By Lindsay Geller and Elyssa Schwartz
It has been a crazy year that is for sure. It all happened so fast but before we melt into the Mayan practical joke or whatever we decided to recap everything that stood out to us over here at the iEG office. Here we go!
Christmas music may be the only thing playing on the radio these days, but it’s no surprise that 2012 was filled with some unforgettable musical moments.
A Genre to Make You Cooler: Dubstep
No longer reserved for those times when you’re crossfaded in a friend’s basement, dubstep has gained some serious popularity over the last year. Leading the revolution is the genre’s king, Skrillex, who won three Grammy awards in 2012. Dubstep has come a long way since its origin in underground U.K. garage and British sound-system culture. A decade in the making, dubstep now dominates the global club scene. Today, the genre is made up of numerous factions, from brostep to wonky to the evocative “purple” (whatever that means). Spin.com even counts Jay-Z and Kanye’s “N***** in Paris” among its list of top thirty dubstep songs of all time. Obviously, dubstep is a far reaching genre, and shows no sign of slowing down. And for all us dancing fools out there, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Song We Loved to Hate (and Love) With 363 million + views on youtube everyone who says they didn’t listen two words: Stop lying
As much as we are loath to admit it, this song was catchy as f***. Even if you absolutely hated this song, you still knew every word. (Not that there were many words to memorize…but still, you knew them.) And you sang along, whether sincerely or ironically, we all harmonized with Miss Carly Rae. It was the song of the summer, securing the number one position on US singles charts for nine weeks. During which time the song was covered by both LA County prison inmates and Harvard baseball players alike. (No offense to the geniuses at Harvard, but the inmates’ choreography was more inventive.)
Besides being a hit in the US, it held the top place on the World Singles charts for four weeks. Sure, she’s Canadian and Justin Bieber’s protege, but we’d still answer if Carly Rae Jepsen gave us a ring.
A Cultural Revolution in One Dance Move or Less:
Nothing proves that this song was more of a worldwide hit than the fact that a friend and I taught an entire Belgian bar how to do Psy’s trademark dance. This song was the most ever downloaded song on Apple’s iTunes, was the most liked video on YouTube (for which it won a Guiness World Record). It may soon hold another record as the most watched video on YouTube as it is expected to hit one billion views some time in December 2012. Still, Gangnam Style has yet to achieve the elusive number one spot on the US Singles Chart. It was firmly rooted in second place for seven weeks, although it did manage to secure the prime position on the World Singles Chart for seven weeks.
Obviously, Psy is no slouch when it comes to his music, especially when it’s politically charged. For those of you who may not know, Gangnam Style is actually a satirical song, mocking the society which it represents. Gangnam is a tony Seoul neighborhood, known for its self-importance and ostentatious wealth. In his video, Psy caricatures a typical Gangnam man, juxtaposing clownish dancing with the formal restrictions of a suit. Besides the obvious ridiculousness of this character, the rest of the song is teeming with subtle references that touch on the issues of class and wealth in today’s South Korean society. A song that’s fun to dance to and has a deeper meaning is a rare product of American music, but we’ll take it wherever we can get it.
I’ll Have a Slice of That: Daiya Wedge Cheese
In March 2012, Daiya rolled out its new line of vegan wedge cheeses. The flavors include: cheddar, jack, and jalapeno garlic havarti. Not only are these cheeses free of all animal products, they are also free of trans fats, common allergens like soy, peanuts, eggs, artificial ingredients, preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics. So this cheese doesn’t just taste good, it also does good for your body and the environment. If the world is ending in just a couple of days, I want some Daiya wedge cheese at my last meal.
Peta Gets Sexy, and We’re not Sure How to Feel About It
Peta is known for being out there—being all too willing with a can of red paint, protesting barbecuing by feigning a human roast, displaying circus cruelty through an S&M demonstration. However, Peta went even further with its “sex sells” campaign this year. It began on Valentines Day when they aired a commercial debuting the term “BWVAKTBOOM” meaning “Boyfriend went vegan and knocked the bottom out of me.” Now, I’m all for vegan boyfriends and great sex…but not so much for girlfriends in neck braces. Unfortunately, this is image that is left with us after watching the actual commercial. While the message may be well-intentioned, the neck brace might not have been the best way to convey that vegans have great sex. With so much Chris Brown- sparked domestic abuse controversy, a hanging low booty might have been a better way to explain the acronym.
Besides this commercial, PETA has been honoring world vegan month with another “sexy” video. I mean, nothing gets a girl going more than a guy swinging a vegetable version of his member. Honestly, I just tilted to my head to the side in bafflement as I watched this commercial. I’m all for vegan guys, but I’m less thrilled about them (or any guy for that matter) showcasing his business like some swinging carnival ride. I don’t think that I’m the only female who feels this way either; we want vegan guys to be comfortable in their masculinity but I’m not sure that these PETA ads do that. PETA’s schtick is being “out there” but these ads could benefit from a little tame inclusivity. I’m not sure if 2012 is the year of the eggplant schlong.
