Fat Trel performs at Brightest Young Things' non-pop-up pop-up.

This just in from The New York Times: Pop-ups are really lame.

In his City Critic column yesterday, Neil Genzlinger aimed his whack-a-mole mallet at the phenomenon of temporary bowling alleys and limited-run restaurants: “Pop-ups — temporary business or cultural enterprises that materialize in empty storefronts, vacant lots and such, flaunting their own ephemerality — are hardly new, but suddenly they are everywhere. So are the news releases announcing them, which is the first clue that this phenomenon has lost any guerrilla chic it might once have had.”

It’s not just New York, Neil. But in D.C. we’re not only oversaturated with pop-ups. In Washington—-tourist Washington, political Washington, yuppie Washington—-we also have to deal with interminably awful ones, like a Cherry Blossom Festival pop-up shop, a National Journal pop-up shop, and a Target pop-up shop.

To Genzlinger, the most annoying thing about pop-ups might be the name. He writes: “So many people are tossing it around now that it has achieved ‘hipster’ status: that is, as with that word, merely using it labels you a shameless bandwagon-jumper.” The hipst—-I mean, cool kids behind Brightest Young Things clearly know this; when they opened a vitaminwater-sponsored temporary space on 14th Street NW earlier this summer, the site’s editor Svetlana Legetic told Washington City Paper that she hates terms like “pop-up shop” and “activation.” “I guess they’re adequate in context but everyone’s throwing them around constantly, so I’m just going to attempt and avoid them,” said Legetic, who added that she prefers “Space takeover…until I come up with something better.”

What bothers me about the term “pop-up” isn’t just its overuse to the point of meaninglessness. It’s also its misuse: This past weekend’s “Flash Market” at Hillyer Art Space in Dupont was not “a pop-up extravaganza,” as advertised. It was a bazaar, the kind that happens in churches’ function halls all the time.

But what really makes “pop-ups” so irksome, I think, is that they pair a transgressive concept—-filling a neglected space with something ostensibly unapproved or unexpected—-with a typically much more lame reality: Brightest Young Things’ uncapped LIVE space was littered with corporate logos; Jose Andres‘ temporary restaurant America Eats (sponsored, in part, by Dole, which bills itself as “the world’s largest producer and marketer of fresh fruits and vegetables”) is charging a hefty $14 for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that is remarkable only for its price. You don’t need Genzlinger’s column to convince you of the practice’s annoyingess; effusive trend pieces that have already appeared in Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post and The New York Times probably did the job well enough.

But not every pop-up deserves our haterade; if anything, I’d like to see more temporary art and retail venues in the city. The good kind, anyway: The city-funded Temporium shops—-on H Street NE, Mount Pleasant Street, and 7th Street NW—-all featured interesting retailers and some pretty outre programming, although we haven’t seen any more shops from the program since the spring. BYT’s space, despite feeling ickily corporate, was frequently free and just as often weird and awesome, with a diverse lineup of bands and art and films. Earlier in the summer, Brit Powell, who fronts the band Hume, organized a show in a tire yard to encourage more indie rockers to seek out disposable venues in lieu of hard-to-maintain DIY spaces.

More of all of this, please. We can call it whatever.