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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Forever Twenty-Lame

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: June 2011

Last week I broke my do-not-under-any-circumstances-enter-the-Chico-mall rule, on account of a male friend wanting a female counterpart whilst selecting some new plaid shirts. As indicated above, I do so very much loathe the Chico mall, thanks entirely to my work experiences there as a youth. For anyone who has ever worked there during the Christmas season, I’m sure you understand.

In any case, that’s where I found myself last week; trailing behind my friend, trying to ignore the easy-listening muzak and bad lighting. As we passed by one particularly irritating kiosk attendant, I did what I always do in that sort of situation- eyes forward, increase pace, do not engage. Unfortunately my male companion was drawn in by the salesman’s come-hither eyes and the wares he happened to be peddling, (the irenew bracelet). The irenew bracelet, for those of you who haven’t yet seen the infomercials at three A.M., is a bracelet made of silicone and promises to “harness natural frequencies that occur in your immediate environment to help tune and rebalance your biofield to a more natural state.” It’s a total crock of shit. The “sales pitch” we endured was one of the more unusual tactics I’ve experienced, as he spent most of his time making inappropriate comments to me and asking invasive questions about the nature of my relationship with my male companion.

This awkward and bizarre encounter made me reaffirm my vow to stay away from the Chico mall, but also reminded me of the different bracelet trends over the years. Remember those slap bracelets everyone wore back in the nineties? Those were fun, in a really masochistic kind of way. More recently, Silly Bandz had a good run of popularity in elementary schools across the nation. So much so that they were actually banned in many schools on account of both the distraction factor, and to a lesser extent (but much more hilarious) the circulation in kids’ arms being cut off after one too many Silly Bandz being added to the collection. Banning them seems a little extreme, especially because loss of circulation is nothing if not silly. I hate to be such a stereotype of a discontented person in their mid-twenties, but it really seems like elementary schools are going downhill fast. Standardized testing has become the end-all be-all for these kids, with teachers being pigeonholed further and further into what the government thinks is most effective.

In any case, Wonder Woman, the owner of (arguably) the most famous bracelets in comic book character history, was slated to have her own T.V. show on NBC before the higher-ups made a judgment call and pulled the plug. This is probably for the best, seeing as how there was a huge backlash after pictures of her ill-conceived costume were posted online. I have yet to see any live-action version of Wonder Woman that doesn’t completely suck, and it definitely supports my theory that characters in the DC universe have not evolved to change with the fan base and are therefore becoming obsolete. I’ll leave it there until next week, my dear nerdlings. Here’s hoping the weather this week isn’t too ungodly hot. 

Arielle Mullen