Sunday, 17 December 2017

Predictions for 2018


We'll complain that snow isn’t snowy enough, young people are young, and everybody does traditions wrong.


"Why won't the foolish young accept my wisdom when I say socialism is bad?" Every columnist in every paper for ever more. (@mrdavidwhitley)

Sarah Vine is doing that thing where you get older and pretend that your generation weren't like the current younger generation. (Helen ‏@lettertodaddy)

The internet fridge: a zombie idea that refuses to die. (Guardian)

Another moany column about "millennials" moaning. (Richard Chambers ‏@newschambers)

There’ll be a terrorist attack or a disaster, and we'll immediately complain about public mourning, and piles of flowers in cellophane, and the Dianification of society. (In 2017 someone even suggested that all Brexiteers are Diana-worshippers.)

The death of email, Facebook, Twitter and the entire internet will be announced.

Old people will “block beds”. We will discover that care for the elderly is "in crisis" (with video of old people being abused).

And we really must do something about domestic abuse. It’s been on the list for simply ages. (At least 40 years.) But every time we mention it, someone will claim that as many men as women are victims.

Men will turn any discussion of rape and sexual assault into a discussion of men whose lives were ruined by false accusations.

Journalists interviewing white supremacists will be surprised that they are well-dressed and appear normal. We’ll be told “they’re a good person deep down”.

Someone will say “You know, white people are the real victims of racism” as if it was daringly original.

Many people will fail to understand the concepts free speech and censorship. Others will pretend not to know the meaning of common words like racism, fact and truth.

We'll be told that the shy, the old, the single, the disabled, the different are a terrible problem for “our” society. What can "we" do about "them"? "We" must try to understand "them"!

A columnist will write about giving birth in 2017 and ask why the process is still as grim as it was 40 years ago. She'll follow it up with: “Why did nobody tell me I’d love my baby so much?
Why I, a middle-class journalist, did something ordinary like moving out of London.

The rules have changed! There’s no need to be middle-aged any more! 50 is the new 40 and with yoga, pilates, personal trainers etc you can keep your youthful figure! And 40 is the new 16 if you can afford the cheek implants, eye lifts, chin lifts, lip fillers, tan and perpetual holidays. But if you can, we’ve got the wardrobe for YOU!

We'll rediscover low-alcohol beer and wine (I hope.)

Someone will point out that alcoholism isn’t confined to the working classes. Journalists will write hilarious pieces about how they quit the Dryathlon on Day Two.

Scientists will point out that all you need to detox are two kidneys and a liver. New “detox” strategies will make fortunes for their originators.

Discoveries will be made that will “force us to rewrite the history of art/human evolution”, usually in the direction of “far earlier than thought”.

We'll wonder what happened to the radio repair man.

Ugly fruit and veg will be wasted because supermarkets won't accept produce not up to “standard”.

Someone will “decode” the Voynich manuscript.
A truck will spill a funny cargo all over the highway (plastic ducks, treacle).

We'll celebrate the forgotten women of [insert scientific enterprise here].

There will be a new, expensive diet and fitness craze. (In 2017 it’s DNA. Or is it “clean eating”?)

Journalists will confuse average age at death with average life expectancy at birth. (In the olden days nobody lived beyond 40!)


Zeppelins are back! The latest is Amazon’s floating warehouse for drone delivery. (Or was it the Airlander, that crashed on take-off and hasn’t been heard of since?)

People will try to come up with new gender-neutral pronouns, and claim that "at last" we can discuss whether women ought to remove all body hair. Are we reviving the 70s?

At the start of the school year, some school will hope to get into the papers and curry favour with Middle England by sending home 50 children for wearing garments that are “not uniform”. The head will come out with 50 silly reasons why uniforms and rules are necessary.

