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9 Trends that will Rule in 2009

This article appears in its entirety in issue #36 of RELEVANT.

In 2009, America will move on from its affair with the chap in favor of an edgier persona. Welcome to the Year of the Dude. Break out your white sports coat, black Ray-Bans, a permanent 5 o’clock shadow and your South Beach attitude, because this year, the Dude is back.

In ’09, yacht rock will rule the airwaves once again, with the tender sounds of electric drums, synthesized keytar melodies and steely voices reminiscent of Phil Collins and Michael McDonald providing the soundtracks to evenings filled with speedboating, playing pool and oceanside heat.

It won’t just be a fun exercise–like cycling, swimming will become a lifestyle activity in ’09, with amateur athletes finding aquatic routes to work, forgoing morning commutes in favor of dips in local waterways.

Aside from the obvious benefits to greenhouse gas emissions, the “swim to work” craze will also have another upside–a boost to consumer savings. It was reported that during his training, Michael Phelps consumed more than 12,000 calories a day. That means now, just one stop at KFC will satisfy every swimming American’s daily intake requirements, saving them millions from the rising cost of grocery shopping.

Remember the good ol’ days, when you could easily kill a solid two hours of prime-time watching people bicker on some tropical island or see how many bugs they could eat before freaking out? Well, just like the career of Joe Rogan, those days are fading fast, and in 2009, reality TV will try one last time to shock viewers and bring our society one step closer to the apocalypse. To do it, they’re going to up the ante.

Man vs Where the Wild Things Are: In a promotion for the big-screen adaptation of the children’s classic, Bear Grylls, having already conquered the world’s toughest terrains, will travel to the land of the Wild Thing. Armed only with his wit and survival instinct, Bear proves no match for a jungle full of fierce-looking, but easily freightened, monsters.

Does this sound familiar? “Hey man, nice fanny pack!”

Here’s how you would have heard this statement answered in 2008: “Yeah, dude, isn’t it hilarious? What a killer find, huh? It only cost me $1.75 at Salvation Army!” But in 2009, it will go something like this: “Why, thank you. Not only does the florescent pink go with the arms of my plastic sunglasses, but it also is a helpful way of safely carrying my belongings.”

This year, a red-white-and-blue headband and a skinny necktie just won’t go as far as they used to.

In 2009, music fans everywhere will be shocked to learn that indie-folk star Sufjan Stevens is actually a long-lost sibling of Disney pop sensations the Jonas Brothers. Despite their clear resemblance, their propensity to write values-centered lyrics and their obvious musical abilities, the news will rock the music world.

Having heard all the buzz about the 2008 William Paul Young best-selling book about the nature of God, The Shack, confused Christian readers will be disappointed by the NBA star’s autobiography, which we predict will be released in 2009.

Although Shaquille O’Neal’s book will contain sordid details about his rivalry with former teammate Kobe Bryant, working with the Zen-practicing coach Phil Jackson and his recent trade to the Phoenix Suns, the Big Aristotle’s tell-all will fail to deliver the theological perspective and scriptural interpretation Christians expected after hearing about the widely discussed William Paul Young novel.

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Rumor has it that comedy legend Sinbad will once again attempt to become a staple of prime-time TV and the box office with his self-financed independent film, First Kid 2. Though instead of a lighthearted family comedy like the original, the sequel will be a gritty, dark thriller with controversial political undertones.

And,

British Knights, the popular early ’90s shoes worn by suburban wannabes and hip-hop stars alike, will attempt to once again become the kicks of choice for urban-styled young Americans. But after fierce competition from another ‘90s-era shoe company also poised to make an ’09 comeback–the light-up favorites L.A. Gear–BK will fail to recapture their 1992 glory.

In 2008, the clean-energy-powered mini-car from Europe was introduced in the United States to curious consumers intrigued by its petite size and promises of excellent gas mileage. But in 2009, the automobile that gained rave reviews for fuel efficiency and intuitive design will become “too smart.” It’s highly touted “hybrid technology,” ergonomic style and smart features will allow the vehicle to take the first step in its turn against humanity in a revolt on its own German engineers, as the war with machines begins.

In 2009, Dippin’ Dots will no longer just be a novelty dessert reserved for food-court outskirts and Minor League baseball games–no, this will be the year it will finally achieve its promised status of “ice cream of the future”–a title it has weakly proclaimed since it first came on the scene in 1987.

The term ice cream will now be synonymous with tiny frozen balls of flavored ice that comes at the cost of $7 per cupful, not the sweet, creamy, dairy-based product that generations before us have come to know.

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