Vegan: The New Normal
Vegan used to be considered the term used to describe the alfalfa-munching eating habits of hippies, but 2012 is the year of the “new” normal. Besides LA’s recent adoption of Meatless Mondays, many American metropolises are featuring not only more vegan restaurants but more vegan options on its “normal” menus. A new culinary wave is sweeping across Southern California, and the rest of the country probably isn’t far to follow. This recent trend is that omnivore restaurants are consciously trying to appeal to vegans and vegetarians by preparing meatless dishes that rival even a restaurant’s signature dish. “I don’t think you could go to a four-star restaurant in Los Angeles and not find a vegan option,” Ron Russell, a chef and owner at SunCafe, told the New York Times. “The clientele demands it.” Veganism has been spreading like wildfire among celebrities, picking up such household names as Fran Drescher, Jason Mraz, and, of course, Anne Hathaway this year. Who will be next to jump on the vegan bandwagon? Well, with all of our information, resources, and sense of community, it could be anyone. How awesome is that?
Gluten-free: Whether you have Celiac disease or not, gluten-free diets are becoming more prevalent in the U.S. So much actually that restaurant chefs are aware of this and have adapted to the lifestyle by developing alternative menu options. The supposed health benefits have consumers in frenzy. To satisfy this demand, super market shelves are stocked with a diverse assortment of gluten-free options as well.
Local Farming: The local food movement trend carried over from 2011. Locally-grown produce is guaranteed to be fresh and tastes better – enough said. This trend has gone beyond restaurant kitchens and made its way into people’s homes. On average, foods at a supermarket travel 1,500 miles and take six to seven days to arrive on the shelf. In other words… not so fresh. This is not including foods that are purchased ‘out of season’, which may travel many thousands of miles further and take even longer to arrive on grocery store shelves. By contrast, foods that are purchased locally may travel a few hundred miles or less and may arrive the next day at a Farmer’s Market. In the process, you help local farmers, protect the environment, and promote a healthier diet to your family and yourself.
Meat decline by design: Although Americans still consume more meat than pretty much anywhere else in the world, consumption is in fact declining. Pre-2012, the USDA predicted the average American would consume 12.2% less meat and poultry in 2012 than they did in 2007. Partial thanks go to the Meatless Monday campaign and its successful promotion efforts. Hopefully people are starting to gain general knowledge when dealing with food. The answers are right there, people! There are no secrets that the meat industry is a gateway to the most common diseases. Just say no!
Kale; the trendiest of greens: Time Magazine listed kale in its top 10 food trends of 2012. Seriously, who is kale’s PR agent? Kale is basically a food celebrity this year! There are countless variations of this green super food. Kale is perfect for chips, juices, smoothies, salads and pasta fillings to name a few. For a green, kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps fill you up and to keep you full for long periods of time. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A and calcium. With a combination of vitamins and minerals, kale is a dieter’s soul mate. Kale is also a complete source of beta-carotene which is an antioxidant believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer and heart disease.
Everyone’s a foodie – thanks to Instagram: Another one ranked in Time Magazine, and definitely a hobby adopted by our iEatGrass team is Instagramming everything – primarily our very own food creations. What better way to share your delectable dish than in a modified X-Pro II filter or Walden – but never Kelvin, never.
A Refreshing take on Fashion:
Flooding the boards of Pinterest and Instagram alike, girlies show that mint is not just for your breath anymore. Women are decked out from head to toe in this pastel green color. Lace and sheer fabrics also took department stores by storm this year. The dainty look, even when sporting all-black attire and studs has erupted. Walk into a women’s clothing store and try to NOT find something sheer – I dare you. It’s everywhere! This look is sexy, comfortable and quite versatile. The sheer look can be casual or used as a dressy piece to fancy-up any outfit. The look and feel of sheer is just fashionably refreshing.
Round toe platform pumps were another doozy — especially in nude hues.
The bold footwear can make quite a big statement. However, while taking the backseat this fall and winter, pointy toe pumps are center stage and are regaining much love from fashionistas. This look is often overlooked for the bolder styles but this classic shoe presents a polished appeal.
The semi-masculine touch of a blazer can make any outfit classier. The fitted blazer can accent most looks with sophistication. Pastel blazers can add a pop of color to any drab outfit. You can build this look with separate finds rather than a matching set. Pair a blazer with leggings, shorts or jeans. Just about anything goes with this look.
Neon fitness-wear: Yup, fitness trends exist. Even in your sweatiest of moments you shall not go unnoticed. Men and women sported neon colors at the gym this year from sneakers to spandex shorts to muscle tees. This highlighter trend that started in spring continues and shows no sign of stopping.
Oh yeah, and killing animals for clothing or food is NEVER trendy.
Have a great new year!