There are certain critical moments in human history at which, had events unfolded differently, our lives today wouldÂ be changed, changed utterly, beyond all recognition.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated on his way to the Gap to buy pleated pants.
Assassinations of heads of state.Â A break in supply lines to the front of a battle between warring empires.Â My decision to buy a pair of pleated pants.
What's that you say?Â One of those three things is out of place?Â What are you, the editor of Highlights for Children?
It is a fact established beyond a peradventure of a doubt that once I have adopted a style, it ceases to be "hip".Â After standing on the sidelines of pleated pantdom for years, watching used car salesmen, maitre d's inÂ snooty restaurants and over-leveraged real estate developers have all the pleated pants fun, my decision to finally buy a pair one Sunday in 2001 resulted in a Pants Crash unequalled since the Pantaloon Panic of 1837.Â The next day pleated pants were drastically marked downÂ across the nation, and pants-futures traders whoÂ had "gone long" on the pleated variety were wiped out and suffered from underemployment as bike messengers for years.
So last decade
The same with restaurants.Â Take your Boite 29, your 34 Park Street, your Gnu and Turq and Bimboni's.Â Â As soon asÂ they laminate the restaurant review declaring themselves to beÂ the hottest bistro in town, I--ink-besotted square that I am--walk in the door.Â An audible gasp is heard from the bar, where slender blondsÂ had beenÂ pressing themselves up against the groins of venture capitalists.Â "I guess this place is over," someone finally says, and seeing-eye dogs are crushed in the ensuing race for the door.
But all of the past has beenÂ prologue, a mereÂ shot fired in the air comparedÂ toÂ the latest notch on the .45 caliber revolver of my uncoolness.Â I--and I alone--killed Facebook.
In case you're a Japanese soldier who's been living in a cave since the end of World War II, Facebook is a social networking web site developed by students at Harvard so your children will waste their time when they should be studying and have to attend their "safety" school.Â Facebook is already the subject of a book, "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich, which will no doubt be made into a movie, then a TV game show.Â It had a respectable 150 million users in January of this year, but by the third week of July it had 250 million.Â If Facebook were a sovereign state, it would be the fourth largest country in the world.Â It had everything it needed to achieve world domination by, say Thanksgiving Day.Â And then it got me.
Hume:Â Dude, I know you're bummed out, but that's no reason to wear that hat.
I hadÂ no Facebook account, but it was suggested that I should have one and create a Facebook "Group" to promote my second first novel, CannaCorn.Â IÂ am treating CannaCorn as my first novel, since a prior effort, A View of the Charles, fell, in the immortal words of Scottish philosopher David Hume recounting his first literary failure, "stillborn from the press."
And so I did.Â I can't actually find my group on Facebook right now, but you probably can, and if you can't, well, ask a college student.
The next day Newsweek's on-line edition carried an article questionning whether Facebook could survive the next five years.Â Six days later I found an article on msn.com titled "Is Facebook Past Its Prime?"Â
It's nice to know that, after all these years,Â I've still got my style-killing mojo.
Gotta run.Â I'm going shopping for a pair of plain-front slacks.Â You've been warned.