When it comes to spotting social trends the New York Times is the working definition of Type I error. So I was inclined to ignore this Fashion & Style section story on deo-abstainers as just another false positive.
But two days later the Guardian reports that in Britain “a growing number of people are cutting down on daily showering and hair-washing.” (Funny, I thought they’d done that years ago . . .)
Maybe there is something going on here. Or not. Looks like overpaid and underviewed CBS News anchor Katie Couric got the ball rolling a few days earlier in a fluffy interview with Howard Kurtz:
That’s why Couric has spent recent weeks in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is touring what she calls “this great unwashed middle of the country” in an effort to divine the mood of the midterms.(Philly, Boston and New Brunswick are the middle of the country? Talk about a provincial Manhatta-centric worldview.)
Here’s a FirstNerve trend projection: the anti-fragrance forces can’t win with a purely negative story. What we are seeing here is the birth of the required complementary story: the positive spin that BO is beautiful. (Have fewer kids. Drive less. Eat less. Flush less. Shower less. Use less deodorant.)
Expect to see more such stories. Expect Bono to lead by example. Expect a movie.