Last weekend I went to a flea market mall here in town. You know, the kind that has dozens of individually owned booths inside. This is the largest such place I've ever seen, as it's located in what was once a large, two storey department store.
Time was when I went to flea markets I'd see items mostly from the 1960s and 1970s, with an occasional helping of 1980s ephemera. Things that would make you say, "Hey, I remember that! I haven't thought about those things in years!" Dried up Lava Lamps and Six Million Dollar Man lunchboxes; things like that.
Not any more. It's been years since I've found a decent Tiki mug at a flea market. These days when I go to one everything there is from the recent past. And I do mean recent. On this particular visit I saw wheelbarrows full of Hanna Montana items, dozens of High School Musical DVDs and about a metric ton of Silly Bandz. That stuff all came out in the past couple of years. Even less in the case of the Silly Bandz.
I assume this is a side effect of the public's gradually diminishing attention span. It used to take a year or more for a fad to burn itself out. Now thanks to the internet, today's hot new sensation becomes old news in a month or less. Soon fads will be popping up and going out of style in the same day.
Since it's destined to end up there anyway, maybe the manufacturers of all this crap should cut out the middle man and just deliver it from their factories straight to the flea market!