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The Other Side.

In: Film and Music

Submitted By Djohnson23
Words 339
Pages 2


An intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze. (Ex. Fashion, trend passion )

It is estimated that, in 1958, 25 million hula-hoops were sold in the United States. This over priced plastic hoop is a classic example of a fad—an event, idea, or object that goes through a fast and wild ride to popularity and an equally fast slide into obscurity. Fads happen with frequency in American culture (remember pet rocks?) and show a remarkably similar overall shape. A fast rise to universal appeal is followed by a fairly short period of popularity and then a rapid demise. This demise leaves people shaking their heads, and wondering, “How on earth did I expect that to last?”

The realm of the fad is essentially unknowable. History is littered with random enthusiasms that sweep the culture, flare for a few months or years, then recede into the Ocean of Weird and Terrible Ideas. Particularly curious, and sometimes gruesome, are those youth culture fads that tempt the young and the bored. The Information Age certainly isn't helping things. Now that everyone is armed with a phone camera and Internet access, the temptation to do something weird and broadcast it worldwide is apparently irresistible.


The original fraternity stunt, the practice of swallowing live goldfish apparently started as a college fad in the 1930s. Popular legend holds that it all began with the estimable Lothrop Withington, Jr.

A recent run of weird teen fads in the media seems to suggest that -- thanks again to online communication - fads have taken a turn toward the pointlessly masochistic. For instance, the "cinnamon challenge" involves attempting to eat a spoonful of ground cinnamon, in 60 seconds, with no water. Turns out that's impossible, and the attempt usually results in gagging, coughing and vomiting.

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