Issue #30/55, December 29, 1998 - January 14, 1999  smlogo.gif

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What's Hot/Not

Hey, "homes," what's with the long face? Haven't you noticed? Two thousand zero zero, party over--out of time! You've gotta party-y-y like it's 1999! And when you do, you've got to be ready. As the millennium's last year begins, you'll need to know what fashions are in, which music everyone's listening to, and how to kick the slang out when you're flossin' around the way with all your homies from the hood--in short (and we're kickin' slang now), you've got to KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS, brothers and sisters. You've got to chick-chickety-check yourself before you wreck yourself, know what we're sayin'? Fortunately, there's help. With the eXile's official guide to What's Hot and What's Not for 1999, you can't miss. We'll tell you what to wear when you take your "bitch" to the Galleria, give you a glossary and user's guide to all the latest zhargon, and tell you what other hip trends will be coming in in the next year. Don't have a crystal ball? Try the next best thing--the eXile's guide to What's Hot and What's Not for 1999!

The guide is divided into several categories. We start with a preview of the upcoming year's musical scene, then take it from there:


What's Hot: Techno
It may not have hit the clubs yet, but the energetic beats of this brash and inventive musical style will soon take Europe and the rest of the world by storm--we guarantee it. Hypnotic, primal, and relentless, techno is the music of the next millennium. Put on a day-glo halter and some spandex pants, eat a "ptitchka" (that's the street name for a hip new mind-expanding drug called "ecstasy"), and let your racial and class distinctions slip away as you grind away to gabber with the rest of unprejudiced generation next. Your parents and their friends had their chance: now the world is yours. So hit the dance floor tonight. Remember, Goa is out, and Ibiza (pronounced ih-BEE-tha) is in. The word is techno, and it's muy fantastico!

What's Not: Grunge
Dressing down and playing garage music was a good idea while it lasted, but with Kurt Cobain dead, this is a movement without a leader. We'll still keep our jeans jackets and flannels as mementoes, content in the knowledge we were there when "alternative" finally became mainstream. As for the rest of the grunge movement, hey, we liked it better when coffee shops and bookstores were two different things.

2. Hair

What's Hot: "Caesar" Haircuts
Hail, Caesar! Only the coolest of the cool are wearing them now, but in the upcoming months you'll see more and more of Moscow's most fashionable young men trimming their bangs and sweeping their sideburns forward. It's hip, it's regal, and it's way happening now, a respectful echo of Rome's legacy that today's smart men are wearing on their heads. Hey, maybe that old empire wasn't so bad, huh?

Runner Up: Goatees
This isn't the 80s, which must mean unabashed vapidity is out. Today's man is a thinker, complex, weighed down by life's possibilities, unconcerned spiritually with money but inspired intellectually by the challenge of acquiring it; he is a reader, a ruminator, a Tucker or a Rockefeller in his soul but der junge Freud in looks. So why not wear a small pointy beard? There's no reason why not! Look smart. Hair grows on your face for a reason: control it, but let it happen.

What's Not: Spiky hairdos
It's been more than a decade since The Terminator came out, and since then, Arnold has become a good guy, Billy Idol wrecked his bike and Simon Le Bon nearly drowned off the coast of Ireland, taking his career with him. Spiky hairdos are out. If you want to be on the edge, let it grow long and unkempt, or else shave it off entirely, a la Michael Jordan.

3. Television

What's Hot: Music Videos
So you thought music was only for listening? Well, cuz, we hate to say it, but you wuz wrong. It seems someone got it into his head to set your favorite songs to moving pictures. These provocative "videos" can now be seen on special "music channels" that play your favorite songs all day and all night. You were used to DJs? Well, try VJs! That's V for video, homes!

What's Not: Film
Get ready for a revolution. That clunky old method of capturing movement through a series of still pictures is falling by the wayside. The same technology they used to make your digital watch is now being used to record detailed information about changing patterns of light. That's right, filming can now be done digitally--which means that while the quality of your television picture may decline a little, the breadth of what can be shown on TV has expanded greatly. "Video" is cheap and reliable, and may soon make amateur filmmakers of us all. Only not too soon, of course!

