There’s a trend piece to be written about the impulse contemporary writers have to live their lives to one extreme or another for the purpose of a high-concept hook: Following all the rules laid out in the Bible for a year (A.J. Jacobs’ The Year Of Living Biblically) or contrasting a day watching everything on cable (1,700 hours’ worth) with a day on a mountaintop (Bill McKibben’s The Age Of Missing Information) or watching a few box-office flops per week for a year, as we understand someone has done. But now that trend piece would have to include Justin Peters’ hilarious piece on trend pieces, which posted on Slate this morning. Peters, who describes himself an “irresponsible bohemian” who shops at Sears and owns a 10-year-old cellphone, decided that he would look at every New York Times trend piece from the Style section (published Thursdays and Sundays) and live out some of those trends himself.
A few of the trends were disqualified: “Slate advised me that it wouldn’t be wise legally to fake a celebrity's death, which made me upset, as I’d already gone to the trouble of incapacitating Jim Nabors.” But Peters did opt to follow through on seven of them, from incorporating “Britishisms” into his speech to sleeping with 30 pillows to waxing his pubes.