Someone will recommend we follow the Finns and the Japanese, and don’t teach children to read or do sums, or any facts at all, for the first two years of school, instead teaching “manners” and “character”. Others will recommend avoiding teaching schoolchildren any facts during their entire school career, instead teaching “resilience”, and how to run a business. (In June 2017 a head teacher called for GCSE subjects to be limited to five, in order to free up time for teaching "crucial life qualities".) Meanwhile schools will continue to be judged on exam results, and good “performance” will be obtained by excluding pupils unlikely to pass exams, and all the teachers and parents know this perfectly well.

And everyone will say "Children should spend all their time running about in the fresh air."

Is it possible for men to be secretaries? Can a woman eat dinner alone in a restaurant? (Haven’t seen either for years.)

In January I wrote: "By the end of 2017 we will have got used to the new fivers and will be flapping about something else, probably while wars rage on our doorstep."


2017, 2016, 2015, 2019, 2020...

Friday, 15 December 2017

Buzz Words of 2017


January

“Outpouring of public grief” wheeled out again for Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

And now people are sneering at Victoria Beckham for getting an OBE.

Someone tweets that the Great Interior Design Challenge is “too left wing”! Do they mean “contestant in a headscarf”? And some of them are even gay? (Homes Under the Hammer: people do up houses. Grand Designs: same thing, but with middle-class white folk.)

Never quite sure what “liberal” means.

Pop star deaths are not “news”.

People don’t want to know about the tube strike because it’s happening in the “London Labour bubble”. Er... Well, at least it’s more honest than “metropolitan elite”.

Unions holding us to ransom again. (Not heard since the early 70s.)

Leavers still wondering why Remainers won’t just shut up.
Snow panic panic, Jan 12.

Constant sniping at anything that looks like socialism, or might come from a socialist source. (Momentum’s video about the French and Germans using profits from our public transport to reduce fares on their own is “racist” because it “subtly” portrays Germans as Nazis. They have slicked-back hair and speak in a rather sarcastic tone.)

Tar-black humour, the bog is dirt-black, the series ends with a treacle-dark delight, itch-lousy with, pig-sick, gossamer-thin... etc (I don’t mind “staggeringly snobbish” and the like, but please don’t make it “Mitford-snobbish”. Hope this trend will soon pass.)

What happened to GET IN THE SEA? Doing a book tour?

Are shrirache and khobek still with us, whatever they were? (Oh no, now chermoula paste, rose harissa and ras el hanout.)

“What about Saudi Arabia?”
is the new “Why don’t you move to Russia?” or “Are YOU going to house refugees in your spare room?”

What happened to Pokemon Go?

Develop: What people do instead of “designing” clothes or “writing” film scripts or even novels. (You “develop” a novel by going on writing courses and working with “mentors”.)

“The path to Trump was paved by Obama” and others on this model.

The way to fight Trump is by being “calm”. And his terrible orders are just “testing the waters”.

And whatever happens, the armchair strategists will tell us what it really means, what’s really behind it, what the real motivation is, and what’s really going to happen next.

The latest “you can make money from the internet” is Instagram. Forget Twitter and blogs, it's teenagers flipping hard-to-get fashionable brands, or turning themselves into “taste-makers” and getting free stuff.

Jo Cox’s loneliness initiative is launched. All the publicity talks as if “we” must bring help to the “lonely”, who are presumed not to be listening, watching or reading the bumph. “We” will wear badges saying “I’m happy to chat”. (December: They've changed their story slightly and now admit that young people can be lonely too.)

Lena Dunham says she can cope with trolls thanks to yoga and therapy.


February
“I for one welcome our new insect overlords” has never been more apt.

push back

There aren’t enough BAME women in STEM. (Black, Asian and minority ethnic; science, tech, engineering, maths.)

What to Say About that Cambridge student who burned a £20 note in front of a homeless man: One silly out-of-character act... His life is ruined. Think of his parents.

MAGA – Make America (you got it) (Which was when, someone asks?)
TFW (that feeling when)

Formerly sensible people now saying “We shouldn’t call Brexiteers stupid”."Remainers say Brexiteers are stupid, so we don't have to listen to anything they say. In fact they shouldn't be allowed to say anything."

Fake news

Fussing about putting pineapple on pizza.