4. Medicine

What's Hot: Prozac
It's got a funny name, but this new medicine may be just what the doctor ordered for millions of depressed people all across the world. New studies showing that depleted levels of a chemical called seratonin can cause hep kids like you and us folks here at the eXile to get bummed out led to the development of these so-called "seratonin re-uptake-inhibitors". These radical side-effect-free pills allow seratonin levels to build up in the brain, reversing the process that, in a statistically significant portion of the population, normally leads to depression! So if you've got the "blues," chin up, little soldier--a new day is coming!

What's Not: Nicotine
More evidence than ever before is surfacing to show that tobacco companies sought intentionally to make young children addicted to nicotine use. Furthermore, studies are being conducted showing conclusively that cigarette use is one of the leading causes of skyrocketing health costs all around the world. That's increased prices not just for smokers, but for sober folks like you and us eXile staffers. It sounds farfetched, but it just might happen that some local governments start prohibiting smoking not only in public places, but in restaurants and on streetcorners as well. Call us prudes, but we say it's about time.

5. Politics

What's Hot: Soviet Retro
You laughed at him when he lost to Boris Yeltsin in 1996, but now the joke's on you: Gennady Zyuganov and his buddies are kingmakers in the new Russian political elite. Get ready for protectionism, increased social spending, nonconvertible currency, ill-fitting domestically made suits, black-market traders who sell fur hats on the streets, red flags and big crowds of old, old people: communism is coming back! If you thought we were better friends with the Russians when we were enemies, you might soon be in luck. The cold war might be over, but the sequel is coming soon. Hey, if they can bring back Star Wars, why not Brezhnev?

What's Not: Young Reformers
We all believed in them at first, but now that the economy has collapsed, it's hard to feel that old-time religion. Their message was true, but they contaminated it by padding their pockets through a few shady book advances that, by Russian standards, were really mere peccadilloes. Laissez-faire means hands off, messieurs.

6. Cities

What's Hot: Moscow
Sexy whores, fast cash, booze, and drugs: this modern-day Babylon is the place to be for today's increasingly ambitious and energetic tourist. With casinos and pricy nightclubs now spilling neon light up and down its ancient streets at all hours, this illustrious Slavic capital has transformed almost overnight from a dark castle of totalitarian repression into a hopping haven of hedonism whose gates are open to every Tom, Dick, and Achmed. Want cheap, consequence-free sex and all the heart-stopping thrills of the Wild West, set in the crumbling crucible of communism? It's Moscow Now, baby!

What's Not: Prague
Kafka can stop spinning in his grave: all those American tourists are gone, leaving behind a big pile of shaved facial hair and the heavy footprints of American girls who spent too much time in the pastry shops. Prague was fun while it lasted, but somewhere along the line, the recess bell rang, and it was time for everybody to go home and get a job.

7. Beverages

What's Hot: Highballs
It's time, goddamnit, for men to be men again. Our wives and girlfriends can snipe if they want, but we're going back to drinking scotch (single-malts, of course, not blends), playing golf, and smoking stogies. Maybe if we play it right, they'll get back in the kitchen where they belong. No, we're just kidding, of course. But seriously, honey, we would like another scotch.

What's Not: Coffee
Seattle and Prague, the twin impregnable ramparts of the coffee empire, have fallen. Coffee is now a beverage without a scene, back in the same category as milk and juice blenders. We still drink it in the morning, but we won't dress for it. And by the way: we never could tell the difference between Hawaiian roast and Sumatran blend.

8. Decades

What's Hot: The 70s
Why are the 70s hot? Because they just are. When you know, you know.

What's Not: The 60s
When was the last time you went to see an Oliver Stone movie?

9. Street Slang

Hot: Phat
Not: Def
Hot: Shite
Not: Shit
Hot: Bitch
Not: Ho

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