What is the significance to popular music, and pop culture in general, if One Direction breaks up following the departure of Zayn Malik from the band? If Justin Bieber has truly slid into the twilight of his somewhat limited career, who will the hipsters have left to hate if One Direction breaks up?
— At Least Half Serious Bill, Golden Hill
Justin who? Zayn Malik what? But, for real, that I might illustrate just how non-existent are the ramifications of a potential One Direction split, permit me this non-exhaustive list of real problems I worry about more than Zayn Malik’s quitting 2015’s ex-hottest boy band: Why I can’t seem to find Boo Berry cereal anymore; whether the Brooklyn Bridge will remain standing in perpetuity, considering the Manhattan end of the bridge rests on sand, not bedrock; how often to wash my favorite 501 shrink-to-fit jeans (obviously not very often, but how infrequently?); whether Taylor Swift’s grammar is good or bad based on her use of “their” as a singular pronoun; potential collapses in the price of California spiny lobster caused by fluctuations in Chinese demand; SARS; bird flu; swine flu; ebola; whatever health pandemic next strikes fear into our collective hearts; how much Kim loves Kanye; how much Kanye loves Kanye; and, last, but certainly not least, whether anybody even bothered to read this far into my rant instead of just skipping to the devilishly sassy paragraph break right about here.
You jest, Bill, and I repay that in kind, but I discern a nugget of truthiness in your question. Hipsters are known to be haters of all things mainstream, and the horrifyingly average boy band ditties dropped by One Direction make for an exceptional touchstone for perfect mainstreamness. But the nature of pop culture is such that we will always find reason to scorn mainstream artists.