IQ shredding (You have to read through a lot of handwavey guff to find out that it means “Dim people breed like rabbits, how can we persuade clever men to marry clever women and up the average so that we can have innovative tech in the future? I mean who’s going to design our hoverboards?”)

Pepe the Frog (right-wing mascot)

She slayed the Oscars in your granny’s eyemakeup! (Purple all round the eye as worn in... when exactly?)

Vertical: The 'manufacturing vertical' means the industry or market. And a 'vertical market' includes all potential purchasers in one industry. (Management Today)

March
Cuckoo and unicorns land (inhabited by luvvies and bleeding-heart liberals)

There are people in power who don’t understand how insurance works, and don’t know what the word “deal” means. They think we can just “walk away” from the EU.

In other news, glazed food is back.

Overexcitement over a map of Anglo Saxon London (Wemba Lea, Padintune etc)

Fussing about “Oxford commas” again. (Started about 10 years ago. Sometimes you need a comma before an and, and sometimes you don't.)

As well as teasers, trailers, and teasers for the trailer, films now have promo featurettes and clips.

Terror attack in London and some tweeters are moaning about anyone saying “Pray for London”. Some hours later, mass whingeing that others are reacting all wrong. We shouldn’t mourn for those killed in Westminster because Dianamania. “Britain went into meltdown and has never recovered.”

Weaponising for “distorting for propaganda purposes”, or “use as a stick to beat someone with”.

People using the word “cowed” for intimidated.

Tories/SNP both accused of eating all the sandwiches brought in to MPs in lockdown in the House of Commons.

Smashed avocado
Throw shade 

Hip-hop videos in Ancient Egyptian costume are a thing.

Fuss about less and fewer, you and you’re, two-times for twice, sentences starting “So...”

Stench (of corruption, decay, nepotism, hypocrisy) is back.

Dress shoes, trousers, hats, shirts.

Fuss about Easter eggs without the word “Easter” on them.

Tinkerbell – in the context of Brexit, and shouting “I believe in fairies” until she revived.

Latin is popular for tattoos, protest placards and ironic graffiti.

Pepsi just made that ad with Kendall Jenner to get attention.

People eating in theatres is the latest “hell in a handcart” symptom. (But there’s an app for ordering food to be delivered to your seat...)

“The one she told you not to worry about.” 


As a car boot sale is now a boot, a flea market is a flea. (Big London Flea)

Racists upset at being called racists. Or at Marine Le Pen being called a racist.

Dogpile for “everybody pile on X”.

GOAT (greatest of all time)
Parachuting (candidates into constituencies)
Frenchsplaining (explaining French politics to a French person)

Kids today!
People are using contactless card payments for amounts less than £10!

Cinco de Mayo – the day the Mexicans beat the French in 1862. No excuse for terrible jokes about sink-a da salad dressing.

Fidget spinners
Floofy (aaaargh)
Crunch
MOAB: mother of all bombs

I googled the wedding dress. I admit it. Shame. Shame. Shame. (@Amanda_Vickery)

Tragedy in Manchester. Vile people tweeting about made-up relatives so that they can get retweets. Not too much “everybody is mourning in the wrong way”. A bit of “celebs cashing in” and “24-hour news channels saying nothing”. A few false flag conspiracy theories. Some took the opportunity to criticise pop music as something only liked by little girls. And others whinged that the poem someone recited was “doggerel”.

Mindfulness has been oversold.

The 80s are back – even pyramid power.

Old ladies dancing unexpectedly well is a genre. (The best dancers in our flamenco class were over 70.)

Jeremy Corbyn is a terrorist and if he gets in there’ll be an immediate Apocalypse.

Now you can be “asexual, aromantic, demisexual, agender”. (We used to say “frigid”. Give yourselves time.)

There are people who can’t even “see” racism.

“Brand” now means anything you want it to mean.
“Young people see themselves as a brand” translates as “Young people want to project the right image”.

Quinoa-munching: code for "socialist"
Ally: Someone who “stands with” gays, women etc.

