#186: Sean Monahan
Sean Monahan on Brett Easton Ellis’ Glamorama, Cocaine, The Real World: Homecoming, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Sean Monahan to share a taste of his taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Sean Monahan is a writer and consultant based in Los Angeles that’s best known for being a cofounder of the experimental trend forecast collective, K-HOLE, whose 2013 newsletter report, "Youth Mode: A Report On Freedom", is credited with coining “Normcore” and the style’s boom shortly after. Monahan is still predicting trends and consulting under the name 8Ball and wrote the first of many “Vibe Shift” pieces for his Substack newsletter on June 9th 2021. Sean has always had his finger on the pulse and lucky for us, he’s here to tell us what he’s been into.
Without further ado
📹 The Real World: Homecoming
I’ve been rewatching old seasons of The Real World and the new spin-off seasons where they reunite the cast to re-argue old conflicts in the same house they lived in decades ago. The combination is a heady mix of nostalgia and horror. Flashback: I’m fourteen and pacing around my childhood home. Everyone is asleep and I’m watching Ruthie black out on The Real World: Hawaii, nervous about transferring to public school, listening to the locusts buzz. Today: I’m thirty-five and pacing around my house in LA. Some fifty year old is getting his ribs broken in gladiator combat on The Challenge. Fame is a trap. All these TikTok kids are fucked.
Arguably Brett Easton Ellis’ magnum opus. I love that he sued Zoolander for stealing his IP and won. It’s a story about a male fashion model who becomes a terrorist. As in other Easton Ellis books, there is a mantra: “The better you look the more you see.” This is deeply true. Beautiful people are punished by being exposed to all the most horrifying things in the world. Epstein…need I say more?
✋🏻 The Finger Lakes
I love going home. I grew up in a tiny jewel of a college town on a lake with an opera house. My mom lives in a prim little rowhouse. I love the summer. I watch the osprey that nest nearby catch water snakes and trout from the lake. I love the fall. I watch the frat boys rollerblade by shirtless, high fiving, ready to party. I love the winter. I go for long walks around the lake and into the cemetery and look at the Civil War graves while it snows. I love the spring. Everyone is so excited the winter is over, they get absolutely wasted. I see old friends from high school—teachers included—and sometimes they compliment me on some piece of writing they came across. Community is great. Townie 4 lyfe.
Cocaine is the best drug. It really sucks that people keep ODing from the fentanyl laced batches. I feel like Nancy Reagan having to “Just Say No.” Can we legalize this already? Your phone is almost certainly worse for your health. I remember a friend smuggled some blow in a book from Brazil. It was pink and fabulous. Barely a hangover the next day. Let’s just be real and let people make their choices and have their fun.
🐎 Slavoj Žižek for Abercrombie and Fitch Quarterly
This document was more or less the codex for K-HOLE. Genius text over teenage smut. Girls riding horses nude on the beach. Recently, I watched the Netflix documentary on the brand. Wow, nothing got deeper in my lizard brain than Bruce Weber and naked 18 year old Jamie Dornan. A fun tidbit is that the editor of the magazine went to college in my hometown. Suddenly the sexy lax bro’s cavorting in front of the roomie white clapboard lake house made so much sense. I love it all even more now.
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