Good to finally put a fork in 2010. The prepubescence of the 21st century has been hell so far, but maybe things will turn around in 2011. After all, it's a brand-new year, right? Anything can happen, and that's sort of the problem. We're currently overwhelmed by ominous signs of an impending apocalypse, and God may not be merciful enough to smite us with a huge asteroid or crush us with a black hole. It might be much uglier than that. The world financial system might collapse. The ice caps might melt. Justin Bieber might get married. You don't have to be Nostradamus to get the sneaking suspicion that God is just one more dumbass mortal fuckup away from shaking the creationary Etch A Sketch. In fact, at this point the Mayan calendar would seem like a pretty good bet if it weren't for the fact that the Mayans were into human sacrifice and worshiped a corn god (they call it maize). The end of days may indeed be upon us, but before you start burying gold in your backyard or learning how to tread water indefinitely, consider that there may still be a way out of this mess: Learning from our mistakes. Yes, we can keep fighting the same stupid wars, filling our engines with dinosaur juice, and buying mountains of useless plastic crap, but it doesn't mean we have to. As the saying goes, "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it." Thus, in the spirit of evolutionary progression, here is a short laundry list of the mistakes of 2010 that we should avoid repeating: 1) Hipster beards. Just fucking quit it. You look ridiculous. An overabundance of facial hair is perfectly fine for lumberjacks, Hasidic Jews, hermits, and fat old Mexican ladies, but on a 23-year-old bartender wearing a Hot Topic Misfits T-shirt and skinny jeans, it just looks stupid. That shit is over – just like full-sleeve tattoos and cock-ring-sized ear gauges. Hint: If you think you look like David Cross or Iron & Wine (fuck you, we know his name is Sam Beam), you probably actually look like the Lucky Charms leprechaun or Al from Home Improvement – and no, that doesn't make you ironic; it makes you a douche. Shave that shit off, and let your girlfriend use it as a merkin. 2) Clothing with tattoo designs. Call it Ed Hardy or Christian Audigier or Rue 21 – just call it over. Anytime your shirt looks like the one being worn by the chubby singer from Rascal Flatts, it's time for a wardrobe rethink. Plus, if you're too much of a pussy to actually get a crucifix tattooed on your skin, having a BeDazzled one on your clothing doesn't make up for it. 3) Fedoras. No. If you want to look like your grandfather, start drinking Old Crow and chain-smoking Pall Malls. A fedora just makes you look like a Josh Groban wannabe … or worse yet, Kid Rock. 4) Scarves/kaffiyeh/whatever. If it has tassels and looks like you stole it from a dead Taliban, it doesn't belong on you, much less your Labrador. Scarves are never appropriate in Austin. Ever. Not even if you have a neck wattle like Andy Griffith. 5) Vibram Five Fingers. This is an evolutionary shoe design in that it attempts to prove you descended from monkeys by making you look like one. Either that, or it's proof that the Italians hate us. Either way, the only appropriate time for wearing these shoes is if you're getting shrimped by a South African prostitute. 6) Snarky comments about meaningless fashion trends. There are bigger, more important fish to fry, aren't there? Yes, of course there are, but no one wants to read about BP oil spills, global warming, or dying whale otters (Seriously? Did you just try to iPhone that?), much less do something about them. It's a brand-new year. Time to party! If you're one of those people who like making fun of what other people take seriously, then you are going to love New Year's Eve at the Continental Club, where cherished Neil Diamond tribute band The Diamond Smugglers will be holding forth along with local space groovers Pong. No one skewers the Diamond like the Smugglers, and Pong is the perfect antidote for the smirking arm folders who will surely attend. At least if 2011 swirls further into the shitter, you'll be able to say you finished 2010 on a high note.
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