Appalling tragedy in Kensington, commenters use pictures of exhausted firefighters to urge young people to look up to them as heroes, rather than to “celebrities”. The girl who turned up to do her GCSEs in her pyjamas is both labelled an “inspiration” and used as a handle for sneering at “entitled snowflakes”. Celebrities Lily Allen and Adele turned up to talk to residents, but that was just for a photo-op to get headlines. The fire was caused by environmentalists specifying eco-friendly insulation – this is where Marxism leads! Fire being used as an excuse for “nobody can manage risk any more – snowflakes being evacuated while panels removed”.

“I’ve tried to recruit local people to pick fruit but they’re just not interested because I won’t pay them enough.”

[Cute animal] meets [cute animal] meets [small child]: what happens next is hilarious! 

These triplets got DNA tested and you won’t believe the shock results! (They each got slightly different results because the testing process is unreliable.)

June
Postmodern
or postmodernist as a catch-all insult from the right.
Reset popular to mean rethink or reform.

There’s a strain of “bad parenting”, "yucky mummy", “mummy needs a drink” humour. And an equally hilarious “spank the kids” and “tape their arms to their sides”.

First sighting of “Xmas comes earlier every year”: “I'm reliably informed that the local Homebase had its first delivery of Xmas tat last week.” 

Widow’s rage (They’re being told “You can’t date yet, it’s too soon.” As well as “Get out there!” Meanwhile, their friends drop them.)

Incel: involuntary celibate

JulyMore Beckham-sneering. They went to a party at BUckingham Palace.

Jam-packed has become ram-packed.

“There hasn’t really been much of a backlash against a female Dr Who, has there?” Meanwhile even Peter Davison says a female Dr Who deprives boys of a role model.

Dying on this hill 
Schooled is the new corrected.

TL;DR: “Too long, didn’t read.”

Racists are very cross about evidence that there were black people in Britain in Roman times. (“You’ve stolen our history!”)

August
Shitshow

Carceral (the carceral state)

IYI: intellectual yet idiot (Mary Beard says there were black Romans. Socmed says: “History is bunk.”)

Jon Snow: They don’t mean the newscaster.

Wings: Not Paul McCartney’s 70s band, but a hate-filled Scottish Independence site called Wings Over Scotland run by video-game journalist Stuart Campbell.

Snowflake has faded, perhaps because rightwingers are feeling so fragile about hearing languages other than English spoken on buses. And some National Trust staff felt “uncomfortable” wearing rainbow-coloured lanyards.

Luvvies fading too.

On FB, re Mary Beard supporting a children’s cartoon showing a black Roman centurion: Attempting to indoctrinate young children with this Westphobic branch of Marxism is criminal. (Actually there isn't a law against that.)

White supremacists love the medieval period because everybody was white then. And the Crusades, they were good! White people went and took cities away from brown people and massacred lots of them. And the Greeks and Romans were white – look at their statues! (PS The Crusaders lost.)

Twitter wants to pretend that people who use Facebook are all moronic chavs. You should hear what they say about you.

Frangipan
Signal boost

Allyship
Gorpcore is the new normcore! (Camping gear, all-weather jackets ect.)
Trump is "45".
Elopement
now means “low-budget wedding”.
Right-wingers routinely calling opponents “fat and ugly”.
Dezinformatsiya
Nativism
 is the new "identity politics".

Anti-vaxxers claim vaccination is a plot by a shadowy group to depopulate the world.

People rushing to explain that they don’t care about a new royal baby, while claiming they felt “sad, but not hysterical” at the death of Diana. Some claim they felt “not guilty, but embarrassed” at sharing the feelings of people they despise – “people who fawn on the royal family”.

Rash of FB stories on the template “My daughter nearly died of whooping cough but vaccinations are still poison”. All written in the same highly emotive style – by a bot.

SeptemberDenying that depression exists is a thing.

“Nazis were socialists. The clue is in the name.”

Parents suing school over transgender child are shills for an anti-LGBT lobby group.

