Make it Sizzle: Fads, trends and other really important things you gotta know to make it.
What’s cool? What’s hot? What are the trends that matter?
I locked my car in the parking lot of Asuza Pacific University and hurried for the chapel where I was the scheduled speaker. Even though I was in a hurry, I had to stop and watch a really interesting thing: A young man in a nice suit and tie skateboarding to class.
Elegant yet youthful, I thought.
Last week I was in one of the two centers of the universe, Manhattan. It seemed that every eighteen year old male walking the street sported a baseball cap slighted tilted up and pointed to the side.
After about the hundredth male sporting this look walked by, cool began to look uniform and a bit ridiculous.
Today, producer and songwriter, Fau, stopped by our house. He got up to leave after a short visit.
“Well gotta go back to the hood,” he said.
“Interesting, isn’t it?” I said. “Today, the burbs are the new ghettos”.
“In the 80’s everybody was moving to Moreno valley. The ‘burbs'”. Gettin’ out of the city. It was nice. Quiet.” He said. “Now all you see is boys walkin’ ’round with pants dragging on the floor.”
The hood used to be here closer to the cities. Now it’s out there in the ‘burbs’. So what’s hot? What’s cool? Who’s moving where? Who’s doing what? And what are the trends that matter?
Tracking trends was, it seems, just a trend according to an LA Times piece, Fads are so yesterday – Los Angeles Times, and is so out of style.
Change happens so rapidly that fads don’t matter for long. Maybe Marketing, rather appealing to what we like, is designed more than ever to create our appetite for consumer goods. More interestingly, the article suggests that “culture” and “consumerism” are intimately dovetailed in our connected age. The moment we do simplify our lifes, or add an interest, someone out there is marketing products to help us in our new lifestyle choices and cash in.
Christ following leaders do well to stay on top of pop culture. We need to know our audience. But we do better when we stop only asking:
- what are the trends?
- What are people doing?
And start also asking…given our context and most importantly in light of the life of Jesus
- what should be a trend?
- What could people be doing?
Market that. Make it sizzle. Trendy or not, what we could be doing to live and walk in the way of Jesus will always be hot… or cool.
What do you think?
Into the Mystic…