Monday, April 25, 2005

The Next Big Thing

During the late 90's, early 00's (aughts?) Asian characters (Kanji, katakana, etc.) were all the rage. People were getting tatooed with various phrases ("peace", "integrity", "douchebag", etc.), the symbols were on t-shirts -- Asian symbols were the "it" thing. I know that I own at least two t-shirts with Asian characters on them, and I have no idea what either of them says, although I think one says "dragon"(but could just as easily say "spigot"). Anyway, as the pop cultural appeal of these symbols wears itself out (too bad those tatoos are for life, huh?), I've been trying to determine what the next foreign alphabet trend will be, so that I can get while the gettin's good (by that I mean, do nothing)(As an aside, here's a webpage with actual Kanji tattoos and their real meaning).

Without further adoo, the next big foreign alphabet trend it going to be . . . cyrillic (the Russian alphabet). I actually came to this conclusion several years ago, but I didn't have a blog then, so I've been ruminating on it to myself for some time now. Thus far, pop culture has done nothing to support my preminitions, but it's coming, I can feel it (I just did a google search for "cyrillic t-shirt" and got about two shirt choices. Searching for "kanji t-shirt" on the other hand yields about 3.47 million shirts. Still, I stand by my gut feeling.).

Now that communism has gone by the wayside (I realize that this is a gross mistatement, but its fine for the purposes of this blog. What I'm really refering to is the fall of the Soviet Union), it seems that enough time has passed for capitalists to snatch valuable cultural icons and make some money. The cyrillic alphabet seems like the perfect choice. I also think that the cyrillic alphabet is the most logical choice as the new pop-culture alphabet. Hebrew is too Jewish, and let's face it, not everyone in this world likes the Jews. Arabic faces a similar dilemma. In this day and age where anyone with Arabic features on an airplane is viewed with suspicion, it seems like a bad idea to have random Arabic words on your clothes, or worse yet (from The Man's viewpoint), your skin. I suppose that Greek is another option, but that seems too innocuous and a bit acropolian.

Russian, on the other hand, is bad ass. Who wouldn't want "тупоугольный"("obtuse-angled") on her lower back, or "иллюминатор" ("porthole") on his bicep? Nothing attracts the opposite sex like a carefully placed cyrillic word or phrase. So, I'm fairly certain that Russian is the next big thing. What that means to society, I'm not sure, but mark my words, within the next two years Urban Outfitters, Abercrombe, and the rest will be pushing cyrillic wares, and you'll have heard it at NegativeMode first.

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