“Oh, my days!” is back.

Londoners are emasculated because they eat too many soya beans, apparently. (Symptoms of “emasculation”: not objecting to brown people.)

Brick by brick (How buildings demolished without permission must be rebuilt.)
Norwegian model

Season that shall be nameless (because we don’t want to mention Christmas).

The latest reaction to global disasters and tragedies is to whinge about the people who say they are praying for those affected. (And the police beating up voters in Catalonia could be spun into a comment on absolutely anything.)

centrist, centrist Dad (And new centrist parties. Still waiting.)

Streisanding (The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. Wikipedia)

Micro-home movement in the States – building yourself a tiny cabin in the wilderness where nobody can interfere with you. Again.

Flu and cold remedies: eat well, echinacea, chicken soup, apply Vicks to the feet...

The news media were all hysterical about Hurricane Ophelia.

Atheism videos
People are using “bot” to mean “shill”. (Bots are automated, shills spout a party line or spread dezinformatsiya.)

Can I get an Amen? This cute little sick boy wants a million likes. Tell this disabled girl she's beautiful. Can you do this difficult grammar quiz? Which Star Wars character are you? Please share! Copy and paste! (Don't, they're all scams.)

November
“I question the motives of poppy fascists!”
“Admit it – you hate the UK!”
"No-one should feel forced to wear a poppy."
“Poppy has been hijacked.” 
“Lost its original meaning.”
“The tedious annual poppy circus” (Independent)
“Competitive poppy one-upmanship” (shortlist.com)
"Symbol of oppression and imperialism."
"Means you like war."
"So many people NOT wearing a poppy! I feel like stopping them and asking exactly why not."
"Has the core meaning of the poppy appeal ben diluted by crass uses and commercialism?" (BBC)

"Changed from a remembrance of the horrors and loss of war into a glorious celebration."

A Twitter account called @giantpoppywatch wants to “highlight the absurdity and obscenity of what’s happened to Remembrance Day”. He says that in the good old days, the poppy “was fragile, and everyone's was the same - maybe that was the point." He doesn’t like “commodification and branding”, either – shops using the symbol for shop window displays. "Now there's a lynch mob of tabloid journalists and Twitter enforcers ready to pounce on any infraction, such as appearing on TV without a poppy on."

Poppies used to come in different sizes and materials, including huge wax ones intended to be tied to the mascot of your Rolls. Royal British Legion says: “There is no right or wrong way to wear a poppy”. (And it's "remembrance", not remembrence or rememberance.)


Whisper circles
Inboxing
Relentless, often used inappropriately: “The monuments looked relentlessly forward to the future.”

Bracing self for discussions of “the John Lewis ad”.
A nice little earner is now a “side hustle”.

Video-assistant referee technology, our unique pine-needle technology (on artificial Christmas trees)

Fireworks going off at the wrong time. (Diwali, Eid or Chinese New Year.)

Howard’s End: Young people are being brainwashed that Britain was diverse in 1910.

So many things can “ruin Christmas”. (Like getting a slightly different type of tree.)

Glasgow is getting “Scotland’s first avocado restaurant”. (I think they’re a superfood, or something.)

Cognitive dissonance: misused to mean "denial".

“In the shops there’s like Christmas cards in August…”

Oxford Street is to be pedestrianised, and carless cities are mooted.

When our team says we want to leave but keep all our privileges, Europeans say “I just love your British sense of humour”.

Black Friday, American, “buy nothing day”. (We have increased all of our prices by £3 for the next 24 hours. @NowhereVintage)

Snowflakes ran from gunshots at Oxford Circus! Police find nothing!

Harry and Meghan are engaged! Brace yourself for an outbreak of whingeing about “fawning”, and competitive apathy about the whole thing.

ownership and owning (even “self-owning”) 
Brexodus

Lots of: I am hugely respectful of the disclosers, and Time’s POY story is amazing, but… [what about men whose lives are ruined by false claims blah blah blah]

“Sir” making a comeback.
Past years here.