Jumping on the Bandwagon…Or Not" />
The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
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May 13, 2024

Jumping on the Bandwagon…Or Not

For once, I might have to side with the hipsters: the mainstream can be overrated.

I’m referring to a recent trip to Barnes and Noble during which I stumbled upon an entire section of the store esoterically labeled “Teen Paranormal Romance.”

At this point, two questions ran through my mind: first, Barnes and Noble actually spent money to have the words “paranormal” and “romance” professionally printed together? And second, why do all of these books look like the “Twilight” Saga?

Unable to answer the first question without calling over customer service, I decided to spend a moment pondering the second anomaly. I stood before three entire shelves of books with black covers, squiggly typography and illustrations of pale people holding apples among other random red objects.

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The authors of these books, which, I’m sure, all have distinctly different plot lines, clearly did not actually like or read “Twilight.” If they did, they would know that adolescent girls don’t like “Twilight.” But they like the idea of being in relationships with vampires and werewolves, only because Edward has golden eyes. Come on, people! How many times in literature or real life do you see someone with golden eyes?

The vice of conformity: it has been the subject of many books, movies and poems, but I have never seen it played out in real life as well as I did standing in Barnes and Noble that day. Rarely is it wise to jump on a bandwagon, yet we do it all the time.

I have nothing against buying or doing things that suddenly become popular. I too was once a team Edward twi-hard who insisted on the literary merit of the saga by strategically overlooking the three misplaced modifiers on the first page of the book. The problem isn’t the types of trends that we follow; it’s the fact that we rarely question the credibility of their popularity.

It’s this lack of reflection that causes things like pet rocks to become popular. I suppose no loss or gain comes from a culture that is okay with spending their disposable income on something that could be found on the side of a street, but I think that we could all benefit from trends if we just choose better ones.

No matter how much hipsters may look down upon it, the majority is powerful. Our Founding Fathers created the Electoral College to counter a mob mentality; Nixon won 49 out of 50 states in his election because of the “Silent Majority.” The Arab Spring would not have been possible without a significant amount of unhappy citizens. Trends have the power to change the course of history, of the world—if chosen wisely.

Yet we waste this power to propel ephemeral marketing campaigns for Silly Bandz and Webkinz. If we all just spent a few extra seconds to understand the reasoning behind the popularity, or lack thereof, the trends we create would become more logical and longer lasting.

While the “Twilight” hype has waned, dystopian romances have risen to take its place. “The Hunger Games” trilogy has become a bestseller and awaits its debut as a movie franchise—and the trend is catching on. And if after some reflection people decide that “Dystopian Romance” is worth a new, professionally printed Barnes and Noble sign, then by all means, go for it.

– Kristin

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