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In which the author discusses the perceived relationship between economic downturns and bleak aesthetics.

Constant reader, beware of the “trend story.” Rather than say, “I had some thoughts about this not-incredibly-newsworthy subject that I thought I’d write about,” journalists say “This study was undertaken that is sorta related to something I wanted to write about, and there was no hard news to provide the platform for that subject I wanted to write about, so I’m just going to write about a perceived trend that this study points to without much reference to possible flaws in that study’s design, and certainly without mentioning that a trend story isn’t really news, unless you think ‘Extra! Extra!—-There Might be a Trend!’ constitutes news,” and, lo and behold, a blog post is born.

That said, Gainesville, Ga.’s Socioeconomic Institute (what is it? why does it study what it studies? what are its methods? etc.) has concluded that “happy, poppy music tops the charts when a bull market is in sway.” Meanwhile, “discordant music”—-i.e. noise—surges in popularity when the market is in the toilet. Funny, I thought noise music was abstract, and, in theory, not “discordant” or “cordant” (if that’s the antonym of discordant), and not “happy” or “sad.” I mean, I saw Wolf Eyes once, and they weren’t categorically “positive” or “negative,” just really, really loud. Also, it’s just goddamned hard to believe that Alan Greenspan’s decision not to regulate derivatives resulted in, say, the popularity of Black Dice (also really, really loud).

Ironically, this blog post itself—-writing about the worthlessness of trend stories—-is meta-meta-journalism about meta-journalism and, as such, probably worthless.

For further reading, see Slate on bogus trends.