extended segment where celebs in the audience got up and said dumb stuff ("Can I use the bathroom?") failed to hit the mark. Writers always forget that even pure lunacy has to be grounded in some truths -- and solid comic construction -- to result in hilarity. Learn it. And no, you may not use the bathroom.
6. People dying.
And not just any people! I'm talking two of the greatest comic legends who ever lived, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Their fertile minds nurtured an entire planet's worth of humor, mockery, mayhem, and inspiration. I'm sure those two are entertaining each other in the big Live Aid in the sky, but the earth is a way more barren place without their rich reserves of dark, bold laugh-making and thought provoking. At least we still have glamorous Hollywood legends like Lauren Bacall to soothe the pain. Wait a minute. WHAT?????
8. Broadway revivals
I know it's expensive to put on a show, so producers always rely on the tried and true, but come on, somebody write a new show! And when someone does write a new show, how about someone putting it on?
9. Reality shows
We know these time-wasters caught on because they're cheap to produce, but please! What should have been a passing fancy is now a lasting pollutant to our culture, full of fake conflict and faux resolutions that occupy the majority of America's nighttime schedules. At least it looks like MTV has a bunch of scripted shows coming up -- not that reality shows aren't scripted, lol.
10. Celebs divorcing after 36 years
Like rocker Neil Young and the wife, Pegi. This kind of thing is absolutely ridiculous. You've managed to keep it together for over three decades, people, just stick it out!